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MODULE 2: METHODS AND APPROACHES TO LANGUAGE TEACHING (redirected from METHODS AND APPROACHES TO LANGAUGE TEACHING)

Page history last edited by Julie Gyftoula 3 years, 1 month ago

 

 

 

 

 

Goal: The goal of this activity is to help you go over some of the prevailing teaching methodologies and literature referring to TEYL.

 

Read one of the attached files 

 

1.   Brown's Effective Learners and a Learner-Centered Classroom Brown_Effective Learners and a Learner-Centered Classroom.pdf                          

2.   Rogers's CAL:Digests: Language Teaching Methodology Rodgers_CAL_ Digests_ Language Teaching Methodology.pdf                      

and post your answer to one of the questions  below, using the "Add Comment" button below

 

1. Brown believes that the learner-centered classroom helps students link new information to prior knowledge. (step 1) He gives us 6 strategies to aid in this process. Which strategies have you tried with your learners? Explain your successes and challenges in aiding students to make connections and gain new understandings.

 

2. Review the 5 principles of Communicative Language Teaching (CLT) that Rodgers lists in his article. Think about your English course book and/or curriculum and explain how it uses the CLT approach, if it does. What techniques do you use to incorporate CLT in your class?

 

OPTIONAL MATERIAL

 

Watch the video on Total Physical Response (Action Stories)

  


 

 

 

 

Now you can continue with Module 3

 

To go to Module 3, click here.

 

You can go back to the wiki Front Page by clicking on the wiki button, on the top, horizontal bar.

Click here to go back to  Module 2.

Click here to go back to Module 1.

Comments (21)

Dimitra_Panagakou said

at 9:22 pm on Oct 21, 2014

It is an undeniable fact that students have difficulty in connecting previous and new knowledge. As a result, according to Douglas Brown, some strategies which can aid the process of organising new Information into patterns that will help students make connections and integrate new understanding are:
1. Visualizations of past learning experience,
2. Quick (five minute) reviews,
3. Brainstorming and grouping.
4. Venn Diagrams.
5. Semantic mapping.
6. Group or class discussions.
As far as my learners are concerned, I have already tried the first, the second and the last strategy. Firstly, at the beginning of each lesson, we have a visual representation of what we have already learned so as to refresh previous experience. In this way, students are better prepared to accept new Information and organise it into patterns. Apart from that, during the lesson, when it is necessary, we have some quick reviews of previous knowledge. This strategy helps students understand better whatever we may deal with and is cnnected with that previous knowledge. Finally, the last strategy, which I consider it as being really effective, is group or class discussions. At the end of each lesson and after we have done a quick revision of what we have already learned that day, students have the opportunity to make questions. From my experience, I have seen that these questions help students make the connections between previous and new knowledge.
In conclusion, it is really important to understand that students have to be able to connect previous and new experience, so as to be capable of attending the lesson and participate actively in every task.

CHRISTINA MITROUSSI said

at 3:49 pm on Oct 22, 2014

Thinking about my classroom, if it is a teacher-centered or a learner-center I can't really come to a decision. Reading Brown's 6
strategies I found out that I've tried 3 or 4 of them trying to connect previously learned material with new knowledge. Some of them are more effective than others. A very common way to link former knowledge to new information is a quick review
for 5 to 6 minutes. This is a first step to focus students' attention on what is going on later.Taking into account that we have to do with young learners ,success will be achieved if this review is accompanied by visuals presentations ( cards - maps - cartoons).Brainstorming is a very joyful strategy that gives learners the opportunity not only to link previous but to create new information too. In addition this is the most challenging of all,because fresh knowledge emerges,which requires a little teacher's contribution but spontaneous learner's participation.To conclude ,group or class discussions, simply centered on what we call ''communicative language teaching''- from one point of view,- motivate my students to get in touch with what they've already kwown and to 'predict' whatever we may deal later, in a natural content.-On the other hand -, it gives me an aid to realize that my classroom is actually a learner- centered.

Julie Gyftoula said

at 10:17 pm on Oct 22, 2014

Νon-linguistic representations (mind maps, concept maps etc.) is a powerful tool for our learners, esp. the ones with learning disabilities, who are mostly visual learners. You can find lots of graphic organizers here:http://www.eduplace.com/graphicorganizer/
This is a site proposed by Thalia

CHRISTINA MITROUSSI said

at 6:53 pm on Oct 23, 2014

Thanks a lot Julie, for giving us such a useful site.

Julie Gyftoula said

at 5:51 am on Oct 24, 2014

Brown's 'visualisation of past learning experiences' technique can help our pupils link new to prior information.My understanding is that we can refer to our learners' past work (a piece of writing, a task we assigned on a topic, etc) in order to remind them of the content and their effort to master a new skill with a view to expand and add to it. If for example, I teach present continuous, I could start my presentation by asking pupils to give a brief account of their everyday routine. I put two or three sentences on the board and then I try to make them understand that this time we will be talking about a temporary situation. You circle the present simple in your sentences and you try to contrast it with the new tense. What about Venn diagrams though? The Venn diagram is a type of graphic organizer that uses overlapping circles to visually represent the commonalities amongst sets of information.
It can use two or more circles; the spaces that don't overlap contain unique details about the two sets of information that we are compairing.The space where the circles overlap contains information that is the same for each circle. (from http://childparenting.about.com/od/schoollearning/a/venn_diagram_def.htm ).
I've used Venn diagram many times in my lessons to represent similiarities and differences among compairing two things, this visual diagram can help me check and assess students' understanding for the information given to them.

mariza@live.co.uk said

at 9:32 am on Oct 24, 2014

If we could draw a Venn diagram for the two assigned files that is, Brown's and Rodgers's, I think that we would find a lot of common features, the most important being that our role as educators is to teach students how to learn and not just provide information that has to be memorised. However, this is the main focus of our educational system as a whole, so we are faced once again with a great challenge,namely equipping our students with skiils that will help them identify the best ways to learn. All of the proposed strategies in Brown's article can prove really effective as they contribute immensely to creating the appropriate context for learners to retrieve background knowledge and use it as the foundation for new material. I have employed 5 out of the 6 strategies, except for Venn Diagrams, and I think they are all indispensable. Learners, especially young ones, respond very well to them as they are the tools that they use to get in touch with what they already know and, what's more important, make their own unique contribution to the process of learning in the way they feel comfortable with, whether this is a group discussion, a visualization, etc. I get the feeling that the proposed strategies can also help learners with learning difficulties accomplish meaningful and lasting learning. I will definitely make the time to watch the TPR video and visit the sites mentioned above because I must admit that processing Rodger's article was quite a feat as the terminology and the data provided were a bit hard for me to follow since there was too much theory so I think I have to take a short break! See you soon!

mariza@live.co.uk said

at 11:08 am on Oct 24, 2014

If we could draw a Venn diagram for the two assigned files that is, Brown's and Rodgers's, I think that we would find a lot of common features, the most important being that our role as educators is to teach students how to learn and not just provide information that has to be memorised. However, this is the main focus of our educational system as a whole, so we are faced once again with a great challenge,namely equipping our students with skiils that will help them identify the best ways to learn. All of the proposed strategies in Brown's article can prove really effective as they contribute immensely to creating the appropriate context for learners to retrieve background knowledge and use it as the foundation for new material. I have employed 5 out of the 6 strategies, except for Venn Diagrams, and I think they are all indispensable. Learners, especially young ones, respond very well to them as they are the tools that they use to get in touch with what they already know and, what's more important, make their own unique contribution to the process of learning in the way they feel comfortable with, whether this is a group discussion, a visualization, etc. I get the feeling that the proposed strategies can also help learners with learning difficulties accomplish meaningful and lasting learning. I will definitely make the time to watch the TPR video and visit the sites mentioned by the administrators because I must admit that processing Rodger's article was quite a feat as the terminology and the data provided were a bit hard for me to follow since there was too much theory so I think I have to take a short break! See you soon!

ranniagov@yahoo.gr said

at 11:40 am on Oct 25, 2014

The strategies I have tried with my students are : the visualization of past experience, the brainstorming and grouping, the group or class discussions, and sometimes the quick reviews. Students (and especially the Young ones) are more open to acquire new knowledge when they can link it to prior knowledge. In my opinion, one way for the Young learners to link their prior knowledge to the new one is the visualization of their past experience. For example, we start the lesson with the flashcards of the pre-taught vocabulary (e.g. hobbies) and then we can go on to their connection to the new grammatical phenomenum (e.g. Simple Present). The brainstorming and grouping is a good way to help them as we can add new vocabulary on a topic or a group word, for instance.

Aggeliki Kapsali said

at 2:02 pm on Oct 26, 2014

The strategies I have used so far with my students are the 1st,2nd,3rd and 6th.Visualization is my favourite and when possible I use it with all levels. For example to the 3rd graders I used the weather flashcards we had seen at a previous lesson in order to teach the months and the seasons of the year.Quick reviews and brainstorming and grouping can also work with all levels. I had recently taught the pets to the 1st graders and after revising them we moved on to the wild animals. That could also work with brainstorming and grouping when teaching the farm animals. Group and class discussion however, is something I believe is mostly applicable to a bit older students who have acquired to some extend the skill of speaking in L2. For example, I asked 6th graders to discuss about their favourite sports and then I asked them which they had done/played so far in order to teach the Pr.Perfect. Mapping and Venn's diagrams are techniques I haven't used so far but after reading Brown's article I realized how important it is to recall previous knowledge in any way you can. The challenge of being a knowledge facilitator and not a simple lecturer as Brown said, is not an easy one and I cannot say we always achieve it in all of our lessons.Establishing retrieval strategies is the key to make connections and integrate new information to previous knowledge and thus, make learning more meaningful and most importantly, enduring.

susan hunter said

at 2:06 pm on Oct 26, 2014

Task 2 Rodgers' Principles:

The PEAP materials for grade one certainly expect Ls to use the language from the outset, for example, in the greeting routines. So far, they ask and respond when doing pairwork with pictures. (Is it a dog? Yes, it is./No, it isn't) and they use numbers to "buy" things from each other. It is difficult to have an authentic situation but they are performing tasks which require real-world skills. As for fluency, using songs and rhymes which present language in chunks should help with this. The interdependency of listening and speaking skills is also central to the PEAP curriculum. For me, the delight of teaching first grade is that they are learners who are not afraid to make a mistake. In a climate of pressure to achieve a flawless result from a very early age, I feel it is our mission to support risk-taking by Ls (by ignoring non-essential errors etc).
The third grade Magic Book 1 provides 'Talk to your partner' sections which encourage meaningful exchange (Can you..?/Do you like...?) which we could extend. All skills are practised and again songs and rhymes are used. There seems to be more focus on accuracy which could discourage trial and error or hold back fluency.
The fifth grade course book includes a lot communicate activities. The level of authenticity invovled in these, for example, in canteen dialogues and giving directions, is very motivating for the Ls who are encouraged by achieving real world tasks in L2 (and I think by seeing that communication can be effected even with inaccurate language. (One of the points made, that we, as language teachers tend not to focus on just how helpful gestures can be when communicating made me realise how helpful these role-playing activities are, in part because they harness the power of body language). Again, as focus on written language (story-telling) increases, I think the freedom to make mistakes needs to be encouraged by praising imperfection.

Julie Gyftoula said

at 5:08 pm on Oct 26, 2014

Revising the teaching methods I must confess that these are the two dimensions of our profession which I feel should be emphasised more given the circumstances and the contemporary social world context: 1.Interpersonal Intelligence type and 2. Strategopedia.
I strongly believe that today learners and future citizens are urgently in need of being educated through ways of suggesting that the best possible profeesional profile one can build is that of working in groups, receiving and giving peer feedback, acknowledging the others contribution, showing respect to the other view, elaborating on the diverse way of thinking. I truly feel that one of the most important pedagogical contributions of all times is that of Gardner's multiple intelligence theory due to the fact that it stresses the "educator" side of the teacher and helps the "personal value" of the learner come to surface. Future generations must be taught in classrooms where teaching will be the living proof that we care, we respect, we allow the time and space for everyone to grow, we appreciate!
In addition, I find that our learners must be able to recognise their learning profile in order to choose the most appropriate method and tool which will bring knowledge closer. Therefore, metacognitive strategies are to be mastered! When I was a pupil, teachers wouldn't spend much time on helping me to understand the way I learn best. It was more important at the time to teach me follow a certain path to reach the end. Knowledge boundaries are getting wider and wider all the time. Isn't it wiser to teach my pupils the way to monitor their personal adventure, plan their quest and focus their efforts on what they decide might be of greater importance to them?

Julie Gyftoula said

at 5:11 pm on Oct 26, 2014

For more information on Gardner's theory please visit http://www.niu.edu/facdev/resources/guide/learning/howard_gardner_theory_multiple_intelligences.pdf
I also found these interesting websites , the first two listing Learning Styles and Multiple Intelligence online tests; and the third one filled with classroom activities to include everyone's cup of tea..
http://kids.lovetoknow.com/wiki/Learning_Style_Test_for_Children http://kids.lovetoknow.com/wiki/Multiple_Intelligence_Test_for_Children http://kids.lovetoknow.com/wiki/Classroom_Activities_for_Multiple_Intelligences

Angelina Lada said

at 6:29 pm on Oct 26, 2014

Research suggests that effective learning engages the learners’ identity and builds on the learner’s knowledge and experience among other things. In tandem with Brown’s view, Kalantzis and Cope (2004) explain that “to step into the new and unfamiliar learners need to stand on the known and the familiar.” One technique that has helped me exploit learners’ prior knowledge (schematic, semantic) and life-world experience in the classroom is visualization. In preparation for the lesson to come, I frequently ask my pupils to bring in the classroom a topic related photo /picture on the theme we are about to begin (e.g. cartoons , my school trip etc). On the day of the lesson I ask them to talk about their photo while all relevant language is written on the board in a semantic map. In the case of cartoons, we create a collage of the pupils’ photos, watch some animated clips of those mentioned and end this stage of our lesson with a ranking activity. Another technique which initiates a great deal of discussion in class is having them bring in an object that they associate with the theme of the lesson. A challenging lead in for me is the quick reviews which pupils usually find less motivating unless they are carried out as games.

christina popota said

at 7:39 pm on Oct 26, 2014

According to Brown's article I have used so far the following: visualizations of past learning experiences, quick (five minute) reviews, brainstorming and grouping, semantic mapping and class discussions. For instance, I begin my lessons with quickly revising the main vocabulary taught previously through showing flashcards, listening again to the story or to the song. I sometimes start with a game related to what we have done and in this way kids get more motivated and interested to the new information. Recently, with my 4th grade we played pantomime with sports and then I introduced the vocabulary with hobbies. I also made with my 3rd year learners A4 posters with semantic maps with words learned at the magic letterland of magic book 1. Another technique that I usually use with my 5th-6th pupils is that I ask them to brainstorm what they already know, take notes in groups and discuss as whole class. The challenge for me is that some of my students find difficult to retrieve past information and they need more time and training. That's why I think that helping them connect previous material with new knowledge is important for successful learning and they should be trained to do that at a young age.

kateazel@... said

at 10:32 pm on Oct 26, 2014

Regarding retrieving previously learned knowledge, I have used some of the techniques proposed by Brown, for example flashcards and realia. I have also found brainstorming and class/group discussions very useful in motivating Ss to get ready for what is to be learnt next. However, my favourite tool for the very young learners is songs and games like "Simon says" which they love and never get tired of.

Julie Gyftoula said

at 7:43 pm on Oct 27, 2014

Flashcards and realia or spider maps on the board help a lot, indeed. A modern way to help students organise the new information they get is using infographics. That's a combination of visual and text which resembles the way you describe Katerina but in a much more motivating way. Try to visit the sites below for more information. Some of them are downloadable for free and can make great posters for your English corner.
Infographics for the ESL class
http://www.livebinders.com/play/play?id=412294
Infographics for ELT
http://www.pinterest.com/adirajan/infographics-for-elt/
Exploiting Infographics for ELT
http://quickshout.blogspot.gr/2013/04/exploiting-infographics-for-elt.html
How to create your own ELT infographic
http://adirajan.wordpress.com/2013/05/19/how-to-create-your-own-elt-infographic/
Great informatics for language teachers (Part I)
http://www.educatorstechnology.com/2012/05/5-great-infographics-for-language.html
The English blog: 14 posts categorized "Infographics"

http://www.englishblog.com/infographics/
I 'm sure you will find them exciting!

Dimitra Tsolakidou said

at 8:49 pm on Oct 27, 2014

According to Brown a learner-centered classroom makes the learning process more effective as the students are more responsible for their education through an active process and the teacher has the role of organizer and knowledge facilitator. The learner-centered classroom helps students link new information to prior knowledge and Brown gives us 6 strategies which aid in this process.
Some of the strategies that I use in order to connect new information to prior knowledge are the following:
• Visualization of past learning experiences (through mind maps, pictures, short videos and realia)
• Quick reviews of what has been learnt in the past (mostly orally or through short written revision tasks)
• Brainstorming and grouping (usually on the blackboard for revision of vocabulary and theoretical concepts) and
• Group and class discussions (in order to reinforce meaning and revise what has been previously learnt)
My teaching practice has shown that all the above retrieval strategies are essential and, when used in turn, they aid students get in touch with what they already know and prepare to integrate new understandings. Learners like to feel safe before entering new fields of knowledge and always welcome a revision to make sure they remember what they have learnt in the past.
The only challenge is that sometimes there is the possibility of having to devote more time in such retrieval strategies as I realize that there is a considerable number of students who are not ready to move forward to new knowledge but must be better prepared. This fact can take the whole class back in course and delay progress.

Vassiliki Decaristou said

at 11:42 pm on Oct 27, 2014

Module 2 Task 1

Brown's proposed 'retrieve-connect-integrate' theory that enhances the creation of a learner-centred classroom is a widely acceptable teaching technique. To this my fellow colleagues have provided evidence with their above statements.
Reflecting on my experience I as well have included brainstorming, group/class discussions and reviews. Recently with my 6th graders we had 3 mins group talks about the students' existing knowledge about U.K. before accessing the text at the end of Unit 1. Each group had to consider different aspects e.g. weather, landscape, energy, major cities, capital city, famous people, means of transport. Then the groups reported to the class and the content added on. And that was warm-up for the reading part but done in an interactive way that gave students the chance to reflect and share info by communicating with each other.
I found this a sucess. Yet after reading the article I cannot help feeling that the process could be improved. As a follow-up activity I perhaps could have prepared a Venn Diagram about weather, energy and means of transport in Greece and U.K. or a spidergraph about British people and direct students' attention to an organizational study tool that imitates the operations of the brain when learning something new.
The challenge of making effective learners by having them link old knowledge with new is always present. It is something I need to incorporate more systematically and in cognitive formats so as to train students to do the same on their own as a lifelong learning strategy. Our teacher books and textbooks rarely provide such tasks. It is one of the many adaptations that the Greek state teacher needs to make on a regular basis.
Talk to you again in Module 3.

Mairi Karolina said

at 2:50 am on Oct 28, 2014

Of Brown's strategies, my favourite ones to use in the classroom are the quick five minute review of previously learnt material, brainstorming, semantic mapping, and class discussions. These help students become aware of HOW they' can be more aware of the continuous flow of language around them. They are reminded to keep their radars on at all times as they observe prior or new language items in their daily lives, even in commercial slogans, products, and/or posters and then link them together through such strategies practiced in these kinds of activities in the classroom.

In my own treasure box of experiences, I found that even the " incorrect" guesses made by students during such activities which challenged them at the time, were blessings in disguise as they became learning blocks built through mistakes made. Students could learn from their mistakes and a complete lesson could concentrate through discussion on why students thought what they thought about something, and why there was a better way to think about the new language being learnt. Discussing strategies and ways to learn culminating from such activities mentioned, helped students develop critical thinking skills and instilled confidence in them that they could "decipher" a new learning situation or context through making "educated guesses" during activities. A challenge to overcome may have been how to keep the students so interested and focused in order not to stray from the learning objectives on hand and stay on topic through the discussion or task.

Mairi Karolina said

at 2:52 am on Oct 28, 2014

Continued...

Timing on our part is crucial. How long a pre, while and post activity will last is what we need to be aware of, and thus one could incorporate a short review of the previous knowledge acquired, an activity such as brainstorming or semantic mapping in the middle, and a discussion of findings and conclusions near the end of the lesson, respectively. Successful learning would entail a greater understanding of how the students could help themselves to work out comprehension through their own awareness of prior knowledge and its link to the newly acquired information.

Something I have not tried but would like to as a post writing activity is the learning logs Brown mentions where the learners could write about their discoveries and the strategies that helped them access and organize information where they could have a deeper understanding of their learning process.

anastasiapasia said

at 5:56 pm on Dec 21, 2014

I definitely agree with Brown’s belief that the simple task of memorization is gone and it’s replaced with an active and dynamic educational process. One of the major goals of a teacher is to create a learner-centered classroom by shifting his classroom position from simple lecturer to knowledge facilitator.
In order to link new information to prior knowledge, I spend a few moments at the beginning of each lesson reviewing what was taught in the previous lessons orally and then I try to connect the prior knowledge to the new one by using pictures, short videos and realia, especially with the first three classes of the elementary school. What becomes really difficult sometimes, is to engage students in meaningful class discussions since it’s not always easy to control time and acceptance of different viewpoints.
Now, as far as concerns the techniques that I use in order to incorporate CLT in my class, I mainly use puppet theatre, where kids are performing roles in various contexts each time, group or class discussions and as far as concerns writing I try to design activities in a communicative context which is familiar to them( a party invitation, a dialogue between friends, an e-mail).

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