University Ready? Re-focusing IEP Students for Success
Elisabeth L. Chan -University of North Texas--Intensive English Language Institute- TESOL International Association Philadelphia Convention 2012
Have You Ever Heard? I don’t need to ESL. I studying for TOEFL. I want pass TOEFL. I’m not needing ESL. I am studying, but I’m studying my own thing.
Students’ Misdirected Focus Low participation in class Low homework completion Low motivation Focus on “TOEFL-ing” out of ESL
It’s Easier than English IEP students often have an unrealistic picture of American university expectations the linguistic and cognitive demands necessary to be successful time (for studying, for class, for completing their degrees)
Dose of RealityWays to help students gain a more realisticpicture: Sit-in on classes Bring past ESL graduates to speak to the class Bring in a guest lecturer to give an authentic lecture Use authentic lectures from the Internet (Open Course Ware)
What is a task? Everything people do in everyday life, at work, at play and in between (Long, 1985) Activity carried out as a result of understanding language, which may not involve language production; specific definition for successful task completion (Richards, et al., 1986) Structured language learning activity with specific objective, appropriate content, procedure, and outcomes(Breen, 1987)
What is a task? Meaning is primary; learners create their own meaning; real-world activities; task completion priority; assessment is in terms of outcome (Skehan, 1998) Workplan causing learners to process language pragmatically; focus on meaning and learners use the language they already know; real-world use (Ellis, 2003)
TBLT Task-based language teaching helps students by: Using a needs based approach Having students learn to communicate through interaction in target language Incorporating authentic texts Helping learners focus on the learning process Enhancing learner’s personal experiences Linking language in classroom to the outside
Ssshhhh English Language Skills Reading, Listening/Speaking, (optional: Writing) Expand vocabulary, familiarize with discourse Grammar: Simple present, future, and past tenses Modals, “need” + infinitive Question formation, answers
Three Tasks First Week of Classes Reading Like You’ve Never Read Before English Comp 101
Task 1 – “First Week Of Classes” Objective: students learn about degree requirements, as well as course expectations Materials: Course requirements for students’ majors Sample syllabi from gen ed courses Time: 20-30 minutes Possible task outcomes: list requirements “outside major”, list comparisons between a gen ed course and IEP’s expectations
Discussion Questions What are “gen ed” requirements? What courses will you take? What information is on a syllabus? How does it compare to your IEP class syllabus and policies?
Surprise! Items that surprise many students: Gen Ed Courses: Even if they are a business major, they must take a science course. Policies: Attendance and participation are part of the grade. No make up exams allowed.
Task 2 – “Reading Like You’veNever Read Before” Objective: students measure their reading abilities versus actual reading demand Materials: Textbooks from gen ed courses Matching sample class syllabi Time: 20-30 minutes Possible task outcomes: time reading speed in gen ed vs. IEP text, list a page count per week or per exam
Discussion Questions How many pages are in one gen ed textbook? IEP textbook? How many pages do you read per week? How many chapters are on one exam? What do you notice about the vocabulary?
Surprise!! Items that surprise many students: The books are heavy. The print is small. There are so many pages in one chapter. You have to read many chapters per exam.
Task 3 – “English Comp 101” Objective: students learn essay and grading expectations and measure their writing abilities versus actual freshman writing demands Materials: Freshman English composition (rough, peer, final) Composition grading rubric Time: 20-30 minutes Possible task outcomes: apply the rubric to the rough/final draft and calculate score
Discussion Questions How does the rubric work? What seems to be the most important? How many words do you think are in the paper? What grammar structures do you see? What type of feedback did this paper receive? What grade do you think the paper got after the peer review?
Surprise!!! Items that surprise many students: The amount of points devoted to each part, especially grammar. That the “-3” for grammar mistakes is per mistake. Points were taken off for incorrect format. The peer review partner did not catch all the mistakes. That theoretically you could score below zero.
Thank You! Re-focus students’ goals More realistic More useful Task-based approach Communicative Real world
CONTACT INFO Elisabeth L. Chan Elisabeth.Chan@unt.edu ElisabethLChan@gmail.comhttp://www.slideshare.net/ElisabethChan
TESOL Diversity StandingCommittee Look for the Diversity Survey at the TESOL Membership Booth in the Exhibit Hall E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Online survey: http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/tesoldiversity
Reference List Nunan, D. (2004). Task-Based Language Teaching. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.