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Describing Learners

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Marianne Ancker

on 7 February 2014

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Transcript of Describing Learners

Describing Learners
Step 1
Presentation of MVAN and students
Name game

Debate in groups:
Why do you wish to teach?
Why do we teach English (EFL) in the Danish folkeskole?

Hot spot (MVAN)

Brain break
Young children (up to about ten and eleven)
Adolescents (from about 12 and up)
Adult learners
The learners
Pronunciation ability.
Critical Period Hypothesis (CPH) - second language learning occurs easily. Chomsky - Universal Grammar (UG) - innate instinct, ability to discover the underlying rules of a language system.

Ongoing discussions on whether or not the young children benefit from the EFL teaching.

The teaching may have great benefits in terms of citizenship, democracy, tolerance and intercultural competence. Linguistic?

Why do we teach English in the Danish Folkeskole?

The learners
respond to meaning even if they don't understand individual words.

often learn indirectly - that is they take in information from all sides, learning from everything around them rather than focusing entirely on the specific topic. (Media)

Their understanding comes not just from explanation, but also from what they see and hear and have a chance to touch and interact with.

find abstract concepts (grammar rules) difficult to grasp.

display enthusiasm for learning and curiosity about the world around them.

have a need for individual attention and approval from the teacher.

are keen to talk about themselves and respond well to learning that uses themselves and their own lives as main topics.

have a limited attention span.
The age of our students is a major factor in our decisions about how and what to teach.

Students of different ages have different needs, competences and cognitive skills.
Pay attention to

Much also depends on individual learner differences and motivation.
The classroom
bright and colourful
enough room for various activities: games, role plays, group work, drawing, producing things and physical movement.
mixes play and learning in an atmosphere of cheerful and supportive harmony.
The teacher needs
to provide lots of learning experiences. Information from a variety of sources.
to work with the students individually and in groups, developing good and affective relationships.
to plan a range of activities and be flexible enough to move on to the next activity when the students are bored.
to be able to pick up their students' current interests in order to motivate them.
good oral skills in English - speaking and listening are primarily used. Native/non-native speaker as a teacher?
good pronunciation skills - children imitate well.

Piaget (psychologist):

Vygotsky (psychologist): emphasised the place of social interaction in development and the teacher providing "scaffolding" to help a child who has entered the Zone of Proximal Development

Erik Erikson (psychologist and psychoanalyst):

and Abraham Maslow saw development closely bound up in the child's confidence and self-esteem.
children's development and the various ages and stages they go through.
The learners
problem students
search for identity
need for self-esteem
need to feel good about themselves and valued
extremely vulnerable to negative judgements of their own age group
discuss abstract issues
The teacher
provokes student engagement with relevant and involving material. (Digital media, web 2.0)
conscious of the students' need for identity.
language teaching should be linked to the students' everyday interests.
provide tasks the students are able to do.
provokes intellectual activity by helping them to be aware of contrasting ideas and concepts - with our guidance.
The learners
can engage with abstract thought.
life experiences
expectations about the learning process.
tend to be more disciplined and prepared to struggle on despite boredom.
conscious of why they are learning and what they want to get out of it.
motivation - successful learning - knowing what you want to achieve.
can hold on to a distant goal.
can be critical of teaching methods due to their previous learning experiences.
may have experienced failure or criticism - make them anxious and under-confident about learning a language.
The teacher
can use a wide range of activities because of the learners' experiences.
aware that their students can stick with an activity for longer than younger learners.
aware that boredom - disastrous effect on motivation.
uses indirect learning (reading, listening and communicative speaking and writing) and consciously learning when appropriate.
should try to minimise the bad effects of past learning experiences.
diminish the fear of failure by offering activities that are achievable.
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