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Teaching Across Age and Proficiency Levels

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You Wu

on 1 October 2013

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Transcript of Teaching Across Age and Proficiency Levels

Teaching Across Age and Proficiency Levels
Appreciating the importance of both age and proficiency levels as factors in designing lessons and courses;
Objectives (SWBAT)
Categorize different characteristics of learners across age levels
Identify the proficiency levels of the language learners according to the ACTFL standards.
Design detailed teaching methodology and approaches to accommodate language learners with different age, proficiency level.
Discuss and explain responses from online discussion.
Sticker Board
Teaching Across Age Levels
Discussion Leader Question
Why Crucial?
Understanding the characteristics of students across different age and proficiency levels.
1. Read the cards with characteristics of learners across age levels

2. Have a group discussion about how each card would fit into the three levels (children, adults, and teens).
3. Come up to the board and stick your card to the right category!
Which one of the five factors do you think is the most crucial regarding teaching across age levels? Why?
How would you approach the three age groups (children, adults, and teens) differently regarding this specific factor?
1. Intellectual Development
• Intellectual development is highly influenced by outside factors such as culture and at home environment. (Young)
• ... is the “meat” of what we are teaching. (Mallory)
Teaching Approach
... to “discovering” grammar rules rather than being explicitly taught the rules and structures (Mallory)

Young learners need to have tangible experiences before they are able to describe many things ... necessary to create background knowledge for young learners to draw from ... (Melissa)
2. Attention Span
Why Crucial?
The other factors besides attention span are actually complementary elements to the goal of extending the attention span (Eun)

To ensure the students’ efficiency in learning is to teach them within their attention spans (Qi)
Teaching Approach
Empathic approach and awareness: Think from a child’s perspective to plan accordingly. (Hiyun)

keeping up with the social trends ... in teaching students in their teens (Eun)

Adults: Choose content based on either extrinsic or intrinsic motivations (Qi)

3. Sensory Input
Teaching Approach
Why Crucial?
... the most crucial to consider in teaching different age levels because it is often neglected in teaching adults and teenagers (Carolyn)

Create activities ... to stimulate the five senses and attend to the different learning styles ...

• “Stir and Settle” activities
•... evoke authentic language use by putting them in situations where they need to use the target language
Associate words they had learned to what was tangible in front of them (Matthew)
4. Affective Factors
Why Crucial?
Teaching Approach
“Once a teacher, forever a father. ” (Sangyu)

1:1 teacher to student time (Catherine)
Formulate children’s ego: Avoid singling out any student even if he or she made some mistakes and correcting him or her in public (Sangyu)
Group work is a good way to go ... (Kimberly)
• "Level the playing field" (Kaitlin)
• Some students may possess higher self-esteem or self-confidence than others ... could be an asset in the classroom ... provide peer encouragement ... (Amanda)
5. Authentic, meaningful Language
Why Crucial?
Information is better-learned and retained if ... is personally relevant and applicable to one's life (Caitlyn)

Teaching Approach
... negatively influence affective factors if the language is not authentic or meaningful (Lauren)

... express themselves without worrying too much about getting stuck with forms. (Xiao)

... students have different priorities, goals and needs for language ... make sure that all of the material is meaningful and applicable to their lives (Caitlyn)

Watch and Match
1. Watch 4 video clips of 4 language learners across proficiency levels
2. Have a group discussion about how the language learners in the video clips fall into the ACTFL Standards.
3. Come up and present your results!
Teaching Across Proficiency Levels
Discussion Leader Question
Which one is the most inspiring? Why?
How would you approach the three proficiency levels (beginning, intermediate, and advanced) differently regarding this specific criteria?
Why Inspiring?
1. Students’ Cognitive Learning Processes
The student’s ultimate goal is to gradually process larger chunks of the incoming information and focus on the meaning and expression of thoughts through the use of language. (Hiyun)
Teaching Approach
The feeling of information-overload for beginners could be overcome by automatic processing ...
The concept of short-term and long-term memory: the forms of language can be stored in short-term memory with less attention, and the more genuine information of the language is stored in long-term memory which can be automatized and ready for use. (Hiyun)
Why Inspiring?
2. The Role of The Teacher
The proper role of a teacher will guide the student to be succeeded in learning a language while the wrong one may destroy it. (Xin)
Teaching Approach
Beginning: Teacher needs to be highly engaged ... repetition, phonics exercises, alphabet practice ... Gestures and body language are extremely important ... acting out or drawing something is a useful way of explaining something (Catherine)
Intermediate: Incorporate more student-centered activities (Melissa)
Advanced: ... more of a mentor/friendship level ... (Lauren)
Why Inspiring?
3. Teacher Talk
The input that students receive from the teacher is key in helping them to develop their listening and problem solving skills, discover new forms, and advance their own speaking ability (Caitlyn)
Teaching Approach
Beginning: Slow down the speed of speech, articulate clearly, and use only simple and specific tenses and word forms (Lauren)
Intermediate: Finding an even balance between speaking and translation is very trial-and-error (Young)
Advanced: Allow a significant amount of time for the students to produce the language ... provide them with appropriate doses of corrective feedback (Caitlyn)
Why Inspiring?
4. Authenticity of Language
... it draws attention to the teacher’s role in focusing on language in real-world contexts in the classroom while still accounting for students’ proficiency levels (Aldo)
Teaching Approach
Beginning: Language introduced such as greetings needs to be authentic and reflect the types of exchanges students will experience in “real” life.
Intermediate and Advanced: ... enable students to understand and participate in class without losing sight of the fact that students need to be challenged by the language they are both productively and receptively using in the classroom (Aldo)
Why Inspiring?
5. Fluency and Accuracy
If a harmonious equilibrium is not achieved between fluency and accuracy, a learner may encounter major obstacles in communicating in real life situations. (Eun)
Teaching Approach
Beginner: The content of your speech is always more important than how you deliver it. (Sangyu)
Intermediate: Make more corrections in their lexical and grammatical usage of the language in their utterances. (Eun)
Advanced: Get closer to the native speakers in terms of pronunciation, choice of words, and consistency of the conversation. (Sangyu)
Why Inspiring?
6. Student Creativity
... build the foundations to use the language outside the classroom ... (Matthew)
Teaching Approach
Beginner: Make up simple conversations using sentence patterns learned in class. (Xiao)
Intermediate: ... be given a little more leeway when issues relating to interlanguage surface (Kaitlin)
Advanced: Discussing metaphors and humor ... activities like creative writing, literary analysis, and storytelling ... blending language and culture ... (Mallory)
Why Inspiring?
7. Techniques (activities, procedures, tasks)
... help keep the class motivated and interested in the material, but if these techniques are too hard or too easy, they can make students bored and unresponsive in class. (Emily)
Teaching Approach
Beginning: Do some drilling or teacher-initiated questions first, followed by short, clearly defined group or paired activities
Intermediate: Group problem solving, role plays and paired interviews
Advanced: ... focus on the reasons why the students want to learn English
All of these activities should focus on peer evaluation and helping the students help each other, not just rely on the teacher. (Emily)
Why Inspiring?
8. Listening and Speaking Goals
Through meaningful and authentic communication tasks, many language functions can be achieved with very uncomplicated language. (Brown)
Teaching Approach
Beginning: Daily authentic dialogues between students with limited grammar and vocabulary focus.
Intermediate: Common interactive techniques including chain stories, surveys and polls, paired interviews, group problem solving, role-plays, story telling, etc.
Advanced: Pragmatic constraints are common areas needing work as students fine-tune their production and comprehension. (Brown)
Why Inspiring?
9. Reading and Writing Goals
... the interrelationship of skills, especially the reading-writing connection
... strongly related to a learner's native language proficiency other than his/her second language proficiency especially at beginning level (Brown)
Teaching Approach
Beginning: ... advertisements, forms, and recipes (Reading); forms, lists, and simple notes and letters (writing);
Intermediate: ... paragraphs and short, simple stories with skimming and scanning skills
Advanced: ... critical reading, the role of schemata in interpreting written texts, and writing a document related to one's profession ... (Brown)
Why Inspiring?
10. Grammar
... the feeling of mastery after finding something at least partially predictable or stable in your L2/3 etc. begets a sense of control that can extend to other aspects of comprehension and production. (Kimberly)
Teaching Approach
Beginning: ... find patterns in basic, survival-level grammar ...
Intermediate: An occasional deductive explanation; ... channel it into automatizing forms and focusing on meaningful communication
Advanced: Emphasizing student self-recognition and self-correction of errors; Speaking, exercises of recording and listening to dialogues may come in handy (Kimberly)
Students Profiles
1. See the one unique student with his/her special features and the theme of your teaching target.
2. Have a group discussion on how you will design a mini class for the student according to his/her age and proficiency level.
3. Come up and briefly share your plan and your reasons with us!
Proficiency Levels
(AFTCL Proficiency Guidelines)
Advanced High
Advanced Mid
Advanced Low
Intermediate High
Intermediate Mid
Intermediate Low
Novice High
Novice Mid
Novice Low

Manny Delgado
Age: 12
Proficiency Level: Beginning
Years of Learning English: Half a year

Teaching Theme/ Topic:
New Vocabulary: Food

(Goal, Objectives, Procedure, Equipment/ Material, Assessment)

Student Profile NO.1

Annie Brown
Age: 20
Proficiency Level: Intermediate
Years of Learning English: 2 years

Teaching Theme/ Topic:
New Vocabulary: Food

(Goal, Objectives, Procedure, Equipment/ Material, Assessment)

Student Profile NO.2
Full transcript