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A Case Study of Application of TBLT to Teacher Training Presenters: Hiromasa Tanaka (tanakahi@eleal.meisei-u.ac.jp) Yoshifumi Fukada (fukada@eleal.meisei-u.ac.jp) Affiliation: Meisei university Address: 2-1-1 Hodokubo Hino-city Tokyo 191-8506 Japan

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a case study of application of tblt to teacher training

A Case Study of Application of TBLT to Teacher Training

Presenters: Hiromasa Tanaka (tanakahi@eleal.meisei-u.ac.jp)

Yoshifumi Fukada (fukada@eleal.meisei-u.ac.jp)

Affiliation: Meisei university

Address: 2-1-1 Hodokubo Hino-city Tokyo 191-8506 Japan

issues in the teaching practicum courses at meisei university
Issues in the teaching practicum courses at Meisei university
  • Strong anxiety for taking practice teaching
  • Insufficient English knowledge
solution of the issue
Solution of the issue
  • Establishing a task-based teacher training project named Meisei Summer School Project (MSSP)
    • One target task:

to teach English to students at risk.

    • Three pedagogical tasks to accomplish:

(1) discussing how to manage their classes including the

size of class and teaching styles to use

(2) developing class curriculum/lesson plans

(3) peer monitoring and evaluation in rehearsals

participants of the project
Participants of the project
  • Teachers: The Meisei university students
    • Undergraduates from the first to fourth year
    • Graduate students (Masters degree)
    • International volunteers (2005~)
  • Students
    • Elementary school students: 4th grade (2005~); 5th / 6th grades (2004~)
    • Junior high school students: 1st / 2nd grades (2002~); 3rd grade (2003~)
    • Adults (2005~)
  • Two faculty members
    • Hiromasa Tanaka (Initiator of the project)
    • Yoshifumi Fukada
ethnography of the task based teacher training project mssp
Ethnography of the Task-Based Teacher Training Project (MSSP)
  • Foci of this ethnographic study
  • how the participants learned through preparation process
  • how the participants learned in actual teaching period
  • what the participants learned throughout the whole project
the data collection period for the ethnographic study
The data collection period for the ethnographic study
  • 1st MSSP (6 days: July 28 – August 2, 2002)

Preparation period (About 2 months: Late May – July 27)

  • 2nd MSSP (6 days: July 28 – August 2, 2003)

Preparation period (About 2 months: Late May – July 27)

  • 3rd MSSP (6 days: August 2 – August 7, 2004)

Preparation period (About 2 months: Late May –August 1)

  • 4th MSSP (6 days: August 1 – August 6, 2005)

Preparation period (About 2 months: Late May – July 31)

research techniques used for the data collection
Research techniques used for the data collection
  • Observation:
      • General meetings
      • Teaching-teams’ group work at the university
      • Their lessons (Videotaped)
  • Informal interview:
      • During their group work
      • During the individual meetings with each teaching team
  • Questionnaire:
      • During both the first and second MSSP.

Triangulation

1st pedagogical task discuss how to manage their classes
1st Pedagogical task: Discuss how to manage their classes
  • Adoption of Team-Teaching (T.T.)
    • Formation of teaching groups:
      • 3~5 undergraduates/graduate Ss in each group
      • 1 main teacher + Teaching Assistants (TAs)
    • Teaching based on collaboration .
2nd pedagogical task collaborative development of curriculum lesson plans in groups
2nd Pedagogical Task: Collaborative development of curriculum / lesson plans in groups
  • About two months of preparation for their lessons
    • Each group of students started to work seriously on it about 16 days before their classes started.
    • Each student spent 17 hours and 51 minutes on average for group meetings on campus during the last 2 weeks of preparation.

* In the 4th MSSP, Meisei Ss started working with the int. volunteers on July 24.

topics discussed in group meetings
Topics discussed in group meetings

(1) The flow of lessons:

“We talked about lesson plans. We tried not to have gaps between lessons. We tried creating lesson plans which are consistent with each others.” (Miki)

“…we talked a lot about the way of proceeding the lessons and the time allocation for each activity.” (Yoshihei)

(2) The content of class activities:

“Teaching materials / games we use in the class.” (Risa)

“The goal of the lessons and their contents. Rules of the lessons.” (Hiroto)

(3) Pedagogy to be used in their lessons:

“We discussed how we can give lucid explanations to students, or which points we should spend more time with when teaching a class.” (Risa)

“We discussed teaching techniques to entertain students, and to catch their attentions to the lessons.” (Yuka)

  • They `developed class curriculum together` and `created teaching materials together` in the meetings.
3rd pedagogical task monitoring and evaluating lessons in rehearsals
3rd Pedagogical task: Monitoring and Evaluating lessons in rehearsals
  • 1st / 2nd MSSP: Encouraged Ss to rehearse their lessons at least one time.
  • 3rd MSSP: Imposed all Ss on rehearsing their lessons at least one time.
  • 4th MSSP: Imposed all Ss on rehearsing their lessons at least two times.
feedback ss received from other ss and faculty members in the rehearsals
Feedback Ss received from other Ss and faculty members in the rehearsals

(1) About appropriate ways of talking / attitude as a teacher:

“You had better talk a little bit more friendly. Be more confident”

(Takuto)

“Talk louder, with appropriate tempo/speed.” (Shigeyuki)

(2) About the pedagogy / teaching techniques used in the practice

teachings:

“It’s better to include pattern practice more.”(Hiroto)

“The teaching should not be one-way, but interactive. Have more

conversations with students.”(Takeshi)

  • These comments they received were concrete and particular.
  • These comments were helpful to improve their lessons / teaching techniques.
the target task teach manage their classes
The target task: Teach / manage their classes
  • Four types of T.T. techniques frequently used by S groups:

Type1: Covering main teacher’s insufficiency in teaching

experience and English skills/competence

Example1.

Kenji (Main T.): (Writing on the blackboard) Oh, I forgot the spelling of `statue`. (puzzled face)

Noboru (T.A.): (Standing by the blackboard, he

immediately write the word down for him).

slide14
Type2: Creating lively environment in a classroom

Example2:

Yuta (S1): (Hesitating to answer a question from the main T.)

Yoshihei (T.A.): Ok, you can do it, Yuta!

Example3:

Akiyoshi (T.A.1), Rie (T.A.2), Mami (T.A.3): (Give big

applause every time when students could write down a correct

answer on the board.)

slide15
Type 3: Maintaining the environment where students can

concentrate on their study in the classroom

Example 4.

To make space for playing a game, the main T., all T.A.s, and some

Ss spontaneously moved desks and chairs to the wall.

Example 5.

S1: (He tells the main T.,Yoshihei that he cannot see the board with reflection of sun light)

Yoshihei (Main T.): Sorry, you cannot see the board with reflection of light.

Mutsumi (T.A.1): (Being attentive to the Main T./the S, she goes to the window to close a curtain)

S1: (He can see the board clearly, and starts concentrating on the class)

slide16
Type 4: Giving intensive support to the weak students in the classroom

Example 6:

Yoshihei (T.A.1): (While doing an activity, he asks a question for a student

sitting next to him) Teacher, he (the S) created one question, but where should he write it down on the handout?

Example 7:

Hiromi (Main T.): (Checking on the answers of a practice quiz) S1, what’s the answer of this question?

S1: (Looking at the question, she tries but is having a trouble with getting the correct answer.

Yoshihei (T.A.1): (He, who was standing by the S1, comes to her and gives her some advice.)

S1: (With the support from Yoshihei, she got the correct answer.)

what ss have acquired through the task based teacher training project
What Ss have acquired through the task-based teacher training project
  • Growth as teacher
  • Knowledge of English
  • Sense of responsibility
  • Sense of empathy
  • Self-esteem
  • Communication skills
  • Intercultural communication skills
1 growth as teacher acquisition of knowledge and skills required to become teachers
(1) Growth as teacher: Acquisition of knowledge and skills required to become teachers

Realization of students’ diversity in a classroom:

“All students in a classroom are different. Some students have high English skills, but others don’t. Some students are very talkative and talk about things which are unrelated to class activities, but others are very quite. Every student is so much different…” (Serika: Questionnaire)

Realization of the way of dealing with the diversity:

“Because each student’s personality is different, I learned how to improve/elicit his/her good points. In fact, some students were very quiet the first two days, but they started to talk a lot with enthusiasm when I talked to them from my side. I felt so happy when their attitude changed.” (Nami: Questionnaire)

slide19
Teaching techniques acquired through the teaching of classes:

“Before calling on each student, I flung the whole class a question, and had them think the answer.” (Hiroto: Questionnaire)

“I explained each grammatical point not using grammatical terminologies.” (Yukiko: Questionnaire)

“I used oral approach (pattern practice) and some other techniques in my class.” (Naoto: Questionnaire)

“I learned that the words used in example sentences should be all common to Ss. I also learned that Ss won’t be able to understand terminologies such as be-verb and third-person, so I need to paraphrase them with other basic words. (Mutsumi: Questionnaire)

“I learned that praising on Ss leads them to get confidence / enthusiasm in learning English. I also learned that, even if our lessons did not proceed as we scheduled, we would be able to deal with it by preparing some extra class activities.” (Yukiko: Questionnaire)

2 knowledge of english
(2) Knowledge of English

Vocabulary/Expressions:

“When I ask questions to Ss about pictures I show, I need to say, “What is this?”, not “Who is this?”” (Itsuko: Questionnaire)

“I could enrich my English vocabulary.” (Sayaka: Questionnaire)

English Grammar:

“I learned why we write the word, “I” in a capital letter all the time.” (Serika: Questionnaire)

“I figured out the rules for the way of changing verbs into past tense or ing form.” (Sayaka: Questionnaire)

“I could increase the knowledge of prepositions.” (Yoshihei: Questionnaire)

“I learned a lot about articles.” (Yukiko: Questionnaire)

“I learned the rules of changing nouns into plural forms.” (Nanae: Questionnaire)

Pronunciation:

“I learned the significance of pronunciation. I hadn’t paid much attention to pronunciation, but I noticed its importance through the preparation of the lessons.” (Naomi: Questionnaire)

“I learned the significance of pronunciation...” (Naoto: Questionnaire)

3 sense of responsibility
(3) Sense of responsibility

“I decided to participate in the project just because it sounded fun to teach classes, but now, I realized that how much responsibility I had as a teacher on the project. I felt I had to complete my tasks as a teacher steadily.” (Sayaka: Questionnaire)

“I could acquire strong courage to complete tasks on my own responsibility no matter how difficult they are to complete.” (Yukiko: Questionnaire)

slide22

(4) Sense of empathy: The ability to feel, think, act, and perceive the world from the other person’s point of view (Tamura, 1992)

“I noticed that if a teacher feels qualms about his/her own teaching, students also become uneasy. I felt I needed to be more confident in myself.” (Serika: Questionnaire)

“I became able to take things from the students’ viewpoints. I noticed that when I explain things in my lessons, I need to do it in the way my students can understand.” (Aya: Questionnaire)

slide23
Shota (a student) won an English game in Akiyoshi (the main

teacher)’s class. Akiyoshi promised him to bring some takoyaki food

as a prize the last day of the class. However, Shota had a fever and

could not attend on the class the last day. When preparing for the

closing ceremony, Akiyoshi and other undergraduates in the team-

teaching group came to the faculty members and said that they would

like to hand over the takoyaki food and a diploma of MSSP to him.

Akiyoshi said, “Shota would be pleased if we bring him the takoyaki because he was very looking forward to eating them.”

When the faculty members agreed with the idea, they spontaneously

called the Shota’s mother and went to see him by train after the closing

ceremony. (Fieldnotes)

5 self esteem
(5) Self-esteem

“I found that if I take actions, things march up. I realized I also can do it. I found that there was something that I can do.” (Hiroto: Questionnaire)

“I got confidence in myself. I felt so happy when students learned things from my lessons. It was so nice to be able to contribute to the students.” (Nami: Questionnaire)

“Tsugumi (her team member) has changed. She is so much different, now. She grew up.” (Motoko: Fieldnotes)

6 communication skills to build good relationships with others
(6) Communication skills to build good relationships with others

Communication skills required to establish good

relationships with other team members:

“I became able to work on a project collaborating with other members.” (Hiromi: Questionnaire)

“I found that we can get various new ideas through the talks with other team members.” (Katsumi: Questionnaire)

slide26
Communication skills required to establish good relationships with their students:

“Each child is different, so we need to know each student’s character well. Through the contact with various types of children, I acquired good interaction skills. (Tatsuki: Questionnaire)

“I learned how to communicate with my students. By having a lot of conversations with them, they would trust and like us. Students would get confidence and also get enthusiasm by praising them. … Understanding each student’s personality, specialty, and interest would be the key to establish close relationships with students. Many children in their age are assertive. By listening to each student’s assertion, we would be able to get trust from them.” (Yukiko: Questionnaire)

7 intercultural communication skills
(7) Intercultural communication skills

The meisei university students had many opportunities to communicate with international volunteers invited from various countries in the process of preparing and teaching their lessons.

implications of the project
Implications of the project
  • Incorporating a task-based teacher training project like MSSP into a teaching practicum course will help students fix what they have learned in the classroom and acquire skills/characters indispensable for becoming teachers.
  • In case students feel anxious about their knowledge and teaching skills, adoption of T.T. would be effective.