Dr. Kovalik is making the transition from stricitly face to face classes to the blended format in an attempt to offer her students more opportunity for learning, using a wider choice of learning tools.
ESL 5310: Language Acquisition and Language Learning Technologically enhanced course Doina L. Kovalik, Ph. D.
Overview <ul><li>ESL 5310 one of the required courses in the MA in English as a Second Language and Applied Linguistics Program offered through the Department of English and Foreign Languages at WSSU </li></ul>
Why technological tools? <ul><li>to develop and/or expand candidates’ technological competency </li></ul><ul><li>to engage candidates in active learning </li></ul><ul><li>to enhance traditional classroom presentations </li></ul>
What tools? <ul><li>Smart Board </li></ul><ul><li>Discussion Board </li></ul><ul><li>Blog </li></ul>
Smart board <ul><li>allowed instructor to project the outline of chapter/article to be discussed, which </li></ul><ul><li>facilitated well-structured class discussions & triggered thought-provoking questions on the part of the candidates </li></ul>
Discussion board <ul><li>offered opportunity for </li></ul><ul><ul><li>permanent contact between parties involved (student-student, student-instructor) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>sharing ideas & individual discoveries and posing questions beyond classroom time </li></ul></ul>
Discussion board requirements <ul><li>answer questions posted by the instructor </li></ul><ul><li>respond to peers’ interventions (i.e., create threads) </li></ul>
Discussion board illustration <ul><li>Strategy instruction </li></ul><ul><li>Scholars are debating the benefits or lack thereof of including strategy instruction as part of content instruction. What is your stance on the issue? </li></ul>
Discussion board illustration (cont’d) <ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li>Teachers must provide strategy instruction. </li></ul><ul><li>X 10/21/08 2:50 PM Practical strategies. </li></ul><ul><li>- Y 10/22/08 12:57 PM RE: Practical strategies. </li></ul><ul><li>Z 10/26/08 10:53 AM RE: Teachers must provide strategy instruction. </li></ul><ul><li>Strategy Instruction </li></ul><ul><li>Y 10/21/08 4:28 PM RE: Strategy Instruction </li></ul><ul><li>Z 10/25/08 11:20 AM Strategy instruction is Beneficial </li></ul><ul><li>- X 10/26/08 10:19 PM Strategy instruction is Beneficial </li></ul><ul><li> - Z 10/26/08 12:36 PM RE: Strategy instruction is Beneficial for all kinds of students </li></ul>
Blog <ul><li>used in order to </li></ul><ul><ul><li>help candidates explore and reflect upon their own learning as well as their teaching experience </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>consolidate their ability to perform self-observation and self-evaluation </li></ul></ul>
Blog illustration <ul><li>Lessons Learned November 3-7 ( permalink ) - edit history delete Created on Sunday, 11/09/2008 11:59 AM by X This week I feel like I learned how important it is to have good communication skills. During the process of interacting with others, it is very important that the messages being conveyed get across in order for the communication to occur. If someone is speaking but is mispronouncing words, this can make it very difficult for the listener to fully understand. Different occasions may allow different types of speech to occur. For example, when I am among my friends I probably do not pay as much attention to my grammar and speech. However, in front of my peers at work, I try to use more formal speech. Either way, if I do not use good communication skills then the person I am communicating with may not understand. Depending on the situation it is necessary to use formal speech versus informal. I would feel mortified if I was using informal speech in front of the other teachers at school. One other thing I can identify with from this week in class is that according to Tannen (1996), men and women differ in language usage. I do feel like men typically compete for the floor whereas women do not as much. </li></ul>
Blog illustration (cont’d) <ul><li>Lessons Learned October 27-31 ( permalink ) - edit history delete Created on Saturday, 11/01/2008 3:57 PM by Y </li></ul><ul><li>One of the most important things I feel that I learned this week was that I need to have my students speaking more in the target language. It is so difficult sometimes getting them to speak and answer questions in Spanish. From our discussion on Monday about the Levine (2003) article, I feel like I use the TL with my students a decent amount of the time. However, I really could and should speak even more to them. With grammar concepts it is not easy to explain them in Spanish to the students because I have found that many of the students do not understand English grammar, and this is their L1. Because of this I sometimes feel like I am teaching English grammar and Spanish grammar at the same time. Sometimes my students will answer with "I don't know how to say it." So I do not know if they really can't pronounce the words, or if they are trying to get out of answering. When this happens, I always tell them to spell it. Then we go over the pronunciation together. I think some of my students are intimidated and nervous when speaking or reading in Spanish in the class when there are native speakers in it. I feel like the students are afraid of "looking bad" in front of their peers. To be honest, it is a little intimidating for me to have native Spanish speakers in the class, but that does not stop me from using the TL. I need to figure out a way for the students not to be nervous and figure out ways they can use the TL more in class. </li></ul>
Blog illustrastion (cont’d) <ul><li>October 27-29 ( permalink ) - edit history delete Created on Friday, 10/31/2008 12:25 PM by Z </li></ul><ul><li>A person who thinks he is the best–does that mean he has self-esteem? As I understand the differences in self-esteem, I found myself always assessing my teaching strategies and my approach to my students. I have not thought about the various levels of self-esteem that are all rolling simultaneously among my students. It seems that it is easier to help a student overcome situational or task self-esteem as opposed to global esteem. But, am I meeting the needs of students that generally have a very bad impression of themselves. Of course I am teaching science concepts, but that is not enough for the student that cannot focus because o his or her ownf self-confidence. What shall I do? I find avenues to reach the students, praise them and model for them positive self-esteem. My goal is to be truthful, but also to praise the student’s efforts. Always maintain a positive attitude in class. I do not let minor classroom setbacks affect mood and attitude. These simple strategies are often times forgotten in the hustle of the day and in a race to complete those yearly course objectives. </li></ul>
Reflections on the course <ul><li>candidates enthusiastically engaged in on-line activities </li></ul><ul><li>possible explanations of said attitude: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>candidates in-service teachers, aware of the imperative need to be “technologically-savvy” in this day and age for their own benefit as well as that of their students </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>candidates aware of the tremendous information opportunities offered by technology </li></ul></ul>
Future plans <ul><li>use other digital tools in the course </li></ul><ul><li>give more weight to the on-line activities in the overall course grade </li></ul><ul><li>require candidates to use some tools with their own students and share their experiences in this respect </li></ul>