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Teaching by principles
Thread poster: Kim Metzger

Kim Metzger  Identity Verified
Mexico
Local time: 22:29
German to English
Jun 17, 2004

A very good book on teaching languages is "Teaching by Principles, An Interactive Approach to Language Pedagogy" by H. Douglas Brown. I think a very good way to start talking about teaching languages is to start with the basics, the principles of teaching and learning.

The author explains that "it is important to focus on what we DO know, what we have learned, what we can say with some certainty, about second language acquisition. We can then come to grips with this notion that a great many of a teacher's CHOICES spring from established PRINCIPLES of language learning and teaching. By perceiving and internalizing connections between practice (choices you make in the classroom) and theory (principles derived from research), your teaching is likely to be "enlightened." You will be better able to see why you have chosen to use a particular classroom technique ... to carry it out with confidence, and to evaluate its utility after the fact.
You may be thinking that such a principled approach to language teaching sounds only logical: How could one proceed otherwise? Well, I have seen many a novice language teacher gobble up teaching techniques without carefully considering the criteria that underlie their successful application in the classroom. "Just give me 101 recipes for Monday morning teaching," say some. "I just want to know what to DO when I get into the classroom." Unfortunately, this sort of quick-fix approach to teacher education will not give you that all-important ability to comprehend when to use a technique, with whom it will work, how to adapt it for your audience, or how to judge its effectiveness."

Brown offers 12 principles of second language learning divided into cognitive, affective and linguistic principles:
Cognitive
1. Automaticity
2. Meaningful learning
3. The anticipation of reward
4. Intrinsic motivation
5. Strategic investment
Affective
1. Language ego
2. Self-confidence
3. Risk-taking
4. The language-culture connection
Linguistic
1. The native language effect
2. Interlanguage
3. Communicative competence

What do you guys think about the "principles" of learning and teaching?

Kim


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Kim Metzger  Identity Verified
Mexico
Local time: 22:29
German to English
TOPIC STARTER
Cognitive principles Jun 17, 2004

Here's how Brown defines the first five of his principles.

COGNITIVE PRINCIPLES
These principles are "cognitive" because they relate mainly to mental and intellectual functions. "It should be clear, however, that all twelve of the principles ... spill across our somewhat arbitrary, affective and linguistic boundaries."

1. Principle of automaticity

Efficient second language learning involves a timely movement of the control of a few language forms into the automatic processing of a relatively unlimited number of language forms. Overanalyzing language, thinking too much about its forms, and consciously lingering on rules of language all tend to impede this graduation to automaticity.

2. Meaningful learning

Meaningful learning will lead toward better long-term retention than rote learning.

3. The anticipation of reward

Human beings are universally driven to act, or "behave," by the anticipation of some sort of reward – tangible or intangible, short term or long term – that will ensue as a result of the behavior.

4. The Intrinsic Motivation Principle

The most powerful rewards are those that are intrinsically motivated within the learner. Because the behavior stems from needs, wants, or desires within oneself, the behavior itself is self-rewarding; therefore, no externally administered reward is necessary at all.

5. Strategic investment

Successful mastery of the second language will be due to a large extent to a learner's own personal "investment" of time, effort, and attention to the second language in the form of an individualized battery of strategies for comprehending and producing the language.

H. Douglas Brown


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Silvina Morelli
English to Spanish
+ ...
other websites Jun 19, 2004

Are there any websites that I can see classes portrayed as models for teachers? Thanks.

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Kim Metzger  Identity Verified
Mexico
Local time: 22:29
German to English
TOPIC STARTER
Lesson plans Jun 19, 2004

Silvina Morelli wrote:

Are there any websites that I can see classes portrayed as models for teachers? Thanks.


Hi Silvina,
Have you seen this site? If not, check it out and let us know what you think.

http://www.eslcafe.com/

Best wishes from Mexico, Kim


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Kim Metzger  Identity Verified
Mexico
Local time: 22:29
German to English
TOPIC STARTER
Lesson plans Jun 19, 2004

Here are some lesson plans from Dave's ESL Cafe

http://www.csun.edu/~hcedu013/eslplans.html


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Kim Metzger  Identity Verified
Mexico
Local time: 22:29
German to English
TOPIC STARTER
Models Jun 19, 2004

Silvina Morelli wrote:

Are there any websites that I can see classes portrayed as models for teachers? Thanks.


Hi again, Silvina,
I think I may have misunderstood your question. I guess it's not lesson plans you're interested in, but actual classes being given by good teachers. I think it's possible to buy videos of classes being taught, but if I remember correctly they are very expensive. Maybe someone else knows where to find something along those lines.
If that doesn't work for you, my suggestion would be to go to a school near where you live and talk to the headmaster or director of language programs. You could ask him or her if you could sit in on some classes just as an observer.
Did I understand your question properly?

Cheers, Kim


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