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To make the learning of vocabulary more interesting, a variety of activities can be conducted. Students can have a "board race" in class, to practice the language use. The class is divided into two groups. The board is divided into two parts. One student from each group goes to the board. The teacher gives them a sentence to write. For example: write the word in the middle of the board, and the prefix and suffix at the right and left hand side of the root word. Students are to race to the board to indicate whether the word has a prefix or suffix. All students are allowed to help the person at the board but they are not allowed to refer to any books or reference materials. No points will be awarded if any one of the teams uses a book or any reference materials.
This enables the students to review a lot of material and identifies common problem areas. Furthermore, it fosters cooperation and unifies the students as a group.
The next activity is the dictagloss. The dictagloss has originally been devised as a technique for learning vocabulary in a foreign language. It is also a useful technique to encourage students to work together to extract meaning from complex text. The dictagloss is a very useful activity that helps students to use language in order to learn. Students will have to listen to a text being read and reconstruct it. As students can also construct written summaries, a dictagloss also requires the students to consciously focus on their knowledge of the content and the relationship between ideas and words.
Another activity is the use of a short text. A selected short text is read to the class at normal pace. The students listen for meaning.
The text is read again and as it is being read, students are to jot down key words and phrases. Working in small groups the students pool their words and phrases and attempt to reconstruct the text from their shared resources. Their version should contain the main ideas of the text and approximate the language choices of the passage. Each group of students produces their own reconstructed version, aiming at grammatical accuracy and textual cohesion but not at replicating the original text. Each group presents their finished version to the class and each text is analysed and compared and the students should then refine their own texts in the light of the shared scrutiny and discussion.
Next, a library can be set up within the classroom. The library can be graded. This encourage the student to read as they can have access to library books easily. Through reading, students pick up new words and thus widen their vocabulary. The student who read the most number of books will be rewarded.
To make learning of vocabulary more enjoyable, students can also act out or have a pantomime where they are given cards with instructions like "Open the parcel noiselessly", or "Walk across the room cautiously", and perform the actions without speaking. The other students will try to guess the word or expression that the student is pantomiming. Each time, a student guess correctly, points will be awarded.
To teach synonyms and antonyms, the teacher hands out a list of words to each student. There should be two columns next to each word, label the heading of each column, synonym and antonym.
The teacher then read out the synonyms and antonyms of those words. The students have to write these words next to the word they are the same or the opposite of.
It can be presented as such:-
At the end of the lesson, the teacher goes through the lists with the class using a board.
When reading a passage, students can be taught different meanings of familiar vocabulary so long as the words are not out of context, recognizing definitions, guessing cause and effect, opposite or contrasting words or phrases, focus on Subject-Verb-Order, where students guess what the general sense of the word it is. If it is a noun, specify whether it is a person, place, thing, abstract idea. If it is a verb, state whether it is an action, or a feeling or emotion.. If it is an adjective, state what the adjective is describing- Good or bad, Size, Colour, Shape or Emotion?
To enable students to learn vocabulary in a fun way, a game called "Password" can be introduced. In this game, the class is divided into two teams. One person from each team sits in a chair in front of the class. Those two people receive a card with a vocabulary card. The first person gives a one-word clue to his/her team. If no one from the team can guess, the second person gives a clue to his/her team. This alternates back and forth until someone from one of the team guesses the word, or until a specified number of clues has been given. Points will be given to each team with the correct answer. The winning team will be awarded.
The TESOL textbook
Using what you have read in this introduction to TESOL and your own knowledge, what do you consider to be the blocks which may prevent language learning?
One block of language learning is language learning style, as students learn differently from others. Getting to know the student's learning style will help to match the kind of activities carried out in class to ensure effective learning. Teachers can also be more versatile and adopt a variety of teaching styles to suit the different learning's styles of the students.
Fossilization and false learners can hinder the student from learning the new language. Fossilization often means that certain aspects of the language were learned incompletely or incorrectly, such as grammatical features like conjugating verbs in the wrong fashion or using the wrong vocabulary, in such a manner that they cannot be unlearned and replaced with correct usage.
Fossilization may also consist of a sort of subconscious clinging to aspects of the learner's mother tongue, for instance, with syntax and phonology. This may reflect an inability to similarly "unlearn" characteristics of a mother language for the purpose of learning another; the native language so deeply hardwired into the brain that its paradigms cannot be replaced when attempting to learn a new and foreign language.
Another block to language learning is language prejudice. Stereotypes and cultural bias, the teacher's accent are factors that may affect the learning of the language.
For example, foreign accents are everywhere and are here to stay; nevertheless, accented English, for example, is looked down upon, generally quite sternly. In addition, within what is refer to as a language, certain ways of speaking that language (AAE, for example) meet with great prejudice, social and racial in nature. Thus, all language teachers must work to overcome language prejudice, as it generally serves as a mask over class and racial prejudice should be tolerated too.
One of the biggest challenge ESL teachers face is that one ESL class may consist of students from many nations, even if, for example, they are all Spanish-speaking countries. The cultures of Ecuador, Peru, Argentina, Columbia, and Mexico , for instance, are very much different, so teachers should not assume that students who share a common native language will share similar cultural backgrounds. Even students from different regions of the same country will have different cultural beliefs and traditions that should be honored and preserved. Being more conscious of the different cultures will help to make a better teacher.
Extensive research has already been done in the area of native language interference on the target language. Dulay et al (1982) define interference as the automatic transfer, due to habit, of the surface structure of the first language onto the surface of the target language. Lott (1983: 256) defines interference as 'errors in the learner's use of the foreign language that can be traced back to the mother tongue'.
Ellis (1997: 51) refers to interference as 'transfer', which he says is 'the influence that the learner's L1 exerts over the acquisition of an L2'. He argues that transfer is governed by learners' perceptions about what is transferable and by their stage of development in L2 learning. In learning a target language, learners construct their own interim rules (Selinker, 1971, Seligar, 1988 and Ellis, 1997) with the use of their L1 knowledge, but only when they believe it will help them in the learning task or when they have become sufficiently proficient in the L2 for transfer to be possible.
Other factors that may prevent language learning is being overly self-conscious about their use of language, and a fear of being misunderstood.
Not having enough exposure within the class and outside will also prevent language learning, as students will not have enough opportunities to use the language.
Generally, the difficulties adults face include the following:
1. Self conscious
2. no respect for teacher
3. fossilized errors
4. personal issues / politics
6. different levels / abilities
However, the difficulties teachers face include
1. lack of interest
2. time management
3. body language
4. Teacher Talk Time
5. ensuring participation
It seems reasonable to suggest that the motivation that students bring to class is the biggest single factor affecting their success.
Comment (500-750 words)
Students of all ages, all around the world, are learning to speak English. Some students want to learn English because it is on the curriculum in school, but for others, it reflects a kind of choice. Like an instrument, students may learn it for a practical purpose. They may have moved into a target-language community and they need to operate successfully within the community. Students could also learn English for a Specific Purpose, where they may need to learn the language for legal purposes, business, tourism, banking or nursing. For those who are studying at an English speaking University, they may need to take English for Academic Purposes. Some learn English as it will be useful for travel.
A variety of factors can create a desire to learn. Perhaps the learners love the subject, some are motivated for a practical reason, like being able to acquire a skill or knowledge. The desire to achieve some goal is the bedrock of motivation and if it is strong enough, provokes a decision to act. For an adult, it may involve enrolling in an English class. This kind of motivation which comes from outside the classroom and may be influenced by a number of external factors such as the attitude of society, family and peers, to the subject in question, is referred to as extrinsic motivation, that is, the motivation that is generated outside the classroom. Intrinsic motivation, on the other hand, is the kind of motivation that is generated by what happens inside the classroom; this could be the teacher's methods, the activities that students can take part in, or their perception of success or failure.
Students may be both extrinsically and intrinsically motivated. However, the danger of being extrinsically motivated is that it is harder to sustain than intrinsic. As the subject gets harder, students may give up or get bored with it.
As adult learners, they may have a wider range of life experiences to draw on, both as individuals and as learners, than younger students do. They are more discipline, and have a clear understanding of why they are learning things, and can sustain their motivation. However, they come with a lot of previous learning experience which can hamper their progress. Students who had negative learning experiences in the past may be nervous of new learning. Students used to failure may be consciously or subconsciously prepared for failure.
The task of the teacher would be to sustain their motivation. This could be done through the activities the teachers ask the students to take part in, will, excite their curiosity - or provoke their participation - help them to stay interested in the subject. The teacher needs to select an appropriate level of challenge so that things are neither too difficult nor too easy. Appropriate teacher qualities need to be displayed so that students can have confidence in their abilities. Students' feedback is important as it shows how students feel about the learning process. Students need to feel that the teacher really cares about them; if students feel supported and valued, they are more likely to be motivated to learn. Encourage the students to make decisions in class over the choice of activities. This make the students feel they have some influence over what is happening, rather than always being told exactly what to do. In this way, they are often more motivated to take part in the lesson.
Nevertheless, however much the teacher does to foster the motivation of the student, we can only offer our support and assistance by word and deed. Real motivation comes from within each student themselves. Without motivation, the students are unlikely to succeed.
How to Teach English by Jeremy Harmer.
Knowing a language is not just a matter of having grammatical competence'â€¦ We have seen that we also need to add to communicative competence - that is the understanding of what language is appropriate within certain situations"
'The Practice of Language Teaching' Harmer.
Is there any place for teaching grammar in a formal manner? Give reasons for you answer and include a formal discussion of what you mean by "a formal manner".
One of the main reasons that people need to pick up a language is for the purpose of communication. Lessons hence ought to facilitate language use where it is not just bits and pieces of vocabulary slotted in, but also involves language functions such as inviting, agreeing and disagreeing, suggesting and so on which students need to learn using a variety of language components. As teachers of communication, we have to facilitate the communication built in by personalized and imaginative exercises where the student can use the structure for himself. (Harmer).
Teaching grammar in the "formal manner" refers to teaching grammar by translating grammar, where students would look at the word, dictionary and change it into their own language; in other words, using meta-language. Another method of teaching grammar is the direct approach - forming sentences around new words. For example, students are given 10 sentences in aâ€¦ (achieving grammatical competence?). Grammar translation still has relevance today, though it is not practiced in the same way. Nevertheless, most language learners translate in their heads in very much the same way by comparing it to their mother tongue. However, a total concentration on grammar translation stops students from getting the kind of natural language input that will help them acquire language and it fails to give them opportunities to activate their own language knowledge. Translation and mindless repetition of grammatical structure that is taught in formal grammar will be avoided as students need to know not only the correct grammar, but also where and how to use it.
Audiolingualism capitalized on the suggestion that if we describe the grammatical patterns of English, we have students repeat and learn them. Grammatical structures were presented in simple situations which exemplified their usage. Crucially too, the structures were hence graded so that students learnt the easy ones first before moving onto things that were more complex. Audiolingualism argued that learning is the result of habit formation, where performing the correct response to a stimulus means that a reward is given; constant repetition of this reward makes the automatic response.Audio-linguak classes hence made extensive use of drilling in which students produced the same grammatical pattern, but were prompted to use the different words within the grammatical pattern, in the hope that they would acquire good language habits. Nevertheless, audiolingualism does not expose students to real or realistic language, and were therefore unlike to produce natural sounding language themselves.
Language is not just patterns of grammar with vocabulary items slotted in, but also involves language functions such as inviting, agreeing and disagreeing, suggesting which students should learn how to perform using a variety of language components. Students also need to know about the appropriacy of the when talking and writing to people in terms of the kind of language they use (formal, informal, tentative, technical). Hence communicative competence is not just about the language but also about language use. The second principle of Communicative Language Teaching in gaining communicative competence is that so long as the students get enough exposure to language and opportunities for language use - the language learning will take care of itself. As a result, has been teaching students to communicate real messages, and not just grammatically controlled language. Giving students different kinds of language, pointing them towards aspects of style and appropriacy, and above all giving them opportunities to try out real language within the classroom humanized what had sometimes been rigidly controlled.
Another approach to teaching English, which Berlitz adopts is the Lexical approach, which teaches learners to be fluent in the language in a short 6 months.
The last method used today in teaching grammar is characterized as postmodern; where there is a return to grammar and blended learning.
Learning to communicate alone might not be sufficient in effectively conveying themselves, as spoken grammar differs from written grammar, and some phrases appear in spoken English that we would not necessarily write; spoken grammar moreover is more informal than written grammar. Nevertheless, classroom technique is important to good effective communication, and for the right application of grammar for students to convey themselves meaningfully.