sábado, 20 de junio de 2009

The ability of teaching vocabulary in the language classroom

It is a hard job to find interesting activities to introduce vocabulary items in the language classroom. Certainly, the teacher's job is to select appropriate material in order to carry out with it. Books in general suggests a number of techniques or proceddures where the teacher can find how to deal with vocabulary.
As regards my own teaching experience I should say that I've been looking for different strategies to introduce vocabulary to my students and I have selected a variety of activities from the book and from others that allows the learners to acquire lexical sets sometimes difficult to understand. Sometimes the course book is no enough so it is necessary to look for other proccedures as regards vocabulary. The book I am working with my students this year is called Adventures Elementary, Oxford University . This book suggests differents techniques to deal with vocabulary. The use of pictures at the beginning of each unit give the learners the opportunity to connect them with their own reality, Then the different sections also shows drawings to show actions or phrases that the learners will apply through
different activities. Decoding messages through symbols is another activity of showing how this book introduces vocabulary: The learners by looking at a symbol that represents different letters decode a word hidden. Matching activities is also another activity that students will develop by using this coursebook. Last but not least, a wide variety of completion exercises such as oguefill in the blanks, use the words in the box to complete a text or mini dialogues, or choose the correct word is what this book offers.
Naturally, this is not enough when you present new vocabulary lexical sets through diagrams or mind maps is also useful to the learners because it allows them to develop their
own knowledge. When recycling new vocabulary presented the use of crosswords and different sources from different books is also relevant in the language classroom: Students need to be exposed to language 2 as many times as posible and the idea of giving them different effective strategies and variety of methods that will help the learners to cope with words, in this case the teacher's job is to encourage students in using them and to introduce some of them through teaching.

Originally posted on July 10, 2008

jueves, 11 de junio de 2009

miércoles, 13 de mayo de 2009

Pair work and group work in the communicative classroom

THE COMMUNICATIVE APPROACH to language teaching involves the use of language through different communicative tasks. Interaction among learners should be relevant because it provides a basis for language acquisition. Pair work activities give the learners the possibility of communicating, negotiating meaning and keeping conversations through different variety of activities such as reading each other's work or working on a short dialogues or short tasks that allow the learners different opportunities for practising the language. This approach allows the learners work in their own productions and discuss on their own work, depending on the learner's level.

As far as group work is concerned, role play activities as well as different communicative tasks or proyect in which learners work cooperatively as a team, will give them the opportunity to discuss, reflect upon their work as a team, and also share different opinions. Learners need to be motivated enough to carry out differnt communicative tasks. By doing this, it's the teacher's job to select a wide range of activities, select appropriate material, guide students and encouraging contributions in the part of the learners in order to develop a communicative lesson successfully.

(from Learning English in the language classroom, By Tricia Hedge Chapter 2 Question 6 Option a and b)

Facing a new group of students

When I start teaching a group of adolescents for the first time, I try to make them feel confident with the language by assigning them activities that follow a communicative purpose.
Language must be presented as a tool that links second language with their own world. The idea of introducing themselves for the first time is a good activity to be carried out since they have the opportunity to use second language as well as the use of simple sentences through questions such as: "May I go to....?" or "what's the English for", will encourage the learners to use L2.
As teachers our main aim is to allow learners to become better communicators.

Motivation play a crucial role in the development of the class, since it helps students to lower their affective filter and feel confident with the language. It's the teacher's ability to select different learning strategies in order to encourage the learners to adopt a different attitude towards a second language.

(From Learning English in the language classrrom By Tricia Hedge, Question 2)