Think reflectively about the micro-teaching activity that you and your partner created and presented in class. Then, write a blog (250-300 words approx.) that responds to the following three key questions: why you found this activity interesting and strong for your class, what you would have done differently due to differentiating instruction reasons, and how you would have incorporated more culture into it.

 

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: Tuesday, March 19, 2019, 11:59 p.m.

For two comments: Thursday, March 21, 2019, 11:59 p.m.

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Replies to This Discussion

Hello Melinda! 

I really enjoyed your presentation especially considering you made it very relative to the students by including a very well know cartoon. As mentioned on the World Readiness Standards for Learning Languages provided to us in class, that this can be an example of Cultural Comparisons, "learners use the language to investigate, explain, and reflect on the concept of culture through comparisons of the cultures studied and their own." This comparison between both Spanish and American culture will urge students to make more meaningful connections with the vocabulary words and it will also help them appreciate the culture of the target language much more! (106 words)

My partner, Selena and I were assigned to teach a lesson on vocabulary. We decided to do a lesson on clothing. To make the lesson relative to the previous knowledge of the students, we decided to divide the clothing according to the seasons of the year. To present the vocabulary, we first made a layout of the four seasons of the year and incorporated visuals of the clothing that are worn during that particular season along with the vocabulary words in Spanish. We decided not to include the English equivalent of the Spanish vocabulary words because we wanted the students to mindfully examine the images that corresponded with each vocabulary word. This would urge the students to make a connection between the visuals and the vocabulary words so that we can make the input more meaningful. Selena and I decided not to simply provide the vocabulary words with their English equivalents, because that would be a very traditional and “old school” approach that lacks meaningfulness. If we could have done anything differently, we would probably have had students do an end-of-class activity of 5-10 sentences in which the students express what they wear or like to wear during certain times of the year. This would urge students to be productive by using their creativity to apply the content to an activity that is a bit more personal. To incorporate more culture into it, I would have included more Spanish-speaking countries to the content. For example, mentioning the colder weather in Argentina, or the summer heat in Mexico, and reminding students of the climate variation that exists all across Latin America. (270 words)

Carolina Puerta y Evelyn Salazar - Grammar

Our microteaching was based on grammar, for this, we use definite and indefinite articles. I think the most important thing we could understand through this micro-idea is that we must have all three PPPs to be an effective lesson. To teach grammar is not only to learn to use the rules of an article in this case, but also to convey the language-world relationship, to move from the structures to the identification of the communicative values that speakers give them in different contexts. In chapter 6 of James F. Lee's book and Bill Vanpatten we learned about the issues in Learning and Teaching Grammar and this chapter talks about what drills are effective tools to learn grammar, and one of them is the "meaningful drill" "and says that" the learner must attend to the meaning of both the stimulus and her own answer in order to complete the meaningful drill successfully "(p120). We learned through this drill in our lesson that it is important for students to understand the grammar and its content through the photos, example and the most important thing is to practice with the activities. One of the things we learned in this micro-teaching is that we should not use the traditional way to teach the grammatical rules, but with examples, we can do it so that it can be a contextualized form. In the same chapter 6, Lee and Vanpatten say that "research on nontraditional approaches to grammar strongest suggest that explicit information (explanation of forms and rules) is not necessary" (p125). I agree with the author, it does not mean that the rules should not be explained, but that we should look for a more contextualized way to do it, so the students will not be overwhelmed with so much explanation by means of words.

Citation

Lee, J. F., & VanPatten, B. (2003). Making communicative language teaching happen. Boston: McGraw-Hill.

Hello Carolina:

I agree with you; every lesson should have all three PPPs. Additionally, your point on grammar is very valid. Also, the use of visuals is very vital because it provides context to a word.

On the other hand, another helpful discussion is presented during chapter two (pgs. 123-125). It supports the concept of communicative + meaningful learning.

I would suggest that for the future, you focus on experimenting with the use of visuals to guide you, during your planning. Nonetheless, your presentation was excellent. It provided visuals accompanied by the articles. However, I would suggest that you teach the grammar rules through visuals.

[105 words]

Hi Carolina!

Little by little we are learning not to use the traditional way of teaching grammar. As you mentioned, that could be overwhelming for students when it comes to learning a language. Giving students examples and contextualizing depending on the type of grammar we want to teach, it will give them the opportunity to understand how the language works. While the traditional way, it will not have any relevance for students or they will not apply it effectively. On the other hand, your presentation was good and I liked that you incorporated a game in your presentation which was really fun. It just that it lack more culture, which is essential for our lessons.

Our second micro-teaching activity allowed my partner and me, to gain more exposure to a different aspect of designing a lesson, as well as, teaching the lesson. Our focus aimed to cover the language skill of reading. As a result, we formulated an activity around communication, specifically, in the framework of worldwide communication. Our micro-teaching operation was modelled after the discussions from the book, Making Communicative Language Teaching Happen. Our first activity consisted of presenting visuals to activate the previous knowledge of our students. The discussion on schemata presented by Lee & Van Patten in chapter 11 influenced our planning, since according to Lee & Van Patten, “… schemata must be activated and must be appropriate to the passage being read” (228).

Our primary goal consisted of examining the reading comprehension of our students. As a result, my partner and I decided that our activity needed to be familiar, authentic and meaningful for the students. Therefore, we designed an activity that consisted of a letter exchange between two friends, located in different continents. Also, it is important to mention that the letter was written in the present tense to maintain the fluidity in the classroom. However, this does not mean that we made the activity less challenging for the students. It is important to mention that the discussion on input presented by Lee & Van Patten in chapter 2 influenced our planning, since according to Lee & Van Patten, “… instructors tend to put learners into familiar situations (drawing a face, playing a card game) so that learners can make use of what they know about the real world in order to comprehend better” (34).

Nonetheless, after conducting a meticulous analysis of our lesson. I found some discrepancies. To be specific, our lesson lacked clear differentiation for our students. We did not provide accommodations for our students. As a result, I would have modified our main activity according to the needs of the students with IEPS. For instance, I would have provided more oral input, visuals and physical items to adjust to the needs of the students.

Also, the second discrepancy has to do with culture. In my opinion, we could have exploited the main activity more. To be specific, we could have created a comparison/discussion on the concept of written letters in different countries. As, in each country, written letters have different aims.

 [394 words] 

Lee, James F., and Bill VanPatten. Making Communicative Language Teaching Happen. McGraw-Hill, 2003

 

Hi Dennis,

I really liked the way you and your partner presented in class. Your activity was very interesting and creative because you and Gisele asked questions but also gave explanation of what the images were showing, for instance, The Eiffel Tower in Paris, France. The culture is very important to have in mind at the time to teach a language because it helps students to become more motivated learners. As Lee and VanPatten (2003) said, adding cultural element to the class is important because it would help learners to become active participants in the teaching process.




For the second micro-teaching activity, my partner Melinda and I prepared a lesson designed for native and non-native Spanish speaker in 9th grade. Our focus was to teach vocabulary to our class.

We tried to incorporate vocabulary in the most dynamic way without forgetting the main objectives of our lesson. For this reason, We showed The Simpsons’ family which connects students to the topic “La Familia”. According to Lee & VanPatten in chapter 11 states that, “[...] schemata-the personal knowledge and experiences that they relied on to represent and understand concepts” (218). We chose the Simpsons because students might know them and this could be very meaningful for them. Also, the visuals we have in our presentation was another helpful way to make direct connections while learning the family vocabulary. Additionally, we did not add any translations because that would not be a useful way to present vocabulary to our students in the target language. This is stated in chapter 2, the use of visual without any translations “As learners study vocabulary in this way, they are encouraged to make direct form-meaning connections similar to those that they would make if the vocabulary were presented within the context [...]" (38). We wanted students to actively participate with the vocabulary as they read. For example, we asked students to read the members and their relation. We were also helping students improve other skills like reading, writing (worksheet) and speaking (group work). What I would've done differently, to present a family that could be culturally related to students since the Simpson’s family are not well known to all students, maybe Coco’s family, which can serve as a more cultural example for our students. Another thing that we would have avoided, having incorporated the flags of the countries. That is to encourage patriotism among our students. However, we do not know if they feel identified with the specific values, culture and history of their countries.

Hello Karolina!

I agree that incorporating flags of the students' nationalities may not always go as planned although you and your partner did it with the purest intention. It is indeed, a sensitive topic that should be avoided in the classroom. Making Spanish culture relative to other cultures can still be accomplished in the classroom but it is very important to remain very objective when doing so! But apart from that, I enjoyed seeing such a classic American cartoon, like The Simpsons, being presented in your lesson plan. I feel it exemplified the very effective strategy of binding. As mentioned by Lee & VanPattern "visuals such as photos and drawings 'anchor' the input...making the ideas and references more concrete" (39). (120 words)

Hi Karolina,

Your presentation was very informative and full of content. You and your partner did many activities to help learners to acquire the knowledge. However, I think the family topic it was great but I'm agree with you about the culture part. As the book Lee and Vanpatten mention, we must decide what aspects of culture we want to teach, sometimes we just need to ask ourselves how an activity will incorporate culture to the lesson.

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