We have seen that guided practice and communication are quite distinct one from another; that is, whilst the first represents “apparent communication”, the second one, conversely, implies “real communication”. The goal of communicative language teaching is "communicative competence," which is achieved through the use of the foreign language for actual communicative purposes.

Based on Brandl’s (2008) guidelines for implementing communicative activities, in this blog (300-350 words approx.) I would like you to reflect on the type(s) of tasks incorporated into the activity that your group designed and presented in class:

  • Make the goal clear from the beginning;
  • Involve all participants equally;
  • Make sure students are adequately prepared;
  • Provide clear instructions and examples;
  • Make an effort to mix groups;
  • Assign activities that are relevant and interesting to students;
  • Circulate, circulate, circulate;
  • Teach group interaction skills;
  • Hold group accountable for completing task on time.

 

To that end, not only are you expected to identify and describe the tasks that your group put into practice, but you should also consider how your activity could have benefitted from other types of tasks simultaneously.

Bear in mind that, in order to earn full credit for this blog, you must also leave at least two comments (50-100 words each) on your peers’ posts. Please take the time to read what they wrote – you’ll find that you often have similar reactions to the teaching experience, and can help one another a great deal through this first semester!

 

 

Deadlines:

For personal blog: Sunday, April 19, 2015, 11:59pm

For two comments: Tuesday, April 21, 2015, 11:59pm

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Hi Sindy the activity that you and Sarai presented I loved. You make communication happen within the class. Since you called most of the student’s to participate in the activity. Your activity had something that was interesting to students. You had the reading about a company brand. The reading lesson has a vocabulary related to the success of this company, but for the novice upper level I think this lecture is a little too high to comprehend. Students at this level they had learned the vocabulary but still putting words in context still is limited. Even if students have to output the context in a speaking exercise the comprehension is still inadequate. Even that I think you do had a little too high lecture for this class level. I agree that you had an interested topic. That is the main goal to have students motivated in acquiring the language and to participate.

 

A major aspect to acquire better results when learning a new language and trying to further improve is to have great communication skills. Communication is the fundamental base of gaining practice and seeing progress in learning a language. As previously mentioned, communicative language teaching is " communicative competence" which implies the usage of the foreign language for actual communicative purposes. As future teachers in the making, it is important to collaborate together in order to be successful in what we present. Having this in mind, for this assignment, my group and I were in charge of teaching a reading comprehension presentation. We decided that we would be focussing in a low intermediate levelled classroom. Therefore, the students would have the ability to read a passage and answer questions along with the reading. Our main goal was to have the students understand the purpose of the reading and to be able to fully understand the information that the passage provided. Before starting the reading Sindy and I decided that we were going to introduce the class by asking them some questions about different brands and styles that they liked and what popular brands there are. Our reading focused on a popular brand named Zara, particularly popular in Spain. When starting the activity, we decided that in order to get the class involved, we were going to have them participate and help read the reading. Several students participated to read sections of the reading. By doing so, they were able to practice their reading skills out loud, allowing us as the teachers to judge upon their reading progress. After reading with the class, Sindy, Joel and I continued by asking some questions that would help them get the overall message of the reading. The questions were relative to the passage and though they may seem too simple, the reading was a bit more challenging, therefore the questions would facilitate their ability to carefully understand what the passage was about. The purpose of a reading and comprehension activity is to have the students understand what they're reading, not to confuse them by providing them with harder questions. As their level of knowledge advances, their work level will too. Sindy, Joel and I made sure to explain the task to the students. After reading "Zara: La moda internacional", we explained to the students that based on the reading they had to answer questions like "¿cual negocio es muy popular en España?", along with a few other questions. For our assignment we felt as though students should work individually to further expand on their answers and to give them the opportunity to think on their own. Since we were running a time limit, we had to make sure the students completed their task on time to share their answers after. In this aspect we were evidently successful because all students were able to particulate and add their comment or opinion about the reading and so forth. We incorporated a vast majority of the 5C's. In this assignment, one of the requirements being communication by having the students interact with is and have them participate what they had leaned. We added culture by relating our passage to a foreign country. By teaching them what was presented, we hope that the students carry on with the knowledge they acquired to join with their own personal interests of style. Our activity was interesting to the students because they were able to learn more about style and clothing in general. This brand wasn't targeted at one gender but In fact it was for both male and female which kept the students interested. Our activity could have benefitted by adding some differentiated instruction since perhaps not everyone in the class was at the same level. In the case of having a student who isn't as advanced, it's important to accommodate the students needs to learn efficiently.

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Dear Sarai, the activity that you and your colleagues taught was well presented because there was a good production developed by the students. The activity that was presented did not just emphasized the reading comprehension because by reading the passage to the student, there was also an input of listening comprehension but not forget to mention that the speaking situation also took place when you asked them about their favorite brand and they have to responded and some of them explained why they like a particular brand. Overall, the group did a very good job.

To start off me and my partners Sarai and Sindy, had to come up with a reading comprehension mini lesson. From the very beginning we gave a quick overview of what we were going to teach then made it clear that it was a low intermediate level. Our intentions in this mini lesson were to have the students read and communicate in the target language to make sure that they understood what they read. Students were simply asked to read a passage and comprehend what they read. After the passage was read they had to work individually to answer a few questions. This was the only way that we came up with to distinguish if the students comprehended the reading.

My partners and I tried to involve all participants equally. We asked students to read some of the paragraphs in the passage by simply asking them to. It is the only way that we were able to actually get everyone involved. Some read a paragraph and some read a sentence or two but our focus was to get everyone involved and stay focused to the task at hand which was to comprehend the reading first then continue from there. The reading was not difficult to understand nor difficult to read because the vocabulary was rather easy to understand. Students for the most part were fairly prepared. They knew what the task was and were ready to read and answer the questions accordingly.

When the students were done reading we handed them a sheet of paper with six questions. This activity was mainly an individual activity. They had to answer the questions and we gave them a specific time limit. If they were not done then they would be held accountable for that. The goal from the beginning was for the students to understand the reading and if they did understand then time would not a problem because the comprehension was there and played its part. We also used real life situations and it seemed like the students understood the reading better because we used real life brand names, “Realia”. What we could have done to benefit a bit more from other types of tasks was to try and have the class work in groups so that communication within each other can take place. This way they can ask each other questions for confirmation incase their partner had trouble comprehending. 

Hello Joel, for a reading comprehension based teaching slice, I thought your group did a fantastic job. For a low intermediate class, it is important to make the lesson as engaging, simple, and realistic as possible. If you fail to do so, you may have trouble in keeping the students focus and attention throughout the entire lesson. However, from the beginning to the end you all did a great job at making the mini lesson interactive and alive. For every minute you were up there we were involved in the lesson, whether it was by reading aloud, to ourselves, or answering the short questions you provided us with. This is important because practice makes perfect. It is true that by using "realia" we can engage our students that much more into our activities. I agree with what you said regarding group work. Having the students work on their own may be a bit challenging for the students, especially for a intermediate-low level class. This may discourage them, however in groups it could have been beneficial in case they needed to look to their peers for assistance. Great job!

 The readying comprehension activity that my partner Eulalie and I designed was for an intermediate level class. I think that overall our group did a good job. The goal from our lesson was for the L2 to be able to read and comprehend. To make sure that the L2 was adequately prepared for the reading we provide vocabulary words.  We engage L2 in the topic by asking questions like if they like to go to parties. Also we gave background information to the L2 to help comprehend the dialog by us reading a small paragraph about a birthday. To give an example Eulalie read to the L2 first and then ask questions to see if they comprehend. For the instruction part we gave verbal instructions on what we expected from the reading. We made groups of two so that everyone had the opportunity to practice reading the dialog. The L2 also practice their interaction skills by reading a dialog and by sharing their answer with the class. We also made groups accountable for completing task on time by giving then 5 minutes two read and 3 minutes to answer three questions that later on had to share with class.

One of the things that did not work in our group activity and can be better is providing clear instructions. We can improve this by writing the instructions in the board or in the activity sheet and also by speaking more clearly. Other thing that we can improve is by making sure that when we use a reading we make sure its accurate double check that it is using the correct vocabulary to prevent any fossilization in the L2. To improve the reading comprehension we can also ask less questions minimizing to the most important ones. Also the questions have to be clear and specific to improve this.

 

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