Theory a Critical Discussion of Essay

  • Length: 15 pages
  • Sources: 10
  • Subject: Communication - Language
  • Type: Essay
  • Paper: #25858207

Excerpt from Essay :

English for academic purposes approach focuses on the reader, too, not as a specific individual but as the representative of a discourse community, for example, a specific discipline or academia in general. The reader is an initiated expert who represents a faculty audience. This reader, particularly omniscient and all-powerful, is likely to be an abstract representation, a generalized construct, one reified from an examination of academic assignments and texts (Raimes, 1991).

Partnership Teaching is not just an extension of co-operative teaching. Co-operative teaching consists of a language support teacher and class teacher jointly planning a curriculum and teaching strategies which will take into account the learning needs of all pupils. The point is to adjust the learning situation in order to fit the pupils. Partnership Teaching is more than that. It builds on the notion of co-operative teaching by linking the work of two teachers with plans for curriculum improvement and staff development across the entire school (Davison, 2006).

During the 20 years most English-medium schools around the world have adopted some form of partnership or collaborative teaching in order to improve the incorporation of ESL/EAL students into the mainstream classroom and to develop more language-conscious approaches to teaching. In Australia, in response to state government policy and student need, a major push of the school ESL program is now being seen in support of team teaching in the mainstream classroom. In Canada there has been a long recognized tradition of collaborative teaching in regards to ESL. More and more of these joint models are also being widely endorsed in international schools around the world as well as in the tertiary segment. There are a small but rising number of in-service education proposals and research studies in this area, but most of this work has focused on methods and techniques to use in the classroom or on the analysis of the linguistic demands of the content areas. Only very recently has much attention been paid to researching the process of co-planning and co-teaching and to supporting and evaluating the development of partnership between ESL/EAL and content-area teachers (Davison, 2006).

Co-teaching is conventionally defined as the teamwork between general and special education (SPED) teachers for all of the teaching tasks of all of the students assigned to a particular classroom. This description has frequently been extended to allow the collaborative partnership between a mainstream teacher and a service provider or specialist other than a SPED teacher, such as a remedial math teacher, a reading specialist, and a teacher of the gifted and talented and, more recently, the English as a Second Language (ESL) teacher (Honigsfeld and Dove, 2007).

In a co-taught classroom, ELL's learn typical content along with their monolingual peers. When learning groups continue to be heterogeneous, ELL's are given the opportunity to work with students who have a variety of academic capabilities and English language fluency. This is in contrast to remedial or ESL pullout programs, in which ELL's are either put with youngsters who are struggling readers and writers or have no English language ability. ELL's often have different needs than do remedial students. An ESL program should work to progress student understanding of English while teaching materials, as well as offer English-proficient peers to serve as language models. These are some of the essential fundamentals of a successful ESL co-teaching model. Within a mainstream classroom, an ESL teacher can demonstrate strategies during a co-taught lesson, and the classroom teacher can uphold the use of these same strategies with ELL's when the BSL teacher is no longer present. Often, the trade of ideas between teachers allows for more risk taking and the use of ground-breaking strategies on the part of each teacher to profit all students in the classroom (Honigsfeld and Dove, 2007).

The natural approach to language learning is founded on the doctrine of several theories, the most prominent one being The Monitor Model developed by Stephen Krasher. The principles of this model are based on several hypotheses which include:

Learning and Acquisition Hypothesis - The learner has two ways of attaining the second language. This can be done through Subconscious Acquisition and Conscious Learning. This means that the learner must learn to speak and think in the second language.

The Monitor Hypothesis - The subconscious knowledge of the second language permits the learner to verify and correct language output shaping a kind of careful editing process.

The Natural Order Hypothesis - The attainment of languages occurs in a conventional order. There are definite widespread procedures of language development. Each person has an internal normal syllabus of attainment which results in comparable errors at comparable moments regardless of which language is being learned.

The Input Hypothesis - Language must be learned in a scaffolded manner. The contribution must be understandable, meaningful, and just outside of the learners' present understanding and competence. The learners expand their knowledge of language by building on what they already recognize (The Natural Approach, n.d.).

Another method is that of The Silent Way. The purpose of The Silent Way Method of language teaching is for students to work as self-regulating language learners. The teacher talks very little when utilizing this method. The situation of the teacher is to draw the learners' attention to the way that they are going about the process of learning. The teacher makes it possible for students' discoveries and helps the students to expand insight into the functioning of the language. In order to use this method some specific materials are required:

A Sound/Color Wall Chart: this consists of different color rectangles in which each color represents a phoneme or sound of the English language.

Word Wall Charts: this is made up of words that are written using the similar color code as the sound/color wall chart suggests. These charts exhibit the structural vocabulary of the language.

Spelling Charts: these charts are known as the Fidel. They show the likely spellings for each phoneme by using the same color code as the sound/color wall chart.

Rods: these are cards containing sounds which correspond to the sound/color wall chart. These rods help students to generate words using phonemes.

It is thought that a pointer should be used by the teacher in order to help direct the class as they vocalize the sounds. A pointer can also be used to teach which syllable has the stress on it by tapping that syllable harder than the others. This assists in the development of correct pronunciation of words in the target language (The Silent Way, n.d.).

The Direct Method is the knowledge of language in a pertinent setting. This method has one basic decree and that is that there is no translation allowed. The meaning of the name Direct Method comes from the fact that meaning is to be expressed directly into the second language through expression and visual aids. The main principles of the Direct Method are:

The learner is aggressively involved in using the language in practical everyday situations.

Students are expected to think in the target language.

Speaking is taught first before reading or writing.

Only daily vocabulary and sentences are taught.

Concrete vocabulary is taught by way of demonstration, objects, and pictures.

Abstract vocabulary is taught by connecting ideas.

This method says that the printed word should be kept back from the second language learner for as long as feasible (The Direct Method, n.d.).

Teaching language has gone through a variety of important trends during the 20th century. Essentially, those trends reflected developments in philosophy, linguistics, psychology, theories of learning and psycho-pedagogy. What resulted is the appearance of a great number of language teaching methodologies, such as the Audio-lingual approach, the Communicative approach and some less traditional or popular like the Silent Way approach, The Community Language Learning approach, the Natural approach and the Total Physical approach (Language Teaching Methodologies in Computer-Assisted Language Learning, 2009).

Similar to the development of these language-learning methodologies, computer-assisted language learning (CALL) has advanced under the influence of technological developments. In fact, computer-assisted language learning was visualized as far back as the Second World War. Technological limitations, until then, were just too limitative for language learning and were reduced to some very specific, small projects. With the formidable expansion of the personal computer in the 80's and 90's however, the technology caught up and allowed some applications of CALL to develop. However, most developed programs were enhanced copy and paste applications of material that already existed under a written form, like grammar texts divided in chapter with series of exercises. While CD-ROMs and online access language programs provide some benefits over a course manual, like auto-correction of exercises and automatic grading as well as some audio support, in essence these programs are not an improvement over manual versions and brought nothing new to the learning environment (Language Teaching Methodologies in Computer-Assisted Language Learning, 2009).

Integrating technologies into language pedagogy has become a reality for…

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