This was the last session of Current issue in Applied Linguistics. Sad, but at the same time I am satisfied, and full of new skills and knowledge. I can say that my expectations are met. At the beginning of this course I was very upset because I wanted to learn and gain something new, I did not want to gain skills and knowledge which we gain from other regular classes. Why? Because our instructor always surprised me with new things and with new materials in his class. So, I wanted this course not to be an exception.
I can say the most important thing in teaching is to be able to surprise your students, makes them always be fresh. So, for this course, I can say that the first class session was boring. But then, boom! Everything changed. New format of presentation; we have not ever presented a bio of a scholar; who cared who the author of the article could be, or where the author is graduated, whether or not he has family. But know we care much moreJ!!
Moreover, this is not the last session but this is the last day of studying in this university. Wow, excited, and ready to share my knowledge, the knowledge which I considered necessary to gain from this university. I the past I was frustrated even when I hear the word “teacher”. I was thinking no way; I am not such a crazy to become a teacher. Now, I can say teaching is become part of me without which I cannot live and cannot live within at the same time, weird I knowJ!
Also, I had pleasure working with my professor and conduct a workshop. This is also one of the tasks which I had to complete for the TE322. Except giving me new skills and knowledge, this course gave me also new experience, in terms of conducting and assisting.
Finally, for future suggestion, I do not know how weird it would sound; it would be better if the course could be conducted also via Skype if in a case someone could not come, he or she can connect via Skype and participate in lesson. This I suggest because, I had to be late and even be absent from this class, and got absence, so alternative solution if you cannot be present physically turn on into our channel TE322 in Skype.
One of the amazing things I like in linguistics is every research we read or do is unique. We as researchers in our research touch upon such topics that sometimes no one will ever think of that such research could be done. But before I will explain why I think so, first I will explain and describe the procedure of the course I take which is called current issues in applied linguistics. Every student in each class session should take a paper by an author and make a presentation based on the content of the paper.
I chose a paper on the topic ‘”Structural and linguistic evolution of the English-medium medical research article (1985–2004)”. First I was confused thinking that “what I have to do with medical research article”. Then I went deep into the article, and that was really interesting one. The idea of the article was to find out what parts of speech do medical researchers use in their research article. From the study it was obvious that they tend to use more first person singular.
Besides, during the session we had an opportunity to listen to our peers’ presentation and topic analysis. One thing which frustrates me is the topic on writing, I do not like it what can I do. However, we as future teachers (actually already teachers) should always be aware of writing skills. So, I found out that I more tend to use “I” when I write, however, in many cases we should exclude “I” and use more view the writing from neutral side.
The session was interesting in terms of its content and students were more engaged in the class. We spoke about, longitudinal and quasi-longitudinal research. For me i knew what longitudinal was, but i had some confusion with the term quasi-longitudinal research.
T-test and Anova another hot issues for the researchers to have more understanding of how they will analyze their findings. Many students i notice have the same problem with the understanding of the term. T-test as it is can be dependent and independent. Independent T-test compares the means between two unrelated groups on the same dependent variable. Dependent T-test compares the means between two related groups on the same dependent variable.
Anova in its turn compares means between more than two variables. As our teacher will say-so simpleJ!!!
We discussed an article about the topics that i mentioned above.
Instrumental or integrative motivations more foster learning? Ta-daa, if you want to know the answer look through the articles by Zoltan Dornyei. Good question peer.
Talking about presentations done during the session made me sad, for me the idea of presenting bio of a scholar is presenting something new to your peers. Presenting a scholar from the subfield of applied linguistics, which we haven’t ever heard of. Also, one can present a scholar from the field of language anthropology, a scholar from computing linguistics or philosophy of a language.
Once i was giving private classes at home. One day I had regular class session, unfortunately I forgot to turn on heating. So, when my student came the first thing she noticed was it was cold at my home. So, during the session she was disrupted saying “she is cold”. My point is that the learning environment is very important both for teacher and the student.
During our class we were discussing the same issue; many peers were suggesting a specific environment for learning.
Also, I liked the activity the instructor gave us, we should and dig in the internet and find specific classroom design pictures which we would like to see. After it we had to upload it in a space provided in our Moodle page. I saw very creative and interesting interiors for classrooms. But for me, I would prefer to teach my students outside in a nature, in a more authentic environment.
This was one of the topics that made a real furor in our class. Students were engaged in class discussion. For me I learnt another word “translanguaging”. In fact, I am still thinking to continue my study and concentrate in theory of teaching and linguistics rather than in practice. 🙂
I think, usage of translanguaging in a classroom would be chaotic, mainly because there are classrooms with diverse students, and if everyone start using languages they are in, it would be the case of Babylon. Well, I am in some way dramatizing! 🙂
Well, I think teacher should not allow students to use translanguaging, as if the aim of the class is to teach students English, then no other language other than target language should be allowed in the classroom. This will help students to acquire another new language.
All in all I would not appreciate translanguaging in bilingual classrooms as well. However, translanguaging will help students to be engaged in class discussions more; as they could ask and answer questions in a language they feel comfortable using code-switching.
Well, again I came along to WCF (Written Corrective Feedback), which became part of my study. In fact, the class session was dedicated to WCF, and we were discussing nothing but WCF. It would make on my nerves but, something we learnt something new about WCF. We knew there are two type of WCF, which are direct and indirect. And now we know one more which is –Are you ready to hear? Booom!- Metalinguistic explanation.
Generally, we were discussing this topic ever since I entered the AUA building, how ironicJ . For me, I would use red-pen for giving direct feedback. Some say, it would discourage students, and affect their learning process. I do not think so; first we should consider that this result was made based on research, which in its turn has been done in the Western environment. Maybe, this findings and suggestions do not work for our Armenian students. So, we need to do a research to find out do our students demotivate when they receive red-pen direct written feedback?
Talking about my demotivation, I can say that the topic for the first class was chosen unsuccessfully. Let’s wait and see next topic would be.
At last we touched upon one of my favorite topics, and serious topics, which are Google for Education and Cloud Computing. As i mentioned in one of my previous posts, Google really is a Humans great invention from the point of Technology ( Google). Besides, the case is not that Google is one of the leading Companies in the Internet, but because it is the most organized virtual space i have ever seen. Why? the answer is simple; if you want to create a doc. you are most welcome to the Google Drive , which gives you the opportunity to create docs, online presentation, forms for creating surveys, spreadsheet for in-class activities. Besides, talking about the presentation type, Google online presentation tool is a type of Cloud Computing. This gives you an opportunity to create your presentation, without downloading any extra software. It is done in the internet, metaphorically in the cloud. If in some period of your teaching plan to implement Google, then don’t hesitate and use Blogger . This is really a great tool, for writing activities, to engage your students to write and communicate with other edu communities. Finally, if you want to stay in touch with just a right people, and make video and audio calls you should say Google+ here i come.
I can list another three or more Google apps, but the idea is not listing apps, but the quality of each of the apps which can help to make teaching more moderated and for students enjoyable.
And an advise from a Appleholic (LOL) , If you want to keep all your browser history from your iPhone, Ipad, and other i tech , just download i-cloud to your PC browser, which will help you to have everything in one computer.
When i was a young girl age of 14-15, i was very fond of using internet clubs to access the internet and gaining information which our school teachers didn’t provide. Nowadays, students have access to the internet via PCs, Ipods, Ipads, iphones, smartphones and tablets. However, in 1990s a new technique was used to make the learning process more interesting and more engaging. It was the use of Computer Assisted language learning. As many researches show, this was really a great innovation and modification of teaching and learning methods.
But as it is said, we people are never stopped and satisfied with what we have, we always find new ways to make our life better and creative. For that reason the Mobile assisted language learning (1980s) came to be in use alongside with Computer assisted language learning for the purpose of language learning.
The MALL is all that i wanted really to implement in my teaching. I was even thinking of writing thesis on the implementation of iphone and ipads in language learning. I’m delivering my internship in one of the experimental classes of the university where i study and tools which i use for teaching are iphone for listening activities and ipad for teaching new vocabulary via showing flash cards with pictures from ipad.
However, the problem of using the MALL in Armenian classrooms are whether schools can afford to buy technologies such as Samsung or Apple tablets, which are nowadays are one of the expensive technologies in the markets. Another issue concerning using handheld devices is, whether students can afford buying or having one of the above mentioned technologies. Though i cited above, that students have access to the internet via different tools, it does not necessary means they have those internet supporting tools.
Anyway, I wish all the schools and institutions will have opportunities to provide students with handheld mobile devices. 🙂