ASSIGNMENT FOR ENGLISH LANGUAGE TEACHERS “DIFFERENTIATED INSTRUCTION” A ONE-TO-ONE CLASS SOPHIA KARASSA, GROUP 4 Sunday, June 15 th 2014
Objectives of the Presentation Teaching Context Description Lesson Plan Task Sheets Lesson Justification & D.I. PART I Audio-recording the class Post Lesson Reflection (strengths, weaknesses, improvements) PART II
PART I: 1.a. Teaching Context Description One-to-one class, exam class (Preparation for the ECCE), Testing-oriented Student's name: Stamatis Age & Educational Background: 15 years old, 3rd year high school, poor performance in L1, not particularly interested in school subjects but enjoys extracurricular activities as he participates in a basketball team and likes English. Mother tongue & nationality: Greek Other languages: (i) English (“frontisterio” in the past & past 3 years tutoring), (ii) some French at school Target language Level: B1 Threshold (following the CEF), placement test Attitude & view of the course: very positive, his family supports him and uses English in video games, the Internet, etc. which makes it relevant to his needs but dislikes excessive homework; high self-esteem, insecure about his performance in grammar but willing to take risks Personality: extrovert, talkative, sociable & open to new experiences Learning Disabilities: sometimes 'mirroring' (e.g. d instead of b) but it does not impede the language learning process
PART I: 1.a. Teaching Context Description (continued) Motivation: Intrinsic enjoys studying English and reading comic books, remembers English words from computer/video games, as well as music; Extrinsic sometimes he seeks good grades, e.g. in term tests & is afraid of being punished by his parents in case he fails Learner style: learns best by seeing & hearing; spatial, kinaesthetic & interpersonal intelligence Books and materials currently and previously used: Coursebook series: Burlington Connect B1+, test book, Companion (the same book series was used in the previous year); Grammar book: Grammalysis B2, Super Course System (the previous year Grammar Genius/Hamilton was used); Practice Tests: ECCE Practice Examinations (HAU); Materials: (i) handouts prepared by me, regarding both grammar theory & practice, speaking expressions, linking words, etc. (ii) worksheets, (iii) tests, (iv) short stories (e.g. Spiderman 3 adapted & Diary of a Wimpy Kid) Group dynamic and Personality: one-learner, not much grouping fixed seating arrangement but feels free for kinaesthetic activity; sometimes talkative and a bit noisy; active participant.
PART I: 1.b. Lesson Plan Date: 5/6/2014 Duration of the lesson: 90’ Class: B1+ Lesson Title: Travel Time, Reading Activity Coursebook: Burlington Connect B1+ Resources & materials: book, PC with internet connection, handout, smart phone (English-Greek dictionary application) LP PROCEDUREOBJECTIVESINTERACTIONTIME PRE Speaking Activity: general questions relating to traveling Warm-up & brainstormingT / S3’ Speaking – Reading – Writing Activity “The Starry Night” (Painting & Poem) Learning through Art Developing critical thinking skills which will enable the S to learn more easily S (if it wasn’t a one-to-one class it could be done in pairs) 20’ + 2’ (preparation time) WHILE Reading pp78-79 Students’ book - identifying the different genres related to the same topic, namely Niagara Falls Distinguishing the features of each genre (i.e. flyer, email, blog, magazine article) T / S5’ Reading Activity pp78-79 Students’ book & justification of the answers Practicing ECCE exam- oriented reading activity & related skills (skimming, scanning, etc.) S T / S 15’ + 5’ (justification)
PART I: 1.b. Lesson Plan (continued) LP PROCEDUREOBJECTIVESINTERACTIONTIME POST SHORT VIDEO http://www.discovery.com/tv- shows/other- shows/videos/assignment- discovery-shorts-niagara-falls- natural-wonder.htm & DOCUMENTARY (preview) http://www.youtube.com/watch? v=xQW_6gSmN8k Audio-visual input Listening to authentic language learning through hearing & seeing Writing an informal letter (homework) T / S15’ Writing a letter to a friend about Niagara Falls assigned as homework & plan preparation in class Learning through Art Developing critical thinking skills Writing an informal letter T / S15’ Exchanging emails to keep in touch during summer holidays, ask for clarifications about the lesson, submitting extra activities. Overview of the educational “contract” between the T & S in case of noise or misbehaviour. Active participation & engagement in activities Taking responsibility of misbehaviour Feedback & error correction T / S10’
PART I: 1.c. Task Sheets Pre-reading Activity _ The Starry Night (attached)[PAINTING & POEM] Reading Activity _ Burlington Connect B1+(p.p.78-79) (attached) [EXAM-ORIENTED] Post Reading Activity _ Niagara Falls (attached) [VIDEO-INTERNET-WRITING]
PART I: 1.d. Lesson Justification & D.I. Keeping in mind the four basic assumptions of DI, i.e. 1.“Every student is worthy of dignity and respect. 2. Diversity is both inevitable and positive. 3. The classroom should mirror the kind of society in which we want our students to live. 4. Most students can learn most things that are essential to a given area of study.”, this lesson was aimed to satisfy most of them and provide a detailed description of the student as well as the teaching context. From Maslow’s continuum of basic human needs, the need of being part of a group/belonging wasn’t entirely fulfilled as it was a one-to-one class, while the rest were met, especially the safe & secure environment and self-esteem. Opportunities were offered to cover the range of interests of this particular student as well as the various types of intelligences. The presence of the educational “contract” facilitates S’s taking responsibility for their own actions. Along with exam-oriented tasks there are activities which aim to develop S’s critical thinking, creativity/creative writing, empathy, decision making, taking initiatives and, finally learning how to learn, through a multitude of recourses (art, poetry, the Internet, videos, educational contract). The Teacher’s role is quite critical too, as there obstacles to overcome, which stem from personal insecurities and fossilized ideas regarding teaching, students’/parents’/society’s expectations, curriculum & time restrictions, the broader educational system and most importantly the current situation and the financial recession in Greece which make matters worse; still, there are ways to turn this situation into fruitful and prosperous opportunities and acquire the key skills for the 21st century. Guided seminars, life-long learning and differentiated instruction might provide the stepping stone and may be the key to overcoming this plight most of us are facing.
PART I: 1.d. Lesson Justification & D.I. (continued) The lesson was designed according to the learner’s affect, readiness, interests and learning profile. Differentiation occurred in terms of (a) CONTENT, i.e. “The knowledge, understanding, and skills we want students to learn”, which was enriched with the task sheets, (b) PROCESS, i.e. “How students come to understand or make sense of the content”., through sense-making activities, such as the painting and the poem which will be useful to them both outside and inside the classroom – hopefully Ss will learn to better observe the world around them and as they will notice the paintings they will also come to notice grammatical points; tiered activities would be an excellent choice in larger classes, (c) PRODUCT, i.e. “How students demonstrate what they have come to know, understand, and are able to do after an extended period of learning.”, such as in the informal letter about Niagara Falls and later on a formal assessment (test), and (d) AFFECT, i.e. “How students’ emotions and feelings impact their learning.”, in which case the T has the opportunity by means of reframing to guide S’s reactions towards fostering positive emotions in class and raise their self-esteem. Up to now the lesson was used prescriptively, i.e. it involved the preparation of the lesson, and what follows is a descriptive account of what the S learned after the lesson had finished.
PART II: Post Lesson Reflection of Strengths, Weaknesses, Improvements A. STRENGTHS : (i)The S’s interest was captured due to the sensory channels provided by the painting and the videos. (ii)He was highly motivated by the topics, especially the sense- making ones. (iii)He was very creative with the painting and the poem. (iv) He managed to develop his critical thinking skills. B. WEAKNESSES: (i)Sometimes he was talkative and noisy. (ii)The reading task was a bit boring to him compared to the pre and post-reading tasks, since it was more exam-oriented. (iii) His performance was quite affected in the reading task as well. (iv) Some activities took longer than estimated (e.g. Pre-reading Activity_ The Starry Night took 30’ instead of 20’; likewise the reading task lasted for 25’ instead of 20’, as he found it more challenging than expected). (v) Lack of group activities. C. IMPROVEMENTS: exam-type tasks require further modification to meet student’s needs and to this end more D.I. practices have to be employed. Better preparation in terms of the time devoted to each activity.
They say that every end is the start of a new beginning … & … D.I. IS HERE TO STAY