Discipline

I think this topic is very interesting. I like the idea that we think about the concept of discipline. First I thought that the discipline is something that all the people have and usually it is defined as good or bad discipline. When I was thinking in the concept I believed my point of view could be different that the one that gives all the responsability of the discipline in the classroom in the teacher. At first I thought in the concept of discipline as follows: a person is in control of their behaviour and shouldn’t be conferred to the teacher as something that he/she has to impose and therefore someone obey some rules.

While I was in the process of writing this post I investigated some definitions. RAE has 5 definitions of discipline but I will share only two: “Doctrine, education of a person, especially moral ” and “Action and effect of disciplining ”. After reading this two definitions I think most of the people when they hear the word discipline they visualize something like the last concept but my point of view was centered in the first one. At this point I will like to add that I will change the first concept. For me, it would be more like “education of a person in regard of his own behaviour”. So I think that the teacher should’t exercises discipline, instead the student should develop his/her own discipline and apply it to the place he/she is. But, I think is not as easy as I thought at the beginning because as humans we are constantly being shaped by all we get in touch with like our family, teachers, friends, mass media, books, music, etc. So we need to consider that the behaviour of one person is a result of a variety of elements. Of course I think a teacher can have some effect but I think the influence that one can have is bigger when the learners are young. As they grow I think the influence can’t be so directly.

In regard of some experiences that I have testified the teachers conduct in the same way. One time when I was in secondary school a teacher was explaining something, then he stop and said: “Armando, stop talking”. Armando responded: “ I was just saying to Carlos if he could lend me a pen”. Then the teachers didn’t responded correctly and started an argue with Armando. Unfortunately most of the teachers take part in the “melodrama” like Dr. Fred Jones’s explain: “it takes two fools to make a conversation out of it”.


I think what Dr. Fred Jones explain in his “Tools for Teaching” are very useful to manage delicate conditions in the class and avoid to complicate even more a given situation or like Dr. Fred Jones’s explain if you participate in the dialogue with the student is like “throwing gasoline on a fire”. So I think that dealing with indiscipline from students requires the teacher to be as calm as possible and have a reflective reaction to the conduct of the students. If the teacher doesn’t lose control the student couldn’t get what he/she wants.

Also, I think that the discipline in the classroom should be more flexible. Learners need to feel confortable in expressing his/her ideas, questions, concerns, creativity, etc. in a relaxed enviroment. This is the difficult part to create an appropriate learning enviroment.

Finally, I think there is a lot I need to learn about the topic and I hope with experience things will get more clear.

LESSON PLAN

At this point, I begin to realize how difficult it is to make a lesson plan. There are so many things to consider, and various levels in which we can structure a class depending on the level of our students. 

In this task we need to use Bloom’s Taxonomy to plan a 50 minutes class. Bloom’s Taxonomy uses six methods to set forth a hierarchy of learning, beginning with factual knowledge and leading through comprehension, application, analysis, synthesis and evaluation. It is a tool to develop outlines in measuring learning outcomes with various assessment strategies. We starty by looking at the knowledge-level of our students. Next, you choose measurement approaches that can provide information about learners’ abilities to store and recall specific bits of information,

The class plan will be for a intermediate level for a high school course. They will be working their vocabulary (compound nouns) and their grammar (comparatives and superlatives) using their course book (Four Corners) unit 5.

Now I will explain how I’m applying Bloom’s Taxonomy in my class plan:

1.- Knowledge: Students will macth the pictures of the cities with their description. Another task will be to talk about their capital city.

2.- Comprehension: In their course book Students will do a sentence completion task with the new vocabulary that describies some cities.

3.- Application: In partners, students will practice using the new new vocabulary talking about wich words apply when we talk about cities and wich ones apply to people.

Students will listen an audio to choose the city the person is talking about in the audio. Course book page 44.

4.- Analysis: After remembering the comparatives and superlatives, students will do the exercise 3 page 45.

5.- Synthesis and Evaluation: These will be asses at the same time: Students will work individually. They will write a small paragraph describing their city using new vocabulary, comparatives and superlatives.

Here is the lesson plan that I made:

LESSON PLAN (UNIT 5 COMPARATIVES AND SUPERLATIVES)

Level and number of learners: 21 students at intermediate (B1+) level

Timetable fit: Students have already learnt adjectives, comparatives, superlatives and the use of present simple.

Main Aim: To extend their vocabulay learning compound nouns for describing cities. Oral fluency practice

Subsidiay aims: Students use appropriate language for basic description of cities.

Assumptions: Students can use present simple to describe people.

Anticipated problem: Students dont have enough knowledge to talk about some cities.

Possible solution: Provide information about other cities with small texts from the teather.

Timing Procedure Stage aims Aids and materials Interaction pattern
3 min. Students match pictures with their descriptions Warmer/lead-in to get students talking and inroduce the topic Course book Page 43. Exercise A Teacher-whole class.
3 min Students talk about their capital city Use vocabulary Course book Page 43. Exercise B Pairwok
8 min Students do a sentence completion task To introduce new vocabulary Course book Page 44. Exercise 1A Pairwork (Teacher monitors)
6 min Describing cities and people Practice using the new vocaulary Course book Page 44.Exercise 1B Pairwork (Teacher monitors)
10 min Students llisten an audio that describes cities in order to chose the city they are talking about. Intensive listening Course book Page 44. Exercise 2A Teacher-whole class.
10min Students do a sentence completion task To practice grammar Course book Page 45. Exercise 3A Pairwork (Teacher monitors)
10 min Students will write a small paragraph describing their city To practice accuracy.

To practice new vocabulary and grammar

(none) Individual work (Teacher monitors),

I want to share with you an interesting page about Bloom’s Taxonomy. The page talks about  the revised taxonomy. Here is the link: http://cft.vanderbilt.edu/guides-sub-pages/blooms-taxonomy/

There is another interesting link: http://www.eduteka.org/pdfdir/TaxonomiaBloomCuadro.pdf

Language learning theories

learning theories

 

There have been different language theories such as a behaviorist, cognitivist, consructivism, etc. I will present you a chart of how we can apply some of this theories as a teachers:

Theorist Name of theory How does it relate to what we do?
Skinner Behaviorism

As teacher we need to focus in the motivation that we can develop in our students through the relationship that we create with them. For example, students who are behaviorally disengaged receive teacher responses that should further undermine their motivation. This theory would apply with positive reinforcement in the class so the students will keep motivated.

Bandura Social learning

theory

This theory says that children learn to observation, so I think that the classroom needs to be an enviroment where they can learn. We can use symbolic models, which involves real or fictional characters displaying behaviors in books, films, television programs, or online media. Also I think that in this case the teacher will be an important role model.

Erikson Stages of development

This theory will apply to understand better in which stage the student is and according to that help teachers develop according activities. In other words create activities or tasks that help the students with the stage they are. Teachers who apply Erikson’s theory in the classroom create an environment where each child feels appreciated and also feels comfortable with learning new things and building relationships with peers without fear.

Vygotsky Social cognitive development

An important elemente in Vygotsky’s theory is the ZPD (Zone of proximal Development) where teachers should give their guidance to their students and allow them to develop the skills. I think it would apply in tasks that elicit knowlodge from the students. Also, the group activities will be very important because learning according with this theory is socially acquired, so peer instruction and collaboration are important. Another important learning tool are videos and interactive worksheets to assist the students through scaffolding.

Krashen Theory of second language acquisition

According to this theory the important in Language adquisition is not the grammar rules but the communication. As a teacher we need to focus in the acquisition of language. Activities should be confortable for the students where they feel good communicating with their classmates, they don’t focus on the grammar rather in the communicative act.

Bruner Constuctivism

In this theory as a teachers we need to focus on structure. Anoher aspects are to to maintain and direct a child’s spontaneous explorations, facilitate their interest toward learning and have a sequence that help them elicit their knowledge.

“As long as you live keep learning how to live”

Seneca

LANGUAGE SKILLS

language skills

 

As we know there are four language skills: reading, writing, listening and speaking. In my opinion each one is connected. When we plan an activity we usually practice more than one skill. I think that the students need to develop the four skills to have a communicative competence. They need to be able to communicate their ideas in the real world, not only in the classroom.

There are some great learning tools that help us with developing creative activities in our classes. Internet is full of puzzles, games, etc. I have discovered one interesting learning toll, it is voicethread, where students can share files, fotos, URL and videos.

In regard ot the activity that I have to give as an example. I will work with the unit 3 of the Four Corners Book. The topic of this unit is Food. First we will work with vocabulary, the students will read some recipies. What they have to do is a recipe at home and upload the video in voicethread.

About giving a grade in this activity I will use the following rubric:

CATEGORY 3 2 1
GRAMMAR Grammar covered in class was used to communicate effectively A few minor diffilcuties using the grammar studied in class. Grammatical errors severely hampered communication.
VOCABULARY Vocabulary studied in class was used to express ideas eloquently. Some diffilcuties arose due to limited vocabulary. Communication was severely hamered due to lack of vocabulary.
FLUENCY Student communivate with fluency. Some effort to be fluent. Much effort was required to be fluent
PRONUNCIATION Student pronounces all words effortlessly, and with no errors. 3-5 mistakes in pronunciation. Occasionally rushes words that are difficult. 10 or more mistakes. Rushes and/or skims over many words that are difficult

Finally, I want to share a link that I found about speaking in class:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LF7zsz8fi64

Vocabulary

10660988_10152655684017348_139012520_n

 

VOCABULARY

Vocaulary refers to words or multiword units (like idioms or phrasal verbs) that have a common meaning. The importance of vocabulary can’t be underestimate. Having an extend vocabulary helps us to communicate proficiently in English. Without a good knowledge of words and their meanings, the communication will be poorly undertstood. That is why teachers needs to use interactive tools to increase vocabulary in their students. Fortunately, nowdays students have multiple options to learn vocabulary such as puzzles, quizzes, flashcards, worksheets, concordancers, games, videos, etc., which also could be use online. These tools could be use to help them build a strong working vocabulary. Also, we need to consider the way of teaching vocabulary. It is important when we are working with new vocabulary to give it in context, to develop eliciting and recycling techniques. Students need to be involve in their learning process, so they need to be motivated to have an active role in the classroom and learning vocabulary is a good opportunity.

I made a game in Jeopardy with the vocabulary of the unit 1, 2 and 3. This is the link https://jeopardylabs.com/play/vocabulary5358. It really wasn’t easy to make it. I hope you like it

Also I found some interesting videos in you tube for learning vocabulary:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_Fcfvsc_gUU

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZdsNzuy3TM4

Finally I found other pages whith interesting activities to learn vocabulary:

http://www.teachingenglish.org.uk/article/kaleidescope-belfast

http://www.teachingenglish.org.uk/article/writing-poems-%E2%80%98spark%E2%80%99

https://learnenglish.britishcouncil.org/en/vocabulary-games

 

ABOUT GRAMMAR

grammar

How much grammar you need to know as a teacher?, how much grammar do students need to know? And how can students learn grammar without being bored? 

I think these questions are very important. In regard of how much grammar does a teacher need to know, I would say that he/she should have a wide English grammar knowledge.Of course, a teacher doesn’t know everything, but he/she is in front of a class and as a guide he/she needs to be able to teach and correct his/her students appropriately.

About the second question, I think that students need to achieve a certain knowledge of grammar because we need Grammar to make “meaning”. In other words grammar will function as a support, in order to communicate and express what they want to say or think and be understood by other people. In this case the objetive of teaching grammar of a second languaje would be that the student will be able to communicate fluently in L2 within any social context outside the classroom.

The last question is very important. I think as a teachers we need to motivate our students. I think a quote by Robert Capa will explain what I want to say: “If your pictures are not good enough is that you have not get close enough”. Let’s take this idea to our classes. We have to approach language, in order to teach our students a language that they can “explode”. Because our work in the classroom, is to teach the language. Not to encapsulate. Neither to crystallize it in a state of purity. But, on the contrary, try to understand the wealth of their senses and appropriate  it.

Check out this page of free language courses:

https://www.duolingo.com/

This is a link of an article that I found about teaching creatively:

http://www.theguardian.com/teacher-network/teacher-blog/2013/feb/14/teaching-english-creatively-outstanding-results