Art of Facilitating Language Learning Presentation


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This is the Presentation used in the PRIME Art of Facilitating Language Learning workshop. The course resource book of the same name can be found here on slideshare. It can and should be extended over multiple sessions.

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  • If I asked you: “What is Biology?” would you answer, “it’s a science.”? You might but I would be very disappointed, so please don’t tell me English is a language. So, the question really is “What is Language?” Thanks.
  • Circulate Attendance record. Let’s examine this question “What is English?” or “What is language?” What are some of your ideas?Handout: Creativity in language.
  • Collect and discuss answers to the Prime question.
  • OK. That’s settled. Now, what is communication? In order to answer that we have to answer it as we would answer most questions, that is , by looking at it’s description and function;
  • History: 16 years - We’ll look at each aspect if we have time.
  • What is the purpose of communication: Satisfying needs and desires or wants. – Communication comes from our mental ability centred in the brain. Since I mentioned biology, lets look at the biological source of communication.
  • Being human means we have a brain; having a human brain means we are able to communicate in a special way.
  • Speech is the most distinguishing ability humans have, along with the ability to RECORD communications. Language is processed in the left temporal lobe just above the ear. Primary language centers of the brain, including Broca's and Wernicke's areas, are usually located here. Broca's area produces language and Wernicke's area specializes in understanding language.One of my favorite neurological conditions, Wernicke's aphasia (receptive aphasia), sometimes presents itself when there is damage to Wernicke's area (and nearby regions). A person with this disorder can speak with perfect syntax and rhythm while outputting random nonsense words instead of the ones they are trying to say. For example, someone with this condition might say:"I called my mother on the television and did not understand the door. It was too breakfast, but they came from far to near. My mother is not too old for me to be young.“Krashen and the “affective filter” – consider the role of emotion in language learning. It is more profound than even he may believe it to be.
  • My belief is that Language and Emotions are more intimately associated than is possible in any other combination of human attributes. Learning a Language does not equal any other academic endeavour.
  • OK, that’s a brief introduction to a very complex and developing science; an important one but beyond what I want to accomplish here which is UNcomplicating the whole idea of language and facilitating its acquisition. The PRIME Approach. Why is Communication first and foremost our greatest gift?
  • Consider these concepts in terms of 1. Facilitating – 2. Prep – 3. Process – 4. Assessment
  • Discuss briefly – we’re just raising issues at this point. Now let’s look at the WHY of communication with the groundwork that has been laid out. If you disagree, of course, just IMAGINE agreeing!
  • What are the purposes/uses of language?
  • Can you associate this Function with specific language i.e. grammar, lexis, concepts, contexts….
  • Discuss in terms of Learning in General and Language Learning in particular.
  • Sequencing And Ranking Practical Purposes In Terms Of Relevance:Small Group And Group Reporting ActivityRank the Relevance of the Models according to Preschool, Elementary, Secondary, University, and Adult Learners. Give an example of the type of lesson you would conduct for each.
  • 1. Physical - How is everybody?2. Social - Are you comfortable with your table group?3. Psychological – Are you confident you can learn and do what it will take to learn?4. Emotional – are you in a good mood?
  • Vocabulary, sentence structure, intonation, inflection, ….
  • Circle of Knowledge activity. 1. Communication, 2. encoding and decoding meaning in a systematic way through exterior, relatively complex symbols, 3. fulfilling PRACTICAL needs and desires, 4. Instrumental, Regulatory, Representational, Interactive, Personal, 5. Heuristic, and Imaginative (I RRIP HI) 6. Its relationship to emotions (Emotional Intelligence) as evidenced through scientific inquiry and common sense.
  • (Monitor, Recorder, Reporter)
  • Make a list of all the Non-word types of vocal or sound communication.
  • Warming – up to be more ACTIVE. Practise these sounds. What words can be associated with the sounds? Make as comprehensive a list as you can of vocabulary these sounds can support. (pushing, homework, relief, but honey, ghost, anger, wondering, peaceful, delicious, (reverse t) frustration, disapproval, calling, anticipation, mimicry, realization, mistake, wonder.
  • Now make a list of as many types of Non-Verbal Communication in discourse, etc. as you can. Verbs that relate? Words have no meaning without action.
  • Facial expressions are responsible for a huge proportion of nonverbal communication. Consider how much information can be conveyed with a smile or a frown. While nonverbal communication and behavior can vary dramatically between cultures, the facial expressions for happiness, sadness, anger, and fear are similar throughout the world.Deliberate movements and signals are an important way to communicate meaning without words. Common gestures include waving, pointing, and using fingers to indicate number amounts. Other gestures are arbitrary and related to culture.Paralinguistics refers to vocal communication that is separate from actual language. This includes factors such as tone of voice, loudness, inflection, and pitch. Consider the powerful effect that tone of voice can have on the meaning of a sentence. When said in a strong tone of voice, listeners might interpret approval and enthusiasm. The same words said in a hesitant tone of voice might convey disapproval and a lack of interest. Paralinguistics is generally inseparable from aspects of non-verbal communication.Posture and movement can also convey a great deal on information. Research on body language has grown significantly since the 1970’s, but popular media have focused on the over-interpretation of defensive postures, arm-crossing, and leg-crossing, especially after the publication of Julius Fast’s book Body Language. While these nonverbal behaviors can indicate feelings and attitudes, research suggests that body language is far more subtle and less definitive that previously believed. People often refer to their need for “personal space,” which is also an important type of nonverbal communication. The amount of distance we need and the amount of space we perceive as belonging to us is influenced by a number of factors including social norms, situational factors, personality characteristics, and level of familiarity. For example, the amount of personal space needed when having a casual conversation with another person usually varies between 18 inches to four feet. On the other hand, the personal distance needed when speaking to a crowd of people is around 10 to 12 feet.Looking, staring, and blinking can also be important nonverbal behaviors. When people encounter people or things that they like, the rate of blinking increases and pupils dilate. Looking at another person can indicate a range of emotions, including hostility, interest, and attraction. Communicating through touch is another important nonverbal behavior. There has been a substantial amount of research on the importance of touch in infancy and early childhood. Harry Harlow’s classic monkey study demonstrated how the deprivation of touch and contact impedes development. Baby monkeys raised by wire mothers experienced permanent deficits in behavior and social interaction.Our choice of color, clothing, hairstyles, and other factors affecting appearance are also considered a means of nonverbal communication. Appearance can also alter physiological reactions, judgment, and interpretations. Research on color psychology has demonstrated that different colors can invoke different moods.
  • Courtship Gestures and Signals Cigars, Cigarettes, Pipes and Glasses Territorial and Ownership Gestures Carbon Copies /Mirror Images Body Lowering and Status
  • Reflect on your willingness and ability to take risks and consider ways of having your students meet and overcome similar challenges. Risk taking is an essential component of the Art of facilitating Language Learning – and FUN is always RELEVANT!
  • 1. Physical - How is everybody?2. Social - Are you comfortable with your table group?3. Psychological – Are you confident you can learn and do what it will take to learn?4. Emotional – are you in a good mood?
  • 1. Have one of the lecturers demonstrate the technique.
  • See previous slides. Practical, Relevant and Active Learning.
  • 1. Physical - How is everybody? – Personal /Instrumental2. Social - Are you comfortable with your table group? – Interactive3. Psychological – Are you confident you can do what it will take to learn? – Personal 4. Emotional – are you in a good mood? – Instrumental 5. Active – Are you ready to learn? Heuristic/Imaginative – the 5th level of engagement.In order to learn one must be at level 5 of the 7 levels of engagement.
  • By L. Dee Fink, Reprinted with permission of the University of Oklahoma Instructional Development Program, July 19, 1999
  • By L. Dee Fink, Reprinted with permission of the University of Oklahoma Instructional Development Program, July 19, 1999
  • This is what happens when a learner thinks reflectively about a topic, i.e., they ask themselves what they think or should think, what they feel about the topic, etc. This is "thinking about my own thinking," but it addresses a broader array of questions than just cognitive concerns. A teacher can ask students, on a small scale, to keep a journal for a course, or, on a larger scale, to develop a learning portfolio. In either case, students could write about what they are learning, how they are learning (Is it Practical?), what role this knowledge or learning plays in their own life (Is it Relevant?), how this makes them feel, etc.
  • This can and does come in many forms. In traditional teaching, when students read a textbook or listen to a lecture, they are "listening to" another person (teacher, book author). This can perhaps be viewed as "partial dialogue" but it is limited because there is no back-and-forth exchange. A much more dynamic and active form of dialogue occurs when a teacher creates an intense small group discussion on a topic. Sometimes teachers can also find creative ways to involve students in dialogue situations with people other than students (e.g., practitioners, experts), either in class or outside of class. Whoever the dialogue is with, it might be done live, in writing, or by email. Refer to handouts. Collaborative web-sites…
  • This occurs whenever a learner watches or listens to someone else "Doing" something that is related to what they are learning about. This might be such things as observing one's teacher do something (e.g., "This is how I critique a novel."), listening to other professionals perform (e.g., musicians), or observing the phenomena being studied (natural, social, or cultural). The act of observing may be "direct" or "vicarious." A direct observation means the learner is observing the real action, directly; a vicarious observation is observing a simulation of the real action. For example, a direct observation of poverty might be for the learner to actually go to where low income people are living and working, and spend some time observing life there. A vicarious or indirect observation of the same topic might be to watch a movie involving poor people or to read stories written by or about them.
  • This refers to any learning activity where the learner actually does something: design a reservoir dam (engineering), conduct a high school band (music education), design and/or conduct an experiment (natural and social sciences), critique an argument or piece of writing (the humanities), investigate local historical resources(history), make an oral presentation (communication), etc. Again, "Doing" may be direct or vicarious. Case studies, role-playing and simulation activities offer ways of vicariously engaging students in the "Doing" process. To take one example mentioned above, if one is trying to learn how to conduct a high school band, direct "Doing" would be to actually go to a high school and direct the students there. A vicarious "Doing" for the same purpose would be to simulate this by having the student conduct a band composed of fellow college students who were acting like (i.e., role playing) high school students. Or, in business courses, doing case studies is, in essence, a simulation of the decision making process that many courses are aimed at teaching.
  • The most traditional teaching consists of little more than having students read a text and listen to a lecture, a very limited and limiting form of Dialogue with Others. Consider using more dynamic forms of Dialogue with Others and the other three modes of learning. For example: Create small groups of students and have them make a decision or answer a focused question periodically, Find ways for students to engage in authentic dialogue with people other than fellow classmates who know something about the subject (on the web, by email, or live), Have students keep a journal or build a "learning portfolio" about their own thoughts, learning, feelings, etc., Find ways of helping students observe (directly or vicariously) the subject or action they are trying to learn, and/or Find ways to allow students to actually do (directly, or vicariously with case studies, simulation or role play) that which they need to learn to do.
  • Each of the four modes of learning has its own value, and just using more of them should add variety and thereby be more interesting for the learner. However, when properly connected, the various learning activities can have an impact that is more than additive or cumulative; they can be interactive and thereby multiply the educational impact. For example, if students write their own thoughts on a topic (Dialogue with Self) before they engage in small group discussion (Dialogue with Others), the group discussion should be richer and more engaging. If they can do both of these and then observe the phenomena or action (Observation), the observation should be richer and again more engaging. Then, if this is followed by having the students engage in the action itself (Doing), they will have a better sense of what they need to do and what they need to learn during doing. Finally if, after Doing, the learners process this experience by writing about it (Dialogue with Self) and/or discussing it with others (Dialogue with Others), this will add further insight. Such a sequence of learning activities will give the teacher and learners the advantage of the Power of Interaction. Alternatively, advocates of Problem-Based Learning would suggest that a teacher start with "Doing" by posing a real problem for students to work on, and then having students consult with each other (Dialogue with Others) on how best to proceed in order to find a solution to the problem. The learners will likely use a variety of learning options, including Dialogue with Self and Observing.
  • One refinement of the Interaction Principle described above is simply to create dialectic between the two principle components of this Model of Active Learning: Experience and Dialogue. New experiences (whether of Doing or Observing) have the potential to give learners a new perspective on what is true (beliefs) and/or what is good (values) in the world. Dialogue (whether with Self or with Others) has the potential to help learners construct the many possible meanings of experience and the insights that come from them. A teacher who can creatively set up a dialectic of learning activities in which students move back and forth between having rich new experiences and engaging in deep, meaningful dialogue, can maximize the likelihood that the learners will experience significant and meaningful learning.
  • Use the lesson material you brought with you or will bring tomorrow and we will work on developing some Active Learning activities. Take a look at the handouts but use your imaginations and be Creative.
  • Art of Facilitating Language Learning Presentation

    1. 1. Please complete the first taskas the attendance sheet is being passed around: Answer the question “What is English?”on the small piece of paper in front of you. Limit your answer to one sentence.
    2. 2. You are joining hundreds of teachers whohave embarked on the exciting journey of rediscovering “English Teaching”.Your active participation will ensure we all take giant steps towards better understanding this wonderful process. Thank you for coming!
    3. 3. Course Goals and Objectives Goals – Think and Act1. To encourage reflective practice and questioning in teaching.2. To work as a team.3. To provide some practical tools for classroom practice. Objectives: Understanding Theory thru Practice1. To provide new insight into the nature of language and how it is acquired through an examination of, why and how English is used.2. To conduct model activities, i.e., Thinking and writing, Brainstorming, Categorizing, Small group work, & others3. To demonstrate some teaching techniques
    4. 4. English Is A Means Of Communication!Nothing More and Nothing Less
    5. 5. The Approach: PRIMEApproach developed by William M Tweedie © 1997-2012
    6. 6. Collins Cobuild Advanced Dictionary defines Communication as: VIf you communicate with someone, youshare or exchange information with them, forexample by speaking, writing, or usingequipment. V If you communicate information, a feeling, oran idea to someone, you let them know aboutit.V If one person communicates with another,they successfully make each other aware oftheir feelings and ideas.
    7. 7. THE HUMAN BRAIN: → about three pounds → seven distinct sections → largest are the CEREBRUM, handleslearning, communication, and voluntary movement→ the CEREBELLUM, controls balance, posture, and movement → the MEDULLA OBLONGATA controls automatic actions such as breathing, heartbeat, and swallowing. ...
    8. 8. Emotions can be overpowering, but they are also the driving force of life. It was long thought that emotion and thought were separate processes. Brain sciencehas begun to realize that the brain is not an organ of thought, but that it is a feeling organ that thinks. Consider the implications for learning in general and language in particular.
    9. 9. N-VAR The practicalities of a situationare the practical aspects of it, as opposedto its theoretical aspects.DOING! DOABLE!
    10. 10. N-COUNT A practical is an examination ora lesson in which you make things or doexperiments rather than simply writinganswers to questions. DOING DOABLE
    11. 11. Consider these concepts in terms of :  Preparation  Facilitating Learning – Class  Process of Learning (1 hour or a lifetime)  Assessment  Graduates’ lives  Non graduates’ lives
    12. 12. WHY DO WE COMMUNICATE?1. Alone, with a Partner, or in a small Group of three (3) discuss why we use language, i.e., why we communicate. (Monitor, Recorder, Reporter)2. Do your best to categorize the different types of language usages and record them.3. Record at least three examples of each type of usage you can think of.
    13. 13. Models of Language Use Description of Model Function the Language Satisfying “I want”Instrumental material “I need” needs
    14. 14. Models of Language Use Description of Model Function the Language “Do as I RegulatingRegulatory tell you” behaviour
    15. 15. Models of Language Use Description of Model Function the Language “You EstablishingInteractive and & defining me” relationships
    16. 16. Models of Language Use Description of Model Function the Language Shaping & “Here I expressingPersonal am” one’s identity
    17. 17. Models of Language Use Description of theModel Function Language “I’ve Expressing got to ideas, tell explaining, you” describing
    18. 18. Models of Language Use Description of the Model Function Language “Tell InvestigatingHeuristic me learning & why” acquiring
    19. 19. Models of Language Use Description of Model Function the Language Creating “Let’sImaginative imaginative pretend” worlds
    20. 20. ADJ Something that is relevant to asituation or person is important orsignificant in that situation or to thatperson.ADJ The relevant thing of a particular kindis the one that is appropriate.
    21. 21. Models of Language Use - Recap Description of the Model Function LanguageInstrumental “I want” “I need” Satisfying material needsRegulatory “Do as I tell you” Regulating behaviourInteractive “You and me” Establishing & defining relationshipsPersonal “Here I am” Shaping and expressing one’s identityHeuristic “Tell me why” Investigating, learning, & acquiringImaginative “Let’s pretend” Creating imaginative worldsRepresentational “I’ve got to tell Expressing ideas, you” explaining/describing
    22. 22. Session 2 – The HOW of Communication 1. Warm – up - Echo Technique 2. Review of Session 1. 3. Discovery /Exploration of the Means of Communication 4. Break 5. Practice in the Means of Communication 6. Application of the Means of Communication
    23. 23. 1. Think and list the different aspects of oral communication.2. Think of a common mistake many of your students make with each aspect. (Secondary?)(Primary?)3. Demonstration and practiceNotes: Works most effectively when students are awareyou are using it.Remind them AS A CLASS (not individually & especiallynot when you have just used it).
    24. 24. Advantages:1. Avoids Embarrassment2. Avoids Direct Instruction3. Takes Minimal Class Time Disadvantages:1.Must be used consistently2.Sometimes a challenge to be authentic.
    25. 25. Review of Session 11. What is English?2. What is the most significant distinction between human communication (language) and communication between other species?3. What is the Primary purpose of communication?4. What are the specific Models of Human Communication?5. Which of these is most particular to humans?6. How is Language Significantly different than any other ‘subject ‘ taught in schools.7. How might this knowledge affect your teaching? Collect Homework.
    26. 26. HOW DO WE COMMUNICATE?1. Alone, With a Partner, or in a small group of three (3) think of as many ways as possible that humans communicate.2. Do your best to categorize the different means of communication and record them.3. Record or demonstrate at least one example of each means of communication. (15 minutes)
    27. 27. 7. Pictographs 8. Mime 6. Realia DramaExperience 1.Responding Speaking5. The Other VocalSensesSSSTT 4. Gesture 3. Reading Body Writing language
    30. 30. NON-VERBAL COMMUNICATION1.Facial Expression 6.Proxemics2.Gestures 7.Eye Gaze3.Paralinguistic 8.Haptics4.Body Language 9.Appearance5.Posture 10. Others
    31. 31. INBORN, GENETIC, LEARNED AND CULTURAL SIGNALS1.Territories/Zones 5.Arm Barriers2.Palm Gestures 6.Eye Gaze3.Hand and Arm 7.Leg Barriers4.Hand-to-Face 8.Eye Signals Gestures 9.Others?
    32. 32. A Communication Challenge Follow the Facilitator’sinstructions for your table group activity. Have Fun!
    33. 33. Write the Levels of Engagement introduced and discussed so far.Hint: The first questions I asked before beginning each session.
    34. 34. Active Learning1. Warm – up - Echo Technique Review2. Review of Sessions 1 & 2.3. What is Active Learning?4. A Model of Active Learning Application of the Model
    35. 35. Review1. What are the Practical Purposes of Human Communication? (The WHY question?)2. What are the general categories of HOW we communicate?3. How can these concepts help in FEFLA?
    36. 36. What isACTIVE LEARNING?
    37. 37. A Model of Active LearningBy L. Dee Fink, Reprinted with permission of the University of Oklahoma Instructional Development Program, July 19, 1999
    38. 38. All learning activities involve: 1.some kind of dialogue or 2.some kind of experience1.The two main kinds of dialogue are A. Dialogue with Self and B. Dialogue with Others.2. The two main kinds of experience are A. Observing and B. Doing.
    39. 39. Dialogue with Self: Learner thinks reflectively about a topic, Addresses a broader array of questions than cognitive concerns only. Should be formally recorded.  what they are learning,  how they are learning (Is it Practical?),  what role this knowledge or learning plays in their own life (Is it Relevant?),  how this makes them feel, etc.
    40. 40. Dialogue with Others: • Can and does come in many forms. • In traditional teaching, •students read a textbook or listen to a lecture, •no back-and-forth exchange Is this Dialogue? What would be forms of real, active dialogue? With/Between/Among whom?Be creative in thinking of ways to involve students in dialoguesituations with people other than students (e.g., practitioners,experts), either in class or outside of class. Whoever thedialogue is with, it might be done live, in writing, or by email.
    41. 41. Observing:When do students OBSERVE? The act of observing may be "direct" / experiential or "vicarious“ / second handWhich do you think is best for FEFLA?What kind of observing do yourstudents do?
    42. 42. Doing:When do students “do”?. Again, "Doing" may be direct or vicarious. Think of some examples. Which do you think is best for FEFLA?What kind of doing do your students do in other disciplines?
    43. 43. Implementing This Model of Active LearningDo you think it possible to implement Implementing This Model of Active Learning such a model for FEFLA or other disciplines?What constraints do you anticipate?
    44. 44. Expand the Kinds of Learning Experiences You Create.What would be some more dynamic forms of 1. Dialogue with Others? 2. Dialogue with Self? 3. Observing? 4. Doing? Keep Practicality and Relevance in mind
    45. 45. Power of InteractionMore than additive or cumulative interactivity multiplies the impact. Dialogue with self Dialogue Dialogue with with others others Dialogue Observing with self Doing
    46. 46. Refinement of the Interaction Principle: Create Dialectic Between Experience and Dialogue. Creative Dialectic of Learning Activities Students move back and forth between rich new experiences and engaging in deep, meaningful dialogue =Learners experience significant and meaningful learning.”
    47. 47. Integrate the Model of Active Learning with the Following Model of “Teaching”.
    48. 48. Implementing – Your FEFLA PlanningEvaluate Delivering Assessing
    49. 49. MEANINGFUL and in Language Teaching alsoMEANING-CENTERED & ENRICHINGto Self (all individuals in the process) and Society(Communities at all levels from Village to Globe)
    50. 50. Thank YOU! For your Practical, Relevant, Integrated, Meaningful, And EnrichingActive Participation Please contact me at: for more information.