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Teaching Across Proficiency Levels
Transcript of Teaching Across Proficiency Levels
Elicit student-student conversations with a purpose.
Do not become frustrated. (If you don't have patience, go and get some!) 1. Students' Cognitive Learning Processes 1. Students' Cognitive Learning Processes Defining Proficiency Levels Proficiency Levels range from 0 (unable to function in the spoken language) to 5 (speaking proficiency is functionally equivalent to that of a highly articulate, well-educated native speaker). 0, 0+, 1, 1+, 2, 2+, 3, 3+, 4, 4+, 5 Detailed descriptions of each level can be found on page 111 of your text. The ACTFL (American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages) Students are highly dependent on the teacher.
"keep the ball rolling!"
Partner and group work
At first, the teacher controls much of the classroom; overtime, students develop more control over classroom practices. 2. The Role of the Teacher 3. Teacher Talk Speak clearly and slowly, but not too slow.
You do NOT need to talk louder.
Use simple vocabulary.
* Rule of Thumb: Restrict classroom language to English, unless some distinct advantage is gained by the use of their native language, and then only for brief stretches of time. Exceptions include... 1. Negotiations of disciplinary or other management factors. 2. Brief descriptions of how to carry out a technique. 3. Brief explanations of grammar points.
4.Quick pointers on meanings of words that remain confusing after students have had a try at defining something themselves.
5. Cultural notes and comments. 1. Students' Cognitive Learning Processes 4. Authenticity of Language Simple greetings and introductions.
Utterances limited to short, simple phrases.
Use language in authentic or "real" situations. 5. Fluency and Accuracy Focuses on short utterances only. (words/phrases)
Focus on particular grammatical, phonological, or discourse elements that are being processed.
Important to be sensitive to students.
Only make corrections when necessary. 6. Student Creativity Ultimate goal of learning a language is to be able to comprehend and produce unrehearsed situations, which demand both receptive and productive creativity. 8. Listening and Speaking Goals Use uncomplicated language.
Meaningful and authentic communication tasks.
Students are limited more by grammar, vocabulary, and length of utterance than by communicative function. 10. Grammar Simple verb forms, personal pronouns, definite and indefinite articles, singular and plural nouns, and simple sentences.
Progression of grammatical topics goes from simple to complex.
Teachers should teach by example. 9. Reading and Writing Goals 2. The Role of the Teacher Class is more student centered and controlled.
Teacher is no longer the initiator of language.
Students are encouraged to ask questions, make comments, and negotiate options when appropriate.
Increased level of student-students interaction.
Learner-centered work is now possible.
Students are able to complete tasks independently or with a group/partners. 7. Techniques (activities, procedures, tasks) Choral repetition/ drilling is appropriate at this level.
Teacher initiated questions. (dominate)
Simple students initiated questions. *Check out the "Scope and Sequence Chart" on pages 120-123. Reading and writing topics confined to brief but real-life written material.
Reading: advertisements, forms, and recipes.
Writing: forms, lists, simple notes, and letters. * It is very important to consider each student's literacy level in his or her native language when teaching reading/writing. Automatic processing has taken hold
Phrases, structures, and conversational rules have been practiced and are increasing in number.
The mental processes of communication are starting to automatize.
"hard drive" 5. Fluency and Accuracy Some students are critical of mistakes.
Others may slide into a "self-satisfied rut" in which they become quite fluent but difficult to comprehend. * Don't set equal expectations for all students since abilities at this level can vary widely! 3. Teacher Talk Teacher talk should not occupy the major proportion of class time.
Give students the opportunity to talk and practice speaking. 4. Authenticity of Language Don't allow students to become overly concerned with grammatical correctness. *Keep students on track! * Be on the lookout for these types of students! Fluency exercises (saying or writing a steady flow of language for a short period of time without any self or other-correction at all) * Your task as a teacher is to maintain students' "flow" with just enough attention to error to keep them growing. 6. Student Creativity Interlanguage errors: These errors are a good indication of the creative application of a system within the learner's mind.
Try to recognize these as a positive sign of language development and internalization of a coherent system.
Students are becoming more capable of applying their classroom language to unrehearsed situations. "Does John can sing?"
"What means this?"
"I must to make a lot of money." 7. Techniques Increase in complexity.
Chain stories, surveys, polls, paired interviews, group problem solving, role plays, storytelling, and many more. 8. Listening and Speaking Goals Students can participate in short conversations, ask an answer questions, find alternative ways to convey meaning, and solicit information from others. * Functions used may not be intrinsically more complex, but the forms used are. 9. Reading and Writing Goals Skills increase in complexity in terms of length, grammar, and discourse.
Reading: paragraphs and short, simple stories.
Start to use scanning and skimming skills.
Writing: more sophisticated (short paragraphs and short stories) 10. Grammar Students benefit from small dose of short, simple explanations of points in English, similar to beginner level students.
Overt attention to "sore spots" in grammar can in fact be exceedingly helpful at this stage. Full spectrum of processing.
Gaining the confidence to create, form, and use language. * Focal attention may be given to the interpretation and negotiation of meaning and to the conveying of thoughts and feelings in interactive communication. 2. The Role of the Teacher Independence of students must be "cleverly channeled" into classroom routines.
Keep track of time! * As a teacher, YOU should assume a directive role in an advanced level ESL classroom. 3. Teacher Talk Use natural language at a natural speed.
Challenge students with your choice of vocabulary.
YOU should assume the role of a "provider of feedback." * For some students this is the last time they can benefit from instructional feedback on their language performance. 4. Authenticity of Language All forms of language become a resource for the classroom: academic prose, literature, idiomatic and conversations. 5. Fluency and Accuracy Most of if not all students should be fluent at this level. 6. Student Creativity Students are able to apply classroom materials to real contexts and beyond. 7. Techniques Students continue to scan and skim reading material.
Students are able to determine and question an author's intent in a written work, and they are able to write essays, responses, and critiques. Activities and Strategies include: group debates and argumentation, complex role plays. 8. Listening and Speaking Goals Students can focus more on sociolinguistic and pragmatic nuances of language.
Context of a conversational exchange: turn-taking, topic nomination and termination, topic-changing, and culturally conditional language constraints. 9. Reading and Writing Goals Students are closer to native-speaker competence.
Development of critical reading skills.
Understanding of the role of schemata in interpreting written texts.
Learn how to write a document related to one's profession (lab reports, records of experimental findings, etc.) Now YOU have the knowledge you will need in order to help your ELL's reach their highest level of English language proficiency! 10. Grammar Focus shifts towards functional forms of grammatical patterns sociolinguistic and pragmatic phenomena, as well as strategic competence. * Teachers should NOT take up class time talking about language and grammar; however, well-targeted deductive grammar has its place. Time to practice!