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Learning English while Doing Art. Rebekah Sidman-Taveau, ESL Coordinator/Lecturer, SFAI. Myths. To improve your English: you must receive systematic instruction in a language class your English a teacher must break down the grammar concepts for you

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Learning English while Doing Art

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learning english while doing art

Learning English while Doing Art

Rebekah Sidman-Taveau, ESL Coordinator/Lecturer, SFAI

  • To improve your English:
    • you must receive systematic instruction in a language class
    • your English a teacher must break down the grammar concepts for you
    • you must devote hours studying ESL textbooks and repeating exercises
we ve come a long way
We’ve come a Long Way
  • Behaviorism
  • Learning is a system of behavioral responses to physical stimuli. Learning requires reinforcement, practice, and repetition
    • Transmission oriented views of learning, learning as passive
    • Break down content into parts and sequence by difficulty
  • Constructivist Learning theory
    • Learners play an active role in the construction of their own knowledge
    • Motivation, Anxiety, Strategy Use, and learning styles have an impact
    • The use of different mediational means like the visual arts helps us to reflect upon concepts (Socioconstructivist theory) (Vygotsky, 1978)
  • (Fostnot, 1996; Reagan, 1999)
  • People learn best when they are motivated and engaged
  • A memorable moment can be as powerful as phrases repeated a hundred times
  • As artists in an art school in the U.S. ESL students at SFAI are in a great situation for learning relevant English skills
learn english while doing art
Learn English while Doing Art
    • Utilize memory strategies
    • Take advantage of memorable moments
    • Interact with what you want to learn
    • Have fun, get silly, enjoy the sounds
    • Practice active listening
memory and language learning
Memory and Language Learning

Kids Versus Adults

  • Kids – higher memory capacity, less inhibition, constant exposure to L1
  • Adults – lower memory capacity, more inhibition, less exposure to L2
  • What to do? Make use of Authentic resources, be childlike – curious and uninhibited- and practice memory strategies
memory strategies
Memory Strategies

Help to store and retrieve information

  • Mnemonics
  • CARE
    • Creating Mental Linkages
    • Applying Images and Sounds
    • Reviewing Well
    • Employing Actions
memory strategy creating mental linkages
Memory Strategy: Creating Mental Linkages
  • Grouping – photography terms, painting terms
  • Associating elaborating – learn groups of words “Block buster exhibition” and associate them with others, “block buster movie”
  • Placing new words into a context – create and take down sentences rather than simple definitions, draw a picture, or tell a story.
memory strategy applying images and sounds
Memory Strategy:Applying Images and Sounds

Use Imagery – visualize in your mind or make a drawing a picture of an object, or a mental representation of the letters of a word (IPA)

Use Keywords- auditory and visual links. “potage”/pot, Minnesota/mini soda

Represent Sounds in Memory- itch, knee, sun, ski, go ,rock (to remember numbers in Japanese). “Brat” Russian for (brother)

visual auditory link example
Visual/Auditory Link: Example

North (never)

West (worms) East (eat)

South (soggy)

memory strategy reviewing well
Memory Strategy: Reviewing Well
  • Spiraling – reviewing at gradually longer intervals
  • Put what you have to learn into a song
  • Move (gesture, jump, etc) as you recite or practice
  • Make rhymes
    • Le petit chat gris qui faisait pipi ca maman lui dit ce n’est pas poli.
memory strategies employing action
Memory Strategies: Employing Action
  • Physical Response or Sensation
    • Physically act out a new expression – dabbing the canvas, broad strokes on the canvas, relate to a sensation
    • Move around words and phrases: Paint words big and small, photograph words, doodle with words, put words on note cards or in notebooks
memorable moments
Memorable moments
  • Pain, engagement, laughter, embarrassment, excitement, surprise, disgust, anger –emotions may contribute to your English language learning

Necessity is the mother of invention! You will learn what you need. Doctors visits, administrative tasks, errands, or even arguments are all great opportunities for learning language.

interact to learn
Interact to Learn

Proven Vocabulary building Method

  • 1. Say it (visualize the sound)
  • 2. Define it
  • 3. Find a synonym or antonym
  • 4. Make a meaningful sentence or draw a picture
have fun get silly enjoy the sounds
Have fun, get silly, enjoy the sounds
  • Listen to the radio in your car or while doing something else imitate the speaker
  • Copy an American you know
  • Pay attention to rhythm and stress during boring lectures
  • Choose an expression a day
  • Choose one TV show and watch it regularly
active listening
Active Listening
  • EASEL: Engage, Anticipate, Summarize, Evaluate, and Learn
  • Take notes – Put unknown words in left column or underlined. Choose 2 a day to “interact with” (see slide 15)
  • The world is your language classroom
  • Be strategic
  • Never underestimate a boring moment!