University Ready? Re-focusing IEP Students for Success


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University Ready? Re-focusing IEP Students for Success

  1. 1. Elisabeth L. Chan -University of North Texas--Intensive English Language Institute- TESOL International Association Philadelphia Convention 2012
  2. 2. Have You Ever Heard? I don’t need to ESL. I studying for TOEFL. I want pass TOEFL. I’m not needing ESL. I am studying, but I’m studying my own thing.
  3. 3. Students’ Misdirected Focus Low participation in class Low homework completion Low motivation Focus on “TOEFL-ing” out of ESL
  4. 4. It’s Easier than English IEP students often have an unrealistic picture of  American university expectations  the linguistic and cognitive demands necessary to be successful  time (for studying, for class, for completing their degrees)
  5. 5. Dose of RealityWays to help students gain a more realisticpicture: Sit-in on classes Bring past ESL graduates to speak to the class Bring in a guest lecturer to give an authentic lecture Use authentic lectures from the Internet (Open Course Ware)
  6. 6.  What is a task?  Everything people do in everyday life, at work, at play and in between (Long, 1985)  Activity carried out as a result of understanding language, which may not involve language production; specific definition for successful task completion (Richards, et al., 1986)  Structured language learning activity with specific objective, appropriate content, procedure, and outcomes(Breen, 1987)
  7. 7.  What is a task?  Meaning is primary; learners create their own meaning; real-world activities; task completion priority; assessment is in terms of outcome (Skehan, 1998)  Workplan causing learners to process language pragmatically; focus on meaning and learners use the language they already know; real-world use (Ellis, 2003)
  8. 8. TBLT Task-based language teaching helps students by:  Using a needs based approach  Having students learn to communicate through interaction in target language  Incorporating authentic texts  Helping learners focus on the learning process  Enhancing learner’s personal experiences  Linking language in classroom to the outside
  9. 9. Ssshhhh English Language Skills  Reading, Listening/Speaking, (optional: Writing)  Expand vocabulary, familiarize with discourse  Grammar:  Simple present, future, and past tenses  Modals, “need” + infinitive  Question formation, answers
  10. 10. Three Tasks First Week of Classes Reading Like You’ve Never Read Before English Comp 101
  11. 11. Task 1 – “First Week Of Classes” Objective: students learn about degree requirements, as well as course expectations Materials:  Course requirements for students’ majors  Sample syllabi from gen ed courses Time: 20-30 minutes Possible task outcomes: list requirements “outside major”, list comparisons between a gen ed course and IEP’s expectations
  12. 12. Discussion Questions What are “gen ed” requirements? What courses will you take? What information is on a syllabus? How does it compare to your IEP class syllabus and policies?
  13. 13. Surprise! Items that surprise many students:  Gen Ed Courses: Even if they are a business major, they must take a science course.  Policies: Attendance and participation are part of the grade. No make up exams allowed.
  14. 14. Task 2 – “Reading Like You’veNever Read Before” Objective: students measure their reading abilities versus actual reading demand Materials:  Textbooks from gen ed courses  Matching sample class syllabi Time: 20-30 minutes Possible task outcomes: time reading speed in gen ed vs. IEP text, list a page count per week or per exam
  15. 15. Discussion Questions How many pages are in one gen ed textbook? IEP textbook? How many pages do you read per week? How many chapters are on one exam? What do you notice about the vocabulary?
  16. 16. Surprise!! Items that surprise many students:  The books are heavy.  The print is small.  There are so many pages in one chapter.  You have to read many chapters per exam.
  17. 17. Task 3 – “English Comp 101” Objective: students learn essay and grading expectations and measure their writing abilities versus actual freshman writing demands Materials:  Freshman English composition (rough, peer, final)  Composition grading rubric Time: 20-30 minutes Possible task outcomes: apply the rubric to the rough/final draft and calculate score
  18. 18. Discussion Questions How does the rubric work? What seems to be the most important? How many words do you think are in the paper? What grammar structures do you see? What type of feedback did this paper receive? What grade do you think the paper got after the peer review?
  19. 19. Surprise!!! Items that surprise many students:  The amount of points devoted to each part, especially grammar.  That the “-3” for grammar mistakes is per mistake.  Points were taken off for incorrect format.  The peer review partner did not catch all the mistakes.  That theoretically you could score below zero.
  20. 20. Thank You! Re-focus students’ goals  More realistic  More useful Task-based approach  Communicative  Real world
  21. 21. CONTACT INFO Elisabeth L. Chan ElisabethLChan@gmail.com
  22. 22. TESOL Diversity StandingCommittee Look for the Diversity Survey at the TESOL Membership Booth in the Exhibit Hall E-mail: Online survey:
  23. 23. Reference List Nunan, D. (2004). Task-Based Language Teaching. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.