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Teaching writing through the internet
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Teaching writing through the internet


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This project aims to help students to improve their writing skill through the use of the internet. EFL teachers will be able to use this project guidelines in order to get the best they can from their …

This project aims to help students to improve their writing skill through the use of the internet. EFL teachers will be able to use this project guidelines in order to get the best they can from their students.

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  • 2. I. Identification.Title: Future Jobs.Author: Augusto César Pinto Figueiredo.Audience: Upper-intermediate teenagers from a private language institute.Length: A twelve-hour lesson.II. Justification. The following teaching project is about students´ future jobs due to the importanceof this subject matter to students’ future life. It provides students with activities related to the fourabilities in English using the computer and the Internet. Teachers today are aware of the use ofCALL (Computer Assisted Language Learning) and CMC (Computer-Mediated Communication).That is why, it is important to know how to develop materials for on line instruction. As a teacher,I learned some techniques to develop EFL web interactive activities. I was motivated by thefacilities offered by the technology and decided to integrate them into my pedagogical practices.Actually, Technology and education work together nowadays, so projects involving learning,teaching and technology are outstanding ways to increase learners´ motivation. Another relevancy of this teaching project is that students are going to have thechance to better understand the benefits of technology to their own educational process. Sincecomputers are widely used by teenagers as, they spend a lot of time in front of the screen. Besides,it is going to provide an opportunity to supply students´ sense of management, responsibility, andenhance the idea of autonomy. Another benefit is the environment of collaborative work usingCALL (Computer Assisted Language Learning).Hence, collaboration is important becausefrontiers have been trespassed by the velocity of knowledge and communication exchanges. Oneof the important and advanced tools to face such globalized world is the Internet that provides
  • 3. EFL/ESL learners with authentic and updated language. So a teaching project like this one isjustifiable as a profitable solution for both educators and learners´ curriculum. My theoretical framework is drawn from the CMC (Computer-MediatedCommunication) and CALL (Computer Assisted Language Learning). Warschauer (1996)developed many of these ideas among others. The activities suggested in this teaching projectfollow the Integrative CALL (Computer-Mediated Communication) methodology advocated byUnderwood (1984).III. Contents This project is going to be used in an English class of an English institute. It has no relation whatsoever with other disciplines in a regular school.IV. The objectives. General objectives The main objective of my teaching project is to provide a class of advanced studentswith interactive tasks related to future jobs. Students are supposed to integrate the four abilities ina semi-presential and user-friendly web-based environment. Specific objectives To manage student learning activities in a technology-enhanced environment asfollow:- Introduce Ss to main subject of the project as guidelines for their web-based pair-presentations- Provide Ss with online interactive listening and reading activities to check their generalunderstanding of the topic presented by the teacher.
  • 4. - Monitor Ss interaction in the classroom while preparing their PowerPoint presentations in orderto be sent to the school server.- Help Ss learn how to start an interview and state points of view about future jobs.- Enable Ss to present their works in the classroom and check their performanceV. Theoretical bases This teaching project offers an engaging instructional goal to make learners activeconstructors of their own knowledge. It is centered on the learner and affords learners theopportunity for in-depth investigations of worthy topics. A key to a successful teaching project isto assign subject matters that connect to real-life or topics relevant to learners. Constructivism(Perkins, 1991; Piaget, 1969; Vygotsky, 1978) explains that individuals construct knowledgethrough interactions with their own environment, and each individuals knowledge construction isdifferent. The learners are more autonomous as they construct personally meaningful artifacts thatare representations of their own learning. As a result, students tend to be more engaged andmotivated as they approach and solve tasks that they can relate to. The concept of a learner-centered curriculum (Nunan, 1987) predates, and has broader significance, than the Internetenhanced classroom. However, this concept seems particularly important when consideringnetwork-based teaching. So Future Jobs, as the subject matter of this teaching project, wasthought and chosen in order to be meaningful to awake teenager English learners´ interest andmotivation. Learners typically have more autonomy over what they learn, maintaining interest andmotivation to take more responsibility for their own learning (Tassinari, 1996; Wolk, 1994;Worthy, 2000). With more autonomy, learners "shape their projects to fit their own interests andabilities" (Moursund, 1998, p. 4). Especially, because the chosen subject matter gives students achange to think about their future careers.
  • 5. This teaching project is also rooted on the idea of the Integrative CALL advocated byWarschauer (1996) who suggests that in the late 1980s and early 1990s, many teachers were movingaway from a cognitive view of communicative teaching to a more social or socio-cognitive view,which placed greater emphasis on language use in authentic social contexts. Warschauer and Healey(1998) emphasize the important of the learners´ Integration in authentic environments, and also theintegration of the various skills of language learning. Warschauer and Healey (1998) also mentionthe place of computers in the syllabus: In integrative approaches, students learn to use a variety oftechnological tools as an ongoing process of language learning and use. It is then possible tointegrate four skills (speaking, listening reading, and writing). Rowntree (1995) refers to the use of online technology to assist educators intranscending limitations often associated with traditional face-to-face approaches to education.Rowntree (ibid) also lists that the main benefits of (CMC) including the convenience ofparticipating in asynchronous communication activities that can be reviewed at any time, andcommunication with a number of actors simultaneously to act as a channel for the sharing ofexperience or vocationally based practices. Another pedagogical aspect that must be raised in connection with the design of this teaching project is based on Kern (1995) who found that : students had from two- to three-and-a- half times more turns and produced two to four times more sentences and more words in the interchange discussion than in the oral discussion. He used several rough measures of language productivity (length of learner output in terms of number of words, sentences, and turns) that are difficult to interpret because of the lack of controlled comparisons with face-to-face language production under equivalent conditions (such as number of participants, plus or minus teacher participation, etc.). In light of the fact that the extensive amount of online information and communication in English provides the possibilities and, in many contexts the imperative, to reconstruct the English language curriculum to incorporate technology enhanced communication and project
  • 6. work (Warschauer, 2000). Principally, because more than 50% of the worlds online content is inthe English language (Cyberspeech, 1997).Warschauer (ibid), until quite recently, computer-assisted language learning (CALL) was a topic of relevance mostly to those with a special interestin that area. Recently, though, computers have become so widespread in schools and homes andtheir uses have expanded so that the majority of language teachers must now begin to think aboutthe implications of computers for language learning. To Sayers (1993), there are many ways that Internet activities can be integrated intothe overall design and goals of a course. The teacher can work with students to create researchquestions, which are then, investigated in collaboration. Teachers must learn to structure theirclassroom in such a way that different students or groups of students are working on differentaspects of their project at any one time. Second, teachers will not make the sacrifice of time,effort, and money required for implementation of technology-based instruction only for the goal ofteaching the same English skills better. Rather, they make these sacrifices because they believethat the mastery of technology, as part of the English curriculum and other curricula, is essential iftheir students and society are fully developed. The teacher is no longer the center of attention asthe dispenser of information, but rather plays the role of facilitator, setting project goals andproviding guidelines and resources, moving from student to student or group to group, providingsuggestions and support for student activity. Finally, when students are using technology as a toolor a support for communicating with others, they are in an active role rather than the passive roleof recipient of information transmitted by a teacher, textbook, or broadcast. The student is activelymaking choices about how to generate, obtain, manipulate, or display information. Technologyuse allows many more students to be actively thinking about information, making choices, andexecuting skills than is typical in lessons. As students work on their technology-supportedproducts, the teacher moves through the room, looking over shoulders, asking about the reasonsfor various design choices, and suggesting resources that might be used. Such changes werereflected in teachers reports that technology use increased the amount of collaboration, students
  • 7. regulation of their own learning, and students teaching teachers. The majority of classroom timemay be devoted to independent and collaborative projects.VI. MethodologyClass 01. (Ss and teacher in the computer laboratory)1st Step: Ss read the PowerPoint presentation and have an explanation about the project topic, keywords, and grammar use. (1 hour).2nd Step: T Asks Ss in pairs to go on line and watch a video, answer a quiz, do a crossword about the subject presented previously. Moreover, they are going to decide which fieldwork they are going to do together in order to start their project collaboratively. (15 minutes)3rd Step: Provide Ss with useful Internet website addresses in order to help their searches (see. Annex).(5 minutes)Class 02. (Ss connected at home or in a computer laboratory in pairs).1st Step: Ss are going to use the previous Internet website addresses given and others available in popular web directories to start their search for future jobs (3 hours).2nd Step: Ss are going to collect the main information in each website address to prepare a PowerPoint presentation (3 hours).3rd Step: Ask Ss to exchange information about the results of their Internet via e-mail, MSN or any other Chat engine they are familiar with (1 hour). (c.f anexos)Class 03. (Ss and teacher in a computer laboratory in pairs total 2h) (c.f anexo)1st Step: Ss are going to decide together which pieces of information, video, music, picture and layout are more relevant to be included in their PowerPoint presentation (30 minutes).
  • 8. 2nd Step: Ss prepare their final PowerPoint version and a handout to be presented to the whole class based on the teacher’s PowerPoint presentation. (1 hour).3rd Step: Ss decide and practice their presentation as well as exchange presentations with the rest of the group and teacher via e-mail (30 minutes).4th Step: T will provide Ss with a set of comprehension questions in order to check their listening and understanding the use of any new vocabulary or expression.Class 04. (Ss and teacher in class for 2 hours)1st Step: Ss are going to start their presentations. Each pair of students has 15-20 minutes to present.2nd Step: Ss start interviews about each others’ jobs3rd Step: T and Ss shall discuss each presentation by the end of each one for at most 5 minutes.4th Step: Students´ work is going to be corrected and T will upload them to the schools’ server to be visited by other group of Ss (1hour and 30 minutes).VII. Teaching resources 1st Computer Laboratory connected to the Internet. 2nd A PowerPoint projector. 3rd Enough photocopies from the Attachments listed previously in this project.VIII. Assessment. Assessments must be created to tie into the teaching project and to classroompractice, so teachers can make judgments as to how students are doing and provide them with
  • 9. meaningful feedback on their performance. Therefore, this teaching project is going to considerthe following table in order to assess students´ performance. Total Grade 100% Attendance 15% Contribution and participation during the whole project 25% Presentation 25% Teacher’s feedback to final version 25% Self-Reflection 10% a) Attendance is important to get students engaged and give the project truly appropriated contribution for each step, by allowing each student to create either personal or collaborative meaning. b) Contribution and participation during the whole project offers equally opportunities for learners to represent their understanding. Throughout this teaching project, Learners can discuss, write, collect data, count, and measure, calculate, predict, construct models, draw diagrams, make graphs, record observations, read for information and for pleasure, and many other things. They can show their understanding from the beginning to the end of the project, and as they look back on the most memorable aspects of the work completed. That is why a checklist assessment is going to be given to each student to evaluate his or her partner’s performance during the whole project (See attachment page 2). c) Presentation helps students to understand the development of their own communicative competence. It is easy for them to see how they progress in their speaking ability to use language. Therefore, another checklist is going to be given to the whole class as a mean of assessment. (See attachment page 2).
  • 10. d) Teacher’s feedback to final version is another important aspect that students are going to receive about their final version. Feedback, which is going to be a single grade telling students whether or not they met objectives set by the teacher (See attachment page 2).e) Self-Reflection can offer a good chance for learners to evaluate their own work the idea of self-assessment system (should) provide a basis for developing an awareness of what are important characteristics of good and bad aspect of their own production. Self- assessment checklists must be filled and graded by each student. (See attachment page 2).
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