UNIVERSIDAD CATOLICA DE LS SSMA. CONCEPCION REACTION PAPERPARA SER PRESENTADO EN CATEDRA DIDACTICA DEL INGLES 1 FACULTAD DE EDUCACION PEDAGOGIA MEDIA EN INGLES POR GABRIEL FERNANDO JARA MUÑOZ DOCENTE ROXANNA CAROLINA CORREA PEREZ FECHA CONCEPCION, 2012
It has been said through a long period of time that learning L2 is not aneasy task; it presents variety of obstacles and it turns even more difficult when thelearner is not in the country where the second language is spoken, or L1 presentsa great deal of interference. Nonetheless, teaching L2 despite the hard anddemanding labor that it is, it isn’t impossible to accomplish when the necessaryelements are taken in consideration while teaching. First of all, it is mentioned from common sense that spoken language isacquired (firstly) and written is learnt (secondly), for example children acquire theirmother tongue by listening and repeating and eventually speaking, and then learnhow to write it by symbols or characters that represent the sounds, however thisdoesn’t mean that teaching and learning L2 should be in the same order or formatas we acquire L1 (V. Cook), for it depends on the learners context, obstacles andtheir demands whether is for speaking, translating, teaching etc. This presentssome troubles if teachers want to accomplish their students to speak as natural asnative speakers, for it would be a complete failure based on the reason that theyare learning a second language and are not supposed to sound like that, mainlybecause L1 causes interference at many levels (M. Swan), such as the differenceof vocabulary of L2 in context (idioms, collocations), generalization of thevocabulary, false cognates etc, which can be minimize if proper strategies of L1and L2 are used of classroom. A well described procedures or strategies arepresented (P. Nation, 1997) in order to carry out a meaningful learning, taking in
consideration how demanding is a task according to the learners’ proficiency (ishe/she capable to do it, is it to hard), changing the circumstances of the task,informing students about the goal of the task, reciprocal evaluation of the task,approaching to the problem systematically by using L1 properly. In a general view, it is quite useful to know or at least have in considerationmany of the key elements that these authors pointed out, for the reason that weas teachers of a L2 should be aware of how L1 can affect positively or negatively astudents’ learning process, and more importantly which strategies can we use toaccomplish a positive impact when teaching English. Even though the three of thetext were completely helpful I would have to say that Paul Nation’s Text made amore direct impact in the way I used to think of L1 as a constant problematic issuein classrooms. I mean, how can we teach a subject usually not very popularamong students and make it at the same time accessible and closer to thestudents, what new elements, task, activities can we change or provide to makethem feel interested or engaged to L2. I would say that its practicality could beone key point that made felt interested, for it shows and lists strategies that canbe used and experimented to our hearts’ content, making me wish to know whatwould happen if those strategies are applied in a Chilean reality. I can say that my understanding of the use or interference of L1 inclassroom has been expanded and I have become more aware when using or not
L1 to support a student learning process. Furthermore, it has made me reflect onthe critical current reality of ours schools in the Chilean educational system in theEnglish subject, because based on my experience in my pedagogical practices;there is no consideration whatsoever of use of L1 in a classroom or the prioritythat spoken language should have in tasks or activities, promoting effectivelycommunicative skills rather that vocabulary and grammar development. I haveseen teachers writing a list of words on the whiteboard and the make choral drillsand teachers giving worksheets and that’s it. So many questions emerge fromthese observations that I have made. How can we improve our teaching processesin classroom, how can we teach effectively, Could be L1 interference as MichaelSawn pointed out, or should we completely focus on spoken language and makethen speak instead of writing as Vivian cook propose or would Paul Nation’ssuggestions make the difference? It seems more complicated than that; howeverthose ideas still mean a great deal of help when educators face troubled andobstacles during their teaching processes and it could assist them whenevereducation has put challenges in such a noble job as teaching.
REFERENCES: • Nation, P. (1997) L1 and L2 Use in the Classroom: A Systematic Approach in TESL Reporter, pp. 19-27 • Cook, V. (2009) Questioning traditional assumptions of language teaching in Nouveaux cahiers de linguistique française , pp 7-22 • Swan, M. The influence of the mother tongue on second language vocabulary acquisition and use, in Vocabulary: Description, Acquisition and Pedagogy, ed. Schmitt and McCarthy, CUP 1997, pp. 156–180