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Técnicas humanistas


Care to share in the ESOL class? Try humanistic techniques!
Gertrude Moskowitz To improve the self-image, personal relationships, and attitudes of foreign-language students, Y developed methods, courses, created materials, and conducted two research projects based on using humanistic communication activities to teach languages. The research indicated that students instructed with humanistic techniques improve significantly in their attitudes toward learning the target language, in their self-concept, and in their acceptance of their classmates. The activities helped overcome the fear and inhibition many felt in speaking in speaking the new language. They also increased the enthusiasm and motivation of teachers and students. I discovered that such techniques appeal to all ages and to many cultures because we all have the same basic needs: to feel good about ourselves, to be accepted, and to have close relationships —the very goals of humanistic activities. The focus of the lessons is the learners themselves: their feelings, hopes, memories, values, experiences -their very lives. Be yourself, accept yourself, discover yourself, and care for others are some of the underlying themes. Through the more personal, relevant communication which results, students recognize their strengths an those of one another. The end product: personal growth leads to growth in the target language. The following activities appear in a book of 120 humanistic techniques that I developed for language learning1 NAMES PEOPLE PLAY Humanistic purposes: To enable students to develop greater sensitivity into how classmates feel about their names and what they are called. Linguistic purposes: To practice structures related to giving one’s name, for example, “My name is ...” and “I used to be called ...” “and “I like ...” and “I don’t like ...” Levels: All levels Size of groups: Three to six, depending on the amount of time available Procedures: Inform the students that they are going to discuss a topic about which they probably have many feelings. You could introduce the activity this way: “Al of us were given a first name when we were born. We had no choice in this name. Yet this name represents us, stands for us, identifies us. When people say this name, we respond to it.
Gertrude Moskowitz, Caring and Sharing in the Foreign Language Class: A Sourcebook on Humanistic Techniques. Rowley, Massachusetts: Newbury House Publishers, 1978. (This reference contains 120 humanistic activities, detailed guidelines for their use, instructions for training teachers, and humanistic vocabulary and quotes.) The three activities described in this article are, respectively, from pages 109-10 and 56

Have a few shared before the whole class once the small groups finish their exchange. let the class know what name you would select and why. As a follow-up activity students can be asked to write what they learned about themselves and others related to the names people are called. As you arrive at your house or apartment.Técnicas humanistas 86 “Think about your first name and your nicknames (any other names you have been called) and how you feel about these names. you find it is on fire. As a result of this exercise. but they cannot keep their present name. In the second phase of this activity. Everyone should then tell the class the name he/she wants to be called. Humanistic purposes: To encourage students to think about what they really cherish and place a high value on Linguistic purposes: To converse freely in the language Levels: Intermediate and advanced levels and midway through the beginning level Size of groups: about five Procedures: Ask the students to close their eyes and imagine the following scene: “You have been away all day and are returning home. they may wish to spend more time discussing this topic than you think they will. Conclude by asking what they learned about themselves or others regarding names and nicknames. If they are able to express themselves well in English. ask for a few volunteers to share their feelings about their given names and nicknames before the whole class. SAVE MY . Ask them to decide what they would call themselves and why. Then let your group know what name you want to be called now. all members of your family and your pets are safe. After the small groups have discussed the topic. To start off the activity. . But almost everything else is destroyed.” As the teacher. You may wish to ask the students to write about this topic before it is discussed to help prepare them for their participation.. start out by sharing your feelings about your own first name and nicknames. FIREMAN. Luckily. Discuss who has called you these different names and how you feel about each name.. Comments: This lets students realize the negative feelings others can have when they are called a name they do not like. Tell your group your first name and any nicknames you have ever been given. tell the students to imagine that they can select any first name they want for themselves. sometimes students will decide to have the class call them something new or a name rarely used to refer them. Students find this a personal interesting topic to discuss.

He can confirm this for the others or not. ‘Y have time to save just one thing that’s in your house. each student can select one of the fortunes to read to the entire class. ask them to share in their groups. and each students is asked to write a fortune for the other four in the group. one he would like to have come true.’ Think about all the belongings in your house and decide what is the one thing you would ask to have saved. These should all be passed out at the same time. folded. as that takes away from the spontaneous reactions that are seen by and shared with the group members when all hear them at the same time. Each student also writes a fortune for himself. to provide a bit of fun and mystery in the lesson Linguistic purposes: To practice the future tense Levels: All levels Size of groups: About five Procedures: This activity should be used after the members of the class know one another fairly well so the students can more accurately predict what would make individual classmates happy. The students are placed in groups of five. After an individual has read all five fortunes. opens it. The fortunes should be something the student thinks would make the persons happy. and placed in front of the person whose fortune it is. and comments or reacts to the fortune. (You will have to remind students about this once the slips are in front of them.) Much of the fun and enjoyment of this activity comes from the suspense and from seeing the fortunes for the first time as they are shared with the group. if someone would save a photograph album. (Each person will thus have received five fortunes. Tell the students to be specific.) Have five rounds of turns in which each group member. For example. After the groups have finished the activity. as he pleases. reads it aloud to the group.” After the students have time to think about this. another phase can be added to this activity. Each fortune is written on a separate slip of paper. The name of the person should be on the slip of paper and face upward. Since one of the fortunes for each person has been written by the individual himself. FORTUNE COOKIES Humanistic purposes: To encourage students to wish good things for their classmates. ask the students to decide what value this shows they place a strong emphasis on. picks up a slip. the value here is not being sentimental but that of placing a strong emphasis on the family. one at a time. the group may guess which fortune he wrote himself.Técnicas humanistas 87 “A fireman calls down to you. When everybody has had a turn. to try to project what would make others in the class happy. Tell me what you want. as some will forget in their eagerness to see what others wrote for them.2 2 This article appeared in the April 1981 issue of the English Teaching Forum. They should tell what item they would want saved and why. . The students are not to read their fortunes to themselves ahead of time.

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