Learning

Task Analysis / Educational Objectives 

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(1062 words)

Professionals in the teaching field have two main questions concerned with their educational practices: What to teach and how to teach it. Organizing for instruction provides the information that allows the teacher to determine what to teach. It is their analysis of their instruction and tasks involved that contribute to comprehensible education. This means that there are educational objectives that outline what will be learnt and what the students should be able to do at the end of the period of study. With respect to this I will, in this essay, outline what is contributed into this discipline and reflect from what I noticed from an initial assessment of my teaching. 

To begin with, I realized that education for each student has to be more than being in just being in school. It is being an active student in life. This means that students become natural learners and recognize not only their role in the learning world, but also the world as a whole. They can gain knowledge in the classroom but how do they apply it outside the classroom. This means that through education, within my objectives, there should be provisions for each individual with opportunities to develop abilities, so that each student is able to demonstrate that he or she can do a specific task to a reasonable standard. However, I must recognize that there are different types of objectives. They can be developed into separate areas. Three such areas exist. Each of the three areas or domains are of human functioning. There is the affective domain which involves feelings, the psychomotor area includes coordination and other physical skills. The cognitive domain includes those activities directly associated with doing academically relevant work. With these three domains each objective shows prominence as observable actions that are what I want to observe after having broadly educated the students. 

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Explain Gagne’s Events of Instruction

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(Words 1110)

It was during the 1960s which saw a flurry of activity in the study of instructional design that Gagne’s book the ‘condition of learning’ came out. In 1965 Robert Gagne published his book entitled The Conditions of Learning. In his book, Gagne (1965) described the analysis of learning objectives, and how these different classes of learning objectives relate to the appropriate instructional designs. Gagne famously tried to explain the methods of learning of students. His theory centered on the acquisition of language and how students do this through the process of learning and the different stages that are done. He exposed the stimulation that the students get or have to move onto the next stage of learning.

  1. Gaining attention (reception)
  2. Informing learners of the objective (expectancy)
  3. Stimulating recall of prior learning (retrieval)
  4. Presenting the stimulus (selective perception)
  5. Providing learning guidance (semantic encoding)
  6. Eliciting performance (responding)
  7. Providing feedback (reinforcement)
  8. Assessing performance (retrieval)
  9. Enhancing retention and transfer (generalization)

These changes that the students’ experience can move them onto further learning. Of course, all this was meant for the students to learn to their full potential. Internal and external factors were taken into consideration. In this piece of writing, I will explain the methods and how they work in the classroom.

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Presenting Communicative Activities (lesson example)

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Presenting Communicative Activities

Activity: Describing the future

Lesson Planning  (Lesson objectives)

Students will be able to:

1. talk about the future using

Present continuous – for future events or situations

Future continuous – for ongoing actions in the future

Future perfect – for actions that will be completed by a certain time in the future

2. think about and discuss the future to be able to present a constructive vision (in a group) of the future.

3. presents their ideas to a class of students and answer questions on their presentation.

Lesson Planning (Sample Dialogue)

People will be using this spaceship to fly to the moon.

Everybody will have this in their house.

This robot will have sold a million by 2020.

Resources 

Pictures of the future drawn by children, whiteboard pens, worksheets, student book

LESSON

Stage 1: Questions to initially engage the students  

FUTURE

How will life be in 100 years?

What will scientists be able to do?

Stage 2: Pictures

Give each student (pairs) a copy of the children’s pictures. Tell the students that a group of young children was asked to draw pictures of how they imagine things will be in one hundred years and what scientists will be able to do. The students’ task is to work out what the child has tried to draw and what his/her reasoning might have been.

Questions on the white board

What have they tried to draw?

What was their thinking about the future?

Get class feedback and then give them the actual answers.

Stage 3: Drawing

Students are given a blank piece of paper and asked to sketch a vision of the future (like the children did in their pictures beforehand). The students mustn’t write or say anything about their picture.

 Stage 4: Drawing Reflection

Teacher takes everybody’s drawing and swaps them around so each student has a new picture to look at. Each student’s task is to work out what the other student has tried to draw and what his/her reasoning might have been. Again, they must answer the focus questions on the board.

Questions on the white board

What have they tried to draw?

What was their thinking about the future?

Stage 5: Giving Opinions

Once students have an idea (or timed) of what the other person was thinking about the future he/she must go to that person and explain in English what they thought he/she was thinking about the future. The other students must reply in English as to whether he/she was right or wrong. Once sat back down, a few students are asked about their classmate’s picture as feedback to the whole class.

 Stage 6: Grammar Focus (Describing the Future)

Students are guided to the student book (worksheets) to check understanding of future tenses. Examples are given on the board for further understanding. Students then complete the statements in the student book with the correct verb form. Checking for understanding is paramount.

Stage 7: Writing a Presentation

Students (or groups) are told to prepare a speech using future tenses already studied to explain their drawing further and try to convince the other students that it is a great idea. The teacher must go around the class helping students (groups) and correcting to make their presentation presentable. Students must talk for about 2 to 3 minutes.

Stage 8: Presentation

Each student (or group) must speak for two to three minutes in front of the class showing their picture. At the end, he/she/they must answer questions from the other students.

 Stage 9: Winner of Presentation

After every student (group) has finished a draw can be made for the idea that the students think is the best.

SIT TESOL CERTIFICATE COURSE

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Essay # 1 – Focus on Learning

(814 words)

For this essay, I would like to focus on my experience so far on the TESOL course. Our TESOL group of students have so far been shown many different techniques and been made to feel like students as a way of letting us learners get to see it from the student’s perspective. The crux of my ideas and formulation for future actions with regard to teaching, the TESOL student has to know how it feels to be a learner to understand how they feel and take in the lesson. This of course will relate to the soon-to-be teacher’s future benefit of becoming as valuable a teacher as possible. In relation to this, I will further refer to my SIT course and focus on the learner.  

Referring to my language learning first as a supposed language student, I can fairly say that it wasn’t a breeze. You have to write words down, memorize, ask your peers, organize information, play an active part and downright do more, which is hard if you really want to be a successful and competent language learner. I had a few times when I wasn’t really involved and missed a few points, but at those times the auditory experience was enough, I enjoyed sitting back. On the flip side to this experience, I had many times when I sailed through everything because I put the work in and got the benefit out. I suppose that for a language learner it is hard to be attentive all the time and at times the students would just prefer to be looking at the class happening and not playing an active part.

With reference to the ‘Learners Are Individuals’ handout that I have read, it alludes to this point that there are many different styles of learning, you can not have a class of 20 students all with exactly the same way of learning. I empathize with this as I sometimes hear my peers speak and they have a lot more to say or they explain a point better than the way you thought. My reaction to this is that we are all the class together and it should be a shared experience and that everyone should benefit from everyone although there are some students more salient.

Everyone in the class I have found is a vital part of having the successful ambiance that will bring successful lessons. I found that my peers were very helpful, funny at times, and really people who wanted to learn. This made for a worthwhile lesson. The people, my fellow peers, on the course are from a diversity of backgrounds. It is funny really there are people on the course who every morning say they have done the homework and others that say they are going to leave it for another day. Some people just do their writing in note form and those that write full essays. I think this shows that people have their own way of processing information and dealing with set projects to do. I am sure everyone will hand his or her work in on time but not everyone follows the same learning path to the end.

What I have learned from the perspective of a student is that it is hard and materials have to be explained and modeled properly. Students have got to be kept amused and clear instruction has to be given. Now that I am further into the course and having been shown constructional ways of making and doing lesson plans I have noticed the techniques you, the teacher, are using to get the students to reach their goals. An example would be (the instructor) Fran’s class on ‘problems and advice’. The step-by-step process using PPU (presentation / practice / use) allowed the students to learn about giving advice. It basically followed a course of Fran explaining first then some manipulated practice and then the students using their learned language on advice. I think this method helps all individual members of the group who are all of a different aptitude. We worked as a group with Fran making sure everybody had a chance and I felt as though the group moved along nicely if I were that ESL student the class would have instilled that knowledge of giving advice because of the systematic way of keeping the students attentive with varying teaching techniques. 

To conclude the focus on learning and In relation to bringing this learning experience to my teaching. I think it gives me a broader perspective to look at the fact that there are many facets to a learning classroom experience and what you take from it is to try and apply these to your classroom. What you are left with a feeling that you can emphasize with the students’ needs and thus you be able to bring that something that will help the students to achieve.