What lies beneath..Action research underpinning our content for learners andteachers(and what you could do differently in the classroom) http://esol.britishcouncil.org
Workshop Contento Introduction to the ESOL Nexus projecto Interactive content for learnerso Five examples of activities underpinned by action researcho Implications for classroom practiceo Other project resourceso Forthcoming content and new ideas
Starter for 10Read the statements on the handout and decidewhether they are true about your classroompractice or not.Discuss with a partner
The ESOL Nexus projectThe project is funded bythe European Fund forthe integration of thirdcountry nationals (EIF)Our main aim is tosupport ESOL learnersand teachers via web-based resources
The ESOL Nexus projectThree key aspects of theproject:o The websiteo Pilot centres and link teacherso ESOL resource specialists
Interactive content for learners• http://esol.britishcouncil.org – the learner homepage• Speak, Listen and watch, Read, Write, Grammar and vocabulary, English for work, UK life• Activities are self-access and include sound and video• Learners can rate activities and comment on them
Interactive activities Activities are created using the “Authorable Exercise Tool” (AET) – in-house software tool designed to create a range of activities – drag and drop, true-false, multiple choice and others.
Our approachTo model good practice in designing resources for ESOLlearners and also.. – to do something different (and better) – to take account of what is known to support language development (action research)
Listening (Dictations)Dictations are useful because: – They foster unconscious thinking – They are good for differentiation – They are “safe” for the non-native speaker teacher – For English, they are a technically useful exercise And in the classroom: – They keep all the learners active – They are good for large groups – They can lead to oral communication exercises Rinvolucri and Morgan () Dictations – new methods, new possibilities
Listening (dictations)ExampleTry the gap-fill dictation activity• Compare your answers with a partner• How could you use this activity in class?• How could you differentiate to allow for differing levels?• What oral practice could the activity lead to?
Listening (lexical segmentation)Why do learners misunderstand words they hear?• Learner can’t tell the difference between two similar- sounding words: e.g. won’t and want• Learner might know the word in writing but not recognise the spoken form e.g. vegetable• Learner might overlook the syntactic implications of a phoneme, e.g. I’ve lived Field, J (2003) Promoting perception – lexical segmentation in L2 listening (ELTJ Volume 57/4 OUP)
Listening (lexical segmentation)“Once identified, areas of difficulty can be tackledby simple, 5 minute exercises – these might beremedial or they might anticipate problems oflistening before they occur”. Field, J (2003) Promoting perception – lexical segmentation in L2 listening (ELTJ Volume 57/4 OUP)
Listening (lexical segmentation)What sort of activities help learners to develop lexicalsegmentation strategies?Here is one:“One technique is to dictate ambiguous sentences, then todisambiguate them by adding additional words” Field, J (2003) Promoting perception – lexical segmentation in L2 listening (ELTJ Volume 57/4 OUP)Can you think of any more?
Listening (lexical segmentation)Some other ideas: – Word-counting – Word identification – Focussing on stressed syllables – Working on weak forms – Spotting assimiliation
Reading (repeated reading and reading aloud)The approaches:Repeated reading:Repeated reading is a group or individual activity wherelearners read a text with a fluent reader, and then re-read thetext alone until they can read it as fast as the fluent readerdid. It has also been shown that repeated reading of a text“against the clock” improves both reading speed andcomprehension.
Reading (repeated reading and reading aloud)Reading aloud:Reading aloud can be a useful tool in the classroom,particularly for practising some aspects ofpronunciation and sound-symbol relationships if: • the text being read is genuinely something that someone would read aloud. • The purpose of the activity is clear, e.g. to practise pronunciation/intonation (not comprehension)
Reading (Repeated reading and reading aloud)• The effects on their learners overall were judged to be very positive with regard to their enjoyment and engagement in class, their confidence and their ability to work independently.• Two teachers thought that learners’ ability to read with fluency and expression, and reading more widely/for pleasure were unaffected; the others saw improvement.• All but one considered that the strategy had an effect on comprehension. Burton, M (2007) Oral reading fluency for adults, NRDC
Reading (repeated reading and reading aloud)Repeated reading – exampleReading aloud - example
Speaking (Task repetition)The idea of task repetition is a key aspect of the task-based learning approach.A typical task sequence: – Priming – Preparation – Target task – Review/focus on form – Target task
Speaking (Task repetition)“The advantages of repeating tasks are many and varied. There is a fair amount of research (Ellis 2003, Lynch and Maclean 2001, Essig 2005, Pinter 2006) to show that getting learners to repeat the same task but with different partners results in a richer use of vocabulary and a higher degree of accuracy and grammatical complexity.” Willis, D and Willis, J (2007) Doing Task-based teaching OUP