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The Place of Embodied Learning Activities in the English Classroom. Marcello Giovanelli January 2013. Sadness is down Emotions are objects Emotions are movements Emotions are physical states (warm = good; cold = bad) Seeing is touching Seeing is understanding

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the place of embodied learning activities in the english classroom

The Place of Embodied Learning Activities in the English Classroom

Marcello Giovanelli

January 2013

slide2

Sadness is down

  • Emotions are objects
  • Emotions are movements
  • Emotions are physical states (warm = good; cold = bad)
  • Seeing is touching
  • Seeing is understanding
  • Life is a physical surface (good = smooth; bad = rough)

I was waiting at the station feeling a little down as I had some heavy issues on my mind. But I was looking forwardto seeing my friend and going out that evening. I saw a man at the other end of the platform. He had an icy stare. He walked over to me. His eyes were continually on me. He stopped and told me he was a Spurs fan. I could now seewhy he was sad: he was clearly having a rough time of it too.

embodied cognition
Embodied Cognition
  • Thought and speech use our experience of physical movement and the body’s interaction in space to explain the abstract
  • The whole body’s role in perceiving and learning to make sense of the world
slide4

Climbers stated that a hill appeared steeper when wearing a backpack

  • Students holding a warm drink rated an imaginary person as more friendly than those who were given a cold drink to hold
  • Participants were more likely to remember a positive experience when pushing marbles up a ramp than rolling them down
  • People imagined object rotations more quickly when they could physically rotate an object with their hands
  • Children who practised reading a passage whilst manipulating figurines to mirror the actions in that passage were better at recalling events from new passages they subsequently read
  • Participants responded ‘yes’ faster to the question ‘is it possible to squeeze a tomato?’ when they had their hand formed into a closed grip rather than a flat palm
structure
Structure

A) Some fundamental principles behind a cognitive approach to teaching aspects of grammar, structure, and meaning in the context of the English classroom

B) Illustration of some ideas for and examples of teaching ‘complex topics’

a fundamentals
A: Fundamentals
  • Embodied cognition
  • From the physical to mental conceptualisation
  • Image schemas
  • The pedagogy of embodied learning activities: teaching through movement
orientational metaphors
Orientational metaphors

HAPPINESS IS UP

SADNESS IS DOWN

stand
Stand

Retaining a position

  • We must stand our ground
  • He stands for freedom
  • I can’t stand that music

Becoming more visible or prominent

  • She’s standing in for Paula today
  • She stands out in a crowd
  • He’s a teacher of real standing

Standing up

image schemas
Image schemas

meaning structures

STAND

image schema
Image Schema

He went into the room

PATH

TR LM

CONTAINER

He was in the room

image schemas1
Image Schemas
  • Are not ‘images’ but analogue representations
  • Are multi-modal
  • Are inherently meaningful
embodied learning activities
Embodied Learning Activities
  • Approaches to learning that deliberately use the body to engage with abstract concepts
  • Make use of the body’s capacity to make explore and make sense
  • Rely on the notion of embodiment

‘since meanings develop from concrete bodily experience........it makes sense if pedagogical sequences do also’ Holme (2009: 22)

elas in the english classroom
ELAs in the English Classroom
  • L2 vocabulary and grammar teaching (e.g. Holme 2009)
  • Halliday’s (2002) ‘grammatics’: using grammar to think with
  • Grammar as ‘meaningful’
slide20

You must not enter

  • You cannot buy tickets here
  • You may now open the window
  • You can sing really well
  • You will be fined
  • You might win
slide22

REMOVE CONSTRAINT

ABLE

COMPULSION

BLOCK

slide23

You must not enter = COMPULSION

  • You cannot buy tickets here = BLOCK
  • You may now open the window = REMOVE CONSTRAINT
  • You can sing really well = ABLE
  • You will be fined = COMPULSION (certainty)
  • You might win = ABLE (perhaps?)
epistemic
Epistemic

>>>>may>>>>will>>>>must

Arsenal might win>>>Arsenal will win>>>Arsenal must win

LESS CERTAIN MORE CERTAIN

deontic
Deontic

>>>>may>>>>ought to>>>>must

He may go>>He ought to go>>He must go

PERMISSION OBLIGATION NECESSITY

slide26

BLOCK

He mustn’t be the one I was thinking of

modality in written discourse
Modality in written discourse
  • Your vehicle must either be taxed…
  • You may not be able…
  • …will not be committing..
  • You must keep your vehicle off the road
  • You must declare your vehicle
  • You could be fined £1000
  • …you could be fined and sent to prison..
  • You must display the tax disc
taking it further
Taking it further
  • Each force schema could be explored in turn to identify degrees of modality along a continuum. For example, are there some modal constructions (and therefore texts) which present greater degrees of ‘compulsion’?
  • Explore modal lexical verbs (e.g. permit) and modal adjectives/adverbs (possible/possibly) to produce a more detailed analysis of the kinds of power inherent in modalised expressions in a text
  • Ask students to ‘rewrite’ or ‘re-act’ texts which rely on modal constructions, replacing them with either stronger/weaker modals or non-modalised expressions. A comparison of the two should give further insight into the role of modality.
  • Find and analyse texts where modalised expressions occur with other dominant features such as imperative sentences. Ask students to collect examples of texts and consider how these language features combine to create particular effects.
slide38

Structuring one thing through another

  • Understanding the abstract through the physical
slide39

Politics = sport (football)

Politics = physical activity/struggle

Politics = physical violence (victims)

Politics = battle

Politics = sport (boxing)

Politics = journey

slide40

Politics = sport (football)

SOURCE DOMAIN

(FOOTBALL)

Players on a pitch

Kick footballs around

Footballs are passive

Players take the glory

It’s a ‘game’

Provides a structure for understanding

Mapped onto

TARGET DOMAIN

(POLITICS)

Politicians

Voters

Power

Rewards

Consequences

slide41

Politics = sport (football)

Players on a pitch

Kick footballs around

Footballs are passive

Players take the glory

It’s a ‘game’

Provides a structure for understanding

Politicians

Voters

Power

Rewards

Consequences

slide43

GOOD IS UP; BAD IS DOWN

  • GOOD IS MOVEMENT; BAD IS STASIS
  • COUNTRIES ARE PEOPLE
  • POLITICS IS AN OBJECT
  • IMMIGRATION/FINANCIAL DEFICITS ARE BARRIERS
  • CHANGE IS ACTION
exploring metaphorical mapping
Exploring metaphorical mapping
  • Take one metaphor
  • Identify source and target domains
  • Explore what attributes are being mapped across
  • How is metaphor used as a structuring device?
taking it further1
Taking it further
  • Rewrite (re-act) making the source domain more ‘up front’ (e.g. write the Frank Dunne text as a football commentary)
  • Script and perform an advertisement to emphasise the embodied nature of abstract ideas
a model for using elas
A model for using ELAs
  • Set up deliberate embodied activities
  • Ask students to consider the role of the physical in the structuring of meaning
  • Discussion of ‘patterns of experience’ and ‘patterns of meaning’
  • Synthesis of learning and theoretical
  • Interpretation and testing
wider implications pedagogy
Wider implications: pedagogy
  • Generative and functional dominance
  • Hammond and Macken-Horarik (2001): 69% of teachers thought that functional grammar would be useful in supporting the teaching of writing; 6% felt confident to use it in their teaching
  • Watson (2012): competing ‘grammar discourses’
  • Giovanelli (2010, 2012): a ‘cognitive grammatics’ in the secondary classroom (text world theory)
wider implications the classroom
Wider implications: the classroom

In traditional classroom situations, students are seated, often in individual desks, and often all facing the front of the classroom. This....leads to the restriction of many forms of expression’ (Close et al. 2010)

references and further reading
References and further reading

Close, E.W., Close, H.G., McKagan, S.B. and Scherr, R.E. (2010) ‘Energy in action: the construction of Physics ideas in multiple modes’ , 2010 Physics Education Research Conference. AIP Conference Proceedings, Volume 1289, pp. 105-108.

Evans, V. and Green, M. (2007) Cognitive Linguistics: An Introduction, Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press.

Gallagher, S. (2005) How the Body Shapes the Mind, Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Giovanelli, M. (2010) ‘A text world theory approach to the teaching of poetry’, English in Education 44 (3), 214-31.

Giovanelli, M. (2012) ‘Text world theory and the teaching of reading and writing’, Paper delivered at National Association for the Teaching of English Conference, York.

Halliday, M. (2002) ‘On grammar and grammatics’ in J. Webster (ed.) On Grammar: Vol 1 of the Collected Works of MAK Halliday, London: Continuum: pp. 384-417.

Hammond, J. and Macken-Horarik, M. (2001) ‘Teachers’ voices, teachers’ practices: insider perspectives on literacy education’, Australian Journal of Language and Literacy, 24 (2), 112-132.

Holme, R. (2009) Cognitive Linguistics and Language Teaching, Basingstoke: Macmillan.

Johnson, M. (1987) The Body in the Mind: the Bodily Basis of Meaning, Imagination and Reason, Chicago, IL: Chicago University Press.

Lakoff, G and Johnson, M. (1980) Metaphors We Live By, Chicago, IL: Chicago University Press

Lakoff, G. and Turner, M. (1989) More than Cool Reason: A Field Guide to Poetic Metaphor, Chicago, IL: Chicago University Press.

Mandler, J. M. (2004) The Foundations of Mind: Origins of Conceptual Thought, Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Scherr, R., Close, H., McKagan, S. And Close, E. (2010) ‘’Energy theater’: using the body symbolically to understand energy’, 2010 Physics Education Research Conference Proceedings,Volume 1289, pp. 293-296.

Ungerer, F. And Schmid, H. (1996) An Introduction to Cognitive Linguistics, Longman: London.

Watson, H. (2012) ‘Navigating ‘the pit of doom’: Affective responses to teaching ‘grammar’, English in Education 46 (1), 21-36.