Where does it come from? the desire to succeed (in obtaining a Masters) the likelihood of success the ability to set reasonable goals a comfortable environment, physical and mental interest in language and subject matter
What is needed? reasonable language skills EAP classes and homework participation and integration, and therefore - something more than classes and homework
Low level – IELTS 5 What are the problems facing the student? Cannot (?) participate or integrateCannot (?) participate or integrate Cannot cope with the workCannot cope with the work Feels out of depthFeels out of depth Knows there is almost too much to doKnows there is almost too much to do Encounters cultural difficultiesEncounters cultural difficulties This may all lead to a lack of motivation.This may all lead to a lack of motivation.
The teachers job Main task – motivate the student Since prescribed materials may be too difficult, - design materials that are academically and intellectually appropriate, yet using relatively simple English. Create a comfortable environment.
From the horses mouth Why do Chinese students not integrate and find opportunities to use English, even though they know it is beneficial to do so?Why do Chinese students not integrate and find opportunities to use English, even though they know it is beneficial to do so? Students lack confidence and suffer anxiety for three main reasons.Students lack confidence and suffer anxiety for three main reasons. The east-west cultural divide may be the greatest obstacle.The east-west cultural divide may be the greatest obstacle. (Wu Hanyan, 2010, M.Litt. Dissertation)
The underlying problem pragmatics Language problems Adapting to western academic culture Background knowledge
Beyond EAP Activities in class time, outside the classroom; Extensive reading; Background knowledge and presentations; Activities outside class time.
Class Activities Supermarket quiz; Visit to University Museum – history, quiz and handling, with curator; Singing – especially seasonal and traditional; Craft – pottery, cookery; Drama.
Extensive reading Using graded readers. Students read a book each week and write a review. In some cases, this makes reading a pleasant activity; Builds up schemata; Can increase vocabulary.
Presentations – general interest Students have a week to find out about a well- known person and give a short, informal presentation. The same activity can be used with well-known places, in Britain or abroad. If it is working well, move on to literature. This links with the extensive reading programme.
Outside class time Ceilidh Theatre trip Concerts Cook/eat together Meeting in small groups in the pub or café after class – breaks down barriers, learn bar language, learn to chat.
Outcomes Language learning is seen in a different light; Relationship with teacher changes, and this can improve atmosphere in classroom; Acquisition rather than learning; Encourages output; Increases confidence.
Theoretical backing The output hypothesis (Swain, M. 1985, 1993) The noticing hypothesis (Schmidt, 1990)) Motivation (Dörnyei, Z. 1994, Gardner, R. 1985)
Output Three functions of output in second language learning: - hypothesis testing - hypothesis testing - negotiating meaning - negotiating meaning - noticing the gap - noticing the gap
Noticing Paying attention to input is effective in incidental learning. Noticing and attending to a linguistic feature in the input have facilitative effects for conscious understanding. Noticing the gap between what the learner can say and what he wants to say.
References Dornyei, Z. (1994) The Modern Language Journal, Vol. 78, No. 3 Richards, J. C. ( 2008) Moving Beyond the Plateau - From Intermediate to Advanced Levels in Language Learning. CUP Schmitt, R. (1990) The Role of Consciousness in Second Language Learning. Applied linguistics 11 (2): 129-158. Swain, M. (1985). Communicative competence: some roles of comprehensible input and comprehensible output in its development. in S.Gass & C.Madden (Eds.) Input in Second Language Acquisition. (pp.235-253). Rowley, MA: Newbury House.
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