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Topics - Afroza Akhter Tina

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76
English / Alternative Assessment in Classroom
« on: February 12, 2015, 12:31:11 PM »
Alternative assessment is the actual reflection of the students learning which is based on their performances.This is beneficial for the learners as they would motivate themselves to design, construct and evaluate themselves for the overall goal and objectives of a course. Of course, this is something easier than the traditional assessment where teacher participates as a guide only to instruct for a task/activity and provide rubric and reveals their performances in a more meaningful way where they themselves can measure their development and growth and can grade them accordingly.Here I have attached a wonderful article regarding alternative assessment where you can find some important ideas regarding implementation of this.

77
English / Collaborative Problem Solving Skills
« on: February 07, 2015, 06:49:26 PM »
The key concept lies within the working with interests in collaborative problem solving which refers to the critical competency for college and career readiness. Students are expected to understand and develop the idea that there are more one ways to solve any kind of problems. The main challenge lies in organizing computer based assessment of CPS skills when it’s about a large assessment program where an individual is expected to match and collaborate with different types of other members representing different CPS skills and contexts. The terms collaborative problem solving, cooperative work, and group work are used interchangeably in the current education research literature to mean similar constructs.

Here problems are identified first and the tasks are developed accordingly. It is mixture of collaboration: “coordinated, synchronous activity that is the result of a continued attempt to construct and maintain a shared conception of a problem” (Roschelle, &Teasley, 1995, p. 70); and problem solving: “cognitive processing directed at achieving a goal when no solution method is obvious to the problem solver” (Mayer, & Wittrock, 1996). According to Griffin, Care, and McGaw (2012), it focuses each other’s point of view regarding some particular problem and concern. It helps to establish others’ responses in a group in terms of contributing knowledge, experience and expertise in a constructive way with constructive feedback and results. In Program for International Student Assessment PISA 2015, CPS competency is defined as the ability to identify and involve in a particular problem solving process with the collaborative effort along with the help of the agent for establishing an effective solution. The competency depends on how well the individual collaborates with agents (either a human or a computer) during the process which includes shared understanding, taking effective actions to resolve the problem, and also establishing and maintaining group organization.

The learner’s role is significant here which includes:
a.   They should be aware of the specific kind of activities needed to identify and solve the problem.
b.   They should be clear in understanding their roles as one of the group members and even as an individual along with the agent’s role focusing on the reflection regarding the valuable concerns of conflicts and obstacles.

78
Faculty Forum / Collaborative Problem Solving Skills
« on: February 07, 2015, 06:48:35 PM »
The key concept lies within the working with interests in collaborative problem solving which refers to the critical competency for college and career readiness. Students are expected to understand and develop the idea that there are more one ways to solve any kind of problems. The main challenge lies in organizing computer based assessment of CPS skills when it’s about a large assessment program where an individual is expected to match and collaborate with different types of other members representing different CPS skills and contexts. The terms collaborative problem solving, cooperative work, and group work are used interchangeably in the current education research literature to mean similar constructs.

Here problems are identified first and the tasks are developed accordingly. It is mixture of collaboration: “coordinated, synchronous activity that is the result of a continued attempt to construct and maintain a shared conception of a problem” (Roschelle, &Teasley, 1995, p. 70); and problem solving: “cognitive processing directed at achieving a goal when no solution method is obvious to the problem solver” (Mayer, & Wittrock, 1996). According to Griffin, Care, and McGaw (2012), it focuses each other’s point of view regarding some particular problem and concern. It helps to establish others’ responses in a group in terms of contributing knowledge, experience and expertise in a constructive way with constructive feedback and results. In Program for International Student Assessment PISA 2015, CPS competency is defined as the ability to identify and involve in a particular problem solving process with the collaborative effort along with the help of the agent for establishing an effective solution. The competency depends on how well the individual collaborates with agents (either a human or a computer) during the process which includes shared understanding, taking effective actions to resolve the problem, and also establishing and maintaining group organization.

The learner’s role is significant here which includes:
a.   They should be aware of the specific kind of activities needed to identify and solve the problem.
b.   They should be clear in understanding their roles as one of the group members and even as an individual along with the agent’s role focusing on the reflection regarding the valuable concerns of conflicts and obstacles.

79
English / Features of an Effective Teacher
« on: February 04, 2015, 10:42:26 AM »
In the book, Language Teaching Awareness, Fanselow points out the aim of exploration that is “seeing…teaching differently” (1988:114). The main theme of the book is ‘exploration of teaching’ which tries to identify some important techniques of language teaching along with some of the important features of an effective teacher. These are:
a.   Simply gaining awareness of teaching beliefs and practices
b.   Seeing nonjudgmental description as preferable to prescriptions of how teaching ‘should’ be done
c.   The need to pay attention to language and behavior
d.   Emphasis on going beyond usual ways of understanding teaching, especially that of problem solving(i.e., identifying and overcoming a problem area in one’s teaching)
e.   Interest in having teachers considers ‘connecting questions’, that is, questions connecting who they are as people with who they are as teachers.
f.   To highlight the importance of involving teachers in processes through which they can make more informed decisions. Bailey (1990) discusses the process of keeping a teaching journal. Wallace (1998) elaborates on doing action research. Gaies and Bowers (1990) present a process of clinical supervision.
g.   To start with “a beginner’s mind” (Suzuki 1970), that is to start with an open mind as a fresher always.

80
Faculty Forum / Features of an Effective Teacher
« on: February 04, 2015, 10:41:38 AM »
In the book, Language Teaching Awareness, Fanselow points out the aim of exploration that is “seeing…teaching differently” (1988:114). The main theme of the book is ‘exploration of teaching’ which tries to identify some important techniques of language teaching along with some of the important features of an effective teacher. These are:
a.   Simply gaining awareness of teaching beliefs and practices
b.   Seeing nonjudgmental description as preferable to prescriptions of how teaching ‘should’ be done
c.   The need to pay attention to language and behavior
d.   Emphasis on going beyond usual ways of understanding teaching, especially that of problem solving(i.e., identifying and overcoming a problem area in one’s teaching)
e.   Interest in having teachers considers ‘connecting questions’, that is, questions connecting who they are as people with who they are as teachers.
f.   To highlight the importance of involving teachers in processes through which they can make more informed decisions. Bailey (1990) discusses the process of keeping a teaching journal. Wallace (1998) elaborates on doing action research. Gaies and Bowers (1990) present a process of clinical supervision.
g.   To start with “a beginner’s mind” (Suzuki 1970), that is to start with an open mind as a fresher always.

81
Faculty Forum / Using authentic materials
« on: January 31, 2015, 06:48:02 PM »
Using authentic material is very important to enhance language learning in terms of having the real exposure of the target language. Charlene Polio in his article Using Authentic Materials in The Beginning Language Classroom states that, it is really important to have the real life exposure in terms of learning. It further mentions about the different types of authentic materials as children’s books and translated materials depending on the learner’s ability and level. Ferit Kilickaya in the article Authentic Materials and Cultural Content in EFL Classrooms' defines authentic material as ‘the exposure to real language and its use in its own community'. In addition, Harmer (1991), cited in Matsuta (n.d., para. 1) defines authentic texts as materials that are meant to design and use for the native speakers only; they are not designed for language students. Moreover Jordan (1997, p. 113) concerns these texts as not to be used for language teaching purposes.
There are issues regarding the use of authentic materials in a language teaching class. There can be some problems as the students may miss the vocabulary, structure and pattern of the target language and they can be fully motivated to use the language only in their real life. However, most of the teachers around the world agree on the issue that these are very helpful for learning a foreign language but the concern should be on the appropriate timing and how these can be used in a language classroom. Here I am attaching Charlene Polio’s article for your further concern.

82
English / Using authentic materials
« on: January 31, 2015, 06:42:33 PM »
Using authentic material is very important to enhance language learning in terms of having the real exposure of the target language. Charlene Polio in his article Using Authentic Materials in The Beginning Language Classroom states that, it is really important to have the real life exposure in terms of learning. It further mentions about the different types of authentic materials as children’s books and translated materials depending on the learner’s ability and level. Ferit Kilickaya in the article Authentic Materials and Cultural Content in EFL Classrooms' defines authentic material as ‘the exposure to real language and its use in its own community'. In addition, Harmer (1991), cited in Matsuta (n.d., para. 1) defines authentic texts as materials that are meant to design and use for the native speakers only; they are not designed for language students. Moreover Jordan (1997, p. 113) concerns these texts as not to be used for language teaching purposes.
There are issues regarding the use of authentic materials in a language teaching class. There can be some problems as the students may miss the vocabulary, structure and pattern of the target language and they can be fully motivated to use the language only in their real life. However, most of the teachers around the world agree on the issue that these are very helpful for learning a foreign language but the concern should be on the appropriate timing and how these can be used in a language classroom. Here I am attaching Charlene Polio’s article for your further concern.

83
English / Double Consciousness in Achebe
« on: January 30, 2015, 03:50:09 PM »

The notion of ‘double consciousness’ which is a characteristic of the post-colonial writers, explains the great attraction, which is concerned to show the fluid and unstable nature of personal and gender identity, contradictory currents of signification. The crowning glory of Achebe’s novels is undoubtedly his use of the language and aphorism of oral culture. What sets him apart from other African writers is the fact that he is by far, more successful than others in flawlessly translating the working of African psyche from one medium to another, from an indigenous oral tradition to an alien form of European origin without obliterating the freshness and vigor of the former. Achebe’s narrative technique is different in Things Fall Apart where he employs ‘double consciousness’ which is perhaps inevitable when writing about a society that did not itself know writing, or using English to describe an Ibo speaking world. Jan Mohamed’s implication is that modern western educated readers know more than the traditional Umofians and so can judge them accordingly which is not limited to the characters rather characterizes the narrative as a whole.

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