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Learning by Doing By Anthony Prato, MA, TESOL ESL Instructor, INTERLINK Language Center The University of North Carolina at Greensboro Special thanks.

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Presentation on theme: "Learning by Doing By Anthony Prato, MA, TESOL ESL Instructor, INTERLINK Language Center The University of North Carolina at Greensboro Special thanks."— Presentation transcript:

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2 Learning by Doing By Anthony Prato, MA, TESOL ESL Instructor, INTERLINK Language Center The University of North Carolina at Greensboro Special thanks to Mark Feder, Director of Curriculum and Training, for creating most of this presentation, and inspiring the rest of it. UNC-Greensboro, Valparaiso University, Indiana State University, Colorado School of Mines, Al-Yamamah College

3 Survey Can you find something on the Internet with Can you find something on the Internet with relative ease? Can you use Microsoft Word? Can you use Microsoft Word? Can you write and respond to an ? Can you write and respond to an ? Can you use any other computer programs (Excel, Outlook, PowerPoint, Access, Adobe Photoshop)? Can you use any other computer programs (Excel, Outlook, PowerPoint, Access, Adobe Photoshop)? INTERLINK Language Center

4 Questions to ponder… How many of these things did you learn in school? How many of these things did you learn in school? oDid you take a class on ing? oDid you attend a lecture on MS Word? oDid you earn a Masters in Google? INTERLINK Language Center

5 Discussion: What is the meaning of this cartoon? INTERLINK Language Center

6 The moral of the cartoon: Knowledge = Ability But this begs the question………………….. What does engender ability? INTERLINK Language Center

7 The Answer: INTERLINK Language Center

8 There are dozens of advocates of this type of learning. But in todays Communicative Language Teaching culture, many of these influential theorists are overlooked, or only paid lip service..... INTERLINK Language Center

9 Tiger by Bud Blake INTERLINK Language Center Advocate #1: Carl Rogers Rogers was a great proponent of experiential learning (which he labeled significant learning), that is, learning connected to real- life situations. In the field of language learning, experiential learning indicates learning by using language rather than by studying grammar, vocabulary or other elements of language.

10 Carl Rogers offers the following learning precepts: 1.Significant learning takes place when the subject matter is relevant to the personal interests of the student 2.Learning which is threatening to the self (e.g., new attitudes or perspectives) is more easily assimilated when external threats are at a minimum 3.Learning proceeds faster when the threat to the self is low 4.Self-initiated learning is the most lasting and pervasive. The learning depicted in this picture illustrates Carl Rogers four learning precepts. INTERLINK Language Center

11 According to Rogers… Significant Learning involves the WHOLE person: Reason + Intuition = Left side +Right side = Cognitive elements + Feeling= INTERLINK Language Center

12 ourworld.compuserve.com/ homepages/g_knott/ Advocate #2: Caleb Gattegno Rogers principles are consistent with what we know about student-centered learninga phrase educators use to embody these ideas. Student-centered learning is epitomized by Gattegnos phrase, the subordination of teaching to learning, and his dictum, the student works on the language and the teacher works on the student. INTERLINK Language Center

13 The Silent Way demands that students work inductively, discover patterns, and establish hypotheses. Gattegnos Silent Way is so named because the teacher remains silent and allows the student to initiate learning and develop criteria of correctness. In antithesis to a deductive approach in which the teacher provides explanations and rules for students to memorize and apply, the Silent Way demands that students work inductively by discovering patterns and establishing hypotheses. INTERLINK Language Center

14 Learning that is inductive, heuristic, individualized, and needs-based is affectively oriented and places the focus clearly on the learner (student- centered) rather than the teacher – and in Rogers terms is relevant to the learner. In the Silent Way, the students mind is actively engaged in solving problems and making discoveries (learning heuristically). Because the student initiates and controls the learning, this approach caters to individual needs. The student gets what he or she needs rather than whatever the teacher happens to dish out. INTERLINK Language Center

15 Assumptions 1 & 2 of the Silent Way 1. Various gestures, especially those employing the fingers, are used to help students correct their own mistakes, rather than rely on the teacher to make the correction. Here teaching is subordinated to learning because good learning demands that any language student carefully observe his or her own speech. 2. Common misconception: People learn what they are taught. In reality: We only learn what we mobilize ourselves to learn, what we discover for ourselves. INTERLINK Language Center

16 Assumptions 3 & 4 of the Silent Way 3. Imitation and memorization DO NOT equal learning!!! If imitation=learning then there wouldnt be 2 distinct words for these concepts. 4. Main assumption of the Silent Way: The nature of the mind is fluidity. Education, in the popular sense of the term, makes the learning process rigid. INTERLINK Language Center

17 Not many years ago I began to play the cello. Most people would say that what I am doing is learning to play the cello. But these words carry into our minds the strange idea that there exist two very different processes: (1) learning to play the cello; and (2) playing the cello. They imply that I will do the first until I have completed it, at which point I will stop the first process and begin the second. In short, I will go on learning to play until I have learned to play and then I will begin to play. Of course, this is nonsense. There are not two processes, but one. We learn to do something by doing it. There is no other way. (Instead of Education, 1976, p. 13) 14-cerddorfa.shtml INTERLINK Language Center Advocate #3: John Holt Holt provides this insight into experiential learning – learning by doing:

18 Educators tell us, in effect, that we cannot be trusted even to think, that for all our lives we must depend on others to tell us the meaning of our world and our lives, and that meaning we may make for ourselves, out of our own experience, has no value. Whoever takes that right away from us, as educators do, attacks the very center of our being and does us a most profound and lasting injury. Education now seems to me the perhaps the most authoritarian and dangerous of all the social inventions on mankind. -John Holt, Instead of Education, 1976 INTERLINK Language Center

19 Advocate #4: David Kolb 1) the learning process often begins with a person carrying out a particular action and then seeing the effect of the action in this situation 1) the learning process often begins with a person carrying out a particular action and then seeing the effect of the action in this situation 2) the second step is to understand these effects in the particular instance so that if the same action was taken in the same circumstances it would be possible to anticipate what would follow from the action 2) the second step is to understand these effects in the particular instance so that if the same action was taken in the same circumstances it would be possible to anticipate what would follow from the action 3) the third step would be understanding the general principle under which the particular instance falls. 3) the third step would be understanding the general principle under which the particular instance falls. 4) when the general principle is understood, the last step is its application through action in a new circumstance within the range of generalization 4) when the general principle is understood, the last step is its application through action in a new circumstance within the range of generalization INTERLINK Language Center

20 David Kolbs Model for Experiential Learning INTERLINK Language Center

21 The Acquisition-Learning Distinction acquisitionlearning similar to child first language acquisition formal knowledge of language picking up a languageknowing about a language subconsciousconscious implicit knowledgeexplicit knowledge formal teaching does not helpformal teaching helps From The Natural Approach, Stephen Krashen and Tracy Terrell, 1983 #11 Advocate #5: Stephen Krashen advocates an experiential approach and distinguishes between acquisition, which he views as a natural and powerful developer of language skills, and conscious learning, which he considers limited and far less significant. INTERLINK Language Center

22 According to Krashen, "Acquisition requires meaningful interaction in the target language -- natural communication -- in which speakers are concerned not with the form of their utterances but with the messages they are conveying and understanding." photo/all.html In other words, learning experientially, learning by doing, is the only practical way to master a foreign language. INTERLINK Language Center

23 The Input Hypothesis - Major Points 1.Relates to acquisition, not to learning. 2. We acquire by understanding language a bit beyond our current level of competence. This is done with the help of context. 3.Spoken fluency emerges gradually and is not taught directly. 4. When caretakers talk to acquirers so that the acquirers understand the message, input automatically contains I+1, the grammatical structures the acquirer is ready to acquire. From The Natural Approach, Stephen Krashen and Tracy Terrell, 1983 The primary component of Krashens acquisition theory is the comprehensible input hypothesis. The idea is that language – that includes vocabulary and syntax – is acquired naturally through appropriate language contact. INTERLINK Language Center

24 Language Acquisition Device The affective filter acts to prevent input from being used for language acquisition. Acquirers with optimal attitudes are hypothesized to have a low affective filter. Classrooms that encourage low filters are those that promote low anxiety among students, that keep students off the defensive. From The Natural Approach, Stephen Krashen and Tracy Terrell, 1983 input filter acquired competence Another component of Krashens acquisition theory is what he terms the affective filter. INTERLINK Language Center

25 I happened to get [a job] teaching ESL. I had never heard of ESL before…my approach was very casual and low pressure. My method usually consisted of thinking up a topic to talk about, introducing it, and encouraging each student to express her feelings. The teacher goes on to say that his students skills improved and he decided to take up a career in ESL. Feeling guilty about the casual approach of his first class, and attempting to become a truly professional ESL teacher, he adopted a traditional authoritarian style with the textbook dominant. He concludes: I can look back on these four years and see a gradual decline in the performance of my students…My present style of teaching bypasses the students feelings and basic needs, and concentrates on method. I never see successes like those first [students]. From Teaching Languages: A Way and Ways, 1980 For Krashen, the role of the teacher is to provide students with extensive comprehensible input and to supply affective support. Earl Stevick relates a story supporting this position and affirming his own insistence that in order to learn, students must have a feeling of primacy in a world of meaningful action. INTERLINK Language Center

26 The teacher, if he is indeed wise, does not bid you to enter the house of wisdom but leads you to the threshold of your own mind. Kahlil Gilbran I cannot teach anybody anything, I can only make them think. Socrates Teaching is the art of assisting discovery. Mark van Doren Experiential Learning aka Significant Learning aka Task-Based Learning aka Learning Through Discovery is learning that has real meaning and relevance. This is NOT a new concept! INTERLINK Language Center

27 I hear and I forget. I see and I believe. I do and I understand. Confucius You learn to speak by speaking, to study by studying, to run by running, to work by working; and just so, you learn to love by loving. All those who think to learn in any other way deceive themselves. Saint Francis de Sales One must learn by doing the thing. Sophocles Dont learn to do, but learn in doing. Samuel Butler Skill to do comes of doing. Ralph Waldo Emerson INTERLINK Language Center

28 We now accept the fact that learning is a lifelong process … and the most pressing task is to teach people how to learn. Peter F. Drucker The object of teaching a child is to enable him to get along without a teacher. Elbert Hubbard The greatest sign of success for a teacher... is to be able to say, The children are now working as if I did not exist. Maria Montessori A teacher is one who makes himself progressively unnecessary. Thomas Carruthers A master can tell you what he expects of you. A teacher, though, awakens your own expectations. Patricia Neal The teacher is, in effect, teaching the student to be an independent, autonomous learner capable of enhancing skills outside of the classroom. Being an autonomous learner is especially important in a task as colossal as learning a language, because learning must continue after the language course ends. INTERLINK Language Center

29 Students learn what they care about...," Stanford Ericksen has said, but Goethe knew something else: "In all things we learn only from those we love." Add to that Emerson's declaration: "the secret of education lies in respecting the pupil." and we have a formula something like this: "Students learn what they care about, from people they care about and who, they know, care about them... Barbara Harrell Carson, 1996, Thirty Years of Stories No man can be a good teacher unless he has feelings of warm affection toward his pupils and a genuine desire to impart to them what he himself believes to be of value. Bertrand Russell Theories and goals of education dont matter a whit if you dont consider your students to be human beings. Lou Ann Walker Of all the qualities necessary for effective teaching, none is as important as empathy and sincere caring for the student. If methodology gets in the way of such caring, the result is invariably disastrous. INTERLINK Language Center

30 Almond says that the increased popularity of the piano at the turn of the century spawned many mass-produced teaching systems touted by large publishers which required the reading of musical notation. The boredom and frustration engendered by a method (now the norm) which stifles creativity, discovery and enjoyment, is responsible for millions of people quitting piano after taking lessons as children. Continuing our musical interlude, consider the thesis of the piano method advocated by Mark Almond in his video lesson Piano for Quitters. Almond suggests that many quit the piano because of conventional teaching methods. Almonds experiential method stimulates interest and fosters autonomy by enabling learners to make music and experiment after the first 5 minute lesson. The parallels between conventional piano instruction and language instruction that begins with learning about grammar and memorization of vocabulary are obvious. When the learner is deprived of meaningful language use and focuses on exercises, autonomy and engagement are inhibited. INTERLINK Language Center

31 The teacher cannot impart knowledge but can provide a key to how to learn. While it appears that the teacher does not teach the actual subject matter but makes it possible for the student to learn it, there is something that the teacher can legitimately be said to teach -- how to be a learner. A good teacher is one who does not feed information but provides the student with the tools to learn, not only for the matter at hand, but for the future. INTERLINK Language Center

32 home.talkcity.com/librettoln/ kayrol/Books.htm Student-centered Experiential Needs-based Inductive Heuristic Individualized Autonomy-focused We now have some ideas about the nature of learning and teaching to serve as a foundation for our curriculum. We have established that while language learning utilizes cognitive, psycho-motor, and affective elements, teaching deals mainly with affective matters impacting readiness to learn. To open the door to student learning, the curriculum should aim for instruction that is student-centered, experiential, needs-based, inductive, heuristic, individualized, and autonomy-oriented. Now lets talk about how to implement this type of learning in the classroom… INTERLINK Language Center

33 Implementation of Task-Based Learning Contrary to what you may think, Task-Based Learning is not difficult to do, once you, well… do it. Contrary to what you may think, Task-Based Learning is not difficult to do, once you, well… do it. The essence of Task-Based Learning is its student-centered approach. It does not begin with the teacher laboring for hours at home to create perfect lesson plans. Rather, it begins with the students, their needs, and a student-generated task that will help them acquire the language they need to use. The essence of Task-Based Learning is its student-centered approach. It does not begin with the teacher laboring for hours at home to create perfect lesson plans. Rather, it begins with the students, their needs, and a student-generated task that will help them acquire the language they need to use. INTERLINK Language Center

34 Case Study #1 Vocation Exploration Students will interview a professor or professional in their intended area of study. INTERLINK Language Center

35 The class: # of students: 12 # of students: 12 Level: Advanced Level: Advanced Ages: 16+ Ages: 16+ Nationalities: Varied. Latin Americans, Koreans, Taiwanese, Chinese, etc. Nationalities: Varied. Latin Americans, Koreans, Taiwanese, Chinese, etc. INTERLINK Language Center

36 Classic approach to this project: Teacher explains the project to the students, and perhaps provides a handout. Students are told to interview a professional and then give a ten-minute presentation to the class, reporting their findings. Teacher answers questions. But there is no in-class work related to this project, other than presentation day. Students are given 2 weeks to finish the project. Teacher explains the project to the students, and perhaps provides a handout. Students are told to interview a professional and then give a ten-minute presentation to the class, reporting their findings. Teacher answers questions. But there is no in-class work related to this project, other than presentation day. Students are given 2 weeks to finish the project. INTERLINK Language Center

37 Presentation Day: INTERLINK Language Center

38 Now lets approach this project in a way that Rogers, Gattegno, Holt, Kolb, and Krashen might like… An experiential, student-centered, Task-Based approach that starts with the students interests… Students are not assigned the project to begin with. They brainstorm as groups on the first day of class. Their task is to consider various projects that will help them increase their language in areas that are important to them. They decide that interviewing someone with their career interestssome sort of professional or professorwould be a great idea. INTERLINK Language Center

39 Stage 1 Assuming the students have chosen this project a classroom discussion about interviews begins. Students must interview each other, and report back to class about what they learn. This leads to a class discussion about interviews in general Who has been interviewed and when and why? Has anyone ever seen an interview on TV? Final part of discussion is about how students will interview their professor or professional. They decide to send an , rather than visit their offices.

40 Stage 2 Students brainstorm about the differences between a formal and an informal . They report back to the class and create two lists on the board: characteristics of a formal , and characteristics of an informal . The class discusses how and why s to professionals should be written. INTERLINK Language Center

41 Stage 3 Students do research about the professors/professionals they want to interview. Based on the research, students report back to class in groups, explaining why they chose those professors. INTERLINK Language Center

42 Stage 4 Students work in pairs and write an to the professors/professionals they chose to interview. Teacher can view each letter on the overhead and solicit suggestions and improvements AND/OR the students can read their letters to one another and get corrective feedback. Students send their s and wait for responses. INTERLINK Language Center

43 Stage 5 While waiting for responses, students are provided a real interview to study and use as a model. Students listen to a 10-minute segment of an interview on NPRs Fresh Air program. Terry Gross interviews Denzel Washington about his new movie, The Great Debaters. Interview is divided into 3-4 sections, one per group or pair. Each group or pair must analyze their section of the interview and make a list of new vocabulary words. Using context, and teachers help, students define the words for their section. Next, they teach other groups the vocabulary words, until all groups have experienced all words. INTERLINK Language Center

44 Stage 6 After listening 2-3 more times, each group must write 5 comprehension questions and answers, and then quiz the other groups. Groups rotate until all groups have heard all questions and answers. Students are welcome to listen to the interview again during class to check for facts. INTERLINK Language Center

45 Stage 7 Using the same interview segments from last time, students role-play the interview between Terry Gross and Denzel Washington. To do this, they must use correct intonation, and be as accurate as possible. Interviews may be recorded. Afterwards, they can listen to the interview again and compare/contrast their interview with the real one.

46 Stage 8 Students listen again to the 10-minute segment of the interview. They work in pairs and focus on the questions that Terry Gross asks, as well as the answers. Groups compare and contrast their lists, using the interview and the teacher for clarification. INTERLINK Language Center

47 Stage 9 Students classify the questions they hear. They make categories based on the types of questions asked. Then they report back to the class about the categories. On the board, students make a list of types of questions. A class discussion ensues: Why is it important to ask variety of questions during an interview? INTERLINK Language Center

48 Stage 10 Students are paired up and discuss who they would likes to interview for practice any famous person, living or dead. (Bill Gates, Barack Obama, Britney Spears). To do this mock interview, students will research the famous person and write a script for an interview together. They will use a variety of types of questions in a practice 5 minute-interview. INTERLINK Language Center

49 Stage 11 Based on the first mock interview, or based on the NPR interview itself, students create a feedback form that highlights the strengths of a good interview (interviewer asks a variety of questions; interviewer thanks the interviewee; etc.). Students use this form to judge one anothers mock interviews. INTERLINK Language Center

50 Stage 12 If mock interviews are videotaped students must watch the videos outside of class and then critique themselves, using the feedback form. This critique can be handed in to the teacher, or shared with the class in groups or pairs. INTERLINK Language Center

51 Stage 13 Students listen to another NPR interview. They do the aforementioned vocabulary activities, and/or they critique the interview using their feedback forms. They use what they notice to improve and expand the feedback form. INTERLINK Language Center

52 Stage 14 Students do more research at home about the professional or professor they intend to interview. Using this information, they write a list of possible questions and answers from the interview with the professional they have chosen. They review their scripts in pairs. Fellow students use the feedback form to assess the interviews. INTERLINK Language Center

53 Project Conclusion Students present their 10-minute interview reports to the class. Students use the feedback form to judge their peers. Teacher does so as well. Teacher and students offer feedbackpositive and negativeafter each presentation. After all presentations, teacher and students have a discussion about what they learned from this process. INTERLINK Language Center

54 Why was this project successful? The presentation at the end was the least important part of the project. Actually doing the interview and presenting the information, while important, were NOT the goal. The project simply served as a vehicle through which a variety of skills could be practiced. INTERLINK Language Center

55 Case Study #2 Shopping Spree THE PROJECT: Students will do a variety of activities, either beginning with or culminating with one ore more trips to a supermarket, store, or mall. INTERLINK Language Center

56 The class: # of student: # of student: Level: False Beginners / Generation 1.5 Level: False Beginners / Generation 1.5 Ages: 12+ Ages: 12+ Nationalities: Varied. Mexicans, Latin Americans, Koreans, Taiwanese, Chinese, etc. Nationalities: Varied. Mexicans, Latin Americans, Koreans, Taiwanese, Chinese, etc. INTERLINK Language Center

57 Classic approach to this project: Teacher explains the project to the students, and perhaps provides a handout. Students are told to write a report about their favorite store, and then give a three-minute presentation to the class, reporting their findings. Teacher answers questions. But there is no in- class work related to this project. Students are given 1 week to finish the project. Teacher explains the project to the students, and perhaps provides a handout. Students are told to write a report about their favorite store, and then give a three-minute presentation to the class, reporting their findings. Teacher answers questions. But there is no in- class work related to this project. Students are given 1 week to finish the project. INTERLINK Language Center

58 Can you think of any Task-Based activities that will help the students learn language by using it? Work with your partner(s):

59 Questions to Ponder: It is not because teachers teach that students learn. Consider a baby as a Scientist in the Crib: Babies start life by simply observing. They become aware of their surroundings through observation, followed closely by testing their hypotheses just as a scientist would. Once the baby tests a hypothesis, once she figures something out on her own, it is learned. She owns it. In short, If you put your own understanding into something, then it is yours. 1) Why do students (or people in general) learn? INTERLINK Language Center

60 2) What should the focus of classroom activities be? Activities in a class could either promote this state of being or undermine it. A teacher can be silent without being mute. Simply, the teacher never models and doesn't give answers that students can find for themselves. INTERLINK Language Center

61 3) How should mistakes be viewed by the teacher and the learner? Making mistakes is an essential part of learning. Teachers should view mistakes by students as 'gifts to the class', in Gattegno's words. This attitude towards mistakes frees the students to make bolder and more systematic explorations of how the new language functions. As this process gathers pace, the teacher's role becomes less that of an initiator, and more of a source of instant and precise feedback to students trying out the language. INTERLINK Language Center

62 4) Is knowledge the same as know- how? Knowledge never spontaneously becomes know-how. This is obvious when one is learning to ski or to play the piano. It is skiing rather than learning the physics of turns or the chemistry of snow which makes one a skier. And this is just as true when one is learning a language. The only way to create a "know-how to speak the language" is to speak the language. INTERLINK Language Center

63 FYI... If you would like a copy of this Presentation, please me at If you would like a copy of this Presentation, please me at For more information about INTERLINK Language Center, please go to ESLUS.com For more information about INTERLINK Language Center, please go to ESLUS.com ESLUS.com

64 References/Links Stephen KrashenStephen Krashen summary of Krashens theories Caleb Gattegno/Silent WayCaleb Gattegno/Silent Way summary of information about Silent Way Humanism in Language Learning Humanism in Language Learning full text online of book by Earl Stevick Dissertation Dissertation online thesis section on affect in language learning Autonomy in Language Learning Autonomy in Language Learning plenary by David Nunan Second Language Teaching Methodologies Second Language Teaching Methodologies ERIC database with many useful links Learning Theories Learning Theories links to articles on virtually all learning theories Theory Into Practice Database Theory Into Practice Database explorations in learning and instruction For additional information on subjects treated in this presentation, read more from these authors: INTERLINK Language Center


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