Monday, August 15, 2016

DEC 5 CONVENTION: Mawa s presentation

     This presentation is about teaching autonomy and focuses mainly on learning strategies, learner training and then on the teacher’s role. Learner autonomy has been the ‘buzz word’ in foreign language teaching in the recent twenty years. The development of autonomy in learners presupposes the development of autonomy in teachers. It should be emphasized that at the core of the notion of autonomy are the learner’s ability and willingness to make choices independently. In foreign language learning contexts, we are concerned mainly with helping learners to make and carry out choices. With the teaching of language being more and more communication-oriented, the tradiational classroom teaching is facing a big challenge and is being replaced by the "learner-centered" one. This means that learners will assume greater responsibility for their own learning. That is to say, learner autonomy has to be enhanced to meet the need of the new classroom teaching mode.
First: what is autonomy? [activity 1]
Major schools of learning: a personal characteristic: it relies on attitude toward learning, previous experience of learning and personality.
A political concept: our right as a learner within a country and the recognition of the rights of a non native speaker of English in relation to a native speaker within the global order of English.
An educational framework: active participation in the social processes of classroom learning, an active interpreter of new information of what s/he knows.
What is stopping learner autonomy from becoming part of the curriculum in most schools?
The first hurdle is the learners themselves. In fact, they must master a variety of difficult skills in order to become an autonomous leaner.
Raising awareness: for most students, this means a change in how they view the role of the student and teacher. So, it is important to present a new viewpoint, encourage them to bring the inner processes of learning to the conscious level of their thinking. Most activities are tightly structured and teacher controlled. At this stage, we assume that the learners are not yet responsible and need to be told. [ activity 2]
Changing attitude: the next step is to introduce the skills introduced in the previous stage. This is a slow process requiring a lot of practice especially as it involves breaking away from old patterns of behavior. [activity 3: sit down/stand up]
Transferring roles: requires considerable change in class management. The activities are loosely structured and give the students considerable amounts of freedom in accomplishing the tasks and deciding about tasks. [ activity 4: taking the teacher out of the limelight]
A similar process has to be gone through by teachers who wish to teach leaner autonomy.

Activity 1: identify the teacher centered attitudes and the student centered attitudes.
  1. I have all the information
  2. It is my job to transmit the knowledge to you
  3. The syllabus, the exam and the information are here for us to share
  4. I am responsible for your learning
  5. I am not the fount of all knowledge
  6. You are responsible for your own learning
  7. I am here to facilitate your leaning by providing resources and support
  8. It is my job to make sure that you work
  9. As the adult and the professional, I have the expertise to make the right judgements and decisions about your learning
  10. I trust that you want to learn and will take the responsibility for your own learning

Adapted from Brandes and Ginnes

Activity 2: Raising awareness
         Making the most of my English Classes: score each suggestion from (0 (not important to 5 (very important)
How can I help myself in class?

How can my teacher help me?

Use English as much as possible

Listen and talk to me

Ask questions

Give me encouragement

Go to class as often as possible and arrive on time

Give me opportunities to talk and listen in English

Participate as much as possible

Make the lesson enjoyable

Add more suggestions

Make the lesson useful

How can my classmates help me?

Make the lessons challenging

Listen and talk to me

Give me opportunities to read and write in English

Help me when I have difficulties

Show me how to do things

Correct me when I speak English

Help me when I have difficulties

Do exercises with me in class

Correct me when I speak English

Make me feel good about learning

Help me to pronounce English better

Add more suggestions

Add more suggestions

Activity 3: Changing attitudes – Sit down/stand up
Group the students and give them a key word for a category of words to listen out. Tell the students a story featuring lots of words from the categories you have given out. Every time the group hears a word related to their category, they must stand up or sit down. This helps to teach the students that they can rely on the others in the group for the answer if they have not heard it themselves. It also adds a kinesthetic element to the activity which is unusual for many students.

Activity 4: Transferring roles – taking the teacher out of the limelight

“The Unified Society of Believers” were a religious group founded in 1774 by Ann Lee who, with her followers, emigrated to America later that same year. They worshipped by singing, dancing, shaking, and whirling around. Eventually, they became known as “The Shakers”.
   The Shakers were a peaceful sect that welcomed people of all races. They were against war and lived in their own villages separate from the rest of the society. They lived communally, that is, sharing their property and working for the common good. The qualities they admired were kindness, generosity, modesty, purity, cleanliness, and love for humanity.
  The Shakers are probably best known for their celibacy and industriousness. Single men and women did not marry. Married couples who joined the religion had to live apart. In the Shaker community, males and females lived in separate communal houses. They had strict rules regarding behavior between sexes, such as never shaking hands or touching each other in any way. When conversation between a man and a woman was necessary, it was done in the company of others. At their almost daily meetings for conversation and singing, males and females sat opposite each other.
  Over the years, the original Shaker community in New York expanded to twenty-four scattered among eight states in the eastern United States.  Many people were attracted to their peaceful ways and clean crime-free villages. Eventually, the Shakers paid a price for their celibacy, however, because without children to carry on their traditions anb beliefs, their numbers eventually dwindled to a very few.
     Extracted from Weaving it Together, Book 3, Milada Broukai, pp 71-72

Somebody is watching you (categories= invasion of privacy, new technologies, breaking the law, repression)
   CCTV cameras were initially developed as a means of security for banks. In Britain they first appeared in 1953 and by the 1960s, there were already a few cameras in major streets of London. Today, there are more than 4 million CCTV cameras across the country. The cameras are there to film dangerous or illegal behavior. With new software, they can automatically recognize the faces of known offenders, and a new kind of CCTV in the Netherlands can detect angry voices and automatically warn the police of trouble. Some CCTV cameras can even interact with the people they are watching. But these cameras don’t just watch criminal, they watch all of us, almost all the time. Every time we go into a shop, use a cash machine, or travel on public transport, a camera records our actions.
  The amount of surveillance in towns and cities across Britain is increasing because it is thought to deter crime. Some goods in shops have RFID (radio frequency identification tags) attached to them. When you pick one of these items, the RFID tag sends a radio message to a CCTV camera and the camera starts filming you. Shops say that this technology helps to catch shoplifters –but only by treating everybody as a potential criminal.
  Every time you make or receive a call on your mobile phone, the phone company knows the number of the phone you are calling and how long the call lasts. It is even possible to work out your exact location. And what about satellites? Are they watching us from space? How much can they see? Anybody with a computer can download Google Earth and get satellite photos of the entire world. Perhaps governments are using even more powerful satellites to watch the illegal actions of their citizens. Even when you are at home, you are not necessarily safe from surveillance. When you use your computer to visit websites, you are probably sending and receiving ‘cookies’ without realizing it. Cookies transfer information from your computer to the website and, in theory, could record which websites you visit.  
Excerpt from Aim High, Tim Falla and Paul A Davies, p. 4

Activity 5: How to involve learners in their learning in a test-oriented educational system?
Assessment is probably one of the most important tools to help our students learn.
Task 1 What is assessment?

Task 2: We have two columns below and you should indicate which one is AOL (assessment of learning) and which one is AFL (assessment for learning).


. Integral part teaching learning process
. Reflects on and improves learning
. Process oriented: how learning is going
. Diagnostic
. Promotes collaboration
. Almost all assessment tools

. Evaluates or judges student achievement
. Collects data and counts final grades
. Product oriented: what’s been learned?
. Judgmental
. Promotes competition
. Almost all assessment tools

Assessment for learning is ……………………………………assessment and assessment of learning is ………………………………………….assessment.

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