lunes, 27 de julio de 2009

A lesson for Secondary Students

Here is the link to download our work about the episode called "Popcorn panic"

Perez, Sabrina
Nicola, Pablo Javier

viernes, 24 de julio de 2009

The Penguins of Madagascar

Hi there!!
It's a pity that there are only three summaries and some of you have had no time to read them and leave your comments. Anyway, those who keep working needn't be held back.

Using the information from the summaries, view the cartoon "Popcorn Panic" and then plan a brief class. You can work in pairs.

Post the class here or email it.

viernes, 10 de julio de 2009

Planning Lessons by Linda Jensen

“A lesson plan is an extremely useful tool that serves as a combination guide, resource, and historical document reflecting our teaching philosophy and our goals for our students” (Linda Jensen).
Lesson plans are particularly important for newly teachers and beneficial for those teachers who have been teaching for years.

Why we plan?
When teachers are preparing a lesson plan they have to bear in mind what to teach, in what order and for how much time. A lesson plan is also a valuable paper that can be useful when teachers have to prepare quizzes, midterms and final exams.
As teachers expect students to come to class prepare to learn is necessary to provide the example and come to class to teach.

When and how we plan?
To make an appropiate lesson plan teachers need to develop a macro and micro planning. It means that teachers have to begin with a reflection of a philosophy of learning and teaching (macro level) and then, finish with a specific lesson (micro level).
When the texts and the syllabus have been selected, the next step would be the planning for the year or term. It’s a great idea that newly teachers consult their collegues and supervisors about those designs.

What a lesson plan looks like?
There is not only a specific way in creating a lesson plan. It depends on the teacher’s preferences and experiences. For instance; many teachers use notebooks for each class, some other use note cards or loose sheets of papers which can be distributed among students. Nowadays, even computers are use by many teachers.
A lesson plan has three phases: A beginning, a middle and an end.
First, the majority of the plans start with a description of the class and students. Teachers also find important to note what they have explained and what will be necessary to be explained for a future particular lesson. Goals and objectives need to be included as well as a variety of texts, equipment and materials.
Teachers should pay attention in noting any homework so that later they can collect them and return to their students at the right time.
Second, it refers to the lesson’s content. This includes all the activities carrying out during a lesson, time management and class management.
For the presentation and practice stages is necessary to begin with a diagnostic activity. Then, the teacher have to bear in mind how to connect those previous activities with the new ones and how these activities could motivate the students.
Lastly, the teacher should evaluate if students have learned all the new material.
Time management can be unpredictable both for novice teachers and the experienced ones because they cannot anticipate how long an activity will take. In one hand, activities are underestimated in terms of length. Here, the teacher have to decide what part of the lesson should be skipped, shortened or saved for the next class. On the other hand activities are overstimated. Generally, newly teachers become very nervious when they have ten minutes left with nothing to do.
Seating arragements befohand help the teacher to save time because it’s more efficient than moving students around randomly.
Third, a lesson plan contains some comments that end the lesson. For instance; a review of the lesson and the homework for the next class.

Basic principles of lesson planning
A good teaching lesson need to have coherence, variety and flexibility.
• Coherence: On the macro level, the different kinds of lessons need to be connected with each other. On the micro level, students have to understand the goals of each activity ( They benefit best when activities are interrelated)
• Variety: Lesson plans should not follow the same pattern everyday. On the macro level, a variety applies to topics, language and skills. On the micro level, everyday lessons should vary its activities, materials involved and the pace of the class.
The classroom organization also have to change in terms of whole-class, small group, pair and individual activities.
• Flexible: Good teachers have to know when and how to change an activity regardless of what a lesson plan says.

In conclusion, in order to make a successful lesson plan, teachers have to take into account the principles of second language learning and teaching and the needs of students and the institution.

"Syllabus design" by David Nunan

Download Link:

jueves, 9 de julio de 2009

The Use of Media in Language Teaching by Donna M. Brinton

Media facilitate language learning for structured and non-structured learners, and contribute with learning in almost any learning style.
Media helps teachers taking the real world into the classroom, and makes tasks more meaningful and thus, more exiting.

There are many classifications of media, the more general one classify media into mechanical (related to technological innovations) and non-mechanical (daily life objects; these objects must be adapted by the teacher according to students’ level of proficiency and needs). Other classifications are: technical (costlier)/non-technical (user friendly), software (consumable)/hardware (equipment), authentic/not authentic, commercial/teacher produced, used alone/multimedia.

We have to take into account which purpose the media will be used for, select one media, and then think about the advantage that kind of media has (each media have unique advantages), and what sort of adaptation have to be made to reach students’ needs and capacities.

Media should be viewed as an important part of the lesson, if not the most important one. It motivates students because it presents language in a communicative and meaningful context; it also provides cultural richness input.
Media help students to process information and teachers to avoid excessive explanation, and provide a real context in which the task will be developed.

Framework: (a guide for teachers, not a step-by-step guide)

1) Information and Motivation stage: Topic and background information is presented.
2) Input stage: Teacher ensures comprehension of items presented
3) Focus stage: Students practice the task and manipulate items until they feel confident.
4) Transfer stage (communicative oriented): Students offer personal comments or share experiences related to the topic.
5) Optional feedback stage: Recording of students is used to guide assessment

At the time of choosing media we have to be aware that instructional media will be found in almost infinite variety of forms and can play equally varied roles.
Taking this into account, at the time of selecting what kind of media will be used in our classes we have to consider:

*The type of concept to be presented.
*Students preferences (age, interests, learning styles, &c.)
*Teacher preferences (teaching style, equipment familiarity, &c.)
*Availability of software and hardware.
*Physical circumstances of the classroom or lab.
(Availability and teacher creativity will be the determining factors in selecting what media will be used)

Finally, we have to use media to vary and make classes less monotonous, media help us to reinforce the points we want to make and provide a real context to work about; it is a source of input, media also help to individualize instruction and appeal to the variety of cognitive styles in the classroom. Media involve students integrally in the learning process and facilitate language learning by making it a more authentic process.

viernes, 3 de julio de 2009

Tips for Summary Writing

Presentation with basic elements of summary writing"

Skills and revision questions for College Summary Writing

Reading assignment

Summary Writing:

Summarize one of these articles, idealy one each:
"Guidelines for Language Classroom Instruction" by Crookes and Chaudron
"Syllabus Design" by David Nunan
"Lesson Planning" by Linda Jensen
"Textbooks: Evaluation for Selection and Analysis for Implementation" by Patricia Byrd
"The use of Media in Language Teaching" by Donna Brinton
"Content Based and Immersion Models for Second and Foreing Language Teaching" by M.A. Snow

Guidelines: 1)Choose the article and let us know.
2)Publish your summary (you may be requested to edit your post for language mistakes or content)
3) Add your own reflection on the text and the topic.
4) Read the other summaries and comment on the content and previous comments by your partners. You may also ask clarification questions.
5) Get a great mark for your work!!!


Hi there!
I'm terribly sorry I couldn´t talk to you before classes were called off. Anyway, if you are willing we can try and make the most of it.
To begin with, this is a closed blog, than means that (... or so I'll try)you'll all have a chance to publish but none can do it unless you've been invited.
In the next hours I'll publish some tasks, to see how it works and so you can all give your opinion on how to carry out our discussions in the cyberspace.

Glad to get your comments,

PD: Thanks a million for the offer, Nico; if I need help, be sure I'll let you know. And thanks to Pablo who's sent all your addresses.