Josh

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Josh

  1. MsoNormal">Teachers should emphasize good rapport with their students at all times.
    1. MsoNormal">In order for an instructor to properly plan lessons and overall learning arcs in a course, a personal connection should be maintained with students.A teacher should know the learning differences of individual students in order to cultivate a learning environment from which everyone will benefit.
    2. MsoNormal">Trust in the instructor from students on an individual basis helps to strengthen intrinsic motivation and therefore their excitement in the presented material.Activating stronger intrinsic motivators in students should always be a goal of instructors.
    3. MsoNormal">Trust and a positive relationship between students and teacher opens a wide avenue of benefit for the classroom. An instructor will find great difficulty in planning around the learner schemata without a relationship with their students. Additionally, planning even a simple variable lesson will prove difficult without knowledge of the students' specific learning styles.
  2. MsoNormal">Intrinsic motivation is paramount to effective language education.
    1. MsoNormal">Students learn best when intrinsically motivated to do their best and students should be given support through a relevant curriculum and respect for their ideal learning style in order to maximize on their education.
  3. MsoNormal">Lessons should be supportive of different learning styles.
    1. MsoNormal">Instructors should support learning styles by using visual, auditory, writing/spreadsheet, and speaking activities.
    2. MsoNormal">Instructors should vary styles of teaching throughout the class period and use both group and individual activities.
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    MsoNormal">Technology is a powerful tool and easy distraction.

    MsoNormal">a.Technology should be used when well planned and when content is relevant and/or specifically engaging for a hands-on/interactive activity.

    MsoNormal">b.Technology should not dominate the lesson, and should in the end be far less memorable than the experienced language.

  5. MsoNormal">There are many Englishes.
a. Teachers should use one as a platform for their lessons, but be sure to make reference to others in order to avoid future confusion for students.
b. Different forms of World English should be taught as questions are found in lexis and as cultural study.

6. Errors should be corrected with care.
a. Perfection should not be expected of students, and errors should be corrected through a more discovery based form.
b. Teachers should give hints as to what is wrong with a given error, perhaps correcting an error once for reference, then highlighting other instances for the student to correct. This opens a channel of communication between teacher and student that can help prevent mistakes.

7. Respect should be given to target dialect.
a. For clarity, teachers should be sure that students are working toward an understanding of spoken tonal fluctuation.
b. Students should strive for clarity by actively practicing stress and intonation.

8. Grammar instruction does not make or break a students grasp of a language.
a. Grammar instruction is very important, but teaching only grammar to a student does not directly effect their intake.
b. A balance of grammar and context should be reached by teacher and student.

9. Variation on teaching technique is paramount to a healthy classroom.
a. Repetitive repetition drills should be avoided in the classroom to avoid classroom repetition. Repetition is a classic move by language teachers to gain short term results. However, the practice can drive students crazy in addition to the low retention rate of language, and should be avoided whenever possible.
b. Repetition can be used in cases such as lexis and specific grammar structures when absolutely needed, and in small doses, breaking from the students expectation for repetitive lessons.
c. Teachers should engage students at the onset of class with scaffolding, as these lessons will provide a teacher-student relationship that establishes the instructor as a referential guide, and the learners as capable of discovering language independently. I believe this relationship is vital in executing more advanced and organic platforms, such as discovery-based learning.
d. Teachers should engage in discovery based learning as much as possible after an initial environment as mentioned above has been established. Instructors may begin guiding learners from here in guided-discovery of language, furthering reinforcing the trust of the students in the instructor's role in the classroom. Pure discovery learning should be reserved for more advanced and confident students, and of course, those learners that benefit from the specific learning style.

10. Employ SMART!
a. Always know who and what is being targeted by a specific lesson.
b. In lesson planning, teachers should identify key areas in the material, as well as the potential problem areas that will arise as the learners progress through the material.
c. Learners should be given an agenda of these items, and instruction in the key focus areas. Pre-planning is a must for teachers hoping to arm their students properly for tackling difficult material.

11. Language learners can benefit greatly by strategic competence.
a. Communicative competence relies heavily on a students confidence in pairing known or elementary forms of the L2/communicative forms of L1 to convey ideas. It is important for an instructor to note the underlying request for aid when students opt for this, and although they will of course correct the errors and guide the student to better understanding the difficulties of the specific area, they should also applaud the students use of creative strategy in order to maintain the communicative channel.
b. Teachers should plan for potential problem areas, of course, but when pre-teaching has not covered every possibility, careful attention should be given to the learners in order to still effectively reinforce targeted lessons.

Speaking:

MsoNormal">1.Speaking involves improvisation, strategy in forming intelligible communication, and spontaneous and practical interaction.

MsoNormal">a.Patience is paramount for both students and teachers, as students need a low affect environment to have the confidence to participate and grow.

MsoNormal">b.Students should always strive for good communication, even if ideas can only be communicated through improvised speech.

MsoNormal">c.To support this, teachers should support students when making mistakes to ensure that they feel encouraged to continue speech practice.

MsoNormal">d.Teachers should also pre-teach certain strategies for speech, with chants, adjacent pairs, slang/pre-meditated responses to certain questions, etc.

MsoNormal">e.If pre-teaching is used before speech activities, students should also be given time to pre-plan for their roles.This reduces reluctance, which is an area for both students and teacher to avoid, and also introduces students to “real talk†and relevant conversational language.

MsoNormal">

MsoNormal">2.Students should actively participate, and teachers should design activities that encourage quieter students or include mandatory participation of the entire class.

MsoNormal">a.Raising the stakes for these activities also fosters positive results from a class - teachers should elaborate activities so that every “round†the language level is increased by a small amount.This can be either implicit or explicit, but students will catch on and should attempt to raise their own language level actively during activities if they are comfortable, as other students may follow the example.

MsoNormal">Lexis:

MsoNormal">1. Lexis is very important in the application of other language formats.

MsoNormal">a. A solid foundation of lexical knowledge is needed in order to read intermediate text, and instructors should introduce lexis on a regular basis to continually build this foundation.

MsoNormal"> 1. Lexis should be taught in i+1 format as much as possible.

MsoNormal">a. Coupling this with the instructors assumed knowledge of learner schemata in the classroom, lexis learning can be very efficiently propelled toward more advanced education in language structure.

MsoNormal">b. Exposing students to varying levels of lexis and repeating use of specific terms allows students to practice use without traditional assignment. As students intake the primary focus of other lessons, these terms can be learned through a secondary or tertiary learning filter.

Grammar:

1. Learning grammar can be terribly dry.
a. Students should be relieved of this by the instructor through a variable classroom landscape and creative outlets within the curriculum.
b. Group work is a fantastic relief to learning grammar. Results are compared, and students swim through the material together.
c. To learn grammar, reading groups can be assigned to study various texts. Children's books always seem to work well.
d. Remember the "20 second rule!" Students should not be expected to absorb complex language structures that take five minutes to explain. Instructors should maintain awareness of their punctuality in delivery, and should practice explication of target structures for prompt lectures.
2. Ideally, grammar should be taught in groups and not in isolation.
a. Although when it comes to some language learning where independent work is beneficial (i.e. product writing) grammar can be adversely affected by isolated learning environments.

Reading:
1. Should be done with books.
a. Specifically, advanced reading skills should be honed in literature of a more advanced difficulty, and this is a platform that should be carefully monitored by the instructor to insure that the student is understanding the material.
b. Reading can be difficult! A larger percentage of lexis is necessary for reading even intermediate level literature. All facets of the text must be considered carefully by the instructor before the onset of a reading project.
2. In class, a teacher should always provide readable visuals to compliment new material.
a. Students should be able to read examples from the board, or ideally able to carry a reference sheet to study outside of class. This builds reading skills at a more constant rate, and exposure to new language within instructions can provide beneficial in a sort of "hidden repetition" way (i.e. writing instructions in the target forms, while explaining the rules to students in terms they understand, and continually reinforcing learned grammar in this manner as learning progresses. This can be viewed as a form of loop/boomerang teaching style.)

Assessment:
1. Students should be given both the expectation for a teacher submitted grade at the end of the term, but also a clear understanding that they are giving assessment to their own work throughout their time in class.
a. The old adage of "having none but yourself to blame" is classically applied through this method of evaluation. Students are more intrinsically motivated to perform to the best of their ability when they know it is their own hand that writes the final grade on an assignment. I know that I personally am always somehow affected by this, and that having a say in my results helps create a communicative channel between my instructor and I. It allows for an open discussion of grades, which is sometimes a subject tip-toed around.
b. Students that self-assess similarly have an active memory of areas in which they struggle, and feel less penalized by an instructor for solid efforts that weren't precisely correct. Students in this situation will communicate more openly to their instructor about problem areas, and will have a healthy fluctuation in affect, as opposed to a marked negative change.
c. Students should be allowed additionally to assess the overall classroom experience, as we did in our TESOL course. This helps students and instructor work together to build the curriculum, giving the students a role in the planning procedures, and an active hand in the overall experience. At the end of term, full course evaluations always provide useful feedback to the instructor, and any sane instructor that wishes to continue growing as an educator should always jump for a chance at receiving comments and criticism! Surveymonkey is an oft used format by our school, and I applaud its use in our classroom.
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