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Learning outside the classroom. Richard Watson Todd King Mongkut’s University of Technology Thonburi http://arts.kmutt.ac.th/call/doc/outsideclass.ppt. Why learning outside the classroom is important. Time Differences between language inside and outside the classroom

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learning outside the classroom
Learning outside the classroom
  • Richard Watson Todd
  • King Mongkut’s University of Technology Thonburi
  • http://arts.kmutt.ac.th/call/doc/outsideclass.ppt
why learning outside the classroom is important
Why learning outside the classroom is important
  • Time
  • Differences between language inside and outside the classroom
  • Promoting lifelong learning
  • Lack of evidence for effectiveness of classroom learning
some relevant issues
Some relevant issues
  • Motivation for learning
  • Resources for learning
  • Tasks for learning
  • Focus of learning
motivation for learning
Motivation for learning
  • Is the learner studying an English course?
    • If no, autonomous learning
    • If yes, does the teacher assign work outside class?
    • Is the learner free to choose what work to do?
resources for learning
Resources for learning
  • Is the situation EFL or ESL?
    • If ESL, can the learner use the community or the family?
  • Are learning resources (e.g. self-access) available?
  • What media can the learner access?
tasks for learning
Tasks for learning
  • What skill does the learner want to improve?
    • If speaking or writing, how can the learner gain feedback?
    • If reading or listening, should the learner engage in open-ended or closed-ended tasks?
  • Students prefer to focus on receptive skills in outside-class learning (Hyland, 2004)
focus of learning
Focus of learning
  • Does the learner intend to practise English?
  • Does the learner want to engage in meaningful use of English?
2 examples
2 examples
  • Homework
  • Autonomous CALL
  • Motivation: teacher assigns work
  • Resource: usually paper-based exercises
  • Task: usually to complete closed-ended practice exercises
  • Focus: specific language points
summary of research into homework
Summary of research into homework
  • 4 main types of homework (Freiberg and Driscoll, 2000)
    • rehearsal (repetitive practice)
    • preparation (e.g. pre-reading)
    • review (transfer of skills to new situations)
    • integration (e.g. project work)
summary of research into homework1
Summary of research into homework
  • Actual use of homework (North and Pillay, 2000)
    • Teachers perceive main purpose of homework as practice
    • Teachers most commonly assign grammar practice exercises
summary of research into homework2
Summary of research into homework
  • Consequences of standard homework practices (Calzoni, 2003; Warwick and Jeffrey, 2003)
    • Students find homework one of the least enjoyable aspects of courses
    • Students especially dislike practice exercises
    • Students believe homework does not help their learning much
summary of research into homework3
Summary of research into homework
  • Directions to improve homework (Cole and Chan, 1987; Stern, 1997)
    • Homework should encourage reflection
    • Teachers need to plan homework carefully
    • Teachers must give feedback on homework
    • Students should be involved in deciding on homework
summary of research into homework4
Summary of research into homework
  • Homework, parents and the community (North and Pillay, 2002; Lazear, 2000; Stern, 1997)
    • Teachers rank involving parents with homework as a low priority
    • However, parents should be involved, especially in applying school learning to real situations
    • Parents can help with space and time for homework
    • Parents should be supportive, not competitive
    • Where possible, homework should be integrated with the community (e.g. NGOs, visits to museums, factories etc.)
summary of research into homework5
Summary of research into homework
  • Innovative homework practices (Stern, 1997)
    • Integrating homework with what students want to do
      • Analysing camera angles while watching a TV concert
      • Comparing TV soap operas with real life
        • (e.g. no-one goes to the toilet, no swearing)
conclusions about homework
Conclusions about homework
  • Reduce reliance on grammar practice
  • Assign innovative tasks
  • Involve students and parents in homework
autonomous call
Autonomous CALL
  • Motivation: learner works voluntarily
  • Resource: CALL resources
  • Task: Internet, CMC
  • Focus: meaningful English use
types of call
Types of CALL
  • Multimedia CALL software
  • Language exercises on the Internet
  • Knowledge resources on the Internet
  • Computer-mediated communication (CMC)
  • (cf. Linder, 2004)
characteristics of call
Multimedia software and Internet exercises




Internet resources and CMC




Characteristics of CALL
teachers assignments of call
Teachers’ assignments of CALL
  • Teachers want learners to focus on English
  • Teachers want learners to acquire specific language points
  • Teachers assign multimedia software and Internet exercises
learners autonomous use of call
Learners’ autonomous use of CALL
  • Learners want to fulfill real-world tasks
  • Learners want to focus on content
  • Learners use Internet resources and CMC
conclusions about autonomous call
Conclusions about autonomous CALL
  • If learners are learning autonomously, they will focus on meaningful content-oriented CALL
  • Will learners learn any English from this?
how to learn outside the classroom
How to learn outside the classroom
  • If homework consists of innovative tasks not focused on language practice,
  • and if autonomous CALL is content-focused,
  • then how can we be sure that learners will learn anything?
types of autonomous learning
Types of autonomous learning
  • Self-instruction: learning is deliberately planned
  • Naturalistic learning: unintentional engagement with English and incidental learning
  • Self-directed naturalistic learning: learners seek naturalistic situations that can help English learning
  • (Benson, 2001)
types of autonomous learning1
Types of autonomous learning
  • If self-instruction, learners may engage in language-focused tasks
  • For all types of autonomous learning, learners are more likely to engage in content-focused tasks
  • Still need to consider how to promote language learning in content-focused tasks
theories of learning
Theories of learning
  • Child development theories (e.g. Piaget)
    • Not relevant to older students
  • Classroom-oriented theories (e.g. scaffolding, data-driven learning)
    • Not relevant to autonomous learning
  • Traditional broad theories (e.g. behaviourism, constructivism)
    • Learners need feedback (problem with open-ended tasks)
learning orientations
Learning orientations
  • Attention, noticing, awareness
    • Language learners need to:
      • pay attention to input
      • pay particular attention to whatever aspect of the input is of special concern
      • look for clues to why English speakers say what they say
      • if a generalised principle cannot be identified, focus on specific instances in specific contexts
    • (Schmidt, 1995)
applicability to autonomous learning
Applicability to autonomous learning
  • Exposure to language is not sufficient
  • Attention and noticing can help learning
  • Noticing is possible without a teacher
  • BUT is noticing innate or is it learnt?
  • If it is learnt, do teachers need to train learners in noticing to promote lifelong learning?
  • How can such training be conducted?
guidelines for noticing
Guidelines for noticing
  • Use checklist of questions to guide noticing of new language
    • Where did you see/hear the new language?
    • Who wrote/said it to whom?
    • What happened before it was shown/said?
    • What happened afterwards?
    • What do you think the new language means?
    • (Adams, 2001)
conclusions about learning outside class
Conclusions about learning outside class
  • Need to consider learners’ motivations, available resources and tasks, and learning focuses
  • Teacher-assigned learning should lead towards autonomous learning
  • Tasks should be open-ended, meaningful and content-focused
conclusions about learning outside class1
Conclusions about learning outside class
  • Parents should be involved
  • Teachers can help students prepare for autonomous learning by promoting attention and noticing