Loading ...
Sorry, an error occurred while loading the content.

Teaching v. learning

Expand Messages
  • dnewson@rz.Uni-Osnabrueck.DE
    I m rather new to this list so forgive me if I m bringing up a topic that has been endlessly discussed. The majority of discussions on EFL are teachercentric,
    Message 1 of 7 , Jul 1 8:51 PM
    • 0 Attachment
      I'm rather new to this list so forgive me if I'm bringing up a topic
      that has been endlessly discussed.

      The majority of discussions on EFL are teachercentric, preoccupied
      with the teacher's performance. What insights into how students
      learn have dogme members to share?

      Dennis


      Dennis (Newson)
      Formerly University of Osnabrueck
      GERMANY
      www.dennisnewson.de
    • Luke Meddings
      I ve been meaning to reply to this - is everyone on holiday? My own interest in all this sprang from the concern that students were getting a fraction of the
      Message 2 of 7 , Jul 6 4:29 AM
      • 0 Attachment
        I've been meaning to reply to this - is everyone on holiday?

        My own interest in all this sprang from the concern that students were getting a fraction of the teaching/learning they might get because of the way in which coursebooks, grammar books and materials books work to divide up and even section off one part of language from another. My goal in class was to look at as much of the language for as much of the time as possible.

        This site has at its best been concerned less with teacher performance than with the learning experience, and with stopping performing (teachers and students) and starting to interact with one another as whole people and with the language as a whole phenomenon.

        This answers the first part of your question, but not the second!

        Luke


        *********** REPLY SEPARATOR ***********

        On 7/2/2001 at 5:51 AM dnewson@...-Osnabrueck.DE wrote:

        >I'm rather new to this list so forgive me if I'm bringing up a topic
        >that has been endlessly discussed.
        >
        >The majority of discussions on EFL are teachercentric, preoccupied
        >with the teacher's performance. What insights into how students
        >learn have dogme members to share?
        >
        >Dennis
        >
        >
        >Dennis (Newson)
        >Formerly University of Osnabrueck
        >GERMANY
        >www.dennisnewson.de
        >
        >To Post a message, send it to: dogme@...
        >To Unsubscribe, send a blank message to: dogme-unsubscribe@...
        >
        >Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
      • kellogg@ns.seoul-e.ac.kr
        Maybe trying to make a distinction between a focus on teachers teaching and a focus on learners learning is a little misguided. How was your weekend? ...?
        Message 3 of 7 , Jul 18 1:42 AM
        • 0 Attachment
          Maybe trying to make a distinction between a focus on teachers
          teaching and a focus on learners learning is a little misguided.

          "How was your weekend?"
          "...?"
          "Did you go anywhere, or stay home?"
          "Home."
          "What did you do at home?"

          What is happening (with any luck) is not "input" or even "output".
          What is happening is co-construction. It's true that one party is
          doing a disproportionate amount of the building work; it is also true
          that one party is paid and the other is paying.

          But it's still true, notwithstanding, that the edifice falls without
          learner participation. And it is true that even with a single word,
          even a child can "take part" (and thereby take possession if not
          acquisition) of a discourse.

          Here's what Donato says (Sociocultural Theory and Second Language
          Learning, OUP 2000, J. Landolf ed, p. 45 )

          "Sociocultural theory underscores the importance of conceptualizing
          language learning as a developmental process mediated by semiotic
          resources appropriated from the classroom. These semiotic rsources
          include print matirals, the physical environment, gestrues, and most
          notably, classroom discourse. This theme constrasts sharply with
          cognitive approaches based solely on the acquisition metaphor of
          development which rigidly ascribes language learning to various
          internal mental processes such as the construction of interlanguage
          representations, encoding and decodings between individuals, input
          processing and attentional operations by the learner, or the
          biological unfolding of linguistic universals...."

          This does not soothe my colleague, whose pedagogical conscience ticks
          like a taxi meter in the classroom silences, relentlessly indicating
          how much input per minute he owes his students.

          He points out that the average Korean student gets only a handful of
          hours of instruction in his entire school career, followed by no
          input whatsoever. This means that every second has to be crammed with
          comprehensible input. The learner's flounderings are so many traffic
          jams to be gotten through as quickly as possible.

          Relax, I tell him. By his own argument, we will never get there. Not
          even the most evangelical wings of the Krashenite movement claim that
          a handful of hours of comprehensible input will create acquisition.

          "So how about interaction, then? How many hours of interaction can
          create acquisition?"

          "Interactionists are not in the business of creating acquisition. We
          don't believe that language is a "thing" to be acquired."

          "So what sort of business are language teachers and learners in? And
          how long will it take?"

          "We are in the business of interaction. To create one hour of
          interaction takes exactly one hour."

          I admit, though, that sometimes an hour seems to take a lot more than
          an hour!

          "How was your weekend, Jeong-a?"
          "Ye?"
          "What did you do?"
          "Do?"
          "Yeah. Did you do anything interesting?"
          "????"

          When the voice of the child fades away, and the sound of the meter
          gets too loud, I think of these lines from Auden.

          But watch them, O, set against our size and timing...
          The slightly awkward perfection
          The professor's dream is not true
          Yet the tyranny so easy

          (W.H. Auden, "Schoolchildren")


          DK
        • David French
          Hello All, I ve been lurking on this list for a couple of months now after rejoining it. I m not sure if anyone is out there at the moment or if you are all
          Message 4 of 7 , Aug 2, 2001
          • 0 Attachment
            Hello All,

            I've been lurking on this list for a couple of months
            now after rejoining it. I'm not sure if anyone is out
            there at the moment or if you are all sunning
            yourselves.

            I've been going the dogme way with speaking for
            sometime now and intend to continue in those
            directions. Writing I also find straightforward to
            think and work through in dogme fashion.

            How about reading?

            Excuse me if this has been talked about already.
            Things I've been working with are having kind of
            partly teacher/student dialogue journals. I've asked
            students to keep a separate writing book and write
            about absolutely anything they want to in it. Then
            I've responded to what they've written depending on
            what I'm inspired to say. Some pieces don't evoke any
            response in me (the kind of fce or school "should
            there be school uniform" type of discussion peice).
            Others have me writing more than the author. And some
            really fascinating and sometimes personal stuff comes
            through. I can see that this way of working could be
            done with the students writing the responses rather
            than me, and I may try it this year.

            Generally speaking I encourage a lot of reading of
            what is written by peers in the class (books handed
            around the table) or sticking stuff up on boards to be
            read by students from various groups.

            This is pretty home-grown (does that have dodgy
            connotations?), but is it enough?

            Texts from outside? Edited authentic materials?

            I'd be interested to hear any ideas.

            David French
            prawdziwyanglik

            __________________________________________________
            Do You Yahoo!?
            Make international calls for as low as $.04/minute with Yahoo! Messenger
            http://phonecard.yahoo.com/
          • sthornbury@wanadoo.es
            David, nice to hear from you again. Yeah, I think we re in a lull, something to do with the flocking behaviour of online discussion groups. Or just a
            Message 5 of 7 , Aug 2, 2001
            • 0 Attachment
              David, nice to hear from you again. Yeah, I think we're in a lull,
              something to do with the flocking behaviour of online discussion
              groups. Or just a summer-induced malaise?

              About reading. Yes, there's a lot of mileage to be had from reading
              each other's texts - stories, journals etc - but obviously there is a
              limit to how much interlanguage reading the learners will tolerate.
              (also the possible danger of what someone called "junky input").
              This is where "real" texts need to be brought in. The first dogme
              vow , of course, suggests that the learners should be taken to
              where the texts are - library, internet room etc. But I think it's
              equally legitimate that learners bring their own texts to the
              classroom - the teacher can set a precedent (Mario Rinvolucri has
              even gone to the extreme of having learners open and read his
              unopened mail!).

              In John Wade's book (see my last posting), he describes a
              sequence of lessons with a beginners class (admittedly in an ESL
              context) where he notes:

              "By this time learners have usually brought in an official letter of
              one type or another. If this has not yet happened, I take in one of
              my Bankcard or electricty bills, photocopy it, and give everyone a
              copy to examine. This sets the example for everyoen else to do
              likewise, and all manner of documents soon begin appearing during
              the generative session. Whenever students bring a document, we
              deal with it immediately if we can. If we bring several items, the
              group chooses which item they want to know about first, which
              item next, and we treat them one after another." And he adds -
              brilliantly: "Real life does not wait until everyone's language is good
              enough. We learn to cope by using whatever level of language
              exists in the class".

              He also adds a note: "For short documents, an alternative is to
              photocopy a single overhead transparency and to ask the class to
              copy it into their books - copying when appropriate is an efficient
              way to assist learning"

              Wade is quite keen on copying. Not just because of the ecological
              soundness, but because it gives learners time to engage with
              language at a grassroots level.

              Curiously, Stevick makes a similar point regarding CLL
              (Community Language Learning). I've always found the transcribing
              phase a little tedious (as teacher) - I mean where the teacher
              transcribes the taped conversation that the class have jointly
              generated. But Stevick notes:"The slowdown this entails works to
              the advantage of the learners, for it allows them to hear the newly
              accumulated spoken corpus several times, and also lets them
              observe the corresponding written forms at their own pace while the
              knower [i.e. teacher] is busy writing...." That's in Memory Meaning
              and Method, which I'm re-reading and re-discovering. Earl is a
              national living treasure, or should be.

              Getting back to reading (and, by extension, listening): even in an
              EFL context, learners have access to lots of English language
              texts that they may need to "authenticate". For many teenagers it
              will be pop songs. Have them bring them in, and then go to work on
              them. Not just for their language, but for the (cultural) values they
              enshrine...
            • Luke Meddings
              For classwork, I try not to use any text too long to be written up on the board and copied. I like the change in pace as people copy. People often make quite
              Message 6 of 7 , Aug 3, 2001
              • 0 Attachment
                For classwork, I try not to use any text too long to be written up on the board and copied. I like the change in pace as people copy. People often make quite revealing spelling mistakes based on how they hear a word they are reading. It's active, even at a fairly basic level. It's getting your hands dirty on the language.



                *********** REPLY SEPARATOR ***********

                On 8/2/2001 at 11:22 PM sthornbury@... wrote:

                >David, nice to hear from you again. Yeah, I think we're in a lull,
                >something to do with the flocking behaviour of online discussion
                >groups. Or just a summer-induced malaise?
                >
                >About reading. Yes, there's a lot of mileage to be had from reading
                >each other's texts - stories, journals etc - but obviously there is a
                >limit to how much interlanguage reading the learners will tolerate.
                >(also the possible danger of what someone called "junky input").
                >This is where "real" texts need to be brought in. The first dogme
                >vow , of course, suggests that the learners should be taken to
                >where the texts are - library, internet room etc. But I think it's
                >equally legitimate that learners bring their own texts to the
                >classroom - the teacher can set a precedent (Mario Rinvolucri has
                >even gone to the extreme of having learners open and read his
                >unopened mail!).
                >
                >In John Wade's book (see my last posting), he describes a
                >sequence of lessons with a beginners class (admittedly in an ESL
                >context) where he notes:
                >
                >"By this time learners have usually brought in an official letter of
                >one type or another. If this has not yet happened, I take in one of
                >my Bankcard or electricty bills, photocopy it, and give everyone a
                >copy to examine. This sets the example for everyoen else to do
                >likewise, and all manner of documents soon begin appearing during
                >the generative session. Whenever students bring a document, we
                >deal with it immediately if we can. If we bring several items, the
                >group chooses which item they want to know about first, which
                >item next, and we treat them one after another." And he adds -
                >brilliantly: "Real life does not wait until everyone's language is good
                >enough. We learn to cope by using whatever level of language
                >exists in the class".
                >
                >He also adds a note: "For short documents, an alternative is to
                >photocopy a single overhead transparency and to ask the class to
                >copy it into their books - copying when appropriate is an efficient
                >way to assist learning"
                >
                >Wade is quite keen on copying. Not just because of the ecological
                >soundness, but because it gives learners time to engage with
                >language at a grassroots level.
                >
                >Curiously, Stevick makes a similar point regarding CLL
                >(Community Language Learning). I've always found the transcribing
                >phase a little tedious (as teacher) - I mean where the teacher
                >transcribes the taped conversation that the class have jointly
                >generated. But Stevick notes:"The slowdown this entails works to
                >the advantage of the learners, for it allows them to hear the newly
                >accumulated spoken corpus several times, and also lets them
                >observe the corresponding written forms at their own pace while the
                >knower [i.e. teacher] is busy writing...." That's in Memory Meaning
                >and Method, which I'm re-reading and re-discovering. Earl is a
                >national living treasure, or should be.
                >
                >Getting back to reading (and, by extension, listening): even in an
                >EFL context, learners have access to lots of English language
                >texts that they may need to "authenticate". For many teenagers it
                >will be pop songs. Have them bring them in, and then go to work on
                >them. Not just for their language, but for the (cultural) values they
                >enshrine...
                >
                >
                >
                >To Post a message, send it to: dogme@...
                >To Unsubscribe, send a blank message to: dogme-unsubscribe@...
                >
                >Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
              • sthornbury@wanadoo.es
                Just to pick up on a thread that david F initiated last month, re reaing and dogme, there s a nice piece in the online Journal of the Imagination in Language
                Message 7 of 7 , Aug 23, 2001
                • 0 Attachment
                  Just to pick up on a thread that david F initiated last month, re
                  reaing and dogme, there's a nice piece in the online Journal of the
                  Imagination in Language Teaching and Learning
                  (http://www.njcu.edu/CILL/vol5/kulchytska.html) by a teacher in the
                  Ukraine who organised an advanced class into writing
                  their "Alternative Textbook", choosing their own themes and
                  texts. "All the creative work would be theirs, and I would just be
                  the administrator. Something amazing happened when I said, "Don't
                  pick topics for teachers--you are going to write this textbook for
                  yourselves and for the next few generations of students." My inert
                  students started naming issues I had never suspected they were
                  interested in".

                  Commenting on the experience, one of the students said:
                  "Working on the Alternative Textbook gives us the opportunity to
                  choose themes which are more important and useful than those in the
                  textbook. Besides, it makes us read a lot of authentic texts." -
                  (Natasha Liubushkina)

                  I suspect that not only the quantity, but the quality, of the reading
                  improved to -i.e. they were reading more critically, and with a
                  greater degree of investment...
                Your message has been successfully submitted and would be delivered to recipients shortly.