Presentation is loading. Please wait.

Presentation is loading. Please wait.

French teacher by training (Spanish teacher by obligation) 27 years of teaching experience in U.S. and Europe 13 years living in northern France Creator.

Similar presentations


Presentation on theme: "French teacher by training (Spanish teacher by obligation) 27 years of teaching experience in U.S. and Europe 13 years living in northern France Creator."— Presentation transcript:

1

2 French teacher by training (Spanish teacher by obligation) 27 years of teaching experience in U.S. and Europe 13 years living in northern France Creator of the multimedia ULAT world languages program found at French and Spanish teacher at Lansing Christian School Personal background

3 The first year is the most critical for facilitating ease of oral expression. If students do not become comfortable with speaking the language in the first year of study, they likely never will thereafter. Strategic importance of this topic

4 1963 – 1970 : Text-based instruction from “Day 1” Vocabulary lists Memorized dialogues Analytical grammar presentations Textbooks with written grammatical exercises Exclusively written tests Personal experience leading to my approach

5 1970 : Experiencing the consequences in Bruyères (Aisne), France Inner transcription to inner translation (headaches) “Je suis plein.” (Slow, stilted, awkward and embarrassing) Progressive undoing of my prior training Personal experience leading to my approach

6 : Profound disappointment with my initial teaching results Fatal assumption: the way I was taught is the way to teach Students were speaking in English and merely using French/Spanish words (“Faîtes-vous comprendre quoi je suis disant?” “¿Hace Ud. comprender que yo estoy diciendo?”) Classroom discouragement

7 1980: “So…how do people learn language anyway?” Rejection of all assumptions from prior schooling experience Renaissance

8 Given that 99% of all people learn to speak their native language fluently, if fluency in one’s native language is the norm, why does their exist such a great discrepancy between that reality and what I see in my classroom? Fundamental presupposition

9 Answer: Natural language learning proceeds from listening to speaking to (much later) reading and then to writing, however traditional language instruction turns the natural language learning process “on its head”. Successful language instruction will replicate the natural means by which one learns one’s native language. Explanation

10 Conclusion: text-based instruction in the early levels (first year, in particular) is unnatural and encourages a destructive 3-step thought process in the learner. Fundamental observations and conclusions Text is “frozen in time” Lends itself to analysis and translation Obliges learner to pass through the grid of his native language (Example: American pastor)

11 Text-based language instruction predominates because: The student-teaching experience encourages imitation over innovation Many of us lack confidence in our own oral abilities Written work is far easier to evaluate objectively Written work is time-consuming and requires less direct involvement from the instructor than oral expression activities Textbooks are…after all…books of text, written with efficiency of space in mind. (No room for visual context.) Reasons for an unnatural approach to language instruction

12 Text-based language instruction has predominated because: Textbooks provide ready-made written exercises, thus facilitating the teacher’s lesson creation Desirable or not, meaning in a new language is most easily communicated via translation from a known quantity – one’s native language Standardized testing and university placement exams tend to place an unusually heavy accent upon skill in manipulating the written language Pursuing oral fluency may not be our aim. Reasons for an unnatural approach to language instruction

13 1980: If successful language instruction replicates first language learning, then… 1. cultivating the ability to speak and to comprehend the spoken language must significantly precede exposure to the written word. Primacy of oral skill development

14 Response: Delay written work until after at least one year of oral instruction. My solutionTransferable solution Delay written work until your students have attained relative oral fluency – the ability to speak extemporaneously at a rate of 5 to 7 complete sentences per minute for a period of 2 minutes. Generally speaking, this will mean for at least one year of instruction.

15 Teaching an orally proficient student to read and write is FAR easier and more likely to succeed than trying to teach a text-based learner to speak. Key thought for the instructor

16 1980: If successful language instruction replicates first language learning, then… 2. translation is a harmful technique, as it creates destructive mental links between the learner’s native language and the language to be acquired. Rejection of translation

17 Response: Present words in a variety of contexts and allow for temporary imprecision of understanding. Provide multiple contexts, through drama and images and be patient with the precision of their understanding. Do not expect students to be able to tell you in English (i.e., via translation) exactly what they think they are saying and definitely do not tell them yourself. My solution Transferable solution

18 “Remember, I do not expect you to understand me nor to know what you are saying. I only expect you to do what I ask you to do and to say what I lead you to say. If you do those two things, you will end up both understanding me and knowing what you are saying.” Key words to the student

19 1980: If successful language instruction replicates first language learning, then… 3. Meaning needs to be conveyed in a visual fashion and in context, by means of stories, mime, gestures, video clips and images. Visually conveying meaning

20 Primacy of oral skill development Response: Employ a visual mode of delivering initial instruction, even representing sentence structure as a “flight of images”. Communicate meaning via gestures, skits and images associated with sound. My solution Transferable solution

21 “Watch me!” Key words to the student

22 1980: If successful language instruction replicates first language learning, then… 4. analytical presentations of grammar are largely unfruitful exercises for beginning language students. Grammatical structures need to be presented in a context and then reinforced through repetition and the development of linguistic reflexes. Rejection of the analytical approach

23 Response: Employ a visual mode of delivering initial instruction, even representing sentence structure as a “flight of images”. Whatever your mode of delivering curriculum, whether digital or otherwise, maintain a rapid pace of instruction which does not allow the student the leisure to analyze grammar or reflect in his native language. My solutionTransferable solution

24 There are two ways of “knowing” a language’s structure and vocabulary – one with the head and the other with the heart. In your instruction, aim for the heart! Key words to the teacher

25 1980: If successful language instruction replicates first language learning, then… 5. a language teacher needs to downplay a disproportionate emphasis upon the irregular aspects of a language as well as on a student’s initial structural errors. The most important task in the first year is to instill in the student a confidence that he can indeed communicate successfully, thus building within him a desire to do so. Avoiding disproportionate emphases

26 Response: Select items for exercises and tests in a studied, yet random fashion, strictly chosen on the basis of their utility, rather than the challenge they present. Initially, praise students’ efforts to communicate, modeling proper speech rather than providing negative feedback. Do not allow irregular elements to play any more than a proportionate role in your tests and exams. Do not test to trick! My solutionTransferable solution

27 When a language’s irregular elements receive overemphasis, a student is left grasping for some predictability to the language and feeling betrayed as he comes up empty-handed. Key words to the teacher “You cannot steer a car unless it’s moving.”

28 1980: If successful language instruction replicates first language learning, then… 6. oral participation and extemporaneous speech are absolutely indispensable. Oral expression must be objectively evaluated and weighted proportionate to its importance at each stage of a student’s learning, otherwise students will feel no compulsion to apply themselves either in class discussion or in the development of extended speech. Avoiding disproportionate emphases

29 It is critical that the way in which I weight the elements that make up my students’ grade reflects my conviction about the importance of early oral expression. Weighting one’s grades 45% = Oral participation 45 % = Oral PowerPoint testing and presentations 10 % = Miscellaneous assignment completion Students prepare themselves in accordance with the manner in which they will be tested.

30 Avoiding disproportionate emphases Response: Create objective means of evaluating the quality of extemporaneous speech and requiring a student’s class participation. If the development of oral expression in your beginning students is your goal, verify that your testing methods confirm that priority and that students are obliged to participate orally in order to succeed in your class. My solutionsTransferable solution

31 We must enable students to express themselves orally by means of the mode in which we deliver instruction – a visual mode that encourages a 2-step thought process in the learner. ENABLING ORAL EXPRESSION

32 We must encourage students to express themselves orally through the liberal use of praise for their efforts and through giving only a proportionate emphasis to the language’s irregular aspects. ENCOURAGING ORAL EXPRESSION

33 We must require students to express themselves orally by establishing objective means of testing oral performance and measuring the frequency of oral participation. REQUIRING ORAL EXPRESSION

34 If we want to encourage oral expression In beginning students, we may have to adapt: 1. Mode of delivery (enabling 2-step thought) 2. Manner of relating (modeling/affirming) 3. Means of measurement (oral obligation) ENABLING ORAL EXPRESSION

35 If you intend to make oral expression your primary or unique focus in beginning students, be prepared to expend far more energy than is required by an upper-level language course. Final warning

36 At my website, you can find the following items: 1.The PowerPoint from today’s workshop 2. The ULAT teacher’s manual 3. Lessons for 1 st through 3 rd year students

37 If you are interested in visiting the ULAT website, the following User ID and password will be valid for the next two weeks: WEBSITE: USER ID: “miwla” PASSWORD: “guest”

38


Download ppt "French teacher by training (Spanish teacher by obligation) 27 years of teaching experience in U.S. and Europe 13 years living in northern France Creator."

Similar presentations


Ads by Google