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Effective English Teaching. Janneke Geursen Onderwijscentrum VU Amsterdam j.geursen@ond.vu.nl. Nationaal Congres Engels 2011. What works ?. Use of the target language Making use of knowledge about learning - addressing prior knowledge meaningful tasks Repetition Reflection.

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effective english teaching

Effective English Teaching

Janneke Geursen

Onderwijscentrum VU Amsterdam


Nationaal Congres Engels 2011

what works
  • Use of the target language
  • Making use of knowledge about learning
  • - addressingprior knowledge
    • meaningful tasks
    • Repetition
  • Reflection
use of target language monologic vs dialogic discourse
Use of target languageMonologicvsdialogicdiscourse
  • Monologic discourse: IRE pattern

(Nystrand 1997)

    • Teacher asks question: initiates
    • Student responds
    • Teacher provides evaluation
  • Dialogic discourse (Dyste 1993)
    • Teacher asks authentic questions
    • Teacher realises Uptake: he uses the answers

pupils give him to further the discussion

    • Teacher realises high level evaluation: the feedback the teacher gives leads to deeper learning

Laura Hermans, e.a. Engels spreken op school? Waarom gebeurt het zo weinig (LTT, 2004, te downloaden via Ltsite)

bloom s taxonomy

Hoger orde

Lager orde


vs. Ebbens

Leren gericht op wendbaar gebruik:

Creatief toepassen

Leren gericht op beklijving:


Leren gericht op beheersing

Onthouden en begrijpen

task 1 little red riding hood
Task 1: Little Red RidingHood
  • Note down three questions you might ask your students about this fairy tale

inviting Dialogic Discourse

  • Try them out on another pair
how the brain learns











working memory


term memory







How the brain learns

Source: David Sousa (2002) - How the Brain Learns

the importance of prior knowledge
The importance of prior knowledge
  • John was on his way to school last Friday
  • He was really worried about his maths lesson
  • Last week he was unable to control the class
  • It was unfair of the math teacher to leave him in charge
  • After all, it is not normally part of a janitor’s duties.
  • (original source unknown)
task 2 making good use of our pupil s brains
Task 2: makinggooduse of ourpupil’sbrains?

Look at the following task

Write a biography for your favourite popstar. You may find the information you need in an encyclopedia, a magazine or on the internet.

Adapt the task to

  • make it more meaningful
  • Include a prewriting task
  • Make sure “repetition” takes place (Westhoff’s pinball machine)

“You cannot change what you cannot acknowledge” Dr Phil Mc Graw

Het is belangrijk om…

  • aan te sluiten bij voorkennis en ervaring;
  • kennis in grotere gehelen aan te bieden;
      • lerenden te laten reflecteren

How People Learn

Brain, Mind, Experience, and School

John D. Bransford, Ann L. Brown, and Rodney R. Cocking, editors

National Research Council, 1999

Now look at the questionnaire you completed

at the beginning. What can you add in the

column “Insights gained”?