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Getting there


Tuesday, April 27, 2004

whipped into action today, with my vocab exercise, going round prompting students to use the English phrases as they ask, (boy do they love not using English...) even though they're printed out in English for them....

And then asked them to work in groups of four discussing the various questions i posed using the discussion format i had asked them to work on for homework.

The discussion synthesized and rounded off three homeworks, the first day work on the textbook, the film, and the personal note of phrases to be used when working as a group leader.

Total flat on my face, only one group when prompted used the group leader style wordings to move between discussion topics. Even though I went round, pulled out the worksheet, offered sample scaffolding...when my back was turned it was back to japanese and silence...perhaps I can tape next time to verify just how much english is going on in groups. Although some groups were going fine, I kept circling and supporting what was going on, so I guess they kind of called me if there was something that needed sorting. Talked about how marrying in Japan had robbed the UK of the money it spent on my education.How bearing children in Japan provided labor for the Japanese economy. Trying to get them to see their own lives as part of the bigger economic picture.

I think students had a hard time coping with the questions themselves. I see some translated words pencilled in. That is to say the wording and the economic concepts. Which means again that they didn't take the preparatory homework seriously... Sigh. And they were under time pressure, seven discussion questions in forty-five minutes, so losing time on understanding the question itself meant less time discussing....

Perhaps I should reduce the time-pressure. It does seem to be eating into the quality of success.

Basically this time I collect and mark one worksheet for four people, so all group members get the same mark. I kind of hoped it would stimulate collaboration...one group delegated the discussion questions and pooled on the hand- in worksheet, one way to do it, but effectively avoiding any kind of group discussion. ..

Comments: the lesson content was highly interesting but the pace was too fast, but i feel some simply want to waltz through the course with the minimum of effort, like not do homework and not try to speak and work together...perhaps being unduly negative here? Pygmalion effect to watch out for.

kind of thinking of a something with postits and a wall sheet where each group can post ideas they get for questions and then read for peer review...but the uni doesn't provide that kind of paper and the lessons are too short.

Or get groups to synthesize the overall responses to a particular question and report quickly to the class...but then the contents of most of the responses were so unthinking, ulp!
well sometimes there is a flash of brilliance, i should focus on that. And there was the time pressure, seven questions in 45 minutes, so two to understand the question and only four to respond...???

How to involve them in the process of talking, I thought this was going to be a winner today, having set up the vocab and scaffolded with questions. Need feedback on what they thought.

Creating the Basic Motivational Conditions
1 Demonstrate and talk about your own enthusiasm for the course material and how it affects you personally. x
2 Take the students learning very seriously. x
3 Develop a personal realationship with your students.
4 Develop a collaborative relationship with the students'parents.
5 Create a pleasant and supportive atmosphere in the classroom. x
6 Promote the development of group cohesiveness. x
7 Formulate the norms explicitly, and have them discussed and accepted by the learners.
8 Have the group norms consistently observed. x
Total Strategies Used in Quadrant 1 5
Percentage of total strategies used in Quadrant 1 62.50%
Generating Initial Motivation
9 Promote the learners' language related valuse by presenting peer role models. x
10 Raise the learners' intrinsic interest in the L2 learning process x
11 Promote 'integrative values by encouraging a positive and open-minded disposition towards the L2 and its speakers x
12 Promote the students' awareness of the instrumental values associated with the knowledge of an L2 x
13 Increase the students' expectancy of success in particular tasks and learning in general.
14 Increase the students' goal-orientedness by formulating explicit class goals accepted by them.
15 Make the curriculum and the teaching materials relevant to the students. x
16 Help to create realistic learner beliefs. x
Total Strategies Used in Quadrant 2 6
Percentage of total strategies used in Quadrant2 75%
Maintaining and Protecting Motivation
17 Make learning more stimulating and enjoyable by breaking the monotony of classroom events. x
18 Make learning stimulating and enjoyable for the learners by increasing the attractiveness of the task. x
19 Make learning stimulating and enjoyable for the learners by enlisting them as active task participants. x
20 Present and administer tasks in a motivating way.
21 Use goal-setting methods in your classroom.
22 Use contracting methods with your students to formalise their goal commitment.
23 Provide learners with regular experience of success.
24 Build your learners confidence by porviding regular encouragement. x
25 Help dimish language anxiety by removing or reducing the anxiety-provoking elements in the learning environment. x
26 Build your learners confidence in their learning abilities by teaching them various learner strategies.
27 Allow learners to maintain a positive social image while engaged in the learning tasks. x
28 Increase student motivation by promoting cooperation among the learners. x
29 Increase student motivation by actively promoting learner autonomy.
30 Increase the student' self-motivating capacity.
Total Strategies Used in Quadrant3 7
Percentage of total strategies used in Quadrant 3 50%
Encouraging Positive Self-Evaluation
31 Promote effort attributions in your students.
32 Provide students with positive information feedback.
33 Increase learner satisfaction.(celebrate achievements, display work) x
34 Offer rewards in a motivational manner.
35 Use grades in a motivating manner, reducing as much as possible their demotivating impact. x
Total Strategies Used in Quadrant 4 2
Percentage of total strategies used in Quadrant 4 40%
Taken from Doernyei, Z. Motivational Strategies in the Classroom. Cambridge University Press 2001