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Accomplished teaching of languages and cultures doesn’t happen by chance Lesley Harbon Horwood Memorial Lecture AFMLTA Biennial Conference Canberra July.

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Presentation on theme: "Accomplished teaching of languages and cultures doesn’t happen by chance Lesley Harbon Horwood Memorial Lecture AFMLTA Biennial Conference Canberra July."— Presentation transcript:

1 Accomplished teaching of languages and cultures doesn’t happen by chance Lesley Harbon Horwood Memorial Lecture AFMLTA Biennial Conference Canberra July 2013

2 Language learning theory & practice 2

3 Critical period hypothesis 3

4 a number of notions the very first lesson building language teacher strategies group work materials learning environment the learners testing …. and other notions 4

5 the very first lesson 5

6 6

7 building language Kumaravadivelu (2006) – human language is well organized and crafted “The central core of language as a system consists of the phonological system that deals with the pattern of sound, the semantic system that deals with the meaning of words, and the syntactic system that deals with grammar” 7

8 building language …. constructivism Fox (2001) Learning is an active process Knowledge is constructed, rather than innate, or passively absorbed Effective learning of all knowledge occurs best when socially constructed 8

9 learning 9

10 what we built What is your name? My name is… What is your (older respected female) name? What is your (older respected male) name? What is your (younger child) name? What is your (same age, familiar) name? and so on… 10

11 the teacher 11

12 the teacher included… the interlinked intercultural objectives of the NSW Languages Syllabus (2003) using language making linguistic connections moving between cultures Stern (1992) cognitive, affective and behavioural components of culture teaching 12

13 the teacher maximises learning opportunities minimises perceptual mismatches facilitates negotiated interaction promotes learner autonomy fosters language awareness activates intuitive heuristics contextualises linguistic input integrates language skills ensures social relevance raises cultural consciousness Kumaravadivelu (2003) 13

14 Skehan (2006) “instruction does have an appreciable effect on performance; … explicit instruction produced larger gains than an implicit approach…” 14

15 the teacher used pair and group work 15

16 in group work I was hiding… 16

17 a teacher’s craft … a dance… 17

18 exercises in the learning materials practising sentences following the models dictionary/translation exercises listening comprehension with the accompanying CDRom fill in the gap complete the sentences write a dialogue translate into the other language create questions from statements and vice versa unscramble changing the tense of a sentence from a town map, write directions answer giving opinion in full sentences describe the picture true and false write a letter PLUS… grammar rules and examples vocabulary lists bilingual word lists in back of book dialogue translations on CDRom 18

19 So (2007) “a single teaching method is unlikely to guarantee best results” “language teachers need to be flexible enough to adopt and/or adapt different teaching methods according to the demands of their immediate teaching context” 19

20 the materials The clean clothes are in the cupboard Is it true your buffalo has disappeared? We intend to eat our fowls because they don’t lay eggs. Don’t annoy that goat. Our family rarely quarrels. Why isn’t my shirt ironed yet? 20

21 the learning environment 21

22 the learners – personalities & moods 22

23 competence (Canale, 1983) Grammatical competence knowledge of lexus, morphology, syntax etc Sociolinguistic competence utterances understood - different purposes etc? Discourse competence how utterances/sentences strung together Strategic competence verbal/nonverbal communication strategies for when communication breaks down 23

24 the test 24

25 the test Section A – vocabulary Section B – changing pronouns into possessive pronouns Section C – change statements into questions Section D – solve maths problems in the TL Section E – translate from TL to English Section F – translate from English to TL 25

26 an “ear for languages” 26

27 Carroll in Skehan (2006) phonemic coding ability analyzing sound to retain it grammatical sensitivity identify functions of words in sentences inductive language learning ability ability to take a sample and extrapolate associative memory capacity to make links between items in memory 27

28 motivation among learners Gardner in Skehan (2006) motivation in language learning linguistic self-confidence willingness to communicate Dornyei’s (cited in Skehan, 2006) – action control theory – influences before, during and after a task – students reflect on their learning success 28

29 the silent period ? 29

30 Learning styles checklist 30

31 the teaching / learning nexus Experiencing the learning of another language again … an opportunity to examine the teaching/learning nexus from a close vantage point… the opportunity to shift perspective… this thought as a learner… this thought as if I were a teacher 31

32 my reflections on my learning “… how to clear the conceptual cobwebs and terminological bedbugs prevalent in the combinations, harmonies and discords between layers upon layers of theoretical principles, pedagogic practices… how to separate the trivial from the profound, the fashion from the substance, and the chaff from the grain in order to reach the heart of the matter…” (Kumaravadivelu, 2006, Introduction) 32

33 my reflections on my learning “… how to clear the conceptual cobwebs and terminological bedbugs prevalent in the combinations, harmonies and discords between layers upon layers of theoretical principles, pedagogic practices … how to separate the trivial from the profound, the fashion from the substance, and the chaff from the grain in order to reach the heart of the matter…” (Kumaravadivelu, 2006, Introduction) 33

34 Keep calm and….. 34

35 the teaching learning nexus Experiencing the learning of another language again … an opportunity to examine the teaching/learning nexus from a close vantage point… the opportunity to shift perspective… The learner in your head meets the teacher in your heart.


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