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17867Re: [dogme] Dogme out in the open

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  • Dennis Newson
    Sep 2, 2014
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      No need for apologies. I started to reply to yoiu, got called away from my PC and when I returned obviously did not finish or did not send the message.  Let me write a few words now from memory, without re-readingyour message so that you do get some kind of response.  I should make it clear that I am not a research-minded person, in the field of language learning, because I believe there are so very many variables that it is it virtually impossible to come up with results that are of much significance. (I firmly believe in research intl language. Without linguistic research we simply  would not know the nature of what it is we try to help people to learn.

      What I do believe in is Action Research i.e. research down by the teacher with their own learners and the point of the research being to take some action thereafter that will improve the effcieny of learning.

      I also find detailed, reflective accounts of actual teaching extremely fascinating and helpful.

      However, it one wants  a higher qualification, clearly, you have to play the game and go for an M.A. or Ph.D.

      I noted that you already have contacts with one or two schools and have tried  out, have used the gesture approach.

      1. It is clear you should see it as one techniqque, approach amonst many and not claim that it is THE approach. (I'm NOT suggesting that you were planning to do this.
      2.  You refer to neural approaches and/or feedback but I would not have thought that gesturing was an example of these.
      3.  Whatever you do it will incluee, surely:

      A statement of your position on how learners learn. That will guide your recommendations for how teacherscan create affordandces for learning - eventually acquisition.

      You will expllain what gesturing is, how it is done, what contribution it makes to the creation of affordances for learning/acquisition.

      If you want to do a research theis - something leading to a Ph.D.  You will  need to create two groups, one taught without gesturing, one with. And here comes the problem as I see it for all such research. There areso verymany variables that it will extremely hard tobe able with certainty, scientifically to demonstrate that gesturing does or does not help.  

      Sorry for all the blips in communication. Hope these few rapid remarks aare more helpful than no response at all.  Dolet me know what you decide to do.   Best wishes,   Dennis

      On 1 September 2014 23:18, Natasha Janzen Ulbricht hedgewood@... [dogme] <dogme@yahoogroups.com> wrote:

      Hi Dennis,

      I’m wondering if you received the email I sent you on the 28th. 

      You wrote, “Now I will read what your wrote.” on the 28th. 

      I do not want to be impatient, just assured that your spam folder did not gobble up my efforts.

      Thanks for your understanding.


      On 28 Aug 2014, at 17:39, Natasha Janzen Ulbricht <hedgewood@...> wrote:

      Hi Dennis,

      So this means that you received what I sent you on the 21st, right?

      Background information:
      One year ago I was working as a teacher educator in Southern Africa where not having enough books or paper is a serious issue. After coming to Germany and learning more about gesture-based teaching, I wished I could go back, and see what this kind of teaching in that context would be like, (gestures do not require paper!) Here in Berlin I recently observed a boy sitting on the sidelines of an English class. His classmates were reading out loud; he had just moved to Germany and didn’t know English so he sat there. Four days into the language project I did with the class this boy was up on stage speaking with the rest of his class. I’m not sure he knew exactly everything he was saying, but he was participating, and I would like to know more. I would like to write up a research proposal and have it pointed in a productive direction. 

      Gesture-based language learning - Can more pupils learn more?
      Gestengestützte Sprachunterricht - Können mehr Schüler mehr lernen?

      Summary: Through developments in neuroscience, learning as a dynamic process has become visible and teachers seek to influence and improve their teaching accordingly.

      While research on how actions improve language learning and recall is not new (Asher, 1977), these scientific findings have not easily transferred into use in the foreign-language classroom (Macedonia, 2010).

      The advantage of movement in aiding foreign language acquisition is well known, however, recent research suggests significant neurocognitive differences between learning supported by physical actions and symbolic gestures (Novack et al. 2014). Efficient language learning processes are key in multilingual societies, but how teachers can best be supported to utilise gesture-based teaching or simply if gesture-based teaching is effective is largly unknown.

      This project sets out to consider the place of gesture-based language acquisition in an inner city context by implementing the Accelerative Integrated Methodology (AIM) through classroom teaching and teacher training.

      Research Questions: Research and experience suggest that a gesture-based approach to language teaching should improve the quality and efficiency of language learning, however, using this approach is different from how most teachers work. Is the AIM approach appropriate for teachers in "Brennpunktschulen"? How effective is it in the classroom? What do children think of gesture-based teaching? Which barriers exist for teachers and what support would be necessary for sustainability in the classroom?

      Goals: At the end of the project teachers in three "Brennpunktschulen" would be able to teach English using gestures to support the acquisition of fluent, spontaneous and grammatically correct speech. The children in these three schools would perform a theatre piece in English, and be able to speak English in a limited context fluently and appropriately.

      Based on positive results, a secondary goal would be to begin a conversation with DaZ teachers about utilising gesture-based teaching for children new to German.

      Steps forward: Contact schools with more than a 50% share of "lernmittelbefreiter Schüler" teaching English who could benefit from participating in the project. (I actually did this already.)

      Asher, J. (1977). Learning another language through the actions. Los Gatos: Sky Oaks Productions.

      Macedonia, M. (2010). Wie konkret kann die Hirnforschung Pädagogen helfen? Das Beispiel Fremdsprachen. In M. Müller & G. Terbuyken (Eds.), Lerntheorien. Von der Wissenschaft in die Praxis und zurück (87 - 95). Evangelische Akademie Loccum.

      Novack, M. A., Congdon, E. L., Hemani-Lopez, N., & Goldin-Meadow, S. (2014). From action to abstraction: Using the hands to learn math. Psychological Science, 25 (6), 903-910.

      I have been close to writing a research proposal several times, but I’m concerned that my proposal might go off in a false direction.

      Is comparing teaching methodologies the way to go? 

      I have been experimenting with Praat and it is possible to track changes in difference measures of fluency. This also has some appeal. 

      On the other hand, the Johanne S. Bourdages and Marie-Josée Vignola did a review of the AIM in 2009 and  were not at all impressed. At least this is my summary not knowing much French.

      Bourdages, J. S., & Vignola, M.-J. (2009). Évaluation des habiletés de communication orale chez des élèves de l’élémentaire utilisant AIM. The Canadian Modern Language Review / La Revue Canadienne Des Langues Vivantes, 65(5), 731–755.

      I could add in more of what I have been reading, but most of all I would just like to have your reaction.

      Any help you can give on what would be an appropriate/useful methodology or simply what you do not understand would be greatly appreciated. 


      P.S. This proposal does not centre on Dogme, but as a tool it would be very useful especially for lower levels. 



      Dennis aka Osna (Newson), M.A. (Cantab), PDESL (Leeds)
      All views expressed are my own and not those of IATEFL, YLTSIG.or GISIG
      Self-employed (unpaid)
      Formerly (now retired): University of Osnabrueck, Germany
      Joint Coordinator  IATEFL YLTSIG with Kalyan Chattopadhay
      Committee member IATEFL GISIG
      Committee member IATEFL Associate ELTA-OWL(Germany)
      Moderator old-fashioned IATEFL YLTSIG email discussion list
      Second Life/EduNation: Osnacantab Nesterov
      ELTON 2005 ELTeCS member innovation team winner
      Personal website: www.dennisnewson.de


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