воскресенье, 17 ноября 2019 г.

Content and Language Integrated Learning


I am going to talk about CLIL, which is the abbreviation for Content and Language Integrated Learning. And very briefly, that's an approach to language teaching where content which is non-language related content-- so it might be history or geography-- is taught through a foreign language for the students. 

So why would people like to use CLIL? Well, one of the reasons is that it's a way of expanding meaning-based instruction. So we make use of the content of non-language classes. So you've got geography or business studies. And you can use their concepts and topics and meanings. And in that way, you really extend the objects of real communication.

It's also, in a way, an extension of task-based language teaching and communicative language teaching. You've got one huge communicative task, which is learning the content of a different subject. And that can be used through the L2 gain authentic communication.

 Another issue is that we've got a situation where there are learner groups who are often seen as people who are not interested in learning languages. Because they might not like what's typically taught in the foreign language classroom. And they might be more interested, for instance, in learning science through English. 

And politically, there's also been the reason to say, Europe is multilingual. European Union is multilingual. And language teaching approaches had to be diversified to increase the language competence of EU citizens.


I would like to add here some comments given by other people too:

A.M: My current school requires us to use CLIL in our classes. We have had very little introduction/training based around it and this has had quite a negative impact on my teaching confidence. I am a secondary trained teacher who has spent the last 8 years teaching the National Curriculum. I have no formal language teaching training or experience and this is something which I am finding extremely difficult. In addition, all 22 of my students have very little knowledge of English so I rely on my TA to interpret their comments, questions, ideas (as well as mine). All the research we have been presented with highlights that in order for CLIL to work best, the teacher and students should share a common language (L1) and the teacher should be bilingual. I agree with this and think that students would benefit the most in a classroom like this.

S.M.: I integrate CLIL in my English lessons by working along with my fellow teachers. For example, if the history teacher is doing the Industrial Revolution, what I'd do to support him whilst giving students the chance to enhance their English is to read some Dickens to them, watch a video about the London tube and they do a research on Queen Victoria and the Victorian era by playing a board game where students have to recall and explain what they've learnt in the history lesson - in English!. We then speak about the role of women in the Victorian era, and the role of women now etc etc... Of course it takes time and it requires that teachers co-operate. It's more difficult to put in practice for teachers who see their students once a week only and they're asked to focus on language functions only.

A.B.:
in Pakistan, we are using CLIL unconsciously, without knowing too much about it .according to my experience, it is neither helpful in language learning nor in explaining other subjects.

O.K.: Hello! I work in PLS so I only have English on my English lessons but I know that in our schools teachers do CLIL and it is really interesting. Two teachers cooperate and make a lesson for example of Biology in English. It is challenging but I am sure children like it. I think it is a very sensible method because students understand that they need English not only on their English lessons but in real life; such method widens the world perception and it can be a good motivation to study English and to use it in your life. I like it very much.

I.D.: I start feeling sick when I hear about teaching in schools using other languages but native language of certain country. In our country we have horrible experience forcing all students to to study in one particular language. You can't imagine how hard it is for students to understand science, history or other subjects not using their L1. They start loosing interest in a subject,,. There are many other ways to learn English. Learn from the mistakes of other countries.


P.M.: I often think of the positives about teaching other content to students (outside of grammar and syntax). The idea that I could teach history, or social sciences in English to ESL learners is appealing. In my classroom, I often incorporate mini lessons on these topics. I've even sat in social sciences classes in a school in Denmark with a Danish teacher teaching in English to Mexican students about the Danish social welfare system. The other class they attended was on philosophy, also taught in English by a Danish teacher to Mexican students. The experience was great and would be great if I could teach much more in the same way.

Thinking on the negatives though, I always wonder what happens when we reduce world languages to only a controlling, dominant few? What happens to diversity? What happens to culture? What happens to identity? I don't there are simple outcomes.

I'll keep teaching English and inevitably, through my actions, will push this conundrum forward because , despite the drawbacks, I that coalescing our communication around a dominant language is also inevitable as globalization accelerates.




You can learn more if you sign in for free courses on Future Learn: 
https://www.futurelearn.com/courses/understanding-language/11/todo/56788

среда, 13 ноября 2019 г.

Summer


Лето 2019 было и так и сяк
Началось жаркими днями в конце мая, кончилось в конце июня. Да да, ровно месяц. Ровно два купания в Исконе. В июле топили печку каждый день. Важная заметка: Борис стал понимать просьбу "включи обогреватель" и научился включать. Вот, собственно, и все, что нужно знать о русском лете.

Может, напишу попозже, в красках, а может, и нет...

Приезжала мама с Сашей и Кешей.
Это фотофакт. 
три года не виделись. Время летит! А мы отдаляемся. Семья моей старшей сестры все растет, ждут четвертого, ну да будут здоровы! 

Яблок было очень много и груш. Мы уехали 25 августа, оставив деревья с плодами дозревать и осыпаться. Вот ведь как мир устроен, перерабатывать и хранить невыгодно. Лучше покупать свежее всю зиму на рынке по одному кило, чем в конце лета амбары забивать. Остается лишь переосмысливать наше богатство. 

вторник, 12 ноября 2019 г.

Task Based Learning


This is an important and widely-used language teaching approach.

Now let's start with comparing it to PPP, which means present, practice, produce. In the PPP classroom the teacher leads and controls everything. So there is limited space for student activity and student agency. PPP also involves a linear syllabus. So there's one chance to master grammatical rules and other elements of language. And finally, in the PPP format, lessons can become a bit tedious and predictable. So not the best way of motivating learners. The alternative which has developed is task based language teaching.

In TBLT the focus is on meaning rather than form, on the things we do with language rather than the features of grammar and other rules. TBLT focuses on activities which engage students in using language in diverse and creative ways. TBLT involves the four language skills; listening, speaking, reading, and writing. TBLT has the potential to recycle language knowledge such as grammar and vocabulary. TBLT aligns in many ways with theoretical understandings of the processes of language learning. For example, current research into language learning emphasises the importance of meaning based language production. It emphasises 'noticing,' where learners using the language identify what it is they should be using, and also what it is they still have to learn.

And finally, it promotes the notion of 'languaging,' which emphasises the process of working out, actively working out, the language that's needed to complete a given language function. In defining tasks, there - a range of approaches have been developed. According to Willis 1996, tasks are activities where the target language is used by the learner for a communicative purpose in order to achieve an outcome. Another interesting area in recent research is the notion of how teachers use tasks. A study by Andon and Eckerth 2009 illustrates four functions for teachers. 

First of all, tasks are ways in which teachers get students to use their own words to communicate their own meanings.

Second, the tasks are contexts in the classroom where the language of the classroom is made more like the language of the real world outside the classroom. 

Third, task structure activities. There's an outcome and then the students have an awareness of the structure of the lesson that the teacher has planned. 

And then finally, they are reference points for language input. So teachers can introduce explicitly or focus on particular language forms which benefit the students. 

To say few words about the future of TBLT.

TBLT with all its variations has become the predominant approach to language teaching, in terms of what we find in course books and other learning materials, in the content of teacher education programmes, and in quality management schemes around the world. While there may be still some questions of effectiveness of TBLT, the promise of greater effectiveness is likely to come from further variations and adaptations of TBLT rather than another teaching method or approach.

Watch this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5OLySXzZY-4


When is an activity not a task?
Task-based teaching is about creating opportunities for meaning-focused language use.

In other words, learners doing tasks will not just be

  • speaking to practise a new structure e.g. doing a drill or enacting a dialogue or asking and answering questions using the ‘new' patterns;
  • or writing to display their control of certain language items,

These are primarily form-focused activities, designed to practise language items that have been presented earlier. There is a place for form-focused activities in task-based learning (TBL), but activities such as these are not tasks.

Learners doing tasks (i.e. focusing on meanings) will be making free use of whatever English they can recall to express the things that they really want to say or write in the process of achieving the task goal.

What kind of activity is a task?
Willis and Willis (2007:12-14) offer the following criteria in the form of questions.

‘The more confidently you can answer yes to each of these questions, the more task-like the activity.

  1. Will the activity engage learners' interest?
  2. Is there a primary focus on meaning?
  3. Is there a goal or an outcome?
  4. Is success judged in terms of outcome?
  5. Is completion a priority?
  6. Does the activity relate to real world activities?'

Let us consider the task ‘Planning a class night out' in the light of these criteria.

  • I think the lesson would certainly engage my learners' interest, especially if they knew they would actually be going on the chosen night out, so a) is Yes.
  • Learners have strong preferences about nights out and would definitely be meaning what they say, so Yes to b).
  • The first outcome for each pair is their finished plan for the night out, (which must be complete before they tell the class about it so the class can vote on the best plan) and a second outcome might be the real-world night out, so a confident Yes to c), d), e) and f).

Work in pairs. Talk about your grandparents.

  • Tell each other what you know about their past lives.
  • Use the phrases and patterns from the box above.

 Adding a goal or outcome to make a task

For the ‘Grandparents' activity we need to add a goal to give the activity a purpose and make the outcome more specific so that learners know when they have completed the task. Some sample outcomes follow here and you could add one of these sets of instructions, depending on which outcome you think would best engage the learners in your class.

  1. Try to find out three things that your grandparents' and your partner's grandparents' lives had in common. What was the biggest difference between them?
  2. Or
  3. Decide which one of your partner's grandparents was / is the most interesting person and give two reasons why you think so. Then tell the class about him/her and vote to decide on the three most interesting grandparents in the class.
  4. Or
  5. Describe two early memories you have of one particular grandparent. Tell your group. Take notes when listening to each other.
    • Compare your memories - whose were the most interesting, most vivid, most amusing, saddest or strangest?
    • And/Or:
    • Compare your groups' memories and try to find ways to classify them (e.g. to do with food or meal-times? games? outings? being ill? negative / positive things?) Then report your categories to the class, with examples. Did you all have similar ways of classifying?

If learners are clear what the outcome should be, and know the number of things to list or describe, they are more likely to engage with the task, speak with more confidence and know when they have completed it. Successful task achievement will greatly increase their satisfaction and motivation. When, after completing the task cycle, they look more closely at language forms used by others doing similar tasks, they will already be familiar with the contexts and have experienced the need for some of those forms.

Source  article: https://www.teachingenglish.org.uk/article/criteria-identifying-tasks-tbl?page=1

Join in the course 'Understanding Language'
https://www.futurelearn.com/courses/understanding-language/11/todo/56788

понедельник, 11 ноября 2019 г.

Strategies for teaching Reading

It has never come to my mind that there is no successfull reading aloud for comprehension in the classroom, so never do it. You've got to have a purpose to do reading aloud activities wich is not comprehension or reading for gist. It just does not work.

I loved this article (which I've copied below)
https://www.wabisabilearning.com/blog/10-ways-improving-reading-comprehension

10 EFFECTIVE WAYS OF IMPROVING READING COMPREHENSION IN YOUR LEARNERS

If you were to ask, most teachers would agree improving reading comprehension is about teaching students how to think while reading.

The truth is your learners need practical guidance before they read. In that spirit, here is a step-by-step guide that can help your students improve their reading comprehension significantly.

1. DISCUSS READING COMPREHENSION

Writing a one-page handout detailing your ideas about reading comprehension and why it’s important can be helpful. You can include your ideas about subjects such as taking notes, setting goals, and asking questions. Additionally, connect the importance of improving reading comprehension to something practical and relevant to them like texting, emails, and blogs. Share these written thoughts with your learners and use the handout as a reminder throughout the school year.

2. DISCUSS EACH ASSIGNMENT

Prior to each reading assignment, you should tell students what you want them to learn from the text. Ask them a few questions and tell them you want to discuss the answers in the next class. They should also write down your questions and use them in group discussions of their own.

3. DISCUSS EACH ASSIGNMENT

Prior to each reading assignment, you should tell students what you want them to learn from the text. Ask them a few questions and tell them you want to discuss the answers in the next class. They should also write down your questions and use them in group discussions of their own.

4. URGE THINKING BEFORE READING

Students should read your questions and/or the book’s questions before they begin reading. This should help them know when to focus on text and when to skim it. In other words, thinking before reading can help them be selective instead of trying to comprehend every sentence. The questions can also help them formulate their own questions before they begin reading.

5. TEACH GOAL SETTING

Teaching students to set goals before they read is also a good idea. Initially, the goal might be to answer your questions. Eventually, they should be able to set their own goals such as “I want to understand why the Civil War started.” “Before reading, good readers tend to set goals for their reading,” reports the article “What Research Tells Us About Reading, Comprehension, and Comprehension Instruction.” “They are likely to focus more of their attention on the parts of the text that are most closely tied to their reading goals.”


6. URGE THINKING WHILE READING

Perhaps the most important tip you can give learners about how to read is that their reading comprehension is most likely to improve when they stop reading. Students should be thinking while they’re reading rather than reading continuously. Thus, they should be taught to stop when they are confused or have a question or thought about what they have just read. Teaching students to stop and think might lead them to reread what they have just read or seek the answers to their questions in the material that they haven’t read yet.

7. URGE NOTE TAKING

It's likely most of your high school classmates did not take notes while they did their schoolwork. In college, though, everyone took notes in their textbooks. Your students should know that college students regularly highlight important material via underlining, circles, and notes in margins. They can take notes too, in notebooks rather than textbooks. Students should be encouraged to stop reading after they have read something important and write down that fact, point, or argument. They should also be writing the answers to your pre-reading assignment questions.

8. TELL THEM TO PLAN AHEAD

Reading doesn’t accomplish much in and of itself. Reading assignments should be connected to future class discussions, oral presentations, tests, or reports. Thus, you should urge students to stop reading when they think of a point they want to make for a class discussion, oral presentation, test, or report. They should write down their points. Emphasize that they can prepare for a test while reading. There is nothing wrong with giving students an idea about questions on tests. You want them to practice improving their skills so they’re ready when they’re being graded.

9. RECOMMEND VISUALIZING

“Some good readers may also create mental images, or visualize a setting, event, or character to help them understand a passage in a text,” the Texas Education Agency wrote. Are students more apt to recall what happened at the Yalta Conference if they can visualize U.S. leader Franklin D. Roosevelt, United Kingdom leader Winston Churchill, and Soviet Union leader Joseph Stalin talking about what to do after World War II ended? Some will. It’s a good idea to mention to students, who could also learn better by studying the text’s photos and captions.

10. ASSIGN SUMMARIES

Asking students to write summaries of what they have read sounds like you're requiring them to do a lot of work , but you can emphasize that these summaries can reduce how much time they spend studying, or cramming, for a test. Essentially, these summaries can be homework. They can also help students prepare for class discussions and oral presentations.



Some more about teaching Reading (taken from the Workshop 'Developing Reading Sub-skills - by M.Meshcheryakova M.)


Global Reading Strategies
settitg goals before reading and reading selectively to achieve those goals
* activating prior knowledge
previewing the text
* forming predictions
* monitoring the accuracy of those predictions and modifying them where necessary

making summaries
* connecting knowledge gained from the text tobackground knowledge
* identifying central arguments

* forming appropriate questions about the text
* using text structure to predict direction of the text
* inferring meaning fromcontext


Top-down Reading Sub-skills

1. Identifying and understanding the gist
2. Identifying the topic of the text and recognising the topic changes
3. Distinguishing key information from less important one
4. Inferring the writer's attitude
5. Following the development of an argument
6. Following the sequence of a narrative
7. Paraphrasing the text

Bottom-up Reading Sub-skills
1. Recognising the script
2. Recognising words and identifying their grammatical function
3. Understanding vocabulary
4. Recognising grammar features such as word endings, and being able to 'unpack' the syntax of the sentence
5. Recognising discourse markers and other cohesive devices
6. Identifying text type, text purpose and text organisation




Considerations about reading

There are good readers and poor readers in L1 as well as in L2,
so in my classes there going to be a differentiated system of reading tasks and different interactive strategies like pair or group work, information gap reading, mingle activity, etc.

The transfer of L1 reading skills to L2 reading skills is important.
I'd better relate to this overtly, namely...
It's essential to start with global understanding and move
towards detailed understanding, so first reading tasks could
be, for example, one of the following: reading for gist, summarizing, defining the style or genre, giving a title to the passage, picture drawing.

And the second can be, for example, telling the story from the point of view of a different character. Or answering special questions to practice some grammatical structures. Or creating a mind map to deduce inferred meaning and author's attitude.

I remember the huge variety of text types in real life, so in the classroom I try to give not only stories and articles, but blogue posts, menues, catalogues, adverticements, pictures and comments to them, etc. Learners would soon learn to tell the difference between the styles and register of the texts. 

I remember the wide variety of reasons for reading in real life, and I give realistic tasks. I like integrating skills. Reading is a social skill, so I encourage appropriate responses to reading, such as discussions, writing essays, making predictions or writing alternative endings. I appreciate learners for setting their own goals, let them focus their attention on the parts which are close to their reading goals.

Reading is a social skill, so I encourage appropriate responses to reading,
such as expressing learners' ideas, agreement/disagreement with the author, writing an alternative ending, acting out some scenes (for stories).
If we deal with non-fiction text, if it is a prospect, catalogue, some product description the tasks could be: making orders, choices, writing reports to a technical support or  refund requests, or giving a recommendation to a friend.

Use authentic texts wherever possible. By simplifying we often destroy the reference, the redundancy and discourse markers that actually help to make the text more accessible. What we can and must vary, simplify/make more difficult is the goals setting, but not the text.

I usually encourage learners to deduce the meaning of lexis from the text, rather than getting stuck on in dividual words, let the interest etc. of the text keep them at discourse level for as
long as possible. What I do for this purpose is...
Using symbols while reading
V – I agree with this
X – I disagree with this
? – I don’t understand fully
! – this is surprising/shocking
lol – this is funny

create some interactive tasks, games, word hunts, scaffolding and gesticulation.

I avoid always promoting linguistic reasons for reading. I encourage extensive reading, reading for pleasure. 

I keep askig questions:
“Did you enjoy that?"
Was the information new for you?
What ideas mentioned in the text were new for you? 
What would you do if you were one of the characters?
Would you like to read more of this author?
Have you expected a different ending?
How you assess yourself, was it too hard or too easy, rate it between one and ten points.

My students love alternative comprehension ways, such as
drawings, mental visualization, pantomime, mimicking sounds, summarizing with the help of emoji.



***
3 principles of designing you task:
Effective
Entertaining
Setting purposes

Open-ended tasks and activities are loved by Ss, not so boring, require more creativity, develop skills instead of testing.

понедельник, 28 октября 2019 г.

Что с нами не так? Как уживаются религия и наука?

Понравилась статья. Очень.
Копирую полностью.

В плену атеистов и шизофреников: что не так с религией и образованием

воскресенье, 27 октября 2019 г.

Reflective journal

What's new in the methology:

I remember this classification of skills from my course in the Linguistic University: there are active skills (speaking and writing) and passive (listening and reading).
However today this idea is so much outdated.
Receptive skills are not passive skills, because our brain works hard while listening or reading it is a complicated process of interaction with the text.

Teachers do not point out the mistakes, they show the points of growth. One part of me likes these ideas whereas the other feels a trap to fall into. Aren't we brining up a generation of weak millenials,who are not able to work under pressure? 

How would you feel if you heard these words from your teacher:

Dear _____ (name), I can see your hard work and I like the way you can do this, and this...  I've noticed some progress you are making here and here... You are good at learning particular things... And if you want to know youi points of growth I can help you to work on this... I believe you can do better here, let's practice more here...

Wow, these words can be so inspiring and encouraging for any learner! Have you just noticed that the teacher actually was talking about the mistakes? Have you noticed any critics? No. It sounds absolutely positive. Great job! 

We want to bring up confident and successful generation, put this idea in all minds: 'you can succeed'. But how about the opposite thing, teaching to face difficulties? Facing some critics? Dealing with mistakes and self-correction? Isn't all these sweet-talking doing a bad favour? The learners who can't go on if they don't get praised and admired. The teachers who do not dare to point out the mist... misakes. The learners who can not stand the pressure of a hard task.

Am I exaggerating? Yes, a bit. I am just practicing writing a piece of text. Isn't it too emotional? Would be glad to share with anyone and get some feedback. No. The truth is: I want to be praised for my job :) kidding.



Watch this nice video about the job interview 
https://youtu.be/BIpREvWtl70





среда, 11 сентября 2019 г.

Здоровье

Мое здоровье. Не помню, чтобы я отличалась энергичностью и выносливостью в свои 20 лет. Совершенно неспортивная, дремлящая на утомительных лекциях студентка иняза, малоподвижная молодость. Могу сказать одно: спорт был вроде как не в моде в нулевые, в Иркутске. Если у тебя нет освобождения от физры, то ты как бы лох, носишь форму с собой? Да ну ты че? И как, одна небось на уроке с тренером/тренершей? Ну да, практически так оно и было. Помню ездила на коньки, совершенно одна, Инязовский стадион был расположен на другом берегу от Универа, нужно было иметь большое желание, чтобы явиться на физру. В общем, спорт был эпизодическим.

В двадцать восемь я родила дочку. Беременность меня наделила варикозом. Спустя всего один месяц после родов я стала дома, в своей комнатке, в любое доступное время суток (даже ночью) пробовать свои силы на базовых тренировках. По началу не могла держать элементарный баланс, выполняя прыжки "ножницы". Но прогресс шел легко, я пробовала новое, открывала новое. Мой первый смартфончик позволил мне в любой момент включить тренировочку из ютюба и выполнять вместе с какой-нибудь фитоняшей в реальном времени. Моя первая наставница была очень субтильная Кристина с её каналом fitberry. Я узнала о табата (высокоинтенсивные интервальные тренировки), для чего установила интервальный таймер (приложение). Результаты ошеломляющие! Очень быстро привела себя в форму.
Позже Кристина из ютюба куда-то делась, мне сильно её не хватало, я вышла на Зюзку (Zuzka Light) с таким же подходом HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training). Кроме этого я пыталась понять что такое йога, как правильно делать асаны. По видео этому научиться не просто, нужен был человек, который бы направил, исправил, обратил мое внимание на нюансы. И я таких людей находила, это все происходило во время пребывания на Кипре (спасибо огромное Марине, Оксане Б. Сергею Б.)
Любила ставить разные новые задачи, challenges, например, приседание "пистолетик" по 4 на каждую ногу вполне тянула, подтягивалась 4 р, мечтала увеличить до 12 р. Укрепляла руки, практиковала перевернутые позы и планки, стремилась встать на руки.

В тридцать лет у меня появился абонемент в фитнес клуб Онегин в центре Москвы. Тут я узнала пилатес, аква-аэробику, степ-платформу,  велотренажер (кстати - огонь!) Я чувствовала себя бодрее и моложе, чем в 20!

В общем, мой спортивный стаж рос вместе с дочкой. Вторая беременность очень сильно пошатнула мою веру в свои силы. В 34 года я практически исключила все виды занятий. Я думала, что мне будет легко повторить свой первый опыт приведения себя в форму после родов. Я ошибалась. В моем организме нарушились все системы. Бег и силовые уже не приносят ни радости, ни энергии. Я вдруг поняла, что трачу себя, накапливается усталость, болят суставы, ощущаю асимметрию во всем теле, боль в спине, в мышцах появляются судороги, то ли гигрома кистевых суставов, то ли болезнь Хаглунда на пятке. Много всего. Все идет не так. Буквально бросила все. Но и это не правильно. Очень мечтаю вернуться к активности.

Очень обидно что ли. Не разобралась даже в чем суть. Вроде бы как войти в спорт с нуля было легко, никаких проблем, все везде тянулось, наклоны, развороты, выпады, скручивания... - все что хошь. А сейчас не могу выполнить обычный наклон, провисание вперед. Поясница не позволит потом встать, так и рухну.

Связываю с кормлением. Да, уже год и восемь месяцев все еще кормлю Бориса грудью. Мечтаю через месяц прекратить ГВ и вот тогда... Например, ходить по утрам на набережную, спортивным шагом до завтрака. Ну или до школы дочь отводить.
Наверное, и питаться буду  правильно. Хочу меньше сахара. Но именно к сахару есть тяга. Могу без колбасы, без мяса, а без сладенького как-то и день не мил...



Урррааааа! я наконец купила валик (цилиндр, ролик, whatever) для пилатеса 15х90 см!  Заказали на Wildberries, хотя присматривала на Aliexpress. В первый же день намассировала спину чуть не до синяков. Яркая игрушка. Дети спорят за право обладать ею одновременно, а потом весь день валяется никому не нужная штуковина :)