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APPLICATION OF THE COMMUNICATIVE APPROACH TO THE TEACHING OF COSTA RICAN INDIGENOUS PEOPLE MAGDA ABAD VALVERDE 2011
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APPLICATION OF THE COMMUNICATIVE APPROACH TO THE TEACHING OF COSTA RICAN INDIGENOUS PEOPLE MAGDA ABAD VALVERDE 2011

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Bienvenidos a nuestro sitio virtual de la UNIVERSIDAD MAGISTER en Slide Share donde podrá encontrar los resultados de importantes trabajos de investigación prácticos producidos por nuestros profesionales. Esperamos que estos Mares Azules que les ponemos a su disposición sirvan de base para otras investigaciones y juntos cooperemos en el Desarrollo Económico y Social de Costa Rica y otras latitudes.

Queremos ser enfáticos en que estos trabajos tienen Propiedad Intelectual por lo que queda totalmente prohibida su reproducción parcial o total, así como ser utilizados por otro autor, a excepción de que los compartan como citas de autor o referencias bibliográficas. Toda esta información también quedará a su disposición desde nuestro sitio web www.umagister.com,

Disfruten con nosotros de este magno contenido bibliográfico Magister esperando sus amables comentarios, no sin antes agradecer a nuestro Ing. Jerry González quien está administrando este sitio.

Rectoría, Universidad Magister. – 2014.

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APPLICATION OF THE COMMUNICATIVE APPROACH TO THE TEACHING OF COSTA RICAN INDIGENOUS PEOPLE MAGDA ABAD VALVERDE 2011 APPLICATION OF THE COMMUNICATIVE APPROACH TO THE TEACHING OF COSTA RICAN INDIGENOUS PEOPLE MAGDA ABAD VALVERDE 2011 Document Transcript

  • UNIVERSIDAD MAGISTER CARRERA ENSEÑANZA DEL INGLÉS TESIS PARA OPTAR POR EL GRADO DE LICENCIATURA EN LA ENSEÑANZA DEL INGLÉS APPLICATION OF THE COMMUNICATIVE APPROACH TO THE TEACHING OF COSTA RICAN INDIGENOUS PEOPLE MAGDA ABAD VALVERDE 2011
  • TRIBUNAL EXAMINADOR Esta Tesis es aprobada por el Tribunal Examinador de la Carrera de Licenciatura en la Enseñanza del Inglés, como requisito para optar al grado de Licenciatura con Énfasis en la Enseñanza del Inglés. San José, a los 04 días del mes de abril del 2011. ________________________________________ Máster Vivian González Trejos. Tutora ________________________________________ Máster Lawrence Vega Miranda. Lector Interno i
  • COMITÉ ASESOR El Trabajo Final de Graduación es aprobado por el Comité Asesor de la Carrera de Enseñanza del Inglés, como requisito para optar al Grado de Licenciatura en la Enseñanza del Inglés. San José, a los 04 días del mes de abril del dos mil once. __________________________________________ Máster. Vivian González Trejos, Lectora __________________________________________ Máster Lawrence Vega Miranda, Tutor ii
  • DECLARACIÓN JURADA Yo Magda Abad Valverde, estudiante de la Universidad Magíster, declaro bajo fe del juramento y consciente de la responsabilidad penal de éste, que soy la autora intelectual del Trabajo Final de Graduación intitulado: Application of the Communicative Approach to the teaching of Costa Rican Indigenous Students; por lo que libero a la Universidad de cualquier responsabilidad. San José, a los 04 días del mes de abril del 2011 ________________________________________ Magda Abad Valverde Cédula 03-0275-0532 iii
  • A MI MADRE iv
  • AGRADECIMIENTO Deseo manifestar mi mayor agradecimiento a mis directores de Tesis, MBA. Vivian González Trejos y M.L. Lawrence Vega Miranda, quienes muy amablemente siempre y oportunamente estuvieron anuentes a brindarme sus importantes recomendaciones. Así mismo, deseo extender mi agradecimiento a la bibliotecaria del C.T.P. La Suiza, Lcda. Yamileth Rodríguez Cerdas y a todas aquellas personas que me apoyaron para que este trabajo pudiera ser una realidad. v
  • vi
  • vii
  • CONTENT Page Tribunal Examinador i Comité Asesor ii Declaración Jurada iii Dedicatoria iv Agradecimiento v Carta Autorización (Colegio) vi Carta Autorización Uso de Trabajo de Investigación vii Content viii Charts Index x Graphs Index xi Maps Index xii Preface xiii Chapter I Introduction 01 1.1 Introductory Aspects 02 1.2 Justification 05 1.3 Problem Statement 06 1.4 General Objective 07 1.5 Specific Objectives 07 1.6 Limitations 07 1.7 Delimitations 08 Chapter II Theoretical Framework 09 2.1 Introduction 10 2.2 Indigenous Languages 10 2.3 Ethnic Groups 13 2.4 Second Language Acquisition 20 2.5 MEP’s General Objective 65 2.6 UNICEF’s Report 72 viii
  • Chapter III Methodological Framework 74 3.1 Research Type 75 3.2 Information Sources 75 3.3 Population 76 3.4 Sample 76 3.5 Technical Instruments 76 3.6 Variables Definition 76 3.7 Gathering of Information 78 3.8 Data Analysis 79 3.9 Information Processing 79 Chapter IV Analysis and Interpretation of Results 80 4.1 Questionnaire 81 4.2 Telephone Interviews 98 Chapter V Conclusions and Recommendations 107 5.1 Conclusions 108 5.2 Recommendations 113 Chapter VI Proposal 114 6.1 Introduction 115 6.2 General Objective 116 6.3 Specific Objectives 116 6.4 Proposed Communicative Activities 116 Bibliography 125 Web References 128 Appendix 131 Encuesta sobre educación bilingüe en comunidades indígenas de Costa.Rica .(2009/2010) 132 Entrevista sobre educación bilingüe en comunidades indígenas de Costa.Rica (2011) 137 ix
  • CHARTS INDEX Page CHART 1: COGNATES 11 CHART 2: ETHNOLOGUE REPORT FOR COSTA RICA 12 CHART 3: MASLOW’S PYRAMID 57 CHART 4: FAMILY STATUS 81 CHART 5: FAMILY EDUCATIONAL BACKGROUND 82 CHART 6: BROTHERS/SISTERS OCCUPATION 83 CHART 7: SCHOOL ATTENDANCE 84 CHART 8: HIGH SCHOOL LEVEL 85 CHART 9: WAY TO GO TO SCHOOL 86 CHART 10: SCHOOLS NEARBY 87 CHART 11: SPOKEN CABECAR 88 CHART 12: ENGLISH MOTIVATION 89 CHART 13: STUDENTS’ UNDERSTANDING 90 CHART 14: ENGLISH DIFFICULTY 91 CHART 15: SCHOOL DIFFICULTY 92 CHART 16: STUDENTS’ PARTICIPATION 93 CHART 17: STUDY MOTIVATION 94 CHART 18: MOTIVATION FOR OTHER LANGUAGES 95 CHART 19: UNIVERSITY MOTIVATION 96 CHART 20: ADULTS SCHOOL ATTENDANCE 98 CHART 21: EDUCATIONAL SYSTEM LEVELS 99 CHART 22: SCHOOLS 100 CHART 23: SPOKEN INDIGENOUS LANGUAGE 101 CHART 24: ENGLISH EXPERIENCE 102 CHART 25: ADULTS ENGLISH MOTIVATION 103 CHART 26: ADULTS SCHOOL MOTIVATION 104 x
  • GRAPHS INDEX Page GRAPH 1: FAMILY STATUS 81 GRAPH 2: FAMILY EDUCATIONAL BACKGROUND 82 GRAPH 3: BROTHERS/SISTERS OCCUPATION 83 GRAPH 4: SCHOOL ATTENDANCE 84 GRAPH 5: HIGH SCHOOL LEVEL 85 GRAPH 6: WAY TO GO TO SCHOOL 86 GRAPH 7: SCHOOLS NEARBY 87 GRAPH 8: SPOKEN CABECAR 88 GRAPH 9: ENGLISH MOTIVATION 89 GRAPH 10: STUDENTS’ UNDERSTANDING 90 GRAPH 11: ENGLISH DIFFICULTY 91 GRAPH 12: SCHOOL DIFFICULTY 92 GRAPH 13: STUDENTS’ PARTICIPATION 93 GRAPH 14: STUDY MOTIVATION 94 GRAPH 15: MOTIVATION FOR OTHER LANGUAGES 95 GRAPH 16: UNIVERSITY MOTIVATION 96 GRAPH 17: ADULTS SCHOOL ATTENDANCE 99 GRAPH 18: EDUCATIONAL SYSTEM LEVELS 100 GRAPH 19: SCHOOLS 101 GRAPH 20: SPOKEN INDIGENOUS LANGUAGE 102 GRAPH 21: ENGLISH EXPERIENCE 103 GRAPH 22: ADULTS ENGLISH MOTIVATION 104 GRAPH 23: ADULTS SCHOOL MOTIVATION 105 xi
  • MAPS INDEX Page MAP 1: COSTA RICAN INDIAN LANGUAGES 13 MAP 2: COSTA RICAN ETHNIC GROUPS TERRITORIES 20 xii
  • PREFACE This work is intended to persuade teachers to use the Communicative Language Teaching to favor second and third language learning in classrooms where there are indigenous students who may have some kind of difficulties when studying English. It is divided into six chapters: Chapter I has to do with introductory aspects that express ideas regarding the problem, the justification, and the objectives for this work. Chapter II deals with our Costa Rican ethnic groups, who they are, where they are located, and what languages they speak. It also refers to some questions and answers some of our indigenous people were involved in order to know more about their culture, their behavior, their motivation to study, their difficulties in learning and their opinions or comments. There are also some important language theories and approaches mentioned like the Audio Lingual Method, the Natural Approach, the Total Physical Response, and the Communicative Approach, to be considered as a base for the main aim of this work that is, to provide and recommend different communicative learning activities for our aborigens to be more successful in school. Chapter III refers to the methods and procedures used to develop this research. So, it has to do with the gathering of information, the technical instruments used, the sample that was considered and represented teenager students and adults from different indigenous groups like Bribri, Cabecar, Guaymi, Huetar, Chorotega, Boruca, and Maleku. Chapter IV deals with the analysis of the information gather through a questionnaire and interviews. It has questions like How do you go to school,? Do you like English,? Do you understand your teachers’ explanations,? How would you like English to be taught .? xiii
  • Chapter V has to do with conclusions, for example, In regard to the question ―do you like English ?,‖ it can be concluded that most indigenous students are motivated to learn English, because almost all the students said they enjoyed English. Chapter VI refers to the proposal. These are the specific objectives: to provide some practical ideas and exercises that will help indigenous students to be more successful and more motivated in school, to persuade teachers to expand their ways and techniques of teaching by including more communicative activities in their lessons, and to motivate teachers to use curricular adjustments with indigenous students, so that they may be given more attention and more time to develop the practices or exercises. xiv
  • CHAPTER I INTRODUCTION
  • 2 1.1 INTRODUCTORY ASPECTS In Latin America, native populations are located in difficult access sites, where there are not public services. They have chosen those places to protect themselves from foreign invasions. Unfortunately, that has prevented most of them to participate actively in the society they belong to. They have remained almost isolated, and their living conditions are based on their closest natural environment and their little cultural demands. However, non natives have managed the way to get to these far away places in order to buy their production and take advantage of their naïve condition or lack of knowledge in terms of trading, for example. In Costa Rica, as well as in other American countries, the Indian population is scattered throughout the country, especially in far away places where nature is their basic context, with no electricity, technology or any other modern conveniences and influences, (see map 2.) For this reason, our indigenous people should be given the opportunity to learn how to deal with non natives, with a different language, in order to sell their products at reasonable prices, as well as to leave their secure home to get other goods they might want or need for bettering their conditions or ways of living. Native Indian languages in America are in danger of extinction due to other dominant languages like Spanish, English and Portuguese. In Costa Rica, our indigenous population must study and learn Spanish and English as part of their survival goals in our society; so that they can participate actively in everything that helps them improve their living conditions. Moreover, the Constitution of Costa Rica establishes that all citizens should be given the free opportunity to study, at least up to the third cycle of basic education. Education as a universal right, is Intended to improve the living conditions of human beings. In this respect, Programa de Ricardo Chaves mentions in Diseño de Capacitación Docente en Materia de Idiomas un Indígenas
  • 3 Costarricenses para la Dirección Regional Educativa de Limón del Ministerio de Educación Pública (2009) that: “La educación está considerada como uno de los pilares en la construcción del progreso y bienestar de la humanidad, representa un derecho fundamental que tienen todas las personas, sin consideración de edad, condición económica, social, étnica, política, ética, religiosa y otra cualquiera. Una educación de calidad debe contribuir al éxito personal y colectivo de quienes aprenden a adaptarse al contexto socio-cultural, lo que permite a los individuos actuar con mayor seguridad y eficacia en un mundo de cambios acelerados y profundos.” (Chaves, 2009) Chaves states that Costa Rican education should get to all social groups, especially the indigenous population, that must develop individual capabilities for developing an integral human being, with all the necessary tools provided for modern societies: “La educación costarricense debe integrar todas las instancias sociales a fin de organizar y brindar el rendimiento óptimo en la formación integral de los individuos y en el caso particular debe tomar como imprescindible la incorporación de la cultura indígena como elemento curricular importante. Como resultado de esta integración la sociedad se forma un ideal del hombre, tanto desde el punto de vista intelectual, físico y moral; así como resultado de una sociedad de tradición milenaria, que este ideal es, hasta cierto punto el mismo para todos los ciudadanos.” (Chaves, 2009) Now, in a world where competencies and abilities are part of an individual’s success, to learn more than one language is totally necessary. There are still groups that speak their native language, and this has put them aside from progress. Therefore, it is necessary for a person to handle two or more languages. In Costa Rica, for these native people to learn Spanish has become a need to be part of a demanding society, but the interconnection with other societies makes it necessary to speak English as well. According to the Ministry of Education, it is mandatory for all students to take English in high school, and in many elementary schools. Therefore, all Costa Rican citizens have the right to learn about the world that surrounds them and to possess the basic tools to confront the requirements of society. Nearby 1995, the
  • 4 government of Costa Rica declared the necessity of breaking social barriers by teaching English to children since first grade, so that they would have the same opportunities that students in private schools had. The idea has been to enlarge the capacity of the population to confront a world where English is a basic tool. Since then, many schools include in their curriculum English as a mandatory subject, in which children are taught the basic skills of listening, speaking, writing and reading. Teachers have been trained to include in their classes methodologies that improve communication. The intention has been to expand these programs all over Costa Rica. Consequently, the indigenous population has also the right to be included in this program. But how can teachers approach a population that barely speaks Spanish or confront a situation in which there is no electricity or any technological means. There are methods in which the teacher can use only the materials provided by nature, or in which the class becomes active due to the integral situations of life that the students may learn. Hence, it is the researcher’s intention to provide a set of techniques and activities for learning English as a foreign language to be used everywhere in the country, especially, where there is no electricity to use modern technological methods. The teaching provided to American indigenous people in the United States, has been criticized by both, ―Indians and not Indians,‖ said Jon Reyhner. He stated that ―The problem with the all-English immersion teaching methods used in Indian schools were not the methods per se, but the fact that they were used to replace the children's Native languages rather than to give children an additional language.‖ That is to say, the methods and the topics to be developed for teaching native people must expand what the students already know. He suggests, for instance, ESL teaching using realia to help comprehensible input, using students experiences encouraging language practice through talking and writing in wellknown situations. Now, the same situation may as well be practiced in Costa Rica. The intention is not to replace the native population’s language, or to make them act or think differently, but to expand their horizon and possibilities, in such a way that they can defend themselves in a competitive world where English is a requirement.
  • 5 1.2 JUSTIFICATION In Costa Rica, thousands of students go to the university to learn English, many of them have decided to become English teachers. They learn the methodologies and approaches necessary to motivate students to learn English. They themselves are interested in learning and acquiring this language, as well. They know that they need it to survive in a competitive world. In fact, a person who speaks English will have the opportunity to find a better job, to travel abroad or to enlarge his/her education by taking courses in another country. English teachers learn how to use realia, how to induce their students to obtain data from a text, or how to write long academic essays that can be used later on in broader academic environments or in special companies. However, few teachers worry about the methodologies that can be used for special groups that do not have the opportunity to be integrated in the same society in which they are teaching. Few English professors worry about the methodologies used to teach people who live in very isolated places. Most of these teachers think that all Costa Ricans speak Spanish, that most Costa Ricans live in the Central Valley, or that all Costa Ricans live in well organized towns with electricity and water services. But there is another Costa Rica, one that very few imagine, as well. It is a Costa Rica in which people live in small villages, or completely isolated. A Costa Rica in which there are no basic services like water or electricity supply. This is a Costa Rica in which its citizens do not speak Spanish, or even do not know that San José, the capital exists. Nevertheless, it is a Costa Rica whose citizens deserve the same treatment and consideration as those who live in the Central Valley, and who also need an education, in the best possible way, so that they will obtain a new perspective of life and culture without changing their own. It has not been a government priority to spend the budget in developing indigenous programs that will help them improve their status and participation as active citizens. In Costa Rica, indigenous people need our support in helping them develop their abilities to actively participate in the social, economical and cultural spheres. The best way to accomplish this, would be through education. And since
  • 6 they live in far away places with difficult access, where no modern conveniences reach them, people in charge of teaching them, must provide everything that is needed for such a teaching-learning experience. According to González and Hammond, ―second language teaching must be integrated with the social, cultural, and political context of language use‖. Thus, indigenous people should be immersed in an integral type of education that considers not only the content to be taught, but also their culture, their interests or objectives for learning, and their environment. 1.3 PROBLEM STATEMENT The indigenous people setting represents a challenge for anybody who can be interested in helping them bettering and opening their opportunities for improving their ways of living. In Costa Rica, as well as in other Latin American countries, geographical barriers allow the establishment of different native cultures. And the Ministry of Education has not launched any particular syllabus to cover our indigenous people needs and interests. Therefore, we should provide education trying not to substitute but to compliment their culture. As González and Hammond stated, ―schools and teacher education programs often focus on pushing students to work rapidly and realistically to acquire fluent English without attention to continued first language development. This approach minimizes the connections between first and second language development and reduces the potential for advancement in both languages‖. Therefore, it raises the question: Why is it necessary to propose the Communicative Approach with the Costa Rican indigenous people ?
  • 7 1.4 GENERAL OBJECTIVE To propose an implementation in the use of the Communicative Approach to Costa Rican indigenous students. Then, it would be pertinent to consider several important questions to be answered: What should be taught ?, What should a teacher do to help them learn with a purpose for themselves? Finally, How can they be taught ? 1.5 SPECIFIC OBJECTIVES 1. To establish the necessary changes in the application of the Communicative Approach to aborigins. 2. To propose English learning activities to be used with different ethnic groups. 3. To identify indigenous students language difficulties in learning English to overcome them. 1.6 LIMITATIONS 1.6.1 Geographical Location: due to the fact that most indigenous students live in the mountains, far away from the cities, it is very difficult to get to them in their communities. 1.6.2 Time: during vacation time it is impossible to work with students in the high schools. 1.6.3 Lack of material sources: there are no records of indigenous students in schools and most of them do not have telephone. 1.6.4 Students culture and behavior: indigenous people are mostly shy, so it is sometimes hard to get access or communicate to them. Girls seem to be less open with strangers, so it is sometimes more difficult to interview them.
  • 8 1.7 DELIMITATIONS Most of the observations and the questionnaire were applied to Cabecar students from La Suiza Technical High School, and other Cabecar students from other communities and schools, including Chirripo, Grano de Oro, Tayutic, and Roca Quemada. For the telephone interviews, seven adults participated from the following indigenous groups: Chorotega, Maleku, Huetar, Guaymi, Bribri, and Boruca.
  • CHAPTER II THEORETICAL FRAMEWORK
  • 10 2.1 INTRODUCTION In this chapter there is a set of topics that are necessary to take into account because they are basic for this research. It refers to the different indigenous Costa Ricans, and the languages some of them keep as their first language. It also deals with outstanding theories and methods related to the teaching/learning process, especially the Communicative Language Teaching. In addition, it refers to some considerations in regard to the way a person acquires another language, and what the Costa Rican Ministry of Education proposes as its goals and procedures in terms of methodology and evaluation. It has to do with this year UNICEF’S report about education enrollment of children in Latin America. 2.2 INDIGENOUS LANGUAGES Different linguistic studies, have demonstrated that all languages are born, evolve and die. The linguist., Enrique Margery, concluded that in a hundred years 530 Indigenous languages will die in America due to the importance and influence of different European languages spoken in Latin America. “El prestigio que alcanzan las lenguas oficiales en las comunidades indígenas, con el consecuente bilingüismo que tal situación impone, implica, en la mayor parte de los casos un elemento que presiona negativamente el aprendizaje de las lenguas indígenas en el núcleo familiar. Esta interrupción del aprendizaje, unido por lo común a la valoración negativa de ellas, significa el inicio del proceso de muerte de tales lenguas.” (Abad 2005) This means that our indigenous population is facing cultural problems in which the official language of the country is replacing in certain ways their native tongue; that is why it will be fundamental to incorporate their native culture and language as a mandatory objective when teaching English or any other foreign language to them.
  • 11 According to the linguist Victor Ml. Arroyo (1972,) from several aboriginal groups that used to inhabit the Costa Rican territory in previous centuries, during 1972, there were only 5 ethnic groups: Guatusos to the north of the country, Bribris, Cabecares, Terrabas, and Bruncas in mountains and valleys. Today, the languages represented by the remaining groups have basic roots common to all of them, which suggests a common origin, too. Thus, as shown in this example given by Arroyo, we can find cognates in all of them; for instance, to say the word ―water‖, they use the following terms: CHART 1: Cognates BRIBRI CABECAR TERRABA BRUNCA GUATUSO Di digle di di Ti Source: Arroyo. Lenguas Indígenas Costarricenses.1972, p.14. As he says, there aren’t monolingual speakers in Brunca or Guatuso, and the other groups are bilingual; moreover, some of them prefer to use their second language—Spanish for everyday situations. Therefore, it is necessary to get a data ―corpus‖ of basic vocabulary to be taught, the same that is taken into consideration for glotocronological purposes, to have a better and easier understanding of their language in relation to English. For Costa Rica, Ethnologue (2009,) reported that there are 26,782 native indigenous speakers scattered in different regions throughout shown in the following chart and map. the country, as
  • 12 CHART 2: Ethnologue Report for Costa Rica LANGUAGE DIALECTS Boruca ALTERNATE NAMES SPEAKERS ETHNIC POPULATION LOCATION Borunca, Brunca, Brunka, Burunca 5 (1986 SIL). 30 to 35 nonfluent speakers 1,000 (1991). South coast between Playa Bonita and Golfito Talamanca 11,000 (2002) 12,172 (2000) South, Limón Province, Canton of Talamanca, along Lari, Telire, Uren rivers; Puntarenas Province, Canton of Buenos Aires Cabécar Chirripó, Telire, Estrella, 9,308 (2000). 8,840 (2000). 7,072 monolinguals (80%) Turrialba region Guatuso Maléku Jaíka 1,074 (2000) 750 (2000) Guaymí Ngäbere 5,360 (2000) 5,090 in Costa Rica (2000) Teribe Terraba 35 to 300 in Costa Rica (1991 SIL) 5 in Costa Rica(1991 SIL) Bribri SalitreCabagra, Amubre-Katsi, Coroma Source: Ethnologue. 2009 Southeast, north coast
  • 13 MAP 1: Costa Rican Indian Languages Source: Ethnologue. 2009 2.3 ETHNIC GROUPS In short, there are eight different indigenous groups widespread throughout the country: Cabecar, Bribri, Guaymi, Terraba, Boruca, Guatuso / Maleku, Chorotega, and Huetar. 2.2.1 CABECAR According to Ethnologue (2009), Cabecar population is of 9,308, and 80% of them speak Cabecar language as their only language. In the posted UNESCO article (2011), Cabecar people are settled in many different places and occupy most of their territory:
  • 14 “En la Vertiente Atlántica los cabécares se encuentran en las siguientes reservas indígenas(1) Reserva Indígena Cabécar de Telire, de 16.260 hectáreas, en la cuenca del río Pacuare, con 536 habitantes, 85% bosque y 100% posesión indígena; (2) Reserva Indígena Alto Chirripó, de 77.973 hectáreas, en la cuenca del río Pacuare, con 4.619 habitantes, 65% bosque, y 60% posesión indígena, con los asentamientos de Alto Chirripó, Alto Pacuare, Vereh, Quetzal de Moravia, Sipirí, Chiquiarí, Ñari, Paso Marcos, Boyei, Cabeza de Buey, Santubal, y Nimari; (3) Reserva Indígena Cabécar Nairí Awari, de 5.038 hectáreas en la cuenca del río Pacuare, con 346 habitantes, 70% bosque, y 85% posesión indígena; (4) Reserva Indígena Cabécar de Bajo Chirripó, de 18.783 hectáreas en la cuenca del río Pacuare, con 363 habitantes, 70% bosque, y 75% posesión indígena, con los asentamientos Río Zent, Bajo Chirripó, Río Peje, Puerto Rico y Barbilla-Dantas; (5) Reserva Indígena Cabécar de Tayni, de 16.216 hectáreas en la cuenca del río La Estrella, con 1.807 habitantes, 85% bosque y 100% posesión indígena, con los asentamientos Calveri, Cuen, Moi, Abuy, Cariei y Suruy; (6) Reserva de Talamanca Cabécar, de 23.329 hectáreas en la cuenca del río Sixaola, con 1.335 habitantes, 65% bosque y 85% posesión indígena, con los asentamientos Gavilán Canta, Siboju, San Miguel, Dos Bocas, Dury, Quebrada Guitarra, Mirador, San José Cabécar, Urochico y San Vicente de Río Moi (Tenorio 1988: 22,48; CONAI 2001). Fuera de las reservas en la Vertiente Atlántica, se encuentran en el asentamiento de Tuis (Bozolli 1969: 11). En la Vertiente Pacífica, están: (1) Reserva Indígena Cabécar China Kichá, de 1.100 hectáreas en la cuenca del río Grande de Térraba, con 150 habitantes, 97% bosque, y 3% posesión indígena, con los asentamientos Santa Cruz, Santa María, Guanacaste, Ceibo, y El Carmen (Tenorio 1988: 22; CONAI 2001). “ (UNESCO 2011). Their traditional settlement was said to be design for an extensive use of the natural resources. They had large areas for hunting, fishing and for agriculture. Their territories were separated by trees like Cedar, and other plants like ―Caña India‖. Their houses were defined by any water stream nearby. But, they say that in the last decades, the settlement pattern has changed because of the opening of more access ways, electricity, health, work and educational centers nearby. And with an increase in the population growth, the indigenous population that inhabited the mountains, started to migrate to urban centers, along the roads and ways to better access the communities. In the Pacific, they settled in deforested plains or mountains, in ―ranchos‖ or houses, and water is obtained by means of pipes (―cañería‖). In some cases there are environmental problems due to pollution and the destruction of the traditional patterns for the ecosystems management. According to the Wikipedia article (2011,) these indigenous communities keep several traditions and customs through cultural festivals, Cabecar language and
  • 15 knowledge transmission between generations, also by the building of traditional houses and by different production activities related to agriculture and crafts. They make bags and hammocks with natural fibers and decorated with natural colors or tints. With respect to their religion, some follow the Catholicism and some the Shamanism. Cabecars are related to the Bribris, too. 2.2.2 BRIBRI Bribri represents one of the largest Costa Rican indigenous groups that speak Bribri. According to the article posted by Wikipedia, today, there are about 10,000 people scattered in the reserves of Salitre and Cabagra, in Buenos Aires Canton (Puntarenas) and in the Talamanca reserve, in the Talamanca Canton. They mostly work in agriculture with cocoa, plantain,corn, beans and some tubers. They raise pigs and chicken, and hunt and fish, too. They make baskets and musical instruments with different natural elements. Their religion is said to be ―animist‖, based on a Shaman. They worship ―Sibú‖, their God. Their society is structured in clans. Bribri people like independence, so they build wooden houses with roofs made of leaves, very separate from one another, some of the houses are as far as an hour from each other. According to an article posted by UNESCO (2011,) during the last decades their settlements pattern has changed due to new roads, electricity, health, work and educational centers. And with an increase in the population growth, the indigenous population that inhabited the mountains, started to migrate to urban centers, along roads to better access the communities. The climate of Talamanca is tropical and rainy, and the annual temperature is about 26.6 grades C. In this region there is 90% of Costa Rican flora. In Talamanca valley there are several rivers that represent the main means of transport: Lari, Uren, Coén, Yorkín y Telire river.
  • 16 2.2.3 GUAYMI (Ngäbe ) According to Wikipedia article Guaymí is the traditional term for the Ngäbe, and their language is Ngäbere (Guaymi). There are approximately 200,000-250,000 speakers of Ngäbere (Guaymi) today. A few Guaymi have solar electricity through an electrification project, as well as cell phone service. Most live at or below the poverty level. But, many Guaymies reject to live secluded lives away from modern societies. According to ―Museos de Costa Rica‖ (2011,) the Guaymi group is numerous. They migrated from Panama about 50 years ago. There are Guaymi people in Abrojos, the Corredores Canton, in Conteburica,Golfito, Coto Brus, and Puntarenas. They keep their customs, traditions and dress, especially women. The typical dresses are very colorful. They grow cocoa, rice, beans, heart palm, and plantains. They combine the agriculture with hunting and fishing. They also have pigs and chicken. They make hand crafts with natural fibers using natural vegetable tints, especially black. They also make ―petates‖, hats and ―chácaras‖. 2.2.4 MALEKU According to Wikipedia (2011,) ―The Maleku is an indigenous tribe in Costa Rica located in the Guatuso Indigenous Reserve near the town of Guatuso (San Rafael de Guatuso). Around 600 aboriginal people live on the reserve‖ In relation to the posted UNESCO article (2011,) in the Maleku’s territory, there are swampy plains, tropical forests full of insects, wild animals and diseases; in addition, geographical factors as the mountain range of Guanacaste and Tilaran to the south give its difficult conditions and access. Also, the climate is hot, rainy, and humid. Malekus then, remained isolated, so their cultural patterns were protected against foreigners. In the 70’s, invations to Maleku’s lands were alarming, so in 1976 the Maleku reserve was created with 2,994 hectares, but a great deal of the territory is in no indigenous hands that raise cattle there. By that time with municipal help, roads, bridges, landing strips, schools, aqueducts, and police
  • 17 staions in Margarita and Tonjibe. Malekus invaded Mariley farm next to the reserve; 250 hectares of it were distributed among 30 families. But only 20% of the reserve land is own by the indigenous people. Also that land is distributed unfairly: 50% is in the hands of 15 families, while the other 50% is distributed among 40 families; moreover, there are 35 families without a piece of land. In the farm cattle, rice, corn, beans and some tubers are produced. 2.2.5 BORUCA In relation to an article edited by UNESCO (2011 ) Boruca people now are inhabitants of the Pacific, the Terraba river. Boruca reserve includes the settlements of Boruca, Maíz, Dobon-cragua, Hato Viejo, San Joaquín, Mano de Tigre, Kamankawa, Shamba, Kuivin, Bella Vista, Cajón, and Chánguina. But only 39 % of the territory is theirs. The Curre Brunka reserve is constituded by the settlements of Curré, Rey Curré, Bijagual, Lagarto, Puerto Nuevo, Palmital, Cañablancal, y Buenos Aires. And only 16% of the territory is theirs. Boruca settlements have from 300 to 1,000 speakers, but this kind of system allows them to be crowded and the transmission of diseases, too. There are also environmental problems due to pollution and bad ecosystems management. Boruca territory can be classified as tropical humid and very humid premountainous forest. According to Miguel A. Quesada and Carmen Rojas, (1999, p.11) Boruca children, in Buenos Aires are getting regular Boruca classes in their communities. . Few of them are monolingual Boruca speakers, the others are bilingual Boruca-Spanish, or monolingual Spanish. 2.2.6 TERIBE / TERRABA According to the book by J. Diego Quesada (2001, p. 120), Terrabas and Teribes were different groups, Teribes came from Bocas del Toro, in Panama, and Terrabas were located in the province of Puntarenas. Terrabas were more
  • 18 influenced by Spanish culture and modern conveniences than Teribes. For example, while Teribe people made a natural cream or drink out of ―pifagua‖ in the morning, Terraba people prefered to drink ―agua dulce‖. Also the Teribe people were accustomed to row in the river, but Terraba people are more used to take a bus to go anywhere. According to the article posted by UNESCO (2011,) Terraba settlements are located in the Pacific, the Terraba river, in Puntarenas province, Buenos Aires canton. The main Terraba settlements are San Antonio de Térraba, Volcancito, Paso Real, Murciélago, Bajos de San Andrés, Camancragua and Tigre. There are approximately 1,425 people according to the 2000 census, though not all of them live in the reserve. Terraba reserve is 9,350 hectares, but not all of the territory belong to the indigenous people. It is located in a partly deforested tropical humid premountainous area. 2.2.7 HUETAR Huetar people do not speak the Huetar language and do not know much about their ancestors. According to Marjorie Moreno Salas (2008, pp.27-38,) Quitirrisi Reserve is the closest community to the Central Valley, in the Mora Canton, bordering Guayabo and Tabarcia. Most of the inhabitants work in the services area, and many of them travel to the capital daily. She says that population in 2004 was of 751 people. The reserve extension is of 2660,03 hectares. She says that Huetars are a bicultural group because they have elements from both cultures: the indigenous and the hybrid white. They celebrate Catholic funeral services, the fifteen year old birthday to girls, they use house structures, electrical appliances such as television and washing machine, and cleaning products. Most of them were said to be Catholic or Christian. About their indigenous cultural practices, they keep crafts with textiles, they make home utensils, traditional foods
  • 19 and drinks, they have kept some words from the Huetar language, legends and believes. They also preserve the environment. 2.2.8 CHOROTEGA In relation to the article posted by Museos de Costa Rica (2011,) the Chorotega is a very small group, in the Matambu Indigenous Reserve, that is located in Hojancha Canton, in Guanacaste. Some of them also live in San Vicente, Guaytil, Santa Bárbara, and other places of Guanacaste. They have lost the Chorotega language, so they only speak Spanish. Some of them keep their physical features. They keep their ethnic identity and protect their traditions and customs, especially the handcrafts made of clay. (2011) According to the article posted by UNESCO (2011,) the Chorotega people produce and sell decorated pottery. They also grow corn, beans, rice, some tubers, and raise cattle and chicken. Their territory is located in the driest region of the country. The following map was taken from the dictionary for Cabecar students, by Enrique Margery (2005) to exemplify the location of our different ethnic groups.
  • 20 MAP 2: Costa Rican Ethnic Groups Territories Source: Margery. Abecedario Ilustrado Cabécar. 2005. 2.4 SECOND LANGUAGE ACQUISITION With regard to second language acquisition, we are going to consider different methods and approaches that would best develop the objectives we have established for teaching the indigenous community the second / third language, in such a way that they could learn the basics of the English language, without compromising or hiding their cultural background and own language. Therefore, the communicative approach, for example, would fit well to accomplish our goal.
  • 21 2.4.1 THEORIES AND METHODS According to Jack Richards and Theodore Rodgers, in their book Approaches and Methods in Language Teaching (2001,) they consider that an approach will lead to a method if a design is developed for the instructional system. In this way, the design would be the level of method analysis which should consider what the objectives of the method are, how language content is selected and organized within the method (syllabus), what kinds of learning tasks/activities the method advocates, what role the learners and teachers perform, and what role the teaching materials has. They say that different theories of language learning influence or determine the focus of a method. Methods differ in what they see as the relevant language and subject matter around which language teaching should be organized, and the principles considered in sequencing the course content. Thus, some methods focus on oral skills, some others deal with communication skills, others have to do with grammar and pronunciation, some are concerned with vocabulary and grammar, and others may define their objectives in terms of learning behaviors, or processes in which the learner is expected to get an ability. In addition, all methods involve the selection of the target language items such as words, sentence patternoness, tenses, functions and topics. Therefore, ESP courses focus on subject matter, structurally ones like Situational Language Teaching and Audiolingual Method are necessarily linguistically focused. The syllabus defines linguistic content in terms of language elements, such as structures, topics, notions, and functions; learning tasks, and the goals for learning in terms of speaking, listening, reading, and writing skills. The term syllabus, as they say, has been used to refer to the form in which linguistic content is specified in a course or method. Mostly, it has been more associated with methods that are product-centered rather than with the ones that are process-centered. The syllabus for Situational and Audiolingual methods consist of a list of grammatical items and constructions together with a list of vocabulary items. The Notional-functional syllabus specify the communicative
  • 22 content in terms of notions, topics, grammar and vocabulary. The term syllabus is not usually used in process-based methods in which language content is secondary. 2.3.1.1 SELECTION OF THE TYPES OF LEARNING/TEACHING ACTIVITIES In relation to the selection of the types of learning/teaching activities, there are also differences among the different methods. In this way, activities that focus on grammar would be very different from those that focus on communicative skills, as well to those that focus on the development of psycholinguistic processes in language acquisition. Audiolingualism, for example, as Richards and Rodgers (2001) report, uses dialogues and pattern practices, the Silent Way deals with problem solving activities with charts and color rods, and the Communicative is involved with tasks that deal with an information gap and information transfer; the learners have the same task but each has different information necessary to complete the task. With respect to the learners’ roles, they say that the method will reflect responses to questions concerning the learners’ contribution to the learning process: the types of activities the learners carry out, the degree of control they have over the content of learning, the patterns of learner groupings adopted, the degree to which they influence the learning of the others, and the view of the learner as processor, performer, initiator, or problem solver. In the words of Johnson and Paulston, as they were quoted in their book Richards and Rodgers, p.28, the learners’ roles can be refer as: 1. The learners plan their own learning program and are responsible for 2. 3. 4. 5. what they do in the classroom. They monitor and evaluate their own progress. They belong to a group and learn by interacting with others. Learners tutor other learners. Learners learn from teachers, other students, and other teaching sources. Also, as they mention Curran (p.28), he says that in a counseling-learning view, the learners have roles that change developmentally. This developmental process is
  • 23 divided into five stages that go from a total dependency on the teacher (stage 1), to a total independence in stage 5. About the teacher’s role, there are methods that depend totally on the teacher as a source of knowledge and direction, but there are others in which the teacher is a consultant, a guide, and a model for learning. According to Richards and Rodgers p.28, the teacher’s roles and methods are related to: 1. The types of functions the teachers are expected to fulfilled: director, counselor, or model. 2. The degree of control the teacher has about how learning takes place. 3. The degree to which the teacher is responsible for determining the content of what is taught. 4. The interactional patterns that develop between teachers and learners. It is said that methods typically depend on teachers’ roles and their realizations. In addition, in the Audiolingual method, the teacher is considered the primary source of language and language learning. The role relationships of the learner and the teacher are many and varied. 2.3.1.2 THE ROLE OF THE INSTRUCTIONAL MATERIALS In regard to the role of the instructional materials, they state that instructional materials define or imply the learning objectives that make up the goals of the syllabus. But materials designed for learning processes in which the learning is initiated and monitored by the teacher must meet different requirements from those designed for student self-instruction, or for peer tutoring. Some methods require the use of existing materials and realia, others include teacher-proof materials for teaching even with a poor command of the target language. But some materials require specially trained teachers (near-native competence). And others are intended to replace teachers, so that learning is accomplished independently. There are also some materials that promote or inhibit classroom interaction. The role of instructional materials within the communicative methodology are specified by Richards and Rodgers (P.30):
  • 24 1. Materials will focus on the communicative abilities of interpretation, expression, and negociation. 2. Materials will focus on understandable, relevant, and interesting exchanges of information, rather than on the presentation of grammatical form. 3. Materials will involve different kinds of texts and different media, which the learners can use to develop their competence through a variety of different activities and tasks. On the other hand, they (P.30) compare the instructional materials that are part of an individualized system of instruction: 1. Materials will alow learners to progress at their own rates of learning. 2. Materials will allow for different styles of learning. 3. Materials will provide opportunities for independent study and use. Materials will provide opportunities for self-evaluation and progress in learning.” For the Counseling-Learning Method, (Richards and Rodgers, p.31,) suggests the use of teaching machines and programmed materials to free the teacher to function as a learning counselor. About the procedure, the authors define it as ―the last level of conceptualization and organization within a method‖. It refers to the techniques, practices, and behaviors that are involved in the teaching of a language following a particular method. Also, it refers to how the tasks or activities are integrated and used as the basis for teaching and learning, in a lesson. They recognize three dimensions of a method concerning the procedure: the use of teaching activities, such as drills, dialogues, and information gap activities. The ways in which particular teaching activities are used in practices, and finally, the techniques and procedures used in providing feedback to learners. To refer to the Notional-functional Approach, the same authors mentioned Finocchiaro and Brumfit (p.32), to exemplify 8 phases of instruction: in the Notional-functional Approach; first there is a presentation of a brief dialogue or several very short ones; second, there is an oral practice of the utterances of the dialogue. Third and fourth refer to questions and answers about the topic and situation developed in the dialogue, and then, about the student’s personal experience based on the theme of the dialogue. Fifth, the learners study the basic communicative expressions or structures related to the function used in the
  • 25 dialogue. Sixth, learners discover the generalizations or rules underlying the functional expression of structure. Seventh, there is oral recognition or interpretative procedures. Finally, there are oral production activities that go from guided to freer communication. 2.4.2 THE COMMUNICATIVE APPROACH According to Richards and Rodgers, (2001, pp.151-174) the emergence of communicative methodologies took place in the 1980’s. Since Cooperative Language Learning is compatible with many of the assumptions of the Communicative Language Teaching, it has been a popular and uncontroversial approach in many parts of the world. Tasked-Based Teaching is a recent version of a communicative methodology; it develops from some of the principles of the Communicative Language Teaching, especially the ones related to the role of meaning in language learning. They say that British and American proponents see this approach to aim at making communicative competence as the goal of language teaching, and to develop procedures for the teaching of the oral and written skills. In this way there is an interdependence between language and communication. They quote Howatt, who recognizes two kinds of Communicative Language Teaching: a weak version and a strong one. The weak version is said to be standard practice in the last ten years, emphasizes on giving learners the opportunity to use their English for communicative purposes; on the other hand, the strong version, language is acquired through communication; it stimulates the development of the language system, itself. The weak version is better describe as ―learning to use English‖ and the strong version as ―using English to learn it.‖ They state that the Communicative Approach in language teaching has as a goal the communicative competence. The kinds of exercises and communicative activities are unlimited. The classroom activities mainly focus on completing tasks that may involve negotiation of meaning and interaction.
  • 26 Richards and Rodgers also quote Littlewood, who distinguishes between two kinds of activities: ―functional communication activities and social interaction activities;‖ the first ones refer to tasks like “learners comparing sets of pictures and noting similarities and differences, working out a likely sequence of events in a set of pictures; discovering missing features in a map or picture, one learner communicating behind a screen to another learner and giving instructions on how to draw a picture or shape, or how to complete a map, following directions, and solving problems from shared clues. Social interaction activities include conversation and discussion sessions, dialogues and role plays, simulations, skits, improvisations, and debates.”(2001, p.166) Since the focus of Communicative Language Teaching is on fluency and comprehensibility and since it requires less teacher- centered classroom management skills, they say that teachers may feel anxiety because they have been accustomed, for example, to error correction as one of their instructional responsibilities. Richards and Rodgers also mention Finocchiaro and Brumfit (P.170) to offer a model outline lesson plan, as a Communicative Language Teaching procedure. In their plan, the first step is the presentation of a dialogue preceded by a motivation related to the dialogue situation: learners’ experiences, roles, setting, language, etc. The second step refers to the oral practice of each utterance of the dialogue: whole class repetition, half class, small groups, and individuals. The third and fourth steps deal with questions about the dialogue topic or situation and about students’ experiences in relation to the dialogue. The 5 th step has to do with structures related to the expressions of the dialogue; several examples of the utterances are used with familiar vocabulary. For step 6th, the learner is supposed to discover generalizations of rules about the functional expressions or structure: ―How about + verb + ing?.‖ In relation to the 7th step, for oral recognition there are somel interpretative activities, depending on the learning level and knowledge. For the 8th step, there are oral production activities—from guided ones to freer ones. The 9th step deals with copying the dialogue if it isn’t in the text. For the 10th step,
  • 27 sampling of written homework, if assign. Finally, for the 11 th step, there is oral evaluation: ―How would you ask your friend to _______?.‖ In short, Richards and Rodgers refer to the Communicative Language Teaching as an approach that refers to a diverse set of principles that are related to a communicative view of language and language learning that can be useful to support a variety of class procedures. This set of principles are: a) learners learn a language by using it to communicate, b) Authentic meaningful communication is intended as the goal of the class activities, c) for communication, fluency is an important dimension, d) the different language skills are integrated in communication, and e) learning is considered a process of creative construction that involves trial and error. The Communicative Language Teaching (CLT) and the Audio-lingual Method (ALM) can be contrasted in many different aspects. (Douglas Brown, 2001, p.45). In the CLT meaning is very important, but the ALM deals more with form and structure. The ALM demands more memorization of dialogues, language items may not be contextualized, language learning means learning sounds, words and structures, over learning and native-speaker pronunciation are sought, drilling constitutes one basic technique, grammatical explanations are avoided, communicative activities follow long processes of rigid drills and exercises, the use of students’ native language is not allowed, and translation in the early levels is forbidden. On the other hand, in the CLT, dialogues center around communicative functions, contextualization is basic, language learning means learning to communicate, so effective communication and comprehensible pronunciation are sought, drilling may be used peripherally, any device that helps the learner is accepted, communication is encouraged from the beginning, the native English language use is accepted where it is possible, and translation may be used if students benefit from it. In the ALM speech should be mastered to continue with reading and writing, the target linguistic system is learned through the teaching of the patterns of the system, the desired goal is the linguistic competence, the varieties of language are
  • 28 recognized but not emphasized, the sequence of units is determined by principles of linguistic complexity, errors must be prevented, and accuracy in terms of formal correctness is its main goal. In contrast, in the CLT reading and writing may be used since the beginning, the linguistic system is learned through the process of communication, the desired goal is communicative competence, linguistic variation is central in materials and methods, sequencing is determined by content function and meaning that keeps interest, language is often created by the student through trial and error, and fluency or acceptable language is the main goal; accuracy is judged in context. In the ALM, teachers control learners and prevent them from doing wrong about theory, the teacher specifies the language that the students must use, the students interact with language system by means of machines or controlled materials, and intrinsic motivation will develop from an interest in the structure of the language. But in the CLT teachers help the students in any way that motivates them to work with the language, teachers not necessarily know what language the students will use, and the students are expected to interact with other people, face to face, through pair or group work, or in their writing; intrinsic motivation develops from students interest in what is communicated by the language. According to Ann Galloway (1993), the origins of the communicative approach are many, and may be said to be the product of educators and linguists who had grown dissatisfied with the audiolingual and grammar-translation methods of foreign language instruction. They felt that students were not learning enough realistic, whole language. They did not know how to communicate using appropriate social language, gestures, or expressions; in brief, they were at a loss to communicate in the culture of the language studied. Interest on communicative-style teaching developed in the 1970s; authentic language use and classroom exchanges where students engaged in real communication with one another became very popular. The communicative approach has been adapted to the elementary, middle, secondary, and post-secondary levels, and the underlying philosophy has spawned
  • 29 different teaching methods known under a variety of names, including notionalfunctional, teaching for proficiency, proficiency-based instruction, and communicative language teaching. Communicative language teaching makes use of real-life situations that need communication. The teacher sets up a situation that students are likely to encounter in real life. Unlike the audiolingual method of language teaching, which relies on repetition and drills, the communicative approach can leave students in suspense as to the outcome of a class exercise, which will vary according to their reactions and responses. The real-life simulations change from day to day. Students' motivation to learning comes from their desire to communicate in meaningful ways about meaningful topics. She mentions some examples of communicative exercises, in a communicative classroom for beginners, the teacher, for instance, might begin by passing out cards, each with a different name printed on it. The teacher then proceeds to model an exchange of introductions in the target language. Using a combination of the target language and gestures, the teacher conveys the task at hand, and gets the students to introduce themselves and ask their classmates for information. Later during the class, as a reinforcement listening exercise, the students might hear a recorded exchange between two freshmen meeting each other for the first time at the gymnasium doors. Then the teacher might explain the differences among greetings in various social situations. Finally, the teacher will explain some of the grammar points and structures used. Another exercise she reports from a workshop on communicative foreign language teaching, given for Delaware language teachers by Karen Willetts and Lynn Thompson from the Center for Applied Linguistics. This exercise, specially for advanced students is called "Eavesdropping". In this, some instructions are given to the students: ―Listen to a conversation somewhere in a public place and be prepared to answer, in the target language, some general questions about what was said.
  • 30 1. Who was talking? 2. About how old were they? 3. Where were they when you eavesdropped? 4. What were they talking about? 5. What did they say? 6. Did they become aware that you were listening to them? “ (Galloway, 1993) This exercise puts students in a real-world listening situation where they must report information overheard. Most likely they have an opinion of the topic, and a class discussion could follow, in the target language, about their experiences and viewpoints. She says that communicative exercises such as those motivate the students by treating topics of their choice, at an appropriately challenging level. The roles of the teacher and student change in communicative language teaching, as she says, the teachers in the communicative classrooms will find themselves talking less and listening more, they become active facilitators of their students. The teacher sets up the exercise, but because the students' performance is the goal, the teacher must step back and observe, sometimes acting as referee or monitor. The students do most of the speaking, and frequently the scene of a classroom during a communicative exercise is active, with students leaving their seats to complete a task. According to S. Chaugule (Sep 18, 2009 ), the communicative approach is relatively new, as most of the teachers and prescribed texts separate the instruction of listening and speaking. Usually when listening and speaking are separated, specific skills are identified in each area and a sequence of these skills is established. No particular attention is given to the situation, or context, in which a specific skill is to be used, as the focus is on teaching listening and speaking and not on communication. Listening skills can be developed by conducting the entire lesson in that language only. Audio-Visual aids may be used and students may listen to radio lessons to develop the skill. The listening skill may also be developed by ear-training exercises, by articulation exercises, by mimicry exercises or by exercises in fluency. The speaking skill may be developed by
  • 31 giving picture lessons, by saying and doing exercises, by arranging oral composition, by developing the ideas on the topic, by reproducing telling or completing a story, by dramatization, by arranging talks and discussions, by asking questions. But special attention is not given to the situation or context, in which a specific skill, listening or speaking, is to be used. When specific attention is given on a situation or a context and develop these skills we follow the communicative approach. In relation to the article Fundamentos Teóricos de los Enfoques Comunicativos (2011), Michael Canale and Merril Swain say that there are five principles to develop a communicative approach in the design of a general program for the teaching of languages. First, the communicative competence is constituted, at least by grammatical competence, sociolinguistic competence and strategic competence. The first objective should be to facilitate the integration of these three types of knowledge. Second, the communicative approach must develop from the learner’s communication needs and the response to them. Those needs must be specified in terms of the three mentioned competences: the levels of grammatical corrections in oral and written communication; needs referred to the situation, the topic, and the communicative functions; and finally, compensation strategies whenever there is a failure with any of the competences. Third, the student of a second language should have different opportunities for interacting with native speakers, in real situations. Fourth, during the first learning stages of the second language there should be an optimal use of the aspects of the communicative competence that the student had acquired through the appropriation and use of his or her native tongue and that coincide with the communicative skills necessary to manage the second language. Fifth, the main objective of a second language communicative program will be to provide the student with the information, the practice and the necessary experience to face his/her communication needs in the language.
  • 32 The article mentions that the communicative approach focuses on language as a medium of communication. It recognizes that all communication has a social purpose, the learner who has something to say or find out. Classroom activities should maximize opportunities for learners to use the target language in a communicative way for meaningful activities. Emphasis is on meaning (messages they are creating or tasks they are completing) rather than form (correctness of language and language structure), as in the first language acquisition. The classroom should provide opportunities for rehearsal of real-life situations and provide opportunities for real communication. Emphasis relies on creative roleplays, simulations, surveys, and projects that produce improvisation, not just repetition and drills. The errors are a natural part of learning the language. Learners trying their best to use the language creatively and spontaneously are bound to make errors. Constant correction is unnecessary. Correction should be discreet, noted by teacher, and the students should be let to talk and express themselves; the form of language becomes secondary. The Communicative approach deals with the four skills. Reading and writing skills need to be developed to promote students' confidence in all skill areas. By using elements encountered in a variety of ways like reading, summarizing, translating, discussion, and debates makes language more fluid and students' manipulation of language more fluent. The grammar can be taught, but less systematically than in traditional ways. It recognizes that communication depends on grammar. The Communicative approach seeks to personalize and localize language and adapt it to the interests of students. Meaningful language is always more easily retained by learners. It should deal with the uses of idiomatic everyday language, even slang words. This kind of language is used in communication between people, it is not a medium, or grammar exam-orientated formal language.
  • 33 Finally, it mentions that in the communicative approach teachers can employ authentic resources, such as authentic texts, which serve as partial substitutes for native speakers production. Newspapers and magazine articles, poems, manuals, recipes, telephone directories, videos, news bulletins, discussion programmers, all can be exploited in a variety of ways. It is important not to be restricted to textbooks; it is only a starting-point which with a little inspiration and imagination, can be manipulated and can lead to more communicative goals. 2.4.3 AUDIO-LINGUAL METHOD According to an article posted by Wikipedia (2011,) the audio-lingual method also called Army Method, or New Key, is a teaching style used with foreign languages. It is based on the behaviorist theory, in which certain traits of living things, and in this case humans, could be trained through a system of reinforcement, the correct use of a trait would receive positive feedback while incorrect use of that trait would receive negative feedback. It says that this approach to language learning was similar to an earlier method called the Direct Method. Like this method, in the audio-lingual method, students should be taught a language directly, without using the students' native language to explain new words or grammar in the target language. But, unlike the direct method, the audio-lingual method didn’t focus on teaching vocabulary but in the use of grammar. The instructor would present the correct model of a sentence and the students would have to repeat it. Then, the teacher continues by presenting new words for the students to sample in the same structure. On the other hand, in audio-lingualism, there is no explicit grammar instruction and everything is simply memorized in form. The idea is for the students to practice the particular construct until they can use it spontaneously. So, the lessons deal with static drills in which the students have little or no control on their own output, and the teacher is expecting a particular response without considering that a student is receiving negative feedback. Thus, drills and pattern practice are typical of the Audiolingual method. Richards, J.C. et-al. 1986 is quoted for giving these examples:
  • 34 “Repetition : Where the student repeats an utterance as soon as he hears it Inflection : Where one word in a sentence appears in another form when repeated; for example, Teacher : I ate the sandwich. Student : I ate the sandwiches. Replacement : Where one word is replaced by another; for example: Teacher : He bought the car for half-price.Student : He bought it for half-price. Restatement : The student re-phrases an utterance; for instance, Teacher : Tell me not to shave so often. Student : Don't shave so often! “ (Wikipedia, 2011) These other example illustrates how more than one sort of drill can be incorporated into one practice session : Teacher: There's a cup on the table ... repeat Students: There's a cup on the table Teacher: Spoon Students: There's a spoon on the table Teacher: Book Students: There's a book on the table Teacher: On the chair Students: There's a book on the chair.” (Wikipedia, 2011) So, the lessons in the classroom focus on the correct imitation of the teacher by the students. Not only are the students expected to produce the correct output, but attention is also given to correct pronunciation. It says that although correct grammar is expected in usage, no explicit grammatical instruction is given. In addition, the target language is the only language to be used in the classroom, but modern implementations are more lax on this last requirement. It says that, despite the fact that this method was discredited as an effective teaching methodology in 1970, audio-lingualism continues to be used today, in individual lessons. As it continues to be used, it also continues to gain criticism. Jeremy Harmer is quoted to affirm that because these kinds of lessons are very teacher centered, Audio-lingual methodology seems to banish all forms of language processing that help students sort out new language information in their own minds. This methodology is popular for both teachers and students, because the input and output are restricted and both parties know what to expect.
  • 35 The article mentions some hints for using Audio-lingual drills in second language teaching: 1. The teacher must be careful to insure that all of the utterances which students will make are actually within the practiced pattern. For example, the use of the AUX verb “ have “ should not suddenly switch to have it as a main verb. 2. Drills should be conducted as rapidly as possibly so as to insure automaticity and to establish a system. 3. Ignore all but gross errors of pronunciation when drilling for grammar practice. 4. Use of shortcuts to keep the pace o drills at a maximum. Use hand motions, signal cards, notes, etc. to cue response. You are a choir director. 5. Use normal English stress, intonation, and juncture patterns conscientiously 6. Drill material should always be meaningful. If the content words are not known, teach their meanings. 7. Intersperse short periods of drill (about 10 minutes) with very brief alternative activities to avoid fatigue and boredom. 8. Introduce the drill in this way: a. Focus (by writing on the board, for example) b. Exemplify (by speaking model sentences) c. Explain (if a simple grammatical explanation is needed) d. Drill 9. Don’t stand in one place; move about the room standing next to as many different students as possible to spot check their production. Thus you will know who to give more practice to during individual drilling. 10. Use the "backward buildup" technique for long and/or difficult patterns. a. b. c. d. --tomorrow --in the cafeteria tomorrow --will be eating in the cafeteria tomorrow --Those boys will be eating in the cafeteria tomorrow. 11. Arrange to present drills in the order of increasing complexity of student response. The question is: How much internal organization or decision making must the student do in order to make a response in this drill. Thus: imitation first, single-slot substitution next, then free response last.” (Wikipedia, 2011)
  • 36 2.4.4 TOTAL PHYSICAL RESPONSE Another approach that can be used with indigenous people is the total physical response (TPR). According to a Wikipedia article (2011,) it is a set of methods for learning a second language, developed by James J. Asher, a professor of psychology at San José State University. As it is mentioned, the method relies on the assumption that when learning an additional language, it is internalized through a process of code breaking similar to that of the first language development, and this process allows for a long period of listening and developing comprehension prior to production. Students respond to commands that require physical movement. TPR is mainly intended for ESL/EFL teachers, although the method can also be used in teaching other languages. This method became popular in the 1970's and attracted some teachers, though it has not received generalized support from all. According to this article, the TPR is based on the premise that the human brain has a biological program for acquiring any natural language, including the sign language of the deaf. The process is visible when we observe how infants internalize their first language. It looks similar to the way that children learn their native language. It says that communication between parents and their children combines both verbal and physical aspects, and the child responds physically to the speech of their parents. The responses of the child are in turn positively reinforced by the speech of the parents. For many months the child absorbs the language without being able to speak. It is during this period that the internalization and code breaking occurs. After this stage the child is able to reproduce the language spontaneously. With TPR the language teacher tries to develop this process in class, so that the teacher and students take on roles similar to that of the parents and child respectively. In this way, the students must respond physically to the words of the teacher. The activity may be a simple game such as ―Simon Says” or may be grammatically more complex with more detailed scenarios.
  • 37 According to the founder and its proponents, TPR has several advantages; the students will enjoy activity, such as, getting up out of their chairs and moving around. Simple TPR activities do not require much preparation from the teachers. TPR is also aptitude-free, so that it works well with a mixed ability class, and with students having various disabilities. It is good for kinæsthetic learners who need to be active in the class. Class size needs is not a problem, and it is effective either with children and adults; though it can be most useful for beginners. It can be used at higher levels where preparation is demanded from the teacher. But it may have some negative aspects for it does not give students the opportunity to express their own thoughts in a creative way. In addition, it is easy to overuse TPR, and any novelty, if carried on too long, will trigger adaptation. It may have a heavy emphasis on the use of the imperative mood: "sit down" and "stand up". These can be of limited utility to the learner, and can lead to a learner appearing rude when attempting to use his new language. Of course, as a TPR class progresses, group activities and descriptions can be used which can extend the basic concepts of TPR into full communication situations. 2.4.5 THE NATURAL APPROACH In relation to an article posted by English Raven’s ELT (2011,) Stephen Krashen and Tracy Terrell developed the Natural Approach in the early eighties, based on theories about second language acquisition. This approach has a lot in common with Asher's Total Physical Response method: the need for a silent phase, the waiting for spoken production, and the emphasis on the need to make learners as relaxed as possible during the learning process. They mentioned some underlying principles: there should be a lot of language acquisition as opposed to language processing, and there must be a considerable amount of comprehensible input from the teacher; meaning is considered as the essence of language and vocabulary, but not grammar is the heart of language. According to them, in this approach, students listen to the teacher using the target language communicatively from the beginning. It has some similarities with the
  • 38 earlier Direct Method, except that the students are allowed to use their native language as part of the language learning process. In addition, in early stages, students are not corrected during their oral production; the teacher focuses on meaning rather than form, unless the error is so drastic that may affect meaning. And about activities, the communicative ones prevail throughout a language course employing the Natural Approach. This approach focuses on a wide range of activities including games, role plays, dialogs, group work and discussions. There are three generic stages mentioned as part of this approach: first, the Preproduction stage, in which listening skills develop, second, the Early Production stage, where students struggle with the language and make many errors that are corrected based on content and not structure, the third stage, the Extending Production, in which fluency is promoted through a variety of other challenging activities. According to Richardson and Rodgers (2001, pp.179-190,) the term ―natural,” used to refer to the Direct Method, emphasizes that the principles underlying the method were believed to conform to the principles of naturalistic language learning in young children. The Natural Approach defined by Krashen and Terrell, is also believed to conform to the naturalistic principles found in second language acquisition. But unlike the Direct Method, it places less emphasis on teacher monologues, direct repetition, and formal questions and answers; and it less focuses on accurate production of target language sentences. In the Natural Approach the emphasis is on exposure, or input, not on practice; it optimizes emotional preparedness for learning. There is a long period of attention to what the language learners hear before they try to produce language; and their willingness to use written materials as a source of comprehensible input. It is mentioned that the emphasis on the role of comprehension in the Natural Approach is similar to other comprehension-based approaches in language teaching. They say that language is considered as a vehicle for communicating meanings and messages. They quote Krashen and Terrell (p.180) to state that acquisition only takes place when people understand messages in the target language. And
  • 39 language learning is viewed, as audiolingualists do: as mastery of structures by stages. The input hypothesis states that acquirers need to understand input language that includes a structure that is part of the next stage in order to progress to the next stage in the acquisition of the target language. Then, language consists of lexical items, structures, and messages. What is important to recognize is that messages are considered of primary importance in the Natural Approach, and the lexicon for perception and production is considered critical in the construction and interpretation of messages. Lexical items in messages are necessarily grammatically structured; more complex messages deal with more complex grammatical structures. But ―grammatical structure does not require explicit analysis or attention by the language teacher, by the language learner, or in language teaching materials.‖ (P.180) The Acquisition / Learning Hypothesis mentioned in this approach (p.181) refers to two distinctive ways of developing competence in a second or foreign language. Acquisition is supposed to be the natural way, as in first language development in children. Acquisition is related to an unconscious process that involves the naturalistic development of language proficiency through understanding language and using it for meaningful communication. Learning, on the other hand, refers to a process in which conscious rules about a language are developed. It results in explicit knowledge about the forms of a language and the ability to convey this knowledge. Formal teaching is necessary for learning to take place; error correction helps with the development of learned rules. Learning, does not lead to acquisition. Another hypothesis that is mentioned is the Natural Order Hypothesis (p.182,) in which the acquisition of grammatical structures progresses in a predictable order. They affirm that certain grammatical structures or morphemes are acquired before others in first language acquisition of English, and that there is a similar natural order found in the second language acquisition. Errors are signs of naturalistic developmental processes during acquisition, but not during learning, and similar developmental errors occur in learners no matter what their mother tongue is.
  • 40 The Natural Approach is said to be for beginners (p.184) and is designed to help them become intermediates. Richards and Rodgers quote Krashen to say that it is expected that students will be able to function adequately in the target situation, they will understand the speaker of the target language, and will be able to convey their requests and ideas. They do not need to know every word in a particular semantic domain, nor is it necessary that the syntax and vocabulary be flawless; however, their production must be understood. They should be able to make the meaning clear but not necessarily be accurate in all details of grammar. (p.184) As the Natural Approach consists on a general set of principles applicable to varied situations, in Communicative Language Teaching, the specific objectives depend upon the learner needs and the skills: reading, writing, listening, or speaking as well as the level that is taught. They mentioned Krashen and Terrell to indicate that it is important to communicate to learners what they can expect of a course and what they should not expect, too. They say that after 100-150 hours of Natural Approach in Spanish, the learner will be able to communicate with a monolingual Spanish native speaker without difficulty, read ordinary texts in Spanish with some use of a dictionary, and know enough Spanish to continue to improving. According to Krashen and Terrell, as they are quoted by Rchards and Rodgers, (2001) the syllabus can be organized from two points of view. In one, they list typical goals for language courses and suggest which of them are the ones at which the Natural Approach aims. Richards and Rodgers report a list of such goals under four areas: 1. “Basic personal communication announcements in public places) skills: oral 2. Basic personal communication skills: written (e.g., reading and writing personal letters) 3. Academic learning skills: oral (e.g., listening to a lecture) 4. Academic learning skills: written (e.g., taking notes in class).” (2001, pp. 183-184) (e.g., listening to
  • 41 From these, they affirm that the Natural Approach is primarily designed to develop both basic communication skills: oral and written. Also, they mentioned that communication goals can be expressed in terms of situations, functions and topics that are likely to be most useful to beginning students. The functions are supposed to derive naturally from the topics and situations. The second point of view has to do with the purpose of a language course which can vary according to the needs of the students and their particular interests. According to them, the goals of a Natural Approach class are then based on student needs. The situations in which they will use the target language and the sorts of topics they will have to communicate information about must be determined. When setting communication goals, the students are not expected at the end of a particular course to have acquired a certain group of structures or forms. What is expected, though, will be students with a particular set of topics in a given situation. And the activities of the class are not organized about a grammatical syllabus. In relation to learner roles (pp.186-187,) they say that there is a basic assumption in the Natural Approach that learners should not try to learn a language in the usual sense. The extent to which they can lose themselves in activities involving meaningful communication will determine the amount and kind of acquisition they will experience and the fluency they will demonstrate. The language acquirer is seen as a processor of comprehensible input. The acquirer is thus challenged by input that is slightly beyond his or her level of competence and is able to assign meaning to this input through the active use of context and extra linguistic information. So, learners' roles change according to their stage of linguistic development. Learner decisions on when to speak, what to speak about, and what linguistic expressions to use in speaking are essential to those changing roles. They say (p.187) that in the ―pre-production stage‖ students participate in the activities without having to respond in the target language: students can act out physical commands; identify student colleagues from teacher description, and point
  • 42 to pictures. In the ―early-production stage,‖ students can respond to either-or questions, use single words and short phrases, fill in charts, and use fixed conversational patterns like ―How are you? What's your name?.‖ In the ―speechemergent phase,‖ students are involved in role plays and games, provide personal information and opinions, and participate in group problem solving. According to them (p.187,) learners have four kinds of responsibilities in this approach: 1. “Provide information about their specific goals so that acquisition activities can focus on the topics and situations most relevant to their needs. 2. Take an active role in ensuring comprehensible input. They should learn and use conversational management techniques to regulate input. 3. Decide when to start producing speech and when to upgrade it. 4. Where learning exercises (i.e., grammar study) are to be a part of the program, decide with the teacher the relative amount of time to be devoted to them and perhaps even complete and correct them independently.” (2001, p.187) Learners are then expected to participate in communication activities with other learners. About teachers roles, they affirm that in the Natural Approach the teacher has three central roles: the teacher is the primary source of comprehensible input in the target language for acquisition, and the teacher as the primary generator of that input is required to provide multiple nonlinguistic clues to assist students in interpreting that input. Therefore, the Natural Approach demands a much more center-stage role for the teacher than do many contemporary communicative methods. In the second role, the teacher creates a classroom atmosphere that is interesting, friendly, and in which there is a low affective filter for learning. To achieve this, some Natural Approach techniques are useful, as not demanding speech from the students before they are ready for it, not correcting students errors, and providing interesting subject matters for the students. Finally, in the third role, the teacher must choose and direct a rich mix of classroom activities,
  • 43 involving varied group sizes, different content, and contexts. The teacher is seen as responsible for collecting materials and designing their use. These materials are based not only on teacher perceptions but on elicited student needs and interests. Thus, as with any other non-orthodox teaching systems, the Natural Approach teacher has a particular responsibility to communicate to the students the assumptions, organization, and expectations of the method in a clear way, so that the students will know what learning and teaching are involved. In relation to the role of instructional materials, they say (p.188,) that materials are intended to make the classroom activities as meaningful as possible by supplying an extra-linguistic context that will help the acquirer to understand and acquire the language, by relating classroom activities to the real world, and by developing real communication among the learners. The main materials come from realia, not from textbooks. The main goal of materials is to promote comprehension and communication, so pictures and other visual aids are essential, because they supply the content for communication. They help to get a large amount of vocabulary in the classroom. Other important materials include schedules, brochures, advertisements, maps, and books at levels appropriate to the students. Games are also very useful classroom materials because they focus on what it is the students are doing and use the language as a tool for reaching the goal rather than as a goal in itself. But the selection, reproduction, and collection of materials place a considerable burden on the Natural Approach teacher because they relate to a syllabus of topics and situations. About the procedure, Richards and Rodgers report (pp.188-189) that the Natural Approach adopts techniques and activities from different method sources and they are supposed to be innovative with respect to the purposes for which they are recommended and used. There is a wide range of activities from the Situational Language Teaching, and the Communicative Language Teaching, for example. They provide some examples to illustrate this procedure, so as to provide comprehensible input:
  • 44 1. Start with TPR [Total Physical Response] commands. At first the commands are quite simple: "Stand up. Turn around. Raise your right hand." 2. Use TPR to teach names of body parts and to introduce numbers and sequence. "Lay your right hand on your head, put both hands on your shoulder, first touch your nose, then stand up and turn to the right three times" and so forth. 3. Introduce classroom terms and props into commands. "Pick up a pencil and put it under the book, touch a wall, go to the door and knock three times." Any item which can be brought to the class can be incorporated. "Pick up the record and place it in the tray. Take the green blanket to Larry. Pick up the soap and take it to the woman wearing the green blouse." 4. Use names of physical characteristics and clothing to identify members of the class by name. The instructor uses context and the items themselves to make the meanings of the key words clear: hair, long, short, etc. Then a student is described. "What is your name?" (selecting a student). "Class. Look at Barbara. She has long brown hair. Her hair is long and brown. Her hair is not short. It is long." (Using mime, pointing and context to ensure comprehension). "What's the name of the student with long brown hair?" (Barbara). Questions such as "What is the name of the woman with the short blond hair?" or "What is the name of the student sitting next to the man with short brown hair and glasses?" are very simple to understand by attending to key words, gestures and context. And they require the students only to remember and produce the name of a fellow student. The same can be done with articles of clothing and colors. "Who is wearing a yellow shirt? Who is wearing a brown dress?" 5. Use visuals, typically magazine pictures, to introduce new vocabulary and to continue with activities requiring only student names as responses, The instructor introduces the pictures to the entire class one at a time focusing usually on one single item or activity in the picture. He may introduce one to five new words while talking about the picture. He then passes the picture to a particular student in the class. The students' task is to remember the name of the student with a particular picture. For example, "Tom has the picture of the sailboat. Joan has the picture of the family watching television" and so forth. The instructor will ask questions like "Who has the picture with the sailboat? Does Susan or Tom have the picture of the people on the beach?" Again the students need only produce a name in response. 6. Combine the use of pictures with TPR. "Jim, find the picture of the little girl with her dog and give it to the woman with the pink blouse." 7. Combine observations about the pictures with commands and conditionals. "If there is a woman in your picture, stand up. If there is something blue in your picture, touch your right shoulder." 8. Using several pictures, ask students to point to the picture being described. Picture 1. "There are several people in this picture. One
  • 45 appears to be a father, the other a daughter. What are they doingCooking. They are cooking a hamburger." Picture 2. "There are two men in this picture. They are young. They are boxing...” (2001, pp.189-190) 2.4.6 THE MULTIPLE INTELLIGENCES According to Richards and Rodgers (2001,p.115), MI or Multiple Intelligences is a learner-based philosophy that characterizes human intelligence as having multiple dimensions. MI is based on the work of Gardner, who considers that IQ tests only measure logic and language, but the brain has other important kinds of intelligence, that can be trained. In this way, learners are supposed to have individual learning styles, preferences, or intelligences. Gardner’s view of intelligences is culture-free. He proposes eight native intelligences: 1. Linguistic: the ability to use language in special and creative ways, which is something lawyers, writers, editors, and interpreters are strong in 2. Logical/mathematical: the ability to think rationally, often found with doctors, engineers, programmers, and scientists 3. Spatial: the ability to form mental models of the world, something architects, decorators, sculptors, and painters are good at 4. Musical: a good ear for music, as is strong in singers and composers 5. Bodily/kinesthetic: having a well-coordinated body, something found in athletes and craftspersons 6. Interpersonal: the ability to be able to work well with people, which is strong in salespeople, politicians, and teachers 7. Interpersonal: the ability to understand oneself and apply one’s talent successfully, which leads to happy and well-adjusted people in all areas of life 8. Naturalistic: the ability to understand and organize the patterns of nature. (2001,p.116) It is said that the idea of these multiple intelligences has attracted many educators, as well as the public. According to Gardner’s ideas, there is a cluster of mental abilities that are separate and share the top of the hierarchy that is the intelligence. But other intelligences have also been proposed, such as ―Mechanical Intelligence, Emotional Intelligence, and Practical Intelligence.‖ Also, language is linked to life
  • 46 through the senses; a multisensory view of language seems to be important, because the senses provide the context for the linguistic message. MI pedagogy is said to emphasize on the language class as a setting for educational support systems aimed at making the language learner a better designer of the learning experience. There is no syllabus, but there has been proposed a basic developmental sequence that represents an alternative for that. A given example of such a sequence is the following: Stage 1: Awaken the Intelligence. Through multisensory experiencestouching, smelling, tasting, seeing, and so on- learners can be sensitized to the many- faceted properties of objects and events in the world that surrounds them. Stage 2: Amplify the Intelligence. Students strengthen and improve the intelligence by volunteering objects and events of their own choosing and defining with others the properties and contexts of experience of these objects and events. Stage 3: Teach with/for the Intelligence. At this stage the intelligence is linked to the focus of the class, that is, to some aspect of language learning. This is done via worksheets and small-group projects and discussion. Stage 4: Transfer of the Intelligence. Students reflect on the learning experiences of the previous three stages and relate these to issues and challenges in the out-of-class world.” (Pp.118-119) It is said that MI has been applied in different kinds of classrooms, for example, in some classrooms there are eight self-access activity corners, each corner related to any of the eight intelligences. In other larger classrooms, the teacher chooses and directs the different activities of the different intelligences, and the students move through this cycle of activities. The classroom is intended to support the development of the whole person, and the environment and its activities are supposed to enable students to become more successful learners in general. The MI provides teachers with a complex mental model from which to build the curriculum and improve themselves as educators. So they become curriculum developers, lesson designers and analysts, activity finders or inventors, and directors of a variety of multisensory activities developed under the constrains of
  • 47 space, time, and resources within the classroom. Teachers are supposed to better the second language abilities of their students, as well as, to become the main contributors of the development of their students’ intelligences. And the learners are expected to take the MI inventory and develop from that inventory. It says that the better knowledge the student has of his/her own intelligences and how they work, it will help him/her to use them and to access the necessary information and knowledge from the lessons. There are different learning activities that are suggested for each of the intelligences, (p.121), for instance: For the Linguistic Intelligence, lectures, group discussions, listening to cassettes or talking books, storytelling and memorizing, among others are recommended. For the Logical/Mathematical Intelligence, it is recommended to have logical problems and puzzles, scientific demonstrations, creating codes, and calculations. For the Spatial Intelligence, charts, maps, photographs, optical illusions, movies, and microscopes are useful. For the Bodily/kinesthetic Intelligence, it is good to have mime, field trips, creative movement, role plays, and cooking. For Musical Intelligence, singing, playing music, Jazz Chants, and student-made instruments can be used. Finally, for Interpersonal Intelligences, group brainstorming, peer teaching, board games, pair work, journal keeping, interest centers, and options for homework are recommended. 2.4.7 HOW DO WE LEARN / ACQUIRE A LANGUAGE ? Language learning and language acquisition have attracted many professionals from different areas or fields, especially linguists. However, there is no one theory or study that explains and demonstrates exactly how people naturally get another
  • 48 language the best way, so that the teaching/ learning experience would be a 100% successful. Moreover, it is necessary to consider that in some cases people have limitations to learn. 2.4.7.1 INDIVIDUAL DIFFERENCES MAY AFFECT LEARNING According to Aida Mainieri and Zayra Méndez, in their anthology Detección de Problemas de Aprendizaje (2002,) they report that there are many children with a normal intelligence who don’t suffer from any physical deficiency in any of their visual, auditory or speaking areas, and don’t have any affective or brain problems, either; however, when they are given an appropriate opportunity to get some formal education, they are unable to learn, as anybody would expect. Therefore, they propose the neuropsychological model to deal with and to try to explain their learning problems. Thus, it is important to be aware of the fact that in acquiring a language there is a two way process. If a student does not get the expected learning goals, it is not necessarily the teaching part or method that is failing, it should be considered the learner disposition or limitation to acquire the best that is teaching to him or her. 2.4.7.2 A LINGUISTIC UNIVERSAL In an article posted by the Columbia Encyclopedia (2010,) it is mentioned that we all have a predisposition in our brains for acquiring any language. It is a linguistic universal that may apply to the different languages. “…most explanations involve both the observation that children copy what they hear and the inference that human beings have a natural aptitude for understanding grammar. While children usually learn the sounds and vocabulary of their native language through imitation, grammar is seldom taught to them explicitly; that they nonetheless rapidly acquire the ability to speak grammatically supports the theory advanced by Noam Chomsky and other proponents of transformational grammar. According to this view, children are able to learn the "superficial" grammar of a particular language because all intelligible languages are founded on a "deep structure" of grammatical rules that are universal and that correspond to an innate capacity of the human brain.” (Columbia Encyclopedia, 2010)
  • 49 From this point of view, all human beings are naturally given all the mental and physical necessary tools to develop their ability to speak any language. According to L.L. Dunlap in the article: How Language Is Learned (2010), language consists of many complex systems, and is learned very early; therefore, it is difficult to explain how children manage the task. Some psycholinguists have proposed that language is learned by special genetically programmed procedures that are unique to language learning, so Chomsky and Pinker are mentioned. It is said that others think that the general analytic capacity of the human brain is such that even complex language rules can be worked out without any innate knowledge or special language acquisition procedures. Also he says that it is important to recognize the experience with the native language: how much exposure to language is necessary, and if there are particular language experiences that can facilitate the process of learning are necessary to be considered. But researchers have superficially dealt with the answers to these questions. He mentions that there are two domains in which both the quantity and the quality of experience have been linked to the quality of learning. They are the semantic development in the learning of vocabulary, and the pragmatic development in the production of narratives. He recognizes some important areas for children communication skills, such as ―general behavior, prelinguistic, receptive language, expressive language, articulation, oral-motor, voice, fluency, hearing, play skills, and problem-solving skills.‖ For general behavior, it is important to evaluate the child's ability to keep eye contact with others, the child's activity level, the level of distractibility, impulsiveness, or perseverance, and the child's frustration level when faced with a challenging task. About pre-linguistic skills, he mentions a set of skills for children who develop language during their first year of age: 1. The ability to pay attention to visual and auditory information. 2. The ability to imitate gestures and sounds.
  • 50 3. The development of object permanence (understanding that an object still exists even when it is removed from sight). 4. The ability to take turns. 5. The ability to understand that objects have intended purposes (understanding of cause-and-effect relationships). 6. The use of basic communicative gestures and the ability to associate a word a child hears with its meaning.” (L.L. Dunlap, 2010) The missing of any skill from the above set would often lead to difficulties with more complex language skills. In relation to receptive language or comprehension skills, they include: 1. Understanding words. 2. Understanding sentences and grammatical structures. 3. Following directions. 4. Understanding concepts (e.g., prepositions, sizes, colors, numbers). 5. Understanding questions (e.g., "What?" "Where?" "Who?" (L.L. Dunlap, 2010) However, he says that children may demonstrate much better skills in some of these areas than in others, and they may be able to speak relatively well though having receptive language deficits. For expressive language skills, he refers to the child’s language production. This model has three parts working together: 1. Expressive vocabulary (refers to the number and type of words a child has acquired). 2. Word and sentence formation. 3. Pragmatic development (includes the ability to use language socially, to interact and accomplish an objective). (L.L. Dunlap, 2010) According to him, many children who have a language delay or language disorder exhibit a large discrepancy between their receptive and expressive language skills. With regard to articulation skills, it means producing speech sounds using muscles and other body structures to shape sounds from exhaled air. Children may
  • 51 understand and produce language without being able to speak clearly. Articulation is evaluated in terms of whether a child uses the oral structures (muscles, teeth, or tongue) to produce sounds correctly, and also in terms of how a child uses sounds to create meaning. He affirms that the basic elements that are evaluated include how individual sounds are produced in words and continuous speech, the child's overall speech clarity, and the child's ability to imitate sounds correctly. Certain error patterns (e.g., difficulty clearly pronouncing "s" or "th" sounds) are normal in the context of a child's age and language level. The Oral-motor skills involve the development of the mouth and surrounding area in terms of its structure and functional ability. So, weaknesses in this area often affect articulation development. An important part of assessing oral-motor skills is determining if a child has any problem with eating, drinking, or swallowing. About Voice, he says that the physical health of the voice, as well as how it is used to communicate, is included in the context of speech and language pathology. Some of the aspects of the voice are the pitch (high or low voice), volume (loud or soft), and quality, such as extreme nasality. The speech pathologist will recommend that a child be evaluated by an “ear, nose, and throat doctor (ENT)‖ if any aspect of the voice suggests a possible physical problem. This evaluation should be done before providing voice therapy. Fluency problems are related to interruptions in the flow of speech. Dysfluency consists of pauses, prolonged sounds, or repetition of sounds and words. It is important to note, though, that a certain amount of mild dysfluency is normal for many young children. Children whose level of dysfluency interferes with their ability to communicate or the willingness of others to interact with them often require speech therapy services. The speech and language professional assesses dysfluency to determine whether it is a developmental stage or a true disorder.
  • 52 In relation to hearing, for most children, it is said to be a primary means of learning to communicate. For this reason, when speech and language development is delayed or disordered, it is essential to find out if the child is hearing adequately. Assessment takes the form of a screening or full hearing evaluation. If a hearing problem is found, the speech and language pathologist often works with an audiologist or teacher of the deaf and hearing impaired to provide intervention services. About play skills, children also progress through developmental stages of play. Each of these stages relates to speech and language. A variety of play experiences should take place for language to develop, especially as the child uses more symbolism. It is important for the speech and language pathologist to observe children during play activities to better understand their level of speech and language development. Problem-Solving Skills are also related to language assessment. It refers to how children use language to perform thinking and reasoning tasks appropriate to their age. In younger children these skills can be observed in abilities such as matching or naming. As children become older they should be able to analyze things they encounter in more complex ways. They should become able to use language to perform more difficult tasks such as explaining and predicting. Among other theories that try to explain the process by which a person learn or acquire a language, we can mentioned the behaviorist by Skinner, the Innateness by Chomsky, the Cognitive by Piaget, and the Interaction one by Bruner. Skinner proposed his theory based on what was observed with animals. This way, when a desirable behavior was rewarded, it was known as positive reinforcement, and when an undesirable behavior was punished or simply not rewarded, it was called negative reinforcement. Skinner was quoted about this: “Skinner suggested that a child imitates the language of its parents or carers. Successful attempts are rewarded because an adult who recognises a word spoken by a child will praise the child and/or give it what it is asking for. Successful utterances are therefore reinforced while unsuccessful ones are
  • 53 forgotten.” Children imitate adults. Their correct utterances are reinforced when they get what they want or are praised”. (L.L. Dunlap, 2010) Therefore, as children imitate adults, their correct utterances are reinforced or are praised when they get what was expected. However, there are some limitations or objections to his theory: 1. A language is based on a set of structures or rules, which could not be worked out simply by imitating individual utterances. The ―intelligent‖ mistakes made by children reveal that they are not simply imitating but actively working out and applying rules. An example refers to a child who says "drinked" instead of "drank", that means that s/he is not copying an adult but rather ―over-applying a rule.‖ 2. Children can’t often repeat what an adult says, for example with a structure in questions that involve negating verbs. McNeil in The Genesis of Language, 1966: a. ―Child: Nobody don't like me. b. (Mother: No, now listen carefully: say, "Nobody likes me." c. Child: Oh! Nobody don't likes me.‖ 3. The majority of children go through the same steps when acquiring a language, and apart from certain extreme cases, the sequence of steps seems to be largely unaffected by the treatment the child receives or the type of society in which s/he grows up. 4. Also, Chomsky criticized this theory focusing particularly on the impoverished language input children receive. He said that adults do not typically speak in grammatically complete sentences, and what the child hears is only a small sample of language.
  • 54 In relation to Chomsky’s innate theory, children must have an inborn faculty for language acquisition, so the process is biologically determined, the human brain’s neural circuits contain linguistic information at birth. The child's natural predisposition to learn language is triggered by hearing speech and the child's brain is able to interpret what s/he hears according to the underlying principles or structures it already contains. This natural faculty has become known as the Language Acquisition Device (LAD). According to the BBC television documentary The Mind Machine, there is evidence that supports this theory: first, human anatomy is adapted to the production of speech, through the vocal tract which allows the articulation of a wide range of sounds. Neuro-science has identified specific areas of the brain with distinct linguistic functions, too. For instance, stroke victims provide valuable data: depending on the site of their brain damage, they may suffer from problems with finding words to an inability to interpret syntax. Second, the formation of creole varieties of English appears to be the result of the ―language acquisition device‖ at work. Some slaves, living together but from different language groups, were forced to communicate in their very limited Dutch. The result was the restricted form of language known as a pidgin. Adult speakers had learned Dutch as a foreign language and under unfavourable conditions; however, the children of these slaves turned the pidgin into a full language, known by linguists as a creole. They were presumably unaware of the process but the outcome was a language variety which follows its own consistent rules. Third, sign languages used by the deaf have shown that, far from being crude gestures replacing spoken words, these are complex, fully grammatical languages. Children learning to sign as a first language pass through similar stages to hearing children learning spoken language. Deprived of speech, the urge to communicate is realised through a manual system which fulfils the same function. There is even a signing creole, again developed by children, in Nicaragua. ( Pinker, 1994 ). But, as any other of the proposed theories, this has also been criticized . Chomsky's work on language was said to be theoretical; that he was interested in
  • 55 grammar and complex explanations of grammatical rules. It is said that the theory relies on children being exposed to language but takes no account of the interaction between children and their carers. Nor does it recognise the functions of language. About the cognitive theory, Jean Piaget placed the acquisition of language within the context of a child's mental or cognitive development. He argued that a child has to understand a concept before acquiring the particular language form which expresses that concept. There will be a point in a child's intellectual development when s/he can compare objects with respect to size. Piaget suggested that a child who had not yet reached this stage would not be able to learn and use comparative adjectives like "bigger" or "smaller". Also, during the first year of life, children seem to be unaware of the existence of objects they cannot see. An object which moves out of their sight ceases to exist. By the time they reach the age of 18 months, children realized that objects have an existence independently of their perception. The negative part about it refers to the lack of evidence or support of this theory to relate language with intellect, as a child continues his/her development; it becomes harder to find clear links between language and intellect. Some studies have focused on children who have learned to speak fluently despite abnormal mental development, too. Syntax in particular does not appear to rely on general intellectual growth. The input or interaction theory stresses the importance of the language input children get from their care-givers; recent theorists have stressed the importance of the language input that children get from their care-givers. They say that language exists for the purpose of communication and can only be learned in interaction with people who want to communicate with you. Interactionists such as Jerome Bruner suggest that the language behavior of adults when talking to children (child-directed speech or CDS) is specially adapted to support the acquisition process. Bruner also used the term Language Acquisition Support
  • 56 System or LASS, in response to Chomsky's LAD. Colwyn Trevarthen, who studied the interaction between parents and too young to speak babies, concluded that the structure of conversation develops through games and non-verbal communication long before actual words are produced. There are limitations to input theories. Even though it seems that a child will learn more quickly with frequent interaction, it has been noted that children in all cultures pass through the same stages in acquiring a language. Also, since there are cultures in which adults do not adopt special ways to talk to children, the ―CDS‖ may be useful but seems not to be essential. In short, the various theories should not be seen simply as alternatives, but rather, as a contribution to try to explain the whole process involved in acquiring or learning a language. Psycholinguistics or psychology of language studies the psychological and neurobiological factors that enable humans to acquire, use, comprehend and produce language. At the beginning, psycholinguistics were largely philosophical ventures, due mainly to a lack of cohesive data on how the human brain functioned. Modern research makes use of biology, neuroscience, cognitive science, linguistics, and information theory to study how the brain processes language. There are a number of sub-disciplines with non-invasive techniques for studying the neurological workings of the brain; for example, neurolinguistics which has become a field in its own. Psycholinguistics covers the cognitive processes that make it possible to generate a grammatical and meaningful sentence out of vocabulary and grammatical structures, as well as the processes that make it possible to understand utterances, words, text, etc. Developmental psycholinguistics studies children's ability to learn language. According to Christopher F. Green, the general belief that students enter the learning process either motivated or unmotivated to learn, as an immutable phenomena, is not so true. And though motivation is a deeply personal impulse, it is possible to identify levels of motivation under which individualistic factors are
  • 57 largely subsumed. This can enable us to discuss an essentially subjective topic in more general terms, and so identify ways in which pedagogic planning can take aspects of learner motivation into account. He identifies three main levels of motivation in constant parallel interaction : 1. HOLISTIC: the individual is consider as an organism seeking to realize its fullest potentialities: physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual. 2. CULTURAL-LINGUISTIC: the individual is consider as the user of nonnative languages in relation to others within and across cultures. 3. COGNITIVE-LINGUISTIC: the individual appears in formal languagelearning situations. (Christopher F. Green) CHART 3 MASLOW’S PYRAMID HOLISM (THE WHOLE STUDENT APPROACH) Abraham Maslow’s pioneering work, in 1954, presents a unified hierarchy of individual needs that naturally motivate human behavior. This was influential in Western education systems in the 1960s and early 1970s. Maslow’s hierarchy is
  • 58 constructed on the essentially Western notion that maximal ego-centered development is the goal of every individual. The hierarchy represents the individual’s progress in meeting needs and wants that range from the purely physiological to the highly creative, from survival to self-actualization. This explicit description entailed in the process of ―becoming whole‖ has helped teachers to perceive learners as constantly striving individuals, since at each level of attainment a new need is created, defined, and potentially limited to some extent by the degree of success achieved at the previous level. The developing and enquiring individual is constantly in a state of disequilibrium. But Maslow’s work is of limited direct relevance to the language teacher because he makes no reference to the position a second language might occupy on the hierarchy of needs. It can be assumed that the position is likely to depend heavily on the cultural and occupational context in which the individual finds himself. 2.4.7.3 THE CULTURAL-LINGUISTIC DIMENSION According to Gardner, at the level of the individual within and across cultures, the motivation to learn a foreign or second language is driven by either instrumental or integrative motivation. Instrumental motivation is sustained by extrinsic forces such as job getting, promotion enhancement, or passing examinations, while the integrative type is generated intrinsically by positive perceptions of the targetlanguage culture and its peoples. Gardner has stated that integrative motivation provides the strongest, deepest, and most lasting drive to learn the target language. It seems that people acquire as much of a language as they really need for what they really want, but no more than that. The social context in which the second-language learning takes place may be a very powerful constraint on the development of that language, in that the context provides the parameters of identity and solidarity.
  • 59 For the teacher it is important to know that the positive attitudinal and instrumental drives might be linked to achieve optimal learning through combining extrinsic and intrinsic elements of motivation. In this way it might be possible to take the learner from limited perceived target-language needs to a positive desire to learn more about a culture through its language and so continually progress in the acquisition of the target language. In other words, integrative motivation might best be redefined as a force potential in any environment conducive to second-language acquisition, while acknowledging that it could equally well be viewed in universal, nonlinguistic terms as the drive for acceptance and security to bring a sense of belonging to a particular community. 2.4.7.4 THE COGNITIVE-ACADEMIC DIMENSION The term cognitive-academic refers to the level of the individual in formal learning situations. This is naturally the level at which teachers are most directly concerned with questions of student motivation. In this way, no matter how poorly motivated a learner may appear to be, the aware and sensitive teacher can actively develop strategies to generate and sustain a motivational dynamic not entirely directed towards instrumental ends. The teacher should create a low-anxiety atmosphere in the classroom and, at the same time, provide learners with a sense of making progress within the learning program. This is of particular importance for learners with potentially inhibiting socio cultural backgrounds or personality types. The good language learner results in an open-minded student who accepts cultural and linguistic variation with humor. Krashen in his model of second-language acquisition claims that extroverts are more likely, because of their lack of inhibition, to communicate more effectively in the early stages of the second-language program than their self-repressing introverted classmates.
  • 60 Krashen also emphasized the need to allow for a relatively silent, receptive period early in the second-language acquisition process. Part of the reason for this is to lower the affective barrier erected by many learners when presented with a form of learning that threatens individual identity. Allowing for an appropriate lag between reception and production of language has become one of the bedrock principles of communicative approaches to language teaching and, in the sense that this has reduced the use of audiolingual techniques demanding immediate oral responses, has proved to be reasonably successful in dismantling affective barriers. However, output, and consequent feedback, are the means by which a learner becomes acquainted with his level of success. Successful learning experiences will tend to engender the desire for more success. It is in this way that the individual’s resolution to progress is strengthened. The problem is that in large teacher-centered classes, students have little opportunity to deliver enough output to be judged fairly or receive constructive feedback to enhance feelings of security and success. Teachers, then, need to build approaches that allow for significant output without threatening the learner with early and forced public production. Project and theme work, and interactive techniques are most likely to facilitate this. The learner needs to be able to perceive that there are real purposes and benefits to be derived from learning a second language and that the learning program is appropriately focussed and internally dynamic. Only through such perceptions are learners likely to feel involved fully in the learning process. To promote participative learning, Green suggests that the teacher could interview, possibly in the mother tongue, at least a representative cross-section of students before the start of the learning program to gauge the approximate nature and range of learner interests. These interests could then be fed into the program as projects, topics, or themes. The program might then be perceived as taking account of student needs and wants. This kind of activity on the part of the teacher must have beneficial effects in generating and sustaining learner motivation.
  • 61 The suggestion here implies a move towards more learner-centered (almost clientcentered) approaches to teaching. Keeping the learner informed in order to keep him motivated does not stop at this point. It needs to be seen as a continuous process. The teacher might also consider spending a few minutes at the beginning of each lesson (or just the first of the week’s lessons if time is very short) sketching a very brief overview of the lesson or lessons on the board. Time elements might be included if this is felt to be useful. Again, this would allow students to see the direction of their learning and may well enhance motivation to achieve clear-cut ends within a certain time scale. To communicate these details effectively, the teacher will need to conceive and phrase lesson objectives in terms of learner behavior-an empathetic process in itself. 2.4.7.5 THE COGNITIVE ENGAGEMENT There is no learner completely uninterested in each and every aspect of learning a second language. An interest (in the sense of psychological arousal) will exist as a natural consequence of exposure to the language and aspects of its culture. The teacher’s task is to bring this level of arousal to maximum pitch. The most appropriate way of arousing motivation to learn is to focus on the cognitive rather than the motivational aspects of learning, and to rely on the motivation that is developed from successful educational achievement to energize further learning. Channels of exposure to the target language and its peoples and culture are, of course, important in maximizing the cognitive engagement of the learner and in maintaining the beneficial disequilibrium required to keep the learner wanting to learn more. Authentic print and video materials provide the best channels of exposure, since they naturally embody aspects of the target-language culture.
  • 62 2.4.7.6. PERCEPTION OF LANGUAGE UNITY In this context, unity relates to the need for learners to grasp that each language item studied, each area of language use covered, is a successful step towards achieving higher and ever more enriching ends. The integration of language parts and of language and its uses is best fostered by a holistic syllabus. Pedagogic lesson objectives may be thought out and phrased in a variety of ways lexicostructural, functional, notional, or a combination of these-but real-world application and use is what most learners are interested in, and this needs to be taken into account by the teacher. The problem is that many school-level learners often cannot envisage such real-world applications. Product-focused objectives will then become less important than process-oriented ones that are based rather more on classroom tasks and activities than on learning outcomes or products. This, of course implies that students receive enough feedback on the degree of cognitive and linguistic success achieved in the particular task. 2.4.7.7 FIVE STAGES FOR LANGUAGE ACQUISITION In addition to the above mentioned approaches, Judie Haynes proposes five stages for second language acquisition. According to her, all new learners of English progress through the same stages to acquire the second language, but the length of time each student spends at a particular stage may vary. 1. PRE-PRODUCTION It is the silent period. English language learners may have up to 500 words in their receptive vocabulary but they are not yet speaking. At this, some students repeat every thing you say. They are not really producing language but are parroting. These new learners of English will listen attentively and they may even be able to copy words from the board. They will be able to respond to pictures and other visuals. They can understand and duplicate gestures and movements to show comprehension. Total Physical Response methods are useful with them. Teachers should focus attention on listening comprehension activities and on building a
  • 63 receptive vocabulary. English language learners at this stage will benefit from a ―buddy‖ who speaks their language. School day is exhausting for these newcomers as they are overwhelmed with listening to the second language all day long. 2. EARLY PRODUCTION This may last up to six months and students will develop a receptive and active vocabulary of about 1000 words. During this stage, students can usually speak in one- or two-word phrases. They can use short language chunks that have been memorized although these chunks may not always be used correctly. There are some suggestions for working with students in this stage of the second language learning: a. -Ask yes/no and either/or questions. b. -Accept one or two word responses. c. -Give students the opportunity to participate in some of the whole class activities. d. -Use pictures and realia to support questions. e. -Modify content information to the language level . f. -Build vocabulary using pictures. g. -Provide listening activities. h. -Simplify the content materials to be used. i. -Focus on key vocabulary and concepts. j. -When teaching elementary age, use simple books with predictable text. k. -Support learning with graphic organizers, charts and graphs. l. -Begin to foster writing in English through labeling and short sentences.
  • 64 3. SPEECH EMERGENCE Students have a vocabulary of about 3,000 words and can communicate with simple phrases and sentences. They ask simple questions, that may or may not be grammatically correct, such as ― May I go to bathroom? ‖ and also start short conversations with classmates. They understand easy stories read in class with the support of pictures. There are some simple tasks they can complete: a. Sound out stories phonetically. b. Read short, modified texts in content area subjects. c. Complete graphic organizers with word banks. d. Understand and answer questions about charts and graphs. e. Match vocabulary words to definitions. f. Study flashcards with content area vocabulary. g. Participate in duet, pair and choral reading activities. h. Write and illustrate riddles. i. Understand teacher explanations and two-step directions. j. Compose brief stories based on personal experience. k. Write in dialogue journals. Dialogue journals are a conversation between the teacher and the student. They are especially helpful with English language learners. Students can write about topics that interest them and proceed at their own level and pace. They have a place to express their thoughts and ideas. 4. INTERMEDIATE FLUENCY English language learners at the intermediate fluency stage have a vocabulary of 6,000 active words. They are beginning to use more complex sentences when speaking and writing and are willing to express opinions and share their thoughts. They ask questions to clarify what they are learning in class. These English language learners are able to work in grade level math and science classes with some teacher support. Comprehension of English literature and social studies
  • 65 content is increasing. At this stage, students will use strategies from their native language to learn content in English/the second language. Student writing at this stage has many errors as trying to master the complexity of English grammar and sentence structure. Many students may be translating written assignments from native language. They should be expected to synthesize what they have learned and to make inferences from that learning. This is the time for teachers to focus on learning strategies. Students in this stage are able to understand more complex concepts. 5. ADVANCED FLUENCY it takes students from 4-10 years to achieve cognitive academic language proficiency in a second language. Student at this stage will be near-native in their ability to perform in content area learning. At the beginning of this stage, however, they need continued support from classroom teachers especially in content areas such as history/social studies and in writing. 2.5 MEP’S GENERAL OBJECTIVE 2.5.1 TEACHERS PERFORMANCE Teachers, however; according to the authors, do not necessarily follow the procedures a method proposes. In relation to curriculum or programs to teach English in Costa Rica, the Ministry of Education has published different documents that compile the content and the theory on which teachers must base the teaching to Costa Rican students from elementary to high school. One important established goal in our educational system deals with an environmental culture for a sustainable development: “La educación ambiental se considera como el instrumento idóneo para la construcción de una cultura ambiental de las personas y las sociedades, en función de alcanzar un desarrollo humano sostenible, mediante un proceso que les permita comprender su interdependencia con el entorno, a partir del conocimiento crítico y reflexivo de la realidad inmediata, tanto biofísica como
  • 66 social, económica, política y cultural.Tiene como objetivo que, a partir de ese conocimiento mediante actividades de valoración y respeto, las y los estudiantes se apropien de la realidad, de manera que, la comunidad educativa participe activamente en la detección y solución de problemas, en el ámbito local, pero con visión planetaria.” That is to say, that educators in Costa Rica should provide all available means to their students for them to use all tools, as well as, their knowledge to benefit their community in solving possible problems they may have. Also this MEP philosophy, based on our Political Constitution has to do with no discrimination against any Costa Rican who is among the school years. Education is compulsory for everybody up to third cycle level of high school. And as it is stated, ―Education ought to be a permanent formative process, which each person has not only a right, but also a duty to exercise.‖ Also the process implies that learners ―are offered equality of opportunities to succeed and appropriate educational provision according to their needs, problems and aspirations.‖ The Costa Rican educational policy is said to be intended to give the learners the opportunity to express their care for their country, democracy, cultural diversity and deep respect for law, nature and peace. Also it encourages people to become positive leaders and critical thinkers with values of self-identity and authentic growth as ―independent and interdependent learners.‖Some of the basic principles of the Policy can be summarized as: 1. The citizens should be able to develop as persons through seeking for opportunities of self-fulfillment and happiness while contributing to the development of their country. 2. Education should promote the broadening of understanding through challenging teaching classroom situations and opportunities that can arise self-growth and learn how to learn. 3. Education should contribute to narrow down social – economic gaps by providing the individuals with the proper opportunities to intergrate into everyday problem-solving situtations, all this aiming to promote a selfsuficient society 4. Achieving sustainability in production and the economic in general represents a challenge for education. The country needs more qualified people in order to increase productivity and improve the spirit of competitiveness. Furthermore, there is a need to integrate the country more effectively into the global economy.
  • 67 5. The information or the content the learners handle should be up-to-date and should be relevant to global development in the 21st century. 6. Education should aim to solidly reinforce values and attitudes. This is a moral imperative. The principles stated for this educational approach are ― humanism, rationalism and constructivism‖. It says that everybody is considered capable of getting ―his/her full potential‖ in harmony with the environment. With respect to humanism, it is basic for human beings accomplishments in terms of values, dignity, and perfection to an individual and social level. In regard to rationalism, it is considered as the recognition that the human being should de doted of a rational capacity to capture reality in an objective form in all its manifestations, capable of creating, and constantly improving his knowledge to make human progress and understanding possible. In relation to constructivism, it is recognized as the effort in performing. The base of the educational process is represented by the individual cognitive situation of the students, their interests, their respective constituted knowledge structures and idiosincracy, to promote learning and formative actions. 2.5.2 EVALUATION Evaluation is considered as an instrument to ―monitor learning,‖ and provide feedback on the educational process. It promotes quality of education by means of three functions, the diagnostic, the formative and the summative. 2.5.3 METHODOLOGY The methodology it proposes is centered on the activity of the learners as builders of their own learning. Also, the educational process must be coherent in theory and practice. Quality education for all, as a right must be an efficient means to close the gap among different classes, sectors and social groups; it must create new opportunities for improving, for developing harmonic social relationships and active participation of all Costa Ricans. In addition, it must generate the necessary human resources to have a high level of competiveness and national productivity that would integrate in the world economy, at the same time, strengthen altruist values and attitudes.
  • 68 2.5.4 QUALITY EDUCATION Quality education implies an educational offer that takes into account the needs, social goals in general, and especially those of the most disfavored groups. Because everybody has the right of a quality education based on their own realities that trigger the development of all their potential from their different styles, special educational needs, and talents coming from different ethnic, cultural, linguistic groups, that have different religious beliefs, and whose social and economical conditions determine their learning environments. The quality of education is said to be very related to the quality of those who are involved in the process. The higher the quality of the teachers and educational administrators the higher the quality of education given to children and teenagers. The student is said to be the main focus of the curriculum and the teacher is seen as a facilitator and advisor in the students learning. The teacher ―acquires responsibility for the quality of learning, together with the family and the educational authorities.‖ And the design and offer programming must evidence a reflexive, participative approach; it must also promote a curricular contextualization in all aspects, that is , local, regional, national, and global. Didactics will be centered in the student activity as a builder of his/her own learning, and the mediation learning process of knowledge building and rebuilding within a constructivist position. 2.5.5 GOVERNMENT’S GOALS English taught as a foreign language here, according to MEP policy, is intended to develop ―communicative competence, to gain knowledge of a new culture, beliefs and attitudes and to understand the messages given and, reflect on them‖. According to an article compiled by Vivian González Trejos (2006), the Costa Rican government challenge, from 2002 to 2006, was to better the living conditions of Costa Rican indigenous people through the execution of different policies based on the respect of their way of organization and their cultural identity. She mentions that
  • 69 the negative living conditions of our Costa Rican indigenous people are unfavorable in all aspects of human development. For example, 38% of them have electricity, but the Cabecar and Guaymi people only reach about 5%. She also says that there are organizations that help administering their local governments and micro enterprises through volunteer work, but they get little support from the state, or other private national or international entities. Moreover, youngsters and women are not still active participants in indigenous organizational structures; however, they are demanding more space little by little. 2.5.6 MEP’S PROPOSAL FOR TECHNICAL ENGLISH COURSES According to the Costa Rican Ministry of Education, MEP, modern times represent big challenges in terms of economical and social levels; therefore, education policies should trigger all necessary changes for helping developing the productive areas in an environment of social equality. Also, tourism keeps developing as a significant economical and social activity. In 2020, as the world tourism organization forsees, tourism will represent 12% of the world economy. Therefore, Costa Rica must develop a new model based on sustainable development and high standards of quality and competiveness that will satisfy the demands of globalization. Now, tourism is an important economical activity in Costa Rica that is been growing a great deal with the opening of trade, in contrast to other traditional income sources that have deteriorated. Also the increasing importance of production services, technology changes in different industries, as well as innovations in the trading of goods and services, have contribute to employment generation through the food industry, especially in those touristic areas. In this way, the growing of hotels, and restaurants means that the human, financial and technical sources can create important incentives to better local productivity, to diminish social gaps and to strengthen the natural patrimony, so that there will be a relationship between small local dealers or enterprises and the big touristic companies.
  • 70 The tourism specialty is offered by technical education and is influenced by a constant development that demands a periodical evaluation of the contents to be sure that graduate students can face all challenges of their jobs with updated elements from the real world related to the use of computer science, the management of another language, and competitiveness among others, with equal access opportunities for all. So, to respond to these modern development models, the curricular structures and study programs consist of integral didactic units organized in a linear way for a sequential leveling of the learning process. In this way, one unit prepares the student for the second and allows them to have a permanent learning. The tourism technical specialty, therefore, prepares technicians capable of guiding, instructing, and projecting technical tasks to work in any area of tourism. According to the teaching model about ―normas de competencia‖, the teaching and learning process are intended to provide knowledge, develop abilities and skills, and motivate changes in the students aptitudes and attitudes. But it is said that in order to get all this, it is necessary to consider some steps proposed by Ávila and López that refer, for example, to detecting the student’s learning needs through a diagnostic exam, determine evaluation criteria, learning strategies planning, applying pertinent evaluation instruments, pedagogical mediation, and feedback: 1. Detectar y confirmar las necesidades de aprendizaje de los alumnos (evaluación diagnóstica). 2. Determinar resultados de aprendizaje y criterios de evaluación. 3. Planear estrategias de enseñanza – aprendizaje con base en el perfil del alumno y los contenidos por desarrollar. 4. Diseñar y aplicar los instrumentos de evaluación pertinentes. 5. Ejecutar el proceso de mediación pedagógica. 6. Evaluar y realimentar el proceso de enseñanza (evaluación formativa y sumativa). (2000)” A teaching/learning strategy represents a means or instrument to accomplish learning goals and to apply the methodology. Thus, it implies a series of material,
  • 71 technical and human elements through which the didactic content is developed and learning is promoted. It also represents a link between what is going to be taught and the expected learning. And since the strategy is a consequence of the method, it is necessary to define the method first. The strategies are complementary among themselves, and their results must be congruent with the method. This model based on competencies redefines basic concepts as: the teaching should develop in a learning environment that permits to recognize the students previous knowledge; it must be based on the cognitive and metacognitive strategies; it must promote complete and complex tasks performance; learning must also develop from the gradual building of knowledge, the relation of previous knowledge with new information, and the organization of significant information or knowledge for the student. There are other recommendations given for the best accomplishment of the proposed methodology based on competencies. It is said that the high school must have all the equipment, materials and everything that is required for the specific specialty courses. Teachers should also be well trained, must have the knowledge and the desire to improve and be updated to be efficient. They should always be ready to use the different tools and work habits in the different places: the laboratory, the classroom, and the workshop. For the development of the study units, attractive didactive techniques must be used, among which there should be considered informal discussions, team and individual work, investigation directed and well planned according to the contents of the program, by the teachers for students to value its importance and accomplish the proposed goals or objectives. Educational trips or visits are necessary when the teacher considers them necessary for the learning process. Also, the practice that students can get from the work environment is very important for the students to relate to the different enterprises from the area. There must also be a basic technical bibliography for the different levels, a computer science laboratory, manuals, catalogues, and other updated materials in English.
  • 72 The specialty must stimulate creativity in students through different projects associated with the different contents of the specialty. 2.6 UNICEF’S REPORT According to Bernt Aasen, UNICEF regional director for Latin America, there are about 4.2million children that don’t go to school, even though, they are in school ages. An important group, about 3% of the region population is constituted by indigenous people and Afro descendents. And despite the fact that most Ministries of Education from the region recognize the right of indigenous children to get a bilingual education in their native language, elementary education is very limited, even in countries with a high percentage of indigenous people who only speak their native language. Also, with regard to gender, indigenous girls from rural areas seem to be left behind. He affirms that to invest in education has an important influence in human development and therefore, the more a government invests in education, the least it will invest in the cure of preventable diseases. He also mentions that studies demonstrate the impact of education in violence reduction and citizenship involvement. Elementary and high school education are free; however, some poor families are asked to pay for other expenses that are too high for them. So, he suggests that schools should guaranty free uniforms, books, and transportation. That’s the reason why social programs are so important to help poor families. There are some countries that have found good solutions to diminish school failure, to increase education coverage, and improve technological resources so that selfesteem improves in poor students who lack computers or other materials to learn better. In Costa Rica, the coverage of special education or education for students with special needs has grown.
  • 73 He says that UNICEF promotes exchanges among the governments of the region for them to develop education and other kinds of programs that will favor them. Finally, for him education is a right and the key to accomplish all other rights. In addition, these generations deserve a more inclusive and equitable world that starts with elementary school.
  • CHAPTER III METHODOLOGICAL FRAMEWORK
  • 75 3.1 RESEARCH TYPE This chapter will deal with the methods and procedures used to develop this research. As Natalia Córdoba, in her Master’s Thesis mentions, there are different kinds of investigations: Exploratory, Descriptive, Correlative, and Explicative. The exploratory type helps to quickly get ideas and knowledge in a situation where lack both. The researcher gets familiar with the problem or situation, identifies the most important variables and recognizes other action strategies. The descriptive type intends to describe something that can assume a variety of forms. The researcher needs to know the specific questions he/she wants to answer beforehand. The correlative type studies the relations among dependent and independent variables. It is necessary to avoid false ones, so that appropriate statistical controls should be introduced. The studies try to measure two or more variables and analyze whether they are related in the same subjects or not. The explicative kind of investigation is directed to answer the causes of physical or social events; why a phenomenon occurs and under what conditions; why two or more variables are related; that is, it tries to explain the phenomenon it refers to. 3.2. INFORMATION SOURCES For this research both kinds of sources were used: primary and secondary. Primary sources were used by means of observations, interviews, and a questionnaire. Secondary sources were used by means of the different web and bibliographical sources mentioned at the end.
  • 76 3.3 POPULATION This research is limited to the Costa Rican Indigenous population: Guatuso, Cabecar, Bribri, Terraba / Teribe, Huetar, Chorotega, and Guaymi. 3.4 SAMPLE For this investigation, mainly indigenous Cabecar students from the C.T.P.La Suiza were observed and interviewed; however, since they were few, the sample was extended to other indigenous people. 3.5 TECHNICAL INSTRUMENTS Apart from different observations made to Cabecar indigenous students from C.T.P. La Suiza, a questionnaire was applied to 12 male and female indigenous people, and an interview to 6 indigenous people from different Costa Rican ethnical groups, in order to gather and confirm important information related to their culture, their interests and their learning difficulties. 3.6 VARIABLES DEFINITION 3.6.1 Objective 1: To establish the necessary changes in the application of the Communicative Approach to aborigins. 36.1.1 Variable 1: Communicative Approach Conceptual definition: the communicative approach is chosen among several others for its effective use as a tool in acquiring a second language. It will be proposed in this thesis for teaching a third language. Operational Definition: this variable allows the development of both roles: the teachers’ and the students’ in a flexible environment that will help our indigenous students to get the desired objectives. Instrumental Definition: this is obtained through the theories that promote the approach as one of the best to acquire a language, as well as, through this study
  • 77 that proposes it as a tool for our indigenous students to learn English as a third language. 3.6.2 Objective 2: To propose English learning activities to be used with different ethnic groups. 3.6.2.1 Variable 2: English Learning Activities for indigenous students Conceptual definition: the activities refer to those developed with indigenous students that were useful and effective according to their active participation. Also, the communicative activities that will be suggested are intended to develop the four basic language skills following the suggestions of the students as how they would like to be taught. Operational definition: this will help to choose what would interest the indigenous students, as well as what would be good for them to better learn and acquire the language. Instrumental definition: the activities will be selected according to the students interests, as they expressed in their answers given in the applied technical instrument. 3.6.3 Objective 3: To identify indigenous students language difficulties in learning English to overcome them. 3.6.3.1 Variable 3: Indigenous students learning difficulties Conceptual definition: this refers to the weaknesses and difficulties indigenous students have when taking English courses and how they can improve. Operational definition: this variable permits us to know what strategies to use to teach English as a third or second language to indigenous students the best way, so that they enjoy the learning / acquisition process.
  • 78 Instrumental definition: this is determined through the questionnaires and interviews done to the indigenous people. It is also obtained through the proposal given in this research. 3.7 GATHERING OF INFORMATION For the gathering of information, the applied instruments were made following the recommendations and examples given in the book Elementos de Estadística Descriptiva by Miguel Gomez Barrantes, in relation to making questions and interviews. A questionnaire and an interview were the main instruments used to gather information. The questionnaire had 16 close questions and 16 open questions related to motivation to study, ability towards language, recommendations for English teaching, personal situation, culture heritage, and educational facilities. It was written in Spanish because it was the language common to all the interviewed students. Six Cabecar students from La Suiza High School were interviewed. They constituted the indigenous high school population in 2010. There were also 6 Cabecars from different communities: Chirripo, Roca Quemada, Tayutic, and Grano de Oro. The interview was given by telephone to 6 indigenous adults from different ethnic groups: Maleku, Chorotega, Huetar, Bribri, Guaymi and Boruca. The interview was in Spanish, that was the best known language to them. It consisted on 5 open questions and 7 close questions. It was a summary of the questionnaire that included information concerning to age, occupation, language motivation, recommendations for English teaching, culture heritage, and educational facilities. Some informal observations were also made to some students to compare their culture or behavior to the rest of the class. It was found that most indigenous students were very shy to participate, but all of them did it when they were asked to. Moreover, many of them seemed to enjoy some oral activities in small groups or pairs.
  • 79 3.8 DATA ANALYSIS The data was analysed and presented in graphs and comments about the results obtained by means of the technical instruments already mentioned. 3.9 INFORMATION PROCESSING For the processing of information of the questionnaire and the interview, we based it on the theory explained in the book already mentioned Elementos de Estdística Descriptiva, by Miguel Gómez, about the analysis and presentation of data. Therefore, the Excel language was used, especially for making the graphic representations. For the typing of the information Microsoft Word was used.
  • CHAPTER IV ANALYSIS AND INTERPRETATION OF RESULTS
  • 81 This chapter presents the results of the research through the application of technical instruments for the gathering of information. 4.1. QUESTIONNAIRE 4.1.1.The following is a description of the general information taken to twelve indigenous people. They were asked 16 Closed Questions. 1. Do you live with your parents ? Chart 4: Family Status OPTIONS # OF STUDENTS PERCENTAGE LIVE WITH PARENTS 7 58,33 DO NOT LIVE WTH PARENTS 5 41,66 Source: Abad, Magda. The Application of the Communicative Approach to the Teaching of Indigenous People. San José, C.R. U.Magister. 2011 Graph 1: Family Status FAMILY STATUS Series1 Series2 58.33 41.66 7 LIVE WITH PARENTS Source: Abad, Magda. Chart 4: Family Status. 2011 5 DO NOT LIVE WTH PARENTS
  • 82 In relation to the question ―Do you live with your parents ?,‖ seven students answered ―Yes,‖ representing 58,33% and five of them answered ―No‖ representing 41,66%. 2. Have your parents, brothers and sisters had the opportunity to study in school? Chart 5: Family Educational Background OPTIONS # OF STUDENTS PERCENTAGE STUDIES BROTHERS/SISTERS YES 12 100 BROTHERS/SISTERS NO 0 0 PARENTS YES 4 33,33 PARENTS NO 8 66,66 Source: Abad, Magda. The Application of the Communicative Approach to the Teaching of Indigenous People. San José, C.R. U.Magister. 2011 Graph 2: Family Educational Background FAMILY STUDIES # OF STUDENTS PERCENTAGE 100 66.66 33.33 12 0 0 4 Source: Abad, Magda. Chart 5: Family Educational Background. 2011 8
  • 83 In relation to the second question, ―Have your parents, brothers and sisters had the opportunity to study in school?‖ twelve students said ―Yes‖ to refer to their brothers and sisters. This represents 100%. Eight students said ―No‖ when they referred to their parents. This represents 0%. And four students said ―Yes‖ about their parents. 3. What do your brothers and sisters do ? Chart 6: BROTHERS/SISTERS OCCUPATION OPTIONS # OF STUDENTS WORK 1 STUDY 11 Source: Abad, Magda. The Application of the Communicative Approach to the Teaching of Indigenous People. San José, C.R. U.Magister. 2011 Graph 3: BROTHERS/SISTERS OCCUPATION BROTHERS/ SISTERS OCCUPATION WORK 8% STUDY 92% Source: Abad, Magda. Chart 6: Brothers/sisters Occupation. 2011
  • 84 About the question: ―What do your brothers and sisters do ?,‖ twelve students said ―Study;‖ it represents 80%, and three said ―Work,‖ which represents 2%. 4. Are you studying now ? Chart 7: School Attendance OPTIONS # OF STUDENTS PERCENTAGE YES 11 91,66 NO 1 8,33 Source: Abad, Magda. The Application of the Communicative Approach to the Teaching of Indigenous People. San José, C.R. U.Magister. 2011 Graph 4: School Attendance 91.66 100 90 80 70 60 50 40 30 20 10 0 11 8.33 1 STUDYING NOW YES Series1 NO Series2 Source: Abad, Magda. Chart 7: School Attendance. 2011 In relation to the question: ―Are you studying now ?,‖ eleven students said ―Yes,‖ corresponding to 91,66% and one of them said ―No‖ corresponding to 8,33%.
  • 85 5. What level are you in ? Chart 8: HIGH SCHOOL LEVEL LEVELS # OF STUDENTS PERCENTAGE SEVENTH 3 25 EIGHTH 6 50 NINTH 1 8,33 ELEVENTH 1 8,33 OTHERS 1 0 Source: Abad, Magda. The Application of the Communicative Approach to the Teaching of Indigenous People. San José, C.R. U.Magister. 2011 Graph 5: HIGH SCHOOL LEVEL PERCENTAGES HIGH SCHOOL LEVELS 50 0 Series2 Series1 Series1 SEVENTH 3 EIGHTH 6 NINTH 1 ELEVENTH 1 OTHERS 1 Series2 25 50 8.33 8.33 0 Source: Abad, Magda.Chart 8: High School Levels. 2011 With regard to the question: ―What grade are you in ?, ‖ three students said 7th , representing 25%; six of them said 8th, representing 50%; one said 9th, representing 8,33%; one said 11th, representing 8,33%; and another said that finished elementary school, but didn´t enter 7th,. This represents 0%.
  • 86 6. How do you get to the high school ? Chart 9: WAY TO GO TO SCHOOL MEANS OF TRANSPORT # OF STUDENTS PERCENTAGE ON FOOT 7 58,33 BY BUS 2 16,66 BY BUS AND ON FOOT 3 25 Source: Abad, Magda. The Application of the Communicative Approach to the Teaching of Indigenous People. San José, C.R. U.Magister. 2011 Graph 6: WAY TO GO TO SCHOOL 58.33 60 50 25 16.66 40 30 20 7 2 10 3 0 TRANSPORT TO SCHOOL ON FOOT BY BUS Series1 BY BUS AND ON FOOT Series2 Source: Abad, Magda.Chart 9: Way to Go to School. 2011 About the question ―How do you get to the high school ?,‖ seven of them said ―on foot‖, representing 58,33%; two said ―by bus‖ representing 16,66%, and three of them said ―by bus and on foot.‖ This represents 25%.
  • 87 7. Is there an educational institution near home ? Chart 10: SCHOOLS NEARBY SCHOOLS NEARBY # OF STUDENTS YES 9 NO 2 SO SO 1 Source: Abad, Magda. The Application of the Communicative Approach to the Teaching of Indigenous People. San José, C.R. U.Magister. 2011 Graph 7: SCHOOLS NEARBY EDUCATIONAL INSTITUTIONS SCHOOL NEARBY NO 8% 17% 75% Source: Abad, Magda.Chart 10: Schools Nearby.2011 In relation to the question: ―Is there a school near their home ?,‖ nine students said ―Yes,‖ representing 75%; two of them said ―No‖ representing 17%, and one said ―So so‖ representing 8%.
  • 88 8. Do you speak Cabecar with your family and friends ? Chart 11: SPOKEN CABECAR SPEAK CABECAR # OF STUDENTS YES 8 NO 0 SOMETIMES 4 Source: Abad, Magda. The Application of the Communicative Approach to the Teaching of Indigenous People. San José, C.R. U.Magister. 2011 Graph 8: SPOKEN CABECAR SPEAK CABECAR WITH FAMILY AND FRIENDS SOMETIMES 33% NO 0% YES 67% Source: Abad, Magda. Chart 11: Spoken Cabecar. 2011 With regard to the question: ―Do you speak Cabecar with your family and friends ?‖ Eight students said ―Yes,‖ representing 67%; four said ―Sometimes,‖ representing 33%, and none said ―No‖ representing 0%.
  • 89 9. Do you like English ? Chart 12: ENGLISH MOTIVATION LIKE ENGLISH # OF STUDENTS YES 11 SO SO 1 NO 0 Source: Abad, Magda. The Application of the Communicative Approach to the Teaching of Indigenous People. San José, C.R. U.Magister. 2011 Graph 9: ENGLISH MOTIVATION ENGLISH MOTIVATION 8% 0% LIKE ENGLISH YES SO SO NO 92% Source: Abad, Magda. Chart 12: English Motivation. 2011
  • 90 In relation to the question: ―Do you like English ?,‖ eleven students said ―Yes,‖ representing 92%; one student said ―So so‖ representing 8%, and none of them said ―No‖ representing 0%. 10. Do you understand your English teacher when he/she explains ? Chart 13: STUDENTS’ UNDERSTANDING UNDERSTAND TEACHERS EXPLANATIONS # OF STUDENTS YES 2 SOMETIMES 9 NO 1 Source: Abad, Magda. The Application of the Communicative Approach to the Teaching of Indigenous People. San José, C.R. U.Magister. 2011 Graph 10: STUDENTS’ UNDERSTANDING UNDERSTAND TEACHERS EXPLANATIONS NO 8% YES 17% SOMETIMES 75% Source: Abad, Magda. Chart 13: Students’ Understanding. 2011
  • 91 About the question: ―Do you understand your English teacher when he/she explains ?‖ two students said ―Yes,‖ representing 17%; nine of them said ―Sometimes‖ representing 75%,and one said ―No‖ representing 8%. 11. Is it hard to get good grades in English ? Chart 14: ENGLISH DIFFICULTY ENGLISH DIFFICULTY # OF STUDENTS YES 3 25 SO SO 3 25 NO 6 50 Source: Abad, Magda. The Application of the Communicative Approach to the Teaching of Indigenous People. San José, C.R. U.Magister. 2011 Graph 11: ENGLISH DIFFICULTY ENGLISH DIFFICULTY Series1 Series2 50 25 3 HARD TO GET GOOD GRADES IN ENGLISH YES 25 3 SO SO Source: Abad, Magda. Chart 14: English Difficulty. 2011 6 NO
  • 92 In regard to the question: ―Is it hard to get good grades in English ?,‖ three of the students said ―Yes‖, representing 25%; another three of them said ―So so,‖ representing 25%, and the other six said ―No‖ representing 50%. 12. Is it hard to get good grades in other school subjects ? Chart 15: SCHOOL DIFFICULTY SCHOOL DIFFICULTY # OF STUDENTS PERCENTAGE YES 9 75 SO SO 2 16,66 NO 1 8,33 Source: Abad, Magda. The Application of the Communicative Approach to the Teaching of Indigenous People. San José, C.R. U.Magister. 2011 Graph 12: SCHOOL DIFFICULTY OTHER SCHOOL SUBJECTS DIFFICULTY Series1 Series2 75 16.66 9 2 HARD TO GET GOOD GRADES IN OTHER SUBJECTS YES Source: Abad, Magda. Chart 15: School Difficulty. 2011 SO SO 8.33 1 NO
  • 93 About the question: ―Is it hard to get good grades in other school subjects ?,‖ nine of the students said ―Yes,‖ representing 75%; two said ―So so,‖ representing 16,66%, and one said ―No‖ representing 8,33%. 13. Do you participate in the English class ? Chart 16: STUDENTS’ PARTICIPATION PARTICIPATION # OF STUDENTS PERCENTAGE YES 8 66,66 SOMETIMES 4 33,33 NO 0 0 Source: Abad, Magda. The Application of the Communicative Approach to the Teaching of Indigenous People. San José, C.R. U.Magister. 2011 Graph 13: STUDENTS’ PARTICIPATION ENGLISH CLASS PARTICIPATION Series1 Series2 66.66 33.33 8 PARTICIPATE YES 4 SOMETIMES Source: Abad, Magda. Chart 16: Students’ Participation. 2011 0 NO 0
  • 94 In relation to the question: ―Do you participate in the English class ?,‖ eight students said ―Yes,‖ representing 66,66%; four of them said ―Sometimes,‖ representing 33,33%, and none of them said ―No‖ representing 0%. 14. Do you like to study ? Chart 17: STUDY MOTIVATION OPTIONS # OF STUDENTS LIKE TO STUDY 7 DO NOT LIKE TO STUDY 3 SOMETIMES LIKE TO STUDY 2 Source: Abad, Magda. The Application of the Communicative Approach to the Teaching of Indigenous People. San José, C.R. U.Magister. 2011 Graph 14: STUDY MOTIVATION STUDY MOTIVATION SOMETIMES LIKE TO STUDY 17% LIKE TO STUDY 58% DO NOT LIKE TO STUDY 25% Source: Abad, Magda. Chart 17: Study Motivation. 2011
  • 95 With regard to the question: ―Do you like to study ?,‖ seven of the students said ―Yes,‖ representing 58%; three said ―No,‖ representing 25 %, and two said ―Sometimes‖ representing 17%. 15. Would you like to learn another language ? Chart 18: MOTIVATION FOR OTHER LANGUAGES WOULD LEARN ANOTHER LANGUAGE # OF STUDENTS PERCENTAGE YES 10 83,33 NO 2 16,66 Source: Abad, Magda. The Application of the Communicative Approach to the Teaching of Indigenous People. San José, C.R. U.Magister. 2011 Graph 15: MOTIVATION FOR OTHER LANGUAGES LANGUAGES MOTIVATION Series1 Series2 83.33 16.66 10 2 WOULD LEARN ANOTHER LANGUAGE YES NO Source: Abad, Magda. Chart 18: Motivation for Other Languages. 2011
  • 96 In relation to the question: ― Would you like to learn another language ?,‖ ten students said ―Yes‖ representing 83,33%, and two said ―No‖ representing 16,66%. 16. Would you like to continue studying at the university or any other institution? Chart 19: UNIVERSITY MOTIVATION WOULD FOLLOW UNIVERSITY STUDIES # OF STUDENTS PERCENTAGE YES 10 83,33 NO 1 8,33 NOT SURE 1 8,33 Source: Abad, Magda. The Application of the Communicative Approach to the Teaching of Indigenous People. San José, C.R. U.Magister. 2011 Graph 16: UNIVERSITY MOTIVATION FUTURE STUDIES Series1 Series2 83.33 10 WILL FOLLOW UNIVERSITY STUDIES YES 1 NO Source: Abad, Magda. Chart 19: University Motivation. 2011 8.33 1 8.33 NOT SURE
  • 97 About the question: ―Would you like to continue studying at the university or any other institution ?,‖ ten said ―Yes,‖ representing 83,33%; one said ―No,‖ representing 8,33%; and one said ―Maybe‖ representing 8,33%. 4.1.2. The questionnaire included 10 open questions. In relation to the question: ―What are your parents occupations,? For the father: 4 said ―in agriculture,‖ 1 said ―day laborer,‖ 1 said ―quack doctor,‖ and 6 didn’t answer. For the mother: 1 said ―in agriculture,‖ 10 said ―housewife,‖ and 1 didn’t answer. About the question: ―What languages do you speak?,‖ the twelve interviewed students said ―Cabecar and Spanish.‖ With regard to the question: ― When did you start studying English ?,‖ eleven students said ―in the high school‖ and one said ―in the elementary school.‖ In relation to the question ―What is the most difficult of your English classes ?,‖ Six of them said ―writing,‖ two said ―reading,‖ two said ―speaking,‖ one said ―understanding,‖ and another said ―the vocabulary.‖ About the question ―What do you usually do during the English class?,‖Six said ―answer questions,‖ four said ―ask questions,‖ and two said ―pay attention.‖ With regard to the question ―What do you think about school ?,‖ nine said that they liked it, one said ―it’s good,‖ one said ―it’s very important,‖ and another said ―it’s very far.‖ About the question ―How would you like English to be taught ?,‖ Five said ―with more help from the teacher,‖ two said ―more slowly,‖ two other said ―with more conversations,‖ one said ―with more explanations,‖ and another said ―with more practices to remember better.‖ In relation to the question ―What would you like to work in ?,‖ two said as ―nurses,‖ two said ―teachers,‖ two others didn’t know, one said ―veterinarian,‖ another said
  • 98 ―architecture,‖ another said ―business administration,‖ one said ―in whatever,‖ and one said ―at home,‖ and another said ―in agriculture.‖ About the question ―What products can be found or sold in your community?,‖ the twelve students mentioned grains like ―corn and beans,‖ ―sugar cane and coffee,‖ some tubers like ―malanga‖ and yucca‖, and one also said ―lemons.‖ Also, all the twelve students referred to some crafts like ―bags, hammocks, and serbatanas.‖ In relation to the question ―Whom are the products and crafts sold to ?,‖ eleven students said ―to people from our community and people that come to buy the products and crafts, three of them mentioned that some products like coffee were taken to Turrialba, or other communities; one of them said he didn’t know. 4.2 TELEPHONE INTERVIEWS The following is a description of the information obtained from seven adult indigenous people from 31 to 57 years of age. (Closed Questions) 1. Are you studying now? Chart 20: ADULTS SCHOOL ATTENDANCE STUDYING NOW # OF STUDENTS YES 3 NO 4 Source: Abad, Magda. The Application of the Communicative Approach to the Teaching of Indigenous People. San José, C.R. U.Magister. 2011
  • 99 Graph 17: ADULTS SCHOOL ATTENDANCE STUDYING 4 3 43% 0 57% 0 STUDYING NOW # OF STUDENTS Source: Abad, Magda. Chart 20: Adults School Attendance. 2011 In relation to the first question, ―Are you studying?,‖ three students said ―Yes,‖ representing 43% and four students said ―No,‖ representing 57%. 2. What grade are you in ? Chart 21: EDUCATIONAL SYSTEM LEVELS EDUCATIONAL SYSTEM LEVELS # OF ADULTS ELEMENTARY 0 HIGH SCHOOL 1 UNIVERSITY 2 OTHER 4 Source: Abad, Magda. The Application of the Communicative Approach to the Teaching of Indigenous People. San José, C.R. U.Magister. 2011
  • 100 Graph 18: EDUCATIONAL SYSTEM LEVELS EDUCATIONAL SYSTEM LEVEL ELEMENTARY 0% HIGH SCHOOL 14% UNIVERSITY 29% OTHER 57% Source: Abad, Magda. Chart 21: Educational System Levels. 2011 About the question: ―What grade are you in ?,‖ one student answer ―high school,‖ representing 14%, two said ―university,‖ representing 29%, no one said ―elementary,‖ representing 0%, and four were not students representing 57%. 4. Is there an educational institution near home ? Chart 22: SCHOOLS SCHOOLS NEARBY # OF ADULTS PERCENTAGE YES 4 57,14 NO 1 14,28 SO SO 2 28,57 Source: Abad, Magda. The Application of the Communicative Approach to the Teaching of Indigenous People. San José, C.R. U.Magister. 2011
  • 101 Graph 19: SCHOOLS SCHOOLS Series1 Series2 57.14 28.57 14.28 4 SCHOOL NEARBY YES 2 1 NO SO SO Source: Abad, Magda. Chart 22: Schools. 2011 In relation to the question: ―Is there a school near their home ?,‖ four students said ―Yes,‖ representing 57,14%; one of them said ―No‖ representing 14,28%; and two said ―So so‖ representing 28,57%. 4. Do you speak the indigenous language with your family and friends ? Chart 23: SPOKEN INDIGENOUS LANGUAGE SPEAK INDIGENOUS LANGUAGE # OF ADULTS YES 2 NO 5 SOMETIMES 0 Source: Abad, Magda. The Application of the Communicative Approach to the Teaching of Indigenous People. San José, C.R. U.Magister. 2011
  • 102 Graph 20: INDIGENOUS LANGUAGE SPOKEN SPEAK INDIGENOUS LANGUAGES WITH FAMILY AND FRIENDS SOMETIMES 0% YES 29% NO 71% Source: Abad, Magda. Chart 23: Spoken Indigenous Language. 2011 With regard to the question: ―Do you speak the indigenous language with your family and friends ?,‖ two students said ―Yes,‖ representing 29%; no one said ―Sometimes,‖ representing 0%; and five said ―No,‖ representing 71%. 5. Have you taken any English course ? Chart 24: ENGLISH EXPERIENCE ENGLISH COURSES ATTENDANCE # OF ADULTS PERCENTAGE YES 5 71,42 NO 2 28,57 Source: Abad, Magda. The Application of the Communicative Approach to the Teaching of Indigenous People. San José, C.R. U.Magister. 2011
  • 103 Graph 21: ENGLISH EXPERIENCE HAVE TAKEN ENGLISH Series1 Series2 71.42 28.57 5 2 ENGLISH COURSES YES NO Source: Abad, Magda. Chart 24: English Experience. 2011 In relation to the question ―have you taken any English course ?,‖ 5 students answered ―Yes‖ representing 71,42%, and 2 students answered ―No‖ representing 28,57%. 6. Do you like English ? Chart 25: ADULTS ENGLISH MOTIVATION LIKE ENGLISH # OF ADULTS YES 4 NO 1 DOES NOT APPLY 2 Source: Abad, Magda. The Application of the Communicative Approach to the Teaching of Indigenous People. San José, C.R. U.Magister. 2011
  • 104 Graph 22: ADULTS ENGLISH MOTIVATION ENGLISH MOTIVATION NO APLICA 29% YES 57% NO 14% Source: Abad, Magda. Chart 25: Adults English Motivation. 2011 In regard to the question: ―do you like English ?,‖ four of them said ―Yes,‖ representing 57%, one adult said ―No,‖ and for two of them the question doesn’t apply because they had never taken English. 7. Do you like to study ? Chart 26: ADULTS SCHOOL MOTIVATION OPTIONS # OF ADULTS LIKE TO STUDY 6 DO NOT LIKE TO STUDY 0 DID NOT ANSWER 1 Source: Abad, Magda. The Application of the Communicative Approach to the Teaching of Indigenous People. San José, C.R. U.Magister. 2011
  • 105 Graph 23: ADULTS SCHOOL MOTIVATION STUDY MOTIVATION LIKE TO STUDY DO NOT LIKE TO STUDY DID NOT ANSWER 14% 0% 86% Source: Abad, Magda. Chart 26: Adults School Motivation. 2011 About the question: ―Do you like to study?‖ six students said ―Yes,‖ representing 86%; one of them didn´t answer, representing 14%, and no one said ―No‖ representing 0%. 4.2.2. The interview included 4 open questions. In relation to the question: ―What is your occupation ? 2 said ―housewife‖ 1 said ―social worker,‖ 1 said ―artisan,‖ 2 said ―teacher,‖ and 1 said ―student.‖ About the question: ―¿What languages do you speak?,‖ the seven interviewed said ―Spanish.‖ One said ―Guaymi,‖ another said ―Maleku,‖ One said some ―Boruca‖ and another said some ―Bribri.‖ With regard to the question: ― What was the most difficult of the English classes ?,‖ one of them said ―the reading comprehension and vocabulary,‖ another said ―grammar: make sentences and word order,‖ one said ―theory(written form?) and exercises,‖ one said ―writing,‖ and three did not answer that question, two of them have not taken any English course.
  • 106 In relation to the question ―How would you like English to be taught ?, three did not answer, one said ―with more practices,‖ another said ―by introducing the written part and the oral practice in conversations,‖ another said ―with 50 % practice and 50% theory,‖ the other said ―that the exams reflect what is practiced in the class and also paying attention to what is more important: communication.‖
  • CHAPTER V CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS
  • 108 5.1. CONCLUSIONS Following is a set of conclusions given about the information obtained through the questionnaire and interview applied to indigenous people from different ethnias of Costa Rica. 5.1.1 QUESTIONNAIRE 1. Most of the youngest indigenous students live with at least one of the parents, mainly the mother, but there are some others that have a family of their own. 2. Few parents went to or finished elementary school, but in the younger generations, all the students’ brothers and sisters that are in school ages, are attending school. 3. It can be concluded that most mothers work at home as housewives, and one in agriculture. The fathers mostly work in agriculture, but also one of them worked as a general worker, and another as a ―witch doctor,‖ which was a very traditional occupation, too. 4. Few brothers or sisters work outside home, but all of them were attending school. 5. It can be concluded that almost all of the students interviewed were included in the educational system. Only one of them said that he was not studying now, for it was hard for him because he did not have a scholarship and he has a family on his own. 6. Most of the interviewed students were in Third Cycle. Six of them were in eighth grade, three in seventh, one in ninth, another one was in eleventh, and one could not enter seventh grade because of socio-economical problems.
  • 109 7. It can be concluded that most of the students have to walk large distances to go to school; some of them have to take a bus, and others, have to walk about an hour to get the bus that picks them up. 8. For most students, there are some school facilities for the ones who are interested in studying. Most schools are available to most of the indigenous students, but for some others who live farther away from population centers, the high school is very far. 9. It can be concluded that most students are sure about their future careers. Two of them would like to be nurses, other two wanted to be teachers, one wanted to be a veterinarian, another wanted to be a business administrator, another one would like to be an architect, one would like to work in agriculture, only one girl wanted to work at home, another boy would like to work in anything, and two of them didn’t know yet. 10. Agriculture is very important in their communities, for example, the twelve students mentioned grains like ―corn and beans,‖ ―sugar cane and coffee,‖ some tubers like ―malanga‖ and ―yuca‖, and one of them added ―lemons,‖ too. Also, all the twelve students referred to some crafts some of the indigenous people make, like ―bags, hammocks, and ―serbatanas.‖ 11. Most of their products were consumed by the members of the community, and some other people who go there to buy some of their products and crafts. Also, some products like coffee and sugar cane are taken to other places such as Turrialba. 12. All the twelve interviewed students are bilingual; they said they spoke ―Spanish and Cabecar.‖ 13. All the students communicate with their family and friends in Cabecar. However, since they are bilingual, some of them said they use a mixture of Spanish and Cabecar.
  • 110 14. Most indigenous students are motivated to learn English. 15. Most of the interviewed students did not take English before high school. 16. It can be concluded that the teachers methodology has not been very effective because most indigenous students have trouble in understanding their explanations. Only two students said that they could understand, compared to 10 who had some kind of difficulty. 17. Most of the students had some kind of trouble with English written skills and a few of them mentioned the oral skills. Six of them said that ―writing‖ was hard, two said ―reading,‖ two said ―speaking,‖ one said ―understanding,‖ and another said ―the vocabulary.‖ 18. Despite the difficulty students had with the language and understanding their teachers, half of them did a god job with their grades in English. 19. Most indigenous students seem to have problems in getting good grades in other subjects like mathematics, Spanish, science and social studies; they have difficulties passing the courses. 20. Most of the students said that they participated and asked questions when they had doubts, others said they participated when they were asked to, but no one said that they disliked to participate. 21. Their participation was mostly motivated by the teacher intervention; six of them said they ―answered questions,‖ four said that they ―asked questions when they did not understand,‖ and two said that they ―paid attention,‖ which is a passive way of participating, too. 22. Half of the indigenous students were interested in studying, but the other half recognized that they were not quite interested in studying. Moreover, two of them admitted not to like studying.
  • 111 23. Most of them liked school, but one said that it was very far. 24. Most of the students are motivated to learn languages, only two of them said not to be interested. 25. Many students required some kind of adjustment to the regular class: five of them said that they needed more help from the teacher, two asked English to be taught more slowly, two other would like more practice with conversations, one required more explanations, and another would like more practices to ―remember better.‖ 26. Most of them are interested in becoming professionals; only two were not. 5.1.2 INTERVIEW 1. All interviewed women worked at home, one man was an artisan, another was a social worker, two were teachers, and one was a university student. 2. Only three of the interviewed adults were studying. 3. Most of them were not in any level because they were not studying. Only one student was in high school and two were university students. 4. For three students, it was not easy to get a school nearby, but for the rest of adults there was no problem to find a school near their homes. 5. All seven adults were Spanish speakers, but some of them said they could speak a little in their native language.
  • 112 6. It can be concluded that indigenous languages are in danger; two adults said that they could speak their native language, but the rest of them only spoke Spanish. 7. Most of the adults have had the opportunity to study and take English courses, but there were two of them who didn’t take English. 8. Most of them enjoyed English. Only one disliked it, and two of them couldn’t answer because they haven’t been in contact with the language. 9. Most of them had some kind of trouble with English written forms and morpho-syntax: one of them mentioned ―reading comprehension and vocabulary,‖ another said ―make sentences and word order,‖ one said ―theory and exercises,‖ another one said ―writing‖. 10. About their recommendations, their answers were important to be taken into account because some of them had some kind of experience with language and education. Two of the adults were teaching in elementary school. They like more interactive classes and not too much of grammar. One suggested ―50 % practice and 50% theory,‖ another said ―that the exams reflect what is practiced in the class and also pay attention to what is more important: communication not ―singular or plural…‖ Two of them did not answer and the others said ―with more practices, with the written part included in the conversations practice.‖ 11. Most of the adults said that they enjoyed studying, but one of them didn´t answer.
  • 113 5.2 RECOMMENDATIONS 1. It would be recommendable for the MEP to increase their budget for a better distribution of the resources, and this way all public institutions will have more tools to develop a better education quality, because the money it invests is not enough to satisfy all that is needed. 2. The MEP should eliminate differences in relation to academic and technical courses, in which teachers have different schedules and different group sizes, that is, in technical courses teachers work with half groups, and have one hour lessons, but the teachers in academic English have to work with the whole group during forty minute lessons. 3. Also, the MEP must evaluate its programs, because as some of the indigenous students complained, the exams and evaluation in general, do not represent the way the courses are supposed to be developed in the classroom, an example is the national ―bachillerato‖ exam that mainly measures one skill: reading comprehension, not listening, not speaking, not writing. 4. Another recommendation will be for the different schools to keep track of indigenous students, so that they remain more time in the system, by providing them the necessary help for them to better perform and be successful in school. 5. Since indigenous students are mostly shy, pair or small group activities should be developed for them to participate more and integrate better. 6. To keep students motivated in the learning process, it would be useful to include varied activities based on the different proposed intelligences, so that all students acquire what they need according to their particular learning styles.
  • 114 7. In order to get to this kind of population, in far away places, it would be necessary to use non technological sources, but take advantage of realia, flash cards, pictures and photographs, so that teachers can convey meanings related to their own environment and culture. 8. To practice and increase vocabulary, it would be important to give them practice on basic terms that they could relate to their own native lexical items. The universal vocabulary list used for comparing languages under the lexical-statistical method would be very useful to deal with semantics and culture. 9. Finally, the last recommendation would be for teachers to be open enough to recognize when a student requires more support to accomplish the expected goal—learn/acquire English as a second or third language.
  • CHAPTER VI PROPOSAL
  • 116 6.1 INTRODUCTION The objective of this proposal is to suggest a set of communicative activities to be applied to the teaching of English, for indigenous students. According to the findings in this research, indigenous students have had many difficulties in understanding and learning the English language. Many of them bring with themselves an indigenous language that is very different in pronunciation and structure to our Indo European languages, such as Spanish and English. In addition, usually their teachers have mainly used traditional approaches to deal with large groups of students, in which the indigenous people are included. According to observations made with different high school students, it could be determined that they did enjoy lessons that had active / communicative activities more than traditional teacher-centered classes. Two university students: Adrian Brown and Franz Alvarado wrote a report based on their findings when observing two groups of students, at La Suiza High School, while applying different techniques. One group was given activities from the traditional approach, and the other group was provided with communicative activities. They stated: ―As a conclusion, all data collected during this research showed that students certainly enjoy more an interactive class‖ (2010). Also, there can be other negative aspects regarding the traditional approach; as Lawrence Vega, and Rosa Chacón, reported in their survey (2000): “in schools that perpetuate the more traditional pattern of foreign-language study, classroom drills and activities seldom simulate ordinary uses of language. Rather, students often learn new vocabulary items with little regard to context; language forms are manipulated, rules about the language are confused with the language itself, and language samples are learned by heart. Students get accustomed then to the “vice of verbalism”, because they use words without regard for the thoughts they should convey. The communicative activities help the students see the foreign language as a means for communicating meaning.” (Vega and Chacón 2000)
  • 117 It is important to mention that this proposal is one of different alternatives that can be applied to teach second or third languages. 6.2 GENERAL OBJECTIVE: It is the main objective of this proposal, to recommend some communicative activities that may facilitate the English language learning / acquisition to indigenous Costa Rican students. 6.3 SPECIFIC OBJECTIVES: - To provide some practical ideas and exercises that will help indigenous students to be more successful and more motivated in school. - To persuade teachers to expand their ways and techniques of teaching by including more communicative activities in their lessons. - To motivate teachers to use curricular adjustments with indigenous students, so that they may be given more attention and more time to develop the practices or exercises. 6.4 PROPOSED COMMUNICATIVE ACTIVITIES In order to increase indigenous students participation, the following communicative activities are suggested: 6.4.1 A well-known activity or game to help students better their spelling and vocabulary is the Hangman. The Wikipedia (Jan. 29, 2011) summarizes it: Procedure: The “Hangman is a paper and pencil guessing game for two or more players. One player thinks of a word and the other tries to guess it by suggesting letters The word to guess is represented by a row of dashes, giving the number of letters. If the guessing player suggests a letter which occurs in the word, the other player
  • 118 writes it in all its correct positions. If the suggested letter does not occur in the word, the other player draws one element of the hangman diagram as a tally mark. The above picture represents an example game in progress; the answer is ―Wikipedia‖. The game is over when :the guessing player completes the word, or guesses the whole word correctly. The other player completes the diagram: This diagram is, in fact, designed to look like a hanging man. Although debates have arisen about the questionable taste of this picture], it is still in use today. A common alternative for teachers is to draw an apple tree with ten apples, erasing or crossing out the apples as the guesses are used up. The exact nature of the diagram differs; some players draw the gallows before play and draw parts of the man's body (traditionally the head, then the torso, then the arms & legs one by one). Some players begin with no diagram at all, and drawing the individual elements of the gallows as part of the game, effectively giving the guessing players more chances. The amount of detail on the man can also vary, affecting the number of chances. Many players include a face on the head, either all at once or one feature at a time.” (Wikipedia.2011) This game can be played with the whole group and the teacher or any student on the board, drawing and writing. There is another suggestion to use instead of having an apple juice to replace the hanging man, an orange tree could be used. 6.4.2 A matching activity can help to better students vocabulary and listening skills. Shelley Vernon, the writer of the Digital Book of 163 Games and Activities for teens and adults and English Language Games for Children, recommends to start with Phonemes.
  • 119 “the first lessons in pronunciation should involve your students listening and identifying, rather than speaking. Introduce your phonemes in contrasting pairs like /t/ and /d/. Repeat the phonemes in words as well as in isolation and ask the students to identify them. In order to visually represent the differences they are listening for, you may want to draw pronunciation diagrams for each sound showing the placement of the tongue and lips.” (Vernon. 2011) Procedure: She suggests to use any kind of matching games to make drills more fun and less stressful. Students may play with nonsense sounds and focus on the tiny differences between contrasted phonemic pairs, the key will be to get them to hear the phoneme. Students have different cards representing words that have a different phoneme: words like ―pad, pat, bad, and bat." They read the word in order to get the matching pair. According to Vernon’s recommendation, it will be worthwhile to dedicate 10 minutes from the lesson to practice phonemics because the pronunciation and perception of phonemes will improve. Source: Shelley Vernon. 2011. 6.4.3 In order to practice conversation, the activity: ―Meeting Someone New,‖ has been proposed by Lawrence Vega and Rosa Chacón. Procedure: A native speaker is invited to the English class. S/He introduces him/herself and talks about his/her country. Students are encouraged to participate by asking questions and making comments. This activity is good to know and share different customs and ―use real language skills.‖ Source: Vega, Lawrence and Chacón, Rosa. Tesis. 2000. P.114. 6.4.4 The activity ―Back- to- Back Writing‖ will help students improve their reading and writing skills.
  • 120 Procedure: A copy with a scrambled sentence dialogue is given to the students. There is a competition and all groups will be assigned the same dialogue. The first group to decode and copy the dialogue wins. They are supposed to decode the dialogue, copy it on paper, then tape the paper on the board, and finally, read the dialogue to the class. ―Example: SI S’REHTOM ESRUP NO EHT ELBAT ? ON, S’TI NI TEH GAB.‖ Source: Ibid. P. 130. 6.4.5 In order to practice requests, the activity ―Having Fun‖ is appropriate. Procedure: A set of cards of 12x7 with written requests is placed on the teacher’s desk. One student at a time goes to the desk and takes a card. He reads it and acts according to what it says. The requests could be: ―Please make a sentence containing the word nice,‖ ―Would you please close the window and sing a song,‖ ―Please ask Pedro what he did yesterday,‖ ―John, please erase the blackboard and write a sentence in the past tense (any tense).‖ Source: Ibid. Pp.132-133. 6.4.6 To help students communicate better in a written form, the activity ―A Perfect Life‖ may be useful. Procedure: Students are told that most people spend time thinking about what they need to be happier. The students write a description of what they think would be the perfect life. This activity can be done individually or in small groups. Source: Ibid. P.134.
  • 121 6.4.7 For students to improve their communicative skills, the activity: ―Placing an Order‖ is good. Procedure: The students are asked to make groups of three, then the teacher gives them two menus and a note pad. One of the students will take the role of waiter/waitress and the other two are customers. A customer orders the same thing for both: ‖two salad tuna sandwiches,…, etc.‖ The waiter/waitress writes down the order and reads it for verification. The roles are exchanged for them to have the opportunity to place and receive orders. Source: Ibid. P.145. 6.4.8 To help students identify and use new vocabulary items, this activity about professions can be fun. Procedure: Students are organized in two groups. They are given a set of scrambled sentences describing a number of different professions/occupations. The students decode and write the descriptions, identifying the name of the profession. Once they get all of them, they take turns reading the descriptions to the rest of the group; for example, one student from group A stands up and reads one of the descriptions for group B to guess and identify the name of the occupation. It can be used for competition, given one point for each correct answer. 6.4.9 For practicing pronunciation and vocabulary, the activity ―Think Quickly‖ is very useful. Procedure: The teacher says a word like ―tree‖ and one student from a team runs to the corresponding teams’ board to write ten words that rhyme with the word tree. There is no help from his classmates. The first team that has the 10 words correctly wins a point for his team. Source: Vega, Lawrence and Chacón, Rosa. Tesis. 2000. P.141.
  • 122 6.4.10 To give some structures feedback or practice on a grammatical subject, the activity ―Granny’s Cat‖ is useful. Procedure: This is to practice adjectives in an interesting way. Adjectives to describe Granny’s cat are provided orally, by different members of each team alternately within a set time limit, and in alphabetical order. The player who is too slow, repeats and answer, or fails is eliminated from the game. There is one point for each correct answer, and the team with the greatest number of correct answers or points wins. ―Example: Granny’s angry cat. Granny’s bad cat. Granny’s crazy cat.‖ Source: Ibid. P.142. 6.4.11 To help students understand and share their ideas about politics and democracy as part of the new culture, the activity ―Elections Day‖ will be useful. Procedure: The class is divided into two groups. Each group represents a political party, so they have to prepare a campaign to convince the rest of the class to vote for them. At the end, one of the groups will be chosen. Some students will explain why they chose such a group. Source: Ibid. P.115. 6.4.12 In order to practice speaking, the activity: ―Being a Tour Operator‖ will allow students to apply specific vocabulary about tourism.
  • 123 Procedure: The students are given brochures to prepare a situation in which they have to persuade a client to buy a tour package to an exotic country. They are asked to use the English language without memorizing the conversation. Source: Ibid. P.115. As a variation, students may be asked to create their own brochures with information about places they know well, like their home town and possible touristic places to visit. 6.4.13 For students to practice oral descriptions and commands, the activity ―The Fast Designer‖ is very useful. Procedure: The class is divided into groups of three. One of the students remains outside a circle. The other two students are given a picture. The student outside the circle does not have to see the picture. Then, the students outside the circles go one by one to the board to try to draw the picture according to the teammates’ directions. For example, to draw an orange, these instructions are given:‖it is round, it is yellow, people use it to prepare delicious juice, it grows on a tree, etc.‖ Source: Ibid. Pp. 115-116. 6.4.14 For students with different learning styles, Shelley Vernon says ―The variety of games, as well as their integration of different ways of learning makes them the perfect supplements for you your usual teaching style.‖ Procedure for teaching ―Auditory Learners‖ or students who better learn by listening: The teacher should use recitation games or activities that make students repeat the language they have had. For example, ―Jazz Chants‖ and ‖Karaoke Night‖ are good activities that Vernon says have been very good with Japanese students. To teach adults the teacher may use a short rhythmic dialog and a metronome, or
  • 124 hand clapping, to emphasize the fluency practice, too. Also, listening games can be practiced by using tapes or videos. Students listen to a prepared tape while reading a transcription and filling in any blanks with words they have just heard. Procedure for students who seem to retain better what they read – ―Visual Learners‖: ―Reading games,‖ such as ―Reading Treasure Hunts‖ with color pencils, where the students look for particular parts of speech or vocabulary. ―Picture games‖ include anything played with pictures as their main starting point, such as picture flashcards, or comic strip rewrites, if they are from different countries, they serve to discuss about what constitutes humor in different countries. Finally, ―Board games‖ can be obtained commercially and can be used in the classroom, but "Folder games involve making a game board, often based on commercial boards, and using them to practice grammar, vocabulary, phonics, and spelling. The boards can be laminated onto a manila folder and then the pieces and cards needed for the game stuck in a baggie stapled to the inside.‖ Procedure for ―Tactile and Kinesthetic Learners‖ -students who don’t seem to get what they are given in a traditional lecture or worksheet based lesson: These students learn best when they use their whole bodies to complete practice exercises, and tactile learners are also more likely to learn from ―model building and hands on instruction.‖ TPR will be useful for them. ―Touch games‖ allow students to touch real items inside a bag, so that they can then perform certain tasks. These tasks can be easy, for example, students simply identify the objects that they touch in the bag, like a vocabulary game. ―To make it more difficult, the students have to describe what they are feeling, while the rest of the class tries to guess what it is. ‖Spatial games‖ involve rearranging items or people and can be both kinesthetic and tactile. ―They include traditional games like charades and less traditional games, like Population Punctuation, where all but one person in class has a card with words or punctuation on it and the one person who is 'it' tries to arrange the people at the front of the class so that the cards make a correctly
  • 125 punctuated sentence using as many people as possible.― With ―Craft Games students have to assemble something, like Lego Negotiations; students then have to negotiate with other teams for certain pieces to create something according to the directions they have been given. Map drawing is another example that also combine elements of auditory learning, for the teacher will tell the students what to draw on their map. Source: Shelley Vernon. 2011
  • 126 BIBLIOGRAPHY Aasen, B. 2010, June 25. Educación para la Inclusión Social. La Nación. P.37 A. Abad, Magda. 2005. Cartografía de las Lenguas Indoamericanas en Estado de Declinación y Obsolescencia. Tesis Maestría U. C. R. San José, Costa Rica. Aguilar, Carlos H. 1971. Religión y Magia Entre los Indios de Costa Rica de Origen Sureño. Ciudad Universitaria Rodrigo Facio, Costa Rica. Arroyo, Victor Manuel. 1972. Lenguas Indígenas Costarricenses. Editorial Universitaria Centroamericana, EDUCA. San José, Costa Rica. Ávila G. and López, X. 2000. Educación basada en normas por competencia. SINETEC. San José, C.R. Brown, Douglas. 2001. Teaching by Principles. Addison Wesley Longman, Inc. A Pearson Education Company, N.Y. Chacón, Rosa and Vega, Lawrence. 2000. The Usage of the Communicative Approach in the Gravilias High School. Memoir to obtain ―Licenciatura‖ in English Teaching. UMagister, San José, C.R. Chaves, Ricardo. 2009. Diseño de un Programa de Capacitación Docente en Materia de Idiomas Indígenas Costarricenses para la Dirección Regional Educativa de Limón del Ministerio de Educación Pública. C.R. Consejo Superior de Educación. 2008. El Centro Educativo de Calidad como Eje de la Educación Costarricense. (MEP) San José, Costa Rica. Constenla, Adolfo. 1991. Las Lenguas del Área Intermedia: Introducción a su Estudio Areal. Editorial de la Universidad de Costa Rica. San José, Costa Rica Córdoba, Natalia. 2011. Investigación de Mercado para la Instalación de un Laboratorio Clínico Privado, en San Vicente de Moravia, en el 2011. Tesis de Maestría en Administración de Empresas con Énfasis en Mercadeo. U Magister. San José, C.R. Gómez, Miguel.1996. Elementos de Estadística Descriptiva. Editorial Universidad Estatal a Distancia. San José, Costa Rica. González, Vivian. 2006. Diagnóstico de la Situación Actual de la Población Indígena Concentrada del País en Cuanto a los Servicios de Agua Potable y Disposición de Excretas. Mainieri, A., and Méndez, Z. 2002. Antología: Detección de Problemas de Aprendizaje. Editorial Universidad Estatal a Distancia. San José, Costa Rica.
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  • 130 The Communicative Approach to Language Teaching, on line Sep.9, 2010, in Read more: http://www.articlesbase.com/education-articles/the-communicative-approachto-language-teaching-1244891.html#ixzz1CxDRgKd9 THE NATURAL APPROACH. On line February 7th 2011. in http://www.englishraven.com/method_natural.html UNESCO.Cabecar. On line Jan.6, 2011, in http://www.unesco.org.uy/ phi/aguaycultura/es/paises/costa-rica/pueblo-cabecar.html UNESCO. Bribri. On line Jan.1, 2011, in http://www.unesco.org.uy/phi/ aguaycultura/es/paises/costa-rica/pueblo-bribri.html UNESCO.Chorotega. On line Jan.6, 2011 in http://www.unesco.org. uy/phi/aguaycultura/es/paises/costa-rica/pueblo-chorotega.html UNESCO. Maleku. On line Jan.6, 2011 in http://www.unesco.org. uy/phi/aguaycultura/es/paises/costa-rica/pueblo-maleku.html UNESCO. Boruca. On line Jan.6, in http://www.unesco.org.uy/phi/ aguaycultura/es/paises/costa-rica/pueblo-boruca.html UNESCO. Terraba. Jan.6, 2011 in http://www.unesco.org.uy/ phi/aguaycultura/es/paises/costa-rica/pueblo-terrabas.html UNICEF’S report about education enrollment of children in Latin America. On line Nov. 22, 2009, in http://www.childinfo.org/education.html Vernon, Shelley. 2011. Teaching Pronunciation. On line January 30, 2011, in http://www.teachingenglishgames. com/Articles/Teaching_Pronunciation.htm Wikipedia . 2009. Education in Costa Rica. On line April, 2009, in http//en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Education_in_Costa_Rica Wikipedia . 2010. Second Language Acquisition. On line September 9, 2010, in wikipedia.org/wiki/Second_language_acquisition Wikipedia. 2011. The Audio-lingual Method. On line January 20, 2011, in http://simple.wikipedia.org/wiki/Audiolingual_method Wikipedia . 2011. TPR. On line January 20, 2011, in http://es.wikipedia. org/wiki/Total_Physical_Response Wikipedia . 2011.Guaymí. On line January 6, 2011, in http://en.wikipedia.org/ wiki/Guaym%C3%AD Wikipedia . 2011.Maleku. On line January 6, 2011, in http://en.wikipedia.org/ wiki/Maleku
  • 131 APPENDIX
  • 132 Encuesta sobre educación bilingüe en comunidades indígenas de C.R.(2009/2010) Representamos la Universidad Magister, y estamos realizando un pequeño estudio sobre nuestras comunidades indígenas y su participación dentro del sistema educativo nacional. Le agradeceríamos que nos pudiera responder algunas preguntas, en pocos minutos. Lo que nos diga será estrictamente confidencial. Nombre: ___________________________________________ Sexo: __F __M Dirección: ___________________________________________________ Distrito: ________________ Teléfono: __________________ 1. ¿Vive Ud. Con sus padres? ____Sí ____No 2. Edad: _____ ¿A qué se dedican sus padres ? Padre: _______________________________________ Madre: ______________________________________ 3. ¿ Han tenido sus padres o hermanos la oportunidad de estudiar o ir a la escuela? Brothers/sisters ____Sí Parents ____ Sí Brothers/sisters ____No Parents ____ No
  • 133 4. ¿A qué se dedican sus hermanos(as)? __Estudian __Trabajan 5. __________________________________ ¿ Estudia Usted actualmente? ____ Sí ____ No Si su respuesta es negativa, pase a la pregunta 8. 6. ¿En qué nivel está? ____Sétimo ____Noveno ____Octavo ____Otro ____Undécimo 7. ¿ Cómo se transporta a la institución ? ____ En bus ____ A pie ____ Otro _______________________ 8. ¿Hay alguna escuela o colegio cerca de su casa? ____Sí ____No ____ So so 9. ¿Cuáles idiomas /lenguas habla Usted ? ___________________________________________________________
  • 134 10. ¿ Habla Ud. Con su familia o amigos en otra lengua diferente a español ? ¿Cuál? ____Sí ____No ____A veces ___________________________ 11. ¿Le gusta a Usted el inglés ? ____Sí ____No ____Más o menos 12. ¿Cuándo empezó Ud. A estudiar inglés ? __________________________________ 13. ¿Entiende a su profesor(a) cuando él o ella explica en la clase ? _____Sí ____No ____ A veces 14. ¿Qué le cuesta más de las clases de inglés ? ____________________________________________ 15. ¿Es difícil obtener buenas calificaciones en inglés? ____Sí ____No ____Más o menos
  • 135 16. ¿Es difícil obtener buenas calificaciones en otras materias como matemática? ____Sí ____No ____Más o menos 19. ¿Participa Ud. En clase? ¿Qué hace normalmente durante las lecciones de inglés? ____Sí ____No ____ A veces __________________________________ 20. ¿ Le gusta a Ud. estudiar ? ¿Qué le parece la escuela y el colegio? ____Sí ____No ____A veces ___________________________________________ 21. ¿Le gustaría aprender otra lengua / idioma ? ____Sí ____No 22. ¿Cómo le gustaría que le enseñaran y que le dieran las lecciones de inglés? ¿Tiene alguna idea? ____Sí ____No ______________________________________
  • 136 23. ¿Le gustaría seguir una carrera en alguna universidad o institución, en un futuro? ____Sí ____No ____ No responde 24. ¿En qué le gustaría trabajar ? ___________________________________________________ 25. ¿Cuáles productos se encuentran / venden en su comunidad ? _________________________________________________. 26. ¿A quién le venden los productos o artesanías que confeccionan ? _________________________________________________ Observaciones: __________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________ Entrevistador: _________________________________________ Fecha: ____________
  • 137 Entrevista sobre educación bilingüe en comunidades indígenas de C.R.(2011) Representamos la Universidad Magister, y estamos realizando un estudio para nuestra tesis, sobre nuestras comunidades indígenas y su participación dentro del sistema educativo nacional. Le agradeceríamos que nos pudiera responder algunas preguntas. Lo que nos diga será estrictamente confidencial. Nombre: __________________________________________ Sexo: __F __M Dirección: ___________________________________________________ Teléfono: _________________Edad: _____ 1. A qué se dedica Usted? ____________________________________________ 2. ¿ Estudia Usted actualmente? ____ Sí ____ No 3. ¿En qué nivel está? ____ Primaria ____Universidad ____Secundaria ____Otro
  • 138 4. ¿Hay alguna escuela o colegio cerca de su casa? ____Sí ____No 5. ¿Cuáles idiomas /lenguas habla Usted ? ______________________________________________ 6. ¿ Habla Usted con su familia o amigos en su lengua indígena ? ____Sí ____A veces ____No 7. ¿ Ha llevado algún curso de inglés ? ____Sí ____No 8. ¿Le gusta a Usted el inglés ? ____Sí ____No ____ No responde 9. ¿Qué le cuesta o costaba más de las clases de inglés ? ____________________________________________
  • 139 10. ¿Cómo le gustaría que le enseñaran y le dieran las lecciones de inglés? ____________________________________________ 11. ¿ Le gusta /gustaba a Ud. estudiar ? ____Sí ____ No ____No responde Observaciones: __________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________ Entrevistador: _________________________________________ Fecha: ____________________