Making Instructional Language Comprehensible
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Making Instructional Language Comprehensible in a Language Immersive Environment – Effective Instructional Strategies for Foreign Language Teaching Indiana University-Bloomington. Ai-Chu Ding, Literacy, Culture and Language Education Jui-Hsin Hung, Literacy, Culture and Language Education

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Making Instructional Language Comprehensible in a Language Immersive Environment

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Making instructional language comprehensible in a language immersive environment

Making Instructional Language Comprehensible

in a Language Immersive Environment

– Effective Instructional Strategies for Foreign Language Teaching

Indiana University-Bloomington

Ai-Chu Ding, Literacy, Culture and Language Education

Jui-Hsin Hung, Literacy, Culture and Language Education

Shuya Xu, Instructional Systems Technology


Importance of target language input

Importance of Target Language Input

  • Using only the target language to create a language immersive environment is said to maximize the effectiveness of learning the target language (Larsen-Freeman, 1985; Lightbown, 1991; Liu, 2008; Turnbull, 2001).

  • American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Language (ACTFL) has also recommended that “language educators and their students use the target language as exclusively as possible (90% plus) at all levels of instruction during instructional time and, when feasible, beyond the classroom” (Crouse, 2012, p.24).

  • In terms of foreign language learning, the language classroom may be the only time students are immersed in the target language.

  • In multilingual classrooms, language teachers have no choice but use the target language as the sole communication mode in class.


Input hypothesis krashen 1982

Input Hypothesis (Krashen, 1982)

  • Language is only acquired through understanding messages or by receiving comprehensible input

  • Learners need to receive input which is a bit higher than their current level or stage of language competence

  • Exposing learners to extensive periods of comprehensible TL input will ensure mastery of the target language


Immersion strategies strategies for teachers to stay in tl

Immersion Strategies-Strategies for teachers to stay in TL

  • Hard Scaffolding (Brush and Saye, 2002)

    • Classroom management

    • Content delivery (grammar, vocabulary, activity etc.)

  • Soft Scaffolding (Brush and Saye, 2002)

    “dynamic, situation-specific aid provided by a teacher or peer to help with the learning process” (p.2).

    • Communication Strategies ( Chen, 2006; Dörnyei, 1995)

    • General Content delivery strategies


Research questions

Research Questions

  • What are some teaching strategies currently used by language teachers for staying in the target language? What are some other strategies for increasing target language input that have not been used by language teachers?

  • How do language teachers perceive the effectiveness and feasibility of the proposed strategies that were identified from the literature?


Research methods

Research Methods

Participants:

  • Convenience sampling

  • 6 college-level Chinese instructors


Research methods1

Research Methods

Data Collection:

Stage 1: Semi-structured teacher interviews

& Teaching Observations

Stage 2: Developed a list of 32 immersion

strategies & an online tutorial

Stage 3: Semi-structured follow-up interviews


Research methods2

Research Methods

Data Analysis

  • Grounded Theory

    • Open coding

    • Unit of Analysis: Sentence level

  • Reliability

    • Data triangulation

    • Investigator triangulation


Making instructional language comprehensible in a language immersive environment

RQ 1: What are some teaching strategies currently used by language teachers for staying in target language? What are some other strategies for increasing target language input that have not been used by language teachers?


Strategies used by teachers results from 1st interview

Strategies Used by Teachers – Results from 1st Interview


Most frequently used strategies reported as being regularly used by all 4 teachers

Most Frequently Used Strategies(Reported as being regularly used by all 4 teachers)

  • Setting the stage from day one

  • Borrowing or code switching

  • Controlled vocabulary and idioms

  • Controlled sentence length and complexity

  • Modeling, giving examples and demonstration

  • Body language and gestures

  • Minimizing the time spent on grammar explanation

  • Guiding students from more simple to more complex responses


Frequently used strategies reported as being regularly used by 3 out of 4 teachers

Frequently Used Strategies(Reported as being regularly used by 3 out of 4 teachers)

  • Establishing classroom routine

  • Pacing

  • Comprehension check

  • Repetition

  • Slower speech rate

  • Fostering a classroom culture that values communication and accuracy more than prescriptive rule

  • A written form of procedural instruction in L1


Least used strategies reported as never used by more than 3 teachers

Least Used Strategies(Reported as never used by more than 3 teachers)

  • Classroom decorations and arrangements

  • Starting the class with learning objectives

  • PACE (presentation, attention, co-construction, extension) model


Discussion new strategies emerged

Discussion – New Strategies Emerged

  • “Detail level of lesson plan”

    • - Script questions and predict possible answers

  • “Warm-up to practice old content”

    • - Incorporate old content into informal chat & initiate a Chinese-speaking mode

  • “Scaffolding the context”

    • - Provide cues & avoid explaining in L1

  • “Error correction by rephrasing or recasting”

    • - Model correct use & avoid explaining rules

  • “Avoid responding to students’ question in L1”

    • - Prepare the mind set for unplanned events


Making instructional language comprehensible in a language immersive environment

RQ 2:How do language teachers perceive the effectiveness and feasibility of the proposed strategies that were identified from the literature? What factors affect their perception towards the effectiveness and feasibility of proposed strategies?


Classroom management

Classroom Management

  • Establish classroom routinesand classroom decorations and arrangement: More frequently perceived as effective

    • Semi-circle seating arrangement

    • The use of it might be limited to the rooms assigned

  • Set the stage from day one and establish a reward system: Perceived as less effective

    • Sign a language pledge on the first day with a punishment or reward system


Communicative strategies

Communicative Strategies

  • Borrowing/code switching, literal translation, and question downwards mentioned more frequently as effective

  • Circumlocution: One of the least effective strategies because most questions asked in class were predetermined


Delivery of instruction

Delivery of Instruction

  • Six strategies:

    • Controlled vocabulary and idioms

    • Controlled sentence length and complexity

    • Modeling

    • Giving examples and demonstration

    • Minimize the time spent on grammar explanation

    • Guiding students from more simple to more complex responses

    • Concept definition map

  • The role of the current program curriculum and the nature of the class in teachers’ perception of strategy effectiveness

    • e.g. Start the class with learning objectives, and activity types and numbers


Discussion

Discussion

  • 1. Many of the strategies were perceived as effective

  • 2. Discrepancy from previous research: Acting out, PACE model, and rephrasing

    • Acting out: student age and teacher preference

    • The PACE model: Time constraint

    • Rephrasing: More suitable for higher proficiency levels

  • 3. Circumlocution: Seldom used, if do, “exemplification” will be the one to use.

  • 4. When perceiving strategies as ineffective…

    • May provide misleading information

    • Inappropriate to use in the current context and setting

    • Time constraint

  • 5. Some communicative strategies could be included in future teacher training

  • program


Making instructional language comprehensible in a language immersive environment

Thank youAi-Chu Ding [email protected] Hung [email protected]@indiana.edu

Q & A


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