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CONNECTION

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CONNECTION

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  1. CONNECTION Taeeun Kim SookMyung MA TESOL 1342768

  2. Introduction • This portfolio is to show my best work of teaching that I achieved in SookMyung TESOL MA. • Through this MA course, I could meet various theoretical backgrounds and it helped me build my own teaching philosophy. • Besides, I could build up practical teaching skills through “English in Acton” speaking class that I joined as an assistant teacher in MA course. • This portfolio would be used for my future career.

  3. Theme • Theme of this portfolio “Connection” Connected learning = meaningful learning : The contents of the lesson or teaching needs to make meaningful connection to something relevant to the target students.

  4. Type • Type of this portfolio “ Showcase Portfolio” : This portfolio would show not only my teaching philosophy but also best work of my teaching, which respect the connection mentioned before.

  5. Table of Contents • 1. Personal Background 1.1 Resume 1.2 Teaching Philosophy • 2. Description of course 2.1 Overview of the course • 3. Best work 3.1 Best lesson 1 3.2 Reflection 3.3 Best lesson 2 3.4 Reflection • 4. Action research • 5. Epilogue

  6. 1. Personal Background • 1.2 Teaching Philosophy There are several theoretical backgrounds as well as my previous teaching and learning experiences that affected my teaching philosophy. First, students’ position or perspective needs to be considered carefully in a class in my opinion. For example, I agree with Barr and Tagg’s notion (1995) that traditional English classroom needs to chance from teaching focused to learning focused. Teaching is not just delivering useful input and knowledge or controlling the class with various teaching skills but respecting students’ own goals or encouraging their active participation in the lesson. In order to have that student-centered environment, purpose of a class should emphasize not only quality of instruction or input but also quality of learning or students’ success outcomes. Besides, interaction between not only students and the instructor but also students and students in a class need to be considered. It can be supported by Vygotsky (2012) who argued that humans learn or internalize something through interaction with their social surroundings, such as family, teacher, or peers. Moreover, I think that the Lantolf’s idea (2000) that people can teach as well as learn from each other during social activity also makes sense since I could have experienced the cases a lot during my classes. Meanwhile, I also think that when it comes to assessment, it should also include learners’ position, such as analyzing their continuous growth instead of focusing on only end of course evaluation. Student – centered lesson

  7. 1. Personal Background • 1.2 Teaching Philosophy In order to apply the view mentioned above to my class, I usually distribute a survey at the beginning of the semester and try to have a student-centered lesson. For instance, after gathering each student’s expectations or goals about the course through a questionnaire or survey, I try to find the balance among them since there are more than 30 students with various levels as well as opinions in my class. Moreover, I try to have a student-centered class so that they need to answer to some questions or guess something by themselves and talk with their friends during the lesson. Even though my class is traditional style of English classes in a college, I attempt to do this since I believe that it is better to make them feel interest in English. For example, one of my students’ answer to the survey can also support this. She hopes that the class is not a teacher-centered lesson since she thinks that the class led by the teacher is boring. Student needs survey & level test

  8. 1. Personal Background • 1.2 Teaching Philosophy Second, finding some efficient materials or sources that fit students’ interests is needed. In other words, classroom materials or sources including teachers’ teaching skills need to elicit the students’ interests as well as learning effectively. To be specific, Schiefele (1991) claimed that the relationship between interest, motivation, and positive result of learning is quite strong as well as close. My previous learning experience can also support the view. For example, when I took a grammar class as a second language learner at a public institute before working as an English teacher, there was a great instructor who used various video clips of American TV shows or pop songs as sources for the lesson. It was the most interesting grammar class that I had never experienced since the teacher did not emphasize memorizing the grammar rule but encourage us to feel the information through listening or shadowing the actual language use. Besides, it was effective for me to remember the contents well. This was quite interesting for me so that now I also try to use interesting materials for my students, such as using examples related to the target students’ major or video clips about current social issues, celebrity gossip, or interesting movies. Interesting & meaningful class

  9. 1. Personal Background • 1.2 Teaching Philosophy Third, I think that continuous reflection on the class is an essential thing to have effective teaching as well as learning. For instance, according to Gimenez (1999), instructors as well as learners can find how the knowledge was actively acquired, used by teachers or the students, and what kind of circumstances or situations affected the acquisition through reflection. It can show that reflection would make the students as well as instructors find some points which need to be improved next time or other parts that were useful, which can result in effective teaching or learning. For example, I usually make my students give me some feedback about the lesson through doing a survey sometime during the semester or talk about it together in a class. Besides, I also try to reflect on myself right after each class or teaching. Overall, for the reasons mentioned above, I try to think of student-centered class, searching interesting teaching sources, and fostering the habit of reflection. Interaction & reflective teaching + learning

  10. 2. Description of course • 2.1 Overview of the course Overview of “English in Action” Speaking Class • A truly student-centered class which focuses on helping students build their global English speaking competence through interactive and transactional tasks. • The entire class is planned about having students perform real-world tasks designed and arranged according to the ACTFL Proficiency Guidelines. • Tasks are custom designed for the students in the class on the basis of a detailed needs analysis, so the students engage in tasks that not only interest them but which they also need to practice to improve their proficiency for use in the real world. • In this class the students will be generating large amounts of language that will be closely monitored by a cadre of trained teachers so that helpful feedback can be provided. • This is a special class. There will be several teachers in the class, all working to help the students. This is a great opportunity for students who really want to improve their English speaking skill, but there will be a lot of work and assignments. Please sign up for this class if you are serious about taking advantage of all the special opportunities we will give you for improving your English speaking proficiency.

  11. 2. Description of course • 2.1 Overview of the course Objective of “English in Action” Speaking Class • The main objective of this course is to give the students an opportunity to develop skills and strategies for increasing their global speaking proficiency in English. This goal, in effect, will also help the students to build the skills necessary for attaining a higher score on the ACTFL OPI and OPIC speaking tests. Both of these goals will be achieved through both in and out of class practice and development. • The focus here will be on skills related to spoken English, but other skills, such as reading, will also be used in the classroom and as part of the course. Students, therefore, should expect much of the in-class interaction to be based on speaking skills which will, based on such • exposure, undoubtedly improve.

  12. 2. Description of course • 2.1 Overview of the course Pictures of “English in Action” Speaking Class

  13. 3. Best Work • 3.1 Best Lesson 1

  14. 3. Best Work • 3.1 Best Lesson 1

  15. 3. Best Work • 3.1 Best Lesson 1

  16. 3. Best Work • 3.1 Best Lesson 1

  17. 3. Best Work • 3.1 Best Lesson 1

  18. 3. Best Work • 3.1 Best Lesson 1

  19. 3. Best Work • 3.1 Best Lesson 1

  20. 3. Best Work • 3.1 Best Lesson 1

  21. 3. Best Work • 3.2 Reflection • This lesson dealt with deeper level contents related to studying abroad. Students showed active responses to two videos used for stereotypes as well as cultural differences. (But when I asked some questions about one video called 'an average Asian man', such as what kinds of stereotypes were there?', students reaction was not that high even though they laughed and enjoyed the video during watching the video. I felt that I should have made them talk about the video as a group work instead of whole class work.) Besides, there were various chances for them to talk about their own experiences, such as talking about culture shock that they have experienced or their own stereotypes about people from different countries. Besides, when they did 'RaffaRaffa' game, they enjoyed the activity with active response or reaction as well. It was not only learning different culture but also having interaction as the people in the society so that they tried to figure out the other group's culture actively and tried to show their own culture successfully. They asked several questions to the leader group and they enjoyed the activity with positive reaction. Even after the activity, they shared their ideas about the other group's culture so that it looked meaningful.

  22. 3. Best Work • 3.2 Reflection • On the other hand, when they were confused about stereotypes and cultural differences, my explanation was not enough. Besides, when they did an activity about stereotype, my modeling was not there. (I did that for other activities but for the activity related to stereotype, I forgot that in some points). In addition, when we finished the whole lesson, it was needed to connect the whole activities to the major point that they need to think of cultural differences when they consider studying abroad but I did not mention that so I think some people can be doubtful about the reason for doing those activities dealing with cultural differences with the target function, comparison & contrast, and target theme, studying abroad. • However, overall class worked successfully.

  23. 3. Best Work • 3.3 Best Lesson 2

  24. 3. Best Work • 3.3 Best Lesson 2

  25. 3. Best Work • 3.3 Best Lesson 2

  26. 3. Best Work • 3.3 Best Lesson 2

  27. 3. Best Work • 3.3 Best Lesson 2

  28. 3. Best Work • 3.3 Best Lesson 2

  29. 3. Best Work • 3.3 Best Lesson 2

  30. 3. Best Work • 3.3 Best Lesson 2

  31. 3. Best Work • 3.3 Best Lesson 2

  32. 3. Best Work • 3.3 Best Lesson 2

  33. 3. Best Work • 3.3 Best Lesson 2

  34. 3. Best Work • 3.3 Best Lesson 2

  35. 3. Best Work • 3.4 Reflection • In this class, students focused on making their own stories related to interview context. The target students were interested in getting a job as well as job interview so that it could get their interest as well as attention easily. During the activities, they could personalize the topic a lot, such as preparing their own answers to the interview questions or finding characteristics of good narration from the video by themselves, and sharing their previous work experience as a group work. The activities were quite related each other so that the flow was smooth to handle with. Besides, students were interested in videos as well as pictures used for the day. Furthermore, they could use higher level language skill, narrative, and the topic was also interesting for them since there were a lot of seniors.On the other hand, there was not enough time for preparing their answers as well as brainstorming. Besides, modeling was not also there. Furthermore, when they needed to think of their answers to the unexpected interview questions, such as which hero do you want to be and what do you want to do, there were several students who were in panic since there was no modeling and they had hard time to think of the answers to them. Besides, there was so much pair work so that big sisters worked as not facilitator but participants. • However, overall, this lesson could be regarded as successful work.

  36. 4. Action Research 1. Introduction This research focuses on the influence of various types of materials on students’ engagement. For five intervention weeks, we set various types of materials; picture, video, sound bites, short article, and movie clips, for each week. This report finds out how students’ engagement can be improved by enhancing the variety of materials. 2. The Study 2.1 Profile of Students The students who are participating in English in Action Speaking class are university students in Sookmyung. Most of them have English related major, like English literature and TESL, although there are few who have majors in different field. Nearly half of the students (13 of 24) have advanced speaking level, and the other half (11 of 24) have intermediate level according to the interview result by ACTFL guideline (Table 1). They are in different grades, but most of them are seniors. 2.2 Classroom Context The class ‘English in Action Speaking’ proceeds in English. The purpose of the class is giving chances to improve students’ speaking level for preparing speaking proficiency test like OPIC. There are 24 students in the class and two classes per week, Tuesday and Thursday. For two hours in each class, students participate in the class which is made by graduate school students. During the class, all students have their own big sisters, as a facilitator or helper, to attend the class together.

  37. 4. Action Research 3. Problem Area 3.1 Needs survey & Speaking assessment First, according to needs survey showed in table 2 (survey question) & table 3 (survey result), our target students preferred movie clips, videos, pictures, sound-bites and short article. However, those materials have not been used in the class so that this action research would handle with them. Second, speaking assessment showed that target students’ speaking was around intermediate or advanced level but according to observation (Table 4), their overall engagement during the lessons needs to be developed. For example, they did not join some activities actively and felt bored. Even though, they have quite high level speaking skills, they seemed that they do not use the ability during the lessons well. We found that the reason or problem was because of the lack of variety of the given materials and this action research aims to address this issue.

  38. 4. Action Research 3. Problem Area

  39. 4. Action Research 3. Problem Area

  40. 4. Action Research 3. Problem Area 3.2 Issue of research This action research would focus on specific types of classroom materials which are not only authentic but also interesting for the target students (Table 3). For example, there are several types of classroom materials, such as textbook, workbook, cassette, CD-Rom, or handout worksheet (Tomlinson, 2012). However, a language classroom needs to emphasize more authentic as well as interesting classroom resources, such as movie clips or newspapers, which are not made for language teaching purposes. According to Tomlinson (2012), those kinds of authentic materials can provide exposure to real language as well as motivate learners effectively. Besides, in particular, among a lot of teaching materials, pictures, videos, movie clips, sound-bites, and short articles were selected as preferred class resources in the survey for our target students (Table 3). Kilickaya (2004) asserted that preferred task or type of materials needs to be considered carefully during the lesson since it can be more interesting for the target learners as well as stimulate their learning process. 3.3 Reflection The most common concern observed from teachers’ reflection was to find out how we can elicit the students’ active engagement effectively. For example, students did something else instead focusing on the activities (table 4). Furthermore, it seemed that at times, they were not that interested in the classroom materials. Besides they did not produce their speaking effectively by using various sources (table 5).

  41. 4. Action Research 3. Problem Area

  42. 4. Action Research 4. Research Question This action research would deal with one research question; “How can we improve students’ engagement by enhancing the variety of classroom materials?” In terms of the problem areas mentioned above, this research question was created to solve them. Besides, there are several theoretical backgrounds for setting this question as well. 4.1 Theoretical Backgrounds of the research question 4.1.1 Sociocultural theory Sociocultural theory (SCT) argued that when people internalize or construct the new information, they use mediation of artifacts including language (Lantolf, 2000). It can illustrate that sociocultural theory emphasized importance of mediation tool’s role in learning process. Besides, it emphasized the importance of students’ engagement as well. For example, Janzen (2009) argued that when teachers encourage students to develop their engagement, students would get or understand new information well enough. 4.1.1.1 Various types of materials and engagement Our action research focuses on the important role of materials as the mediation tool for students’ language learning as well as their engagement. To be specific, in order to enhance the meditational tool, classroom materials, we would expand their variety. According to Randi (2007), in class, ‘varied activities as well as materials can be used to promote student engagement with and understanding of the target words, including word association tasks, analysis of word roots, and cloze’. Besides, two types of engagement would be emphasized.

  43. 4. Action Research 4. Research Question To be specific, according to sociocultural theory, there are two different kinds, language-related engagement and task-related, engagement according. For instance, Platt and Brooks (2002) argued that language-related engagement shows individual learners’ speech activity, in which they use language items in order to interact with other people while task engagement focuses on successful as well as completion of the task more than linguistic forms. In ‘English in Action speaking’ class, we teach students both English speaking and Contents at the same time. For example, in order to teach and let students practice language function ‘giving advice’, we use the theme ‘health’. Students get knowledge about health by practicing language function during the class with certain language forms, vocabularies, expressions and so on. Therefore, in our action research, we are focusing on the relationship between teaching materials and students’ engagement. 4.1.2 Input hypothesis and requirements for effective materials “The input hypothesis states that we acquire language by understanding messages, that ‘comprehensible input (CI)’ is the essential environmental ingredient in language acquisition.” (Atlas, 1992, p.409). Besides, according to Richards (2005), the objectives of learning language is to survive in real communication situation, so real life issues cannot be separated in classroom materials. Authentic sources for language teaching motivate learners to learn language for real world communication. As cited in Richards (2005), Clarke and Silberstein (1997, 51) argue that since language is a tool of communication, authentic sources can provide cultural information of the target language, and also they make learners expose to real language that relates to learners’ needs.

  44. 4. Action Research 4. Research Question 4.1.2.1 Authentic materials Authentic materials refer to the classroom materials which are not made with specific learning purpose, such as learning linguistic features, but for communicative reasons. For instance, multimedia can be one of authentic materials. The use of multimedia has been importance in language learning in terms of increasing learners’ engagement and motivation. Learners can experience a real world indirectly in a classroom with a target language. As a facilitator, teachers can combine multimedia with their teaching methodologies which make possible to arouse students’ engagement in language learning (Gilakjani, 2012). In other words, using different multimedia in language learning class cab be to raise interest level of students who appreciate and often expect a variety of media and to enhance understanding about rich media materials which can boost students’ comprehension of complex topics, especially dynamic process that unfold over time. For the reasons, our action research would handle with authentic as well as various materials.

  45. 4. Action Research 5. Intervention 5.1 Intervention Plan

  46. 4. Action Research 5. Intervention 5.1 Intervention Plan The order of the materials was chosen in terms of the balance between the materials and given themes as well as functions. To be specific, week 1 focused on using pictures related to dating and description of personal routines (Table6). For example, making a dating course or daily routine activities encouraged students to use the pictures. Week 2 used videos with the target theme and function, Job & career and informal narration (Table7). For example, in particular, they learned how to narrate their stories for the job interview effectively and there were fun commercials as well as real good or bad interview videos to learn the characteristics of good narration (Table7). Week 3 utilized sound bites related to art & music as well as formal narration. To be specific, students created a story with sound bites provided from the professor in terms of the topic, music. It made them produce formal narration by themselves with some creative ideas. There were 5 sound bites having different genre or mood, such as rock, jazz, or classical music (Table8). Week 4 included a short article about one of superstition, horoscope, which can encourage students to produce abstract description (Table9). To be specific, in this week, students read some reading passage or description of blood types or zodiac related to their real blood types as well as zodiac. Week 5 showed the target learners movie clips which would make them give their own opinions informally (Table8). Since this week’s theme is movie, it is natural to use movie clips in the class. Movie clips would be used to elicit students’ giving their opinions, such as hero scenes to make them choose the best hero and support the idea or ‘I am Sam’ movie clip to make them think of any social issues related to the story.

  47. 4. Action Research 5. Intervention

  48. 4. Action Research 5. Intervention

  49. 4. Action Research 5. Intervention

  50. 4. Action Research 5. Intervention 5.2 Data Collection& Analysis First, data for this action research would be gathered by some note-taking, short surveys for students as well as teachers, and observation. To be specific, students’ overall reaction to the classroom materials as well as their engagement would be observed and note-taken by instructors. Besides, at the end of every class, students would do a survey to check the degree of interest as well as meaningfulness of class materials as well as their engagement (Table10). Furthermore, teachers would check their observation of their little sisters as well as effectiveness of the various classroom materials by using a checklist (Table11). In addition, weekly refection would be also included in data for our action research as well. Second, after gathering the whole data mentioned above, short surveys for students as well as teachers would be analyzed to find out how the materials were used and developed as well as which material was most useful during the intervention week. Furthermore, little sisters’ informal feedback on materials would be analyzed as well. Besides, development of students’ engagement would be handled with by using the teachers’ observation as well as reflection. Finally, those data gathered would be analyzed to find out how was students’ engagement improved by enhancing variety of class materials and which material was the most interesting as well as meaningful enough to encourage students’ engagement.