Teaching – knowledge base
Three particularly relevant aspects in teaching:
1.) Promoting intercultural communicative competence
2.) Developing learner- and learning-centered teaching in classrooms to define ways in which the social context of school affects language teaching and learning
3.) Supporting task-based learning
Interrelated disciplines of language teaching and learning
- Languages as systems of human communication
- It covers many different areas of investigation e.g. Sound systems (phonetics phonology), the study of the basic meaningful forms in language (morphology), sentence structure (syntax), meaning systems (semantics) and how language is used in social contexts (pragmatics, discourse analysis, sociolinguistics).
2.) Applied Linguistics
- Heterogeneous field drawing on and interfacing with a range of other academic disciplines (Nunan 2001)
- AL seeks to establish the relevance of theoretical studies of language to everyday problems of language use in different contexts of practice, e.g. language learning, speech therapy or stylistics
3.) Second Language Acquisition (SLA)
- Discipline which deals with the question how second or foreign languages are learned.
- Researchers approach the question from different perspectives but they agree that language learning is a dynamic and multidimensional process (behaviorist vs. innatist vs. interactionist perspective)
4.) Philosophy of Education
- General principles of human education of which learning a foreign language is a part
- E.g. learner autonomy = Motivation to take charge of one`s own learning. Therefore, learners need to be able and willing to act independently and in cooperation with others ( à Selbstgesteuertes und cooperatives Lernen)
5.) Learning Theory and Psychology
- Describes how and why people learn
- Investigates the cognitive differences in the ways individuals learn (learning styles/ multiple intelligences/age/motivation etc.), and highlights the need for teaching to take account of these.
6.) Literary Studies
- Discusses the nature of literary texts as one form of communication
- Explores the factors that constitute this communication, such as the author, the written text and the reader
7.) Cultural Studies
- Analysis different cultural phenomena and the way they represent cultural meaning
- Looks at how cultures are defined by issues of race, gender, and class with an historical perspective in the analysis and relating different cultures (intercultural learning).
What is the main goal of language learning?
- According to the Common European Framework (CEF) intercultural communicative competence (ICC) is the main goal of foreign language learning.
- Why? Because ICC increases knowledge of other languages, cultures and lifestyles à It broadens the horizon and leads to cultural awareness.
What ist the CEF? The CEF is a political paper published by the European Council in 2001. It seeks to mprove the quality of communication among Europeans through English as Lingua Franca. This should lead to a better understanding of other cultures, more communication and closer cooperation. In this way, the work contributes to the promotion of democratic citizenship. It defines different competence levels (A1/2, B1/2, C1/2 – Basic user, independent user, proficient user) à Count as European standard for grading an individual's language proficiency.
Historical development of teaching approaches
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Focus on:Task Supported Language Learning
Unlike approaches that view language learning as a linear process where several language items are put together like bricks to build a house or in this case a language (grammar translation or audiolingual method), the task-based or task-supported approach constitutes a more organic view on how language learning functions. A teaching researcher named Ellen York compares it to growing a garden. You as a teacher plant a few seeds here, and trim a bit back there, some seeds will grow rapidly and others will die and are never seen again.
- This metaphor shows that language outcome is unpredictable and therefor need a fitting approach.
- The Task supported or based approach takes this under consideration
- Communicative or Interactionist view on learning (Vygotsky – learning as a social process)
A TASK is “a piece of classroom work which involves learners in comprehending, manipulating, producing or interacting in the target language while their attention is focused on meaning rather than on form” (Nunan 1989).
TASKS are “activities in which language is used for carrying out meaningful* tasks to promote learning” (Richards/Rodgers 2001).
TASKS provide a methodological tool to organize interaction in the target language by allowing the teacher to select and sequence activities in the social context of the classroom.
* A task is meaningful, when students can use the outcome in everyday communication situations, e.g. asking for the way, writing an email, making a phone call, ordering something
Why is TSLL now so popular?
- Reports of “mainstream” L2 classroom practices criticize a focus on forms
But according to ELLIS language should be seen as a tool for communication!
- Education policy defines language as competence (CEFR desires ICC through TBLL)
- Awareness that tasks must be based on learners' context-specific language needs (learners' needs at different levels, English is a job-related requirement)
- English has developed as lingua franca (learners as intercultural speakers must be relating to all cultures, not only native-English speaking ones)
- helps developing intrinsic motivation
- is a kind of natural learning
- promotes L2 communication
- learner centered with teacher input and guidance
1. Characteristics of Tasks
Let`s use an example to highlight the characteristics of TBLL/TSLL: The Airport Project
- Learners of a 6th grade had to go to the airport in Frankfurt to interview people
- Then bring collected language data back to the classroom and present their findings
- To be able to carry out their interview learners needed to prepare themselves in content and language:
- how to form closed and open questions
- listening skills to transcribe interviews
- learning how to interact spontaneously
- Learn turn taking in a conversation
- try out communicative strategies
- produce natural language
- use pragmatics (e.g. politeness)
1.) …Learner-centered à students are actively involved in the task design (see 6 components of NUAN) à Better or more autonomous way than the classical IRE pattern (i nitiate- r esponse- e valuate) à Learners have the opportunity to reflect on their own learning process
2.) …Process-oriented à Language outcome is viewed as a natural process of interaction. Learners use their
existing language resources or (in this case) those that have been provided in pre-task work
3.) …Focused on meaning rather than on form (but both is important à see CEFR below)
4.) …Workplans, designed in three steps: Pre-task, task, language focus à see Willis
5.) …Especially valuable for developing ICC because it focusses on negotiation of content that is meaningful to learners (in this case a real communication at the airport)
2. The difference between TBLL and TSLL
- tasks are the basis for an entire language curriculum. 1. Needs analysis, 2. List of tasks that are relevant for this group, 3. Design a task-based-curriculum. E.g. Belgium
- tasks as add-ons to an otherwise created syllabus. The degree of task integration varies from state to state and depends on the school`s choice of a textbook.
- Is used in German EFL classrooms à also focus on linguistic form
- This view is supported by the CEFR:
“A changing balance needs to be established between attention to meaning and form, fluency and accuracy, in the overall selection and sequencing of tasks so that both task performance and language learning progress can be facilitated”.
- e.g. if students want to communicate properly in the airport project they need both: should be aware of the linguistic form of posing questions and negotiate meaning if passengers engage in a conversation.
- Quote paper
- Adrienne Kaergel (Author), 2017, Ein Überblick über die Grundlagen des Englisch-Lehrens, Munich, GRIN Verlag, https://www.grin.com/document/441983