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Set of task -based language teaching

Set of task -based language teaching

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Final assemblage Final assemblage Document Transcript

  • PORTAFOLIO Applied Linguistic 2013 Teacher Student : Roberto Silva Torres : Claudia Rozas 1
  • TABLE OF CONTENTS ……………………………………………. ……………… 3 ……………………………………………. ……………… 4 ……………………………………………. ……………… 6 Input Processing ……………… 6 Comprehension in an L2 ……………… 6 Production in L2 ……………… 6 Task definition Introduction ……………… 6 Autobiographical Statement THEORETICAL CONTENT TASKS ……………………………………………. 7 DEVELOPMENT Input based Communicative Task ……………… 7 Reflective Statement ……………… 9 Reading Task ……………… 11 Reflective Statement ……………… 14 Output Based Interactive Task ……………… 15 Reflective Statement ……………… 16 Analysis of Learning Materials: Task, ……………… 17 Exercise or Communicative Activity. Reflection ……………… 20 Feedback ……………………………………………. ……………… 21 Conclusion ……………………………………………. ……………… 22 References ……………………………………………. ……………… 23 2
  • INTRODUCTION The following work will include my academic and professional background, three different tasks with specific requirements where the first is related to Input processing theory and the activities will be focused on formmeaning connections; the second set of activities is related to reading and listening task, where its theoretical content is focused on comprehension in an L2; the third task will be an output based-interactive task, where its theoretical content has its basis in production in an L2. Each of these tasks constitute a summary of the program studied during the Applied Linguistic course. Additionally, there will be the analysis of a set of activities provided by the teacher that we must classify as language exercise, communicative activities or tasks according to Ellis’ s definition (2003:16) “A task is a workplan that requires learners to process language pragmatically In order to achieve an outcome that can be evaluated in terms of whether the correct or appropriate propositional content has been conveyed. To this end, it requires them to give primary attention to meaning and to make use of their own linguistic resources….Like other language activities, a task can engage productive or receptive, and oral or written skills and also various cognitive processes”. Each of the activities mentioned above will also include a short piece of theoretical background and a reflection of the process itself, where in my case include the reason why I had to change the previous set of activities which after the feedback received from my peers and my teacher Roberto Silva, I decided to start up all anew. And this time I included the suggestions obtained by those who collaborated with me in this work. 3
  • Academic and Professional Background I am currently studying a Master in Linguistics mention “Teaching a Second Language”, Teacher of English and owner of a Degree in Education graduated with maximun distinction; Bilingual Executive Secretary, graduated with distinction. My academic training was acquired in prestigious Chilean Universities and Professional Institute. I possess a valuable work experience in the educational field and administrative area. Good interpersonal relationship management, proactive, disciplined, responsible and committed to Chilean education. WORK EXPERIENCE 2013 Teacher of English INSEC, Viña del Mar. Assistant Teacher of English Phonetics and Phonology II in the English Pedagogy Universidad de las Américas, Viña del Mar. 2013 Assistant Teacher of English Grammar III In English Pedagogy Universidad de las Américas, Viña del Mar. 2013 Assistant Teacher of English Grammar I In English Pedagogy Universidad de las Américas, Viña del Mar. 2013 Assistant Teacher of English Phonetics and Phonology II in the English Pedagogy Universidad de las Américas, Viña del Mar. 2012 Assistant Teacher of English Grammar III In English Pedagogy Universidad de las Américas, Viña del Mar. 2012 - 2012 Assistant Teacher of English Phonetics and Phonology III in the English Pedagogy Universidad de las Américas, Viña del Mar. 2012 - 2012 Translator in the Enterprise Idiomatic, 2012 up to now Competent Lta. Translator in Consultora DTS Ltda, 2012 up to now 4
  • Teacher of English in the School. Los Fundadores de Quilpué 2012 Teacher of English in the Institute. John Kennedy de Viña del Mar 2008- 2010 Teacher of English in the School. Barros Borgoño de Concón 2006 -2009 Teacher of English in the Institute. American Language Institute 1990 – 2004 Bilingual Executive Secretary Animalfeed S.A. 2000 – 2003 Sales Order Representative In Herbalife Chile S.A. 1997 - 1998 PROFESSIONAL EDUCATION (ACADEMIC) Master in Linguistics Mention in Teaching a Second Language Universidad de Playa Ancha 2013 Teacher of English and Educational degree Universidad de las Américas 2012 Bilingual Executive Secretariat Instituto Profesional Manpower 1995 English Pedagogy – (up to the 3rd year of the career) Universidad Metropolitana de Ciencias de la Educación 1989 High School Liceo 105 de Puente Alto 1987 Primary School Colegio Nuestra Señora de las Mercedes de Puente Alto 1982 5
  • THEORETICAL FRAMEWORK Input processing Input processing is the term associated to the comprehensible information that a student receives when he or she is acquiring a SL or learning a FL. According to Van Patten, input processing includes two main stages; the first one corresponds to the process of making a connection for the first time between form and meaning, i.e. the connection between content words or grammatical form with the mental representation that a learner obtains from that process. The second stage is the parsing, which is related to the syntactic assignment that a learner gives to all those words he learned and the mental representation he /she made. It has to do with the mental syntactic projection and it works when a learner anticipates helped by the functional words he hears, when he is trying to comprehend. Under Van Patten (1996, 2003) “a Spanish learner of English relies on a first-noun strategy to process sentences”. Comprehension in an L2 This skill is one of the Communicative Competences domains, which is related to the capacity to understand either aural or visual comprehensible inputs. Comprehension is considered as a cognitive process of a higher level in general terms, where many mental processes such as decode, infer, reflect, even the activation of previous schemata or previous knowledge which are saved in the LTM or WM and that learner brings along. In other words learner comprehend when he or she is able to interpret what he reads or listens. Comprehension in a L2 involves the capacity of a learner to comprehend vocabulary, understand the main idea of messages or texts that are, at first, shorter and easier ones which must become more complex as learner is widening his vocabulary. Production in an L2 The Output theory introduced for the first time by Swain as a response to Krashen’s input hypothesis. Where she explained that not only comprehensible input were needed to develop a Second Language, it also required to produce output. At first, that was the requirement, but afterwards, linguists agreed that this output should be comprehensible as well, where the learner’s competences must be shown up. To produce comprehensible output requires that learner activates many cognitive processes; it is also the starting point where learner faces his weakness and strengths. On the other hand, output is a useful tool for teachers to correct mistakes and eradicate errors and the most important characteristic of output is that this is the stage where learners can feel proud of themselves as they can see the result of their learning. Task definition Task according to Nunan’s definition makes first of all a distinction between real world or target tasks and pedagogical tasks, where the first distinction referes to language as a tool that will be used in a real world activities, and the second one refers to those activities which are adapted to be used inside a classroom. An especific definition is not given, instead differents views are shown in his book, however the one that was used in the analysis of the activities was the one provided by Ellis who considers a task as long as it contains the following elements: a workplan, an outcome , it must pay attention to meaning upon form, it has to develop communicative skills, and it must involve cognitive processes”. Ellis (2003: 16). 6
  • TASKS INPUT BASED COMMUNICATIVE TASK Theoretical Content INPUT PROCESSING/ Form-meaning connection Task component Content Use of present continuous. Material Visual input, aural input. Activities Students 1.- Previous knowledge activation verbs they know 2.- put the verb into progressive form 3.- by an aural input students will identify what people are doing now 4.- Associate object with specific verbs 1.- Student will learn how to express action in progress 2.- Through pictures student will be able to use –ing form 3.- Student will be able to use 3rd person in present continuous A1 level (under MCRE) Social Community Very cohesive group Goals Previous knowledge. Teacher comes into the classroom eating an apple, and she says I’m eating an apple now, and I’m leaving the apple on the table now, now I’m talking to you. Teacher will show different flashcards with different actions and will ask what people are doing. Therefore students will have to transform the action into its progressive form, for example: Valentina is eating ice-cream The objective of this activity is to learn the use of 3rd person in Present continuous …… What is Valentina doing now? – She is ……eating ice-cream …….smiling to his father What is Bob doing now? – He is …reading a book …studying for his exam What are these people doing, now? – He /She is…….. 7
  • A. Look at the pictures and say what people is doing A B Now, children are ……….. with a ball Now, the dog is ………behind the ball C D Now, the father is ……with his daughter in the Now, the little girl is ……… for her ball park B. Listen to the audio and then choose the right picture Aural input Picture A Picture B At this moment, students are playing in the classroom Now, Tom and Mary are watching TV Ronald is building his house, now Now, Mario is driving is car 8
  • c. Work with a partner only student A will see the picture that the teacher will provide. Student B will guess what Pete is doing. (Pictures contains objects) Vocabulary: boiler - Stove /stouv/ - paintbrush /peintbrash/ - camera /keamra/ Student A looks at the pictures and describe the object Student B pays attention to the description and relates the object with what Pete is doing at the moment. Ex. 1: St. A: there is a boiler : What is Pete doing? St. B: Pete is boinling water Ex. 2: St. A: It is an apple : What is Pete doing? St. B: Pete is eating an apple D. Now work with your partner and choose some of the pictures, then relate them with the verbs provided by the teacher, remember to take turns and make complete sentences as in section C, Say what Peter is doing with that object now, some of them can be used more than once Give Paint read Drive Draw Bake Peel Buy fix Write Sell Use Example: What is Peter doing with the apple? Peter is peeling his apple Peter is washing his apple E. Work with a partner and discuss according to the pictures from section C what Peter likes doing or he does not like doing during weekends, fill the chart below with Peter’s likes and dislikes. Follow the example Peter’s activities Peter likes doing the laundry 1. 2. Peter does not Like Drinking coffee 3. 4. 9
  • FIRST TASK: INPUT-BASED COMMUNICATIVE TASK REFLECTION This first task is based on input processing theory. It consists of 6 different activities, including the previous knowledge activation; the idea in this set of activities was to teach the present continuous tense. I incorporated many visual inputs for students could relate them with their meaning and also they could associate objects with different verbs, in this way they could form short chunks that they will be able to use afterwards. I provided as well a lot of practice so they could internalize the structure by exercising as many time as they can. From this point of you, and after your comments I changed the previous activities as I felt that weather topic limited the number of activities I wanted to include. The activities move from language exercise and communicative activities. Language exercises, as most of them focus on lexicon and grammatical aspects of language, applying the first stage of input processing, the connection between form and meaning. In activities C and D, I incorporated communicative exercises, as they have to interact in order to get the activity outcome. The goal of these six lessons was to teach the third person in singular, present continuous tense and lexicon. Although Student will have to interact in order to relate pictures with different activities, they will have make decisions in order to reproduce specific structure that they were given. It has a work plan; the cognitive processes involved in this activity are observation, memorizing and selection. It involves form-meaning connections. It does not involve real world language use, as language is used to learn language in here, but not as a tool. The skills developed during the activities are listening, writing and in lesser degree speaking. The outcome is practicing by repeating a set of structures given by the teacher and makes the relation between object and the different action associated with those objects. However in the final activity, I included an activity where learners must interact, associate pictures with likes and dislikes, choose, decide and reflect according their own likes and dislikes. In relation to the process while I prepared the activities, the first attempt to meet your request, I did not considered the key word Form-meaning connection, I just relate visual input with vocabulary, I have to recognize that it is a kind of difficult for me to move from prescriptive activities to communicative ones, although I apply them during my own classes, they are not as planned as they must be in this task and I have noticed that I work without an specific approach I normally mix them according to my own experience and in the way that I learn the language. That is way and after your feedback I decided to change the activity as I could not relate weather to any other activity different from the ones I presented. Therefore the feedbacks that my peers provided me were in relation to those activities and not to the final one. Although some of their suggestions were included while I prepared the second set of activities. In the second attempt, and applying your comments, I decided to use present continuous tense and add some adverbs of time in order give students a clue they could follow, where visual input was the essence of the activity and aural input in a lesser degree. The idea was to make student to relate the input to different activities and the possibility they link objects to different actions as well. 10
  • SECOND TASK: READING OR LISTENING TASK Theoretical Content Comprehension in L2 Content TASK COMPONENT Literature Literary Genre: Tales Material Oscar Wild’s Tales Activities 1.- Previous knowledge activation 2.- Talk about tales students have read 3.- Presentation of some Wild’s well known tales 4.- Reading Comprehension Goals 1.- Student will be able to develop reading strategies 2.- Student will be able to infer meanings 3.- Student will be able to answer according to the text 4.- Student will be able to answer according to implicit information Students A2 level (under MCRE) Social Community Very cohesive group A. - Previous Knowledge activation. Tales A tale is a fictitious or true narrative or story, especially one that is imaginatively recounted. What tales do you know? What was it about?, did you like it? Did you learn something from them? Little Red Riding Hood The Happy Prince Little Peter and the Wolf The nightingale and the rose B. Reading comprehension strategies 1.- Read the first page, a.- Number all paragraphs of the story b.- Read fast in order to get the whole idea of the sentences and not the meaning of word by word c.- If there were any word you do not know, try to find out its meaning by the context. if you cannot look for its meaning. Use a dictionary or wordreference.com d.- Write them down 11
  • c. Read the “The Happy Prince” 2.- Work in pairs and discuss the following a. How many words did you have to look for their meanings? and b. How many words did you understand their meaning by context? c. Which are they? d. Choose 5 of those words and then make sentences with them. Share your results with a partner 3.- REMEMBER! - Keep in mind the topic. (What the tale is about) - A topic is a concept. (no more than 2 or 3 words) - It is in the first paragraph - Examples: love, hate, happiness, sadness, etc. a. Read the first page and find out what the story is about b. How did you know? c. Work with a partner and discuss if he or she thinks the same 4- Reading comprehension activity a. Number the sentences chronologically according to the story. 1.-_____ The Happy Prince asks the swallow to take the ruby, sapphires and golden leaves from his body to poor people. 2.-_____ The statue is torn down and melted 3.- ____ The swallow who was left behind after his flock flew off to Egypt, meets the statue of the “Happy Prince” 4.- ____ An angel took the Prince’s broken heart and the dead swallow up to heaven b. Read the statements and check if they are true or false _____ The happy prince is a statue made of cooper and pearls _____ The statue of the prince was worried about people in town _____ The swallow could not help the prince because it had no time _____ The swallow stayed with the prince and did what the prince asked him to do _____ the prince was very selfish 12
  • c. Answer the following questions according to the happy prince tale 1.- What was the statue of the happy prince made of? 2.- Why do the statue’s name is the happy prince? 3.-Was the statue of the happy prince happy indeed? Why? 4.- Who helped the prince? 5.- How did the statue and the swallow meet each other? 6- How did the swallow help the prince? 7.- How did the Statue show his compassion? 8.- What is the lesson that the story taught you? d. Discuss about selfless deeds 1.- Work in group. And explain what selfless deed means 2.- Write down situations from the tale in which you consider there was selfless deed. Discuss with your group if they agree with you or not. 3.- Find out if some of you has ever experienced or seen a selfless deed. Tell what happened. 4.- Discuss about it, do you think that this is a common behavior? Why? Why not? Support your answer. 5.- What do you do for helping people? Create a poster that shows different situation where people act disinterestedly. Share your poster and put it in the notice board of your school. 13
  • SECOND TASK: READING OR LISTENING TASK REFLECTION In this activity, I introduced the activities by presenting the literary genre “Tale”. Then I focused on Oscar Wild’s tale ‘The Happy Prince’. First I showed some basic strategies to help them work with the reading. With this first activity they will have to learn how to handle the text, therefore, they will use English as a tool in order to perform a specific activity and learn a literary genre. In this way they need to comprehend the instructions and comprehend the text itself to answer the questions. Then in the discussion section, students will have to interact with their group, and talk about experiences they have had in relation to the word ‘Selfless Deed’; here they will explain what they understand by this concept, and probably they will compare experiences they have had in their lives, with this activity I include a cross curricula item where the final outcome will be to make a poster to paste it in the notice board of the school. It has a workplan, as instructions are given at the beginning, this involves primary that students focus on meaning as they will have to learn and apply some reading strategies, so this is a communicative exercises as they will learn strategies to handle texts, and finally I introduced a Pedagogical Task as they will have to discuss about an specific term, share their experiences, identify different situations of their daily lives where they have applied, felt or seen this sentiment, that is to say, they will have to internalize some reading strategies, get use to the genre tale and learn some lofty sentiments, that they will probably apply in their daily lives and create a poster. Skills that students will have to use to perform the activities are reading, speaking, writing and listening. In relation to the cognitive processes involved in these activities, they are analysis, remembering, inferring, exemplifying and creating. Finally the communicative outcome will be the creation of a poster to show different situations where the lofty sentiment ‘Selfless deed’ is expressed. 14
  • Third Task: OUTPUT BASED-INTERACTIVE TASK Theoretical Content Production in an L2 TASK COMPONENT Content Literature Literary Genre: Tales Material Oscar Wild’s Tales Activities 1.- Previous knowledge activation 2.- jigsaw activity (Oscar Wild’s life) 3.- Confirmation of data 4.- Presentation of the segment 5.- Quiz Goals 1.- Student will be able to work collaboratively 2.- Student will be able to get information and transmit it 3.- Student will be able to paraphrase information Students B1 level (under MCRE) Social Community Very cohesive group Tales Previous knowledge activation. 1. We have already read the Happy Prince and the Nightingale and the Rose both written by Oscar Wild. Could you tell what they are about? Let’s start with the Happy prince. Now Let’s continue with the Nightingale and The Rose. Who wrote these tales? What do you know about him? 2. Now you are going to read about Oscar Wild’s life. You are going to work in group of 5 people and each of you is going to work in one aspect of Wild’s life, which will be provided by the teacher. But none of you will learn anything about your partner segment, those segments are: 1. His childhood 2. His family 3. His work 4. His family life after 1895 5. His work after 1895 3. Choose a leader for your group. He or she will be in charge of giving to each member his / her turn 4. You will have time to read the text at least twice in order to become familiar with it. 15
  • 5. Once you finish, a group of experts, formed by those who had the same segment that you have, will meet in order to share information about the assignment you had to work with. 1. Explain what is the segment about 2. The rest of the expert group will check if the rehearsal is the appropriate one and if it cover all the main points 6. Everyone goes back to his/her original jigsaw group 7. Once you are in the original group, you are going to present the segment to the rest of the group in order to get the whole information about Oscar Wild’s life. Listeners will be allowed to make questions for clarifications 8. Finally when all members of the group are aware of Oscar Wild’s life you are ready to take a quiz. THIRD TASK: OUTPUT-BASED INTERACTIVE TASK REFLECTION The activity introduced here was a jigsaw, the idea was to continue using Wild’s tale as previous knowledge. It has a workplan clearly explained by means of instructions students will have to follow in order to complete the task. According to its focus it was oriented to meaning, for this activity nature, the collaborative process that emerge during the activity is essential for students who must interact among them, by corroborating, correcting, explaining, exemplifying to mention some of the abilities they will have to make use during the activity performance to finally provide the correct information to the rest of students which will be used as part of an evaluation. Language used is the real world one where the four skills are used reading as they will receive a written text that they must read, speaking as they will provide information orally, and they also are allowed to ask for clarifications, and for correct information, listening as they must pay attention to the information given by the partner and use it later on and in lesser degree writing, just if they feel more self-confident by doing it. In relation to the cognitive processes involved in this activity, we can see, remembering, as they have to recall facts of Wild’s life, understanding, as they must read and process the information, analyses and explain it, and the most important one that represent the outcome of the activity is that they must transmit an accurate information necessary for the final quiz they will have to take. This activity includes all the necessary elements required to learn a second linguistic system, such as comprehension, speech production, learning and social interaction. 16
  • Fourth task: ANALYSIS OF LEARNING MATERIALS: TASK, LANGUAGE EXERCISE, or COMMUNICATIVE ACTIVITY THEORETICAL CONTENT: Focus on the concept of task GOAL: Analyze learning materials to determine if they can be characterized as tasks or not. Criteria to consider for considering a task as such: Workplan, focus on meaning, use of real world language, development of language skills, cognitive process involved in the activity, the existence of a defined communicative outcome. In this section will be analyzed 6 tasks: 1. 1 Classification: This is a Language exercise, Lexical focus, and the second part of the activity is a communicative exercise, as students must provide a comprehensible output related to lexical that they have chosen. There is a workplan; it engages cognitive processes such as make differences between helpful and non-helpful inventions, make decisions. The activity requires an outcome, first make a list, and then give opinion. 2 1. (Nunan 2003: 65 and 96) Classification: I consider that this activity is Communicative exercise; it is focus on meaning, Student will have to interact to discover the differences between the pictures each one has, although, they will have to reproduce specific structure that they were given, they will have to interact between them to find the differences that the pictures have. It could become task if they were allowed to create their own question to get the differences. It has a work plan; the cognitive processes involved in this activity are observation, memorizing and selection. The outcome is practicing by repeating a set of structures given by the teacher. The excuse in here is to find the differences in the pictures. 17
  • 3 1. Classification: It is a role play activity that must be considered a pedagogical task for different reasons. First of all it has a workplan whose focus is on meaning as it is not paying attention on grammar; neither lexical nor phonological aspect of language, but on describing a real situation lived by student A who has to narrate to Student B a dangerous situation he experienced. The activity does not limit student A with a given structure to follow, so he/she is free to use language to communicate the sad experience. On the other hand Student B must pay attention to Student A´s story in order to make a drawing that represents that event. Therefore it is a task activity, which has a work plan as both students are given short but clear instructions which they must follow in order to get their respective outcomes, as Student A as Student B. The whole activity focuses on meaning and uses real world processes of language use. The skills developed in this activity are speaking and listening, where the cognitive processes involved here are recall past events, research for L2 words and the use of metacognitive monitoring and Student B, must pay attention, remember the key elements of the story and identify relevant from irrelevant events, among others. According to the outcomes for both students are very clear, for student A, has to narrate a dangerous situation, and Student B must decode that information and represent it through a drawing. Finally, I consider that the form in focus to this activity is Natural. 2. Theoretical Concept: Production in L2 4 1. Classification: This is a communicative exercise that has a specific work plan. This exercise is focused on meaning where the language to be used is not restricted but it looks for developing a communicative exercise where students have to express as much differences or similarities as they can observe. In relation to the skills which are intended to be developed in the exercise, they are listening and speaking, while the cognitive processes applied here are comparison, comprehension and evaluation. The outcome is to communicate in order to find out differences and similarities among the pictures. 2. Theoretical Concept: Production in L2 18
  • 5 1. Classification: Student A: In these 3 lesson the two firsts are language exercises as both of them are focus on lexical aspect of language. Regarding to the third activity is a mixture of Language exercise and communicative activity. Activity one: Focus: Form – lexical Activity two: Focus: Form – students are asked to recall language by filling the blanks. Activity Three: Focus: Meaning – Request and provide personal information The skills worked here were listening and writing while the cognitive processes are, memorizing, comprehension, and pay attention among others. 2. Theoretical Concept: Input processing and the third one is an output production 1. Classification: This is a task which is focused on meaning. Although students are given the theme or the orientation of what they have to say, they do not have to use any specific structure as long as it reflects the instructions. The outcome is to be able to request and/or reject requirements and by given reasons for that rejection. The skills worked here are listening and speaking and probably writing as well. This activity is instructional and the cognitive processes are comprehension, production and to follow instructions. 2. Theoretical Concept: Production in L2 19
  • 6 1. Classification: This is a task where the focus is on meaning and language is used as a tool of interaction. As it is a situation of real life ‘At the restaurant’, language used here is real world language, it involves different cognitive processes, such as reading, comprehend, choose, change his mind, and explain among others. In relation to the skill developed here, four of them are used, reading, listening, writing and mainly speaking. And the outcomes are: 2. Ask for food 3. Bring the right food 4. Collect the bill 5. Pay the bill 2. Theoretical Concept: Production in L2 According to the concept of task learnt during the course, few are the activities focused only on form. I read the first analysis that I had made to these activities, and I had to reconsider it. It was much easier to identify them after your comments upon the activities I sent. Nevertheless, I think that I require analyzing more activities to feel sure that I already internalized the concepts. During the process I noticed that when I checked any activity or unit that I have to teach to the INSEC students, the first thing that I pay attention to is the structure that they must learn, instead of the type of activities that the book shows. After I got aware of this, I decided to change my methodology and I decided to include readings (Oscar Wild’s tales) and a lot of pair works using communicative exercises and tasks as well, for example as they will become secretaries, I decided to create an office environment in the classroom where one of them was going to be the secretary and the other one was the customer, who wanted to talk with somebody, the person of course was not there so she had to leave the message. And the one who played as secretary had to take the message, request for clarification, take notes, etc. In this institute, we use Interchange 1, 3rd edition and the sixth activity that I analyzed ‘Are you ready to order’ was the same that I worked with the class, in here I asked them to work in groups of 5 people, they had to prepare a role play simulating a situation in a restaurant, some of them were the waitresses, other the host, other was the chef and the other was the cashier. They had to prepare a paper were they have to include step by step what was going to happen during the presentation, the recipes, choose what food to prepare, learn the vocabulary for the recipes, the costumes and props. Here I did not pay attention in their accuracy, but in the interaction they had among them and the one they had with us. The principal asked them to explain the preparation of the dishes they gave us, students did not expected that the Principal would ask them anything, but they did it well. Once they finished the presentation, they were so happy; they said that they really enjoyed the activity, that they learnt a lot of vocabulary. They were able to move from one tense to another fairly well, they corrected themselves, and it was really a good experience. 20
  • Feedbacks provided by peers and the magister teacher First of all, I would like to thank to those who gave me part of their precious time, above all during this period, end of the year and we all as teachers know what that means, time is never enough in these days and it is for this reason that I am very pleased to count on those that will be mentioned in this paper. Nevertheless their feedbacks do not correspond to the activities presented in this paper, but they correspond to the previous activities prepared by me, however, their suggestions were all used in the process of the second attempt. The first two teachers Mrs. Carla Chavez and Mrs. Veronica Skewes were quite benevolent with my activities mainly because, I am their product or their extension, as they both were my teachers for a long time and in different subjects. On the other hand, I also received Mr. Silva feedback and I did not seen him but I could imagine the way he felt when he noticed that I did not consider none of his instructions to prepare the tasks and in an effort to improve those activities by mending, adding, deleting, reorganizing to mentions some, he tried to take me to the right track again. It is for this reason that I would like to take this opportunity to thank his effort in helping me to internalize these methodologies that I used them during my classes but it was a kind of difficult to connect them with the specific activities, or follow a specific pattern. At this point, I do not know if I could get the whole objective of the course applied linguistics 2013, but I do know that I moved more than one step ahead in planning my activities. In relation to Mrs. Chavez feedback, she emphasized the scaffolding for students could complete the tasks, how the students would provide themselves feedback to each other, she suggested a kind of rubric that students could use in these activities. Mrs. Skewes, suggested the idea to make collective practice and a group practice, she mention the possibility to mix more advanced with weaker students, what would give me a good chance for strengthening bonds and make a sort of collaborative work and scaffolding. She also mentioned the lack of previous knowledge activation and she suggested a song a poem a brainstorming among others. Regarding to the reading activities both of them agreed in that this was a good technique in teaching a second language, as long as I pay attention in the scaffolding or the corresponding guidelines for students can follow. Mr. Roberto Silva, basically realized that the activities presented at that time were not related what I was asked to do, however he tried to improve them, therefore this was my second starting point where I decided to start all again, but this time I included all the corresponding suggestions he and the other teachers gave me. My conclusion is that students need more scaffolding than the one I thought, also they need to practice many times the same activities but presented in different ways, and in only this way they could internalize the subject matter properly. I am positive that there are many things that I need to polish, change, include and some of them are that I should make them practice a bit more with guided structures or chunks to make them improve their rehearsal before making them to continue with more complex stages. I should also pay attention in the length of instructions, they were too long, and it will be probably hard for students to follow and finally, I think that it would be a good exercise to ask for feedback to peers that one trusts on, in order to improve one’s teaching practices. This final reflection corresponds to my own process, for instances, I thought that the first activities were fairly good, however they were not, and as a way of life my policy is that everything is perfectible above all if in one’s hand is the learning of many other people who trust on you as their leader. 21
  • Conclusion The work presented above, shows an emphasis in a communicative approach where learners must pay attention to meaning rather than form or grammatical structures. However it also shows the importance that the interrelation between form and meaning has, as Nunan claims “Grammar exists to enable the language user to express different communicative meanings”. Nunan, David (2004: 4). From my point of view, the specific tasks performed in this work, constitute an ideal class planning or the process that a whole unit should have as they involve the main aspects that we as teachers must take into consideration when we are planning our lessons. For instance we started with an input processing task where learners are introduced, for the first time, to the form and its meaning, from my perspective it is esencial, just like human first impression, that is way teacher should make an effort and provide as many inputs as learner can see or hear in this first stage of the learning process; the second activity of reading task where the outcome required here was the comprehension in an L2, this activity appeals to the cognitive process used by learners, first with the bottom up process for then to continue with the top-down process and the activation of their schemata, for as long as they use language as a tool but not as object of study their progress will be faster, personally I used reading activities with my students in INSEC, in a period of 3 months and a half they were ready to read short but deep tales, at first I worked with them and made them to manipulate the text and then they continued alone, when I gave the written test of the tale I could notice that they moved from words or chunks to complete sentences, as the evaluation was not an specific tense but the comprehension, they really enjoyed the reading and we also had the opportunity to discuss about it, they had a lot to say, as the end of the tale was not the one they expected, obviously I had to turn blind eyes to the accuracy, but as my objective here was to decrease their anxiety toward English language, and improve their self-confidence, accuracy was not a requisite in this stage. The third activity developed in this work was an output based-interactive task, which constitutes the stage in which we can evaluate if learner through a correct form-meaning connection is able to comprehend a more complex task and if he or she will be able to produce in the L2. Therefore this third and final task that I had to create, involves the production in an L2, that in this case was a jigsaw activity, very useful and funny which sums up the whole process, appeals to the collaborative work, requires comprehension and the obligation of doing it well as they are a key member that have to convey the information to the rest of the students in order to see the whole picture of the information. In relation to the fourth exercise, the analysis of different activities that we had to classify as task or not, was very useful for me as I had to make an effort and see beyond structures, it was a long personal process considering the first time I had to analyze the activities during the course, probably I need to continuing practicing this type of analysis in order to identify easily all the elements that constitute an activity and get used to it. As my final aim is to improve my own performance in the classroom what eventually will be a benefit for all those students I will work with throughout my professional life. In relation to the feedbacks provided by my peers to the first set of activities most of them were related to the scaffolding that I had to include in the activities. However, those activities did not consider the specification required for these tasks as Mr. Roberto told me that is why I decided to start all over again considering all the suggestions provided for all of them. Finally, my conclusion is that there is not only “the theory” to teach a SL, but we have many of them that we can make use of in order to get an effective class, where the focus is on preparing students to communicate, considering that there are different aspects of SLA that we as teacher should cover during our carrier. We also must take into consideration the discourse community we are preparing, as well, as some of them are not interesting in producing in an L2, but just to comprehend it as part of their job, for instance how a backhoe works. 22
  • REFERENCES Nunan, David 2004. Task- based Language Teaching. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press VanPatten, B. et. al. 2004. Form-Meaning Connections in Second Language Acquisition. New Jersey: Lawrence Eribaum Associates, Inc. VanPatten, B. 2002. From Input to Output: A teacher’s guide to Second Language Acquisition. 23