Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Week3 Comment Integration of theory and Practice

April 24, 2010

Week3 Comment    Integration of theory and Practice

Hello Hala,

  I have read your blog and I agree with your opinion. Sometimes it is hard to combine the theory in the pedagogy with the practice on technology.

 This week I read some ideas about the pedagogy-technology interface that are new to me. However, I intend to try them in my teaching and make a plan in my discussions, which is not perfect yet, I believe, and needs to improve in teaching practice.

 But why do I want to try them? I would like to share my ideas with you, so that we can discuss it together.

As a matter of fact, nowadays young generation-students are advanced in accepting new technology and the innovative teaching technique. If we can do some reformation in teaching, even a litter, they’ll show their enthusiasm, which can stimulate their learning motivation. Even they will follow your way and guidance to do further and better than you think after class. That’s the advantages technology bringing us and teachers can leave the task to students after class. So you don’t worry not to perfect your technique in practice. Only do you need to show students how to use technology in helping their learning. In my opinion that is the dilemma English teachers face.

 This week the title of my reflections is Integration of Theory and Practice, so when I read your blog writing “After reading ‘the pedagogy-technology interface in Computer Assisted Pronunciation Training’, I reached a conclusion that all seems promising when it comes to treading the theory part. However, when it comes to the practice phase, this is where all what I’ve learned will ‘hit the floor’, as we say in Arabic”. I’d like to write to you. I hope we can communicate each other.

Yours,

Shujuan

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Week3 Reflections Integration of Theory and Practice

April 24, 2010

Week3 Reflections   Integration of Theory and Practice

This week it’s wonderful for us to create our own websites on Delicious and from now on I can save some wonderful sites as my Favorites or Bookmarks. It is beneficial to my professional development and I can share the English learning resources with my students. Surfing the internet and searching for the resources for our English teaching and learning make me understand that these activities embody the practice of constructivism learning theory. I enjoy touring in the knowledge sea.

 1. Practice of Constructivism Learning Theory

There are two themes in current language pedagogy. The first is a focus not on the language as an object of study, but as a means to communicate. The second theme is an emphasis on constructivist principles of learning. Constructivism is a learning theory that sees learning is an active process by which the learners create their own understanding of the subject matter, as Jonassen and Winn each wrote in 1991. One kind of constructivist learning activity using technology is the webquest. This was one of the first pedagogical activities that were specifically designed to make use of the rich information resources on the Internet (Dodge 1995).

  A webquest is an information gathering and synthesis task in which learners are assigned research topics, and use the Internet as a source for information. I have already found out some resources and put them in my Bookmarks, for instance, the website http://www.cctv.com (China Central Television); the website http://www.bbc.co.uk (BBC). The programs in CCTV include financial news, culture news, sports news and comprehensive news, etc. at home and abroad. Since many contents of news are familiar to us, they can be understood easily. When encountering new words students can guess the meaning against the context. What’s more, the programs tell us the real world and matters happened around us, which can appeal to audience’s interest. The programs in BBC let students understand the world from different angle, and other countries’ culture, history and economy. Both CCTV and BBC provide video and audio effect, which is popular with me. What’s more, they offer Authentic Materials, which is beneficial to enhancing Comprehensible input

 2. Comprehensible input for university students’ level

  According to Krahen’s ‘ hypotheses’ theory, “Humans acquire language in only one way-by understanding messages or by receiving ‘ comprehensible input’”.(Krashen,1985a,p.2). To be useful to the learner, the input must be neither too difficult to understand nor too easy.

The students in universities can best use this site, for university students have learned English for several years, and they have laid a good foundation in English basic knowledge. It can enhance students’ listening skills and widen culture knowledge. In my course objectivities, enhancing students’ culture attainment is included in it. We ask students not only to learn Language but also to understand culture. The usage of this innovative modern technology realizes their incorporation.

 Furthermore, the students are eager for gaining social culture knowledge. L2 learners acquire a new language by hearing it in contexts where the meaning of sentences is made plain to them. They are good sites for Language and Culture Learning. We can let students tell the news and stories in English. In this way, students’ oral skill can be enhanced as well. They can not only gain the improvement in English language but also widen their experience and broaden your horizon.

 3.  Language as a means to communicate

   If we accept the theme “in current Language pedagogy, language is regarded as a means to communicate, not as an object of study”, then the current best practice in Language teaching, using tasks that require an integration of language skills, should be taken into consideration by English teachers. Therefore instructors ought to pursue the goal of addressing all skills at the same time. In order to achieve communication goals, activities and tasks can be carried out using Language by learners. Applying the innovative modern technology can be helpful for Language teaching.

How to take advantages of it in the class and how to instruct students to get benefit of it are the main issues that we as teachers have to face and deal with. The following content is what I plan to do in teaching activities. Taking listening to or watching BBC and NPR as an example:
  I’ll assign some pre-listening tasks, asking students to be familiar to programs in BBC and NPR and thinking of the question “What’s in the news?”

  In the class, first let students listen to the news and stories or watch videos in BBC or NPR, then the students are required to collect the information they need via internet (while-listening task) (Behavior). Next conversation and communication are carried out among the students, either in groups or in pairs. (Behavior)

At the end of the lesson, homework (post-listening task) is assigned and students (Audience) are required to write 1) how much did they understand what they listened in the class; 2) reflections on what they listened. (Degree)

4.  Comment:  In order that such kind of teaching technique is carried out, it must be with the help of the innovative modern technology. (Condition) With the rapid development of new technologies the nature of literacy is undergoing a rapid metamorphosis.(Mary Grace) I would like to increase that the Language environment of listening and speaking is undergoing a rapid metamorphosis, too. As Labayen says, “The internet is a suitable place to practice Languages as it offers the possibility, with the right software, of using images and audio resources at the same time, combining sounds and images as in communicative situations in the real world. It also provides users with a highly appealing and innovative format”. (Labayen et.al. 2005, p.9)

References

1. Developing Listening Skills with Authentic Materials   by Lindsay Miller

2. Best Practices in Technology and Language Teaching   by Dennie Hoopingarner

3. Current Practice in Pedagogical Activities

4. Conversation Lesson Plans for English Learners at All Levels

5. Deborah Healey’s Attic: Pronunciation; Interesting Websites for Pronunciation Practice

6. The Best Sites to Practice Speaking English           by Larry Ferlazzo

7. The Pedagogy-technology interface in Computer Assisted Pronunciation Training

    By A. Neri, C.Cucchiarini, H. Strik, L.Boves

Week3 Discussion Aural/oral sites-specific uses (2)

April 23, 2010

Week3 Discussion   Aural/oral sites-specific uses (2)

Good Site for Language and Culture Learning

This is the other my favorite website http://www.bbc.co.uk.

Today I log on to this website from my Bookmarks on Delicious and enjoy the programs the whole day. Understanding the world, other countries’ culture, history and economy is my desire. BBC provides video and audio effect, which is popular with me.

 The title “New Video Shows Queen as a child” attracted my eyes. Click this and then I saw a lovely girl just like a movie actress. It is unimaginable she is the queen, Elizebeth when she grew up.

 The students in universities can best use this site and it can enhance students’ listening skills and widen culture knowledge. In my course objectivities, enhancing students’ culture attainment is included in it. We ask students not only to learn Language but also to understand culture. The usage of this innovative modern technology realizes their incorporation.

 I would like to recommend this site to college students. As a matter of fact some of my students have already used this site for a while, and they say they feel it helpful for them to improve their English skills, especially in listening. We can let students tell the news and stores in English. In this way, students’ oral skill can be enhanced as well.

Week3 Comment Aural/oral skills-Building–Readings

April 23, 2010

Week3 Discussion     Comment

Dear Mary Grace;

It’s true that with the rapid development of new technologies the nature of literacy is undergoing a rapid metamorphosis. I would like to increase that the Language environment of listening and speaking is undergoing a rapid metamorphosis, too. As Labayen says, “The internet is suitable place to practice Languages as it offers the possibility, with the right software, of using images and audio resources at the same time, combining sounds and images as in communicative situations in the real world. It also provides users with a highly appealing and innovative format”. (Labayen et.al. 2005,  p.9). It’s wonderful for us and our students to learn English.

 However, at last you mentioned “You don’t need to go anywhere to master the English Language. You can easily master the language at the comfort of your home”. My understanding about your sentences is that you want to emphasize the importance of English learning outside the school.

 How to take advantages of it in the class and how to instruct students to get benefit of it are the main issues that we as teachers have to face and deal with.

 As we all know we couldn’t have mastered so many resources in English learning without the instruction of our instructor-Deborah. For instance, now I know how to store and save my favorite using Delicious. I mean students need teachers’ guidance during their English learning. The important role of English teachers is to guide students to effectively use the technology. As for how to incorporate the technology into our teaching, I have no much experience either. Now I am thinking about this matter, and that’s the reason why I am here to point out this point to you. I hope we can discuss it together further in the future.

With regards,

Shujuan

Week3 Discussion Aural/oral skills-building——–readings

April 23, 2010

Week3 Discussion   Aural/oral skills-building——–readings

Language as a means to communicate

   If we accept the theme “in current Language pedagogy, language is regarded as a means to communicate, not as an object of study”, then the current best practice in Language teaching, using tasks that require an integration of language skills, should be taken into consideration by English teachers. Therefore instructors ought to pursue the goal of addressing all skills at the same time. In order to achieve communication goals, activities and tasks can be carried out using Language by learners. Applying the innovative modern technology can be helpful for Language teaching.

 In the following statement, I’ll explain how technology could be helpful in improving my students’ aural/oral skills inside and outside the class.

First of all, I choose National Public Radio (http://npr.org) and British Broadcasting Cooperation (http://www.bbc.co.uk) as my teaching materials (condition), for they are authentic materials. Then I’ll assign some pre-listening tasks, asking students to be familiar to programs in BBC and NPR and thinking of the question “What’s in the news?”

   In the class, first let students listen to the news and stories or watch videos in BBC or NPR, then the students are required to collect the information they need via internet (while-listening task) (Behavior). Next conversation and communication are carried out among the students, either in groups or in pairs. (Behavior)

At the end of the lesson, homework (post-listening task) is assigned and students (Audience) are required to write 1) how much did they understand what they listened in the class; 2) reflections on what they listened. (Degree)

 Comment:  In order that such kind of teaching technique is carried out, it must be with the help of the innovative modern technology. (Condition)

 References

1. Developing Listening Skills with Authentic Materials   by Lindsay Miller

2. Best Practices in Technology and Language Teaching   by Dennie Hoopingarner

3. Current Practice in Pedagogical Activities

4. Conversation Lesson Plans for English Learners at All Levels

5. Deborah Healey’s Attic: Pronunciation; Interesting Websites for Pronunciation Practice

6. The Best Sites to Practice Speaking English           by Larry Ferlazzo

7. The Pedagogy-technology interface in Computer Assisted Pronunciation Training

    By A. Neri, C.Cucchiarini, H. Strik, L.Boves

Week3 Discussion Aural/oral sites-specific uses

April 22, 2010

Week3 Discussion Listening to Authentic Materials-Enhancing Comprehensible Input

 1. Listening to authentic materials

 I have used the website http://www.cctv.com (China Central Television) for a few years, which is the only one international channel in China, broadcasting news in English lasting for 24 hours each day. The programs include financial news, culture news, sports news and comprehensive news, etc. at home and abroad. Many mother-tongue English speakers are employed to host the programs. Since the background of news is familiar to us, they can be understood easily. When encountering new words students can guess the meaning against the context. What’s more, the programs tell us the real world and matters happened around us, which can appeal to audience’s interest.

2. Comprehensible input for university students’ level

According to Krahen’s ‘ hypotheses’ theory, “Humans acquire language in only one way-by understanding messages or by receiving ‘ comprehensible input’”.(Krashen,1985a,p.2). To be useful to the learner, the input must be neither too difficult to understand nor too easy. So I think it is fit for university students’ level. University students have learned English for several years, and they have laid a good foundation in English basic knowledge, furthermore they are eager for gaining social culture knowledge. L2 learners acquire a new language by hearing it in contexts where the meaning of sentences is made plain to them

3. My recommendation

 If you want to well know about China’s culture, education, economy and society nowadays, please log on to this website. You can not only gain the improvement in English language but also widen your experience and broaden your horizon.

Yours, Wang Shujuan

Week2 Comment Enhancing Autonomous Learning Ability

April 17, 2010

Week2 Comment  Enhancing autonomous learning  ability

Dear Nadina:

   I have read your post “Learning Objectives with the ABCD model” and I think it is very clear and in detail. It seems that as a foreign language teacher we have the same issue to help students understand English grammar, drill, vocabulary etc. It is pity that English teachers have no enough time to broaden students’ knowledge in the classroom. However, with the help of the innovative modern technology, we can expand time and space for students’ English learning.

Therefore, I think enhancing students’ autonomous learning ability is currently main objective for English teachers in teaching. Assessment system ought to be reformed and updated in order to keep up with technological development. I’ll take the measures to combine the advanced technology with English teaching. For instance, let students write blogs in English and read related materials via internet resources with the help of web searching tools. It is beneficial to students   for improving their English level. All of these need teachers’ guidance.

Week2Reflections Web Searching Tools- Good Helper for Autonomous Learning

April 17, 2010

Week2Reflections   Web Searching Tools——- Good Helper for Autonomous Learning

 This week we conducted internet-surfing activities by web searching tools, finding out there are so many English learning tools for teachers and students to use. Previously it is pity for us not to take advantage of it in English teaching and learning. From now on we should use it to its best effect.

    Blogging in English can help students to improve their writing ability. Reading some materials via internet resources can enhance students’ reading ability.

    Technological innovation is having a broad impact on modern English learning, which promotes  students’ autonomous learning. However, teachers’ instruction is necessary. In order to have students use internet resources effectively, assessment system ought to be updated to keep up with the use of the innovative modern information technology.

Week2 Discussion: Web Searching Tools and Techniques

April 16, 2010

Week2   Discussion: Web Searching Tools and Techniques

This week I have tried some of the search engines or portals to see which ones work best for academic searches, except for Google. I hold the view that every website has its own features and advantages. I would like to recommend three websites for you to use, according to your different needs in English teaching and learning.

 1. http://www.NoodleTools.com ———-easier to find the resources teachers need

Its webpage design is very simple and clear, and the lists of contents are logically categorized. When you press the keyboard ‘enter’ into this website for the first time, Teacher Resources will apparently attract your eyes.

I want to look up the resource about “plagiarism”, for it is pity for me to miss web chat- topic is plagiarism, organized by American Center for Educational Exchange, U.S. Embassy Beijing. As you know, we are busy this week. It only needs me to click the mouse four times and I just find out the resource I need. What’s more, I spend very litter time since the list is simple and clear.

 2.http://wordpress.com ———Easier to create your blog

I have used this website for weeks and I feel it is very convenient for me to write blogs in English every time. If you plan to let your students write blogs in English, you’d better use this website.

It won’t take you much trouble to instruct your students in creating their blogs. Only need you give them this website, press keyboard ‘enter’, then they will see “Express yourself, start a blog. Sign up now”. Click it and next step input Username and password, it’ll be done. Easy, is it?

 3.http://www.nicenet.org ———Good venue for web-based classroom activities.

If you want to organize classroom activities, I suggest you using this website. The functions of it include creating classroom; conferencing; link sharing; personal messaging; document sharing, etc, which are very beneficial to teachers’ internet management in teaching. All of us are familiar to its advantages, aren’t we?

Nowadays there are so many internet learning tools for us and our students to use in teaching and learning English, and we should take advantage of it to its best effect.

Week2 Task Learning Objectives with the ABCD model

April 15, 2010

Week2 Task Learning Objectives with the ABCD model
My students
My students are freshmen and sophomores, whose age ranges from 19 years old to 21 years old. I have two classes, one of which consists of 57 students. Telecommunication engineering is their major, and English is their compulsory subject in the first two years during 4-year-college education. Every week my students attend my English classes twice, on Monday morning and on Thursday morning, for two periods each time, lasting for one hour and forty minutes.

Learning objectives
1.   Cultivating students’ comprehensive English-applying ability, listening, speaking, reading and writing.
2.   Effective communication can be carried out by students in oral and written English.
3.   Enhancing autonomous learning ability
4.   Improving cultural attainments

In order to achieve this goal, what I do now in English teaching as following:
In the first and second terms, freshmen (audience) read (behavior) and understand the passages(Degree) in New Horizon College English textbooks (condition), Book1 (Degree,level 1) and Book2 (Degree,level 2); and do listening comprehension (behavior) according to Book1 and Bookk2.

In the third and fourth terms, sophomores (audience) read (behavior) and understand the passages (Degree)in New Horizon College English textbooks (condition), Book3 (Degree,level 3) and Book4 (Degree,level 4); and do listening comprehension (behavior) according to Book3 and Book4.

Besides in the classroom activities, role-play and discussions (behavior) are carried out among the students. Writing ( behavour) is put either  in the class or after class.

Now I come to know some improvements should be done in my English teaching, and changes should take place with the help of the innovative modern technology, internet.
1.   Learning objectives–adding: Students should master modern learning tool and take advantage of it in English learning(Noodletools).
2.   Behavior—adding: Discussion and comment should be encouraged among the students in English learning.
3.   Condition—adding: reading materials should be enlarged(related materials via internet resources) and writing style should be changed(blogging).
4.   Degree—adding: increasing students’ English skills(writing skill and reading skill).

   In the learning objectives I mention cultivating students’ autonomous learning ability. To explain it in more detail, I take some specific measures as following.Blogging in English can help students to improve their writing ability. Reading some materials via internet resources can enhance students’ reading ability.

   Technological innovation is having a broad impact on modern English learning, which promotes students’ autonomous learning. However, teachers’ instruction is necessary. In order to have students use internet resources effectively, assessment system ought to be updated to keep up with the use of the innovative modern information technology.