IATEFL Poland: EFL for Teens and Young Adults

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To reach teens and young adults effectively when we teach them English as a foreign or second language, we have to take into account their development from a brain, social and personal standpoint in …

To reach teens and young adults effectively when we teach them English as a foreign or second language, we have to take into account their development from a brain, social and personal standpoint in order to unlock motivation and involve them in their own learning journey.

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  • 1. Unlocking
Learner
Mo/va/on

 In
The
Age
Of
The

 Digital
Na/ve
 Paul
Maglione
 













Co‐founder,

  • 2. The
internet
 is
now
 20
years
old

  • 3. We
live
in
a
9me
of
astounding
change.

 Who
could
have
imagined
20
years
ago
that
today…

  • 4. “A
subordina,ng
conjunc,on
always
comes
at
 the
beginning
of
a
subordinate
clause.
It
 "introduces"
a
subordinate
clause.
However,
a
 subordinate
clause
can
some,mes
come
a>er
 and
some,mes
before
a
main
clause….”

  • 5. 1910
 2010

  • 6. 
It’s
high
9me
we
put
these
four
things
 together
and
came
up
with
a
more
effec9ve
 way
of
mo9va9ng
learning
and
teaching
 English
to
teens
and
young
adults.


  • 7. Who
Are
Teens?
   What’s
going
on
with
their
lives?

 -  hormones
/
sexual
development
 -  independence
/
autonomy
 -  ques9oning
of
authority
/
rebellion
 -  social
hyperac9vity
/
peer
pressure
   What’s
going
on
with
their
future?

 -  pressure
over
educa9on,
career
 prospects,
type
of
friends,
values
   What
are
their
cultural
references?
   What
is
their
rela9onship
with
 educa9on?

   English:
how
do
they
see
it
as
 relevant
to
them?

  • 8. What
else
do
we
know
about
teens?
 
Their
brains
 are
in
a
very
 specific




 state
of
 development.

  • 9. Teen
Brain
 Development

 Phenomenon
#1
 last
 Prefrontal
 Cortex
 • Reasoning
 • Organizing,
 priori/zing
 informa/on
 Limbic
 1st
 System
 • Control
of
 Impulses
 • Physical



 Coordina/on
 Not
fully
mature
 un.l
age
25!
 • Emo/on
 • Mo/va/on

  • 10. Teen
Brain
 Development

 Phenomenon
#2
 Maturing
of
brain
as
 Grey
MaOer
is
lost

 Adolescent
Pruning
Of
Brain
Cells
 The
brain
selec9vely
strengthens
or
 prunes
neurons
based
on
ac9vity.

 Synapses
con9nually
used
will
flourish;
 those
that
are
not
used
will
wither
away.



  • 11. Teen
Brain
 Development

 Mylena/on
(increase
in
White
MaTer)
 Phenomenon
#3
 Speeds
the

 brain’s
 informa9on‐ processing
 capacity
 equivalent
to

 3,000
X
 increase
in
 computer
 bandwidth

  • 12. The
Teen
Brain:
UNDER
CONSTRUCTION
 A
framework,
not
an
empty
structure
wai/ng
to
be
filled

  • 13. EFL
teaching
implica/ons

  • 14. Phased
development
of
 cogni/ve
func/ons:

 EFL
teaching
implica/ons
 
Use
teen
craving
for
 NOVELTY
and
 EXCITEMENT
to
get
their
 ATTENTION.
 
 
 
 
 +
 
video,
music,
movement,
 news,
games,
anecdotes
 ‐
 
worksheets,
lectures,
 objec9ve
texts

  • 15. Phased
development
of
 cogni/ve
func/ons:

 EFL
teaching
implica/ons
 
Break
large,
long‐term
 assignments
down
into
 short‐term
objec9ves
 
Remind
them
of
 concepts,
objec9ves
and
 deadlines
frequently.

  • 16. Phased
development
of
 cogni/ve
func/ons:

 EFL
teaching
implica/ons
 
Use
short
formats.
 
Teens
can
only
focus
 on
someone
talking
 for
15
minutes
at
a
 9me

they
need
a
 change
in
state
of
 mind
every
20
 minutes.

  • 17. Phased
development
of
 cogni/ve
func/ons:

 EFL
teaching
implica/ons
 For
young
 (13
–
16)

 teens,
don’t
 make
topics
 too
abstract

  • 18. Phased
development
of
 cogni/ve
func/ons:

 EFL
teaching
implica/ons
 The
teenage

 Brain
NEEDS
to
 CONNECT.
 INTEGRATE
THIS
 into
Communica/ve
 Task
Work

  • 19. Pruning
of
neurons

 maintaining
only
most‐ used
connec/ons:

 EFL
Teaching
Implica/ons
 Aim
for

 relevance
 and
 usefulness
 to
their

 lives

  • 20. Pruning
of
neurons

 maintaining
only
most‐ used
connec/ons:

 EFL
Teaching
Implica/ons
 
Repe99on
with
varia9on.
Get
them
to
not
just
 read
a
vocabulary
item,
but
also…
 use
it
in
a
story
 use
it
in
a
sentence
 play
a
game
 based
on
it

 see
a
photo
of
it
 unjumble
it
 hear
it
in
a
song
 hear
it
spoken
by
a
f amous
actor

  • 21. Vastly
increased
 processing
bandwidth:

 EFL
Teaching
Implica/ons
 Exposure

input

intake


  • 22. Vastly
increased
 processing
bandwidth:

 EFL
Teaching
Implica/ons
 
Provide
data
capable
 of
being
processed
 into
knowledge
while
 avoiding
boredom
 filter
(lexical
/
 communica.ve
rather
 than
gramma.cal
 approach)

  • 23. Vastly
increased
 processing
bandwidth:

 EFL
Teaching
Implica/ons
 
Provide
ANALYTICAL
 CHALLENGES
that
 s9mulate
higher‐ order
thinking:
ask

 

How

 



What

 



Why

  • 24. Don’t
forget:
male
and
female
 adolescents
mature
at
different
rates
 Grey
cell
 Grey
cell
pruning
 pruning
 starts
at
age
14
–
16

 starts
at
age
 10
–
12

 Boys
and
girls
may
 be
ready
to
absorb
 challenging
material
 at
different
stages.

  • 25. …also
don’t
forget:
the
average
teen
is
 SLEEP DEPRIVED Physiologically,
 teens
require
 Sleep
 9.25
hours
of
 depriva9on
 sleep.

 makes
it
more
 Most
teens
 difficult
for
most
 report
sleeping

 students
to
 5
hours
or
less
 learn,
remember
 per
24‐hour
 and
think
 period.

 crea/vely.


  • 26. WHAT
ABOUT
EFL
PEDAGOGY?

 What
have
we
learned
these
past
20
years?

  • 27. NEW
EFL
 Approaches
 MOST
of
these
match
up
with
recommended
Brain
Learning
 techniques
for
engaging
teens
and
young
adults

  • 28. What
else
do
we
know
about
teens?
 


One
of
the
things
they
really
enjoy,
even
 seem
addicted
to,
is
VIDEOGAMES.
Why?

  • 29. What
can
we
learn
(and
adopt)
from
 Video
Games?
 •  Failure
is
part
of
the
game
 •  Try
and
try
again
without
s9gma

 •  Repe99on
breeds
competence
 •  Posi9ve
reinforcement
all
the
,me
 •  Posi9ve
vs.
nega9ve
stress
 •  Level
design:
progress
to
next
level
is
 always
a
challenge,
but
achievable
 •  Progress
=
status
enhancement
 •  Social
(mul9player
gaming;
leader
boards;
 in‐game
chat;
challenge‐a‐friend)

  • 30. Where
it
all
comes
together
for
teens:
 MOTIVATION
  • 31. Understanding
Learner
Mo9va9on
 •  The
“neglected
heart”
of
our
understanding
of
 how
to
design
instruc9on.

 •  Par9cularly
an
issue
for
teens,
due
to:

 ZZZZZZZ

  • 32. Learner
Mo9va9on
For
Teens
 
Exploit
learners’
natural
curiosity
to
explore
the
 world,
which
is
at
its
most
powerful
during
 teenage
and
young
adult
years
 


  • 33. Learner
Mo9va9on
For
Teens
 
Make
the
 input
material
 relevant
to
 them.

 
Do
they
 believe
that
 what
they
are
 learning
will
 be
useful
to
 them
soon?


  • 34. Learner
Mo9va9on
 for
Teens
 
“The
simplest
 way
to
ensure
 that
people
 value
what
 they
are
doing
 is
to
maximise
 their
free
 choice
and
 autonomy”
 

 
 
 
 







 ‐
Good
&
Brophy,
2004

  • 35. Learner
Mo9va9on
for
Teens
 
Three
strategies*
to
encourage
posi9ve
 self‐evalua9on:
 Promote
/
Reward
 Increase
 Provide
 Mo9va9on

 Effort

 Mo/va/onal
 via

 rather
than

 Rewards,

 Feedback
 Ability
 not
Grades
 *Dornyei,
2001

  • 36. 
A
word
about

 technology…

  • 37. Class
Time
Is
Precious
Time:

 Technology
Can
Op/mize
It
 •  Exposure
/
input
and
repe99on:

 outside
the
classroom
as
much
 as
possible.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 •  Use
precious
class
9me
for:
 •  discussion
 •  interac/on
 •  group
work
 •  tasks
requiring
teacher
 supervision
 •  face‐to‐face
intelligent
error
 correc/on

  • 38. Introducing
 •  Designed
specifically
for
boos9ng
exposure
to
 English
outside
the
classroom
 •  Designed
specifically
for
13
–
25
age
group
 •  Content
units
based
on
clips
from
Hollywood
 movies,
hit
TV
series,
chart‐topping
music
 videos,
global
news
channels,
and
 documentaries.
 •  Vocabulary
&
grammar
only
learned
 contextually,
and
reinforced
with
online
 prac9ce
games
 •  Strong
“Community”
communica9ons
focus
 •  No
tests,
no
assessment:
just
points
awarded
 for
ac9vity
&
effort
(all
skill
levels
have
equal
 foo9ng
in
terms
of
progressing
up
ladder)
 •  Currently
in
global
Beta
Tes9ng
with
6,000
 users;
to
launch
in
November
including
with
 Polish‐language
interface.

 •  Not
an
e‐learning
“course.”
Complementary
to,
 not
in
compe99on
with,
classroom
instruc9on.


  • 39. Prac/ce
Games:
vocabulary
and
usage
concepts
seen
in
 the
content
units
are
repeated
across
several
gameplays
 for
long‐term
reten9on.

 Video
Boosters:
video‐based
content
units
 Integra9ng
movie/tv/music
clips
with

 comprehension,
vocabulary
and
grammar
exercises
 Photo
Vocabs:
thema9c
visual
mini‐ dic9onaries
integra9ng
vocabulary,
 pronuncia9on,
and
prac9ce
games

  • 40. The
Web
allows
learners
to
go
beyond
 learning:
to
create

  • 41. Some
Ed‐Tech
Gurus
 #efl

#esl

#elt

#edtech

#iatefl

#tesol


  • 42. A
final
point
about
teens
and
language

  • 43. 
Language
is
part
of
one’s
iden/ty
and
is
used
to
 convey
this
iden9ty
to
others.


  • 44. 
Teens’
iden9ty
is
in
 full‐swing
evolu9on,
 so
both
L1
 sophis9ca9on
and
L2
 learning
have
a
 significant
impact
on
 the
social
being
of
 the
learner.
 *Thanasoulas,
2007

  • 45. 
If
we
can
integrate
 English
into
teens’
 idea
of
self,
we
 turbo‐charge
their
 learning,
reten9on,
 and
enjoyment
of
the
 process.

 *Thanasoulas,
2007

  • 46. Unlocking
Learner
Mo/va/on

 In
The
Age
Of
The
Digital
Na/ve
 TwiTer:
 
 
@paulmaglione
 
 
 
 
@englishaTack
 Web:
 
 
 
www.english‐aTack.com
 Blog: 
 
 
hTp://blog.english‐aTack.com
 E‐mail:
 
 
paul.maglione@english‐aTack.com
 LinkedIn: 
 
Paul
Maglione