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Reflection 7

Reflection 7

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Published by Munnise Öztürk

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Published by: Munnise Öztürk on May 10, 2010
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05/11/2010

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Last week, we talked about some core concepts of NLP and teaching pronunciation.
Core concepts of NLP:
1.
Submodalities: exploring your imagination.
How can we remember things? Byseeing, hearing or feeling? Submodalities represent this: how we remember things.That’s to say, every thought we have is formed by pictures, sounds or sensations.
2.
Anchoring: recapturing good moments.
It means changing our state of mind or mood easily by using the technique. Anchoring happens naturally when somethingsuch as a sound, a smell, a taste or a picture reminds us a moment of our life. For example, whenever I hear the song of Black Eyed Peas, Boom Boom Pow, I remember my last summer holiday with my cousins
Anchors may set off negative feelings inaddition to positive feelings. When we come to implications, there are a lot of waysusing anchors in the classroom. One of them is
“quiet arm”
. According to thisanchor, as a teacher, in order to stop students’ talking in the classroom, I can sit downquietly on my chair by raising my arm until they see me, stop talking and raise their hand. Another anchor is
“the penalty box”
. This anchor is used to discipline studentson a special place in the classroom. In order to stop talking or prevent unwanted behavior, I can walk towards this place to make them understand there is somethingwrong in the class. However, actually, what I should do mainly is to be patient,whatever happens in the class. That’s the point, I think!
3.
Sensory acuity: noticing, not assuming.
Sensory acuity, one of the four pillars of  NLP, is concerned with noticing the nonverbal clues that people are communicating.As a teacher, what I should do is to practise my sensory acuity and notice what isgoing on in the class. I should be alert to the non-verbal signals from my learners andread their non-verbal messages.
4.
Rapport: the key to communication.
Rapport is also one of the four pillars of NLP.It concerns maximizing similarities and minimizing differences. If there are somesimilarities between the teacher and students, it is easier to communicate. As a teacher,to create rapport, I should use the language the way students understand. We alsotalked about matching and mirroring.
Matching
is doing the same thing with the same part of the body as the other person. That’s to say, to do same thing between me andmy students.
Mirroring
is using the opposite side of your body as in a mirror.Mirroring is a kind of effective classroom management. Matching and mirroring awhole class at the same time is not possible, but getting them all into rapport with eachother by doing activities is possible. I should also do energizer and cooler activitiesaccording to students’ mood.
5.
Perceptual positions: see it my way, see it your way.
This is related to how we look at the issues and how we view things from at least three different points. First position;experiencing something from my own point of view; in other words, seeing, hearingand feeling the events through my own eyes, ears and feelings. As a teacher, what Ishould do is to meet my own needs firstly, and then to beware of being selfish andinsensitive to the needs of learners. Second position; experiencing something from the
 
other person’s point of view; that’s to say, being in somebody’s shoes. As a teacher,what I should ask here is that “Would I like to be a student in my class?” If the answer of this question is “Yes!”, then it means that I do my job well. I should know that before criticizing someone, I should walk a mile in their shoes. Third position;experiencing the relationship between first and second position as a neutral observer;so to speak, standing back and watching myself and the other person. What I shoulddo in the class as a teacher is to look at all students objectively.
6.
Someone else’s shoes.
This is all about empathy. Do we really understand other  people’s feelings and problems or do we see the world through the eyes of someoneelse? In order to answer these questions we did an activity in the class. Firstly, wethought about a problem we had lately with someone. Then one of our friends sit onthe first of three chairs in front of the board. It was the first position, namely, her own point of view. She told the problem from the point of her. After that, she sit on thesecond chair which was the second position, and told the problem from the point of the person with whom she had the problem. Finally, she sit on the third chair.Eventually, she was a neutral observer in the third position. She tried to evaluate thesituation objectively and tell who was right. Another friend of ours did the sameactivity then. By means of these activities, we saw whether we could be reallyobjective and sensitive.
7.
Metaprograms:
 
why we do what we do.
This is about selecting relevant subject tostudents which depends on their personal experiences, background information andmotivation. As a teacher, what I shouldn’t forget is that different students aremotivated in different ways, and what I should know is what motivates learners. If Iknow their needs, I could be in a good position to serve them. We also mentioned basic metaprograms which are proactive (acting first) or reactive (thinking first),internal (evaluating themselves) or external (evaluating things), options (like to havelots of choices) or procedures (like to know the right way), towards (motivated bywhat they want) or away from (motivated by what they don’t want), sameness(noticing what is the same about things) or difference ( noticing what is different aboutthings), attention direction (being aware of others or being absorbed in self), style(being independent or co-operative), general (like to have the big picture) or specific(like to focus on the details). Finally, we thought our metaprograms and decidedwhich of them we are.
8.
Modelling: the study of excellence.
Modelling excellent behavior leads toexcellence.” As a teacher, I should be a good model for my students. If I like my joband if I do my job well, my learners are likely to imitate me. If they consider me to beextremely good at doing something and if they do exactly what I do, they will beexcellent. However, as long as I am aware of my weaknesses and strengths, I can be agood model and in order to be an excellent teacher, I should model excellent teacherslike my students.
9.
Sensory language.
The language people use can indicate which representationalsystem they are using, such as eye movements. For example, visual learners use visuallanguage and they utter sentences such as “I see what you mean” or “I get the picture”.Auditory learners use auditory language such as “That doesn’t sound right” or “I hear 
 
what you’re saying but…”, whereas kinaesthetic learners say sentences such as “I feelit is wrong” or “That does not grab me”.
10.
Reframing: changing words, changing minds.
This is to rename or re-label things inorder to alter our perception of them. The words we use have a great influence, so as ateacher, I have to watch out and be aware of my language. In addition, I have to use positive words instead of negative ones if I am addressing especially young learners.
Teaching pronunciation:
In the beginning of class, at first, we answered the following questions:1.Have you ever thought your pronunciation before the university?2.With your current knowledge, how do you evaluate your previous teachers?We worked in pairs and discussed the answers of these questions. Then we discussedin the class and gave some examples from our experiences.Secondly, we mentioned pronunciation issues. Many teachers give attention togrammar, vocabulary, reading and listening but they ignore or make little attempt to teach pronunciation. The reasons of this may be that teachers do not know how to teach, what toteach (sounds, stress, intonation) or when to teach. However, on the contrary, as teachers, weshould take into consideration teaching pronunciation. We should know what, how and whento teach. As students tend to imitate us, we should be a good model; so we should pronounce properly and correctly. In this way, they will be much more competent than we are.Thirdly, we discussed perfection versus intelligibility and focused on two points. Thefirst one is
language exposure
. Some students want to be exposed to a native speaker variety;so they should be listening to perfect English as much as possible. The second one is
identityissues
which means being afraid to lose identity while speaking like a native speaker. We alsotalked about fossilization and mutual intelligibility. Fossilization means the way learners learnwords wrongly. We shouldn’t forget that if learners pronounce words wrongly, it is our fault!We should also remember “the earlier the better”: this is highly important because we cannotcorrect some pronunciation mistakes after a certain age. Therefore, we should be good at pronunciation from the first. Mutual intelligibility is to be understood by someone and to beable to understand someone. We should mainly aim to intelligibility. That’s the issue! Mutualintelligibility between the teacher and students or between students and students is essential sothat learning may occur. We should let our students understand the person who is speaking.Finally, we talked about the problems which occur in pronunciation teaching andlearning.
What students can hear:
in order to deal with this problem, we can show studentshow sounds are made through demonstration etc. or we can record our own voice. That is tosay, we should focus on what they hear and this is all about “ear training”.
What studentscan say:
this is concerned with practice. Practice makes perfect. The more students practise,

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