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Effective teaching accurse where the learning experience structured by the teacher matches the needs of the learner. Learning of language depends on better lesson planning, culture awareness and differentiation.
In this assignment I aim to explore issues relating to cammunative approach, which makes us consider language not only in terms of its structure (grammar and vocabulary), but also in terms of the communicative functions that it performs. In this assignment I begin to look not only at language forms, but also how it affects others, when they want to communicate with each other. In the following assignment I will concentrate one chapter, which address the processes, the learner go through learning their second language and how teachers support them and make their processes best. I will use a review of the materials observed and used in a unit of curriculum. This chapter introduces learners to the concept of grammar and tenses.
In my review I will discuss on modifications to the material that according to me will make it more accessible, interesting and relevant to the delivery of the National Curriculum, MFL teaching and learning strategies.
I shall make a lesson plan to show how I would extend a topic of the module to be appropriate to Gifted and talented 'GCSE group' reflecting upon the rational of this lesson plan.
I shall be considering how I would apply various strategies to cater of these students. I shall reflect upon and evaluate how this whole unit of work incorporates issues relating specifically to the teaching and learning of modern languages; including national curriculum requirements and how the unit delivers them. I will reflect how the module and materials used in school incorporate wider learning theories on teaching and learning, and what kind of opportunities they provide to address the challenges such as PLTS (personal learning and thinking skills) amongst others. I will also demonstrate the ways in which I would modify the materials used in school.
Language learning theories:
My consideration of learning theories will be based on the following broad understanding of their main characteristics. I associate skinner with 'conditioning through principles of stimulus and response, and 'the law of positive reinforcement' (wood 1988). The behaviourist approach to education might be what Alexander (2005 a: b) terms teaching as transmission: "primarily as a process of instructing children to absorb, replicate and apply basic information and skills." While the following discussion will admit a place for such activities in learning process, the approach has limitations: "Direct instruction is best used for knowledge transmission, for showing, telling, modelling and demonstrating. It is never, on its own, sufficient to ensure deeper understanding, problem solving or creativity." (Desforges 1995: 129).
My focus is on secondary curriculum for MFL and its implementation in Urdu language classes. I shall review unit 7 of a book titled "A Complete Guide for Urdu Examinations" by Zarina Khand, 3rd edition printed in 2003. This book is used to teach years 9 & 10 classes in my placement school.
I shall analyze unit 7 (Weather) as I observed delivery of one lesson related to this unit. The unit concerned in this course book is essentially communicative in its approach in the activities it presents. All four of the national curriculum attainment targets of: listening, speaking, reading and writing are covered in almost equal measure.
Learning a foreign language is a continuous and complicated process. The silent features of Piaget, for this assignment, are the nations of 'child centred' learning through individual experimentation, and the formation of what Vygotsky would term 'spontaneous consents.' Key process are 'asimilisation__forming understating or schemata of the outside word__and 'accommodation': adapting "developing understanding and expectations to the realities and constraints of the social and physical world" (wood 1998, p7). This author sees the ghost of Piaget's notion of 'staged development' in the UK national curriculum, with its key stages (KS) and attainment levels.
I see Vygotsky as representing a more specifically social constructivism, which emphasizes the socio-cultural nature of all learning and the role of 'the more experienced other.'
Burner's extension of social constructivism into modern languages again stresses the culture nature of teaching and learning and develops the idea of the 'spiral' curriculum, where teaching as it moves upward, constantly circles back to build upon previous understanding" (Bigge and shermis 1992: 140)
Communicative language teaching (CLT), has been a dominant paradigm n recent decades. It involves the use of language for meaningful purpose, authentic materials, communication, independence and unpredictability, responsiveness to individual needs and interests, and the facilitation of teachers rather than control (Mitchell 1994). A communicative approach, however, can be seen to extend beyond the teaching and learning of languages, given the primacy of language and 'oracy' in education.
Bigge and shermis (1992:254) define something as 'understood' if a subject "sees how it can be used to fulfil some purpose or goal."
Recent research by the GTCE (2005) found that "pupils suggested that their learning experiences could be enhanced if tasks were more closely aligned with the social worlds in which they lived both inside and outside the classroom." I will attempt to consider the benifits to learning of communicative classroom language in general. I will proceed according to the principle that unique individuals. The infinite complexity of human interrelationship and the particularity of dynamic situations cannot be fully captured by generalized understanding or a single theory of learning.
Classroom observation, however, is necessarily by a particular purposes (Wragg 1994), and my student teacher's lens will no doubt emphasize certain aspects of learning to the possible exclusion of others. For instance, the development of subject knowledge and 'learning to do' might tend to take precedence over 'schooling' in the sense of socialization and learning a certain way of being.
Drawing from these theories, both the text book and my lesson plan introduce new ideas, vocabulary and grammar in a communicative context before then asking pupils to construct their own work.
In the context of topic 'Weather' it is my role as a teacher to more pupils with guidance and support from a level4, through their previous learning at key stage 3 they can use set phrases with only minor personal modification n the familiar topic of their knowledge on weather in their country, through to a level 6 or above using descriptive language, a variety of structures and using different tenses.
'Using grammatically correct language is a key component and an integral part of effective communication in the target language, In my opinion, the aim is that they should understand the essence of a word, phrase, or passage sufficiently to get the right idea being expressed. The four areas being taught and tested, the skills of reading and listening comprehension, speaking and writing.
There is a necessity for the pupils to build up a vocabulary that they can use in writing and speaking and in answering questions on passages that are persuaded to them either written or oral. Whilst the textbook and the school scheme of work progress pupils by moving them on to new more complex activities, I feel that the 'writing frame' that I have provided for my class will provide them not only with a frame work from which to work, but will show them how to get there, constructively using the language knowledge that they have required, however where this will differ for an G&T class is an explanation of how they can achieve the upper NC levels that they are capable of in this activity.
According to Gwen Good hew in 'Meeting the needs of Gifted and Talented students' an activity to use and evaluate learning is an important part of catering for G&T pupils.
'Teachers should regularly check lesson and unit plans to make sure that there are plenty of activities that, as a matter of course, require pupils to apply, analyse, synthesize and evaluate their knowledge.'
Good hew suggestions is being done at the end of the unit by textbook and in my lesson plan by allowing the pupils to create their own piece of writing, using their own ideas.
The grammar that I am covering in this lesson relates to the use of the words Ø³Ø±Ø¯ÛŒ (winter), Ú¯Ø±Ù…ÛŒ (Summer), Ø¨Ø±Ø³Ø§ØªØŒØ¨Ø§Ø±Ø´ (Rain), Ø¨Ø±Ù Ø¨Ø§Ø±ÛŒ (Snow falling).
What I intend to do in my lesson plan is allow the G&T students sometime to identify differences with the future tense from the text they have read. This option allowing the pupils to think for themselves and work independently of me as a teacher (Goodhew: 57) by providing the correct answers through their application of the grammar that they have just noted down Turner (cited in Pachler & field, 2001:132) stresses that 'Organising the grammatical core in conjunction with the topic areas means that structure are always contextualised and related to language use.'
The winter has frequently used both tenses throughout the chapter but doesn't include the future tense which could be used early as past and present tense were used.
Present Tense Ø§Ù“Ø¬ Ø³Ø±Ø¯ÛŒ ÛÛ’Û”
Past Tense Ú©Ù„ Ø¨Ø§Ø±Ø´ ÛÙˆØ¦ÛŒÛ”
With regards to the use of the future tense, for G&T class, I would push them to use as many examples of their own as they could. This would be taking their work from a level 5 to a level 6 or 7, giving pupils the means with which to express themselves and convey opinion more fluently.
Future tense Ø´Ø§Ù… Ú©Ùˆ Ø¨Ø±Ù Ø¨Ø§Ø±ÛŒ Ú©Ø§ Ø§Ù…Ú©Ø§Ù† ÛÛ’Û”
Four weathers mentioned in the text introduce different cultures. In this way, contemporary issues such as culture differences and recent news developments could have been discussed and the activities would be contextualised so that they would have more relevance to the learner. The few examples that the materials offer in terms of cultural awareness are tokenistic and do not really allow much insight into Pakistanis beautiful weather compares to England weather.
Ø³Ú©Ø§Ù¹ Ù„ÛŒÙ†Úˆ Ú©Û’Û”Û”Û”Û”Û”Ø¹Ù„Ø§Ù‚ÙˆÚº Ù…ÛŒÚºÛ”Û”Û”Û”Û”Û”Û”Ø¨Ø±Ù Ø¨Ø§ Ø±ÛŒ ÛÙˆÚ¯ÛŒÛ”
Ú©Ù„ Ù…Ø§Ù†Ú†Ø³Ù¹Ø± Ù…ÛŒÚºÛ”Û”Û”Û”Û”Û”ÛÙˆÚ¯ÛŒÛ”
In this chapter I haven't seen any activity leading to interaction among pupils and the teacher. There is where the relevance of communicative approach in teaching a language appears to be very important. The purpose of language teaching should be to enable the learner to be competent enough to communicate in the target language. Regarding MFL teachers' responsibilities Pachler, Barnes (2009:61) mentions that they should: "select relevant, varied and appropriate material for them."
"Provide them with ample opportunities to practise the skills of listening, speaking, reading and writing."
"Develop their cultural and structural understanding."
In this chapter there could have been more interesting and productive activities based on the text, with reading and writing. I will include listening and speaking activities through pair and group work, to provide opportunities for communication.
I have included an activity is writing the answers to the given question, and writing a paragraph on the difference of weather in Pakistan and England. Second activity is providing them the visual support to speak each other what they can see in the pictures and the third activity is a dialogue with a friend who has holiday in Pakistan, the questions are provided.
According to the QCDA (2009), there are many opportunities to incorporate PLTS (Personal, learning and thinking skills) into modern language teaching:
"The modern foreign languages programme of study provides a rich and exciting range of opportunities to develop PLTS as an integral part of subject teaching and learning. Explicit and implicit opportunities are present in the key concepts, key processes, range and content, and curriculum opportunities."
The lesson plan that I have produced for G&T pupils offers the opportunity for the pupils to enhance skills in all of the PLTS.
Through researching dictionary use, text book use and working with independence in the lesson shows the ability of their independent working. Working out for themselves the meaning of what they have read in the text book starter, and from the grammar used within it will show the creative thickness.
Working within their groups assess what worked well in their individual tasks, sharing ideas and thought processes will show their ability to work as a team.
Developing in confidence and taking risks to formulate their own ideas for the imaginative activity and to present to these to peers will show that they are self managers.
Effective participation will come out through their own and others views of their work. Reviewing their own work in line within the given criteria, and feedback from other to review Reflective learner's progress and work.
'Learner independence is important. More able and exceptionally able pupils are often effective independent learners. MFL trainee teachers can try to build on this by encouraging more able and exceptionally able pupils to reflect on how they learn practise and exploit new language.'
The material does not meet the standard for the national curriculum in terms of providing knowledge and understanding skills by using a range of resources, including ICT for accessing and communicating information. Pachler. N, Barnes. A and Field. K, (2009:313) suggests that, "ICT can play a key role in the development of listening, speaking, reading skills as well as transferable skills such as independent learning." To practice the learned language structures, ICT could just easily be used which could vary the activities and make them more relevant to the learner as they are exposed to ICT routinely across the curriculum. In my lesson plan, I have incorporated the task to use ICT and produce a video which will accommodate visual and kinaesthetic learners.
With regard to numeracy, I have developed it in further my lesson plan with these examples: show the temperature
Ù„Ù†Ø¯Ù† Ú©Û’ Ø¬Ù†ÙˆØ¨ÛŒ Ø¹Ù„Ø§Ù‚ÙˆÚº Ù…ÛŒÚº Ø°ÛŒØ§Ø¯Û Ø³Û’ Ø°ÛŒØ§Ø¯Û Ø¯Ø±Ø¬Û ØØ±Ø§Ø±Øª 45 ÚˆÚ¯Ø±ÛŒ Ø§ÙˆØ± Ú©Ù… Ø³Û’ Ú©Ù… 30ÚˆÚ¯Ø±ÛŒ ÛÙˆÚ¯Ø§Û”
Ù¾Ø§Ú©Ø³ØªØ§Ù† Ú©Û’ ÙˆØ³Ø·ÛŒ Ø¹Ù„Ø§Ù‚ÙˆÚº Ù…ÛŒÚº Ø´Ø§Ù… Ú©Û’ ÙˆÙ‚Øª Ø¯Ø±Ø¬Û ØØ±Ø§Ø±Øª 25ÚˆÚ¯Ø±ÛŒ ÛÙˆÚ¯Ø§Û”
Teaching and learning strategies:
This is an area that I would like to address in my own teaching. I find the term 'strategy' somewhat problematic, in the sense that it is overused, carries overtones of management jargon and__like any 'buzzword'___has a tendency, in my experience, to lose its explanatory value. However, its usefulness to teachers may lie in its implication of purpose, of leading towards a longer_termgoal. This is the sense in which I understand the term here.
The lesson begins with pupils reciting, from memory, a paragraph in Urdu about the weather. While vote learning is foreign to the communicative language teaching paradigm, this exercise have the value of reinforcing the language and developing familiarity, as pupil heard it time and again from their classmates. The vocabulary of weather and its pronunciation will the focus of next activity. An element of competition no doubt provided motivation for some, though all in an atmosphere of fun and mutuality: Social__if not necessarily communicative__learning.
Pupil will watch the video as benefiting those with a kinaesthetic learning style. I feel that this change would be the valuable for all. Those activities show that teacher's abilities to secure the classroom atmosphere with the group, where pupils could engage in some dialogues and enjoy themselves while they learnt. The class will go through a worksheet, filling in gaps in a series of sentences. This given framework will provide pupils with 'scaffolding' onto which they could 'hang' the right words, rather than having to produce whole sentences themselves.
Analysing 'A big picture of the curriculum 2009' (QCDA: 2009) it is easy to see how this mirrors both PLTS, and every child matter in the way that it.
Has clear aims that reflect the national aim for education and learners, needs as individuals and citizens
Promotes the intellectual, personal, social and physical development of all learners
Establishes high expectations for all, extending horizons and raising aspirations
Identifies outcomes relating to knowledge, skills, and personal attitudes and attributes
Is underpinned by clear values.
Considering the statement of Norbert Pachler, and Kit Field, (2001) "quite a number of grammar points can be taught in the target language, if there is an element of physical demonstration and visualisation." Therefore I would use a tense timetable to describe the concept of time used in the different types of tenses.
Knowledge about language is hardly noticeable. I would introduce grammatical rules by using inductive and deductive approaches for example I would use the question and answer method in the inductive approach and use the simple grammar rules with examples in my deductive approach.
Knowledge of grammar is helpful especially in the case of Urdu as the verb agreement with gender and number of subjects is important. Acquiring knowledge of grammar may be very interesting for some.
Some people derive great pleasure from the learning and use of conscious rules, and I am one of them! "Mastering" the subjunctive in French was very satisfying for me, and I rekindle this sense of victory every time I plan and say sentences such as " II faut que j'aille." It is sometimes hard for people like us to understand that this sort of pleasure activity is not real language as quisition. Krashen (1981:187)
To create the culture awareness I would include contextual materials related to Pakistani weather, and weather in England to introduce the present, past and future.
For attainment targets, to achieve AT1 and AT2 I would include speaking and listening activities by using the question and answer method. To achieve AT3 & AT4 I would introduce texts such as stories to cater for VAK, I would also introduce visually motivating activities, for example video, attaching the pictures with context/text.
I would also introduce potentially motivating activities such as re assembling text and oral presentation through conversation and dialogue. I would also introduce the maps, producing and responding to different types of written activities in target language.