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Javiera Londoño is a public institution added to the municipality of Medellin, with daytime bachelor in two shifts morning and afternoon.
High school provides basic secondary and middle technique with modalities in commerce, computers, and secretarial studies. The institution has three thousand students in different sections. The high school is located downtown and its addresses is 53 Street (Maracaibo) No. 40-65.
The school has several resources in the area to offer a quality education as: a library, English text books, bilingual dictionaries, two audiovisual rooms, materials such as CDs, audio recorders, television channel and a English laboratory named (English discovery), in abstract, the school provides support for a good job.
Curriculum is planned by processes and articulated with quality, “the comprehensive curriculum concept, defined in the article 76 of general education, educational institution Javiera Londoño, gives North to its educational based social pedagogical model.
In conclusion, and taking into account the different points of the survey, we can see that the students prefer to use mass-media for reinforcing their foreign language learning, they also prefer the music, speaking and listening activities to reinforce the learning process. 90%, (percent) of them give a great importance to learning English for the future, since the literature is written in this language texts in their great majority comes in English, as well as technology. Besides, they responded that the benefits of learning English include: getting a good job with more stability, traveling to other countries and making more friends worldwide.
DIFFICULTIES FOUND; They argue that there are no difficult topics; the important thing is to show interest, desire to learn But, they say that it is important to emphasize on the pronunciation of words, irregular verbs and some grammatical rules and structures.
They like the idea of making part of an English club in their leisure to reinforce learning, and improve communication.
The survey showed a great desire to overcome difficulties and motivation to learn the English language, they also see English as an opportunity for knowing other cultures
To promote meaningful learning through project work and task based activities in which students develop the different language skills.
I haven’t had great difficulties yet. Regarding
equipment and materials we have some updated texts in the
library and some devices like video-beam, TV sets, DVD
player and other materials to strengthen English teaching
with new technologies, we also have three computer rooms.
However, some difficulties I have identified so far are:
Lack of motivation from some students towards the English learning.
Low academic performance in some grades.
Outdated software and computers in the English lab.
Some difficulties for integrating the four skills in the English curriculum through class projects.
The class size or large classes are other problem, but easier to manage when we establish a routine right from the very first day of class.
Different levels of skills and interests in class .
I would like to give my insights about the literature read through the course, taking into account mainly THE TASK-BASED INSTRUCTION, THE PROJECT WORK AND THE INTEGRATION OF THE FOUR SKILLS. To develop this preliminary project, I had in mind some opinions based in the thoughts of Kamaravadivelu, 1994, extracted from the post method condition text: (E) emerging strategies for a second/foreign language teaching. in the text the author points out that “ recent explorations in L2 pedagogy signal a shift away from the conventional concept of method toward a “postmethod condition” that can potentially refigure the relationship between theorizers and teachers by empowering teachers with knowledge, skill, and autonomy.
In short, promoting teacher autonomy means enabling and empowering teachers to theorize from their practice and practice what they have theorized.
For my preliminary project, I have had into consideration the proposed strategic framework for L2 teaching that consists of macrostrategies and microstrategies. The firsts are made operational in the classroom through microstrategies.
Macrostrategies: facilitate negotiated interaction; this macrostrategy refers to meaningful learner-learner, learner-teacher interaction in class. NEGOTIATED INTERACTION MEANS THAT THE LEARNER SHOULD BE ACTIVELY INVOLVED IN CLARIFICATION, CONFIRMATION, COMPREHENSION CHECKS, REQUESTS, REPAIRING, REACTING, AND TURN-TAKING.
Negotiated interaction can be facilitated thorough several microstrategies, designing group activities is one of them. Kamaravadivelu (1994)
The strategic framework comprises the following 10 macrostrategies:
1. Maximize learning opportunities 6. F acilitate negotiated interaction
3. Foster language awareness 8. Contextualize linguistic input
4. Integrate language skills 9. Promote learner autonomy
5. Raise cultural consciousness 10. Ensure social relevance.
My preliminary project includes aspects such as those listed above, and they
might help me to guide my classes in a more effective way.
Stoller, gives a step-by-step description of how project work can be integrated into the ESL classroom, how language focus can be incorporated into project work, and the positive benefits that can result from project - based activities.
I have implemented some of these ideas around project based activities and content subjects, and I agree with Beglar and Hunt (2010, p. 96), when they say: “Task based project was well received by the majority of the learners in the course, they found the experience to be rewarding, intrinsically interesting and educationally beneficial, many of their final presentations were impressively polished and included a considerable amount of detailed information, which was well organized and effectively supported by appropriate visual aids”
I would like to spark students’ autonomy through project work so that they can generate projects including the four skills , this will develop the communicative competence in the future. I would like to take into account important aspects related with linguistic competence derived from some authors like Chomsky or Piaget to activate the knowledge.
Taking into account the previous authors, I’m working in this form, and in my classes I implement some strategies related to project work instruction, through which my students have been able to present final results of their projects, my concern would be with the students’ self-process – a concern common to most analytic syllabuses.
Seen from the point of view of process, “ the project holds a great promise for helping learners in their efforts to further improve many aspects of their English-language profiency . However the potential of the project can only be measured by the nature of different types of tasks , and as we in the program gradually implement changes which the students believe and like, they will result in a pedagogically resounding experience for the learners”.
( Jack C. Richards , Willy A. Renandya - 2002 - Education - 422 p.)
Finally, “The general objectives taken from task-based instructions are oriented to:
Provide learners with opportunities to use English for authentic purposes for an extended period of time.
Provide intrinsically motivating activities which take advantage of the learners’ desire to improve their listening and speaking proficiency.
Allow learners to take responsibility for their own English education by giving and deciding how they will structure and present the data they collect.
Reinforce learners’ ability to form grammatically and pragmatically correct questions.
Enchance the learners’ presentation skills.
Demonstrate to students that the use of English can further enhance their own education and development.
Provide opportunities for learners to work closely together with a partner or in a small group for an extended period” (Beglar and Hunt; 2010, 98).
There are other important information extracted from the authors mentioned above, but the most important thing is to be aware of the relevance
of planning classes properly, to a public that demands much more when they receive a series of knowledge to be put into practice in their lives, because we are very committed to prepare people for life and encourage learning and meaningful projects that have a link between school and daily life.
“ The goal of communicative language teaching is to develop students’ communicative competence, which includes both the knowledge about the language and the knowledge about how to use the language appropriately in communicative situations” Wu-Jing (1970-)
Listening, speaking, reading and writing are means of communication… Integrating the skills allows a teacher to build more variety into the lesson because the range of activities will be wider (WANG, 2000; 147)
In fact, I think that in my situation students can
develop certain communicative activities in which I
explore task-based instruction and project work in
language teaching and my students can do as
many speaking activities as possible in pairs and
groups. In this way, they may be less frightened of
speaking or produce communication in front of the
rest of the class. And students give better
performance in writing after doing sufficient
related activities. This is my case when I explore
lessons with project work, my students can do and
produce activities freely.
To increase the students’ motivation towards English learning.
To reform the English syllabus based in project work through pedagogical contents.
To generate academic meetings with other institutions, and celebrate special festivities in English.
According to the reading -Integrated Skills in the ESL/EFL Classroom by Rebecca Oxford- “ With careful reflection and planning, any teacher can integrate the language skills and strengthen the tapestry of language teaching and learning. When the tapestry is woven well, learners can use English effectively for communication”, I expect to get good results next year. During the last semester I was applying some strategies with the four skills in class with good results in the design of projects. A problem was the acquisition of grammatical rules when the students were doing sentences related to the projects of Life in the future, a healthy life style and important places around the world. However they could produce some examples related to the English projects in a fluent way. For next year, I will emphasize on accuracy as well.
As strategies to overcome the difficulties mentioned before and to reach the expected results,
I would like to consolidate some projects for the coming year:
To create an English club. to strengthen learning processes and generate curricular and extracurricular activities such as: educational outings, material design, creating collaborative groups such as dance groups, monitoring activities developed by students with a good performance in the language, commemorate special dates, song contests in English, among others.
To speak almost 90% in English during the English classes and adapting the conditions for this purpose. The other 10% will be in the students’ native language, only to explain a complex grammar structure or to compare idioms in both languages. (Promoting the four languages skills in class through project work and task based )
I want to conclude this presentation, claiming for the need of implementing metacognitive
experiences with our students, so that they can self monitor their own learning by themselves,
and consequently, they will enhance their learning process, of course teaching will be more
successful due to the inextricably link between learner autonomy and metacognitive
strategies. So our institution must provide adequate materials in the English laboratory with
good technological devices, this would do the work easier and more pleasant.
English language teaching
Integrated Skills: Writing, listening, speaking and Listening
Strategy: Microstrategies and macrostrategies
English: English communication, English system
Cognitive and metacognitive experiences
RICHARDS, and RENANDYA. Methodology in Language Teaching, An Anthology of current Practice, Cambridge University Press, 2002 United States.
KRASHEN, S. (1989) . Language Acquisition and Language education. London: Prentice Hall.
B. Kumaradivelu, (1994). Language Learning tasks: The post method condition: (E) emerging strategies for Second/Foreign Language Teaching, San José state University.
B. Kumaradivelu, (1992). Macrostrategies for the second tasks: Teacher intention and learner interpretation. ELT Journal, 45 (2), 98-107.
Oxford, Rebecca, (2001) Integrated Skills in the ESL/EFL Classroom. EDO-FL-01-05. University of Maryland.
To those people that with their support and advices make possible the growth of my attitudes, abilities and strengths to grow more as a person and improve my educational practices day after day.
To the Convenio between the University of Antioquia and Secretaría de Educación de Medellín, which gives us the opportunity to be better teachers and project our educational practices in our institutions.
To our partners for their collaboration and support in the educational interaction.
To our teacher Sandra for her support and constant advice, thanks for everything.
To the manager, coordinator, secretaries, teachers, and others, thanks.