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TKT Unit 27

Using language appropriately
by

Rafa Marqui

on 28 September 2012

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Transcript of TKT Unit 27

photo credit Nasa / Goddard Space Flight Center / Reto Stöckli Using language appropriately for a range of classroom functions. Classroom functions are the purposes for which we use language in the classroom. These functions are many and varied, for example explaining and instructing. For each classroom function there are different exponents we can use. The choice of exponent depends on the learning context and purpose, the learners’ needs, their age and level. When we choose language that is right for the situation and our audience, we say that we use language appropriately. How do we use language appropriately for classroom functions? Express your idea with spoken grammar Getting learners’ attention. Stand up, Adam. Stand up, Evi.
The teacher is getting the learners’ attention at the beginning of the sequence. The teacher wants everyone to listen and wants Adam and Evil to stand up. There are different times in a lesson when we need to get the learners’ attention. We usually keep these utterances short, and very often teachers develop their own exponents for getting attention with their different classes.
Instructing. Ok, Adam will ask and Evil will answer. (line 1) /read this one. (line 2)/ look at Adam. (line 5)/Brenda, look at Shona. (line 11)/Look at each other when you ask questions. (line 16)
The teacher gives learners instructions throughout the teaching sequence: before they start, during the activity (the instructions at this point are about non-linguistic behavior) and at the end as a reminder.
Modelling. Welcome (line 13) /May I borrow your pencil, please? (line 15)
The teacher models (gives a clear example of the target language) at two points in this teaching sequence. It is important, when we model language orally, that we say only what we want learners to repeat, as the teacher does here.
In this teaching sequence the modeling is oral. We also model language in writing. We can guess that there is a written model on the board in this teaching sequence as the teacher says read this one.
Encouraging and instructing. Now come on, Evil, (line 5)/Brenda, a bit louder. (line 15).
Learners are often lacking in confidence and shy about speaking in front of the class. We can encourage them by using language which makes them feel positive about what they can do and which reduces their level of anxiety.
Nominating Oh er, Shona (pause) and (pause) Brenda (pause). (line 8)
This is just one example of nominating (choosing and naming one learner to speak or do a particular task) in this sequence. We use learner’s names for a number of reasons, for example to get their attention, to make them feel we know who they are, to make sure that different learners answer.
Prompting a learner to continue. Come on, Shona, ask… (lines 8-9)

Prompting (helping learners think of ideas or remember a word or phrase or what to do) can sometimes be quite similar to encouraging. When we prompt we provide words, phrases, ideas or even time to help the learner continue or remember what to say. This means we sometimes leave our utterance unfinished for the learner to finish it for us, as in this example. There is a range of different exponents for each classroom function. The exponents that teachers choose depend on the context, age and language level of the learners and the formality or informality of the teaching situation. The exponents that teachers use must always be appropriate for the situation.

Examples for eliciting:

Kyoko, please?

Answer, please?

What’s number four?

Can anyone tell me the answer to number four? Most of the time, teachers are able to communicate their message successfully to the learners using the target language, accompanied by gestures where appropriate. However, in some situations, particularly with young learners and with beginner or elementary learners, it may be necessary for the teacher to use the mother tongue or L1 from time to time. These situations include: • Problems with discipline

• Possible injury or danger to a learner.

• Looking after a learner.

• Repeating instructions in L1 after they have been given in the target language.

• Checking understanding of more abstract vocabulary.
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