Introduction to analysing and teaching English language assignment. Title: Evaluating a set of materials.
The study of modern foreign languages is pivotal to our interconnectivity with the rest of the world. For this reason, I would have liked my personal experience of learning a second language to have been slightly more stimulating. I believe, that the if the primary elements of the language learning theory had been outlined from the beginning of my education, subsequently the teaching of the key skills and my analysis of the language would have been a lot more straight-forward. During the course of this essay I am going to present some of the reasons to why language learning has not reached its full potential. However, instead of emphasising my past disillusionment within the classroom, I will demonstrate the various ways to how a teacher can take a positive advantage of any material to enhance their students’ ability to learn. A fundamental purpose of learning a foreign language is to be able to read the literature written in it. However, literary language is superior to the spoken language therefore there will always be notable differences. My student’s study of the target language so far, has been purely limited to the culture and the related literature, history and fine art. I had a similar experience when studying Spanish at GCSE and A-Level. I found it extremely interesting to be able to read complex facts and narratives in Spanish, as it made me feel really confident during lesson time and before the exam period I felt prepared. However, when I travelled to South America I wanted to share with them some of the knowledge that I had learnt about their culture and unfortunately I could not put any clear ideas from my head into words. This became extremely frustrating because even though I could say the set answers that I had learnt for exam questions, I could not always get by in a simple conversation. Therefore, in my discussion I am going to evaluate the areas of language learning methods that I believe can enhance my students understanding and those that are not so useful in my particular situation. The methodology that they have already been exposed to is the grammar translation method and audio lingualism. As the students are accustomed to this way of teaching they do not see the importance of intonation, gestures and the use of synonyms and antonyms. As the above methods do not allow the student to make mistakes. Their implicit theory of learning in this subject relates to their expectations of what skills they will acquire as a result of the lesson. In this case they would view grammar, structure and vocabulary to be more important than the communicative aspect of language learning because even though there had been a speaking element within the classroom beforehand this would only have consisted of a small group presentation at the end of the lesson, thus they were not expected to correspond to questions about these topics in the real world. In my opinion the key aspect to language learning should be socio-linguistic competence because even though a student may be able to use grammar and vocabulary effectively, if they cannot use pragmatics and strategic competence then they will not be able to improvise spontaneously to communicate their ideas, hence this is what I will be encouraging my students to do. If the learner demands a little more clarification on how to communicate these ideas orally rather than purely in the written format, as a teacher I would provide other example exercises to go through the differences between written and spoken English, consequently this could be used as a reference for future activities. I have chosen the following five theories in relation to me as a learner because I feel that as a teacher I should have the necessary background in order to make an informed judgement about what the learners needs could be. The following methods and approaches to language learning are...
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