Introduction to Teaching English as a Foreign Language A2 by umsymums31


									Introduction to Teaching English as a Foreign Language A2                          The Teacher
                Language Teaching and Learning in the Classroom
                                               (pp. 27-33)
                                       THE TEACHER

1. The context
Classroom as community of practise
   - The development of learning is depending on a number of factors.
   - for example: the learner‟s attitude, beliefs, feelings, personal investment, mutual
       supporting, social conditions and priorities.
   - The social-cultural background of the participants influences the dynamic of learning.
       The result can be positive, but negative as well!

    -   The teacher has many roles and functions in the classroom; examples:
    -   Teacher as
            language teacher
            expert in learning
            classroom manager
            researcher and learner

2. Teacher as language teacher
Target language proficiency
   - Teachers at all levels need a solid target language competence! They are expected to
      have many skills, for example:
   - Teachers are the central means of language input (his behaviour and strategies
      determine the quality of classroom)
   - Teachers are models: s/he must threat the target language as a natural language of
      communication; learners could be motivated to learn the language for communicating
      with people in the world
   - Teachers need to be able to use the target language spontaneously

Quality of teacher talk
  - the quality of teachers talk is crucial for the acquisition process to support learners to
       understand and to communicate
  - there are two aspects of teachers talk
            the teacher as an instructor
            the teacher as partner
            teachers can provide useful language learning support in both roles

Features of classroom discourse
   - there are some patterns of communications which seem to be typical for foreign
      language classrooms:
   - teachers dominate the structure of classroom communication
   - they chose the kind of discussion, kind of working (e.g. peer or group work), and
      manage the communication

IRE pattern: initiation, response evaluation

I       initiation    by the teacher:       usually a question
R       response      by the students:      usually answer to a question
E       evaluation    by the teacher:       quality of the answer

    -   this procedure restricts learners‟ opportunities for language production and
        conversational interactions which again play an important part for L2 acquisition
    -   the teacher must maintain the opportunities for students!

3. Teacher as expert of learning
Focus on the learner
   - teacher shall make learners aware of their own capacity
   - learners shall become more autonomous

Focus on social relationships
   - social relationships are another important aspect for the learning dynamic in the
   - (BREEN 1998): Learners navigate the discourse in two constantly interweaving ways:
            learning purposes
            social purposes

    -   (STEVICK 1996): only a good atmosphere can contribute to successful learning
    -   Stevick distinguishes between two kinds of learning:
             defensive learning
             receptive learning
    -   teachers must not threat the students ego
    -    (MASLOW): “Most fundamental is the need for security, and a fundamental
        component of security is predictability.”

Focus on atmosphere: ‘affective filter’
   - research has shown that the more relaxed and comfortable students feel the better
       language acquisition proceeds.
   - (KRASHEN): “The „affective filter‟ is an imaginary barrier which prevents learners
       from acquiring language from the available input (…) Thus, depending on the
       learner‟s state of mind or disposition, the filter limits what is noticed and what is

Focus on tasks
   - Teachers need to be able to set tasks which allow learners to use language for a
       genuine propose, which provide interactive opportunities.
   - they need to motivate learners to engage in the learning process by designing tasks
       which are intellectually challenging enough to maintain students‟ interest.

Managing the interaction
  - teacher as a „facilitator‟
  - (AHERN 1998): “[The teacher] manages the interaction, usually in the background,
     by relating individual comments, by suggesting a different interpretation of an idea, or
     by clarifying a position and so forth
  - “All in all, teachers are faced with a multitude of new tasks for which most of them
     have probably not beetn prepared by their own language learning experiences”
Focus on mediation
   - It is assumed that if learners interact with more experienced peers – teachers, for
       example – they are able to advance beyond their present level of language
       development to a higher one.
   - The assumption is that learners need to produce comprehensible output to develop in
       their language acquisition.

4. Teacher as classroom manager
Process competence
   - the teacher needs to be able to organise, to create, to mange, and to evaluate
      cooperative process learning environments.
   - s/he maintains his/her managerial and instructional role but must make sure that it is
      not in conflict with learner autonomy

5. Teacher as researcher and learner
Research classroom processes
   - (CANDLIN 2003): teachers need to be able to explore the quality of the interactions
      by researching the ways in which they contribute to a successful communicative
      language learning classroom
   - (BREEN/CANDLIN 1980): teacher will have to step back from teaching an monitor
      the processes of learning and teaching as a participant observer


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