One of my most favorite topics was the Vocabulary knowledge. I did not even exaggerate that I would love the topic of my paper presentation so much. I think it’s because I was getting acquainted with the article for more than two days. I think no matter how easy the article is, it requires, it wants to become friends with you.
So, now have a new friend whose name is “Vocabulary needed for reading comprehension Schmidt et all (2011)”J! It turned out that 60% comprehension means you have 90% coverage (that is vocabulary knowledge).
Another interesting point I gained from this course, is that before starting to present an article a research first we as presenters should introduce the author of the article, and then dig into the study.
Today my peer and I presented on of the newest scholar for all of us. I wanted to surprise our instructor, but he knew the author;-William Labov. When choosing the scholar, I suggested my peer to take a bio of a scholar from the subfield of applied linguistics that our class has never came along with. So we decided to take from sociology field. That was interesting and interesting (I hope)J!
Another interesting scholar was presented by another our group-Merrill Swain. It was very well presented.
During the regular class session we dedicated the first help of the class session to the discussion of the article, which was being summarized by a new group each time. The was about the experience of Immersion Teachers; It was an interesting article as it look how the language is taught in students’ second language, that is in their language as well as not in target language but in their second one. If you are interested you can go to this link and read the article, which I can say is a new one (2012).
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.
Many will agree with me, that something has happening with English language. Why? Why is that that English became the main language or at least one of the main languages in the world? In fact, it is because of the globalization. Second, I have read that in 1973 when Britain and Ireland became part of EU (European Union) English language become one of the nine official languages as well (including, French ). Later on, French and English started to be considered “The only official languages”.
Third, as the database was all in English, scholars had to write and publish their publications in English, everything you needed you could find only in English. I guess, that’s why English is so popular.
So, English becomes truly an international language. If you want to have business partners, learn English, if you want to study abroad you are most welcome but first learn English!
Moreover, there are different Englishes. That is, you can learn English as a foreign language; other can learn it as a second language. For instance, in Armenia English is taught as foreign language, but in India English is taught as a second language.
At last, if we remember one of Bible events, people were trying to build a tower Babylon to reach the God. As we know God got angry and change everyone’s languages so that no one could understand the other and consequently if there is no specific language no one would understand the other, there would be no collaboration and at last no tower. The same is here, trading and studying abroad is developing so people feel the need of one language to be understood everywhere, so English is that very language.
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. 🙂