Think reflectively about the micro-teaching activity that you and your partner created and presented in class. Then, write a blog (300-350 words approx.) that responds to the following three key questions: why you found this activity interesting and strong for your class, what you would have done differently due to differentiating instruction reasons, and how you would have incorporated more culture into it.

 

In order to earn full credit for this blog, you must also leave at least two comments (100-150 words each) on your peers’ posts. Please take the time to read what they wrote – you’ll find that you often have similar reactions to the teaching experience, and can help one another a great deal through this first semester!

 

Deadlines:

For personal blog: Sunday, September 22, 2019, 11:59 p.m.

For two comments: Wednesday, September 25, 2019, 11:59 p.m.

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Replies to This Discussion

                The micro-teaching activity my partner and I created focused primarily in listening comprehension and differentiation by interest in students. According to Tomlinson among topics that students are more interested are music, sports/recreation, people, traveling, food.  If we are able to find students curiosity about a topic, then learning is more likely to happen.

 We carefully chose our lesson about traveling, the goal is for students to be curious and imagine places they would like to visit in the future. For students who have already traveled, gives them the opportunity to share their own experiences and widen their interest in other places.  Our lesson covered pre-listening, while-listening and post- listening.  On the first activity we showed students a video a variety of countries in which they had to answer simple questions provided about the video.  On our while-listening we included culture and focused on a small audio about Colombia in which students can use that information to complete the activity which are also questions about the country and its people.  Lastly as post-listening we presented an audio about a student’s vacation as a sample, our goal is for students to relate to it and produce it in pairs. Overall our lesson was successful, however on the feedback received, we acknowledged that the production is a little advanced for a level 1 because the students will have to use the past tense in order to complete it. One of the changes we can do is have the production completed in present tense instead of the past tense.   (300)

Hello Maria:
Your teaching slice presented key concepts for us. However, the sequencing of your activities was not clear at times. In other words, they were complex at some points. For instance, after reading your blog entry. It seems that the pre-listening activity is too long and repetitive. Essentially, because the task repeats itself during the while-listening phase. Which goes against the concepts presented by Lee and Van Patten (2003), regarding listening comprehension. According to the authors, the pre-listening activities should be general, and not too specific. Additionally, the authors assert that vocabulary could be merged with previous knowledge of a topic.

Also, the post-listening activity is confusing because what if the student never traveled in their life? I would recommend that you begin the class with simple tasks and gradually work towards more complex tasks, towards the end. However, each step must be synchronized with the subsequent step.
Nonetheless, your lesson presented relevant concepts that are essential for a real-life class.

(160 words)

References:
Lee, J. F., & VanPatten, B. (2003). Making communicative language teaching happen. Boston: McGraw-Hill.

Maria, 

I liked the teaching lesson that both Karolina and you presented to the class. Your approach was well performed since you both took in consideration students’ interest about places they would like to visit in the future. This is important because helps students to associate in a more interesting and enjoyable way with the context of the class. As a future educator, it is a good idea to extend our own awareness of other ways in which students express their ideas, feelings, and skills. According to Tomlinson, one way to contribute to an open environment is to let students know that you welcome their ideas and want them to let you know what they are interested in. When students know they can propose ideas for tasks and projects and believe you will help them find a way to expand their own interests, there is much greater sense of shared ownership of learning.  I would have to say that your lesson was very well taught. Great job. (166 words) 

References: 

Tomlinson, C. A. (2001). How to differentiate instruction in mixed-ability classrooms. Alexandria, Va: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development.

Our first micro-teaching activity allowed my partner and me to gain more exposure to a different aspect of designing a lesson. Mainly, our focus was to display two different approaches to teach the same Spanish lesson. The first model was the translation-based method. Primarily, the sequence of activities was modelled after, the discussion presented by Allen et al. (1990) regarding, teaching techniques. According to the theorist, there are two types of activities: those that attempt to re-create real-life and those that require the repetition of language structures. As a result, most of the activities emphasized the grammar structure and vocabulary as a starting point to acquire knowledge of Spanish. In addition, we made use of translation to aid us during the sequencing of activities.

However, we found this to be ineffective due to the way the approach is set up. In other words, the grammar approach was not making use of all the language skills. Lastly, the cultural aspect of the language was not displayed.

The second model was the communicative method. Mainly, the communicative method was our strong point inside the classroom because the style allowed my partner and me to sequence activities around the four language skills. As a result, we formulated activities around reading comprehension which, allowed our students to make use of the four language skills. In addition, we decided to take an inductive approach to cover the grammar structure. Such decision was influenced by the discussion presented by Krashen (1982) regarding, explicit grammar. According to the theorist, students tend to obtain a vast amount of grammar; however, it falls short during oral communication. Also, another aspect, that was our strong point was the culture. The communicative approached allowed my partner and I to make the connection between the culture and the text used in the lesson, which aligns with the discussion presented by Lee and Van Patten (2003) regarding, culture. According to the authors, the activities should be the tool to explore new cultures and their social norms.

Essentially, both approaches allowed my partner and I to explore different methodologies. However, one aspect that we did not cover explicitly was differentiation. However, the sequencing of activities of the communicative model can be adjusted to suit the needs of the students based on readiness and learning profile. For instance, the text can be adapted based on the needs of the students, which aligns with the discussion presented by Tomlinson (2001), regarding differentiation by readiness. Similarly, the text can be adapted to suit a variety of learning profiles.

(421 words)

References: 

Allen, P., Swain, M., Harley, B. and Cummins, J. (1990) Aspects of classroom treatment: toward a more comprehensive view of second language education. In Harley, B., Allen, P., Cummins, J. and Swain, M. (eds) The Development of Second Language Proficiency. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Krashen, S. D. (1982). Principles and practice in second language acquisition. New York: Pergamon.

Lee, J. F., & VanPatten, B. (2003). Making communicative language teaching happen. Boston: McGraw-Hill.

Tomlinson, C. A. (2001). How to Differentiate Instruction in Mixed-Ability Classrooms (2nd Edition). Reston, VA: ASCD.

Denise,
I liked your micro-teaching, for different reasons, one is that showing the two methods allows us to understand that the "traditionalist" method that we have seen for years makes students have no interest in learning a new language. The approach of this method is more than all the translation, but it has nothing contextualized that allows the student to want to be a little interested in the class. Yes, the culture part is not seen since there is no interest in it. Another reason why I liked it was because seeing the second method, which was the communicative one, and it is the one we have been learning, personally it helped me to understand that our effort so that the students receive a good lesson that will bring us satisfaction as teachers and where we will make a difference in the methodology we practice, the approach and the culture. (150 words)

Hello Dennis,

After observing your presentation, I have a better understanding between the different approaches in teaching a second language. Watching both presentations, the translation based-method presentation and the communicative method, I had the opportunity to compare the pros and cons of each one. The communicative method to my knowledge and preference is more engaging and motivate, giving the opportunity for students to challenge them selves to learn the language. In the other hand, the translation-based method was bored, simple and flat. With these last method students do not challenge themselves because the have the translation in every sentence. Overall you and your partner did a good job presenting both methods.

Words 109

               

  Our micro-teaching activity presented in class with my partner, focused on two methods of language teaching. These methods were grammar-translation method and communicative method. We introduced our lesson through the use of translation-based method. It was an unsuccessful teaching technique because it instructs students in grammar, and provides vocabulary with direct translations to memorize. According to Cook, translation is the component of the style that has had the least effect on traditional EFL teaching. It also enables the students to understand how the mother tongue functions, in order to give them the capacity to communicate its thought.  

    For our second model, my partner and I introduced the use of communicative teaching strategy. It was our strong point because it allowed us to present authentic communicative activities and material that promotes learning to our students as well as to express them. The most obvious advantage in communicative language teaching is that of the increase of fluency in the target language. This enables the learners to be more confident when interacting with other students and they also enjoy talking more. These activities were interested because we had the opportunity to see which of these methods we should incorporate in our lessons as futures educators. We concluded that the communicative approach is the most widely used and most widely accepted approach to classroom based foreign language teaching today. It emphasizes the learner’s ability to communicate with various functions, such as asking and answering questions, making requests, describing, narrating and comparing. Unlike the translation-based method, grammar is not taught in isolation.


      Something different that could have been done due to differentiating instruction reasons will be making sure that the questions that students receive are more specific, especially when teaching a first level class.  As teachers, it is important to know how the students best expresses them self and how they best receive information. Bringing culture into our classroom may be hard at times, but we can always do it by learning the numerous cultures that we have in our classroom. Culture could have been more incorporated into this lesson by making more personal, for instance, adding more information about the student’s community. (356 words)

References:

Cook, V. (2017). Second language learning and language teaching



Hello Selena,

   The micro-teaching activity that you created with your partner was very helpful for us. You showed us the differences between two methods that are used in many language classrooms. The grammar-translation method as we observed from your presentation, does not allow the students to actively communicate in the target language, it only focuses on grammatical rules that will not be apply in real conversations. Your examples of this method like the grammar structure table or like the vocabulary with translations are good examples for showing the disadvantages of this technique. On the other hand, you presented the communicative method with good examples that can be apply in the classrooms. Those activities would have made students to interact and produce in the target language which would be one of our goals as teachers. (134 words)

   My partner and I were assigned to create a lesson in listening comprehension, focusing mainly on the interest of the students. Our micro-teaching activity we presented in class was “Traveling”, one of the topics that students find it interesting to learn. According to Tomlinson, the goal of interest-based instruction help students make connections of what they like to what they learn, this will enhance students motivation in their learning based on their own choices.

   As we prepared our lesson, we chose a topic that would be interesting among students. Traveling would bring students ideas and experiences they already have. However, it can help them to discover new interests in addition to expand their curiosity to learn about other’s experiences when traveling or places that they would like to visit. On the other hand, we considered that our lesson of listening comprehension had to follow its three steps (Pre-listening, while-listening and post listening). First, we presented a video about different countries and its attractions followed by some questions about the video. On the second activity, we incorporated an audio about Colombia. In this activity students write about what they heard from the audio. For our production part, we presented an audio about a student’s vacation in Spain. From this activity, students were asked to share about their own experiences with the class.

   This micro-teaching activity helped us to realize how important is to know our students’ interests because from that we can prepare the best strategies to grab the attention of our students. It is important to give them choice and voice in their learning. As educators, we must be aware that students will be motivated to learn the target language (TL) by topics that interest them. This will help students to see the TL from a different perspective and they will make better sense of what they learn. (308 words)

References:

Tomlinson, C. A. (2001). How to Differentiate Instruction in Mixed-Ability Classrooms (2nd Edition). Reston, VA: ASCD.

Hi Karolina,
I like your micro-teaching lesson was very interesting because traveling is one of the topics that interest everyone. not only what they would like to travel on vacation somewhere, but what they have artists, favorite team players, meals that they eat in this country and that soon they would like to someday know the country of origin. I think this topic captures the attention of students very easily. Now, according to what Tomlinson says, I agree because when a student feels interested and motivated by something he likes, it will make it easier to capture attention and teach motivated students. I liked the part of the production because students almost always want to tell stories about their vacations whether they have had a good or bad time, and this makes the students talk and understand what they hear. (140 words)

                Carolina,

I would like to tell you that I really enjoyed you teaching lesson, you and Maria integrated a lot of culture. Presenting pictures from Ecuador and Maria’s trip was a good choice and motivated part. I noticed that you took into consideration student’s interest using familiar ideas to connect to their interest. As Cook points out “One of the great pleasures of teaching is the chance to introduce students to a world full of ideas and opportunities they’ve not yet discovered. Interest-based instruction can not only draw on and expand already existing student interest but can help them discover new interests as well. Something that you can improve can be in your activities focus, I remember you did reading, but in the last activity had very little reading.

Hello Karolina,

I really enjoyed the topic of lesson, as it kept me engaged the entire time. I really enjoyed the amount of culture you implemented in the lesson as well, mainly in the video. I feel like it is a great way for students to interact with one another. I like how you gave students the opportunity to freely right what they understood in the video as opposed to specific questions. Your group followed the structure of the receptive skills lesson plan very well (pre-listening, while-listening, and post-listening). Your production activity was also planned out very well and gave students the chance to talk about their interests.

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