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Tipping Points in Language Learning The Law of the Few The Stickiness Factor The Power of Context.

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Presentation on theme: "Tipping Points in Language Learning The Law of the Few The Stickiness Factor The Power of Context."— Presentation transcript:

1 Tipping Points in Language Learning The Law of the Few The Stickiness Factor The Power of Context

2 Introductions Key Factors/Three Rules of Epidemic – The Law of the Few – The Stickiness Factor – The Power of Context Instructional Activities (Small Groups) Debriefing/Open Discussion

3 What is Tipping Point? - that magic moment when an idea, trend or social behavior crosses a threshold, tips and spreads like wildfire -possibility of sudden change is at the center of this tipping point idea, i.e. big changes occurring as a result of small events/little things can make a difference

4 At what point does it become obvious that something has reached a boiling point and is about to tip? How can we ensure that the unexpected becomes the expected?

5 Tipping Points in Language Learning

6 Learners learn how to learn Learning is realized Language progress is possible Both teaching and learning process demonstrates positive change

7 Key Factors in Reaching the Tipping Point Caldwell suggested Three Rules of Epidemics – The Law of the Few – The Stickiness Factor – The Power of Context

8 The Law of the Few

9 The 80/20 Principle – states that in any situation roughly 80% of the work will be done by 20% of the participants Law of the Few Theory – where a tiny percentage of people do the majority of work

10 The Few in the Group How can a concept create an impact on the others in the group? Can the teacher create the buzz by her/himself? How can each of these few create a tipping point for the many?

11 Suggested Activities Small Group activities – Two or three minute diverse interactive activities – Activity Log (individual learner) – Grammar Log (group)

12 Non-Traditional Assessment/Grammar Log Lesson Highlights Name: 1.Vocabulary and Idioms: Write here as many of the new words as you can remember from the lesson. ___________________________ ______________________________________ 2.Structures: Note examples of new constructions learned today. Include brief statements about the grammar points they represent. __________________________ ____________________________________________

13 3. Conversation Strategies: What new expressions did you learn? What goals did these expressions accomplish? ___________________________________________ ______________________________________ 4. Matters that need more work: Note here in brief form any points you are still having trouble understanding. ______________________________________

14 Name: Daily Log: DayWhat task/activity did you do? Who are in your group? What did you learn? Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday

15 Benefits of Small Group Acts. Possibilities for more student-teacher interaction Opportunities for students to become much more involved Teacher/few students can provide guided practice and help struggling students

16 Sample Small Group Activities Plan information Gap Type Activities Plan discussions based on motivating topics that have already been covered in class Use songs for teaching and encouraging self- expression Prepare for an oncoming tests. Review activities. (students love this!) Create a mini-tutorial lesson in small group

17 Mini Case Studies/Problem Based activities – e.g. travelling overseas, cooking for the in- laws, explaining your traditions to foreign friends, etc. Role Playing Using Strategic Interaction Strategies/collaborative based activities – use of real life scenarios

18 Timed Team Challenges – solving difficult issues in a crunch, record action plan and explain it with the class – e.g. grammar lesson and how to teach to a class of 7 th graders, etc. Debates – stressing pros and cons; e.g. conflict of interest scenarios, customer service examples, etc. Simulations – e.g. simulating a market, a work environment, family interactions, cooking, etc.

19 The Stickiness Factor -A message makes an impact and doesnt go in one ear and out the other. -What makes a song or a movie line, TV commercial, etc. sticky and could not get out of your mind for a long period of time?

20 What makes a message memorable? What makes an event or something memorable because it irritated us so intensely? Can something become sticky by information overload? Indecisions?

21 Ideas Promoting Stickiness No Man is An Island – Work in Pairs or Small Groups! S Hear and Visualize it! T/S

22 Reflect and Assess! T/S Plan diverse Instructional Activities. Involve students in planning and implementing. T/S

23 Nobody is perfect. Teach tolerance and accept limitations. Know your materials but do not be afraid to give promisorry note. Have students write difficult questions on paper. Post these on an online blackboard or chat rooms.

24 The Power of Context

25 What is the power of context? - it infers that epidemics (+/-) are sensitive to the conditions and circumstances of the times and places in which they occur. Are certain individuals more sensitive to their environment than others? To what extend does the environment dictate ones behavior?

26 Inspire! (In the Target Language) Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time. We are the ones we've been waiting for. We are the change that we seek. (Barack Obama) Be the change that you want to see in the world. (Gandhi) We have it in our power to begin the world over again. (Thomas Paine) What we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly; it is dearness only that gives everything its value. (Thomas Paine)

27 Ideas to Power the Context Energize the classroom environment!

28 Promote Positive and Critical Thinking

29 Appreciate Learning and the Learner

30 Promote Good Citizenship

31 Create a community of learners

32 Tipping Point indicates ……..

33 Tipping Point Activities Problem Based ActivityScenario 1: You are a young executive in a large firm. You invited a client to dinner to an expensive restaurant. If you can impress the client, you might win a large account, get a promotion and raise. As the dinner progresses, you discovered that you left your wallet with credit cards at home. What do you do?

34 Problem Based Solutions/Different Modes Analytic: Outline what all the option are and decide which will be the least stressful Idealistic: Attempt to gain the guests sympathy. Perhaps he/she has been in similar situation and will understand Pragmatic: Be resolved to accept the situation as it is. These things do happen and perhaps one can joke about the set of circumstances

35 Realistic: The problem is not really so bad, after all. Perhaps the client will lend the money. Then he or she can be asked to stop off at home for a nightcap. A check could be written and given to the client at that time. Synthesist: The manager of this restaurant probably has had customers in similar situation before. If he can be assured of ones good intentions, the money could be sent first thing in the morning.

36 Example 2: Collaborative Based Goal: To supply factual information in a predetermined format A is hurrying to keep an important appointment with her attorney. As she turns left at a busy intersection, her car is struck on its right side by another vehicle driven by B. B is on his way to meet his boss, who is impatiently waiting at the airport.

37 In the ensuing exchange between A and B, each blames the other for the accident. A insists that the traffic light was in her favor, indicating permission to turn left. B claims that the traffic light had already changed and allowed him to continue through the intersection. As the confrontation continues, a police officer arrives to investigate.

38 Possible Small Group Acts. Strategic Interaction – roleplay with a plan and much coaching Roles: A B Police Officer Witness/es

39 Writing an accident report (A, B, Police Officer, Witness) Illustrate the accident. Use rectangles to represent the vehicles. Mark yours with an X. Draw an arrow in the upper left hand corner to indicate north. Position vehicles at the point of impact. Questions to Answer: 1.What time of the day did the accident occur? 2.What were the weather conditions?

40 3. How fast were you going? In your own words, describe the events of the accident as you remember them: _____________________________________ ______________________________________

41 Open Discussion in Small Group Questions to Ponder: Is a positive Tipping Point a possibility in your language classroom? What are these tipping points? What encourage these tipping points? Lecture Based? Problem Solving Based? Collaborative Based? Small Group?....

42 Salamat! Thank you! Rhodalyne Crail Get Published! Submit articles, reviews and lesson plans/activities to the COTSEAL Journal, JSEALT at

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