Enhancing MFL teaching for new tutors

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Enhancing MFL teaching for new tutors. Faculty of Arts Graduate School, University of Leeds; Subject Centre for Languages, Linguistics and Area Studies, University of Southampton. Lesson planning. Honor Aldred, Dept of French, University of Leeds 11.00 – 12.30. Lesson planning. - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

Text of Enhancing MFL teaching for new tutors

  • Lesson planningA (very) little theoryIts relevance in lesson planning

    The lesson:Aims/ObjectivesSignposting TimingSome ideas

  • Lesson planningA (very) little theory: Second Language Acquisition

    Parameters set at L1 values Learning styles and strategiesPsychological factorsMotivationCognitive processes, reorganising existing knowledge

  • Lesson planningMethodologies and approachesGrammar-Translation methodDirect methodCommunicative Language Teaching with a focus on meaningForm-focused instruction, regularly revisiting grammatical structuresTask-focused instruction, where students identify grammatical and syntactical structures for themselvesLearner autonomy

  • Lesson planningSome principles (1):

    Students need to be in charge of their own learningStudents can learn from or with each other If students have varying learning styles they need varying teaching stylesA mix of methodologies may be the best approach> Focus on form within meaning-based instruction

  • Lesson planningSome principles (2):Studies show that Formal instruction speeds up the language acquisition processExplicit instruction more effective than implicitDrills followed by contextualised, freer use are usefulRegression is normal with U-shaped development where performance is likely to be particularly variable

  • Lesson planningJohn Klapper, Understanding and developing good practice: Language teaching in higher education (London: CILT, 2006)

  • Lesson planningGroup task (10 minutes):Consider the mini-lessons delivered in your group in session 1.Which methodology or approach seemed to characterise each lesson? What were the advantages of each approach?How could the lessons be improved in the light of the different methodologies and approaches?Agree on one or two points to share with the whole group.

  • Lesson planningThe lessonThe constraints:Degree of prescription in the module you will be teachingYour departmental policy re language of instructionFacilities available to you (e.g. IT)Number and duration of seminarsNumbers of students in the seminar

  • Lesson planningThe lesson: signpostingWhy?Learner involvement and autonomyAt the beginningAt the end for the following weekIs it clear in the module documentation?

  • Lesson planningThe lesson plan:Clear objectives to you and to the studentsTiming: allow forRegistration; Feedback on marked work, both whole class and individual; Questions Setting work to be done for the following weekThink about how you will treat each element of the lessonMix group work and whole class work

  • Lesson planningThe lesson: further considerationsBe flexible in the language of instructionBe flexible in content even if it means you dont finish the work preparedHow will you cover work left undone at the end of the seminar? To be done as additional independent work? Via resources on VLE? Email?How will you deal with questions you couldnt answer during the seminar? Email? VLE? Next week?

  • Lesson planningSome ideas:If seminar room is networked, use prepared Word files to gain a little time (they can be edited as part of the lesson, Powerpoint files cant)Ideas for using OHP slidesCrib ideas from your experience as a student e.g. colour coding for casesCrib ideas from each other

  • Lesson planningGroup taskShare with your group ideas you remember as being helpful to you as a learner either at school or as an undergraduate.Agree on one or perhaps two to share with the whole group.

  • Lesson planning

    Mara Fernndez-Toro and Francis R Jones, DIY techniques for language learners (London: CILT, 2001)

  • Lesson planningAnd finally

    Make sure you know who your mentor is and make use of him/her. Dont be scared of peer observation Go out and enjoy your teaching.

    ***The theory here is limited to SLA theory, not theories of learning in general.

    A newborn child can learn any language but once a child has learnt his/her mother tongue language parameters are set at those values, meaning that subsequent languages are learnt in relation to the mother tongue (syntax; pronunciation etc).

    Learning styles and strategies these differ greatly. E.g. some respond well to visual presentation, some to active involvement, some to detailed explanation and so forth. In primary school teaching people talk about mulit-sensory teaching, particularly for children with learning difficulties, but this multiple approach is likely to reach more students than a single approach, at whatever level the learner.

    Psychological factors can be related to learning styles and match or mismatch with teaching styles; they can also affect or derive from motivation

    Motivation covered in Antonio Arboledas presentation, but affects learners success or otherwise.

    Cognitive processes must allow for reorganisation of existing knowledge, for the gradual progression from understanding a rule, to being able to use it in language drills, to using it spontaneously in free language production.*Grammar-Translation method outdated even when I was at school in 1960s, but still widely used when I first started teaching in 1970s.

    Direct method (i.e. teaching solely through exposure to target language) not effective in SLA since parameters in the learner are set for L1 values. Greatly in vogue some years ago, but research shown that ability to learn this way lost by age of about 3 when parameters learnt. Oral fluency may be good, but grammatical accuracy very poor.

    Communicative LT language of instruction = TL. Again leads to good oral competency, but tends to lead to poor mastery of language structure and narrow range of competency. Dogmatic use of TL can lead to negative affective factors e.g. stress, frustration.Sometimes referred to as PPP - Presentation/practice/production

    Form-focused = focusing on grammar and syntax. Can sometimes be at expense of meaning and therefore general fluency may be compromised.

    Task-focused. New, variant of much vaunted EBL -> setting students tasks in groups.

    Encourages greater learner autonomy necessary for successful language acquisition. But can lead to uneven oral development, and competency can be structurally or lexically limited. Fails to take much account of cognitive views of language learning. Not necessarily a sufficient condition of SLA by itself*So what principles can we glean from the foregoing:

    Students need to be in charge of their own learning Students can learn from or with each other If students have varying learning styles they need varying teaching styles A mix of methodologies may be the best approach

    This mix of methodologies should provide a focus on form within meaning-based instruction: taking account of need to explain and teach a grammatical rule. However rule should be presented within a meaningful context. If authentic texts can be used all the better but very difficult to find one that covers a particular grammatical point with sufficient examples hence the need for drills that often use isolated sentences which is far from ideal.

    *This has been a race through some of the theories and methodologies that have been in use over the decades, and of the insights gained from SLA studies, namely

    Studies show that Formal instruction speeds up the language acquisition process Explicit instruction more effective than implicit Drills followed by contextualised, freer use are useful Regression is normal with U-shaped development where performance is likely to be particularly variable: i.e. learners apply rule effectively during drills > when presented with examples in context the rule is forgotten (bottom of U-shaped curve) > learners gradually learn to apply rule autonomously and in context

    *This book covers the different language teaching methodologies, their strengths and weaknesses, with a regular sections for reflection and lessons for the classroom.*One point from each group to share with whole group (use postits to share ideas).*There are a number of constraints that may restrict your teaching style and lesson planning*Signposting is a vital tool as part of the planned lesson structure.The why of signposting learner involvement and autonomy

    Beginning Any link from previous session?What are objectives of this session?End Follow-up tasks? Preparation for next session?

    Signposting for whole module Is progression clear in module documentation?Is preparatory and / or follow-up work explicit in module documentation?*Difference between aims and objectives not always clear.One interpretation = What are you aiming to achieve in this seminar? (objectives) How does it fit in the programme of study for the module as a whole over the semester / year? (aims)Another way of looking at it: Aims =what am I aiming to cover in this seminar? Objectives = what do I want the students to be able to do at the end of it? Also sometimes referred to as outcomes; progression important here. You need to be aware of progression and the way your lesson facilitates it; students need to be able to perceive progression to increase satisfaction and motivation.

    Timing You should plan your lesson down to the minute. But need to be flexible if need arises. There are various elements for which you will always need to allow time.

    How will you present / practice / maybe test each element of the class

    Allow for different learning styles by mixing individual, group and whole class work. Remember students can learn from and with each other.*Be flexible:In language of instruction be prepared to mix English where comprehension of e.g. grammatical point is crucial, but resist temptation or persuasion to revert to English as principal language;In timing and work covered