Global Feedback on the Reflection and Application for 3.3

Here is some global feedback on the responses submitted to the Reflection and Application from 2. 3. It includes highlights of interesting responses for everyone to consider and questions that emerged in your responses.

HighlightsQuestions
Which specific strategies mentioned in the teacher presentation caught your attention? Why?I like her target language sign strategy to remind both teachers and students to stay in the target language during the class. I think that it is very good and straightforward to have a visual actual sign or Magic Bracelet props to help the language using. I also like her mentioned so many non-verbal and verbal strategies in foreign language teaching. For the non-verbal ones, the props/ realics definately get attention of students. For example, introducing a traditional food by actually showing the students. You as a teacher can even ask them to find the menu and try to make it. As for the verbal comprehensible input strategies that I like the intonation and using dramatic tones/voice to engage students.use post it note to write or draw what they like and can save for later use of describe themselves. I think this strategy is important because I am going to teach children who are new to the Chinese language. Instead of translating, using visual aid is more appropriate, and drawing on post it is definitely catch their interest.This also gives students a way to express what they understand when they don’t yet have a lot of language.1. The input has to be both meaningful and INTERESTING! 2. The teachers have to give interactive feedback to students and check for students’ understanding. Providing input is just one side; the other important side is to use strategies to help students understand the input. 3. Comprehensible input includes all three modes of communication: interpretive, presentational and interpersonalI am impressed with the variety of strategies the presenter used, and the strategies that caught my attention were the use of target language sign. I have found that sometimes I speak English in class without much planning or thinking. The strategy of using language sign helps remind me and my students of the witch of one language to the other.The part of gradually release information is very important. Usually we tend to be hurried to the information and take it for granted that students shall understand.How might you apply the information in this module to your teaching situation?I will slow down my speech, use more visuals, keep repetition during my instruction.I will carefully planning for my daily lesson, use a variety of authentic materials/resources that adapted to the appropriate proficiency level of students in the delivery of the lesson. I will apply different verbal and non-verbal strategies in the class activities, with the use of visual aids, audio video, props, stories and cartoons. Last but least, I will make my 10% English usage in the class conscious and meaningful.Adding comprehensible inputs such realia, for example I would take fruits and vegetables to class, or show them on the webcam.I want to continue working on using 90% or more of the target language in my instruction. This includes giving directions, organizing activities, and managing a class. This module provides many strategies and valuable comprehensible input resources such as “cultural stories”, “blogs”, videos, etc. to reach 90 + percent target language use. I will focus on incorporating the ones I haven’t used much in my future class.You will be teaching in an online setting. How might you strategically use English so that it is only the language of instruction 10% of the time or less?I will use English when I explain the learning targets and complicated instructions or directions.When I plan the online lesson, I will ask myself if I can communicate the idea in target language, if I simplify the idea and if I postpone it later. Also, I will do my best to use non-verbal (visual, pictures, videos, props, realia, etc.) and verbal methods to help students understand and use less English in classroom.I’ll try to use the 10% of English for some ambiguous words that will need to be clarified for the student to be able to continue the learning process and comprehend the information.  Does the CI method mean a substential increase of the working load on behalf of a teacher? Is this approach effective to a class of students who have serious behavior problems or lower level of motivation?At first, a switch to using shorter, chunked lessons, with multiple checks for understanding and all in the target language does seem like more work for teachers who haven’t already been doing it. But once teachers become more comfortable, it is actually less work because the students learn more effectively. And because the learning is more purposefully designed and more relevant, discipline problems actually tend to decrease.What is a none-verbal or verbal way to communicate good classroom behavior?Sometimes, teachers just “thank” students (in the target language) for exhibiting the good behavior. You can also teach, and then use, culturally appropriate gestures for giving approval. For example, in the US, a “thumbs up” is a sign of approval. What is a culturally authentic sign of approval in your language? Is it okay to imbed English words in a target-language sentence? Or should we speak a sentence either in English or in the target language?Most of the time, it is preferred to not embed English within a sentence in the target language. Our goal is to maximize the target language. I wish we can create our own special page with images that are free to use for language teachers, can we do that?We actually don’t need to. There are already pages with free images for everyone. They don’t need to be specific to language teachers. 🙂 In Google, go to advanced search and scroll all the way down to where it says “not limited by license” and select the pull-down menu. Then choose “free to use or modify.” At that point, only images tagged as free to use will appear in your search. You still have to cite the source.go to morguefile.com and search for pictures there.search for creative commons pictures on flickr.comHow can I help students who are struggling in comprehending my instructions when the majority of students already understand and ready to move on? Can I have students help each other by speaking in their first language? What is the use of English for students, especially in intermediate levels?You can have students help or even model for each other. We try to limit English for learners, especially at intermediate or above.In Arabic, we have the added burden of teaching a different alphabet, so I need to include reading and writing along with learning the concepts. Would using transliteration take away the comprehensible input since it uses English letters to help pronounce Arabic words?That’s a really interesting question. My colleagues who teach Chinese and Japanese have always started with the roman alphabet writings and added in the correct writing system. They begin showing the authentic writing system almost immediately, but side-by-side with the roman alphabet. Although that is common practice, I haven’t seen research on the benefits of doing one over the other.Is this a good activity to give students English sentences and ask them to convert them to the target language? like as a part of activity for a Can do statement? these sentences could be different forms of saying similar Can do statements. I would like to know if this is a practical activity?In recent years, the profession has moved away from doing this, largely because it used to be common practice, and did not result in students gaining proficiency. In addition, translation activities send the message that it is possible to translate word-for-word from one language to another, but in reality, that isn’t the case.Ms Bowers did a wonderful presentation about the comprehensible input, however, I wonder if this presentation especially addresses to online synchronous/ asynchronous classes, for example, she mentioned the setting up the stage, sometimes it’s kind of hard to do that for online classesSetting the stage happens in a variety of ways. Pictures can set the stage. A short film clip (even played silently) can set the stage. Very early on, learners already have at least a small amount of words of phrases that they can use. Teachers harness those as part of setting the stage. For example, if you taught a few cultural foods and drinks early on and now you are following up with a lesson presenting more food items, you could have an online discussion board that starts with a collage of foods from the set they learned first and ask students to list just ONE food they know how to say in the target language (the ones who do the activity first will be at an advantage). OR you could create a short online survey with those first foods/drinks they learned and ask if they like/don’t like/have never tried them. Both these activities set the stage for learning about food because after doing them, the learners are thinking about food and about the ones they have already learned. They are “ready” to learn more on the subject.How do I introduce grammar concepts in the target language? Isn’t reflecting on their own language and comparing it to the target language useful for students? Where is the place for that in the comprehensible input?It is helpful to not think of teaching grammar but of modeling grammar. Break the grammar point in smaller chunks. Model the first chunk, with many models in the target language. When students see many models, the pattern of the structure becomes apparent without “teaching” it. They “acquire” the first chunk of the structure rather than “learning” it. Because they acquired it naturally, it intuitively makes sense to them. At this point, do checks for understanding followed practice activities. Then proceed with the next chunk (modeling).How to instruct mixed-ability students in target language?Target-language instruction is helpful, especially if you incorporate a variety of visuals, gestures and other strategies and follow up with checks for understanding. The visuals, gestures and other cues are helpful to those who find the lesson difficult. Then putting activities in a sequence that begins with non-linguistic responses first (just showing comprehension–matching, drawing, physical response, etc.), to producing single words to producing phrases, to asking and responding to questions on a topic will support all learners to be successful.CI also needs students cooperation. What if students just don’t want to work?It is true, that people are people…and all people (students included) sometimes just aren’t interested in the activity at hand. The best approach is to plan for a variety of learning styles, and always to plan purposefully and strategically so that every element in the learning experience is designed to help students achieve the target–often, lack of participation isn’t a reflection of “bad person,” but actually that they are confused or lost or don’t feel confident that they know what to do or how to do it successfully. Sometimes it’s even because they aren’t sure about what the teacher wants. Sometimes it’s because students can’t see the relevance. So learning targets that are focused on authentic uses of the language students will be able to do after instruction and practice, clarity and modeling during the lesson (confirmed with multiple checks for understanding), and clarity and modeling of the instructions for activities will all actually help with motivation. 

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