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By Porntip Bodeepongse
What is materials?
• Anything used by teachers or learners to facilitate the learning of a language or to increase Ss’ knowledge or experience of the language, e.g. cassettes, videos, CDRoms, dictionaries, grammar books, readers, workbooks, photographs, live talks by invited native speakers, instructions given by a teacher, etc.
• Anything done by writers, teachers or learners to provide sources of language input and to exploit those sources in ways in which maximize the possibility of intake (= to promote language learning)
that is.Materials evaluation • Attempts to measure the value of materials • Attempts to predict whether or not the materials will work. learners will be able to use them without too much difficulty and will enjoy the experience of doing so .
Teaching • Anything done by materials developers or teachers to facilitate the learning of the language • Teaching can be direct (=transmitting information overtly to the learners) or indirect (=helping learners to discover things for themselves). .
Language Learning • Conscious process consisting of the committing to memory of information relevant to what is being learned • Subconscious development of generalisations about how the language is used and skills to apply them to acts of communication .
) • Implicit (learners are not aware of when and what they are learning) • Explicit (learners are aware of when and what they are learning) • Explicit learning of both declarative and procedural knowledge is valuable in helping learners to pay attention to salient features of language input and in helping them to participate in planned discourse. .Language Learning (cont.
Materials should achieve impact. • Materials can achieve impact through: • • • • Novelty Variety Attractive presentation Appealing content • Choice of topics. texts and activities = achievement of impact . • Impact achieved when materials have a noticeable effect on learners.
Materials should help Ss to feel at ease. • Materials with lots of white space • Texts and illustrations that relate to Ss own culture • Materials that try to help Ss learn rather than testing them or causing humiliation • Materials that relate the world of the book to the world of learners .
(Dulay. • Relaxed and self-confidence learners learn faster.Materials should help Ss to develop confidence. 1982) • Activities which try to ‘push’ Ss slightly beyond their proficiency • Stimulating tasks • Problematic tasks • Achievable tasks . Burt & Krashen.
Relevant and useful materials • Relating to known learner interests • Real-life tasks that Ss need to perform in the target language • Relating teaching points to interesting and challenging classroom tasks • Presenting tasks in ways which could facilitate the achievement of task outcomes desired by Ss .
Materials should require and facilitate Ss self-investment. effort and attention in the learning activity. . • Requiring Ss to make discoveries for themselves • Helping Ss to make efficient use of resources in order to facilitate selfdiscovery • Learners profit more if they invest interest.
.How to facilitate Ss’ selfinvestment • Getting Ss interested in a written or spoken text • Getting them to respond to it globally and affectively • Helping to analyse a particular linguistic feature in order to make discoveries for themselves • Involving them in mini-projects • Involving them in finding supplementary materials etc.
(Pienemann. 1985) .Learners must be ready to acquire the points being taught. • Instruction can facilitate natural language acquisition processes if it coincides with learner readiness and can lead to increased speed and frequency of rule application and to application of rules in a wider range of linguistic contexts.
Krashen’s comprehensible input • The need for roughly-tuned input which is comprehensible (what Ss are familiar with) but which also contains the potential for acquiring other elements of input which Ss might or might not be ready to learn = i + 1 .
How to achieve Ss’ readiness • Materials which create situations requiring the use of variational features not previously taught • Materials which ensure that Ss have gained sufficient mastery over the developmental features of the previous stage before teaching a new one .
) • Materials which roughly tune the input so that it contains some feature which is slightly above each learner’s current proficiency level • Materials which get Ss to focus attention on features of the target language which they have not yet acquired so that they might be more attentive to these features in the future input .How to achieve Ss’ readiness (cont.
• Through the advice given to Ss in the materials • Through instructions for activities • Through spoken and written texts included in the materials • Through the activities However. .Materials should expose learners to language in authentic use. the input must be comprehensible enough for Ss to respond to it.
• Ss should do something mentally or physically in response to the materials. medium and purpose and rich in features which are characteristic of authentic discourse in the target language. • The materials should stimulate learner interaction with the input rather than just passive reception of it. .• The input should vary in style. mode.
Ss’ attention should be drawn to linguistic features of the input. . • Either conscious or subconscious • It’s important that Ss become aware of the gap between a particular feature of their interlanguage (Ss’ output) and the equivalent feature in the target language (input). Such noticing of the gap can act as an ‘acquisition facilitator’.
. strategies and expression of the interaction are determined by the learners.Opportunities to use the target language for communication • Using language for communication involves attempts to achieve a purpose in a situation in which the content.
• The attempts enable Ss to check the effectiveness of their internal hypotheses especially if the activities stimulate them into ‘pushed output’ which is slightly above their current proficiency. • They also help Ss to automise their existing procedural knowledge and to develop strategic competence. .
Communicative interaction • Opportunities for picking up language from the new input generated • Opportunities for learner output to become an informative source of input • Teaching materials should provide opportunities for interaction in a variety of discourse modes ranging from planned to unplanned. .
. e.g.Interaction achieved through • Information or opinion gap activities • Post-listening and post-reading activities which require Ss to use information from the text to achieve communicative purpose • Creative writing and creative speaking activities. writing a story. or improvising a drama • Formal instruction given in the target language either on the language or on another subject also serves as interaction.
• Recycle instruction and provide frequent and ample exposure to the instructed features in communicative use. • The acquisition of language is a gradual rather than an instantaneous process. • It is important that Ss are not forced into premature production of instructed features.Positive effects of instruction are usually delayed. . They will get them wrong.
• Studial learners gain more from explicit grammar teaching than experiential learners who gain more from reading a story with a predominant grammar feature rather than from explicit instruction. .Ss differ in learning styles. • Activities should be variable and cater for all learning styles.
• Kinaesthetic—prefer to do sth.Learning styles • Visual—prefer to see the language written down. . • Experiential—like to use the language and is more concerned with communication than with correctness. physical • Studial—like to pay conscious attention to linguistic feature of the language and want to be correct. • Auditory—prefer to hear the language.
• Global—happy to respond to whole chunks of language at a time and to pick up from them whatever language she can. • Dependent—prefer to learn from Ts and books • Independent—happy to learn from their own experience of the language and to use autonomous learning strategies .More learning styles • Analytic—prefer to focus on discrete bits of the language and to learn them one by one.
Preferences for learning styles depend on: • what is being learned • where it is being learned • who it is being learned with • what it is being learned for Material developers must be aware of and cater for differences of preferred learning styles and not assume that all learners can benefit from the same approaches as the ‘good language learner’ .
Differences in affective attitudes • language learners should have strong and consistent motivation and they should have positive feelings towards the target language. fellow learners and materials. Ts. • ‘to diversify language instruction as much as possible based on the variety of cognitive styles’ and the variety of affective attitudes .
How? • choices of different types of texts • choices of different types of activities • optional extras for more positive and motivated learners • variety • include units in which value of learning English is a topic for discussion .
• include activities for Ss to discuss theit attitudes and feelings about the course and materials • research and cater for Ss’ diverse interests • aware of Ss’ cultural sensitivities • give general and specific advice in the teacher’s book on how to respond to negative learners .
listening (or reading) comprehension • allow Ss to respond in L1 or through drawing and gestures .Silent period at the beginning • extremely valuable to delay L2 speaking at the beginning of a course until Ss gain sufficient exposure to the target language and sufficient confidence in understanding it • start a course with TPR.
Maximise learning potential by encouraging intellectual. aesthetic and emotional involvement which stimulates both right and left brain activities • Content of materials should stimulates thoughts and feelings in the learners. • Activities are not too simple and too easy so that Ss make use of previous experience and brains. .
Not rely too much on controlled practice • Controlled practice • Spontaneous performance • Automacity This have little long term effect on the accuracy (Ellis. 1990) and fluency (Ellis & Rathbone. 1987) .
Opportunities for outcome feedback • Feedback focused on the effectiveness of the outcome. not on the accuracy of the output. • Language production activities must have intended outcomes. . not just used for practising language. can turn into a profitable source of output.
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