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Reading Skill / An interesting passage for reading comprehension
« on: July 11, 2019, 01:55:27 PM »
Unsinkable Ship

Naval architects never claim that a ship is unsinkable, but the sinking of the passenger-and-car ferry Estonia in the Baltic surely should have never have happened. It was well designed and carefully maintained. It carried the proper number of lifeboats. It had been thoroughly inspected on the day of its fatal voyage. Yet hours later, Estonia rolled over and sank in a cold, stormy night. It went down so quickly that most of those on board, caught in their dark, flooding cabins, had no chance to save themselves: Of those who managed to scramble overboard, only 139 survived. The rest died of hypothermia before the rescuers could pluck them from the cold sea. The final death toll amounted to 912 souls. However, there was an unpleasant number of questions about why Estonia sank and why so many survivors were men in the prime of life, while most of the dead were women, children and the elderly.

1. One can understand from the reading that ----.

A) the lifesaving equipment did not work well and lifeboats could not be
B) design faults and incompetent crew contributed to the sinking of the
        Estonia ferry
C) 139 people managed to leave the vessel but died in freezing water
D) naval architects claimed that Estonia was unsinkable
E) most victims were trapped inside the boat as they were in their cabins

2. It is clear from the passage that the survivors of the accident ----.

A) helped one another to overcome the tragedy that had affected them
B) were mostly young men but women, children and the elderly stood little
C) helped save hundreds of lives
D) are still suffering from severe post-traumatic stress disorder
E) told the investigators nothing about the accident

3. According to the passage, when Estonia sank, ----.

A) there were only 139 passengers on board
B) few of the passengers were asleep
C) there were enough lifeboats for the number of people on board
D) faster reaction by the crew could have increased Estonia's
        chances of survival
E) all the passengers had already moved out into the open decks


Sociolinguistics / Sociolinguistics and Education
« on: July 10, 2019, 05:27:35 PM »
The application of sociolinguistics to educational problems is absolutely essential as it can help us better understand the relationships between languages and schools, and help make necessary improvements in education through the development of a curriculum that would welcome the cultural and linguistic diversity of all students.

Also, the development of the appropriate reading and writing programs could help educators reach the needs of students who speak non-standard varieties of the language.

Language is an important component of education. School instruction is delivered through the use of language. It is crucial for children to be able to understand the language of schools. Unfortunately, the language of home and the language of school do not always match, and then various teaching methods and literacy practices need to be employed to assure that all children receive equal access to education.

Halliday (1997) asserts that appropriate methodologies need to be culture-(and we would like to add language)-sensitive if they are to address classroom problems.

The well-known controversy around the use of AAE dialect (named Ebonics) in schools proves that the general public does not have sufficient knowledge and understanding of various dialects and their value for large groups of people. Home dialects cannot be easily replaced by standard varieties. Students who speak non-standard dialects at home often cannot fully benefit from schooling. Students’ native languages and dialects must be respected by schools and the general public.

Wong Fillmore (2006, p. 340) argues that in American society language became “a source of conflict in education.” She wonders what position the society should take toward educating and preserving the languages of ethnic minorities and immigrant groups. If the general public and the minority groups themselves could understand the needs of the non-English speaking students better, then Proposition 227 would have never been signed in California, and bilingual education would have been saved.

Educating the general public about the importance of language maintenance and the advantages of bilingualism can prevent discrimination in educational settings, help reach the needs of bilingual students, and slow down language loss in our society. If the general public is to vote on pedagogical approaches and be involved in decision making in such areas as bilingual education, its sociolinguistic blindness needs to be cured.

Sociolinguistics applies its theory to linguistically diverse educational settings and communities. It has its approaches to bilingualism, second language learning, and language maintenance. Sociolinguistics course could raise awareness among teachers, policy-makers and community members on the role of minority languages in schools.

Studying sociolinguistics can widen the educational horizons of all college students. This course can help them learn more about language variation and language use. This course can prepare them to better participate in our everyday life for their own benefit and for the benefit of other people around them.


The primary learner outcome is to be able to more effectively and efficiently differentiate learning differences from learning or behavior disorders. For educators of diverse learners, this has become a tremendous challenge over the years due to the fact that many normal and typical behaviors associated with various facets of cultural and linguistic diversity
are similar to behaviors typically exhibited by those who truly have a learning disability or behavior disorder. In the previous sections of this chapter, we have discussed behaviors often associated with:

1. acquisition of a second language (i.e., English)
2. culturally diverse values, norms, teachings, and expectations
3. learning and behavioral disabilities.

similarities among these behaviors can lead to misinterpretations between differences and disabilities. Diverse learners who exhibit behaviors or characteristics similar to that of disability do so for reasons that reflect external situations; that is, the process
of acquiring a second language or the need to adjust to a new cultural environment. However, most diverse learners who exhibit these behaviors do not exhibit them because of intrinsic conditions or disorders that interfere with their learning. These learners may require supplemental support to address the behaviors exhibited and may need extra time to adjust to new learning situations. However, this is in contrast to education for a learner with a disability, which emphasizes helping the student remediate or compensate for internal deficits, learning or emotional. Therefore, if the learner’s behaviors can be associated with his or her cultural values/norms or with stages of second language acquisition, and not with an internal problem or deficit then a learning or behavior disability is not evident.
Only if the particular learning or behavior needs can be linked to an intrinsic disorder can disability be appropriately considered. Problem-solving teams must make certain that diverse learners’ behaviors are a result of intrinsic needs and not a result of only bilingual or culturally diverse needs to appropriately place those learners in special education as learning disabled or behaviorally
disordered. Careful consideration of the behaviors exhibited by diverse learners relative to cultural diversity and second language acquisition will facilitate the reduction of misdiagnosing a learning difference as a disability.

In addition, in order for the appropriate diagnosis of a disability to occur, problem-solving teams must provide evidence of the identification of an intrinsic disorder reflecting cognitive and learning needs as discussed in this chapter. When considering all factors involved, educators will find that although behaviors and characteristics are similar, most diverse learners at-risk show evidence of needs related directly to cultural diversity and/or second language acquisition with no evidence of any intrinsic disorder. Chapter 4 will consider the assessment process used to identify whether the learning and behavior needs are most associated with diversity issues and/or disorders within the student.


« on: July 09, 2019, 06:14:13 PM »
A newborn baby always has the faculty of wonder . . .

Psychology is the study of humans and mind. Psycholinguistics is the study about human and language which they acquire from a newborn baby, till they die. A newborn baby always has the faculty of wonder. That is how it is. If a newborn baby can talk, they will say something about what an extraordinary world it is. As time goes by, they will acquire the language used by their mom. Children are using their language creatively, no one teaches them how to use the language. Why shall we put a verb after the subject (in most language)? It is their nature to learn it. Language is a maturational controlled behavior. That is, there is a nature of language which we can learn a language on our own, and nurture, in which someone teaches us so. When individuals reach a crucial point in their maturation, they are biologically in state of readiness to learning the behavior. Most of the psycholinguists agree with these theories, but they still cannot agree with the term of innate. They cannot decide to what extent language ability is separate from another cognitive language. There is a study of child language acquisition which is done by asking the parents to write a diary, make tape recordings, videotapes, or even controlled experiments. The studies show that child language is not just a degenerate from adult language. At each stage of development, the child’s language conforms to a set of rules, a grammar. Although child grammar and adult grammars differ in certain respects, they also share many formal properties. Speaking about the nature of language by the children, it will be connected to the term of applied linguistics. Because here, in applied linguistics, we study about how parents’ language influences their children language. Such low-class parents with straightforward sentences, middle-class parents with the usual language, and high-class parents with their indirect language. Psycholinguistics is very useful to help us, a teacher candidate, to understanding our students in the class. That is, as we are an Indonesian, we shall learn more about Second language Acquisition by the children.

English Grammar / Key Differences Between Adjective and Adverb
« on: July 09, 2019, 02:08:01 PM »
The difference between adjective and adverb can be drawn clearly on the following grounds:

   1. In grammar, the adjective is among the eight parts of speech which identifies and describes a noun or a pronoun, i.e. person, place, animal or thing. As against, an adverb is also one of the parts of speech, which gives you further information about a verb, adjective or any other adverb.

   2.  While an adjective qualifies a noun or pronoun, the adverb is used to modify the verb, clause, phrase, adjective, preposition and conjunction.

 3. Adjective provides answers to questions such as which, how many, what kind, etc. As against, adverbs will answer the questions like how, when, where, how much, how often, to what extent etc.


Writing Skill / How to Improve Writing Skills in 15 Easy Steps
« on: July 09, 2019, 01:58:43 PM »
Learning a variety of writing skills isn’t as difficult as you may think. We’ve put together a list of steps to help you make dramatic improvements to the quality of your writing in short order.

Becoming a better writer takes practice, and you’re already practicing. No, seriously—you write a lot. Even if you don’t think of yourself as a writer, you put thoughts into text more often than you realize. At the very least, you write emails—a lot of emails—post on social media, make updates to your résumé and LinkedIn profile, and message your friends. If your job requires it, you also create things like reports, presentations, newsletters . . . it’s a long list.

Here’s a tip: Whether you’re writing an email, creating a presentation, or just sending a quick tweet, Grammarly can help! Try one of our browser extensions to make your writing cleaner and more impressive.

Your writing, at its best.
Be the best writer in the office.
Get Grammarly

So, you’re already writing. Now, improving your writing skills is just a matter of becoming conscious of the things you can do to give your text more structure and make your copy crisp and readable with a conversational style.
Give Your Writing Structure

It’s fine to rattle off a stream of consciousness when you’re writing in your journal, but if you actually want to communicate with others you’ll need to bring some order to those rambling thoughts. Here are some tips.

1 Make sure you’re clear on the concepts you’re writing about.

Albert Einstein said, “If you can’t explain it to a six-year-old, you don’t understand it yourself.” Before you start writing, take a moment to mentally explain the concept to the six-year-old who lives inside your head. (We all have one, don’t we?) If your writing goal is to achieve a specific result, ask yourself what that result should be. Before you dive into writing, have a clear purpose. Then stick to it.

2 If the message is complex, outline it.

It doesn’t take much thought-organizing to compose the average text message, but if you’re writing something more complex, with multiple angles, questions, or requests, get all that stuff sorted before you sit down to write. Making an outline, or even just some quick notes about the topics you want to cover, can save you time answering clarifying questions later. And speaking of questions . . .
3 Anticipate your readers’ questions.

Put yourself in your readers’ shoes. Do they have enough context to understand what you’ve written for them? If not, fill in the blanks. But . . .

4 Don’t over-explain everything.

If you’ve taken the time to organize your thoughts in advance, you should be able to keep things simple. The idea is to give readers just enough to understand what you’re communicating without overwhelming them with trivial details. If you find yourself getting in the weeds with more details than you need, look at each piece of information and ask whether it’s essential to help your reader understand your message. If not, get rid of it.
Tighten Your Writing

We sometimes write like we talk, and that can be a good thing. It keeps our writing conversational (more on that in a moment.) But rambling, wordy writing makes your text hard to read, and it can make you sound as though you lack conviction. Start practicing these skills to streamline your writing.

5 Go easy on the prepositional phrases

When I was a neophyte writer, someone showed me how prepositional phrases made my writing unnecessarily wordy and complex. It was an epiphany!

Prepositions aren’t difficult to understand, but the concept does require some explanation. Get smart about prepositions here, and then try to simplify them whenever it makes sense. Your writing will get a much-needed clarity boost.

6 Eliminate the filler words and phrases

Some words show up in our writing all the time, and yet they don’t contribute much of anything. Although these filler words and phrases sometimes add color or even meaning, most of the time they contribute nothing but clutter. Here are thirty-one of them you can eliminate right now.

Here’s even more help.

7 Don’t pad weak words with adverbs.

Adverbs—those words that often end in -ly—modify verbs and sometimes adjectives. They’re okay once in a while, but when you find yourself using them all the time, you’re probably making weak word choices. Instead of “ran really fast” write “sprinted.” Was something “extremely funny”? Nah, it was “hilarious.” The scenery may have been “very beautiful,” but your writing’s going to shine if you refer to it as “gorgeous,” “lush,” “verdant,” or “bucolic.”
Make Your Writing More Conversational

8 Stick with simple words.

Bestselling author John Grisham said, “There are three types of words: (1) words we know; (2) words we should know; (3) words nobody knows. Forget those in the third category and use restraint with those in the second.” There’s a difference between having a rich vocabulary and dropping million-dollar words into your writing just to show off. Unless it’s your intent to be poetic, keep your language simple and direct.

I’m certain sure you are able to can deliver the quality of work we’re looking for. Let’s discuss talk about it in our meeting next week.

9 Use contractions.

English speakers use contractions—you’re, I’m, we’re, they’re, can’t, didn’t. Your writing will sound stiff and formal without them. For example:

I am sure you are able to deliver the quality of work we are looking for. Let us discuss it in our meeting next week.

Now, let’s add some contractions. Doesn’t this sound less stuffy?

I’m sure you can deliver the quality of work we’re looking for. Let’s talk about it in our meeting next week.

10 Try transcribing yourself.

Record yourself talking. You can learn a lot about conversational writing using this one weird trick! (Sorry, Buzzfeed, we tease because we care.)

Try transcribing a conversation you’ve recorded (with the other person’s permission, of course). Transcribe a couple of minutes of the conversation word-for-word. Then, fix or remove any false starts and remove filler (um, uh, like, you know)—et voila!—you’ve got yourself some conversational writing. The process of transcribing and editing will help you learn what to do and what not to.

11 Throw away the grammar rule book . . . within reason.

We, the Grammarly team, give you permission to start sentences with conjunctions. And (see what we did there?) unless you’re writing something formal, we’re perfectly okay with you ending some sentences with prepositions. Write naturally, human! It’s all good.

12 Keep your sentences simple.

Literary greats can write long, complex sentences with flair. Why not you? Well, for starters you’re probably not trying to write like Tolstoy, Nabokov, or Faulkner. Short, less complicated sentences are easier to read. Keep it simple, silly! But do vary your sentence length so your writing has a nice flow.

13 Read it out loud.

Speaking of flow, reading your writing aloud can help you determine whether it flows smoothly. If it sounds choppy and clipped, add a few longer sentences to break up that steady, monotonous beat. If you find yourself stumbling over parts, you’ve probably found an overly complex sentence that needs rewriting. I always recommend reading your work out loud . . . because it works!

14 Infuse your personality into your writing

Letting your personality shine through is the best way to develop a writing style. Use the phrases and slang that you would normally use (within reason). When it’s appropriate, throw in a relevant personal anecdote. In all but the most formal or professional writing settings, be yourself when you write.

15 Practice, practice, practice!

The ultimate way to make your writing better is to learn what weakens it in the first place, and then set your mind to fixing (and eventually preventing) the glitches. The more you write, edit, and proofread, the better you get at it.


Listening Skill / Tips to Improve Your Listening Comprehension
« on: July 07, 2019, 01:59:14 PM »
1. Choose Comprehensible Input

The most important thing you must do when looking to improve your listening skills is listen to material that you already mostly understand.

This kind of material, known as "comprehensible input", is any audio content that's slightly above your current skill level.

Everyone's level is slightly different, so this is hard to quantify in objective terms; however, I would say that comprehensible input is any audio source that you can already understand at least 60%-80% of.

It may seem counter-intuitive to listen to material that is just above your skill level, but it is actually extremely important.

This is because if you listen to things that you mostly don't understand, you'll spend the majority of your time frustrated and confused. You may decipher a few words here and there, but you will struggle to piece together the gist of what is happening.

This is what was happening to Alex. He really wanted to understand movies, podcasts, and online videos, so that's what he tried to listen to. However, these native-level materials were so far above his level that they only slowed his progress, instead of supporting it.

To reach the kind of high level that Alex aspired to, it is necessary to build a "ladder" of comprehensible input. Start with what you understand, and then gradually listen to harder and harder audio materials as your level increases.

For example, this is why I always have my students begin learning with a solid listening and reading routine. It’s the best method I’ve found for improving listening skills from day one of your learning.

Once students have that routine in place, they can then move on to more difficult activities that involve listening only, among other things.

2. Listen to What You Enjoy

Understanding most of what you listen to is the fundamental step to improving your skills. Once you have that in place, you then need to decide exactly what kinds of comprehensible content you will practice with.

While you technically could listen to anything that meets that 60%-80% comprehensibility standard, you ideally want to choose materials that are relevant and interesting to you as a person.

This is important because relevant and interesting materials will always be more enjoyable to listen to compared to other resources. If you enjoy what you listen to, you will have more motivation to continue listening, and be more resistant to stopping, or losing focus.

In real terms, this means that you should be very picky about what you do and do not use as a listening resource.

Just because your textbook has a lengthy audio dialogue about going to the airport or going shopping at the mall, you shouldn't feel obligated to listen to them. Be selective, and make sure that most of your practice time is spent with audio materials that you look forward to listening to, and match up well with your goals and interests.

3. Focus on the Big Picture, Not Small Details

Of all the major skills of language, listening skills require the most focus. This is because if you don't focus on what you're listening to, you may miss the core "message" that is being communicated.

To make matters worse, you can't usually "go back to the beginning" to recover information you've missed; most of the time, you'll have to make people repeat themselves, which can cost time and energy, and cause frustration. Even when you can "rewind" (e.g. with recorded audio) the exact information you missed can be hard to identify.

Because of all of this, it is paramount that you focus on "the big picture" when listening, and that you avoid getting distracted by small details.

When I say "big picture", I mean the gist, or general message of what you're listening to. If someone says to you "What kind of movies do you like?", you can get the gist merely by understanding the words "what", "movies" and "like", or even just "movies" and "like". Those two words can give you most of the key context of the sentence, even if you don't understand the five other words alongside them.

This is why listening to comprehensible input is so valuable. Even if you don't understand a word or two in something you hear, the words that you already know will often help you understand.

So don't give up if you don't understand the occasional word. Simply keep listening, and focus on the "big picture" that you do understand in order to fill in any missing information.

4. Listen and Re-listen at Different Speeds

If beginner learners of any language can agree on one thing, it's this: language spoken at native speed is fast.

Native speakers speak so quickly and fluently that learners often don't have the time to mentally break down the sounds, words, and meaning of what they're hearing—and even if they do manage it, the native speaker is usually on a whole other topic by then.

To be able to listen to native speakers at normal speed, you can't just dive in head first and listen at full speed right away. Speed, like vocabulary, plays a factor in comprehensible input. Because of this, you will likely need to listen at slower, more comprehensible speeds first, before you can gradually ramp things up to native speed.

Now, there are a couple of ways to do this:

- When speaking to one or more native speakers, you can just politely ask them to slow down when they speak to you, or repeat certain details slowly.

- When listening to a recording, you can play it back at a variety of speeds, including 0.25x speed and 0.5x speed. The availability of playback options depends on which media player you are using, but free resources like YouTube, Audacity, and VLC media player all allow these kinds of speed adjustments.

Of these options, the second is usually most convenient for learning. Simply take any audio file, and adjust the playback speed until you can understand what is being said. Listen to it a few times at the slower speed, and then bump the speed up step by step until you reach native speed again.

5. Learn Actively by Taking Notes

As learners, it is easy to view listening as an exclusively passive activity. Unlike speaking, reading, and writing, you don't really need to do anything at all to listen; you just need to be within earshot, and the sounds will enter your ears on their own.

The passive quality of listening is great for when you just want to sit back, relax, and listen to a piece of music or dialogue in a movie. It is not so great, however, for productive learning sessions.

You see, learning happens best when it is active—when you, the learner, are engaged in what you are doing and take action to process new information. If learning is not active, you will absorb less information, and even run the risk of forgetting what you learned quickly.

To get the maximal value from your listening activities, you need to turn passive listening into active listening, which will greatly increase your comprehension and retention rates. One of the best ways to do this is through taking notes while listening.

When working on your listening skills, take out a notebook or piece of paper, and do the following:

Write down the topic of the audio
If there are multiple speakers, write down their names, or come up with labels for each (e.g. Speaker 1, Speaker 2)
Write down the gist of what each speaker says, including any main points they try to communicate
If you frequently hear a word you do not understand, try to write it down so you can look it up later

    If there's a word or sentence you find interesting, write it down so that you can practice using it in your own conversations.

By listening and taking notes at the same time, you will be much more interested and engaged in the audio content, and, as a result, you will learn in a much more organized and efficient way.

6. Vary Your Listening Routine

For any language learning routine to be successful, it needs to keep you interested. For long-term success, you need to be engaged in a variety of different activities that challenge you and make you want to keep learning, day after day.

Your listening routine, which is a vital part of your overall daily learning routine, should be frequently changed, mixed-up, and varied in much the same way.

Even if you like playing back language audio while sitting at your desk, don't do that all the time. Try to listen to your target language at other places and times as well.

This can include listening while:

Reading a transcript of the audio
Doing household chores
You're commuting to and from work

    Listening to target language music

Test out as many variations of listening activities as you think of. When you've found a number that you like, you can then work them into your routine by rotating which activities you practice on certain days of the week.

7. Be Patient

Remember my student Alex?

Even from the very beginning, I could tell that he was in a rush to learn Spanish well. He studied so hard, and always tried to dive right into high-level materials, even before he was ready. And as you know, it didn't really work.

The biggest lesson I had to share with him was this:

Be patient.

Listening skills, like all good things, take time to grow and develop. They depend on a wide variety of factors (including time spent learning, amount of listening done, and depth of vocabulary), none of which can be accomplished through shortcuts.

The only way to improve your listening "quickly" is to be consistent. Practice every day, vary your materials, vary your activities, and interleave all of those things throughout your routine.

If you can be consistent, and maintain such a routine for months, and years, you will find soon enough that your listening comprehension has grown exponentially. If you're not patient, and can't do that, your listening will grow at a much slower pace, if at all.
Time to be All Ears!

Remember Alex, my American student?

After we began working together, I helped him immediately implement these seven tips into his language learning routine.

In a short time, he was able to:

Find listening material that was slightly above his level
Focus-in on content that he found enjoyable and interesting
Listen for the main points in the audio he listened too, without getting distracted by what he didn’t understand
Practice listening at both slow, moderate, and fast speeds
Take notes while listening to improve comprehension and retain vocabulary.
Test out a variety of different listening activities

    Practice patience and trust in the learning process.

At the end of our time working together, Alex was able to dramatically improve his listening comprehension in Spanish.

He feels now at ease when conversations with native speakers, while watching movies, and when listening to the radio—all things he wanted to do from the very beginning.

Best of all, the improvements he made with his listening skills inspired him not only to keep learning Spanish, but to take up additional languages as well.

In the end, what Alex needed was not motivation, or any new goals or resources.

He just needed a roadmap; he needed to know what steps to take to head in the right direction.

Now you have those steps as well.

If you want to improve your listening, just walk the path. Test out the tips I have shared today, and practice them again and again until they are second nature.


Reading Skill / Seven Strategies to Teach Students Text Comprehension
« on: July 07, 2019, 01:52:23 PM »
Comprehension strategies are conscious plans — sets of steps that good readers use to make sense of text. Comprehension strategy instruction helps students become purposeful, active readers who are in control of their own reading comprehension. These seven strategies have research-based evidence for improving text comprehension.

1. Monitoring comprehension

Students who are good at monitoring their comprehension know when they understand what they read and when they do not. They have strategies to "fix" problems in their understanding as the problems arise. Research shows that instruction, even in the early grades, can help students become better at monitoring their comprehension.

Comprehension monitoring instruction teaches students to:

    Be aware of what they do understand
    Identify what they do not understand
    Use appropriate strategies to resolve problems in comprehension

2. Metacognition

Metacognition can be defined as "thinking about thinking." Good readers use metacognitive strategies to think about and have control over their reading. Before reading, they might clarify their purpose for reading and preview the text. During reading, they might monitor their understanding, adjusting their reading speed to fit the difficulty of the text and "fixing" any comprehension problems they have. After reading, they check their understanding of what they read.

Students may use several comprehension monitoring strategies:

    Identify where the difficulty occurs

    "I don't understand the second paragraph on page 76."
    Identify what the difficulty is

    "I don't get what the author means when she says, 'Arriving in America was a milestone in my grandmother's life.'"
    Restate the difficult sentence or passage in their own words

    "Oh, so the author means that coming to America was a very important event in her grandmother's life."
    Look back through the text

    "The author talked about Mr. McBride in Chapter 2, but I don't remember much about him. Maybe if I reread that chapter, I can figure out why he's acting this way now."
    Look forward in the text for information that might help them to resolve the difficulty

    "The text says, 'The groundwater may form a stream or pond or create a wetland. People can also bring groundwater to the surface.' Hmm, I don't understand how people can do that… Oh, the next section is called 'Wells.' I'll read this section to see if it tells how they do it."

3. Graphic and semantic organizers

Graphic organizers illustrate concepts and relationships between concepts in a text or using diagrams. Graphic organizers are known by different names, such as maps, webs, graphs, charts, frames, or clusters.

Regardless of the label, graphic organizers can help readers focus on concepts and how they are related to other concepts. Graphic organizers help students read and understand textbooks and picture books.

Graphic organizers can:

    Help students focus on text structure "differences between fiction and nonfiction" as they read
    Provide students with tools they can use to examine and show relationships in a text
    Help students write well-organized summaries of a text.

    Used to chart the story structure. These can be organized into fiction and nonfiction text structures. For example, defining characters, setting, events, problem, resolution in a fiction story; however in a nonfiction story, main idea and details would be identified.

 Used to illustrate the cause and effects told within a text. For example, staying in the sun too long may lead to a painful sunburn.

4. Answering questions

Questions can be effective because they:

    Give students a purpose for reading
    Focus students' attention on what they are to learn
    Help students to think actively as they read
    Encourage students to monitor their comprehension
    Help students to review content and relate what they have learned to what they already know

The Question-Answer Relationship strategy (QAR) encourages students to learn how to answer questions better. Students are asked to indicate whether the information they used to answer questions about the text was textually explicit information (information that was directly stated in the text), textually implicit information (information that was implied in the text), or information entirely from the student's own background knowledge.

There are four different types of questions:

    "Right There"

    Questions found right in the text that ask students to find the one right answer located in one place as a word or a sentence in the passage.

    Example: Who is Frog's friend? Answer: Toad
    "Think and Search"

    Questions based on the recall of facts that can be found directly in the text. Answers are typically found in more than one place, thus requiring students to "think" and "search" through the passage to find the answer.

    Example: Why was Frog sad? Answer: His friend was leaving.
    "Author and You"

    Questions require students to use what they already know, with what they have learned from reading the text. Student's must understand the text and relate it to their prior knowledge before answering the question.

    Example: How do think Frog felt when he found Toad? Answer: I think that Frog felt happy because he had not seen Toad in a long time. I feel happy when I get to see my friend who lives far away.
    "On Your Own"

    Questions are answered based on a students prior knowledge and experiences. Reading the text may not be helpful to them when answering this type of question.

    Example: How would you feel if your best friend moved away? Answer: I would feel very sad if my best friend moved away because I would miss her.

5. Generating questions

By generating questions, students become aware of whether they can answer the questions and if they understand what they are reading. Students learn to ask themselves questions that require them to combine information from different segments of text. For example, students can be taught to ask main idea questions that relate to important information in a text.

6. Recognizing story structure

In story structure instruction, students learn to identify the categories of content (characters, setting, events, problem, resolution). Often, students learn to recognize story structure through the use of story maps. Instruction in story structure improves students' comprehension.

7. Summarizing

Summarizing requires students to determine what is important in what they are reading and to put it into their own words. Instruction in summarizing helps students:

    Identify or generate main ideas
    Connect the main or central ideas
    Eliminate unnecessary information
    Remember what they read

Effective comprehension strategy instruction is explicit

Research shows that explicit teaching techniques are particularly effective for comprehension strategy instruction. In explicit instruction, teachers tell readers why and when they should use strategies, what strategies to use, and how to apply them. The steps of explicit instruction typically include direct explanation, teacher modeling ("thinking aloud"), guided practice, and application.

    Direct explanation

    The teacher explains to students why the strategy helps comprehension and when to apply the strategy.

    The teacher models, or demonstrates, how to apply the strategy, usually by "thinking aloud" while reading the text that the students are using.
    Guided practice

    The teacher guides and assists students as they learn how and when to apply the strategy.

    The teacher helps students practice the strategy until they can apply it independently.

Effective comprehension strategy instruction can be accomplished through cooperative learning, which involves students working together as partners or in small groups on clearly defined tasks. Cooperative learning instruction has been used successfully to teach comprehension strategies. Students work together to understand texts, helping each other learn and apply comprehension strategies. Teachers help students learn to work in groups. Teachers also provide modeling of the comprehension strategies.


Nature and concepts of curriculum in General

Concepts of the curriculum are grounded firmly in this notion that curriculum is a racecourse of subject matters. This is some concept of curriculum :

1.Curriculum as the program of studies. It means the curriculum includes about school subject or more specifically a listing of the                 titles of the course offered by school.

2. Curriculum as Course Context. It is such a conception of curriculum limits planning to the selection and organization of information that learners acquire.
3. Curriculum as Planned Learning experiences. A curriculum conceived of as planed  experiences is one of the most prevalent concepts. Te commonly excepted definition of the curriculum has change from content  of courses os study and lists subjects and courses to all the experiences which are offered to learners under the auspices or direction of the school.

4. Curriculum as experiences had under the auspices of the school. The definition of the curriculum sometimes refer to the invisile curriculum, those aspects of the curriculum that are unplanned or unintended and there for offer looked. The point out that certain planed curriculum experiences are designed, for example to teach students t read but as a result of experiencess had by the students.

5. Curriculum as structure series of intended learning outcome. Among the writers who view planed learning experiences to broad definition of the curriculum maintains the curriculum can consist only of a structure series of intended learning outcome.

6. Curriculum as written plane for action. The problem of distinction between curriculum and instruction that John deals with also is treated by Macdonald, another prominent curriculum theorist. In the process of arriving at solution, this specialist achieves tentative definition not only for curriculum and instruction but for teaching and learning as well.

Definition Curriculum and Syllabus

Curriculum is an organized set of formal educational and/training intentions in written form  but not activities. Curriculum is an organized set of formal educational and/or training intentions. in written form or blueprint in order to increase schools quality. It means that curriculum is setting in a paper not activities. but, a curriculum is a plan for scholl activities.

1.      Dualist model
In this model, curriculum and instruction is clearly has relationship but never the twain shall meet. Under this model the curriculum or the instructional processes may change without significantly affecting one another. What take place in the classroom under the direction of the teacher seems to have little relationship to what the master plan says should go on in the classroom. Discussions of curriculum are divorced from their practical application to the classroom.

2.      Interlocking model
In this model the seperation of one from the other would do serious harm to both. It would be difficult to curriculum planner to regard instruction as paramount to curriculum and to determine teaching methods before program objectives. On the other hand, some faculties proceed as if instruction were primary by dispensing with anvance planning of the curriculum and by leting it more or less develop as it unfolds in the classroom.

3.      Concentric models
Mutual dependence is the key feature of concentric models.
Syllabus is an specification of the content and the ordering of what is to be taught. In the wider sense it refers to all aspects of the planning, implementation, and evaluation of an educational program, the why, how and how together with the what of the teaching-learning process.

.According to experts, syllabus is :

a.       In wilikins’ (1981) words, syllabus are “specifications of the content of language teaching which have been submitted to some degree of structuring or ordering with the aim of making teaching and learning a more effective process.”

b.      Bren (1984) “ a plan or what is to be achieved through our teaching and our student learning.

c.       Prabhu (1984), function of syllabus is “ to specify what is to be taught and in what order.

d.      Yalden (1987) “ summary of the content to which learners will be exposed.”

                 Social construction, produced interdependently in classrooms by teacher and learners…there are concerned with the specification and planning of what is to be learned, frequently set down in some written form as prescription for action by teacher and learners.”(candling 1984)

Relationship between curriculum and instruction

       Curriculum and instruction is very close one. And it is relationship each other. We know that curriculum is a design or road mapping and which is taught and focuses on knowledge and skills that   important to learn and instruction mean by which that learning will be achieved.  For the simplify   curriculum is “what” and instruction is the “how” which is have very close relationship. Specifically, instruction may be think  as “the planned interaction between instructors and students that (hopefully) results in desirable learning”.  Sometimes, serious questions may be raised as to what exactly constitutes curriculum and what constitutes instruction.  Some educators feel that any curriculum includes instruction; others contend that sound instruction includes a sound curriculum. So, the curriculum is about plans or programs thus are “programmatic” and instruction is implementation thus are “methodological” which is like two subsystem or sub dimensions of a larger system called education.

Curriculum Development and Curriculum Design (differences and similarities )

       Curriculum development is like a curriculum construction, refers to the process. Curriculum development is a process which determines how curriculum construction will proceed and implementing curricula. Exactly, curriculum development is the way how the system to be improved and increase according  of the curricula. The idea of curriculum development is to show how curriculum evolves or is planned, implemented , and evaluated. It means curriculum development is the whole way process the curriculum build and become the generally of education.

Curriculum design refers   to the way we conceptualize the curriculum and arrange its major components ( subject  matter or content, instructional methods and materials, learner experiences or activities to provide and guidance as we develop the curriculum. The curriculum design is to develop priorities to guide selection of performed. In other words, we can conclude that the curriculum design is how the way to frame and arrange the curriculum in one major from components, like subject matter, instructional methods, and materials and learners experiences or activities. So, the differences of curriculum design and curriculum development is, the curriculum development is object to plan and construct the curriculum generally, but the curriculum design  more specifically to making the concept of curriculum will be use at the school. Then, curriculum development to be likely technical and scientific, but curriculum design is moreE. Language Curriculum Development, because it is based in curriculum values and beliefs  about education, priorities of  schooling, and views of how student learn. Curriculum development just till plan and a total system but curriculum design more than plan, it was provide a basic frame of reference for planning for developing curriculum. There are many opinion about similarities of curriculum development and curriculum design
1. Robert s zais: curriculum development and curriculum design their have components or elements.

 2. Allan c ortistern: their have model

 3. David Prah : curriculum development was the term must frequently encountered. must recently the activities of curriculum workers have been increase referred to is curriculum design. Both terms, curriculum developmend and curriculum design, are used frequently and to an extent interchangeably throughout this book.

       Language curriculum development is an aspect  of a broader field of educational activity known as curriculum development or curriculum studies. Language curriculum development refers to the field applied linguistics that addresses the issues and describe an interrelated set of processes that focuses on designing, revising, implementing, and evaluating language programs.Language curriculum development is the processes which is include, developing, implementing and evaluating language programs and language teaching material. Language curriculum development is an aspect of a broader field of educational activity that we knows as curriculum development or curriculum studies. Curriculum development focuses on determining what knowledge, skills, and values students learn in school, what experiences should be provided to bring about intended learning outcomes, and how teaching and in schools or educational system can be planned, measured, and evaluated. Because curriculum development refers to a process, so language curriculum development refers to the field of applied linguisticts that addresses these issues that describe an interrelated set of prosesses that focuses on designing, revising, implementing, and evaluating language programs.

Historical background of Language Curriculum Development

The history of curriculum development in language teaching  starts with the notion of syllabus design. Syllabus design is one aspect of curriculum development but is not identical with it.A syllabus is a specification of the content of a course of instruction and lists what will be taught and tested. Thus the syllabus for a speaking course might specify the kinds of oral skills that will be taught and practiced during the course, the functions ,topics or other aspect of conversation that will be taught, and the order in which they will appear in the course. Syllabus design is the process of developing a syllabus. Curriculum development is a more comprehensive process than syllabus design. It  include the processes that are use to determine the needs of a program to address those needs, to determine and appropriate syllabus, course structure, teaching  methods, and material, and to carry out an evaluation of the language program that result from these processes.
If we look back of the history of  language teaching throughout the twentieth century, much of the impetus for changes in approaches to language teaching came about from changes in teaching methods. The methods concept in teaching  the notion of a systematic set of teaching  practices based on a particular theory of language learning  is a powerful one and the guest for better methods has been a preoccupation of many teachers and applied linguistics since the beginning of the twentieth century.
Once a consensus had emerged concerning he principles underlying and or – based methodology, applied linguistics then turned their attention to issues  of the content and syllabus design underlying the structural methods.
All teaching, of course, demands a choice of what will be taught from the total field of the subject ,and the teaching of a language at any level and under any circumstances requires the selection of certain features of the language and the international and international exclusion of others. Two aspetcs of selection received primary attention in the first few decades of the twentieth century : vocabulary selection and grammar selection. Approaches to these two aspects of selection laid the foundations for a syllabus design in language teaching. Many method have come and gone in the last 100 years in pursuit of the “best method”, as the:

a.       Grammar translation method 1800-1900
b.      Direct method 1890-1930
c.       Structural method 1930-1960
d.      Reading method 1920-1950
e.       Audio lingual method 1950-1970
f.       Situational method 1950-1970
g.      Communicative approach 1970- present


Nature and concepts of curriculum in general concepts of the curriculum are grounded firmly in this notion that curriculum is a racecourse of subject matters. This is some concept of curriculum, curriculum as the program of studies, curriculum as course context, curriculum as planned learning experiences, curriculum as experiences had under the auspices of the schoo, curriculum as structured series of intended learning outcomes, and curriculum as a written plan fo action. That ‘s the first conception of curriculum. Curriculum is an organized set of formal educational and/or training intentions. in written form or blueprint in order to increase schools quality. It means that curriculum is setting in a paper not activities. but, a curriculum is a plan for scholl activities. Then, the curriculum in language teaching starts with the notion of syllabus design. Syllabus is aspecification of the content of a course of instruction and lists what will be taught and tested.

Curriculum and instruction is very close one. And it is relationship each other. We know that curriculum is a design or road mapping and which is taught and focuses on knowledge and skills that   important to learn and instruction mean by which that learning will be achieved.  For the simplify   curriculum is “what” and instruction is the “how” which is have very close relationship. Specifically, instruction may be think  as “the planned interaction between instructors and students that (hopefully) results in desirable learning”. So, the differences of curriculum design and curriculum development is, the curriculum development is object to plan and construct the curriculum generally, but the curriculum design  more specifically to making the concept of curriculum will be use at the school. Then, curriculum development to be likely technical and scientific, but curriculum design is more varied, because it is based in curricularist values and beliefs  about education, priorities of  schooling, and views of how student learn.


Pragmatics / The role of Pragmatics in English Language Teaching
« on: July 06, 2019, 05:23:03 PM »

Pragmatics is the way we convey the meaning through the communication. The meaning includes verbal and non verbal elements and it varies according to the context, to the relationship between utterers, also to many other social factors.Its dynamic growth makes English an international language that connects people all around the world. As a consequence, English can be regarded as the common focus of all English speakers who do not share a language or a culture. As a matter of fact, English is spoken in different settings and levels of intercommunication. As a result, speakers must know many pragmatic elements in order to avoid inaccuracies and
misunderstandings during communication. Such a great usage of English language requires a pragmatic competence which will help all those who speak or learn English as a second language. Thomas defined pragmatic competence as “… the ability to analyze language in a conscious manner.” (as cited in Holmes & Brown, 2007, p 524). Pragmatic competence refers to the ability to comprehend, construct utterances which are accurate and appropriate to the social and cultural circumstances where the communication occurs. Pragmatic competence should be a leading goal for all those who teach English as a second language, which simultaneously represents a
challenging task as well.


Nowadays English is the language of globalization, international communication, commerce and trade, the music, the media, therefore different motivations for learning it come into act. As Richards (2001) stated, English is no longer viewed as the property of the English-speaking world but it is an international commodity sometimes referred to as English an International Language.
Recent methods and approaches in teaching English as a second language focus on English as a practical tool and world commodity rather than a cultural enrichment. Due to such circumstances, the approach which survived in the new millennium is Communicative Language Teaching. Indeed, the principles of this approach are as follows:

• Language learning is communicative competence
• Learners learn a language through using it to communicate
• Fluency and accuracy are important keys of authentic and meaningful communication.

Many linguists have used the term competence in different contexts to refer to different types of knowledge. The term competence however was originally set out by the father of linguistics Noam Chomsky. In his book ‘Aspects of the Theory of Syntax’, he defines competence as: “Linguistic theory is primarily concerned with an ideal speaker-listener. In completely homogeneous speech community who knows its language perfectly and is unaffected by such grammatically irrelevant conditions as memory limitations, distractions, shifts of attention and interest, and errors (random or characteristic) in applying his knowledge of the language in actual performance.” (Chomsky 1965:3). Later, Chomsky put the distinction between competence (the speaker’s or hearer’s knowledge of languages) and performance (the actual use of language in concrete situations). This study put forward the distinction between the knowledge on one hand and the use of this knowledge on the other. However, Chomsky did not explain whether this knowledge includes the idea of ‘ability’. It seems that Chomsky equated 'competence' with 'knowledge', but he did not present a clear distinction between 'knowledge' and 'the ability to use this knowledge' for communicative purposes.

Language learning came to be seen as a social and cognitive process. As Richards (2001) concludes, Second Language acquisition theory today remains influenced by Chomsky’s view of linguistic competence and universal grammar, as well as Vygotsky’s view scaffolding process which focuses on the gap between what the learner can do and the next stage in learning which occurs through negotiation.

Canale and Swain (1980) defined communicative competence as a consistence of four aspects:

1.Grammatical competence
2. Sociolinguistic competence
3.Discourse competence
4. Strategic competence

According to Canale (1983), grammatical competence refers to mastering the linguistic code of the language that is being learnt; sociolinguistic competence means knowing the sociocultural rules of the use of the second language; discourse competence refers to the ability to select and arrange lexical items and syntactic structures in order to achieve well-formed texts; strategic competence refers to the ability to command verbal and non-verbal devices in order to compensate insufficient mastery or to enhance communication.
Bachman (1990) suggested that language knowledge includes two types of knowledge that a second language learner must internalize:

a) Organizational knowledge, that is knowing how to control the formal structure of a second language so as to produce correct sentences and organize these in texts. It subsumes grammatical and
textual knowledge.

b) Pragmatic knowledge, which involves knowing how words and utterances can be assigned specific meanings in context and function according to the user’s intentions. This knowledge is also
structured in lexical knowledge, functional knowledge and sociolinguistic knowledge.

The above concepts of communicative competence have one thing in their central that is Pragmatics. In fact, Blum-Kulka (1982), underlined the need to train second language learners to specific aspects of particular speech acts in the target language, to perform them, what motivates their performance in certain contexts, therefore when, where, how and with whom they can perform.

Some definitions of Pragmatics as a science

According to Leech (1974), Charles Morris introduced the first modern definition of pragmatics, and since then many other specialists have continued to conceptualize this branch of linguistics. Morris originally defined pragmatics as “…the discipline that studies the relations of signs to interpreters, while semantics studies the relations of signs to the objects to which the signs are applicable” (as cited in Leech, 1974, p. 172).

Kasper (1993) defined the term as “the study of people's comprehension and production of linguistic action in context” (p. 3). Here, there are included the words action and context, two crucial elements of speech acts in language. Kasper used the term linguistic action which defines the capacity of the learner to produce an utterance. He also put emphasis on comprehension as well as production, a distinction that is particularly relevant for second language learners’ daily lives.

Crystal (1985: 240) defined pragmatics as:
… the study of language from the point of view of the users, especially of the choices they make, the constraints they encounter in using language in social interaction, and the effects their use of language has on the other participants in an act of communication.”
This definition analyzes pragmatics from the perspective of the users. It takes into account the different choices that speakers are able to make when using the target language, depending on the social interaction of their communication. The notion of choice leads to another aspect into consideration useful to language learners, namely, developing the ability to make the right choices among a variety of pragmatic elements. Crystal considered pragmatics as the study of the communicative action in its sociocultural context. Thus, it can be said that individuals have some sort of pragmatic competence which allows them to use Academic Journal of  language in different and concrete situations, in varying contexts. Therefore, pragmatic competence is mainly studied at the social level within the limits of speech acts and social acts, interactions or at the interactional level.

Types of competences in the process of language teaching

As it was mentioned above, communicative approach and the term competence brought into discussion different aspects of the communicative competence; all these aspects are interwoven and they can be included in a broader term, pragmatic competence. As it was stated above pragmatics is defined as a science which studies and considers simultaneously the utterance and the utterer, the action and the intention. In order to understand better the development of pragmatic competence in language teaching, the competence types can be briefly analyzed as the following, based on various linguists ‘points of view.

Sociolinguistic Competence

Sociolinguistic competence is the ability to interpret the social meaning of a linguistic item and to decide and use language in an appropriate social meaning for communicative purposes. As Savignon (1983:37) mentions, “Sociolinguistic competence is the knowledge of socio-cultural rules of discourse and language. It requires ‘an understanding of the social context in which language is used: the roles of participants, the information they share, and the function of interacting.”

As Erton (2007) further explains in his article Applied Pragmatics and Competence Relations in
Language Learning and Teaching, the sociolinguistic information which the speakers convey to each other
share a pragmatic competence which helps them to interpret and act in different situations by making use of
different contextual clues. There are also included components like: ‘culture’ and ‘interaction’, which reflect the
fundamental concepts of verbal and non-verbal communication.

Interactional Competence

Kramsch (1986: 367) in her article From Language Proficiency to Interactional Competence defines the term ‘interaction’ as “. interaction entails negotiating intended meanings, i.e., adjusting one’s speech to the effect one intends to have on the listener. It entails anticipating the listener’s response and possible misunderstandings, clarifying one’s own and the other intentions and arriving at the closed possible watch between intended, perceived, and anticipated meanings.” As Erton (2007) concludes, considering this definition, it can be said that interactional competence not only makes the use of structural rules of language, but also runs the psycho-linguistic and socio-linguistic functions of language which help to provide accuracy and clarify to the mutual comprehension of the speech acts covered in the course of a conversation. Thus, the so called ‘functional competence’, involves the ability to establish the tie between the question and its equivalence in particular real life situation, recognizing the speaker’s intention by evaluating his/her body language, awareness of the semiotic symbols used, types of social interaction (i.e. introducing, greeting, farewell, etc.), the communicative functions of language, acting accordingly and appropriately.

Cultural Competence

Lyons (1990:302) defines the term culture as, “Culture may be described as socially acquired knowledge: i.e. as the knowledge that someone has by virtue of his being a member of a particular society.” Thus, cultural competence can be defined as the ability to understand and use language in a way that would be understood by the members of that culture.

According to Le Page (1978:41), “When we come to the central question of ‘competence’ we have to ask: ‘What is it an individual needs to know, in order to operate as a member of this society?’ A society only exists in the competence of its members to make it work as it does; a language only exists in the competence of those who use and regard themselves as users of that language, and the latter competence is the essential mediating system for the former.” Here, the term competence is regarded as a living social action which effects social behaviour in order for the latter to be achieved clearly and to avoid misunderstanding.

Communicative Competence

H.G. Widdowson (1989:135) described the communicative competence, “. . . communicative competence is not a matter of knowing rules for the composition of sentences and being able to employ such rules to assemble expressions from scratch as and when occasion requires. It is much more a matter of knowing a stock of partially pre-assembled patterns, formulaic frameworks, and a kit of rules, so to speak, and being able to apply the rules to make whatever adjustments are necessary according to contextual demands.
Communicative competence in this view is essentially a matter of adaptation, and rules are not generative but regulative and subservient.” Thus, as Widdowson said, communicative competence is the ability to put language for communicative
purposes. The communicative competence considers language as a tool used for communication. This competence focuses on the development of four language skills, and on the correlation between the skills. Canale and Swain (1980) considered the term communicative competence as a mediator which refers to the relationship between grammatical competence (the knowledge of the rules of language) and the sociolinguistic competence (the knowledge of the rules of language use).

Strategic Competence

Canale and Swain (1980) defined strategic competence as an ability which deals with the knowledge of
language and the ability to use this knowledge effectively and appropriate to purpose in order to take an active
part in communicative interaction. As Erton (2007:64) further clarifies, “… the strategic competence is the link that ties ‘everything’
together. A typical example for this case can be: if you are late to a meeting and if you need to find a good excuse, the white lie that you utter at that time is a product of your strategic competence which reflects a criteria of the competence types that the language user has. However, under the title strategic competence the critical and the creative aspects of the human mind can also be considered as well.” Thus, under such speaking terms, there is accordance between strategic competence and critical thinking. Richards (1998:95) says, “Critical reflection refers to an activity or process in which experience is recalled, considered and evaluated, usually in relation to a broader purpose. It is a response to a past experience and involves conscious recall and examination of the experience as the basis for the evaluation and the decision-making and as a source for planning and action.”As Richards mentioned as well, critical thinking is part of an evaluation of language and information, both being based on experience and knowledge. There might be included other factors such as: accuracy, coherence, unity. As such, this process can be considered as a strategy between questions and answers,
stimulating critical thinking.

Discourse Competence

Erton (2007: 64) says “… discourse competence deals with the ability to arrange sentences into cohesive
structures. In Discourse Analysis, the term discourse competence is studied within the limits of conversational interaction where language is considered a tool for successful communication. Such interactional patterns can be of great variety.”As Akmajian (1997:369) exemplifies, “There are many forms of discourse and many forms of talk exchange. Letters, jokes, stories, lectures, sermons, speeches, and so on are all categories of discourse; arguments, interviews, business dealings, instruction, and conversations are categories of talk exchanges. Conversations (and talk-exchanges in general) are usually structured consequences of expressions by more
than a single speaker.”Therefore, the development of discourse competence helps the language learner to gain insight by experiencing different interactional patterns in varying socio-cultural and physical contexts.

Pragmatic Competence

Pragmatic competence refers to the ability to comprehend, construct, and convey meanings that are both accurate and appropriate for the social and cultural circumstances in which communication occurs. Blackman (cited in Barron, 2003, p. 173) identified pragmatic competence as one element of communicative competence, placing pragmatic competence as part of illocutionary competence, which is a combination of speech acts and speech functions along with the appropriate use of language in context. In simple terms, Pragmatics is about culture, communication, and in the case of second languages, about intercultural communication. In order for second language learners to acquire pragmatic competence, they need to acquire cultural understanding and communication skills. According to Watzlawick, on Novinger (2001, p.19) “We cannot communicate. All behavior is communication, and we cannot behave.” Every behavior or action can be considered communication, and each of our actions reflect our cultural background including our opinions towards gender, religion, sexual orientation, lifestyle, politics and even personal space.

Why teach pragmatics in language classes

The study of pragmatics explores the ability of language users to match utterances with contexts in which they are appropriate; in Stalnaker’s words, pragmatics is "the study of linguistic acts and the contexts in which they are performed" (1972, p. 383). The teaching of pragmatics aims to facilitate the learners’ sense of being able to find socially appropriate language for the situations that they encounter. Within second language studies and teaching, pragmatics encompasses speech acts, conversational structure, conversational implicature, conversational management, discourse organization, and sociolinguistic aspects of language use such as
choice of address forms. As Bardovi-Harlig (1996) advocate, teaching pragmatics because quite simply, observation of language
learners shows that there is a demonstrated need for it and that instruction in pragmatics can be successful. Kasper & Schmidt (1996) explain further that learners show significant differences from native speakers in the area of language use, in the execution and comprehension of certain speech acts, in conversational functions such as greetings and leave takings, and in conversational management such as back channeling and short responses. The goal of instruction in pragmatics is not to insist on conformity to a particular target-language norm, but rather to help learners become familiar with the range of pragmatic devices and practices in the target language. With such instruction learners can maintain their own cultural identities (Kondo) and participate more fully in target language communication with more control over both intended force and outcome of their contributions The first issue is to make language available to learners for observation. Some speech acts, such as invitations, refusals, and apologies often take place between individuals, and so learners might not have the opportunity to observe such language without being directly involved in the conversation.

As Gallow points out, even maintaining a conversation in English requires a certain amount of knowledge underlying responses that prompt a speaker to continue, show understanding, give support, indicate agreement, show strong emotional response, add or correct speaker’s information, or ask for more information; Berry also discusses the importance of learning how to take turns, and demonstrates that listening behaviors that are polite in one language, may not be polite (or recognizable) in another. The second issue is salience. Some necessary features of language and language use are quite subtle in the input and not immediately noticeable by learners; for example the turns that occur before speakers actually say “goodbye” and the noises that we make when encouraging other speakers to continue their turns are of this type. Differences in making requests by asking “Can I” (speaker-oriented) versus “Can you” (hearer-oriented) might not be immediately salient to learners. By highlighting features of language and language use, instruction can inform the learner.

The role of Pragmatic Competence in the process of teaching and learning a second language

“We don’t learn from experience. We learn from reflecting on experience.” (Dewey, 1938, p. 13) Dewey makes a simple but powerful point: experience is not the source of learning, but rather it is reflection on this experience. The four skills in language learning; reading writing, listening and speaking do not occur in isolation in communicative texts or activities. In order to shape a good pragmatic competence for the language learner, the following should be taken into consideration.

1. The goals and the objectives of a language course should be designed to meet the needs of thelanguage learner to help them develop and improve their communicative competence. Since the primary goal of learning a second language is to provide fluency and accuracy in written and spoken modes of communication, first, the language teacher and the learner should pay attention to design communicative activities which would help to develop the communicative competence. Stern (1983:346) summarizes ‘competence’ in language teaching as:

a) The intuitive mastery of the forms of language.
b) The intuitive mastery of the linguistic, cognitive, affective and sociocultural meanings,
expressed by the language forms.
c) The capacity to use the language with maximum attention to communication and minimum
attention to form.
d) The creativity of language use.

Obviously, the term competence invites both the teacher and the learner to develop linguistic and sociolinguistic skills, in order to achieve complete and accurate communication.

2. The language teacher should design the course material to engage the learners in the pragmatic, coherent and functional uses of language for communicative purposes. As Erton (1997:7) claims, “The functional study of language means, studying how language is used. For instance, trying to find out what the specific purposes that language serves for us, and how the members of a language community achieve and react to these purposes through speaking, reading, writing and listening.” The pragmatic competence of the learner must be well developed; consequently he or she will be able to conduct communication with accuracy. The development of coherence and the ability to react in different situations show a good level of functional competence. The grammar of the target language should not be taught in isolation with its use. The learned should be able to put his or her knowledge of language into

3. There are a number of activities useful for the development of pragmatic competence. Moreover, they should raise the learners’ awareness of the importance of such competence in the process of acquiring the target language. As Mey (1993:185-6) states, “Linguistic behaviour is social behaviour. People talk because they want to socialise, in the widest possible sense of the world: r for fun, or to express themselves to other humans, or for some ‘serious’ purposes, such as building a house, closing a deal, solving a problem and so on.”Thus, Mey claims that, language is a tool for human beings to express themselves as social creatures and the language used in that particular context is important in terms of linguistic interaction that takes place. “Such a context naturally presupposes the existence of a particular society, with its implicit and explicit values, norms, rules and laws, and with all its particular conditions of life: economic, social, political and cultural.”admits Mey (1993:186-7).


The purpose of the application of different teaching and learning activities is to help students become more effective, fluent and successive communicators in the target language. As Harlow (1990:348) states, “. . . most importantly, both teachers and textbooks alike need to emphasise to the learner that language is composed of not just linguistic and lexical elements; rather, language reflects also the social context, taking into account situational and social factors in the act of communication.” Since pragmatic competence is a combination of these factors, the development of the pragmatic ability should be accepted as one of the primary teaching goals. Students will be able to act different communicative patterns, they will find themselves active and involved in concrete acts in the classroom. Pragmatic competence will secure them good levels of grammatical and functional competences as well. They will react fluently, coherently and accurately. What is more, pragmatic competence will urge their critical thinking.



It is every teacher's wish to help his or her students become proficient in English. More often than not ESL teachers find students having difficulty in learning English. After using several approaches, methods or techniques, teachers often wonder why students do not learn what teachers teach. There is a gap between teaching and learning. Teaching strategies may not be compatible with learning strategies. While teachers develop strategies of teaching, students have their own strategies of learning.

It is the objective of this paper to put forward some learning strategies employed by the learner and discuss their importance in terms of teaching and learning.

Learner strategies have been described to include any set of operations, steps, plans or routines used by the learner to facilitate the obtaining, storage, retrieval and use of information (O'Malley et al., 1983; Brown et al., 1983), that is, what learners do to learn and do to regulate their learning (Rubin, 1987). Learner strategies include metacognitive and cognitive activities. Metacognitive learning strategies are generally applicable to a variety of learning tasks and include the knowledge of cognitive operations of oneself or others and planning, monitoring and evaluating a learning activity (Brown, 1982). Cognitive strategies are often specific to distinct learning activities and include steps in learning that require direct analysis, transformation or synthesis of learning materials (Brown, 1982).

The strategies used by learners are observable in the classroom. However such a display is observable among active students. The learning strategies of the quiet ones remain unknown. How do they learn? How much control over learning do these learners exercise?

To gain a better insight into the learning process, it might be worthwhile examining some theoretical constructs. The learning process includes both explicit and implicit knowledge. Both types of knowledge facilitate the process of getting, storing, retrieving and using information (Bialystok, 1978; McLaughlin, 1978; Smith, 1981). For some learners and some tasks, it is assumed that conscious attention to the learning process is the first step to making language automatic (Rubin, 1987). Bialystok clarifies the learning process and the learner's strategies in a model of second language learning.

According to Bialystok, the learner makes use of three types of information in the learning process. They are explicit knowledge, implicit knowledge and other knowledge. Explicit knowledge refers to conscious facts about the language such as rules of grammar. Implicit knowledge is intuitive information upon which the learner operates to produce responses such as comprehension or production. Other information includes information the learner brings to the language task such as the cultural context associated with particular words or expressions. The learner's responses can be spontaneous and immediate as in speaking (type 1) or they can be deliberated and occur after a delay as in reading (type 2).

Bialystok identifies four strategies which the learner uses. The formal and functional practising enables the learner to increase his exposure to the language. In formal practising he focuses on the language code. The learner would thus refer to grammar books, dictionaries and so on. He operates on information already in explicit knowledge for automising it and transferring it to implicit knowledge by means such as language drills. In functional practising, the learner uses the language in communicative situations. Meaning is of primary importance here. The learner also monitors or uses conscious knowledge of the language to examine and modify or correct linguistic output. This concept of monitoring is similar to that postulated by Krashen (1977) in his "Monitor" theory. Since time is required for this conscious knowledge to be utilised, monitoring can only affect output after some delay. The learner also uses inferencing as a strategy whereby he may arrive at particular linguistic information which was previously unknown. Inferencing is an effective way to increase comprehension of linguistic material (Bialystok. 1978). The learner also uses inferencing in exploiting information from other knowledge, for example, getting cues from the environment, gestures and knowledge of other languages and the like. Inferencing from implicit knowledge may be unconscious. The learner may be unaware that adverbs end in "ly" but may implicitly use this information to infer that some previously unknown word is an adverb and hence arrive at the meaning of the word. Inferring from explicit knowledge may occur by means of using the context of the passage or message to obtain meanings of words or forms.


It is worthwhile investigating the metacognitive and cognitive strategies of the learner as they are useful for school-based learning and they also have the potential for informal learning environments (Wenden, 1983). According to Rubin (1987), once the learners have developed an ability to evaluate their own learning process, they become the best judge of how to approach the learning task.

It is not possible for a teacher to follow the learning path of each of her students because much of it is not readily accessible to the teacher. Since teachers find it difficult to determine how each student learns best, students must be taught to help themselves (Rubin, 1987). Some learners are more successful than others. This success can be attributed to particular sets of cognitive processes and behaviours which they use to enable them to be successful. Some learners are more analytic in their approach to the learning tasks, others are intuitive. Some prefer to use written materials in learning a foreign language while others prefer to hear the language. In his study of learner preferences, Willing (1985) discovered four different types of learners, mainly:

    concrete learners: the learners who prefer learning by using games, pictures, films and videos, talking in pairs, learning through the use of cassette and going on excursions.
    analytic learners: the learners who like studying grammar, studying English books, studying alone, finding their own mistakes, having problems to work on, learning through reading newspapers.
    communicative learners: the learners who like observing and listening to native speakers, talking to friends in English, watching TV in English, using English in shops etc., learning English words by hearing them and learning by conversation.
    authority-oriented learners: the learners who like the teacher to explain everything, writing everything in a notebook, having their own textbook, learning to read, studying grammar and learning English words by seeing them.

In recent years attempts at remediating the strategies of unsuccessful language learners have proliferated. Some examples are studies conducted by Wenden and Rubin (1987), O'Malley and Charmot (1990), Oxford (1990) and Van and Abraham (1990). The strategies employed by the more successful learners could perhaps be taught to the less successful ones. Learning strategies are used by "good" language learners to assist them in gaining command over required skills (Naiman et al. 1975) and are associated with language acquisition (Politzer and McGroarty, 1983). These strategies are applicable to a variety of language tasks (Bialystok, 1981) and can be adapted to the language proficiencies of individual learners (Cohen and Asphek, 1980). Learning strategies are relatively easy to use and are teachable to learners who are not familiar with them (Rubin and Thompson, 1982). Teaching the use of learning strategies in reading has been relatively successful (Wittrock et al., 1975) and extensions to second language learning would be fruitful (O'Malley et al., 1985).

Learners need to be aware of different learning strategies so that they can become autonomous language learners (Wenden, 1987). They will become not only efficient at learning and using their second language but also capable of self-directing these endeavours. In self-directed learning, learners will be able to take the initiative, with or without the help of others, in diagnosing their learning needs, formulating learning goals, identifying human and material resources for learning, choosing and implementing appropriate learning strategies, and evaluating learning outcomes (Knowles, 1975).

In fostering autonomy, Holec (1980) stresses the importance of critical reflection. If learners are to be weaned away from their state of dependence to one of autonomy, they must not on1y acquire a number of relevant strategies but also experience a change of psychological attitudes towards what learning is. This means they must have very clear ideas of what a language is, what learning a language means, the roles of the teacher and the learner, the materials which are necessary and so on.

Self-direction promotes learning both inside and outside the classroom. If students are dependent on teachers to shape language to suit them and to provide them with proper input, they will not be able to take control of their own learning when the teacher is not there (Rubin, 1987). Thus if the learner can exert control over the learning process and use of the correct strategies, he will be able to increase his efficiency. As discovered in Van and Abraham's (1990) study, learners were unsuccessful because they failed to apply strategies appropriately to the task at hand and not because they lacked strategies.

Various research studies have identified strategies used by good language learners. Naiman et al. (1978) suggest that good language learners will:

    1.actively involve themselves in the learning task by responding positively to the given learning opportunity, by identifying and seeking preferred learning environments and exploiting them.
    2.develop or exploit an awareness of language as a system by referring to their native language or analysing the target language and making inferences about it.
    3. develop and exploit an awareness of language as a means of communication and interaction.
    4.  accept and cope with effective demands of the second language.
    5. constantly revise their second language system by inferencing and monitoring.

More specific techniques uncovered by Naiman et al. include repeating aloud after the teacher and/or native speaker, following rules as given by the grammar books or textbooks, making up vocabulary charts and memorising them, listening to radio, TV, records etc., having contact with native speakers and reading anything - magazines, newspapers, comics etc.

Rubin (1981) studied adult learners' learning strategies and concentrated on the cognitive processes they used. The strategies they employed were:

   1. clarification/verification: the learner asks for examples of how to use a word or expression, asks for correct forms to see and looks up words in the dictionary.
   2. monitoring: the learner corrects his or her own or others' pronunciation, vocabulary, spelling, grammar etc.
   3. memorization: the learner takes note of new items and finds some association with them for purposes of storage and retrieval.
   4.  guessing/inductive infferencing: the learner uses clues to guess rules.
   5. deductive reasoning: the learner looks for and uses general rules. He compares his language to the target language to identify similarities and differences.
  6. practice: the learner experiments with new sounds, uses a mirror to practise, talks to himself in the target language and drills himself on words in different forms.

In a study of ESL learners, O'Malley et al. identified 26 learning strategies. The metacognitive strategies were to use advance organisers, directed attention, selective attention, self-management, advance preparation, self-monitoring, delayed production, self-evaluation and self-reinforcement. The cognitive strategies were: repetition, resourcing (using target language reference materials), directed physical attention, translation, grouping or classifying materials, note-taking, consciously applying rules, combining known elements of language in a new way, imagery, auditory representation, using key words, contextualisation, elaboration; transfer, inferencing and questions for clarification and cooperation.

Implications for teaching and learning

Once the range of possible learner strategies has been obtained, the teacher would be able to provide an environment which would enable students to identify those strategies that work best for them. Any strategy sincerely adopted by the learner is more likely to help him if he considers assuming responsibility for his own learning a fundamental requirement for success in language learning (Carver, 1984). Some learner strategies are better than others. The learner will improve his command of the language by using efficient strategies in performing a particular task.

The teacher does not have to depend on others for new techniques. Furthermore, a technique which is effective in engendering learning in one class may not produce the same result when used in another class. When the teacher has identified the learning strategy that would benefit the learner she can develop and/or use the technique that is compatible with that learning strategy.

The classroom teacher knows her students best. Therefore investigations into learner strategies can easily be conducted by the teacher. She can observe both the active and the inactive students and find out the strategies they use in learning. To get more information about learning, a learner may be asked to 'think aloud' as he performs a task, that is, he is asked to let his thoughts flow verbally (Hosenfeld, 1976). The teacher then records what the student says. She may probe the subject's thoughts if they are not being expressed.

Teachers can also make learners aware of learning strategies through discussions and comments as a means of helping the learners decide on the strategies to use with materials given (Caver, 1984). Allwright (1980) suggests that learners be asked to describe the strategies they employ and rate them in terms of frequency of use, enjoyment, usefulness and efficiency. Research regarding learning strategies (Rubin, 1987; Wenden, 1986; O'Malley et al., 1985; Hosenfeld, 1976) have shown that learners are able to describe their choice of strategies, their setting of priorities and the way they evaluate the effectiveness of these strategies (Cohen, 1987).

Rubin (1981) provides some helpful guidelines in making use of student reports of their own strategies. This serves as a means of recording possibilities of what a learner might do in the future. It can also help the learner increase his techniques by discovering strategies used by others.

Teachers can also encourage their students to develop learning strategies which are efficient in ensuring successful learning. Teachers should allow students to give feedback on their learning difficulties so that teaching strategies could be designed to develop certain learning strategies.

According to O'Malley et al. (1985: 43)

    "Classroom instruction has the potential to influence a wide range of skills to which the strategies can be applied teachers can go beyond their traditional role of providing information and create circumstances in which students become acquainted with and apply strategies that are appropriate for the type of learning activities being presented. Furthermore, the teacher can encourage and assist students in applying the strategies to an expanded range of language activities and materials so that the strategies are transferred to new activities and are used by students independently of the teacher's support

To understand further the cognitive and metacognitive strategies of students, teachers can experience learning a second or foreign language themselves. Strategies which are effective in enhancing learning can then be suggested to others.

Learning strategies can be taught to learners. However, learners need to be informed of the value and significance of the strategies. They need to be taught both the metacognitive and cognitive strategies.


Research on learner strategies has been motivated partly by the desire to discover how successful learners learn 80 that this information can be used to help less effective learners (Wenden, 1986). The activities used should not only be limited to transmitting effective strategies but also to discovering what the learners believe or know about their learning. Research. on mental states in second language learning is becoming important and the findings can benefit learners, that is, make them more successful learners. Learners themselves may have important insights into how they learn (Cohen and Hosenfeld, 1981). However, individuals differ in their cognitive skills. They also differ in their ability to get the required exposure to the language and in the amount of help they need from others in order to learn. If the teaching strategy is compatible with the learning strategy, then learning is facilitated, if not, then learning will be impeded.


Discourse analysis is a broad term for the study of the ways in which language is used between people, both in written texts and spoken contexts. Whereas other areas of language study might look at individual parts of language, such as words and phrases (grammar) or the pieces that make up words (linguistics), discourse analysis looks at a running conversation involving a speaker and listener (or a writer's text and its reader).

It is "the study of real language use, by real speakers in real situations," wrote Teun A. van Dijk in the "Handbook of Discourse Analysis, Vol. 4."

    Discourse analysis looks at conversations in their social context. Discourse analysis melds linguistics and sociology by taking into account the social and cultural context that language is used. It can be used by businesses, academic researchers, or the government any person or organization that wants to better understand an aspect of communication.

The context of the conversation is taken into account as well as what is said. It can include where people are speaking and involves a social and cultural framework as well as nonverbal cues, such as body language, and, in the case of textual communication, images and symbols.

Discourse analysis is also called discourse studies and was developed during the 1970s as an academic field.

What Discourse Analysis Does

Misunderstanding relayed information can lead to problems, big or small. Being able to understand subtle subtext—to be able to "read between the lines"—or distinguish between factual reporting and fake news, editorials, or propaganda all rely on being able to interpret communication. Thus, critical analysis of what someone is saying or writing is of utmost importance. To go a step further, to take analyzing discourse to the level of a field of study is to make it more formal, to mesh linguistics and sociology. It can even be aided by the fields of psychology, anthropology, and philosophy.

Since the establishment of the field, discourse analysis has evolved to include a wide range of topics, from public to private language use, official to colloquial rhetoric, and from oratory to written and multimedia discourses.

    That means, according to Christopher Eisenhart and Barbara Johnstone's "Discourse Analysis and Rhetorical Studies," that when we speak of discourse analysis, we're also "asking not just about the rhetoric of politics, but also about the rhetoric of history and the rhetoric of popular culture; not just about the rhetoric of the public sphere but about rhetoric on the street, in the hair salon, or online; not just about the rhetoricity of formal argument but also about the rhetoricity of personal identity."

Looking at the context of language use, not just the words, can incorporate the layers of meaning added by the social or institutional aspects at work, of things like gender, power imbalance, conflicts, cultural background, and racism. Avenues can be studied, such as discourse in political debate, advertising, television programming/media, interviewing, and storytelling.
Applications of Discourse Analysis

Discourse analysis can be used to study inequality in society, such as institutional racism, bias in media, and sexism. It can examine discussions around religious symbols located in public places. Researchers in the field can aid the U.S. government by picking apart speeches by world leaders, such as Syria's leader Bashar Al-Assad and North Korea's Kim Jong Un. It can also be used by businesses to quantify hot topics in social media discussions, among other business applications.

In the field of medicine, communication research has examined, for example, how physicians can make sure they're understood by people with limited English skills or how cancer patients cope with their diagnosis. In one study, transcriptions of conversations between doctors and patients were analyzed to find out where misunderstandings occurred. In another, women were interviewed about their feelings on the first diagnosis, how it affected their relationships, what the role of their social support network was, and how "positive thinking" came into play.
How Discourse Analysis Is Different

Unlike grammar analysis, which focuses on the singular sentence, discourse analysis focuses instead on the broad and general use of language within and between particular groups of people. Also, grammarians typically construct the examples they analyze, while analysis of discourse relies on the writings of many others to determine popular usage.

Simply put, discourse analysis observes the colloquial, cultural, and indeed, human use of a language, including all the "um"s, "uh"s, slips of the tongue, and awkward pauses. Grammar analysis relies entirely on sentence structure, word usage, and stylistic choices on the sentence level, which can oftentimes include culture but not the human element of spoken discourse.

In other types of textual analysis, researchers may look at texts in isolation, examine the art of persuasion evident in the texts, or discuss other aspects of them, but only discourse analysis looks at them and takes into account their social and cultural context.


Peer Teaching

Peer teaching is not a new concept. It can be traced back to Aristotle’s use of archons, or student leaders, and to the letters of Seneca the Younger. It was first organized as a theory by Scotsman Andrew Bell in 1795, and later implemented into French and English schools in the 19th century. Over the past 30-40 years, peer teaching has become increasingly popular in conjunction with mixed ability grouping in K-12 public schools and an interest in more financially efficient methods of teaching.

Not to be confused with peer instruction—a relatively new concept designed by Harvard professor Eric Mazur in the early 1990s— peer teaching is a method by which one student instructs another student in material on which the first is an expert and the second is a novice.

Goodlad and Hurst (1989) and Topping (1998) note that academic peer tutoring at the college level takes many different forms. Surrogate teaching, common at larger universities, involves giving older students, often graduates or advanced undergraduates, some or all of the teaching responsibility for undergraduate courses. Proctoring programs involve one-on-one tutoring by students who are slightly ahead of other students, or who have successfully demonstrated proficiency with the material in the recent past. Cooperative learning divides classmates into small groups, with each person in the group responsible for teaching others, and each contributing a unique piece to the group performance on a task. Reciprocal peer tutoring (RPT), a more specific version of cooperative learning, groups classmates into pairs to tutor each other.

The main benefits of peer teaching include, but are not limited to, the following:

    1.Students receive more time for individualized learning.
    2. Direct interaction between students promotes active learning.
    3.Peer teachers reinforce their own learning by instructing others.
    4.Students feel more comfortable and open when interacting with a peer.
    5.Peers and students share a similar discourse, allowing for greater understanding.
    6.Peer teaching is a financially efficient alternative to hiring more staff members.
    7.Teachers receive more time to focus on the next lesson.

Research also indicates that peer learning activities typically yield the following results for both tutor and tutee: team-building spirit and more supportive relationships; greater psychological well-being, social competence, communication skills and self-esteem; and higher achievement and greater productivity in terms of enhanced learning outcomes.

Various peer teaching programs have cropped up at universities around the world in the past few decades, promoting the notion of peer-assisted learning. Nearly every institute of higher education in the world provides peer tutoring opportunities for struggling students and teaching assistant positions for advanced students.

Students in the Advanced Chinese Studies program, Intensive Chinese Language program, and Summer Intensive Chinese Language program at Peking University (PKU) in Beijing are required to meet for a minimum of three hours per week for one-on-one sessions with their Chinese language tutor. The Peer Language Tutor program at PKU is a unique hallmark of these programs that help ensure its students’ linguistic and cultural fluency progresses throughout the program. These tutorials provide students extra conversation practice in Mandarin and guidance with homework assignments, while giving students an opportunity to befriend and be a part of the lives of their Chinese peers. Past students have stated that their peer tutors were one of the favorite aspects of the program.

Tutors in Australia can gain a TAFE (Technical and Further Education) certificate in the course Literacy Volunteer Tutoring (Schools) Theory and Fieldwork. Senior students enroll with TAFE and are trained in reading assistance by participating in set modules on theory. At school, the tutors participate in fieldwork by supporting junior students in the reading of the actual classroom texts from their various subjects during Drop Everything and Read sessions on four days per week. The program demonstrates significant success in the full range of government schools including coeducational, girls, boys, central, collegiate and primary schools. The success achieved by Aboriginal students and by boys is particularly significant.

The Peer Tutoring Program at Duke University in North Carolina offers up to twelve hours of free tutoring each semester to Duke undergraduates who are in enrolled in select introductory-level courses. Students meet with a tutor weekly in a convenient public location on campus such as an empty classroom, the library, or a dorm common area. All peer tutors receive on-going training both in best current tutoring practices and on tutoring strategies relevant to their tutoring discipline.

Despite the continued popularity of college student peer tutoring, there exists little comprehensive research on its effectiveness and benefits. What research does exist, however, has found that peer tutoring is highly cost-effective and usually results in substantial gains for participants, both academically and socially.

A reciprocal peer tutoring (RPT) program at California State University, Fullerton has been evaluated extensively. The program requires students in a large introductory psychology course to meet with student partners periodically throughout the course to quiz each other and discuss the main ideas for each unit of the course. Largely a commuter college, the program seeks to increase academic success, as well as to increase the social integration of the students. The program has been highly successful in both respects: when compared to control students who participated in other supplementary activities, RPT participants showed higher academic achievement on unit tests, rated themselves as more satisfied with the class, were better adjusted psychosocially, and frequently used their RPT partner as a supportive resource in the course.

Carsrud (1984) describes an example of a surrogate teaching method in which doctoral students supervised undergraduate psychology students in conducting research projects. One of the major goals of this program was to encourage highly motivated and well-prepared students to become interested in pursuing research through skill development and exposure to first-hand experience. The undergraduates worked closely with the graduate students in designing and implementing the research, and were required to produce a professional-style report at the end of the study. The program was considered a success, based on participants’ self-reports.

In addition, it was noted that 20 of the 25 undergraduate students entered graduate programs in psychology within one year of graduation. (However, the study lacked a control group of comparable students without exposure to surrogate teaching and it is therefore possible that those who entered graduate school were already graduate school bound.)

A different type of surrogate teaching program was used in an introductory psychology class at Washington State University. Students were given the choice of attending weekly supplemental discussion sessions led by senior undergraduates or participating as subjects in various research projects within the department. Those who opted for the supplemental discussion sessions were assigned to either a maximal group (six students to one tutor) or a minimal group (twenty students to one tutor). Students who were in the tutoring groups performed significantly better on the class exams than did the control subjects who merely served as research subjects.

In early learning institutions, the effectiveness—if not the widespread use— of peer teaching is equally apparent. In one study conducted in an Ohio school in 2011, four sixth grade students of the same reading level engaged in reading passages from the Quality Reading Inventory (QRI). The QRI is an informal assessment instrument containing graded word lists and numerous passages designed to assess a student’s oral reading, silent reading, and comprehension abilities (Leslie & Caldwell, 2006).

One pair of students engaged in a peer tutoring activity as they read a passage together, actively discussing and talking about the passage as they read. The students then individually gave a retelling of the story to the investigator. The second pair of students read the same passage separately and individually gave a retelling of the story to the investigator. Each pair of students engaged in this procedure twice a week, resulting in a total of eight times, over the course of four weeks.

The students who had engaged in peer learning scored significantly higher on the QRI (Quality Reading Inventory) test than the students who had not, indicating the effectiveness peer tutoring can have on academic achievement.

The accuracy of the retelling was examined using the QRI retelling scoring procedure to determine whether there is a relationship between peer tutoring and higher retelling accuracy. The retelling data was scored using the QRI retelling scoring sheet, and retellings were assigned a numeral score. The scores over the four week period were graphed and examined to determine whether there is any relationship between the pair of students engaged in peer tutoring and individually-working students.

The students who had engaged in peer learning scored significantly higher on the QRI test than the students who had not, indicating the effectiveness peer tutoring can have on academic achievement. This is just one example; to name them all here would take far more time than you or I have to spare.

Despite its popularity, peer teaching has come under considerable scrutiny in recent years, especially in the K-12 community. One blogger writes, “This practice has significant downsides for both parties” and goes on to describe the story of frustrated teachers in Manhattan who created a buddy program, enlisting older students to help teach struggling readers. She cites lack of evidence as a primary concern, mentioning a 2008 National Mathematics Advisory Panel which reviewed instances of instruction in which students were primarily doing the teaching. The panel found only a handful of studies that met its standards for quality.

“I’m imagining a scenario where one student is helping another in drilling math facts,” the blogger writes. “I can buy that. Otherwise, peer teaching seems to be a waste of precious classroom time.”

Her primary issue with peer teaching, though, is the return on her investment. “I want expert teachers, not other students, teaching my kids,” she says, referring to the expenses associated with quality schooling.

Another blog cites “student hesitancy” as a potential issue. Some students may feel that being tutored by another makes them inferior to that student, setting up an adversarial relationship from the start. If a student develops this feeling of inferiority, he may be less than eager to work with his assigned peer and, as a result, not put his full effort into the tutoring program. The blog also mentions lack of confidentiality, parental concerns, time and scheduling conflicts, and improper tutor selection as possible problems.

All valid points, to be sure. But, as is the case with most educational strategies, the boons outweigh the burdens if it is implemented correctly. Below are a few suggestions for employing peer teaching in your own classroom.

Ten Tips On How To Pull Off Peer Teaching

1. Be sure your tutors are trained.

Existing research identifies adequate tutor training as an essential component of peer tutoring programs.

One after-school peer tutoring program implemented in a middle school in California, called Student-2-Student, offers tutoring in a variety of subjects to students with the help of high-achieving eighth graders. Student-2-Student is selective in its recruitment of tutors. Qualified eighth graders meeting a minimum GPA requirement and demonstrating high citizenship must complete an application process and obtain approval from their teachers before being paired with struggling students. The program advisor then matches tutors to students based on who seems to be a good match academically and socially. Tutors receive quality training in effective ways to work with their tutees.

This program led to a significant improvement in core subject letter grades for all participants. In an evaluation of the program, participants also demonstrated increased responsibility, completion of homework assignments, and significantly improved work habits.

2. Use a reward system.

In another peer teaching program, sixth grade students enrolled in general reading education classes in a Midwestern, urban middle school were assigned to tutoring pairs of either equal ability or pairs in which high-achieving students modeled successful learning with lower-achieving students. Similar to Student-2-Student, the students received training prior to tutoring.

What sets this peer tutoring program apart from common peer tutoring practices is the inclusion of a reward system for students to encourage participation and on-task behavior. During the sessions, the teacher supervised all activities and passed out raffle tickets to students exhibiting good tutoring or on-task behavior. Students wrote their names on earned tickets and placed them in a collection throughout each week. At the end of each week, the teacher would draw several names of students who could each choose a small prize from a box of inexpensive toys.

Evaluation of the class-wide peer tutoring model with rewards for good behavior showed substantial letter grade improvements for the students. The lottery system for reinforcing participation and on-task behavior was show to overcome challenges to student motivation.

3. Emphasize confidentiality, positive reinforcement, and adequate response time.

The tutors at Student-2-Student are taught to demonstrate three important things during any given tutoring session: confidentiality, positive reinforcement, and adequate response time when asking questions. The training process also instructed tutors on explaining directions, designing work for extra practice, watching for and correcting mistakes, and providing positive feedback and encouragement.

4. Choose the learning exercise and the appropriate vehicle for it.

Simply placing students in groups or pairs and telling them to “work together” is not going to automatically yield results. You must consciously orchestrate the learning exercise and choose the appropriate vehicle for it. Only then will students in fact engage in peer learning and reap the benefits of peer teaching.

5. Use group strategies:

To facilitate successful peer learning, teachers may choose from an array of strategies:

    Buzz Groups: A large group of students is subdivided into smaller groups of 4–5 students to consider the issues surrounding a problem. After about 20 minutes of discussion, one member of each sub-group presents the findings of the sub-group to the whole group.
    Affinity Groups: Groups of 4–5 students are each assigned particular tasks to work on outside of formal contact time. At the next formal meeting with the teacher, the sub-group, or a group representative, presents the sub-group’s findings to the whole tutorial group.
    Solution and Critic Groups: One sub-group is assigned a discussion topic for a tutorial and the other groups constitute “critics” who observe, offer comments and evaluate the sub-group’s presentation.
    “Teach-Write-Discuss”: At the end of a unit of instruction, students have to answer short questions and justify their answers. After working on the questions individually, students compare their answers with each other’s. A whole-class discussion subsequently examines the array of answers that still seem justifiable and the reasons for their validity.

6. Use role playing and modeling.

During the first week of the sixth grade reading program, project staff explained the tutoring procedures and the lottery, modeled each component of the program, and used role-playing to effectively demonstrate ways to praise and correct their peers.

7. Emphasize the importance of active learning.

Many institutions of learning now promote instructional methods involving “active” learning that present opportunities for students to formulate their own questions, discuss issues, explain their viewpoints, and engage in cooperative learning by working in teams on problems and projects. Critique sessions, role-play, debates, case studies and integrated projects are other exciting and effective teaching strategies that stir students’ enthusiasm and encourage peer learning.

8. Teach instructional scaffolding.

To reap the benefits of peer teaching, tutees must reach a point when they are practicing a new task on their own. Tutors can help prepare students for independent demonstration by providing instructional scaffolding, a method by which the tutor gradually reduces her influence on a tutee’s comprehension. See our guide on instructional scaffolding here for further explanation.

9. Explain directive versus non-directive tutoring.

A tutor who engages in directive tutoring becomes a surrogate teacher, taking the role of an authority and imparting knowledge. The tutor who takes the non-directive approach is more of a facilitator, helping the student draw out the knowledge he already possesses. Under the directive approach, the tutor imparts knowledge on the tutee and explains or tells the tutee what he should think about a given topic. Under the non-directive approach, the tutor draws knowledge out of the tutee, asking open-ended questions to help the student come to his own conclusions about the topic. Both are valid methods, but different levels of each should be used with different students and in different scenarios.

10. Explain how to provide feedback.

Positive verbal feedback: Teach your tutors the importance of positive verbal feedback. Prompt students to come up with a list of standard statements which they feel may be positively reinforcing. They also need to be taught how much positive feedback to give. Giving feedback after each and every response can take too much time and diminish its effect. Teach tutors to give genuine praise after every third or fourth correct response and after particularly difficult problems. Make sure to have them practice.

Corrective feedback: Teach your tutors how to respond when an incorrect answer is given. When an incorrect answer is given, the tutor should promptly give and explain the correct answer or draw the correct answer out of the tutee without being critical of the tutee, and then give the tutee an opportunity to repeat the correct answer.

It should be noted that the majority of peer-tutoring programs for students are intended to complement, not substitute for, regular classroom instruction. Tutoring should never be a substitute for professional teaching. An ideal learning atmosphere is as a rich blend of peer and adult instructional strategies.

Thanks for your kind reply. As I am new here I did not notice your previous post on the same topic. From next time  I will be more careful regarding posting any new article.

ELT / Ten trends and innovations in English language teaching for 2018
« on: April 20, 2019, 08:57:57 PM »
By Chia Suan Chong

What has inspired your teaching and teacher development this year? Chia Suan Chong, who will be blogging from the live-streamed ELTons awards on 18 June 2018, lists her top ten.

Technological innovations are part of education and English language teaching, but not all have staying power. The novelty of some innovations will wear out, and there are growing concerns about privacy and data protection. Only the innovations that come with solid teaching practices will stand the test of time.

Let's see what has changed since I wrote about the top ten innovations that changed English language teaching two years ago. The examples below are some of the finalists of this year’s ELTons awards.

Blended learning

As teachers combine digital media with more traditional forms of teaching, their course materials and resources reflect the trend. The Combined Pre-Sessional Course offered by King’s English Language Centre (King’s College London) combines face-to-face teaching and online lessons. For teachers who want to pepper their everyday teaching with practical online activities, Lindsay Clandfield and Jill Hadfield’s Interaction Online - creative activities for blended learning  emphasises the interaction between teachers and learners.

Mobile learning

Online resources are more accessible with a mobile app or a mobile-friendly version. Wordable (Playlingo Ltd. with Cambridge University Press) turns vocabulary-learning into a fun, competitive game you could play with your friends. It has built-in, spaced repetition and active-recall learning to make new words stick.

Essential English (Oxford University Press) uses mobile technology to provide free resources for teachers and students, including flashcards, phrasebooks, lesson plans and activities. Meanwhile, Tri Pro English Website and Mobile Apps  helps learners to practise their listening through free, high-quality recordings divided into levels and coupled with comprehension questions.


Appealing to football-lovers, LearnMatch  (VE Vision Education GmbH) uses training sessions, friendly matches, leagues and cup games to make vocabulary learning fun for young learners. Get Set, Go! Phonics  (Oxford University Press) uses chants, songs and games to help develop pre-school children’s phonological awareness.

On an even more immersive scale, Learn Languages with Ruby Rei (Wibbu) plunges the learners into an interactive adventure game. They have to use their language skills to negotiate, collaborate and build friendships in order to escape from a forgotten planet at the edge of the universe. Any learning that takes place is incidental.

Embodied learning

Embodied learning is based on the idea that learning is not just about remembering. It involves using the mind and the body, collaborating, discussing and exploring. Learners need to be emotionally, intellectually, physically and socially engaged.

Courses such as Doodle Town (Macmillan Education) use visual, audio and hands-on activities to stimulate and inspire learning, getting young learners to draw, create, and be inquisitive. Orbit (Richmond) develops the young learners’ socio-emotional and cognitive skills through a language course that follows the story of a ferret and children who go on adventures in multicultural environments.

Inquiry-based learning (or: 'learning in a complex world')

The scenarios that teachers come across in some course materials can seem simplified and unrealistic, leading us to wonder if we are adequately training our learners for real life in the 21st century.

Courses like Fast Track 5  (EF Education First Ltd) and Wider World  (Pearson with the BBC) use authentic video and audio content to bring the real world to teenage learners. They encourage teenagers to practise the soft skills and communication skills needed to take part in the global communities of the 21st century. Aimed at the adult learner, Perspectives (National Geographic) uses real-life stories and TED talks to motivate learners to think critically and creatively.

Danny Norrington-Davies’s Teaching Grammar: From Rules to Reasons  (Pavilion Publishing) is an alternative approach to teaching grammar. Teachers and learners discover how writers and speakers use grammar to express themselves in real life. Hugh Dellar and Andrew Walkley’s Teaching Lexically (Delta Publishing) combines the teaching of grammar and lexis for more effective classroom practice, rather than over-simplifying language into a more traditional ‘grammar + words’ view.

English as a lingua franca (ELF)

When the concept of English as a lingua franca was first discussed by teachers, academics, writers and trainers, it was controversial. Many refused to consider how the concept of English as an international language might fit into course materials and language teaching. Today, we see resource materials like PronPack 1-4 (Mark Hancock) taking a non-prescriptive approach to accent and instead focusing on increased intelligibility as the objective. Using elements of blended learning and gamification, this pronunciation course doesn’t help the learner sound British or American, but instead prepares the learner to use English in the global arena.

Multi-literacies and trans-languaging

In global communities where English is a common language of communication alongside other languages, knowledge of other languages is an asset. Rather than diminish the learners’ first language (also known as subtractive bilingualism), teachers are encouraging learners to use their own languages. This requires complex social and cognitive skills. In contrast, strict English-only classrooms are slowly becoming a thing of the past. Such linguistic diversity is celebrated in courses like the Family Skills Toolkit (Learning Unlimited Ltd) that encourages parents and carers of children learning English to see their bilingualism as a benefit.

Supporting learners of specific needs

As globalisation takes hold, 'glocalisation ' (adapting an international product to match what people want in their particular country or culture) becomes necessary. The more we understand individual learners' needs, the more we can tailor our lessons to suit them. Ros Wright’s book Learning English: English for Health and Social Care Workers (Pavilion Publishing) provides learners not just with medical terms, but also knowledge of policies and procedures in the medical and care industry. Study Legal English – the world’s first legal English podcast  includes online learning materials and quizzes to gamify learning.

However, catering to learners with specific needs does not only mean English for Specific Purposes (ESP). Imagine!  (Silva Education Ltd) caters to Brazilian learners from low-income families. EAP for Syrian Academics Projects  provides online EAP lessons and material support for Syrian academics exiled across Turkey. Supporting Learners with Dyslexia in the ELT classroom  is a teacher resource providing teachers with both theory and practical ideas of how to ‘reach and teach’ students with dyslexia.

Creating and sharing content

While there’s much online content already out there for learners, some programmes and apps allow learners to produce their own content and share what they have created with others. Popular online sites like Quizizz  and Socrative  allow both teachers and students to create online games and play games that are shared by users from around the world. Websites like Canva allow teachers and learners to express their creativity through posters, social media memes and banners. Then there are mindmapping sites, comic-strip creation sites and movie-editing/movie-making sites.

Using content-creation tools like these allow learners to use language creatively, and turn language practice into a fun and engaging activity. ELTons finalist Brick by Brick (StandFor/ FTD Educaçāo) is one such course for younger learners that has them creating and embarking on hands-on projects as they learn.

Learning and teaching management platforms

Learning management platforms (LMSs) like Edmodo are increasingly popular. They give learners an online way to find handouts, continue classroom discussions and submit homework. Now, online platforms are also used to communicate with parents and other stakeholders, give teachers and administrators a better overview of the curriculum, and help manage lesson plans and materials.

The Royal ABC  (Prosper Education Pte Ltd) curriculum for four-to-six year olds comes with a teacher platform that allows teachers to manage lesson planning, complete administration, schedule homework and report to parents. This gives teachers more time to work with children in the classroom.

These tools may appeal because they seem shiny and new. But the true value of innovations lies in how much they can help learners to become better communicators in English., and the extent to which they can help teachers encourage learners in the most efficient, motivating ways


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