Telechargé par education education


Specificities of Learning in TEYL Classrooms
1) Characteristics of young learners
This article deals with the most important characteristics of young learners. First, we will consider
how age determines the methods we use to teach languages. Then, we will see the characteristics that
distinguish young learners from older ones and the implications that these characteristics entail for
English language teaching.
Before presenting the characteristics of young learners, it is worthwhile mentioning that by young
learners, we mean students that are under twelve years old. Those that are over twelve are considered
as teenagers. Adulthood is commonly thought of as beginning at age twenty.
Age as a determining factor in language learning
Age is a very significant factor in language learning. The first fact that teachers should take into
consideration is that young learners differ from older ones in the way they learn new languages. First,
young learners learn better through play while adults are comfortable with abstract learning and are
more analytical. Second, young learners get bored more easily. Generally, they lose interest after ten
minutes or so. Young learners are also more egocentric and need individual attention. However,
contrary to the common belief, young learners are not better than older ones in language learning.
They may be better in imitating the exact pronunciation of their teachers, but they are generally less
successful in learning abstract concepts. According to Lightbown and Spada (2006), older learners are
not less effective in language learning. They may have difficulty approximating native speakers’
pronunciation, but they are better at reaching high levels of proficiency in second or foreign language
learning (Lightbown and Spada, 2006 p 73, cited in Harmer, ).
What are the main characteristics of young learners?
As mentioned above young learners differ from older ones in language learning. what follows is a list
of seven of the most important characteristics of young learners.
Before listing these characteristics, it is important to note that these learners are still developing. Many
aspects of their cognitive capacities get better while they are growing up.
1. Young learners get bored quickly.
If the activities are not interesting and engaging enough, young learners get bored easily. This is
because they have a limited attention span. Generally, after ten minutes, they can get disinterested in
the activity at hand, especially if it is taught directly and is devoid of the elements of play.
2. Young learners are meaning-oriented
They may understand what is being said without necessarily understanding every individual word.
They may not only guess and interpret what is being uttered but they also respond to it with whatever
language resources they have at their disposal.
3. Young learners like to discover things
They are characterized by curiosity and enthusiasm. They like to make sense of the world around them
through engaging and motivating activities where they have to discover by themselves rather than
being told. They also often learn indirectly from everything around them – not necessarily focusing on
the topic being taught.
4. They prefer concrete activities
According to Piaget’s cognitive development theory, young learners are still developing. That is, they
are still making their way from concrete to abstract thinking. Unlike adults who are more analytical,
they are not yet well equipped to learn abstract concepts such as grammar rules. In addition to that,
they are more inclined to understand based not only on explanation but more importantly on what they
hear, see and touch (Harmer, 2001 p. 82).
5. They are more egocentric
They prefer to talk about themselves. Activities that focus on their lives are their cup of tea. In
addition to that, children under the age of 12 need individual attention and approval from the teacher.
6. They are imaginative
Young learners are imaginative. Activities that are full of imagination is a source of enjoyment for
them. It is sometimes difficult for them to distinguish reality from imagination.
7. They imitate
They learn by imitating adults. It is amazing how humans imitate and discover things from a very
young age. Children acquire communication skills through social interactions. Consequently, because
imitation functions as a learning tool, it is rewarding to use it to teach children new skills and
Implications for the teacher
The above characteristics of young learners provide useful insights for teachers. The main implications
for language teaching are as follows:
Activities shouldn’t normally take more than ten minutes to complete. Asking children to make an
effort to concentrate more than that is counterproductive. They will get bored and disinterested
 The content should be interesting and motivating. The topics of activities should preferably focus
on the students’ lives.
 Praising the children’s performances is of paramount importance.
 Since children try to imitate the teacher, the latter should be a good model of language use and
social behaviors. The teacher’s pronunciation, for instance, matters enormously. Children imitate
it perfectly well.
 Children respond to meaning and are better at picking up the language through listening and
 Since children like playing, discovering and using their imagination, the activities that focus on
making things, drawing, problem-solving (e.g. riddles), singing, playing games can be very
 The classroom should be ideally colorful and spacious enough to be able to move around without
any problem.
 Children should work in groups and the activities should be taking place in stress and anxiety-free
One of the reasons why teaching young learners requires highly skilled teachers is that these learners
have difficulty understanding abstract concepts. Moreover, while teaching them, an appropriate
learning atmosphere should be provided, where the children may move and interact in a stress-free
environment. Young learners are, however, more imaginative. They also like discovering things, and
easily respond to meaning-based activities. Finally, children are also good at imitating the teachers’
language use (e.g.pronunciation) and social behaviors.
2) Language Development of the Child and its Implications on the Teaching Process
Stages of language development First attempts at language for all children go through the same
phases of development. This includes listening stage, speaking stage, reading stage and writing stage.
1) The listening stage: This is the first and an important stage in language development because the
child is born incapable of intelligible speech in any language; what the child does at this stage is active
listening. The child listens to the sound he/she hears around him/her and the instructions and messages
passed around him/her as his/her needs are being attended to.
2) The speaking stage: When the child has adequately consolidated on the listening stage or skill,
he/she now starts making use of those sounds he/she has been taken in around him. The speaking stage
goes through series of levels.
3) The reading stage: Reading is an extension of communication built naturally on the listening and
speaking skills already acquired. Most often, few children learn to read before going to school. The
teachers use various methods to teach the children how to read. In other words, reading is a language
acquisition stage most often acquired within formal school setting.
4) The writing stage: This is the last stage of language development. This is the stage when children
learn to put down their feelings and thoughts through the use of the relevant symbols that are used in
the language they are learning. Just like reading, it is a language development/acquisition stage which
takes place in formal school setting. It is not innately natural in the child (Ugwu, 2010).
Effective monitoring units should be put in place by government to ensure that children are started
with mother tongue/ native language first, and then followed immediately with other languages as
early as possible. Government should ensure adequate supply of professional language teachers in
native and other languages. Government should ensure that relevant facilities are made available
especially instructional materials for children’s language development. Teachers, on their own part,
should be a model for the child’s speech, speaking clearly and correctly, using words, gestures and
examples to help the children understand the processes of communication better. Early childhood
stage is a critical and sensitive period when children undergo rapid mental growth and development
and learn faster. Events that take place this time exert tremendous influence on subsequent
development. Therefore, language specialist teachers should teach the children to lay a life-long
foundation for them. Parents and guardians should support teachers in this noble task for children’s
proper language acquisition and development
Young learners have a great curiosity to try new things and to explore concrete to abstract things. For
this reason, teachers of young learners should be able to give materials that accommodate young
learners’ curiosity with suitable activities such as playing with sand or water, going to the zoo,
building with toy bricks and in abstract term teachers should give them the opportunities to talk things
through with others (Pinter, 2006). For instance, start with familiar topics such as colors, numbers,
greetings, animals, fruit, food and drink, families, body parts, shapes, clothing, the weather, days of
the week and everyday sentences and phrases. Young learners actively construct meaning from their
experiences. They learn through hands-on experiences and through manipulation of objects in the
environment. Therefore, good teachers need to provide materials that enable them to have learning
experiences which encourage young learners to get information from a variety of sources. Young
learners have to engaged in activities of language is a part; they need to be working on meaningful
task and use language to carry out these task. Young learners focus on the immediate here and now
context situation.
Teachers should not give the materials that beyond the situation of here and now context. In other
words, teacher can use materials available in the class that young learners can directly see and can
make sense of new experiences by relating them to what they already know. For example, when
teacher wants to teach about color, teacher can use the color of objects in class such as wall, table,
chair, and the like. Young learners have a quite short attention span and are easy to get bored. Thus
teachers should be flexible enough to move on to the next exercise when they see their students getting
bored and give them various teaching techniques and materials such as by playing games, watching,
imitating, listening, doing physical movement, singing and so forth.
Chose the activities that can accommodate the children’s short pan of attention. Young learners learn
through their own individual actions and exploration. The lesson materials should be explorative and
contain many aspects to be exposed. The materials are designed with involving their sensory aids. It
can help them to internalize the concepts. The smell of flowers, the touch of plants and fruits, the taste
of food, and so forth. The use of audiovisual aids like video, pictures, tape, music and the like are
important elements in their language teaching (Brown, 2001). Young learners are keen to talk about
themselves, and respond well to learning that uses themselves and their own lives as main topics in the
classroom. It is worth considering giving them material that are within their prior knowledge so that
by sufficient demonstration they will learn language. The suitable materials that can be used for
example, a topic about family, friends, objects in the house, objects in the playground, food, fruit, etc.
Young learners often learn indirectly rather than directly. Teachers should provide materials
promoting the activities that can accelerate their learning English from the surrounding, for instance by
asking them to write about objects they find on the way home in English, listen to song, watch films,
etc. Young learners learn best when learning is kept whole, meaningful, interesting and functional.
The suitable materials for this principle are the materials that will make young learners find it easy
and meaningful, such as story lines, or real life conversation. In order to have meaningfulness,
children should be given opportunities to make their own choices. They will relate these choices with
their personal wants and needs then it becomes meaningful for them. Young learners learn by thinking
in term of theme. Teachers should not use all the subjects’ material at once as it is possible to be done
in adult classes. Limit the material based on their timely need. For instance, in introducing ‘pronoun’,
teach them I and You first then next session followed by He and She. Young learners learn best as a
community of learners in non-competitive environment. Teachers should give children the materials
that encourage them to use the language for different social purposes, for instance by talking and
doing things in social context. By using the language for social communication in the group, children
will acquire the language.
3) Acquisition Versus Learning
The distinction between acquisition and learning is one of the most influential theories among
linguists, researchers and practitioners. Krashen believes that there are two independent systems of
second language performance:
Acquisition- a subconscious process that is very similar to the process children undergo when
they acquire their first language. It mostly involves natural communication with more focus on
the meaning rather than the form.
Learning- a conscious process that involves formal instruction that results in conscious
knowledge about the language.
A product of subconscious process
Similar to the process children learn their first
Informal situations
Uses grammatical “feel”
Natural communication in the target language
A product of formal learning
Conscious knowledge “about” the language
Formal situations
Uses grammatical “rules”
It is clear that as teachers we want to maximise our student's opportunities to acquire
language. Consequently, we need to spend more time using authentic language with our students as
opposed to teaching them explicit grammar rules.
4) The Input Hypothesis
The Input Hypothesis is an attempt to explain how the learner acquires a second language – how
second language acquisition takes place. It is only concerned with 'acquisition', not 'learning'. It claims
that humans acquire language in only one way--by understanding messages, that is, by receiving
"comprehensible input." If acquisition is the core of this theory, the crucial question then becomes:
How do we acquire? According to the hypothesis, we move from one stage of understanding to
another. More specifically, we acquire a new rule by understanding messages that contain this new
rule. We move from stage "i", the present level of the understood message or "current competence"
(Krashen, 21), to the next level, giving us the formula "i+1."
This hypothesis highlights the importance of using the Target Language in the classroom. The goal of
any language program is for learners to be able to communicate effectively. By providing as much
comprehensible input as possible, especially in situations when learners are not exposed to the TL
outside of the classroom, the teacher is able to create a more effective opportunity for language
5) Teaching Young Learners with ADHD
ADHD and classroom challenges
If you’re a teacher, you know these kids: The one who stares out the window, substituting the arc of a
bird in flight for her math lesson. The one who wouldn’t be able to keep his rear end in the chair if you
used Krazy Glue. The one who answers the question, “What body of water played a major role in the
development of the Ancient Egyptian civilization?” with “Mrs. M, do you dye your hair?”
Students who exhibit ADHD’s hallmark symptoms of inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsivity can
be frustrating. You know the brainpower is there, but they just can’t seem to focus on the material
you’re working hard to deliver. Plus, their behaviors take time away from instruction and disrupt the
whole class.
Students with ADHD may:
Demand attention by talking out of turn or moving around the room.
Have trouble following instructions, especially when they’re presented in a list, and with
operations that require ordered steps, such as long division or solving equations.
Often forget to write down homework assignments, do them, or bring completed work to
Often lack fine motor control, which makes note-taking difficult and handwriting a trial to
Have problems with long-term projects where there is no direct supervision.
Not pull their weight during group work and may even keep a group from accomplishing
its task.
Think of what the school setting requires children to do: Sit still. Listen quietly. Pay attention. Follow
instructions. Concentrate. These are the very things kids with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder
(ADHD or ADD) have a hard time doing—not because they aren’t willing, but because their brains
won’t let them. That doesn’t make teaching them any easier, of course.
Children and teens with ADHD often pay the price for their problems in low grades, scolding and
punishment, teasing from their peers, and low self-esteem. Meanwhile, you, the teacher, feel guilty
because you can’t reach the child with ADHD and wind up taking complaints from parents who feel
their kids are being neglected in the classroom. But it doesn’t have to be this way. There are strategies
you can employ to help students with ADHD overcome learning challenges, stay focused without
disrupting others, and succeed in the classroom.
What teachers can do to help children with ADHD
So how do you teach a kid who won’t settle down and listen? The answer: with a lot of patience,
creativity, and consistency. As a teacher, your role is to evaluate each child’s individual needs and
strengths. Then you can develop strategies that will help students with ADHD focus, stay on task, and
learn to their full capabilities.
Successful programs for children with ADHD integrate the following three components:
1. Accommodations: what you can do to make learning easier for students with ADHD.
2. Instruction: the methods you use in teaching.
3. Intervention: How you head off behaviors that disrupt concentration or distract other
Your most effective tool, however, in helping a student with ADHD is a positive attitude. Make the
student your partner by saying, “Let’s figure out ways together to help you get your work done.”
Assure the student that you’ll be looking for good behavior and quality work and when you see it,
reinforce it with immediate and sincere praise. Finally, look for ways to motivate a student with
ADHD by offering rewards on a point or token system.
Dealing with disruptive classroom behavior
To head off behavior that takes time from other students, work out a couple of warning signals with
the student who has ADHD. This can be a hand signal, an unobtrusive shoulder squeeze, or a sticky
note on the student’s desk. If you have to discuss the student’s behavior, do so in private. And try to
ignore mildly inappropriate behavior if it’s unintentional and isn’t distracting other students or
disrupting the lesson.
Classroom accommodations for students with ADHD
As a teacher, you can make changes in the classroom to help minimize the distractions and disruptions
of ADHD.
Seat the student with ADHD away from windows and away from the door.
Put the student with ADHD right in front of your desk unless that would be a distraction
for the student.
Seats in rows, with focus on the teacher, usually work better than having students seated
around tables or facing one another in other arrangements.
Create a quiet area free of distractions for test-taking and quiet study.
Information delivery
Give instructions one at a time and repeat as necessary.
If possible, work on the most difficult material early in the day.
Use visuals: charts, pictures, color coding.
Create outlines for note-taking that organize the information as you deliver it.
Student work
Create worksheets and tests with fewer items, give frequent short quizzes rather than long
tests, and reduce the number of timed tests.
Test students with ADHD in the way they do best, such as orally or filling in blanks.
Divide long-term projects into segments and assign a completion goal for each segment.
Accept late work and give partial credit for partial work.
Have the student keep a master binder with a separate section for each subject, and make
sure everything that goes into the notebook is put in the correct section. Color-code
materials for each subject.
Provide a three-pocket notebook insert for homework assignments, completed homework,
and “mail” to parents (permission slips, PTA flyers).
Make sure the student has a system for writing down assignments and important dates and
uses it.
Allow time for the student to organize materials and assignments for home. Post steps for
getting ready to go home.
Teaching techniques for students with ADHD
Teaching techniques that help students with ADHD focus and maintain their concentration on your
lesson and their work can be beneficial to the entire class.
Starting a lesson
Signal the start of a lesson with an aural cue, such as an egg timer, a cowbell or a horn.
(You can use subsequent cues to show how much time remains in a lesson.)
Establish eye contact with any student who has ADHD.
List the activities of the lesson on the board.
In opening the lesson, tell students what they’re going to learn and what your expectations
are. Tell students exactly what materials they’ll need.
Conducting the lesson
Keep instructions simple and structured. Use props, charts, and other visual aids.
Vary the pace and include different kinds of activities. Many students with ADHD do well
with competitive games or other activities that are rapid and intense.
Have an unobtrusive cue set up with the student who has ADHD, such as a touch on the
shoulder or placing a sticky note on the student’s desk, to remind the student to stay on
Allow a student with ADHD frequent breaks and let him or her squeeze a rubber ball or tap
something that doesn’t make noise as a physical outlet.
Try not to ask a student with ADHD perform a task or answer a question publicly that
might be too difficult.
Ending the lesson
Summarize key points.
If you give an assignment, have three different students repeat it, then have the class say it
in unison, and put it on the board.
Be specific about what to take home.
Teaching Strategies: Multiple Intelligences & Differentiated
Defining the Approach and Role of the Teacher
Teachers are faced with the challenge of teaching students with a wide range of abilities. VanSciver
(2005) stated, "Teachers are now dealing with a level of academic diversity in their classrooms
unheard of just a decade ago" (p. 534). In a single classroom, students' learning abilities may range
from above grade level to below grade level. For example, in a second grade class made up of22
students, one will find that reading abilities vary in level. One student may be reading at a
kindergarten level, while another is reading beyond a fifth grade level. In this case, the teacher must
find ways to adapt lesson plans to meet the learning abilities of both students, while also
accommodating the needs of the other 20 students in the class. Therefore, teaching students with a
wide range of abilities requires teachers to be innovative in how learning opportunities are offered.
One solution to this challenge is to implement differentiated instruction in the classroom.
Differentiated instruction accommodates the diverse learning needs of the students by varying the
methods and materials used to teach each concept. McBride (2004) stated that "Differentiated
instruction is vital to effecting positive change in student performance, because the one-strategy-fitsall approach doesn't work in a real classroom" (p. 39).
As a way to differentiate instruction, a teacher may implement the theory of multiple intelligences
(MI). The theory was developed by Howard Gardner in the early 1980s and states that each person has
several distinct intelligences correlating with a specific part of the brain. Gardner (1983) originally
identified seven categories of intelligences: linguistic, logical-mathematical, spatial, bodilykinesthetic, musical, 6 7 intrapersonal, and interpersonal. After continued research, Gardner added the
naturalistic intelligence to his theory, and continues to research the existence of an existential
intelligence (Gardner, 2009). Utilizing the MI theory, teachers can differentiate learning activities to
accommodate each of the intelligences in the classroom. This means students will have targeted
learning experiences, resulting in higher levels of achievement.
Servilio (2009) stated that differentiating instruction is "an individualized method of meeting all of the
students' academic needs at their level" (p. 7). One benefit of differentiating instruction is that it helps
teachers address the learning needs of each student. This can be accomplished by targeting the student
characteristics Tomlinson (2001) identified as: readiness, interest, and learning profile. When planning
for differentiated instruction, knowing students' interests and dominant learning styles, or profiles, can
allow the teacher to plan learning activities that specifically target what students would like to learn
and how they learn best.
When teachers teach to students' readiness level, they can accommodate a student who has mastered
the lesson content, and is ready to be challenged. In this case, a harder text or a more complicated
project could be assigned. Once a need is identified, the teacher responds by finding a method or
solution to answer the need in order for all students to be successful in learning (VanSciver, 2005). In
these examples, the teacher is able to use differentiated instruction to meet the learning needs of their
Another benefit of differentiated instruction is that it leads to increased student achievement. Servilio
(2009) stated "The combination of a differentiated curriculum and the options for student choice are
ideal for promoting success for students with disabilities and it can improve outcomes for other
students as well" (p. 10). In a differentiated classroom, when students are engaged and have achieved
their goal or completed a task, they are more motivated to continue learning and exceed their original
goal or expectation. "With the tools of differentiated instruction, we can ... take each child as far as he
or she can go" (Levy, 2008, p. 164) towards further achievement and sucess.
Gardner has identified nine intelligences and has indicated there may be many more that people
possess at varying levels. Gardner’s theory is that the variability to which people possess a certain
intelligence determines how they learn and interact best with other people. Gardner (2003)
summarized the first seven intelligences as follows:
1 .Linguistic Intelligence: The understanding of the phonology, syntax, and semantics of language,
and its pragmatic uses to convince others of a course of action, help one to remember information,
explain or communicate knowledge, or reflect upon language itself.
Learning Activities and Project Ideas
Listening to a storyteller
Studying the habits of good speakers
Telling a story to the class
Participating in debates
2 .Bodily-Kinesthetic Intelligence: The ability to control one’s bodily motions and the capacity to
handle objects skillfully.
Learning Activities and Project Ideas
Creating costumes for role-playing, skits, or simulations
Performing skits or acting out scenes from books or key historical events
Designing props for plays and skits
Playing games like Twister and Simon Says
Using charades to act out characters in a book, vocabulary words, animals, or other contentarea topics
Participating in scavenger hunts, searching for items related to a theme or unit
Acting out concepts. For example, "student planets" circle around a "student sun" or students
line up appropriately to demonstrate events in a history time line
Participating in movement breaks during the day
Building objects using blocks, cubes, or Legos to represent concepts from content-area lessons
Using electronic motion-simulation games and hands-on construction kits that interface with
3 .Spatial Intelligence: The ability to perceive the visual world accurately, to perform transformations
and modifications upon one’s initial perceptions, and to be able to re-create aspects of one’s visual
experience (even in the absence of the relevant physical stimuli).
Learning Activities and Project Ideas
Taking photographs for assignments and classroom newsletters
Taking photographs for the school yearbook, school newsletter, or science assignments
Using clay or play dough to make objects or represent concepts from content-area lessons
Using pictorial models such as flow charts, visual maps, Venn diagrams, and timelines to
connect new material to known information
Taking notes using concept mapping, mind mapping, and clustering
Using puppets to act out and reinforce concepts learned in class
Using maps to study geographical locations discussed in class
Illustrating poems for the class poetry book by drawing or using computer software
Using virtual-reality system software
4 .Musical Intelligence: The ability to understand and express components of music, including
melodic and rhythmic patterns through figural or intuitive means (the natural musician) or through
formal analytic means (the professional musician).
Learning Activities and Project Ideas
Writing their own songs and music about content-area topics
Putting original poems to music, and then performing them for the class
Setting a poem to music, and then performing it for the class
Incorporating a poem they have written with a melody they already know
Listening to music from different historical periods
Tape recording a poem over "appropriate" background music (i.e. soft music if describing a
kitten, loud music if they are mad about pollution)
Using rhythm and clapping to memorize math facts and other content-area information
Listening to CDs that teach concepts like the alphabet, parts of speech, and states and capitals
5. Logical Mathematical Intelligence: The understanding and use of logical structures, including
patterns and relationships, and statements and propositions, through experimentation, quantification,
conceptualization, and classification.
Learning Activities and Project Ideas
Playing math games lik, dominoes, chess,
Searching for patterns in the classroom, school, outdoors, and home
Conducting experiments to demonstrate science concepts
Using math and science software such as Math Blaster, which reinforces math skills, or King's
Rule, a logic game
Using science tool kits for science programs
Designing alphabetic and numeric codes
6 .Intrapersonal Intelligence. The ability to access one’s emotional life through awareness of inner
moods, intentions, motivations, potentials, temperaments, and desires, and the capacity to symbolize
these inner experiences, and to apply these understandings to help one’s own life.
Learning Activities and Project Ideas
Writing reflective papers on content-area topics
Writing essays from the perspective of historical figures, such as Civil War soldiers or
Writing a literary autobiography, reflecting on their reading life
Writing goals for the future and planning ways to achieve them
Using software that allows them to work alone, such as Decisions, Decisions, a personal
choice software; or the Perfect Career, a career choice software
Keeping journals or logs throughout the year
Making a scrapbook for their poems, papers, and reflections
7 .Interpersonal Intelligence. The ability to notice and make distinctions among other individuals
with respect to moods, temperaments, motivations, intentions , and to use this information in
pragmatic ways, such as to persuade, influence, manipulate, mediate, or counsel individuals or groups
of individuals toward some purpose.
Learning Activities and Project Ideas
Working in cooperative groups to design and complete projects
Working in pairs to learn math facts
Interviewing people with knowledge about content-area topics (such as a veteran to learn
about World War II, a lab technician to learn about life science, or a politician to understand
the election process)
Tutoring younger students or classmates
Using puppets to put on a puppet show
Therefore, it is increasingly important for teachers, especially in the elementary grades, to differentiate
their classroom instruction using different methods and materials to teach each lesson.
Motivating Young Learners
1) Defining motivation and its different types
Motivation is essential to the operation of organizations and classroom activities. The behavior is
caused by the certain causes which relate to person’s needs and consequences that results from acts.
According to B.F. Skinner, “Motivation in school learning involves arousing, persisting, sustaining
and directing desirable behavior.”
According to Woodworth, “Motivation is the state of the individual which disposes him to certain
behavior for seeking goal.”
Intrinsic motivation is the natural tendency to seek out and conquer challenges as we pursue personal
interests and exercise capabilities. When we are intrinsically motivated, we do not need incentives or
punishments because the activity itself is rewarding.
On the other hand, if we do something in order to earn a grade, avoid punishment or for some other
reason that has very little to do with the task itself, then it is known as Extrinsic motivation.
2) Lesson observation: respecting students’ different learning styles
Learning style are defined as “the complex manner in which, and conditions under which, learners
most effectively perceive, process, store, and recall what they are attempting to learn” (James and
Gardner, 1995: 20). learning styles are divided into three sub-types: visual, tactile/kinesthetic and
auditory (Dornyei, 2005; Oxford, 2001).
Visual versus verbal
Visual learners: they prefer to think in pictures and obtain information through visual means such as
diagrams and videos. In contrast verbal learners gain more information through verbal explanations
(either spoken or written) (Ldpride,n.d; Felder, 1993).
Auditory learners: they gain information through aural channels such as verbal discussions and
listening to others speech. These learners understand meaning by concentrating on the pitch, tone and
speed of voice. They benefit from reading text out loud and they may not make use of written
information (Ldpride,n.d.).
Kinesthetic or tactile learners: they like movement and work with touchable objects. They enjoy
regular breaks and move around the room (Oxford, 2001).
It is assumed that learners learn better, if their learning styles match the format of their instruction. For
example, a visual learner may learn better, when information is presented to him/ her visually. This
approach is termed “learning hypothesis” or, in its recent version, “meshing” or “matching
hypothesis” (Pasher et al, 2009:108).
It can be concluded that learning styles play an important role in the lives of learners. When students
recognize their own learning style, they will be able to integrate it into their learning process. As a
result, learning process will be enjoyable, faster, and more effective. Moreover, teachers should try to
adjust their teaching styles so that they match their students’ learning styles. However, a mismatch
might sometimes be important especially with low level students as they feel disappointed at the early
stages of learning but it should be done with caution. In addition, Peacock (2001:15) proposes that
“teachers should strive for a balanced teaching style that does not excessively favor any one learning
style― rather that tries to accommodate multiple learning styles”.
3) The “Jigsaw Method”
The “Jigsaw Method” is a teaching strategy of organizing student group work that helps students
collaborate and rely on one another. This teaching strategy is effective for accomplishing multiple
tasks at once and for giving students a greater sense of individual responsibility.
With this simple approach to group work, each individual has something unique to contribute to their
group’s outcome, in the same way each piece of a jigsaw puzzle comes together to create a completed
image. No one else in the group is doing the same task, so each student experiences a higher sense of
ownership and accountability to the members of their group.
the teacher facilitates the arranging of small groups, explaining of roles, and timing for each portion.
Notice that the teacher doesn’t have to lecture or be the focal point of attention. When the students are
in groups for steps 4 and 5, the teacher should walk amongst the groups and lend support or
explanation where necessary. The teacher may find it valuable to appoint one student in each group as
the “leader” who can manage time, make sure each student contributes their part, and ensure the group
is accomplishing the goals.
Steps for Teaching Jigsaw Teaching Technique
Planning and Preparation:
The teacher selects the chapter to be taught in the class for the next lecture. The chapter
is divided into 5-6 subtopics (according to the number of students in a group). The
teacher should prepare an observation sheet to record the performance of students
(individually and as a whole group). The quiz should be prepared beforehand to assess
the changes in the knowledge of students. An assignment or project can also be given to
the students to measure their work as a group. The teacher should prepare clear
instructions for students and he/she should also explain the critical terminologies so that
students can understand the topic easily.
Implementation: The teacher should introduce the lesson and outline the sub-topics
to be covered. Next step is to divide the whole class into heterogeneous home
groups/ teams. Each team is consisting of 5-6 students. Each member of the home
team is assigned a sub-topic to master. After mastering the topic, each member of
the home team meets with the other members of home teams to make expert teams
to study and discuss the sub-topics. Thus, these expert groups consist of students with
identical sub-topics. These experts discuss and present their topics. This step is very
important because students hear the perspectives of others. This helps to enhance
their communication skills and help them to solve any query. This is particularly
helpful for the students who face the problem in understanding the task on their own.
Experts then return to their original home teams to teach their sub-topics to other
members of the team. Here, students are accountable for individual learning and the
success of the group as well.
The teacher observes the interaction among students. At this stage, the teacher also
acts as a facilitator and guide. It is important that every student presents their topics.
This step assesses the student by giving assignments and quizzes are given to the
students individually. The teacher also provides feedback based on the performance
of an individual and whole groups.
Role of the Teacher in Implementing Jigsaw Strategy:
The teacher is an organizer of resources and himself.
The teacher is a guide whose role is to direct the classroom procedures and activities smoothly.
4) Formative assessment
Assessments to measure how much our students have learned up to a particular point in time.
The goal of formative assessment is to monitor student learning to provide ongoing feedback that can
be used by instructors to improve their teaching and by students to improve their learning. More
specifically, formative assessments:
help students identify their strengths and weaknesses and target areas that need work
help faculty recognize where students are struggling and address problems immediately
Formative assessments are generally low stakes, which means that they have low or no point value.
Examples of formative assessments include asking students to:
draw a concept map in class to represent their understanding of a topic
submit one or two sentences identifying the main point of a lecture
turn in a research proposal for early feedback