Presentation on theme: "The Multiplier Effect of Language Learning ELT Horizons 2013 Mary Lou McCloskey, Ph.D. Atlanta, Georgia, USA Handout:"— Presentation transcript:
The Multiplier Effect of Language Learning ELT Horizons 2013 Mary Lou McCloskey, Ph.D. Atlanta, Georgia, USA Handout:
What Children Bring
Children Bring… Innate “ programming ” to acquire language (Chomsky, Pinker, 2000) Critical Period for language acquisition?
Critical PeriodCritical Period? Critical Period Critical PeriodCritical Period? Critical Period
The Effects of Learning an Additional Language
1. The Obvious Effects The ability to - talk to more people, - read more books, - experience other cultures
Language use on the Web Mary Lou McCloskey, techinasia.com
2. Cognitive Effects for Young Learners
Recent Studies of the Brain
Differences in brain activity during language tasks between adults (18-35) and children (7-10) (Schlagger et al 2002) Children had more activity in left extrastriate cortex Adults had more activity in left frontal cortex.
Language Areas of the Brain (Kim, 1997) Broca ’ s Area:Wernicke ’ s Area
Mary Lou McCloskey, Differences in where language is processed: Languages learned early in life: Processing occurs in overlapping regions of Broca ’ s and Wernicke ’ s Areas Languages learned later: Wernicke ’ s Area for what words mean; Broca ’ s Area for grammar and syntax. Broca ’ s Area: Wernicke ’ s Area
Mary Lou McCloskey, Piagetian Stages and Brain Development Stages (Sprenger, 1999) Piaget ’ s stages of development Stages of myelin release and brain growth Sensorimotor (birth-2 years) Large motor system and visual system Pre-operational (ages 2-7) Language acquisition Concrete operational (ages 7-11) Manipulation of thought and ideas Formal operations (ages 11-15) Higher-order thinking
3. Expanded ability to learn and manage learning
Cognitive flexibility Some aspects of cognitive development accelerate to manage two languages Improves “executive function” – ability to organize, plan, prioritize, shift attention, suppress habitual responses Mary Lou McCloskey,
How reading changes language learning
School performance of students learning a second language
Learning additional languages
7. Refined cultural awareness and adeptness; cognitive flexibility
3. Cognitive Effects for Older Learners Mary Lou McCloskey,
Mary Lou McCloskey, Color-Shape Task-Switching Game
Bilingual Fountain of Youth! Older adult bilinguals show greater cognitive flexibility Mary Lou McCloskey,
Bilingual elders dementia diagnosis 3-4 years later Mary Lou McCloskey,
Mary Lou McCloskey, When to Start EFL? Why start early? – Potential for native-like pronunciation – Easy and natural acquisition of language structures during critical period – Opportunity to develop positive attitudes toward the language – Cognitive advantages for life
Mary Lou McCloskey, When to Start EFL? Why wait? – Older learners can learn very rapidly and effectively using their higher-level cognitive abilities – Native-like pronunciation is not necessary for effective communication – Resources may be better used to provide needed quality and intensity for older learners – There may be concern about language loss of L1 if English use is highly prevalent
Mary Lou McCloskey, When to Start EFL? It depends on quality and model – Quality of program and of teaching are the most important variables Many effective bilingual models, but Balanced bilingual model shows most positive results
Principles for developing a new language (with demonstrations)
Principle 1 Offer learners enjoyable, active roles in the learning experience
Principle 1 Offer learners enjoyable, active roles in the learning experience Example: Lineups
Principle 2 Help students develop and practice language through collaboration
Principle 2 Help students develop and practice language through collaboration Example: I have, who has?
Principle 3 Use multi-dimensional, thematically- organized activities
Principle 3 Use multi-dimensional, thematically- organized activities Example: The Camel Dances by Arnold Lobel
Principle 4 Provide comprehensible input with scaffolding
Principle 4 Provide comprehensible input with scaffolding Example: Anticipation Guide
Anticipation Guide YouTextTopic The camel wanted to be a football player. She practiced very hard The audience thought she was excellent The camel only performed to please others.
Principle 5 Integrate language with content
Example: pirouette arabesquerelevé
: The Camel Dances
Principle 6 Validate and integrate language and culture learners bring
“ Right there ” questions What was the camel ’ s goal? “ Think and Search ” questions What steps did the camel take to reach her goal? “ Author and You ” questions Why did the author choose to tell this story with animals instead of people? “ On your Own ” questions Is it more important to do what you ’ re good at or what you love? What changes might you make to this story to make it more relevant in your culture?
Principle 7 Provide clear goals and feedback on performance
Principle 7 Provide clear goals and feedback on performance Rubric for discussion BeginningGetting thereExpert Connect to others Speak in turn Focus on task
Principle 8 Develop learners own strategies for language development
Develop learners own strategies Examples from today’s activities: Take notes Use an advance organizer (Anticipation Guide) Use a rubric Ask and answer questions for various purposes – Discuss selection using QAR – Form a line based on personal info
Implications & Considerations
Mary Lou McCloskey, Learning languages is exponentially beneficial Improved cognition & brain development Improved L1 proficiency Improved academic performance Improved abilities in social, cultural understanding
Mary Lou McCloskey, When to begin language learning? There is no simple, “ younger is better ” answer. What about literacy? Usually best in L1 first but effective programs also teach both simultaneously. What are the variables? Time, capacity, commitment, quality.
Principles for Effective Language Teaching/Learning 1.Offer learners enjoyable, active roles 2.Help students collaborate 3.Use thematically organized activities 4.Provide comprehensible input with scaffolding. 5.Integrate language with content. 6.Validate and integrate home language and culture. 7.Provide clear goals and feedback on performance. 8.Develop learners’ own strategies 53
Mary Lou McCloskey, AnonymousAnonymous -Martin Steingesser I know a poem of six lines that no one knows who wrote, except that the poet was Chinese and lived centuries before the birth of Christ. I said it aloud once to some children, and when I reached the last line suddenly they understood and together all went-- "Ooo!"
Mary Lou McCloskey, imagine that poem, written by a poet truly who is Anonymous, since in the strict corporeal sense he hasn't existed for thousands of years--imagine his little poem traveling without gas or even a single grease job across centuries of space and a million miles of time to me, who spoke it softly aloud to a group of children who heard and suddenly all together cried "Ooo!"
Mary Lou McCloskey, Thank you! Mary Lou McCloskey