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VIDEO 1: FOREIGN LANGUAGE – ACQUISITION vs. LEARNING
When does it all begin?
Some authors think that all begins even before we are born while we are in our
mother belly. They say we are already learning about the language and the
patterns in our mother belly.
- Other authors say that it happens when we are born.
Examples: 1st baby Phonemes: baby is making some sounds with the mouth and trying to imitate the sound of the language. This process is very important in the mother tongue acquisition 2nd baby Information patterns: She is going to talk a lot when she grows up. We see imitation but she wasn’t using words she was using a pattern, She was not using verbal language, she was also using non verbal communication.
3rd girl kid Expressions: She has a good command of English she uses grammar, she has wide vocabulary and she also uses expressions. She is learning by imitating.
• How does all this process start? ???? We could say that our brain is genetically ready to acquire any language in the world. If when we are born we are taking Shina and we are immersed in a Chinese language we could acquire Chinese language as a native.
VIDEO 2: BEHAVIORISM – SKINNER (1904 – 1990) “Say what I say” 1. He says that children are a “tabula rasa”: They go to the class with an empty mind and the teacher brings all the information they need.
1 Marta Valls 3r MEP Anglès 2. Students learn by imitation and practice: So they imitate the model. We have to be a good models for them 3. Stimulus – response- reinforcement model: When the bell rings Pavlov gives food to the dog and then Little by little the fog learns and associates that the ring of the bell means eating so every time the bell rings the dog starts salivating This is another important thing about behaviorism if we have good behavior whey will learn.
4. In fact, in this line mistakes should be completely avoided and corrected.
They think that if we learn by imitating and we commit a mistake, that mistake will be there forever and we will not be able to correct it.
5. “Nature” based. Social environment is the key 6. Poverty of the stimulus They don’t talk about creativity VIDEO 3: INNATISM – NOAM CHOMSKY (1920 – 1959) “It’s all in your mind” 1. Mind is already ready to acquire languages not only the first one 2. All human languages are innate – LAD (Language Acquisition Device) Grammar can be find somewhere in our brain. Our brain is capable of acquiring any language in the world 3. Language is a rule-based system, not a form of behavior: language is based in rules and our brain creates rules. Those rules work and then we acquire the language “children don’t need to learn a language they need to immerse in it and when they immerse is when they acquire it” Critical period hypothesis: importance of early childhood. The sooner you get in contact with the language the most chances you get the native command of a language.
Example: Pronunciation unless you have previously received the phonemes of the tongue language when you are a small child you have very few chances to sound or to become native speaker of the language.
2 Marta Valls 3r MEP Anglès VIDEO 4: INTERACTIONISM and COGNOTIVISM – PIAGET, VIGOTSKY BRUNER “The importance of interaction and the social environment” • COGNITIVE CONSTRUCTIVISM – PIAGET (1896 – 1980) “Learning from inside and out” 1. Learning from action: learners have to manipulate things to learn it. The learner is expected to interact with the world 2. Cognitive development precedes and conditions language acquisition: students, first need to improve the cognitive abilities and then acquire the language properly 3. Piaget understood language as a cognitive skill though until the brain hadn’t advance enough students weren’t able to acquire the language properly 4. Four stages of cognitive development: a. 0 – 2 years: Sensory motor stage b. 2 – 7 years: Pre-operational stage c. 7 – 11 years: Concrete operation stage d. 11 - … years: Abstract operation stage • SOCIAL CONSTRUCTIVISM – VIGOTSKY (1896 – 1934) and BRUNER (1915 - ). Interactionism is more clear 1. Language and knowledge from social interaction: social interaction is basic because the language has a social nature that has communicative purpose 2. Social nature of language, communicative purpose 3. Importance of a supportive interactive environment 4. Language precedes/causes cognitive development so they think the language key for the cognitive development in contraposition of what Piaget said PIAGET VIGOTSKY – BRUNER First the cognitive development then the First language and little by little the language development cognitive development 3 Marta Valls 3r MEP Anglès • Interactionist perspective – Vigotsky (1896 – 1934) Zone of proximal development this area where students can improve with the help of others Zone of proximal development this is the part we should work with our students in class • Social constructivism – Bruner (1915 - ) 1. Scaffolding: a. Breaking learning targets into attainable, measurable steps b. Provide learners opportunity to build upon prior knowledge through multiple, increasingly complex opportunities 2. Spiral curriculum 3. LASS (Language Acquisition Supporting System): Students learn through another one, teachers, that coincidently they are correcting the pronunciation of a child and the child can realize when he/she is not understood.
4. Discovery-learning: learner has to try and risk things and discover and the adult has to guide this discovery and offer them opportunities to discover ‘the language ARTICLES • Is the younger the better? “Younger the better” has become a non corroborated assumption used and defended by many people from different fields.
There’s usually and economical or political interest behind the dissemination of this statement politicians repeat that it is necessary and finally we believe them – mantra 4 Marta Valls 3r MEP Anglès Older learners can achieve better results in much less time and are more efficient learners. evidence shows that it is older learners who make more rapid progress in much less time and are more efficient learners.
Studying a foreign language has good effects on the development of memory, listening skills and pronunciation. Introducing FLT at an early age has more non-linguistic benefits than linguistic ones.
The big issue is how do we teach a foreign language, rather than when do we start.
Effective FLT depends more on the setting than on the period.
One of the keys to long-term success is to take into account that learning must be natural, contextualized, interesting, enjoyable, relevant, social, active, experiential, childcentered, memorable… It is important to bear in mind that another important factor is the progression and continuity throughout the school years Never forget how important motivation is. As the saying goes, “you can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make it drink”.
• Working with young language learners Children bring with them an already well-established set of instincts, skills and characteristics which will help them to learn another language. For example: 1. Children’s ability to grasp meaning: very young children are able to understand what is being said to them even before they understand the individual words. By understanding the message in this way they start to understand the language.
Children come to primary school with this ability already highly developed. They continue to use it in all their school work.
Children also show great skill in producing meaningful language from very limited resources 2. Children’s creative use of limited language resources: They are creative with grammatical forms and with concepts. As a teachers we have to provide them with occasions when: - The urge to communicate makes them find some way of expressing themselves - The language demanded by the activity is unpredictable 5 Marta Valls 3r MEP Anglès That is why games are so useful and so important. It is not just because they are fun. The fun element creates a desire to communicate and partly because games can create unpredictability.
This obviously raises questions about mistakes and correction but, there are good reasons why we must allow the children opportunities to makes mistakes.
If children are impatient to communicate they probably will make more not fewer mistakes.
3. Children’s capacity for indirect learning: Language activities which involve children in guessing phrase or word someone has thought of are very good examples of this phenomenon in action. They are concentrating on trying to guess right. Guessing is actually a very powerful way of learning phrases and structures, but it is indirect because the mind is engaged with the task and is not focusing on the language. We can see why it is a good idea to set up real tasks in the language classroom if we can. We can also see again why games are more than a fun extra. The provide an opportunity for the real using and processing of language while the mind is focused on the “task” of playing the game indirect learning. They should therefore not be dismissed as a waste of time.
4. Children’s instinct for play and fun: children have an enormous capacity for finding and making fun. When engaged in guessing activities, for example, children nearly always inject their own element of drama into their hiding of the promptcards and their reactions to the guesses of their classmates. They know perfectly well it isn’t “real” but it doesn’t stop them putting effort and drama into it.
Here as in the guessing activities their personalities emerge, woven into the language use. Un this way they make the language their own. No matter how well we explain an activity.
5. The role of imagination: Children delight in imagination and fantasy. Language teaching should be concerned with real life. The act of fantasizing, of imagining, is very much an authentic part of being a child. So, for example, describing an imaginary monster with five legs, ten pink eyes and a very long tongue may not involve actual combinations of words that hey would use about things in real life, but recombining familiar words and ideas to create a monster is a very normal part of a child’s life.
6. The instinct for interaction and talk: They can learn about the language, but the only way to learn to use it is to use it. So our job is to make sure that the desire to talk is working for learning not against learning.
6 Marta Valls 3r MEP Anglès • Identifying priorities and their implications 1. Giving high priority to attitude goals: 2. The special nature of language: 3. The significance of the way we check understanding: 4. The significance of the way we treat mistakes: 5. Making language exercises into real exchanges: 6. Teaching language lessons in the target language: 7 ...