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What is Learning?
Definition learning noun
• the activity of obtaining knowledge This technique makes learning fun.
• knowledge obtained by study His friends praised his generosity, wit and learning. Cambridge Advanced Dictionary
What is language learning?
Language can only be properly understood as a reflection of human thought process.
Language learning is conditioned by the way in which the mind observes, organises and stores information.
Namely, the key to successful language learning and teaching lies not in the analysis of the human nature but in understanding the structure and process of the mind. However, little do we know about how people learn.
if the techniques.Nevertheless. . what is done in the classroom should be based on sound principles of learning. methods and content of language teaching is to be improved.
Given the developments in learning theories. the importance of each for language teaching should be taken into consideration and it is best to consider the theories relating to language and learning separately. .
But no coherent theory of learning emerged until psychology had been established as a respectable subject of scientific enquiry in the early 20th century. Until the 20th century there was no coherent theory of learning available to the language teacher. Certainly there were empirical observations.A (Very) Brief History of Learning Theory As with the language description. the main developments in theories of how learners learn and relate each to the needs of the ESP learner and teacher are to be described. . such as Comenius’ studies made in the 17th century and the precepts of the Direct Method at the end of the 19th century.
Comenius became known as the teacher of nations. . We no longer believe that metaphysics will enable us to understand the development of the child or of man in society. To understand him better we need to have look at the way his thinks about education.J A N A M O S C O M E N I U S (1592-1670) was a Czeck teacher. a religious refugee and one of earliest champions of universal champions of universal education a concept eventually set forth in his book Didactica Magna. According to Piaget ‘Except in a few cases. the real difference between Comenius and us is the difference that lies between seventeenth. UNESCO:International Bureau of Education. it is a process affecting man’s whole life and the countless social adjustments he must make. scientist.173-96 Why his contributions are so important to our modern educational point of view is clearly given by Piaget. He is often considered the father of modern education. to say nothing of the laws of nature’. Educator. According to Comenius. and writer. or the interaction between man and nature. He was a Unity of the brethen/Moravian Protestant Bishop.and twentieth-century ways of thinking. 1999 p. education is not merely the training of the child at school or in the home.
to say nothing of the laws of nature’. UNESCO: International Bureau of Education.and twentieth-century ways of thinking.To understand him better we need to have look at the way his thinks about education. Why his contributions are so important to our modern educational point of view is clearly given by Piaget. According to Piaget ‘Except in a few cases. it is a process affecting man’s whole life and the countless social adjustments he must make. We no longer believe that metaphysics will enable us to understand the development of the child or of man in society. According to Comenius. . the real difference between Comenius and us is the difference that lies between seventeenth. education is not merely the training of the child at school or in the home.173-96. or the interaction between man and nature. 1999 p.
After a very short historical journey. it is time we continued to the answer of the question. .
Learning as a Black Box INPUTS OUTCOMES INPUTS Learning OUTCOMES So what’s happening inside the box? .
A Brief Review • • • • • • • Behaviorism Mentalism Cognitivism Social Learning Theory Social Constructivism Multiple Intelligences Brain-Based Learning .
Behaviorism • The first coherent theory of learning was behaviorist theory based mainly n the work of Pavlov in the Soviet Union and of Skinner in the United states. The simplicity and directness of this theory had an enormous impact on learning psychology and on language teaching. The method laid down a set of guiding methodological principles firstly on the behaviourist stimulus response concept and secondly on an assumption that second language learning should reflect and imitate the perceived process of mother tongue learning. It was widely used in Audio lingual Method in the 50s and 60s. According to this theory. learning is a mechanical process of habit formation and proceeds by means of the frequent reinforcement of a stimulus-response sequence. .
In Behaviourism: • Learning is defined by the outward expression of new behaviors • Focuses solely on observable behaviors • A biological basis for learning • Learning is context-independent • Classical & Operant Conditioning – Reflexes (Pavlov’s Dogs) – Feedback/Reinforcement (Skinner’s Pigeon Box) .
Behaviorism in the Classroom • Rewards and punishments • Responsibility for student learning rests squarely with the teacher • Lecture-based. highly structured .
Critiques of Behaviorism • Does not account for processes taking place in the mind that cannot be observed • Advocates for passive student learning in a teacher-centric environment • One size fits all • Knowledge itself is given and absolute • Programmed instruction & teacher-proofing .
. modern ESP books have looked for more interesting ways of handling pattern practice and a number of useful variations on the basic idea have been developed.The basic exercise technique of a behaviorist methodology is pattern practice. so workers should be well trained. (So) There are lots of accidents in the lab. A) The accident occurred in the lab. Workers were not well trained. Personnel should be well trained. (As) The accident occurred in the lab as personnel were not well trained. Such drills are widely used in ESP. particularly in the form of language laboratory drills. ____________________________________________________________ A) There are lots of accidents in the lab. Combine the sentences with given words. To illustrate. ____________________________________________________________ Moreover.
but only as one part of the whole learning process. subsequent needs for developements emerged. . However.Pattern practice exercises still have a useful role to play in language teaching. As learning is much more complex than just imitative habit formation. this does not necessarily mean that there is no place for pattern practice in a modern methodology.
Mentalism: thinking as rule governed activity There was considerable empirical evidence among language teachers that the Audiolingual Method and its behaviourist principles did not deliver the results promised. .
. He tackled behaviourism on the question of how the mind was able to transfer what was learnt in onestimulus response sequence to other novel situations. There was a vague concept of ‘generalisation’ in behaviourist theory. this was always neglected and never properly explained.The first successful assault on the behaviorist theory came from Chomsky (1964).
This hypothesis then tested and modified by subsequent experience. does not just respond to a stimulus. what is an appropriate response or whatever. • It can then use this knowledge of the system in a novel situation to predict what is likely to happen. The mind. . in other words. it uses the individual stimuli in order to find the underlying pattern or system.
The mentalist view of the mind as a rule-seeker led naturally to the next important stage: The Cognitive Theory of Learning .
.Cognitivism Cognitive Approach assumption: knowledge is always constructed by the learner in an active process of coming to terms with reality.
to apply their mental powers in order to distil a workable generative rule from the mass of data presented.The Cognitive Theory of Learning: learners as thinking beings • Whereas the behaviourist theory of lerning portrayed the learner as a passive receiver of information. • Learning and using a rule require learners to think. 1978). . and then to analyse the situations where the application of the rule would be useful or appropriate. the cognitive view takes the larne to be an active processor of information (Ausubel et al. that is..
. feel and hear. • The basic teaching technique associated with a cognitive theory of language learning is the problem-solving task.• In short. In ESP such exercises have often been modeled on activities associated with the learners’ subject specialism. we learn by thinking about and trying to make sense of what we see.
To illustrate: .
More recently. 1981). A number of ESP projects have concentrated on making students aware of their reading strategies so that they can consciously apply them to understanding texts in a foreign language (Alderson. . the cognitive view of learning has had a significant impact on ESP through the development of courses to teach reading strategies. 1980 and Scott.
To illustrate: .
Cognitivism • Grew in response to Behaviorism • Knowledge is stored cognitively as symbols • Learning is the process of connecting symbols in a meaningful & memorable way • Studies focused on the mental processes that facilitate symbol connection .
Cognitivism contributors • Jean Piaget – Genetic Epistemology • Assimilation and Accommodation • Jerome Bruner – Discovery Learning • Learner as independent problem-solver .
Cognitivism in the Classroom • Inquiry-oriented projects • Opportunities for the testing of hypotheses • Curiosity encouraged • Staged scaffolding .
Critiques of Cognitivism • Like Behaviorism. knowledge itself is given and absolute • Input – Process – Output model is mechanistic and deterministic • Does not account enough for individuality • Little emphasis on affective characteristics .
. • To complete the picture we need an affective view. • But in itself a cognitive view is not sufficient. • The cognitive code view of learning seems to answer many of the theoretical and practical problems raised by behaviourism. • It treats the learners as thinking beings and puts them firmly at the center of the learning process. too. by stressing that learning will only take place when mater to be learnt is meaningful to the learners.As a conclusion.
imitation. The theory has often been called a bridge between behaviorist and cognitive learning theories because it encompasses attention. and modeling. it posits that people learn from one another.Social Learning Theory (SLT) A. and motivation. memory. via observation. . Bandura (1973) put forward the theory. According to his theory.
• Grew out of Cognitivism • Learning takes place through observation and sensorial experiences • Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery • SLT is the basis of the movement against violence in media & video games – Bobo Doll Experiment .
SLT in the Classroom • Collaborative learning and group work • Modeling responses and expectations • Opportunities to observe experts in action .
as opposed to being active learners • Emotions and motivation not considered important or connected to learning Critiques of Social Learning Theory .• Does not take into account individuality. context. and experience as mediating factors • Suggests students learn best as passive receivers of sensory stimuli.
. but he placed more emphasis on the social context of learning. Lev Vygotsky shared many of Piaget’s assumptions about how children learn. In Vygotsky's theories both teachers and older or more experienced children play very important roles in learning.Social Constructivism Another cognitive psychologist. Piaget's cognitive theories have been used as the foundation for discovery learning models in which the teacher plays a limited role.
• Grew out of and in response to Cognitivism. framed around metacognition • Knowledge is actively constructed • Learning is… – – – – – A search for meaning by the learner Contextualized An inherently social activity Dialogic and recursive The responsibility of the learner • Lev Vygotsky – Social Learning • Zone of Proximal Development .
Social Constructivism in the Classroom • Journaling • Experiential activities • Personal focus • Collaborative & cooperative learning .
Critiques of Social Constructivism • Suggests that knowledge is neither given nor absolute • Often seen as less rigorous than traditional approaches to instruction • Does not fit well with traditional age grouping and rigid terms/semesters .
1989). He reviewed the literature using eight criteria or 'signs' of an intelligence: Potential isolation by brain damage. .Multiple Intelligences (MI) • Howard Gardner viewed intelligence as 'the capacity to solve problems or to fashion products that are valued in one or more cultural setting' (Gardner & Hatch.
• The existence of idiots savants, prodigies and other exceptional individuals. • An identifiable core operation or set of operations. • A distinctive development history, along with a definable set of 'end-state' performances. • An evolutionary history and evolutionary plausibility. • Support from experimental psychological tasks. • Support from psychometric findings. • Susceptibility to encoding in a symbol system. (Howard Gardner 1983: 62-69)
• Grew out of Constructivism, framed around metacognition • All people are born with eight intelligences:
1. Verbal-Linguistic 2. Visual-Spatial 3. Logical-Mathematical 5. Musical 6. Naturalist 7. Interpersonal
• Enables students to leverage their strengths and purposefully target and develop their weaknesses
• Linguistic intelligence involves sensitivity to spoken and written language, the ability to learn languages, and the capacity to use language to accomplish certain goals. This intelligence includes the ability to effectively use language to express oneself rhetorically or poetically; and language as a means to remember information. Writers, poets, lawyers and speakers are among those that Howard Gardner sees as having high linguistic intelligence.
Those with it are said to have greater sensitivity to nature and their place within it. taming and interacting with animals. the ability to nurture and grow things. They may also be able to discern changes in weather or similar fluctuations in their natural surroundings. They are also good at recognizing and classifying different species. They must connect a new experience with prior knowledge to truly learn something new.• Naturalistic intelligence has to do with nature. This type of intelligence was not part of Gardner's original theory of Multiple Intelligences. and greater ease in caring for. nurturing and relating information to one's natural surroundings. but was added to the theory in 1997. .
In Howard Gardner's words. carry out mathematical operations. reason deductively and think logically.• Logical-mathematical intelligence consists of the capacity to analyze problems logically. and investigate issues scientifically. . This intelligence is most often associated with scientific and mathematical thinking. it entails the ability to detect patterns.
• Musical intelligence involves skill in the performance. and rhythms. It encompasses the capacity to recognize and compose musical pitches. and appreciation of musical patterns. composition. tones. . According to Howard Gardner musical intelligence runs in an almost structural parallel to linguistic intelligence.
It is the ability to use mental abilities to coordinate bodily movements. Howard Gardner sees mental and physical activity as related. .• Bodily-kinesthetic intelligence entails the potential of using one's whole body or parts of the body to solve problems.
.• Spatial intelligence involves the potential to recognize and use the patterns of wide space and more confined areas.
• Interpersonal intelligence is concerned with the capacity to understand the intentions. Educators. It allows people to work effectively with others. religious and political leaders and counsellors all need a well-developed interpersonal intelligence. salespeople. . motivations and desires of other people.
• Intrapersonal intelligence entails the capacity to understand oneself. and to be able to use such information to regulate our lives. In Howard Gardner's view it involves having an effective working model of ourselves. . fears and motivations. to appreciate one's feelings.
MI in the Classroom • Delivery of instruction via multiple mediums • Student-centered classroom • Authentic Assessment • Self-directed learning .
Critiques of MI • Lack of quantifiable evidence that MI exist • Lack of evidence that use of MI as a curricular and methodological approach has any discernable impact on learning • Development process is a time-sink • Suggestive of a departure from core curricula and standards .
As long as the brain is not prohibited from fulfilling its normal processes. learning will occur.Brain-Based Learning (BBL) This learning theory is based on the structure and function of the brain. .
Patterning 7. Several types of memory 10. Brain is a parallel processor 2.Brain-Based Learning (BBL) • Grew out of Neuroscience & Constructivism • D. Caine & G. Every brain is unique . N. Embedded learning sticks 5. E. Challenge & threat 12. Processing of parts and wholes 11. Souza. Emotions are critical 6. Whole body learning 3. Jensen (1980’s to present) • 12 governing principles 1. A search for meaning 4. Conscious & unconscious processes 9. Caine. Focused attention & peripheral perception 8.
People often say that everyone can learn. Yet the reality is that everyone does learn. . often inhibits learning by discouraging. ignoring. Traditional schooling. Every person is born with a brain that functions as an immensely powerful processor. however. or punishing the brain’s natural learning processes.
The search for meaning comes through patterning. The core principles of brain-based learning state that: The brain is a parallel processor. The brain processes wholes and parts simultaneously. meaning it can perform several activities at once. like tasting and smelling. Learning engages the whole physiology. The search for meaning is innate. . Emotions are critical to patterning.6.
Learning involves both focused attention and peripheral perception. 11. 12. 10. Learning involves both conscious and unconscious processes. . spatial memory. 8. We understand best when facts are embedded in natural.7. Learning is enhanced by challenge and inhibited by threat. Each brain is unique. We have two types of memory: spatial and rote. 9.
3. The three instructional techniques associated with brain-based learning are: Orchestrated immersion –Creating learning environments that fully immerse students in an educational experience Relaxed alertness –Trying to eliminate fear in learners. while maintaining a highly challenging environment Active processing –Allowing the learner to consolidate and internalize information by actively processing it .
.How Brain-Based Learning Impacts Education Curriculum–Teachers must design learning around student interests and make learning contextual.
Curriculum–Teachers must design learning around student interests and make learning contextual. .
Instruction –Educators let students learn in teams and use peripheral learning. encouraging students to also learn in settings outside the classroom and the school building. Teachers structure learning around real problems. .
Assessment –Since all students are learning. their assessment should allow them to understand their own learning styles and preferences. students monitor and enhance their own learning process. . This way.
BBL in the Classroom • Opportunities for group learning • Regular environmental changes • A multi-sensory environment • Opportunities for selfexpression and making personal connections to content • Community-based learning .
not teachers & educational researchers • Lack of understanding of the brain itself makes “brain-based” learning questionable • Individual principles have been scientifically questioned .Critiques of BBL • Research conducted by neuroscientists.
Lave) • Subsumption Theory (D. Ausubel) • Conditions of Learning (R. Knowles) • Flow (M. Czikszentmihalyi) • Situated Learning (J.Other Learning Theories of Note • Andragogy (M. Gagne) .
Learning as a Not-So-Black Box INP INPU UT S OU ES M O TC Lost TS INPUTS Learner OUTCOMES IN S PU T Environment OUT C OME S INP S T U .
. such as.There are also some sort of crucial items that need to be taken into consideration when it comes to learning.
we invariably seek answers to our problems in rational terms. although we are all aware of our feelings and their effects on our actions. • It is one of the paradoxes of human nature. . Learners as emotional beings • People think but they also have feelings.The affective factor.
fears. .This attitude affects the way we see learners.more like machines to be programmed than people with likes and dislikes. weaknesses and prejudices.
But learners are people. 1976). Learning. but they still learn as human beings. Even ESP learners are people. and the feeling that the learner process evokes will have a crucial bearing on the success or failure of the learning (Stevick. is an emotional experience. . They may be learning about machines and systems. particularly the learning of a language.
. The cognitive theory tells us that learners will learn when they actively think about what they are learning.The importance of the emotional factor is easily seen if we cosider the relationship between the cogntive and affective aspects of the learner. But this cognitive factor presupposes the affective factor of motivation.
.Before learners can actively think about something. The emotional reaction to the learning experience is the essential foundation for the initiation of the cognitive process. they must want to think about it.
The cognitive/affective learning interplay in the form of a learning cycle as it is given below: .How the learning is perceived by the learner will affect what learning. will take place. if any.
Entry point Learner wants to learn Learner sees learning as an enjoyable and satisfying experince Learner applies cognitive powers to acquire knowledge A positive learning cycle Increased competence enables learner to learn more easily Learning is successful Learner’s competence develeopes .
. therefore. This brings us to a matter which has been one of the most important elements in the developement of ESP-motivation. one of the vital importance to the success or otherwise of a language learning experince.The relationship between the cognitive and emotional aspects of learning is.
They identified two forms of motivation: instrumental (Need) integrated (Want) .The most influential study of motivation in language learning has been Gardner and Lambert’s (1972) study of bilingualism in French speaking Canada.
graduation. . In other words. but rather because they need to.Instrumental motivation is the reflection of an external need. wanting to learn a language for the purpose of obtaining some concrete goals such as a job. The learners are not learning a language because they want to (although this does not imply that they do not want to). This form of motivation is thought to be less likely to lead to success than integrated motivation. or the ability to read academic materials.
the motivation is an external one. Whatever they are. the need to read texts in the language for work or study. the need to pass an exam in the language. .The need may derive from varying sources. the need to sell things to speakers of the language.
An important aspect of this form of language learning is using language for social interaction. When students want to learn a language to become part of a speech community (integrate). That is to say. It is an internally generated want rather than an externally imposed need. on the other hand. derives from a desire on the part of the learners to be members of the speech community that uses a particular language.Integrative motivation. . This form of motivation is thought to produce success in language learners. People who immigrate to new countries are some examples of people who may want to identify with the community around them.
. According to the view we have advocate so far is that for the second language learner both processes are likeley to play a useful part and that a good ESP course will try to exploit both. Learning is seen as a conscious process. while acqusition proceeds unconsciously.Learning and acqusition Much debate has recently cemtered around the distinction made by stephen Krashaen (1981) between learning and acqusiton.
That will provide a practical source of reference for the ESP teacher and course designer. .A model for learning In the lights of thet ideas it has been discussed there should be a model of learning process to present.
To achive this communication links must be established. . The indivudual houses. The mind of the learner is like a developement agency. These various settlements. however.First of all. rather like a road map. It wants to bring the settlements into the network and so develop their potential. are only useful if they are connected to the main network by roads. the mind should be depicted as a network of conecions. towns and villages represent items or bundles of knowledge.
There is no limit to the number of links possible. as with any communication network. links can only be established from existing links.However. Indeed the more links a place already has the more it is likely to attract .
It is the existing knowledge that makes it possible to construct new connections. . They only acquire meaning and use when they are connected into the network of existing knowledge. have little significance on their own. like the towns. So in the act ofacquiring new knowledge it is the learner’s exisiting knowledge that makes it possible to learn new items. Individual items of knowledge.
it greatly increase the potential for further learning. but may open up wide possibilities for further learning. Items of knowledge are not of equal significance. This why so often learning appears to progress in leaps and bounds. mountains and other major obstacles. Think of these leaps as the crossing of rivers. For a long time it might appear that little progress is being made. learning a generative rule may take time. . then suddenly the learner makes an enormous leap to a higher level of competence. Like a bridge across a river or a tunnel through a mountain. but once it is there. Some items are harder to acquire.
Roads and railways are not built haphazardly. They require planning. The road builder has to recognise where problem lie and work out strategies for solving those problems. In the same way the learner will make better progress by developing strategies for solving the learning problems that will arise. A communication network is a system . If the road builder can see the whole system, the planning and construction of the roads will be a lot easier. Language is a system, too. If the leaner sees it as just a haphazard set of arbitrary and capricious obstacles, learning will be difficult, if not possible.
Finally, before anyone builds a road, crosses a river or climbs a mountain, they must have some kind of motivation to do so. If they could ot care less what is beyond the mountains, dislike the people who come from there or are simply afraid of travelling, the chances of communication links being established are minimal. A communication network is a system . If the road builder can see the whole system, the planning and construction of the roads will be a lot easier. Language is a system, too. If the leaner sees it as just a haphazard set of arbitrary and capricious obstacles, learning will be difficult, if not possible.
First of all, there must be a need to establish the links. In ESP this need is usually taken for granted. But as anyone who has set out on a long and possibly difficult journey will know, a need is not enough. You can always find an excuse for not going. The traveller must also want to make the journey.
if not greater importance. . a need to acquire knowledge is a necessary factor. is the need to actually enjoy the process of acquisition. but of equal. with learning.As a result.
taking what is useful from each theary and trusting also in the evidence of your own experince as a teacher. we should like to make two points: First. It is important. it is wise to take ecclectic approach.After the brief summary of the most important developemnets in approaches to learning and considered their relevance to ESP. It is possible that there are cognitive. therefore. not to base any approach too narrowly on one thary. In conclusion. a cognitive approach to the teaching grammar and use affective criteria in selecting your text. As with lanuage descriptions. affective and behaviourist approach to the teaching of pronunciaiton. . we still do not know very much about learning.
. There is. As Corder (1973) says: ‘There is no logical connection between a particular psychological theory of how grammar is learned an any particular theory of language structure…. theories of learning and language descriptions are casually linked. however.’ . an undaubted historical connection between them. Second.
Dudley Evans and St. . John (1998) identify five key roles for the ESP practitioner: -teacher -course designer and materials provider -collaborator -researcher -evaluator.
Developments in ESP: A multidisciplinary approach. vol. XXIII. (1998). 1993.REFERANCES Dudley-Evans. p. T. 1999 .. M. no. International Bureau of Education). 1/2. (UNESCO. & St John. 173-96. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. ©UNESCO:International Bureau of Education.
NECMETTİN KÜLTÜR .THANK YOU OKT.