Ari

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Ari

MsoNormal">Mistakes and feedback on mistakes: Teachers should handle mistakes differently in each context. During communicative tasks in the classroom, the teacher should only correct mistakes when the student’s utterance creates incomprehensibility. Privately though, the teacher should periodically correct student slips, but definitely address errors, which should then be repetitively practiced a couple of times by mouth and then in writing. However, feedback on written work is more extensive. Before writing, the teacher should establish the standards as to what will be corrected during the specific writing assignment, which inevitably saves time for both student and instructor. Teachers should then respond by providing a positive comment on the student’s work, but a remark that is reflective of a specific output feature. Establishing obvious, functional, and continuous correction symbols during marking should also be a feature of the TESOL classroom. Instructors should also have peer editing as a functional part of the curriculum, where the quality of student corrections will also be graded.

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MsoNormal">Learner Roles: The role of students is to inevitably learn, but also includes an active partnership with the instructor. Real-world learning requires genuine communication and exploration, so the teacher should support an environment where learner and instructor work together as a team. For example, if a student is trying to write a paper about the harms of ecotourism, the professor can provide different resources in English that the ELL might not find on his own. The ELL is responsible for 50% of the motivation in class, and the teacher should support an atmosphere where in class resources and instructor expertise can aid the other 50% towards inspired learning.

MsoNormal">Teacher Role: The role of a teacher is multifaceted, plus culturally and contextually dependant. In an EFL/ESL classroom for young children, the teacher should act as a parent/guardian, but not a babysitter. Young children need highly structured activities, and the teacher should act as a guide and facilitator while also addressing young children’s curiosity. For example, during class story-telling-time, while the teacher has children modeling action verbs, a student might signal to the teacher that they should swim, instead of run, but doesn’t say the word explicitly because he doesn’t know it. The teacher understands the child’s request for action and information, and says the word while modeling “swimmingâ€Â, and the story continues. During adolescence the role of the teacher should continue to be a guide, but more like a distant equal instead of a parent. Adolescents seek some kind of independence and self-autonomy, so the teacher should construct activities that give students options and opportunities to explore their own interests, alongside basic grammatical/lexical guidelines. For example, the teacher may assign students to give a biographical presentation of their favorite music artist using the simple present, present progressive, present perfect, and simple past. This activity gives adolescents the chance to focus on something they enjoy while utilizing ELL. For older adults, the role of the teacher takes on a peer based relationship. The teacher can help ELLs obtain practical life necessities like citizenship, job applications, and other endeavors. Older students usually know what they need to succeed, and the teacher is there to help make those goals a reality.

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MsoNormal">Affect: Students feelings “affect†what learning is possible in the EL classroom, and when the affective filter is lowered, clearer and more relaxed thinking can lead to greater acquisition. Based on my philosophy, a lot of student apprehension and negative feelings come from the fear of making mistakes. The teacher should support a classroom where mistakes aren’t necessarily encouraged, but are integral to the learning process. If the students aren’t making mistakes, they should be in a more advanced class. For example, in a communicative classroom, the teacher should state during communicative tasks that learners should aim for meaning and not worry so much about form. On the other hand, there are times when learning language is stressful and worrisome, especially in the real world. So, it is important to “up the ante†in order to train ELLs to quickly draw linguistic skills.

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MsoNormal">ZPD: Although it is desirable to have the whole class in the same zone of proximal development, there will be times when small groups or individuals will require extra scaffolding in order to achieve the same level as others. The teacher should help troubled students while assigning more competent learners to do homework or give them a conversation topic; this way the other students will not be bored. But, if the whole class does not understand the topic at hand, then the teacher will need to back up and asses which language feature is causing confusion. A teacher should make sure basic knowledge is solidified before advancing to more complex form which relies on the previous learnt material.

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MsoNormal">I+1: Harmer mentioned that i+1 is very similar to ZPD, so I would say that the EL teacher should provide a classroom atmosphere that is challenging yet unconsciously and consciously attainable. i+1 should supposedly be nurtured in a relaxed setting, and I do agree with this partially. Like I said before though, language use in the real world is not as relaxed, and the teacher should provide i+1 experiences in “stressful†situations that can use appropriate scaffolding. For example, a teacher could ask students to make a 911 call within 15 seconds otherwise the injured or ailed persons will die. Within the call students would be tested on their overall comprehensibility in light of a native speaker asking questions that might be beyond their immediate interlanguage.

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MsoNormal">Monitoring: I have surprised myself at how I was able to produce a word or lexical phrase without asking for an explicit explanation. On the other hand, I do not think teachers have an active role in monitoring, other than trying to provide stimulating input activities that could inspire acquired output.

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MsoNormal">Input/Output: Krashen over relies on subconscious learning and underestimates the utility of learnt language input. I personally feel that a majority of my language learning has been a product of learnt processes, while sporadic and surprising instances of subconscious output was inspired more so by repetition of the stimulus. However, I have only experienced second language learning beyond puberty, and realize the importance of non-explicit teaching to younger children. Young ELLs can be taught through subconscious methods, like the “roughly-tuned†parent-child relationship mentioned in Harmer. Instruction can be more implicit for young learners rather than explicit for older learners who rely on more advanced cognitive tools to categorize and combine learnt language. Teachers should be cognizant of age differences and structure input based on this spectrum. The learnt or acquired knowledge can only be strengthened by multiple student opportunities to use output. One-on-one student output should be corrected periodically and then repetitively practiced a couple of times by mouth and then in writing. In large groups though, correcting output would be demeaning in front of others, plus it would stifle real communication.

MsoNormal">Motivation: There are three components of motivation that the TESOL teacher should provide in the classroom. The first is self efficacy, which addresses students’ beliefs about their own capability to perform at given tasks. The teacher should state from the outset to students that all work can be successfully completed because it is designed for their level of proficiency. Additionally, students develop self-efficacy based on four internal and external factors: interpreting one’s own performance, interpreting the performance of others, interpreting others’ expressions of one’s capabilities, and interpreting one’s psychological state. The teacher should provide encouraging feedback to students in order to help them interpret their capabilities in a positive manner. Positive feedback all the time would be patronizing, so constructively critical or questioning teacher reactions are also important when balanced. Secondly, a balanced locus of control, or students’ beliefs concerning control in achieving tasks needs to be nurtured. The teacher needs to tell students that their learning and grades are a product of their own effort, and construct assignments as such, with clear feedback. Thirdly, the teacher should establish utility between language learning and the students’ lives. It is easier to establish utility in ESL classes versus EFL because of the immediate environment, so the teacher needs to find ways to connect the importance of the subject matter to students’ lives.

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MsoNormal">Learner variables: No class or teacher can accommodate every student’s individual preferences for learning, nor should it. The teacher should construct activities that address all VAK sensory preferences, as well as high-stress/low-stress activities, reading, writing, speaking, and listening endeavors.

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MsoNormal">Noticing: Noticing seems to be an individual/student activity, rather than a teacher responsibility. Yes, the teacher may help students “notice†new language, but I feel that the students themselves will notice new vocabulary, lexical chunks, verbs, etc because they will be confused or won’t understand the meaning. THEN, the teacher is there to guide noticing into learning. As far as noticing, I don’t think the teacher has a large role in the process, so it’s hard to implement in teaching practice.

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MsoNormal">Error treatment: Whether it is L1 interference or over-generalization of rules during developmental errors, it is important, just like during accuracy, to address the error, as prolonged fossilization can lower students’ proficiency and make it harder to correct. In doing so, if the teacher notices an individual error, it is highly preferable that the teacher take the student aside after class, or before, to go over the language feature. If the teacher notices that the error is more collective, than it would be important to dedicate group time during class. Some errors will be corrected automatically once students are pointed to the issue, while other ELLs might need more time and further correction.

MsoNormal">Accuracy/Fluency: Ideally, we want all of our students to be accurate in what they say, but seeing how that is impossible for a learner of anything in this world, steps must be taken that will guide the student’s error without maliciously raising their affective filter. Naturally, when one makes a mistake, the affective filter will rise, but in an environment where mistakes are encouraged because it means they are taking a chance, then timed corrective feedback is integral to student learning. All of the suggestions for showing incorrectness on pages 144 and 145 would be good to use in the classroom. In regards to fluency activities, teacher intervention should be sparsely used unless there is a communication breakdown where the student doesn’t know what to say, or the class does not understand. Even in this instance, the teacher would still leave the conversational power to the student in a form of the question “Larry, did you mean that you WOULD like to go, or you WILL go?†In the case where there might be a simple mistake, the teacher can be a part of the conversation in a corrective way:

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MsoNormal">S: I goes to the store every Wednesday.

MsoNormal">T: Well, I go to the store every Thursday.

MsoNormal">Communicative Competence: Even with words out of order, or maybe questionable pronunciation, listeners still might understand a struggling ELL. But, if this ELL does not posses the vocabulary of the word itself or vocabulary to describe the word that is in question, then it is very hard to derive meaning from the person's utterance. At the same time, a class should not emphasize pure memorization of a large amount of vocabulary, especially in a EFL classroom, because the real world opportunities to practice these words are limited, plus it is not efficient in terms of time and money. In terms of pragmatics, it is important to practice contextual vocabulary. For example, in a restaurant you say “May I take your order?†In the house with friends though, one would say “Can I get you something to drink?†The teacher should point this out during class, and practice role playing with students. Lastly, pronunciation has an important role that binds vocabulary and context into one. Many say that comprehensible pronunciation is more important than mastery, and if the purpose is to ‘get by’, then this philosophy seems to work. On the other hand, if the ELL is immersing into a culture, and proceeds to ignore and not improve pronunciation, many within the culture might take is as a form of laziness and disrespect. Additionally, many non LL might have a hard time understanding just a “comprehensible†level of pronunciation. TL speakers will be more forgiving and identify with an ELL if they at least try to sound like them and act politely, rather than having only a “comprehensible†level of pronunciation. This means that pronunciation should not take up all the time in class, but more so sporadically outside of genuine conversation that could disrupt the flow of valuable output the ELL produces.




Ari - You have articulated these in clear Principles and practices. Consider my final question in light of your experiences and reading. - Lois


English is an important language that ELLs can use for social action within their own country:
1) Learners are taught thematic material that relates to political/social happenings between their own country and TL nations.
2) Because social/political issues include debate, students will be highly exposed to a communicative approach that will allow them to discuss genuine material within an emotionally charged setting.

There are many accents and cultural nuances in the English language depending on the country and the regions inside of that same nation.
1) ELLs are exposed to varying accents in each country through multimedia (and teacher's own style), which will help create an expectation of flexibility in the mind of the students.
2) Students will learn slang and other chunk phrases that will help them reach beyond a LF mode towards colloquial connections with native speakers. (Whose slang and colloquialisms should the teacher choose? How does the teacher choose which "discourse communities" the learners will join by making choices about slang and colloquialisms?
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