What does research say about written reflection?
Dear Diary, Guess what happened at work today?!
TIDBITS... For anyone out there in TEFL/TESLland who can benefit. My thoughts about learning and teaching English; as a foreign language, as a second language, to young learners, to adults, EAP, ESP and more.
Posted by ummahzy at 6:54 AM
Research shows that the organization of information into categories aids memorization.We tend to teach categorized vocabulary and Stop the Bus is an example of an activity I often use to revise such vocabulary.
What methods do you use to encourage students to categorise vocabulary?
Posted by ummahzy at 5:16 PM
How culturally competent are you? I suppose that my competence is limited to the cultures I’ve come into contact with teaching in KL. I found a quiz that excludes most of those cultures and is perhaps geared towards the current immigrant cultures found in the US. Think you’re competent? Click here to try the quiz then download the answers and check yours.Read More......
Posted by ummahzy at 3:35 AM
You know how to spell it, and I'm going to tell you the meaning, but I want you to know how to use it.
pronunciation: geno•cide (jen′ə sīd′)
part of speech: noun
definition: the systematic killing of, or a program of action intended to destroy, a whole national or ethnic group
etymology: Gr genos, race, kind (see genus) + -cide: first applied to the attempted extermination of the Jews by Nazi Germany
related forms: genocidal gen′o•ci′•dal (-sīd′'l) adjective
Posted by ummahzy at 8:14 PM
I met them for the first time beside the pool of their condo. There was a group of niqabis sipping Saudi coffee, eating sweets dripping with honey and chatting about the things that all women chat about. ‘Oh look, there’s Umm Abdullah’s American English teacher. She teaches Umm Abdullah’s boys for only two hours a day. Surely she’s got time for us to. She’s Muslim so we can have her come to our house and give us private lessons.’
Do you really think that niqabi women have different language needs from any other learner? Could a piece of cloth really be as powerful as that? When it comes to teaching them a language, from the perspective of the Muslim female teacher, the niqab is just that, a piece of cloth. In fact it is removed during the lesson so it is no longer a factor. From the perspective of male and non-Muslim female teachers, the veil can pose as an impediment since it can affect one’s ability to analyse pronunciation fully. However in terms of needs analysis, the niqabi student’s socioeconomic status is much more significant than her attire. Does she work, study, have kids, or have a maid? What does she need to use English for?
From my experience, needs analysis for a woman who wears a face veil will yield the same results as that of any other woman who dresses modestly. The veil does not necessarily signify a particular language need as far as I can see. Even under the veil you find a myriad of personalities, levels of faith, and educational goals. What determines the language need is her lifestyle, and language proficiency. Her previous language learning experiences come into play as do her current study habits, but in determining her needs, one needs to look beyond the veil.
Needs analysis is described by one dictionary of language teaching as “the process of determining the needs for which a learner or group of learners requires a language and arranging the needs according to priorities.” In addition, it states that needs analysis involves the examination of objective and subjective information. This assessment can be achieved through various means such as placement tests, surveys, interviews and observations.
My action plan:
Posted by ummahzy at 9:00 PM
Have you ever wondered what headwords were? Not the ones you find in a dictionary, but in the context of graded readers…
How is the proficiency level determined for graded readers?
“Graded readers are partly graded through vocabulary, and vocabulary level is identified by the use of headwords. Following the carefully designed grading guidelines, headwords are words within a level-appropriate list available to authors or adapters to use freely. Students at the appropriate level can be expected to be familiar with these words.” (from Oxford University Press FAQ)
There is a computer program called RANGE that categorises all the words in the text in order to determine the distribution of their frequency at given levels of English.
“The RANGE programme was developed by Paul Nation and Alex Heatley of Victoria University, Wellington. It can apply three distinct word lists, called Base Lists, to any text, and can sort the text vocabulary into three categories of headwords from each list, and a category of words outside all three lists, making four categories altogether. Headwords are defined here as the chief words in each word family, or group of words, coming from the same root, through not necessarily the same part of speech. RANGE can do this either by range across several texts, or by frequency within a text. It can also mark each word according to the category in which it falls. The Base Lists can be altered depending on requirements. The ones which come with the programme are the first and second thousand words from West's General Service List (West, 1953), referred to from now on as the GSL, and Averil Coxhead's Academic Word List, referred to as the AWL. “ (an excerpt from a paper which discusses the authenticity of graded readers)
You can find advice and suggestions on using readers in the classroom from OneStopEnglish here: http://www.onestopenglish.com/section.asp?docid=146513
Posted by ummahzy at 8:35 AM