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What language learners need to know

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Thinking about 21 century skills in EFL

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What language learners need to know

  1. 1. The teaching practice. What learners need to know / learn. Montse Irun mirun@dal.udl.cat Applied linguistics
  2. 2. Why do people want to learn English? (c) Montse Irun
  3. 3. Why do people want to learn English? (c) Montse Irun  Travel  Work and business  Music, film, arts and culture  For a challenge  It’s compulsory
  4. 4. How do people want to learn English? (c) Montse Irun
  5. 5. Basic SLA theory  Learners make hypotheses about how languages work.  Parents tend to focus on meaning.  High IQ learners are not more successful.  Motivation is an asset.  Early age is not a variable except for pronunciation.  Errors are produced by overgeneralizations more than interference from L1. (c) Montse Irun
  6. 6. Basic SLA theory  Language learning is not linear.  Certain structures are acquired before others.  Developmental errors are part of the learning process.  Materials should be varied.  Learners do not learn their mates’ mistakes.  Learners learn things they haven’t been taught. (c) Montse Irun
  7. 7. What do learners need to be able to do in English? (c) Montse Irun
  8. 8. Why communication?  Language is a dynamic resource for the creation of meaning.  Communication is our aim in foreign language teaching. (c) Montse Irun
  9. 9. Is this communication? (c) Montse Irun
  10. 10. Communication skills (c) Montse Irun
  11. 11. Features of communication  1.- Language is a means; only rarely is it also the end.  2.- In communication, there are no display questions.  3.- In communication, the teacher-role and the student-role are infrequent.  4.- Communication is purposeful and the purpose is seldom linguistic.  5.- Success is measured in the extent to which the purpose is efficiently fulfilled. (c) Montse Irun
  12. 12. Features of communication  6.- Communication is embedded in a context and depends in part on that context (layout, visuals, gestures, etc.).  7.- Communication depends on presuppositions and predispositions.  8.- Conditions and means are never perfect but communication does not break for lack of a word, for noise, etc. (c) Montse Irun
  13. 13. Features of communication (c) Montse Irun  9.- In communication no one specifies the structures to be used.  10.- In communication, no one explains the meaning of the words before using them.  11.- In spoken communication, there is a very wide range of accents and speeds, and there is a limit to which these can be simplified.  12.- Normal conversation does not stick to one topic but rather moves unpredictably from one thing to another.
  14. 14. Components of Communicative Competence (c) Montse Irun (Canale, M. & Swain, M 1980)
  15. 15. Characteristics of communicative activities  communicative purpose  communicative desire  content (what) not form  variety of language  no teacher intervention  no materials control (Rod Ellis) (c) Montse Irun
  16. 16. Is this activity communicative?  Look at these two pictures.What do they like doing in their free time? Sarah Zach (c) Montse Irun
  17. 17. Is this activity communicative? Role play: Choose either A or B  A invites B  B thanks A  A asks for an explanation  B gives a justification  A insists  B answers the way he/she decides. (c) Montse Irun
  18. 18. What are we doing in class? Language practice Communication Speaking Correcting exercises orally Expressing an opinion Listening Listening to this and try to understand everything Listening to the news Writing Writing the questions to these answers Writing an e-mail to your friend Reading Reading a text in order to answer the questions that follow Reading about your favourite actor (c) Montse Irun
  19. 19. Make your students use English communicatively and effectively (c) Montse Irun
  20. 20.  There si no point in learning how to use the verbal tenses if they don’t know how to use them communicatively What’s the point of knowing when to use a verbal tense if it is not used in communication? (c) Montse Irun
  21. 21. Four conditions for language learning  Exposure to input.  Attention focused  Do something with it  Comprehensible  Authentic  Interesting  Production of output  What kind?  Memorization  How?  Motivation  Types  Instruction hastens the process (communicative activities) (c) Montse Irun
  22. 22. Motivation Wanting to do something. Having a positive attitude towards it. (c) Montse Irun
  23. 23. (c) Montse Irun
  24. 24. Types of motivation •Instrumental (functional) •Integrative (culture) Extrinsic motivation •Achievement (success) •Task (task) Intrinsic motivation (c) Montse Irun
  25. 25. Example (c) Montse Irun Intrinsic Extrinsic Integrative It’s fun My mother says it’s important My friend is doing it
  26. 26. Decide which type of motivation these learners have. (c) Montse Irun Intrinsic Extrinsic Integrative a. Everyone else understands this. b. I don’t like people saying things I don’t understand. c. I enjoy doing this. d. I need this for my exam. e. It’s great when the teacher says:‘Well done!’ f. My teacher will be upset if I don’t do this.
  27. 27. Answers (c) Montse Irun Intrinsic Extrinsic Integrative It’s fun I enjoy doing this. It’s great when the teacher says: ‘Well done!’ My mother says it’s important. I need this for my exam. My teacher will be upset if I don’t do this. My friend is doing it. Everyone else understands this. I don’t like people saying things I don’t understand.
  28. 28. Teaching = Learning (c) Montse Irun  Traditional teaching  Teachers talk  Teachers use ppp  Students practise  XXI Century teaching  Students talk  Students work  Teachers help
  29. 29. The end mirun@dal.udl.cat (c) Montse Irun