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Exploiting L1 Knowledge in L2/English Teaching: Teacher Education Possibilities Geetha Durairajan Professor, Department of Testing and Evaluation EFLU,

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Presentation on theme: "Exploiting L1 Knowledge in L2/English Teaching: Teacher Education Possibilities Geetha Durairajan Professor, Department of Testing and Evaluation EFLU,"— Presentation transcript:

1 Exploiting L1 Knowledge in L2/English Teaching: Teacher Education Possibilities Geetha Durairajan Professor, Department of Testing and Evaluation EFLU, Hyderabad

2 Paper Organization Background Information Articulation of the Problem The Solution Its Teacher Education Implications

3 Nature of Language Use in India Societally and individually multilingual at the grassroots level Linguistically diverse with multilingualism as a positive force. (Multilinguality is the norm) Educational: three language formula

4 English Speaker in India: Images and Perceptions L2 learner is deficient and must approximate to native speaker norms L2 learner has an interlanguage system which will get fossilized L1 and L2 are 2 systems and the twain shall never meet

5 Language Use in Educational Space Use of L1 in the L2/English Classroom is like a white lie. Cannot be avoided, cannot be advocated either Language Classrooms: Domestic Watertight compartments Think and write in one language (avoid interlanguage)

6 Use of L1 in Traditional Classrooms By the Teacher For classroom management - give instructions - maintain discipline To elicit student responses To explain word meaning To teach grammar For error correction

7 By the student To reply To answer in class To state that they do not know the answer To talk to each other Use of L1 in Traditional Classrooms

8 Outcome Monolithic and monolingual language classrooms. (Mohanty, 2006) No recognition of Multilinguality which includes attitudes, anxieties, social ties, abilities and resources Multilingualism is only about the process and result of language acquisition

9 Nature of L2 User The second language (L2) user is a particular kind of person in her own right with her own knowledge of the two languages She is not a monolingual with an added L2 with separate knowledge of Ll and L2

10 Nature of L2 Teaching Learning/teaching an L2 is not just about teaching the student how to add a few rooms to a house by building an extension at the back; it is like the rebuilding of internal walls. It implies that in some ways the construction of the house itself will change. Trying to put languages in separate compartments in the mind is doomed to failure since the compartments are connected in many ways. Cook, V. 2001

11 Cognitive Benefits of Bilingualism Verbal originality (nouniness) Verbal divergence (bilingual languaging) Semantic relations (family, fruits) Divergent thinking (different kind of creativity) (Jessner 2006)

12 A new Approach to Language Teaching Deliberate use of the L1 by the teacher in the English classroom, not to translate or explain, but tap world knowledge or knowledge of L1 Use it as a positive resource and appreciate childs linguistic resources Enable capabilities and value the functionings these language users can achieve Teach the student as well to use it as a resource and not be ashamed of it or apologize for it.

13 Research Work Done All regional medium students Class 4, year 2 of English: Assamese medium teaching of vocabulary. Class 9, teaching of writing, Telugu medium, opinion as personal narrative Under-graduate literature class, (studied through Bangla medium in school) never read primary sources; only guide books teaching of the notion of irony in the short story

14 A few examples Vocabulary known and used (class 4) knowledge of time words, morning, noon, night, evening, day, month, year, calendar yesterday, tomorrow, today Weather: sunny, rainy, spring, rainy hot, cold Kinship terms; Deictic markers: this, that, those, these..

15 Nouns and Adjectives (class 9, writing) Pre test: habbit, a bad habbit, cancer.. Post test: knowledge, child, entertainment, happiness, physical fitness my favourite game, my playing friends Verbs: pre test:is, was has.. Post test: improve, enjoy, meet, play, spend, causes, and like) Main verb+ gerund : practice running, likes playing

16 Irony in plot, character and narrative tone. Text aimed at: Pride and Prejudice. Bangla text, simple English text, complex Bangla text, Bangla text in English Translation, Indian Literature in English., (and last of all, P & P) Could mark places in the text where irony is to be found in Pride and Prejudice. Could not write about irony.

17 Implications for Teacher Education Will need to Raise teachers own self awareness of multilinguality and language capability Help the teacher go meta on her own language use (could use translation as a teaching technique) Teach about these concepts in content classes Moot the possibility of a language education teacher training programme

18 Thank you Multilingual Question Time


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