Hi everybody !!

Welcome to my blog !
I created this blog for my "Didactique de l' anglais" class : it is a course that helps us to learn how to teach a foreign language.
In this blog, I will share news, videos, podcasts (etc) about how to teach and learn with technology. Enjoy !

Monday, April 23, 2012

Breaking bad teaching habits

This video shows three negative teaching habits: talking to the board, echoing student comments, and interrupting students to supply answers. The teacher demonstrates alternative behaviors to help you change these ineffective approaches.

Why Online Learning Is a Smart Solution, Podcast 1

In this podcast, Suzan Patrick says that the United States spend more money than the other countries in the world (except Switzerland) but there still are huge disparities between kids. Those disparities are based on the neighbourhood they live in, the family's background... It is also because there is a real lack of teachers in some subjects. This last point is really hard to solve. For example, in Georgia, there are 400 high schools and only 89 qualified physics teachers !
That is why, Suzan Patrick says that online classes are a great solution to all those problems. It also give some flexibility and satisfaction to teachers : they feel that they have more than one at one interactions with the children, they can work with every child individually, and use time to support children to work on groups. For the students, it is also a good thing : they are going to be able to take more responsibilities, and to be connected with great teachers.
But to establish online classroom, teachers need to be prepared to teach online : someone has to teach them how it works and how to do their classes on it. 
Online learning is connecting people from all across the country, and even all across the world !
Learning differently in this new modern age
Podcast by Edutopia, The Georges Lucas Educational Foundation - Technology Integration.

What I have learnt this year

All this year in didactique de l'anglais course, I have learnt some technics in order to teach to children.
Teaching vocabulary:
  • written learning (= memorize and repeat)
  • association (= link a word to another or to an image)
  • put the word into a context (= a song, a text...)
  • make a game
We also have learnt the different stages of language acquisition :
1st language acquisition 
= the 1st language that you acquire. You acquire that language at home (not always your mother tongue).
1st stage         crying  : at birth. When they need sth or don't feel good
                     + cooing  : 2 months. When they are making vowel sounds. = an act of communication   
ex: aah, eeh, ooh, euh
2nd stage    babbling : before his 1st year. syllables (vowels + consonants) put together, make groups of sounds = distinguish & reproduce sounds              ex: mama, dada
3rd stage     1 word : end of the 1st year. 1word = a whole sentence        ex: cake
4th stage 2 words : 1 year 1/2. 2words together = a whole sentence. They put a noun & an action verb. ex: eat cake 
5th stage telegraphic  : 2 years. adult-like use of language. manipulate tools / the words. Make simple sentences.        ex: I want to eat the cake
  3 years 1/2. grammar is in place
  6 years. spoken english is fluent
Every child goes through the same stages
To acquire a language, the parents do some things for helping their baby: 
  •  speak very slowly & repeat very often
  •  pronounce words very clearly 
  •  make short sentences 
  •  speak with a higher voice & intonation
  •  point out some important things (objects) witch baby uses

According to Berko, the melody of words helps the baby to understand and permit the imitation 
According to Zimbrado, Nature (coo + babble) and Nurture (family take care of his baby)are at work in the development of language competance (=1st language acquisition) 
2nd language acquisition (SLA)
= the 2nd language that you acquire. you acquire that language at school or at home.
To teach a 2nd language, the teacher has to be interesting, as if everybody understood, speak slowly & with gesture, repeat himself, make breaks.
= «comprehensible input» = giving a message that every person can understand with no effort.
When you acquire a 2nd language, the notion of consciousness is important...
A child "picks up" knowledge --> without conscious effort
An adult works and studies (consciously) in order to succeed
(but adults are also capable to "picking up")
acquire knowledge = implicit knowledge
learn knowledge = explicit knowledge
According to Krashen, it's entirely independent
Richard Schmidt introduced the term of "consciousness" 
  • as "intentionality" = learner makes conscious and deliberate decisions to learn some SLA
  • as "attention" = incidental learning = learner picks up L2 knowledge through exposure
BUT, learning incidentally # learning without conscious attention (according to Krashen)
R. Schmidt gave another sense to consciousness in language learning : "awareness"
= learners are conscious of acquiring L2 elements : "intake" is converted into L2 knowledge.
--> psychologists disputed this : learners are always aware of what they are learning.
Make implicit (knows rules but not what they consist on) explicit and make explicit (knowledge about the L2) implicit  => conscious attention.
We have also learnt the meaning of the different levels in language acquisition
The Conseil Européen Commun en Référence des Langues (CECRL) are 
  • A1 / A2 = basic
  • B1 / B2 = intermediate
  • C1 / C2 = advanced

The Virtual Classroom : online learning, podcast 2

1) What does the teacher ask the children to do ?
To log onto the internet.
2) What has the internet facilitated ?
The whole world of learning.
3) What does the internet provide ?
An alternative to traditional classroom instruction.
4) When are the classes open ?
5) What is the name of this school ?
Daniel Jenkins School
6) Where is it ?
Haines City, Florida
7) What would students normally do ?
They would do it at home
8) What is hard for the students ?
To get oysters and squids at home.
9) What is the great opportunity according to her ?
To get to meet her students face to face.
10) Why are the Virtual classes better than real ones ?
The teacher can relate better to her students.
11) What can you better identify with a Virtual class ?
The students’ strength and weaknesses.
12) When has the Florida School been established?
In 2000
13) For which levels is the course made for ?
For grade 7 to 12.
14) What sort of curriculum do they offer ?
The full high school curriculum.
15) What are the school in rural West Virginia required to do ?
They are now required to offer foreign language courses.
16) How long do the Spanish classes last ?
45 minutes.
17) What does the geometry teacher do ?
He splits his time between virtual and real classes.
18) How many high schools colaborate with the Virtual classroom program ?
300 high schools in 26 states and 16 foreign countries.
19) What did the music teacher developed ?
He developed «American Popular Music JC»
20) How higher is the success of VHS students in their examination ?
10 percentages points higher than the national average on the final exam.

Podcast by Edutopia, The Georges Lucas Educational Foundation - Technology Integration.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Stanford Summer Teaching Institute (SSTI) podcast 3

In this podcast, the teacher Pam Grossman explains that SSTI "is an opportunity for teachers to continue deepening their own understanding at both the content of their teach as well as teaching itself"

I think that it is important for a teacher to continue to learn, thanks to the deep learning of their subjects, teachers are even more able to teach properly. A good teacher makes a good program, and it leads to a good student.
According to me, SSTI can also reinforce their commitment in teaching, they focus more on their goals and they feel more concerned.
SSTI is a good thing to improve the teachers' technics in teaching. Thanks to this program, they can share (in team) what they learnt: it is a good way to distinguish what worked and what didn't in their way of teaching. They can mix their ideas and their experiences in order to try to reach an ideal way of teaching.

Podcast from Stanford School of Education

Which tools I have learnt to use

During this semester, we have learnt about teaching with technology ... so, we have learnt how to use some tools that we can use in teaching. It's making the class more interesting, interactive and funny :) It also makes the students closer to the new technologies.
  • Voicethread : It transforms media into collaborative spaces with video, voice, and text commenting.
  • Wordle : to make some words more visual.
  • Podcasting : online audio content that you can download through the internet. 
  • Blog : It's a personal website in which we can express ourselves, share information, discuss subjects with people around the world or exchange ideas with another class abroad.
I didn't know those tools before, but voicethread is my favourite one. We had fun in using it and it is a great solution to teach at a distance, every one can comment or add something.

There are 3 websites in which we can chat with native speakers :
I haven't used those yet, so I can't give you my point of view... sorry !

Teaching with a story

A good story telling

  • to put intonation + rythme in your voice
  • to make gesture, mimes + facial expressions
  • to speak slowly + repeat
  • to have an eye contact with the audience
  • to make pauses
  • to vary your voice : change voices, 1 character = 1voice (don't change your character's voice during the story !!)

After telling a story

  • play games
  • sing a song
  • act the story
  • make a quizz
  • make masks

How to make your own story ?

Choose your topic, what children like in stories ?

  • animals (fable)
  • fairy tails
  • funny stories
Choose the type of your story : romantic, humorous, horror, detective ...
Choose the child profile : age, boys, girls ...

When you are making a story, you have to think about :
  • how to tell the story : video, photos, drawings... ?
  • what is the language input and output (vocabulary, grammar...)?
  • what is the following activity ?

Then, when you are making your story, you have to
  • introduce the main character (who is nice, kind...)
  • present the conflict
  • detail the climax of the story (= the most interesting and memorable scene)
  • resolute the conflict (= how the character resolves the problem)
  • what happened in the end ?
  • PAY ATTENTION to never change the characters' clothes : the children have to be able to recognize them !!
  • PAY ATTENTION to use simple language : transparent words, simple tenses, short sentences...

In your story YOU MUST HAVE :
  • a beginning a middle  and a end
  • a conflict : external or internal or environmental
  • the resolution of the conflict
  • an happy ending !