The American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL) is the national association for language education professionals from all levels of instruction and representing all languages. With more than 12,300 active members, ACTFL provides innovative professional development opportunities, acclaimed training and certification programs, and widely cited books, publications, scholarly journals, research studies and language education resources, including Foreign Language Annals and The Language Educator magazine. As part of its mission and vision, the organization provides guidance to the profession and to the general public regarding issues, policies, and best practices related to the teaching and learning of languages and cultures. ACTFL is a leading national voice among language educators and administrators and is guided by a responsibility to set standards and expectations that will result in high quality language programs. For more information, visit the website at www.actfl.org.http://www.actfl.org/files/public/guidelines.pdfRubric ACTFL proficiency guidelines-speaking-
References:Krashen, Stephen D. Principles and Practice in Second Language Acquisition. Prentice-Hall International, 1987.Krashen, Stephen D. Second Language Acquisition and Second Language Learning. Prentice-Hall International, 1988. Acquisition vs. Learning The distinction between acquisition and learning is one of the hypotheses (the most important) established by the American Stephen Krashen in his highly regarded theory of foreign language acquisition known as the Natural Approach. Language acquisition refers to The concept of language learning the process of natural is linked to the traditional assimilation, involving approach to the study of intuition and subconscious languages and today is still learning, which is the product generally practiced in high of real interactions between schools worldwide. Attention is people where the learner is focused on the language in its an active participant. written form and the objective is Teaching and learning are for the student to understand the viewed as activities that structure and rules of the happen in a personal language through the application psychological plane. The of intellect and logical deductive acquisition approach praises reasoning. The form is of greater the communicative act and importance than communication. develops self-confidence in It seeks to transmit to the student the learner. knowledge about the language, its functioning and grammatical structure with its irregularities. http://easypractice.blogspot.com/2009/07/language- This effort of accumulating knowledge becomes frustrating learning-vs-language_07.html because of the lack of familiarity with the language.
Allegory of the cave• The Allegory is related to Platos Forms, according to which the "Forms" (or "Ideas"), and not the material world of change known to us through sensation, possess the highest and most fundamental kind of reality. Only knowledge of the Forms constitutes real knowledge. In addition, the Allegory of the Cave is an attempt to explain the philosophers place in society: to attempt to enlighten the "prisoners".
Analogy • In "The Republic," Plato sums up his views in an image of ignorant humanity, trapped in the depths and not even aware of its own limited perspective. The rare individual escapes the limitations of that cave and, through a long, tortuous intellectual journey, discovers a higher realm, a true reality, with a final, almost mystical awareness of Goodness as the origin of everything that exists. Such a person is then the best equipped to govern in society, having a knowledge of what is ultimately most worthwhile in life and not just a knowledge of techniques; but that person will frequently be misunderstood by those ordinary folks back in the cave who havent shared in the intellectual insight.
Shadowy representation of thereality. Who are the enlightened? • If he were living today, Plato might replace his rather awkward cave metaphor with a movie theater, with the projector replacing the fire, the film replacing the objects which cast shadows, the shadows on the cave wall with the projected movie on the screen, and the echo with the loudspeakers behind the screen. The essential point is that the prisoners in the cave are not seeing reality, but only a shadowy representation of it. The importance of the allegory lies in Platos belief that there are invisible truths lying under the apparent surface of things which only the most enlightened can grasp. Used to the world of illusion in the cave, the prisoners at first resist enlightenment, as students resist education. But those who can achieve enlightenment deserve to be the leaders and rulers of all the rest. At the end of the passage, Plato expresses another of his favorite ideas: that education is not a process of putting knowledge into empty minds, but of making people realize that which they already know.
. The Brain research in the foreign language classroom Teachers need to build a bridge from current neuroscience research to engaging classroom practice. Students need to envision their brain as a muscle that gains power over time as much as any other muscle does : by stretching. Learning is stretching their thinking muscle. • Human brains are as unique as faces. • All brains are not equal because context and ability influence learning. • The brain is changed by experience. • The brain is highly plastic. • The brain connects new information to old. As neurologist turned teacher Judy Willis, MD explains, “When you provide students with opportunities to apply learning, especially through authentic, personally meaningful activities with formative assessments and corrective feedback throughout a unit, facts move from rote memory to become consolidated into related memory bank, instead of being pruned away from disuse.”http://www.flbrain.org/research.htmhttp://brainconnection.positscience.com/topics/?main=fa/second-language3http://www.edutopia.org/brain-based-learning-strategies-resource-guidehttp://www.ascd.org/ASCD/pdf/journals/ed_lead/el200912_willis.pdf
Six Tips for Brain-Based Learning1. Create a Safe Climate for Learning2. Encourage a Growth Mind-set3. Emphasize Feedback4. Get Bodies and Brains in Gear5. Start Early6. Embrace the Power of Novelty http://www.edutopia.org/
Brain research and its implications for educationPrinciples: Implications• The brain performs many simultaneous • The teacher is like an orchestra conductor in functions. Processes for order to encompass all the variations of the thoughts, emotions, imagination and human brain. predispositions are on all the time.• Learning is as natural as breathing and it is • Brain based teaching must fully incorporate possible to either inhibit or facilitate it. Stress stress management, nutrition, exercise and other and threat affect the brain. facets of health into the learning process.
“WHEN WE ENCOUNTER NEWinformation, the brain quicklygoes into pattern-recognitionmode. If it reminds us ofsomething we’ve encounteredbefore, we know how to respond.But what happens when the newinformation doesn’t “fit” withexisting understanding?
Comprehensible input to learn practical verbal responses
Drama=creating contexts=specific uses of languageDrama is inevitably learner-centred because it can only operatethrough active cooperation. It is therefore a social activity andthus embodies much of the theory that has emphasized thesocial and communal, as opposed to the purelyindividual, aspects of learning. With regard to the learning oflanguage, the value of drama is often attributed to the fact thatit allows the creation of contexts for different language uses. Inboth language teaching and drama, context is often thought tobe everything. There is a long tradition, influenced bysociolinguistics, from a conception of language learning as theacquisition of vocabulary and grammar independent of contextto a greater focus on language in use. context to refer to theway words can be explained in relation to their function inspecific uses of language e.g. in particular sentences http://www.hltmag.co.uk/jul06/mart01.htm
FluencyFluency is the ability to read, speak, or write easily, smoothly, and expressively. In otherwords, the speaker can read, understand and respond in a language clearly and conciselywhile relating meaning and context.Fluency generally increases as learners progress from beginning to advanced readers andwriters.Language teachers who concentrate on fluency help their students to expressthemselves in fluent target language. They pay more attention to meaning and contextand are less concerned with grammatical errors.Typical fluency activities are: role plays, speeches, communicative activities, games.
Should We Teach Grammar?Explicit grammar instruction Accuracy Accuracy is the ability to produce correct sentences using correct grammar and vocabulary. Accuracy is relative. A child in early primary isnt capable of the same level of accuracy as an adult. Teachers who concentrate on accuracy help their students to produce grammatically correct written and spoken English. Typical accuracy activities are: grammar presentations, gap-fill exercises, frame dialogues.
Three elements in any face-to-face communication
The Tower of Babel in the Old Testament was a tower built by a united humanity to reach the heavens.http://joseph_berrigan.tripod.com/ancientbabylon/id17.html
M.C. Escher - Tower of Babel According to the Quran (28:38) and the Bible (Genesis 11:1-9), a tower was erected in Babylonia with the intention to reach to heaven and God. Their presumption, however, angered God who interrupted the construction by causing among them a previously unknown confusion of languages and scattered them over the face of the earth.
Digital divide“We have no idea, now, of who or what theinhabitants of our future might be. In thatsense, we have no future. Not in the sense thatour grandparents had a future, or thought theydid. Fully imagined cultural futures were theluxury of another day, one in which ‘now’ wasof some greater duration. For us, ofcourse, things can change so abruptly, soviolently, so profoundly, that futures like ourgrandparents’ have insufficient ‘now’ to standon. We have no future because our present istoo volatile. We have only risk management.The spinning of the given moment’s scenario.Pattern Recognition.” (57, Pattern Recognition)
"The unexamined life is not worth living for ahuman being."
Motivationstrategies to improve long-term memory, howto inspire more creative thinking, how to besmart about taking risks,