CONTEMPORARY ISSUES & PRINCIPLES OF LANGUAGE TEACHING
Language and Power
Language and Culture
principles of Language Teaching
Some basic concepts
Approach-Method-Technique Model (Edward Anthony, 1963)
Techniques: carry out a method which is consistent with an approach
• a set of correlative assumptions (philosophies) dealing with the nature of language and language teaching and learning
• can be interpreted and applied in a variety of different ways in the classroom
• overall plan for the orderly presentation of language material, no part of which contradicts, and al1 of which is based upon, the selected approach
• systematic set of teaching practices based on a particular theory of language and language learning
• fixed teaching designs with prescribed techniques and practices
• particular trick, stratagem, or contrivance used to accomplish an immediate objective
• . Techniques must be consistent with a method, and therefore in harmony with an approach as well implementation
• that which links together the three elements: theory, instructional design and teaching practices
Understanding language T/L
• The role of language in learning cannot be over-emphasized
• Language is the prime resource teachers have and use for mediating learning
• When learning languages, then, teachers and students are working with language simultaneously as an object of study and as a medium for learning
• Our understanding of language, as languages educators, becomes part of our professional stance and, as such, influences our curriculum, planning and classroom pedagogies
• the way we teach language reflects the way we understand language
• there are two views
◦ lg as code
◦ lg as social practice
Language as code
• is made up of words and a series of rules that connect words together
• language learning just involves learning vocabulary and the rules for constructing sentences
• language is fixed and finite
• Students do not begin to engage with language as a communicative reality but simply as an intellectual exercise or as a work requiring memorizing
• narrow understanding
◦ does not explore the complexities involved in using language for communication
Language as a social practice (Kramsch, 1994; Shohamy, 2007)
• is open, dynamic, energetic, constantly evolving and personal, and encompasses the rich complexities of communication
• language is not a thing to be studied but a way of seeing, understanding and communicating about the world and each language user uses his or her language(s) differently
• sees a language not simply as a body of knowledge to be learnt but as a social practice in which to participate
• language learning involves learning how to use words, rules and knowledge about language and its use in order to communicate with speakers of the language
• makes educational experience more engaging for students
• Language is something that people do in their daily lives and something they use to express, create and interpret meanings and to establish and maintain social and interpersonal relationships.
1.1 LANGUAGE AND POWER
• Language and power are closely related to one another
• Opportunities and motivations for using and learning a particular language relies upon its relative power and status whether symbolic or practical, which cannot be separated from the relative socio-economic and political power that it represents
• Language, historically, has served an important means by which social inequalities and various forms of cultural oppression have been naturalized in popular consciousness
• Power exists between dominant and subordinated (or marginalized) groups
• Interactions between educators, learners and communities in varying degrees reinforce power relations in a culturally and linguistically diverse context
• Power can also be used positively or negatively
Notions of Power Norman Fairclough (1989)
• ability of an entity (e.g. individual, group, etc.) to make change (influence), or conversely, to maintain things as they are
• strength, might, ability to compel some individual or institution to do what it would not like to do authority, control, a right, dominance or domination. Power can be political, military, educational, cultural, physical, social, sexual, religious, spiritual, etc.
• viewed along a continuum from weak to strong, or from strong to the strongest
• relationship of equality/inequality with respect to how any given institution, group, etc. is ordered (structured)
• central condition of social life; power is not static but dynamic
• generated as a natural effect of human beings’ interactions and it circulates among participants (Fairclough, 2003; Foucault, as cited in Gordon, 1980; Orellana, 1996; Ramos, 2004; Wodak & Meyer, 2001).
• does not belong to any particular individual or group, but is something inherent to every person (Wertsch, 1998, as cited in Cornelious & Herrenkohl, 2004; Fairclough, 1989).
Some Assumptions about Language and Power
• Constrict both the identity options for culturally diverse students and their cognitive and academic engagement.
• include the following beliefs (often implicit and unarticulated):
◦ ‘Literacy’ refers only to reading and writing in the dominant language (henceforth English); literacy abilities in languages other than English and in modalities other than the written modality are ignored
◦ The cultural knowledge and first language (L1) linguistic abilities that bilingual students bring to school have little instructional relevance
◦ Culturally and linguistically diverse parents, whose English may be quite limited, do not have the language skills to contribute to their children’s literacy development
Power relations in the classroom context
• power relations exist in any context when people interact with each other
• socially and/or historically constructed identities such as race, gender, and sexual orientation may impact the language learning process
• when students exercise power they decide the form with which to express that power, eg silence or using voice
• silence can be manifested in order to express domination or subordination depending on the situation ns, rules, and participants. Additionally,
• teachers usually see silence as a way to indicate lack of understanding; however, silence can also be used to force a member of a group to participate
• Likewise, students can exert power through the way they use voice in the dynamics of the class
• when people speak they wish not only to be understood, but also to be noticed in a group
• learners express their ideas through the use of voice not only to share their knowledge when they are working or participating in activities but also to call others’ attention
• Learners use their voices in order to complain about partners and/ or to accuse others; for example, no matter which activities we were developing in class, students consistently talked about others’ actions.
• Voice was also used by students to establish connections with their peers, especially with friends, to share opinions about the classroom topic or their own experiences, to participate in the activities, and to talk about things which they felt a special interest.
Power relations categorized
• refers to the exercise of power by a dominant individual, group, or country to the detriment of (or harming) a subordinated individual, group or country.
• reflect the sense of the term ‘power’ that refers to ‘being enabled’, or ‘empowered’ to achieve more.
• Power is not a fixed quantity but is generated through interaction with others. The more empowered one individual or group becomes, the more is generated for others to share.
• The term empowerment can be defined as the collaborative creation of power. Students in these empowering classroom contexts know that their voices will be heard and respected. Schooling amplifies rather than silences their power of self-expression.
Pedagogical Choices in negotiating power relations in classroom
• can be exerted in:
◦ how teachers interact with students
◦ how teachers engage learners cognitively
◦ how teachers activate their prior knowledge
◦ how they use technology to amplify imagination
◦ how they involve parents in their children’s education; and
◦ What they communicate to students regarding home language and culture.
• When teaching language, we have to bear in mind its relatedness with power
• teachers should:
◦ use methodologies that encourage an even distribution of power
◦ Encourage equal opportunities for doing learning activities such as speaking, asking and answering questions, writing, leading and being lead.
◦ should not encourage language learning for bullying.
LANGUGE AND CULTURE
• The way in which we understand culture, just as the way we understand language, affects the way we teach culture in language learning
• 2 fundamentally connected issues to consider:
a) what we understand culture to be
b) how we understand the place of culture within language learning.
• a way of life of community including beliefs, customs and behaviors, language
• a body of knowledge that people have about a particular society, e.g. knowledge about cultural artefacts (or works of art); knowledge about places and institutions; as knowledge about events and symbols; or as knowledge about ways of living
• a framework in which people live their lives and communicate shared meanings with each other
Language and Culture
• language is a vehicle for transmitting indigenous knowledge and culture
Metaphors about language and culture
• language as the mirror of culture: people can see a culture through its language
• language and culture as the iceberg: The visible part is the language, with a small part of culture; the greater part, lying hidden beneath the surface, is the invisible aspect of culture
• Language and culture makes a living organism: language is flesh, and culture is blood. Without culture, language would be dead; without language, culture would have no shape.
• From a communicative view: Swimming Skill (Language) + Water (Culture) -> Swimming (communication):
◦ Communication is swimming, language is the swimming skill, and culture is water. Without language, communication would remain to a very limited degree (in very shallow water); without culture, there would be no communication at all.
• From a pragmatic view: Traffic light (language) + Vehicle(Culture) -> transportation (communication)
◦ Communication is like transportation: language is the vehicle and culture is traffic light. Language makes communication easier and faster; culture regulates, sometimes promotes and sometimes hinders communication.
Inseparability of Language and Culture
• Language and culture, as different as they are, form a whole
• Language simultaneously reflects culture, and is influenced and shaped by it
• People of different cultures can refer to different things while using the same language forms.
Eg. lunch~ hamburger or pizza for an Englishman
Ugali or for an African
Steamed bread or rice for a Chinese
Approaches associated to Language teaching and culture (Liddicoat, 2005)
In thinking about how to teach culture in the language classroom, it is useful to consider how the ways in which culture is presented.
• can be categorized
A) Static Approach: typically emphasizes artefacts, institutions and factual knowledge
b) Dynamic Approach: sees learners actively engage with the practices of a cultural group.
The intercultural perspective in Language T/L
• The goal of learning is to decanters learners from their own culture-based assumptions and to develop an intercultural identity as a result of an engagement with an additional culture.
• Borders between self and other are explored, problematical and redrawn.
• Knowledge of cultures is important for facilitating communication with people.
• Learning to be intercultural involves much more than just knowing about another culture: it involves learning to understand how one’s own culture shapes perceptions of oneself, of the world, and of our relationship with others.
• Learners become familiar with how they can personally engage with linguistic and cultural diversity.
Some principles of lg teaching in tz
• What do you consider to be the principles that should guide your/the teaching of English language in Tanzanian context? Briefly but succinctly explain at least five of them.
• Good teaching to reduce socioeconomic and political inequalities among members of society
• Language learning should involve the learning of indiginous culture
Topic 2. THEORIES OF LANGUAGE TEACHING & LEARNING
Are schools of thought connected with lg teaching and learning
Can be generally categorized into:
◦ Behaviorist theory, Nativist theory and Interactionist theory
• basically a psychological theory in its essence
• founded in America by J.B. Watson, is actualIy a theory of native language learning, advanced in part as a reaction to traditional grammar
• Propounded by: Leonard Bloomfield, O.N. Mowrer, B.F. Skinner, and A.W. Staats, Pavlov & Thorndike
• major principle rests on the analyses of human behavior in observable stimulus-response interaction and the association between them
Assumptions on lg learning
• Spoken language must have a priority in lg teaching
• each person can learn lg equally if the conditions in which the learning takes place are the same for each person.
• lg learning is the process of habit formation resulted from reinforcement
• lg learning results from condition built from Stimulus-Response chains
• children’s imitation of structures show evidence of almost no innovation and children vary considerably in the amount that they imitate (L.M. Bloom, L. Hood, and P.L. Lightbown, 1974; 380-420)
• generalization, rewarding, and conditioning support the development of analogical learning in children
◦ obstruct the instinctive production of language, hence may not naturally promote intrinsically-oriented language learning
• It takes a long time to be capable enough to master a language due to threshold level
◦ learners must learn consciously supported by repetition and drilling to build up an effective linguistic intuition, acquisition of which marks the establishment of threshold level
◦ Before obtaining the threshold level, the language learner is not creative, cannot use the language properly in new situations in a real sense. it is, then, obvious that the intrinsic learning will be delayed
• The rate of social influence on lg learning is not satisfactorily explained.
◦ To what extent and rate, does the social surrounding promote language learning? This question remains unexplained
• It is highly unlikely for learning to be the same for each individual
◦ background and the experience of the learners make everybody learn differently
• The main strategies of the behaviorist theory can only be true for the early stages of learning which takes place when the kids are in infancy and in early childhood periods. Moreover, this theory is fruitful for the most part on animal experimentation and learning
• lg learning process is too complex to be learned in such a stimulus-response fashion
◦ there are intervening variables which cannot be observed between stimulus and response
Merits in lg learning
• establishes the basic background of exercises, either oral or written in viewing language as stimulus and response
• gives a great deal of insight into the recognition of the use of controlled observation to discover the laws of behavior
• Influenced many teaching methods, e.g. Audiolingual Method, Total Physical Response, and Silent Way
Nativist theory (Also innatism)
• Proponents: Chomsky & Krashen
• a direct challenge to the established behaviorist theories
• Lg has a structure which is independent of language use (observed lg)
• Lg develops through acquisition using innate capacities called language acquisition device (LAD), functioning through exploration by an organism, unconscious observance of grammar rules; self imitation; and selection of words, sentences and word order
• Profounder include: Vygotsky, Hatch & Long
• invoke both innate and environmental factors to explain language learning
• The factors are mutually dependent (reciprocal)
• conceive language and language learning as social practices
Second & Foreign language learning theories
• Make explicit or implicit claims as to how additional lgs (L2/Fl) can or should be taught and learned in classrooms
Chomsky’s Universal Grammar (1976)
• human innate (or genetic) endowment (LAD) allows human beings to acquire the grammar of any particular language
• contributes on the study of the changing structure of learners’ SL knowledge and ultimate attainment
• UG is supplemented by evidence, e.g. heard sentences, about a particular language, can be:
◦ Positive: actual sentences of a language
E.g. Johnny and Jane love cabbages
▪ the child learns that English has Subject-Verb- Object (S-V-O) order
◦ Negative: falls into 2 categories:
▪ Direct: consists of corrections of the child’s mistakes by adults:
You mustn’t say “we was…” Jimmy, you must “we were…”
▪ Indirect: provided by the non-occurrence of something in the language the child, S-O-V order in English:
*They cabbages like
• The fact s/he never hears S-O-V order is negative evidence that English is a S-V-O language as in: eg They like cabbages
• UG accessed during L1 acquisition has got an influence in L2 learning
• SL learners also learn aspects of language that do not conform to UG
• Lg learning is essentially principle- governed
Stephen Krashen’s Comprehension Hypothesis (1980s)
• focuses on comprehensible input which causes language acquisition
• Lg learning serves to allow learners to monitor their output for accuracy
• Contrasted learning from acquisition as ways of developing language competence in L2
• Language Acquisition refers to a subconscious process of developing ability in a language
◦ Equates to the way children develop ability in their first language
◦ Acquirers are not usually aware of the fact that they are acquiring language, but are only aware of the fact that they are using the language for communication
◦ Other ways of describing acquisition include implicit learning, informal learning, and natural learning.
◦ Grammatical sentences “sound” right, or “feel” right, and errors feel wrong, even if we do not consciously know what rule was violated
• Language Learning refers to conscious knowledge of a second language
◦ Involves knowing the rules, being aware of them, and being able to talk about them
◦ In non-technical terms, learning is “knowing about” a language, known to most people as “grammar”, or “rules”.
◦ Some synonyms include formal knowledge of a language, or explicit learning
• Error correction has little or no effect on subconscious acquisition, but is thought to be useful for conscious learning
• Both lg acquisition and lg learning co-exist in second language performance
The Monitor Hypothesis
• States how language acquisition and learning are used in second language production
• acquisition “initiates” our utterances in a second language and is responsible for fluency
• Learning makes changes (or to monitor/edit) in the form of utterance, after is has been “produced” by the acquired system
◦ can happen before we speak or write, or after (self-correction)
• formal rules, or conscious learning, play only a limited
role in second language performance.
The Input Hypothesis
• lg is acquired when one understands language that contains structure that is “a little beyond” his or her current level of competence
• context, knowledge of the world, extra-linguistic information help one understand language directed at him or her.
• lg is acquired by “going for meaning”first, and as a result, we acquire structure
• relates more to language acquisition than learning
• We acquire by understanding language that contains a structure that is beyond our current level of competence (i + 1)
• When communication is successful, when the input is understood and there is enough of it, i + 1 will be provided automatically
• speaking fluency and accuracy emerges over time as the acquirer hears and understands more comprehensible input- not directly taught
• For children, caretaker speech is modified (or simplified) in an effort to make themselves understood by the child
Pedagogical Implications in lg T/L
• Teacher talk is one of major sources of comprehensible target language input
• Teachers use pedagogical aids, such as pictures and realia
• learner-centered teaching mode arouse the learners’ creativity and makes them have more chances to gain enough comprehensible input to enhance their ability of applying S/FL
• Teachers should connect learners’ lg learning to their past background and experiences to gain comprehensive input
• Application of multimedia technology in classroom teaching, e.g. Net-based computers, helps to provide learners with sufficient qualitative and quantitative comprehensible input
• views lg acquisition in a linear perspective
• The theory does not go beyond the acquisition of grammatical structures
• The model lacks enough research evidence
Interactionist (Sociocultural) theory
• see language acquisition in social terms
• based on the work of Lev Vygotsky :1978 1986 Internalization inner speech active theory and the zone of proxim al development
• ZPD constitute the core concepts of SCT and in particular m mediation plays a central role Lantolf
• language is not just a private in the head affair but rather a socially constructed phenomenon
• takes 2 forms:
◦ Self regulation: the capacity for independent problem solving, e.g. through private speech
◦ Other regulation: indicates a person who needs help in solving problems -mediated through language
• serves as a metaphor for the novice-master interaction in a problem solving task
• involves the expert taking control of those portions of a task that are beyond the learner’s current level of competence thus allowing the leaner to focus on the elements within his or her range of ability (Wood et al. 1976)
The Zone of Proximal Development ZPD
• The site where the language is shared and internalized through mediation
• the distance between the actual developmental level as determined by independent problem solving and the level of potential development as determined through problem solving under adult guidance or in collaboration with more capable peers (Vygotsky, 1978)
• Once the learner has appropriated the knowledge of how to solve a particular problem the developmental level of the child grows to encom pass that knowledge and the level of potentialdevelopment moves ahead and the ZPD shifts
• Language learning is not only a cognitive task but more of a social activity
• teachers need to balance the giving and withholding of guidance and assistance in accordance with students progression through a task
• the learner and teacher are active participants in a sociocultural activity
• L2 learning is a matter of problem solving in a master-apprentice relationship
• language instruction was viewed not just in terms of providing comprehensible input but rather as helping learners enter into the kinds of authentic social discourse
, situations and discourse communities that they would later encounter outside the classroom.
TOPIC 3: PURPOSE-RELATED APPROACHES TO LANGUAGE TEACHING
Approach, method, and technique (Edward Anthony’s Model, 1963)
“Techniques carry out a method which is consistent with an approach”
• is a set of correlative assumptions dealing with the nature of language teaching and learning
• describes the nature of the subject matter to be taught
the level a t which assumptions and beliefs about language and language learning are specified
• is an overall plan for the orderly presentation of language material, no part of which contradicts, and all of which is based upon, the selected approach
• An approach is axiomatic, a method is procedural
Within one approach, there can be many methods
the level at which theory is put into practice and at which choices are made about the particular skills to be taught, the content to be taught, and the order in which the content will be presented
• is implementation – that which actually takes place in a classroom
• a particular trick, stratagem, or contrivance used to accomplish an immediate objective
• must be consistent with a method, and therefore in harmony with an approach as well
is the level at which classroom procedures are described
Purpose-related (or contingent) Approach
• Purposes for learning a lg determine choice of content and methodological approach, Some Purposes for learning English may be:
◦ Communication with Foreigners
Language for academic purposes
• In Tz, English taught in schools is normally for academic purposes to enhance academic language
• refers to the vocabulary and semantics used in textbooks used in school subjects
• Learners need linguistic proficiency that is required for them to engage their specific subject matters
• Subject teachers could be the best language teachers
• Academic language differs from conversational English language in terms of Vocabulary, grammar and meanings
Evolution of Language T/L Approaches
• derived in different historical context and time
• stressed different social and educational needs and have different theoretical consideration
• Include: Grammar-Translation Method, Direct Method, The Reading Approach, Audio-lingual Method, Silent Way, Total Physical Response (TPR), Community Language Learning (CLL), Suggestopedia (Suggestology), Functional notional Approach, Communicative Approach, and Natural Approach
• historically, in the middle ages, it was used in teaching Greek and Latin
• generalized to teaching modern languages
• Classes are taught in the students’ mother tongue, with little active use of the target language
• Vocabulary is taught in the form of isolated word lists
• Elaborate explanations of grammar are always provided. Grammar instruction provides the rules for putting words together; instruction often focuses on the form and inflection of words.
• Reading of difficult texts is begun early in the course of study
• Little attention is paid to the content of texts, which are treated as exercises in grammatical analysis. Often the only drills are exercises in translating disconnected sentences from the target language into the mother tongue, and vice versa.
• Little or no attention is given to pronunciation.
• developed initially in the 19thC as a reaction to the Grammar-Translation approach in an attempt to integrate more use of the target language in instruction.
• Lessons begin with a dialogue using a modern conversational style in the target language.
• Material is first presented orally with actions or pictures. The mother tongue is NEVER, NEVER used.
• There is no translation.
• The preferred type of exercise is a series of questions in the target language based on the dialogue or an anecdotal narrative.
• Questions are answered in the target language
• Grammar is taught inductively (rules are generalized from the practice and experience with the target language).
• Verbs are used first and systematically conjugated only much later after some oral mastery of the target language
• Advanced students read literature for comprehension and pleasure
• Literary texts are not analyzed grammatically
• The culture associated with the target language is also taught inductively. Culture is considered an important aspect of learning the language
Some principles (Richards & Rodgers, 2001, p. 12)
• Classroom instruction was conducted exclusively in the target language.
• Only everyday vocabulary and sentences were taught.
• Oral communication skills were built up in carefully graded progression organized around question-answer exchanges between teachers and students in small, intensive classes.
• Grammar was taught inductively.
• New teaching points were introduced orally.
• Concrete vocabulary was taught through demonstrating, objects, and pictures; abstract vocabulary was taught by association of ideas.
• Both speech and listening comprehension were taught.
• Correct pronunciation and grammar were emphasized.
The Reading Approach
• selected for practical and academic reasons
• is for people who do not travel abroad for whom reading is the one usable skill in a foreign language
• priority in studying the target language is first, reading ability and second, current and/or historical knowledge of the country where the target language is spoken
• Only the grammar necessary for reading comprehension and fluency is taught
• Minimal attention is paid to pronunciation or gaining conversational skills in the target language
• From the beginning, a great amount of reading is done in L2, both in and out of class
• Vocabulary of the early reading passages and texts is strictly controlled for difficulty. Vocabulary is expanded as quickly as possible, since the acquisition of vocabulary is considered more important that grammatical skill.
• Translation reappears in this approach as a respectable classroom procedure related to comprehension of the written text
• based on the principles of behavior psychology
• Adapted many of the principles and procedures of the Direct Method, in part as a reaction to the lack of speaking skills of the Reading Approach.
• New material is presented in the form of a dialogue
• Based on the principle that language learning is habit formation, the method fosters dependence on mimicry, memorization of set phrases and over-learning.
• Structures are sequenced and taught one at a time. Structural patterns are taught using repetitive drills
• Little or no grammatical explanations are provided; grammar is taught inductively
• Skills are sequenced: Listening, speaking, reading and writing are developed in order
• Vocabulary is strictly limited and learned in context
• Teaching points are determined by contrastive analysis between L1 and L2
• There is abundant use of language laboratories, tapes and visual aids. There is an extended pre-reading period at the beginning of the course
• Great importance is given to precise native-like pronunciation.
• Use of the mother tongue by the teacher is permitted, but discouraged among and by the students.
• Successful responses are reinforced; great care is taken to prevent learner errors.
• There is a tendency to focus on manipulation of the target language and to disregard content and meaning.
• begins by using a set of colored rods and verbal commands in order to achieve the following:
◦ To avoid the use of the vernacular
◦ To create simple linguistic situations that remain under the complete control of the teacher
◦ To pass on to the learners the responsibility for the utterances of the descriptions of the objects shown or the actions performed.
◦ To let the teacher concentrate on what the students say and how they are saying it, drawing their attention to the differences in pronunciation and the flow of words.
◦ To generate a serious game-like situation in which the rules are implicitly agreed upon by giving meaning to the gestures of the teacher and his mime.
◦ To permit almost from the start a switch from the lone voice of the teacher using the foreign language to a number of voices using it. This introduces components of pitch, timbre and intensity that will constantly reduce the impact of one voice and hence reduce imitation and encourage personal production of one’s own brand of the sounds.
◦ To provide the support of perception and action to the intellectual guess of what the noises mean, thus bring in the arsenal of the usual criteria of experience already developed and automatic in one’s use of the mother tongue.
◦ To provide duration of spontaneous speech upon which the teacher and the students can work to obtain a similarity of melody to the one heard, thus providing melodic integrative schemata from the start.
Total Physical Response (TPR)
James J. Asher (1977)
• Combines information and skills through the use of the kinesthetic sensory system to allow the learner to assimilate information and skills at a rapid rate.
• Understanding the spoken language before developing the skills of speaking.
• Imperatives (or commands) are the main structures to transfer or communicate information.
• The student is not forced to speak, but is allowed an individual readiness period and allowed to spontaneously begin to speak when the student feels comfortable and confident in understanding and producing the utterances.
Community Language Learning (CLL)
• Is patterned upon counseling techniques and adapted to the peculiar anxiety and threat as well as the personal and language problems a person encounters in the learning of foreign languages.
• learner is thought of as a client whereas a teacher is language counselor
• Language-counseling relationship begins with the client’s linguistic confusion and conflict.
• Language counselor’s skill aims to communicate empathy for the client’s threatened inadequate state and to aid him linguistically.
• Slowly the teacher-counselor strives to enable him to arrive at his own increasingly independent language adequacy.
Georgi Lozanov Bulg. psy (1982)
• learners naturally set up psychological barriers to learning ¬ based on fears that they will be unable to perform and are limited in terms of their ability to learn.
• believes learners may have been using only 5-10% of their mental capacity, and that the brain could process and retain much more material if given “optimal” conditions for learning.
• focused on “desuggestion” of the limitations learners think they have, and providing the sort of relaxed state of mind that would facilitate the retention of material to its maximum potential.
• Characterised by relaxed subdued learning environment, with use soft music in the background soft comfortable chairs, and dim lighting, during the learning process
• complete control and authority are given over to the teacher
• learners were encouragement to act as “childishly” as possible, often even assuming names and characters “in” the target language.
The Communicative Approach (1980s)
Finocchiaro, M. & Brumfit, C. (1983)
• expand on the goal of creating communicative competence
• Teaching students how to use the language is considered to be at least as important as learning the language itself.
• probes the nature of social, cultural, and pragmatic features of language.
• explores pedagogical means for ‘real-life’ communication in the classroom.
• try to get learners to develop linguistic fluency, not just the accuracy .
• concerned with how to facilitate lifelong language learning among our students, not just with the immediate classroom task.
• learners are looking at as partners in a cooperative venture.
• classroom practices seek to draw on whatever intrinsically sparks learners to reach their fullest potential.
TOPIC 4: ACTIVITIES FOR ENGLISH TEACHING & LEARNING
• One of the key elements in teaching language classes is the use of suitable activities with different types of students
• Instead of a predominance of teacher-fronted teaching, teachers are encouraged to make greater use of small-group work
• The most important element of teaching is effective management of activities in language classroom
• in successful classes, teachers spend only eighteen percent on giving instructions. They devote eighty two percent of the class time for their students to do activities
A task that the teachers select for students to achieve a specific teaching and learning goal (Richards & Lockhart, 2005)
• Something that learners do that involves them using or working with language to achieve some specific outcome (Scrivener, 2005)
Roles of activities in language learning
• Enhance attention
• Minimize boredom
• Motivate students to study in class (Runmei (2002).
• Maximize learners’ learning experience
• Get learners involved in the actual use of language
• Give learners greater opportunities to develop fluency
Language T/L Activities categorised
The P-P-P cycle
• a three-phase sequence, known as: Presentation, Practice and Production
Presentation: The new grammar structure is presented, often by means of a conversation or short text. The teacher explains the new structure and checks students’ comprehension of it.
Practice: Students practice using the new structure in a controlled context, through drills or substitution exercises.
Production: Students practice using the new structure in different contexts, often using their own content or information, in order to develop fluency with the new pattern.
Fluency: natural language use occurring when a speaker engages in meaningful interaction and maintains comprehensible and ongoing communication despite limitations in his or her communicative competence.
• Developed by creating classroom activities in which students must negotiate meaning, use communication strategies, correct misunderstandings, and work to avoid communication breakdowns.
Fluency Activities characterized
• Reflect natural use of language
• Focus on achieving communication
• Require meaningful use of language
• Require the use of communication strategies
• Produce language that may not be predictable
• Seek to link language use to context
• focuses on creating correct examples of language use.
• Include dialogs
Accuracy Activities characterized
• Reflect classroom use of language
• Focus on the formation of correct examples of language
• Practice language out of context
• Practice small samples of language
• Do not require meaningful communication
• Control choice of language
• puzzles, games, map-reading, and other kinds of classroom tasks in which the focus is on using one’s language resources to complete a task.
• Learner-conducted surveys, interviews, and searches in which students are required to use their linguistic resources to collect information
• activities in which students compare values, opinions, or beliefs, such as a ranking task in which students list six qualities in order of importance that they might consider in choosing a date or spouse.
• These require learners to take information that is presented in one form, and represent it in a different form.
• E.g. they may read instructions on how to get from A to B, and then draw a map showing the sequence, or they may read information about a subject and then represent it as a graph.
• These involve deriving some new information from given information through the process of inference and practical reasoning, e.g.working out a teacher’s timetable on the basis of given class timetables.
Task- Based Language Instruction (TBLI)
• From 1980s, led to developing process-oriented syllabi and designing communicative tasks to promote learners’ actual language use
• is compatible with a learner-centered educational philosophy (Richards & Rodgers, 2001)
• consists of particular components, such as goal, procedure, specific outcome
• advocates content-oriented meaningful activities rather than linguistic forms (Beglar & Hunt, 2002)
• Tasks constitute a central component of TBLI in language classrooms because they provide a context that activates learning processes and promotes L2 learning
Task: Pedagogically defined
A range of work plans for exercise and activities in language instruction (Breen, 1987)
• All kinds of activities relating to language learning can be tasks
• Does not clarify how task is different from practices or exercises
Any proposal within the materials for action undertaken by the learners to bring up the foreign language learning (Littlejohn, 1998)
• Each task can be shown reflecting the three aspects: process, participation and content
◦ Process: what teachers and learners go through
◦ Participation: concerns whom learners work with in the process.
◦ Content: something that learners focus on
A piece of classroom work to convey meaning rather than to manipulate form (Nunan, 2005)
• emphasizes the pedagogical tasks’ involvement in communicative language use
• a task involves achieved outcome (vs grammatical exercises)
Generally, a language task has to be authentic, learner-centered, using language, intentional and interactive
Principles of TBLI (Nunan, 2005)
• Scaffolding: Lessons and materials should provide support to the students.
• Task chains: Each exercise, activity and task should build upon the ones that have gone before.
• Recycling: Recycling language maximizes opportunities for learning
• Organic learning: Language ability “grows” gradually.
• Active learning: Learners learn best by actively using the language they are learning. They learn by doing.
• Integration: The lesson should teach grammatical form and how the form is used for purposes of communication.
• Reflection: Learners should be given opportunities to think about what they have learned and how well they are doing.
• Copying to creation: Learners should not only drill and practice what has been written for them, but also be given the opportunity to use their creativity and imagination and what they have learned to solve real world tasks.
Framework for Designing task-based lessons
• consists of 3- phase cycle:
• has 3 functions:
◦ To introduce and create interest in doing a task on the chosen topic
◦ To activate topic-related words, phrases and target sentences that will be useful in carrying out the task and in the real world
◦ Function is the inclusion of an enabling task to help students communicate as smoothly as possible during the task cycle
The task phase
• consists of the task(s) plus planning and report phases in which students present spoken or written reports of the work done in the task(s).
• learners work in pairs or groups and use whatever linguistic resources they possess to achieve the goals of the task.
• learners work with the teacher to improve their language while planning their rep orts of the task, to avoid the risk of developing fluency at the expense of accuracy
NB: Before or during the task cycle, the teacher can expose students to language in use by having them listen to a recording of other people doing the task, or by having they read a text related to the task topic.
• encourage reflection on how the task was performed specific features of the language (e.g. functions, syntax, words, phonological features), which occurred naturally during the task, are identified and analyzed.
• encourage attention to form, in particular to those forms that proved problematic to the learners when they performed the task.
• may contain a practice stage in which the teacher conducts practice of the new word, phrases or patterns, which occurred in the analysis activities, the task text or the report phase
• provide an opportunity for a repeat performance of the task
TOPIC 5: ASSESSMENT IN LANGUAGE LEARNING
Assessment and language learning
• vital and integral part of classroom instruction
• the practice of collecting evidence of student learning
• an aspect of evaluation which helps to know how effective the teaching of English has been, ie how much learners have been changed, or to know their progress
testing is used
• gives feedback to students, teachers, schools and parents on the effectiveness of teaching and on student strengths and weaknesses in learning.
• provides information to schools, school systems, government, tertiary institutions and employers to enable them to monitor standards and to facilitate selection decisions.
• promotes learning and monitoring students’progress.
• used for certification and selection purposes
• motivate learners
Assessment for v. of learning
• are two main purposes of assessment
Assessment for learning
• concerned with obtaining feedback on learning and teaching, and utilising this to make learning more effective and to introduce any necessary changes to teaching strategies
• Referred to as formative assessment because it is all about forming or shaping learning and teaching
• takes place on a daily basis and typically involves close attention to small chunks of learning.
• provides feedback to improve learning and teaching based on formal or informal assessment of student performance
Assessment of learning
• concerned with determining progress in learning, and is referred to as summative assessment, because it is all about summarising how much learning has taken place.
• normally undertaken at the conclusion of a significant period of instruction (e.g. at the end of the year, or of a key stage of schooling)
• reviews much larger chunks of learning.
Guiding principles for assessment practices
Alignment with the learning objectives
• A range of assessment practices should be used to assess the achievement of different learning objectives.
Catering for the range of student ability
• practices should incorporate different levels of difficulty and diverse modes should be used to cater for learners with different aptitudes and abilities.
• helps to ensure that the more able learners are challenged to develop their full potential and the less able ones are encouraged to sustain their interest and succeed in learning.
Tracking progress over time
• practices should not be a one-off exercise, schools are encouraged to use practices that can track learning progress over time (e.g. portfolios).
• allow learners to set their own incremental targets and manage their own pace of learning
Timely and encouraging feedback
• Teachers should provide timely and encouraging feedback through a variety of means, such as constructive verbal comments during classroom activities and encouraging written remarks on assignments.
• helps learners to sustain their momentum in learning and to identify and understand their strengths and weaknesses.
Making reference to the school’s context
• learning is more meaningful when the content or process is linked to a setting which is familiar to learners
• teachers are encouraged to design some assessment tasks that make reference to the school’s own context (e.g. its location, relationship with the community, and mission)
Making reference to current progress in student learning
• assessment tasks should be designed with reference to students’ current progress
• helps to overcome obstacles that may have a cumulative negative impact on learning.
Encouraging peer assessment and self-assessment
• teachers should also provide opportunities for peer assessment and self-assessment in student learning.
• The former enables students to learn among themselves, and the latter promotes reflective thinking which is vital for students’ life-long learning
Appropriate use of assessment information to provide feedback
• assessment provides a rich source of data for providing evidence-based feedback on learning in a formative manner.
Activities for assessment of language learning
• may range from low to high in cognitive complexity
◦ oral tasks (e.g. individual presentations, group discussions), listening tasks (e.g. gap-filling, diagrams and comprehension of a conversation)
◦ reading tasks (e.g. summarising, analysing and open-ended questions encouraging informed and creative responses)
◦ writing tasks (e.g. reflections, narratives, arguments and expository essays), tasks involving an integration of skills, etc.
◦ Projects : when assessing learners’ performance on projects, teachers should assess the process as well as the product, through, for instance, observation, conferencing and reviewing learners’ drafts.
▪ Areas to be considered in assessing projects include:
• content (e.g. relevance of ideas, coverage of topic);
• organisation (e.g. logical development of ideas, connection of ideas);
• language use (e.g. appropriateness, fluency, style, accuracy);
• evidence of the use of generic skills (e.g. communication, creativity, critical thinking, collaboration, problem-solving); and
• attitudes demonstrated (e.g. confidence in using English, keenness to participate in activities, respect for others, an awareness of the potential influences of language use on other people’s feelings).