Preparing to learn: scheduling language awareness<br />Deborah Hill<br />27 May 2011<br />
Background<br />Awareness that lack of language awareness was a problem for some students taking English Grammar.<br />Wan...
What is the model capturing?<br />The model captures the general learning process: e.g. (a) prepare; (b) know; (c) apply; ...
How is the model implemented in terms of time?<br />Timetable, timetable, timetable<br />The most difficult thing was to w...
How does the model reflect learning outcomes? <br />The concepts in the model need to be linked to assessment.<br />Exampl...
What does a pre-workshop activity look like?<br />Find two texts of different types (e.g. a children’s story and a news re...
Transferability of the model<br />First, choose your unit:<br />Is there a unit you teach where you feel students need to ...
Benefits<br />More time for research<br />Students who did the pre-workshop activities were better prepared for the tutori...
Disadvantages<br />If students chose not to engage early, they didn’t engage at all.<br />Perhaps have a higher failure ra...
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Preparing to Learn

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Preparing to Learn

  1. 1. Preparing to learn: scheduling language awareness<br />Deborah Hill<br />27 May 2011<br />
  2. 2. Background<br />Awareness that lack of language awareness was a problem for some students taking English Grammar.<br />Wanted students to develop a better understanding of the relationship between the language we use and the terms we can use to talk about it (i.e. Have a more integrated understanding of grammar)<br />Using time before class to raise language awareness (‘pre-workshop activities’). This meant, starting with what students know (language, but not necessarily the terms to talk about it.)<br />
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  4. 4. What is the model capturing?<br />The model captures the general learning process: e.g. (a) prepare; (b) know; (c) apply; (d) understand (or concepts relevant to another unit)<br />The model identifies what the skills or outcomes related to the general concepts are for a particular unit (in EG, to be prepared meant ‘to notice and observe’ language).<br />The model represents my understanding of grammar and grammar learning and conveys that visually to students. <br />
  5. 5. How is the model implemented in terms of time?<br />Timetable, timetable, timetable<br />The most difficult thing was to work out where to fit everything in:<br />Over a week<br />Over a semester<br /> Weekly: <br />pre-workshop activities (most weeks)<br />Lecture or lecture notes (5 X 1.5 hours lecture)<br />Workshop (10 X 2 hours)<br />
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  7. 7. How does the model reflect learning outcomes? <br />The concepts in the model need to be linked to assessment.<br />Example of an assignment linking the concepts from the model with the learning outcomes of <br />Learning outcomes<br />They will be able to recognise and explain a range of basic grammatical forms and sentence structures. They will also be able to apply this knowledge in their academic study and communication (e.g. writing).<br />Assessment item<br /> Analyse a text in terms of its key grammatical characteristics. Where possible, choose a text that is significant or relevant to you in your personal or professional life (...)<br /> Assessment criteria: <br />1. Introduce the text – (topic, reason for choosing it, genre, length, source)<br />2. Describe and explain the key grammatical characteristics of the text, providing examples from the text to illustrate each of the characteristics. <br /> 3. Describe and explain three additional grammatical points relevant to the text (e.g. a clause type that occurs just once in the text) <br />4. Discuss the relationship between language use and grammar based on this text. [i.e. Synthesise] <br />
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  9. 9. What does a pre-workshop activity look like?<br />Find two texts of different types (e.g. a children’s story and a news report) that contain adjectives, adverbs and prepositions. (You may not find all three in one text.) You should aim for texts that contain at least 3 of each.<br />What kind of text is it? (Hint: If you are looking for adjectives then look for texts that focus on describing something. For example, travel brochures often contain adjectives describing the destination.) <br />Prepositional phrases are often used to refer to ‘space and time’ (e.g. in the garden; in the morning). Do any of the examples you have found express space or time or is the connection looser – (e.g. in a hurry)? Note that a prepositional phrase consists of a Preposition + Noun Phrase<br />
  10. 10. Transferability of the model<br />First, choose your unit:<br />Is there a unit you teach where you feel students need to develop skills or knowledge before they come to class so that they can get the most out of class time?<br />Is there a unit where some content could be delivered outside scheduled class time (i.e. Watch something on the internet; take a quiz; read something general on a topic you are covering)<br />Next step for the model:<br />The model will be used in S2 and I will be working with a colleague from UPNG to use the model for a sociolinguistic unit where students meet intermittently, and have a varied backgrounds.<br />
  11. 11. Benefits<br />More time for research<br />Students who did the pre-workshop activities were better prepared for the tutorials<br />The pre-workshop activities could be tailored for UG and G students.<br />Students ‘perceived’ the explanations of grammar in the tutorials as ‘clear and simple’<br />Pre-workshop activities formed the basis of other assessment (double dipping)<br />The delivery and content of the unit better reflected my own view of ‘grammar’ and its relationship to ‘language’<br />
  12. 12. Disadvantages<br />If students chose not to engage early, they didn’t engage at all.<br />Perhaps have a higher failure rate than usual (but better learning outcomes for those who did engage)<br />

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