Celta Language Skills Written Assignment

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CELTA assignment 1: LRST

1. TEXT AND RATIONALE:

The text I am selecting is a description of a clown who works in a circus, and a description of his everyday life. I chose this text for the following reasons:

-INTEREST:

Recent research has indicated that how interesting a text is will affect students' cognitive performance. This kind of "interestingness," or text-based interest, was the focus of the study […] a content analysis performed on the recall protocols showed that the interest-evoking strategies were most effective in increasing children's recall of concrete, specific, or personally involving information […] Suzanne Hidi

William Baird
Ontario Institute for Studies in Education

All the students we are now teaching in the Beginners level have different backgrounds and are in Halifax for different reasons. However, they have in common that they have been living or they will be living here for quite a long period of time. I assume that students have been introduced more than once, and I also assume that they have introduced themselves or other people more than once.

A descriptive text provides the learner with the necessary tools for describing themselves, which means they can introduce themselves into a group. It also means they can introduce members within the sphere of their family or social life.

Learners will see this text as a means for putting spare words they already know altogether to build a description that can be useful for them in their situation in Halifax

-LANGUAGE LEVEL:

When we plan lessons, we need to remember that every learner has an individual range of levels, that every class is a mixed-level class and that we are planning something that may not be appropriate for some and may be easy or difficult for others […] James Scrivener

Learning Teaching p 69, Conclusions about level, Macmillan books for teachers

This text is appropriate at the beginners level because they will know most of the words from the text and will be able to extract most of the information with a gist reading. This means that, although there will still be some words they might have never heard before, I can concentrate in the structure of the text and therefore give more time for students to focus on their skill based part (reading).

The Present Simple is used throughout the text, which is the tense most students know how to use (properly or not) at the beginners level, so I did not have to adapt the tense. Nevertheless, I had to adapt some of the uses of the grammar since they are not used in Halifax or in Canada, and therefore they will not be able to practise that kind of language while they are living here.

1. RECEPTIVE SKILLS

The receptive skills I would focus on practising with this text would be

-SKIMMING FOR GIST:

A common pedagogical principle is to start
with a general understanding of the text and then move to paragraphs, sentences, phrases and words[…]
Clive Elsmore
http://clivesir.files.wordpress.com/2012/04/wa1-a.pdf, page 2

Gist reading will help the learners to know which information is the key to the general understanding of the text without spending a lot of time reading the text, preparing them for being able to get to the next level, looking for detailed information

-SCANNING FOR SPECIFIC INFORMATION:

Although scanning is involved with details of the text, the way that a reader finds those details involves processing the whole text, moving their eyes quickly over the whole page, searching for key words or clues from the textual layout and the content that will enable them to focus in on smaller sections of text that they are likely to get answers from James Scrivener

Learning Teaching, p185, Skimming and Scanning, Macmillan books for teachers

Scanning for specific information can help students remember details from the text once the lesson has finished. In this case it will help students to remember specific grammar structures...
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