Talking about America: Image or Reality? Researching on Learning Strategies

Seminar Paper, 2004

32 Pages, Grade: 2


Table of Contents

1. Introduction
(Tobias Herbst)

2. Characterization of Form R10
(Tobias Kollmann)

3. Detailed Description of the Developed Tasks
(Tobias Kollmann)

4. A priori Analysis of the Developed Tasks
(Tobias Herbst)

5. Description of the Testing Stage
(Tobias Kollmann)

6. Analyzing the Pairs
6.1 Pair 01: A. & R.
(Tobias Kollmann)
6.2 Pair 02: A. & M.
(Tobias Kollmann)
6.3 Pair : R. & S.
(Tobias Herbst)
6.4 Pair : MF. & MJ.
(Tobias Herbst)

7. Conclusion and Outlook
(Tobias Herbst & Tobias Kollmann)



1. Introduction

To give a short overview on this term paper we want to explain our project and the aims of this research paper at first. We had to develop new tasks for EFL classes which have to be solved in cooperation. Later, these tasks should be tested with pupils from 9th, 10th or 11th class and filmed with a camera to analyze the partner work afterwards. The main goal is to find out which learning strategies the pupils apply to solve the given task.

As we did our work internship at a Gesamtschule during the semester holidays, we found some voluntary pupils in form R10, one of our classes at this time. A short characterization of this learning group follows in Chapter 2. Inspired by our internship we had the idea to develop such tasks which refer to the current topic of this English class, which is America in the 10th grade. We found one caricature in the magazine “Der Spiegel” and one article on the Internet and created a task out of that. In Chapter 3 we give a detailed description of the developed tasks.

After a brief a-priori analysis (Chapter 4) which describes the expected learning strategies and results for our tasks we will analyze the group work and reveal in Chapter 6 which techniques the students actually applied. This will be the main part of this paper, because everything is described very precise, the learning behavior as well as the results of the tasks. In addition to that, we developed a description of the testing stage which gives an overview of the test day itself.

Finally, we will draw a conclusion and give a short outlook on the importance of those tasks for EFL classes.

2. Characterization of the Class and our Expectation

For the later analysis it is absolutely essential to have a brief characterization of the students who take part in this project. In our opinion there are tremendous differences between the grades nine, ten and eleven. Some students cannot wait, until they can leave school to start an apprenticeship. Others prefer staying at school within the next years to pass the Abitur examination and, again, others have not decided at all what to do in future. As a consequence, there are different results to be expected for tasks like these.

During our work internship at a Gesamtschule in Kassel we found eight volunteers who were willing to participate in our project. When we gave the instructions and told them what we expect them to do, they were very motivated and curious about being recorded. Moreover, everybody was very proud of working for the university.

Our learning group consisted of four female students and four male students. Three of them come from foreign countries (Turkey, Afghanistan and Croatia). All students are between sixteen and eighteen years of age, go to the same tenth class and have just some months, before they are going to pass their written and oral examinations in order to get a degree.

A matter of prime importance for the results of our project is that six students are on a lower average level at English, as their teacher told us. In particular, most of them have problems with written English. We agree with that estimation, because we spent five weeks at their class and had the chance to observe as well as to teach them.

In the first weeks of our work internship we were very interested in their working methods. From our experience in class we learned that these students are not very familiar with lots of strategies in dealing with texts. The teacher has offered a lot of methods, but they often did not make use of them. Especially, when they had to cope with unknown stories and new vocabulary they usually had problems to get along with them.

These observations did not fill us with enthusiasm regarding our project and analysing numerous learning strategies, but despite of all problems we were still optimistic that our students will do their very best.


Excerpt out of 32 pages


Talking about America: Image or Reality? Researching on Learning Strategies
University of Kassel  (Institut für Sprachwissenschaften - Fremdsprachenlehr- und -lernforschung)
The Mental Lexicon: Vocabulary & Grammar Issues
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ISBN (eBook)
ISBN (Book)
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530 KB
The paper at hand is the result of a broad research project on learning strategies by the University of Kassel.
Talking, America, Image, Reality, Researching, Learning, Strategies, Mental, Lexicon, Vocabulary, Grammar, Issues
Quote paper
Tobias Kollmann (Author)Tobias Herbst (Author), 2004, Talking about America: Image or Reality? Researching on Learning Strategies, Munich, GRIN Verlag,


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