Thursday, October 24, 2019

English as a Foreign Language Essay

The resources chosen for this exercise are a song and a series of related pictures. The pictures are images that contain science fiction-like elements which would be of interest to this elementary group within the demographic of 20 to 45 years. The lesson created for the students using these materials appeals to the development of their aural receptive skill, as the song lyrics contain many shorter phrases and sentences and phrases that students of that level are likely to be able to understand. It therefore combines audio with visual stimulation in order to create a greater impact of the students’ learning capacity. Objective: The students will function in an English-speaking role by become a member of the audience for an authentic aural experience. This reflects an attempt to move away from the Grammar Translation Method (Brown, 2000, p. 16). The students are expected to be able to understand the lyrics contained in the song with the help of several scaffolding exercises. Students will experience the reinforcement of words, phrases and grammatical constructions that have previously been taught. They will also learn new words and phrases, as well as observe authentic ways in which native English speakers sometimes bend the rules of Standard English. The reinforcement activities used in the lesson (repetition, scrambling, etc. ) will aid the production skill of speaking as it allows the hearer the opportunity to try to say the word or phrase and the repetitions done within the song (chorus/refrain). They will give the student opportunities to try and retry pronunciation until perfection is achieved. Rationale: 1. The interest of the students in music is expected be piqued by the lead-in exercise. It aids them by capturing and keeping their attention fixed on the task. Because â€Å"a complex task such as language learning involves [all methods] of learning, from signal learning to problem solving,† this task seeks to stimulate the students’ faculties so they are prompted to use all their resources (visual, aural and reasoning skills) to figure out what happens in the song (Brown, 2005, p. 91-92). 2. Students are asked to look at the pictures being generated and create an order for the story in order to keep their minds on the task and engaging their interest in it. It also gets them thinking about the possible vocabulary related to the topic. The students are given the chance to make predictions about the story in an effort to encourage their speech in English the translation of ideas into a language other than their native one. When they have practice translating their own thoughts into English, it makes each successive attempt to do so easier. This task also focuses on visual reception. 3. This task focuses on aural and visual reception, as the teacher says the name of the objects as he/she shows its picture. However, the task also aids oral production in that it identifies and unites the visual representation of the word in print with the sound it has when a native speaker uses it. This is as opposed to learning vocabulary in isolation, as according to Ausubel, â€Å"people of all ages have little need for rote, mechanistic learning† (qtd. in Brown, 2000, p. 63). The pictures act as a method of scaffolding via which the students are able to better understand (or learn) the words being spoken. 4. The pre-teaching exercises have laid the foundation and now facilitate the gathering of the gist of the song in its first playing. The scrambling of the lyrics acts as a means of scaffolding these elementary learners and helps them to know what they are to listen for. This is done so that students are able to get the broad understanding during the first viewing, and this frees them to listen for details in the second listening. It also gives them a chance to use new words and phrases they may have picked up during the exercise and aids in the clarification of details that students might have misunderstood. 5. Students are required to read various sentences and phrases of the song in order to reinforce their ability to speak the language and to make predictions about grammar and diction. It also gives them a chance to say the word in the way a native would pronounce them rather than adhering too closely to a phonetic representation of the words/phrases. It also gives them the opportunity to query new words or phrases they heard in the film. Repetition of the song also reinforces listening comprehension, especially as it regards hearing the details. Later, the collaborative listening and speaking (in pairs) allows the students to pool their resources in constructing a coherent English reconstruction of the lyrics. This gives students a chance to learn from each other. It puts the language even more into the context of social interaction—building on the idea that â€Å"language is behaviour, that is, a phase of human activity that must not be treated in essence as structurally divorced from the structure of non-verbal human activity† (Pike, 1967, p. 26). The activity also gives them practice speaking the language to each other and prepares them informally for their oral presentation assignment. 6. The oral presentation is focused specifically on the oral aspect of using the English language. The students are expected to put their own thoughts together in the form of a story and translate their ideas into an English medium. In this way, they are encouraged to speak the language so that native and non-native speakers will be able to understand. Because this part of the lesson is an extension, it allows them to use some of the words and phrases they have learned in the lesson. 7. The flexi stage of the lesson also provides the students with the collaborative help that will enhance their ability to express themselves. Because they have a choice in what they present, their interest is likely to be sustained (Brown, 2000; Scrivener, 2005). The assignment also allows them the time and freedom to locate new words and phrases that will aid their articulation of their ideas. This also encourages learning of new English words, phrases and grammatical constructions. The task also provides a means of productive discussion and extension without overwhelming the students. References Brown, H. D. (2000). Principles of language learning and teaching. White Plains: Pearson Education. Pike, K. (1967). Language in relation to a unified theory of the structure of human behavior. The Hague: Mouton Publishers. Scrivener, J. (2005). Learning Teaching. New York: MacMillan.

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