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Messages - Afroza Akhter Tina

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16
Pragmatics / What is pragmatics?
« on: October 27, 2018, 01:42:48 PM »
 What is pragmatics?

 
"We human beings are odd compared with our nearest animal relatives. Unlike them, we can say what we want, when we want. All normal humans can produce and understand any number of new words and sentences. Humans use the multiple options of language often without thinking. But blindly, they sometimes fall into its traps. They are like spiders who exploit their webs, but themselves get caught in the sticky strands"  Jean Aitchison


“Pragmatics studies the factors that govern our choice of language in social interaction and the effects of our choice on others.” David Crystal


 “Pragmatics is a way of investigating how sense can be made of certain texts even when, from a semantic viewpoint, the text seems to be either incomplete or to have a different meaning to what is really intended. Consider a sign seen in a children's wear shop window: "Baby Sale - lots of bargains". We know without asking that there are no babies are for sale - that what is for sale are items used for babies. Pragmatics allows us to investigate how this "meaning beyond the words" can be understood without ambiguity. The extra meaning is there, not because of the semantic aspects of the words themselves, but because we share certain contextual knowledge with the writer or speaker of the text.  Pragmatics is an important area of study for your course. A simplified way of thinking about pragmatics is to recognise, for example, that language needs to be kept interesting - a speaker or writer does not want to bore a listener or reader, for example, by being over-long or tedious. So, humans strive to find linguistic means to make a text, perhaps, shorter, more interesting, more relevant, more purposeful or more personal. Pragmatics allows this.”  Steve Campsall


Afroza Akhter Tina
Senior Lecturer
Department of English, DIU
 

17
The examples below are shared by 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.

Gamification

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.

https://www.britishcouncil.org/voices-magazine/ten-trends-innovations-english-language-teaching-2018


Afroza Akhter Tina
Senior Lecturer
Department of English, DIU

18
Second Language Acquisition / Five Stages of Second Language Acquisition
« on: October 21, 2018, 03:06:57 PM »
Five stages of second language acquisition

Proponents of second language acquisition theories, including Oliveri and Judie Haynes, another ESL teacher with 28 years of experience, identify five distinct stages of second language acquisition as originally espoused by linguist Stephen Krashen. These include the following:

1. Silent/receptive

This stage may last from several hours to several months, depending on the individual learner. During this time, new language learners typically spend time learning vocabulary and practice pronouncing new words. While they may engage in self-talk, they don’t normally speak the language with any fluency or real understanding.

This stage is controversial among language educators. Ana Lomba disagrees that second language learners are totally silent while they are in this first learning stage. Instead, Lomba states that “speech is fundamental in language acquisition” and learners excel in language acquisition when they apply what they learn as they learn it.

2. Early production

This stage may last about six months, during which language learners typically acquire an understanding of up to 1,000 words. They may also learn to speak some words and begin forming short phrases, even though they may not be grammatically correct.

3. Speech emergence

By this stage, learners typically acquire a vocabulary of up to 3,000 words, and learn to communicate by putting the words in short phrases, sentences, and questions. Again, they may not be grammatically correct, but this is an important stage during which learners gain greater comprehension and begin reading and writing in their second language.

4. Intermediate fluency

At this stage, which may last for a year or more after speech emergence, learners typically have a vocabulary of as many as 6,000 words. They usually acquire the ability to communicate in writing and speech using more complex sentences. This crucial stage is also when learners begin actually thinking in their second language, which helps them gain more proficiency in speaking it.

5. Continued language development/advanced fluency

It takes most learners at least two years to reach this stage, and then up to 10 years to achieve full mastery of the second language in all its complexities and nuances. Second language learners need ongoing opportunities to engage in discussions and express themselves in their new language, in order to maintain fluency in it.

The key to learning a new language and developing proficiency in speaking and writing that language is consistency and practice. A student must converse with others in the new language on a regular basis in order to grow their fluency and confidence. In addition, Haynes says it’s important for students to continue to work with a classroom teacher on specific content area related to the new language such as history, social studies and writing.

https://education.cu-portland.edu/blog/classroom-resources/five-stages-of-second-language-acquisition/


Afroza Akhter Tina
Senior Lecturer
Department of English, DIU

19
Applied Linguistics & ELT / Re: Motivation in ELT
« on: October 21, 2018, 03:04:02 PM »
Learner Motivation in Language Teaching


Learners' motivation is a key variable that frequently concerns and challenges practitioners in language classrooms (Cheng & Dörnyei, 2007; Scheidecker & Freeman, 1999). It is an abstract construct (Dörnyei, 2001) that has been defined in a number of ways. Dörnyei and Ottó (1998) define motivation in second language (L2) learning as "the dynamically changing cumulative arousal in a person that initiates, directs, coordinates, amplifies, terminates, and evaluates the cognitive and motor processes whereby initial wishes and desires are selected, prioritised, operationalised and (successfully or unsuccessfully) acted out" (p. 65). This definition captures various influential factors that drive learners' desire or arousal to acquire an L2.

Learners' motivation varies because of numerous endogenous (i.e., internal or inner inspiration) and exogenous (i.e., external to human personality) factors, such as sociocultural circumstances, professional needs, and language requirements for international education. Endogenous factors bring pleasure and satisfaction to a student, and exogenous factors relate to the tangible benefits attached to an activity (Noels, Clement, & Pelletier, 1999). A number of studies over the past couple of decades have analyzed patterns of motivation in language classrooms in a variety of situations (e.g., Cheng & Dörnyei, 2007; Dörnyei, 2001; Gliksman, Gardner, & Smythe, 1982). These studies have established a consistently strong relationship between motivation and L2 success. As a language professional, I have faced two main challenges in teaching—motivating learners and sustaining their motivation—and I have come to recognize learners' motivation as a vital element in language teaching.

To deal with the motivational variable (i.e., "cumulative arousal"), I employ several microstrategies, or "techniques that promote the individual's goal-related behaviour" (Dörnyei, 2001, p. 28). These are clustered under the following three macrostrategies, which are general guiding principles to enhance and sustain learner motivation and will need context-specific adjustments if considered for any other ESL or EFL instructional site.

Promote Learners' Involvement in the Program

I involve learners in some decisions about the ESL program. For instance, setting assignment and project deadlines is one of the important decisions that interests learners. In one of my ESL courses, an independent research project is a semester-long component of the program. The project has a number of steps (e.g., deciding research focus, searching sources, developing an outline), and during the second week of the semester, the students and I discuss and set deadlines for all of the project stages. This collaborative decision making allows learners to feel that they set their targets themselves rather than someone else ordering them to do so. Furthermore, I give learners a clear understanding of my expectations, leaving no room for ambiguity or missing information. This objective can be achieved by providing a detailed course outline, using a clear assessment rubric, and, most important, making adjustments to teaching plans according to learners' reflective feedback (e.g., I use a self-assessment narrative with prompts such as "I learned from this project . . . " and "The major problem areas in this course were . . . "). These strategies are just a couple that are likely to help learners realize that their opinion matters in various course decisions and that the teacher cares about the learners. Thus, I strive to make my ESL teaching a bidirectional process through teacher–learner involvement.

Create a Safe Atmosphere for Learners in the Class

I make all efforts to provide learners with a low-anxiety, if not anxiety-free, classroom atmosphere (Brown, 2001; Cheng & Dörnyei, 2007). This motivational strategy also ties into my learner-centered approach in language teaching. I try to create a safe as well as supportive environment in which learners can learn and practice the language comfortably. I maintain this positive environment through good teacher–student working relationships. For example, I make regular contributions to a bulletin board in the classroom with welcome, happy birthday, and congratulations messages and encourage students to use the board to exhibit their projects. Additionally, I make use of Web-based chat rooms for virtual interaction and mutual support.

Other similar strategies can also strengthen good working relationships. Teachers can take simple yet highly effective steps, such as joining learners on field trips, hikes, and lunches. These confidence-building efforts over time help to develop a classroom community. Learners experience and appreciate the supportive teaching environment in which they are encouraged to take risks in using language structures creatively and accept that the mistakes made in this effort probably will not impede their initiatives (Cheng & Dörnyei, 2007; Reid, 1999).

Make Language Learning Enjoyable and Interesting

I believe making learning an enjoyable experience is crucial to maintaining learners' motivation (Dörnyei, 2001). This belief leads me to consider the application of various principles related to motivation when preparing a teaching plan for a semester or similar period. First, texts, audiovisual materials, tasks, and class activities should be related to students' interests. Second, the teacher should always give learners choices in assigning a task, and learners' preferences should get priority. Third, an extracurricular component in the course is a very desirable feature so that elements such as music and humor can be incorporated in teaching, thus increasing learning opportunities beyond regular lessons (Kumaravadivelu, 2003). These extracurricular activities can be simple speaking and writing acts such as sharing a cultural object from one's country/region, giving a musical or dramatic performance, and having poster competitions. I have tried these activities and found them quite successful in enhancing and maintaining learners' motivation.

Furthermore, it is important to appreciate learners' efforts and progress. To promote learner autonomy, I incorporate activities that involve peer support and feedback in addition to teacher commentary. The use of interesting icebreakers can help in overcoming classroom drudgery. For this purpose, I use cartoons and brief video clips related to the lesson. Moreover, sometimes changing the class venue to an open space or a corner in the school café can help break monotony, especially when a lesson does not require use of classroom equipment.

Conclusion

Though a magic formula for motivating language learners may not exist, motivational strategies that are suitable to a specific population can positively impact the "cumulative arousal" of language learners. The abstract nature of motivation makes it difficult for classroom practitioners to gauge or quantify learner motivation using a measuring instrument, so to cope with this abstractness, practitioners can rely on their critical observations about learners' motivational patterns during the course of an academic program. It's a plain fact about language teaching that motivation of language learners fluctuates (is "dynamically changing"), and practitioners need to factor awareness of this reality into all curricular stages.


References

Brown, H. D. (2001). Teaching by principles: An integrative approach to language pedagogy (2nd ed.). White Plains, NY: Longman.

Cheng, H., & Dörnyei, Z. (2007). The use of motivational strategies in language instruction: The case of EFL teaching in Taiwan. Innovation in Language Learning and Teaching, 1,153–173.

Dörnyei, Z. (2001). Motivational strategies in the language classroom. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Dörnyei, Z., & Ottó, I. (1998). Motivation in action: A process model of L2 motivation. Working Papers in Applied Linguistics, 4, 43–69.

Gliksman, L., Gardner, R. C., & Smythe, P. C. (1982). The role of the integrative motive on students' participation in the French classroom. Canadian Modern Language Review, 38, 625–647.

Kumaravadivelu, B. (2003). Beyond methods: Macrostrategies for language teaching. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press.

Noels, K. A., Clement, R., & Pelletier, L. G. (1999). Perceptions of teachers' communicative style and students' intrinsic and extrinsic motivation. Modern Language Journal, 83, 23–34.

Reid, J. (1999). Affect in the classroom: Problems, politics, and pragmatics. In J. Arnold (Ed.), Affect in language learning (pp. 297–306). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Shahid Abrar-ul-Hassan (shahidabrar@yahoo.com) is a faculty member at the Language Center of Sultan Qaboos University, in Muscat, Sultanate of Oman.

http://www.tesol.org/read-and-publish/journals/other-serial-publications/compleat-links/compleat-links-volume-6-issue-1-(march-2009)/learner-motivation-in-language-teaching



Afroza Akhter Tina
Senior Lecturer
Department of English, DIU

20
Creative Writing / Re: পথিক হেটে চলেছে
« on: October 21, 2018, 03:01:45 PM »
বাহ!


Afroza Akhter Tina
Senior Lecturer
Department of English, DIU

21
Creative Writing / Re: To-Do list for Outgoing Students
« on: October 21, 2018, 03:01:10 PM »
That's definitely going to help our students a lot.



Afroza Akhter Tina
Senior Lecturer
Department of English, DIU

22
Creative Writing / Re: Exploring the Road Unknown
« on: October 21, 2018, 03:00:26 PM »
Great!


Afroza Akhter Tina
Senior Lecturer
Department of English, DIU

23
English / Re: একা
« on: September 10, 2018, 11:29:42 AM »
I enjoyed reading the piece.Look forward for more in future!





Afroza Akhter Tina
Senior Lecturer
Department of English, DIU

24
English / Re: In One Line (Our Favourite Films and Why?)
« on: September 06, 2018, 10:32:26 AM »
 The White Ribbon (2009):

The film illustrates the failures of authoritarianism to curb impulses and maintain order.



Afroza Akhter Tina
Senior Lecturer
Department of English, DIU

25
English / Twenty-five Reasons to Study Foreign Languages
« on: September 06, 2018, 10:25:04 AM »
Twenty-five Reasons to Study Foreign Languages

1. Foreign Language study creates more positive attitudes and less prejudice toward people who are different.
2. Analytical skills improve when students study a foreign language.
3. Business skills plus foreign language skills make an employee more valuable in the marketplace.
4. Dealing with another culture enables people to gain a more profound understanding of their own culture.
5. Creativity is increased with the study of foreign languages.
6. Graduates often cite foreign language courses as some of the most valuable courses in college because of the communication skills developed in the process.
7. International travel is made easier and more pleasant through knowing a foreign language.
8. Skills like problem solving, dealing with abstract concepts, are increased when you study a foreign language.
9. Foreign language study enhances one’s opportunities in government, business, medicine, law, technology, military, industry, marketing, etc.
10. A second language improves your skills and grades in math and English and on the SAT and GRE.
11. Four out of five new jobs in the US are created as a result of foreign trade.
12. Foreign languages provide a competitive edge in career choices: one is able to communicate in a second language.
13. Foreign language study enhances listening skills and memory.
14. One participates more effectively and responsibly in a multi-cultural world if one knows another language.
15. Your marketable skills in the global economy are improved if you master another language.
16. Foreign language study offers a sense of the past: culturally and linguistically.
17. The study of a foreign tongue improves the knowledge of one’s own language: English vocabulary skills increase.
18. The study of foreign languages teaches and encourages respect for other peoples: it fosters an understanding of the interrelation of language and human nature.
19. Foreign languages expand one’s view of the world, liberalize one’s experiences, and make one more flexible and tolerant.
20. Foreign languages expand one’s world view and limit the barriers between people: barriers cause distrust and fear.
21. Foreign language study leads to an appreciation of cultural diversity.
22. As immigration increases we need to prepare for changes in the American society.
23. One is at a distinct advantage in the global market if one is as bilingual as possible.
24. Foreign languages open the door to art, music, dance, fashion, cuisine, film, philosophy, science…
25. Foreign language study is simply part of a very basic liberal education: to “educate” is to lead out, to lead out of confinement and narrowness and darkness.


Afroza Akhter Tina
Senior Lecturer
Department of English, DIU

26
World Literature / Re: a short story
« on: September 01, 2018, 10:55:33 AM »
I enjoyed reading the story Madam.Thank you for sharing with us.




Afroza Akhter Tina
Senior Lecturer
Department of English, DIU

27
Speaking Skill / Re: 13 Ideas for ESL Speaking Activities for Adults
« on: August 27, 2018, 01:23:36 PM »
The ideas are interesting indeed to practice speaking.Thanks for sharing Madam.



Afroza Akhter Tina
Senior Lecturer
Department of English, DIU

28
Women and Gender Studies / Re: Phenomenal Woman BY MAYA ANGELOU
« on: August 27, 2018, 01:21:41 PM »
Still I Rise

By Maya Angelou

You may write me down in history
With your bitter, twisted lies,
You may trod me in the very dirt
But still, like dust, I'll rise.

Does my sassiness upset you?
Why are you beset with gloom?
’Cause I walk like I've got oil wells
Pumping in my living room.

Just like moons and like suns,
With the certainty of tides,
Just like hopes springing high,
Still I'll rise.

Did you want to see me broken?
Bowed head and lowered eyes?
Shoulders falling down like teardrops,
Weakened by my soulful cries?

Does my haughtiness offend you?
Don't you take it awful hard
’Cause I laugh like I've got gold mines
Diggin’ in my own backyard.

You may shoot me with your words,
You may cut me with your eyes,
You may kill me with your hatefulness,
But still, like air, I’ll rise.

Does my sexiness upset you?
Does it come as a surprise
That I dance like I've got diamonds
At the meeting of my thighs?

Out of the huts of history’s shame
I rise
Up from a past that’s rooted in pain
I rise
I'm a black ocean, leaping and wide,
Welling and swelling I bear in the tide.

Leaving behind nights of terror and fear
I rise
Into a daybreak that’s wondrously clear
I rise
Bringing the gifts that my ancestors gave,
I am the dream and the hope of the slave.
I rise
I rise
I rise.


Afroza Akhter Tina
Senior Lecturer
Department of English, DIU

29
English / Re: A Short Story Titled 'অথৈ'
« on: August 26, 2018, 10:06:12 AM »
I enjoyed reading the story.


Afroza Akhter Tina
Senior Lecturer
Department of English, DIU

30
Speaking Skill / Re: 12 fun speaking games for language learners
« on: August 25, 2018, 12:06:37 PM »
I loved the idea of True/False Storytelling.Thank you for sharing all these fun speaking games to practice Speaking!


Afroza Akhter Tina
Senior Lecturer
Department of English, DIU

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