Tuesday, 17 January 2017

Mushu & Funtiusha

He's a very dangerous baby. Don't mess around, he makes the bussiness around here

Friday, 13 January 2017

Activity 2.3 English Varieties

1. What English varieties can you think of?

  • American, Jamaican, Indian English, British, Scottish,  Australian, New Zealand English, South African English, etc.

2. Provide a brief account of the main differencies between British and American English:

  •  British normally writes "realise", with the phoneme /s/ whilst American English speakers write "realize", with the voiced sibilant /z/.
  • Whereas in British we spell "travelled", Americans doesn't double the consonant, thus: "traveled".
  • As for the diphtongs, in British English we tend to write "colour" whereas an American would consistently write "color".
  • Similarly to the previous spelling differencies, in British we would write "centre" or "theatre" while in American they would stick to "center" or "theater" disregarding of the pronunciation.

Activity 1.7

1. What is CLIL? 

The term CLIL was coined by David Marsh, University of Jyväskylä, Finland (1994): "CLIL refers to situations where subjects, or parts of subjects, are taught through a foreign language with dual-focused aims, namely the learning of content and the simultaneous learning of a foreign language."

2.  Is there any difference between immersion and CLIL teaching?

One is embedded under the other. Immersion teaching is located within the concept of CLIL teaching. CLIL could be understood as the category whereas Immersion would be a strategy within the overall CLIL concept.

3. If so, what are the main differences? 

The final objective of immersion programmes is that the studentsbecome proficient in both the L1 and the L2, without any detriment to the acquisition of academic knowledge.

The language the students are taught in must be new to them, so that its learning resembles the L1 acquisition process.

The teaching staff must be bilingual, both to be able to implement the programme with the greatest guarantee of success and to ensure that throughout the school day all school activities can be smoothly carried out in the L2.

Activities for the DU - Group 6

Design 5 activities for a classroom in which there are 3 gifted students, 4 ADHD, and 3 students repeating grade.

Ice-breaker/Warm-up Activity: Moving Train

·         Students will be divided in four groups (7-7-7-7) and placed in four chair-lines, like train wagoons. The teacher will provide them with three vocabulary ítems related to sport activities and equipment, one of which will be an odd one (for instance, if we have tennis, racket, googles: googles will be the unrelated one). As for the procedure, students will have to identify the odd item and those who answer correctly will advance towards the front possitions of the train. The game will consist of five rounds. The winners will be the students who, having answered correctly first, sit in the first row of each “train”.

Vocabulary & Speaking Activity: Films & genres

·         Students will be provided with 8 pictures from different films. First, they will try to guess what genre the film belongs to, secondly, in pairs (or groups of 3), one of the members of the group will choose a picture and will be expected to explain it to the rest of the group in order for them to find out what the film is. Gifted students will be handed out extra vocabulary (producer, director, camera man, make-up artist, script-writer, actor, actress, stunt-man) on the film production staff for them to be able to develop further the explanation of the film they have chosen. Students with ADHD will be equally handed out support vocabulary to facilitate the completion of the former task.

o   Action film
o   Adventure
o   Comedy
o   Comedy
o   Crime
o   Drama
o   Epic /Historical
o   Horror
o   Musicals
o   Sci-Fi
o   War
o   Westerns

Grammar & Speaking Activity: some, any, no + indefinite pronouns

·         The teacher will create a dialogue with gaps and the students will have to fill the gaps according to the communicative situation. In affirmative, interrogative and negative sentences, they will have to choose the appropriate quantifier that suits the sentence better. Afterwards they will have to practise the dialogue paying special attention to pronunciation. For those students showing difficulty in fulfilling the task, we will provide them with the multiple choices (a-b). As for the gifted students, they will be required to fill the gaps, and besides, continue the dialogue with their own words once they have finished, making use of quantifiers and indefinite pronouns.

Writing Activity: Marketing Activity

·         Students will be asked to write a description of a music CD that they would like to sell on internet (Wallapop, Ebay, Amazon, etc). In the description, they will have to use their creativity and imagination in order to make it attractive and therefore sell it fast. Moreover, they will have to provide a name for the product, the price and brief description.

Gifted students will be provided with the opportunity to create a slogan for the product they are trying to sell. It will have to be attractive and representative of the product itself.

ADHD and second year students will be provided with a prompt which they will need to complete with short sentences. The gaps will relate to the grammar and vocabulary they have seen in class.

Speaking Activity:

·         The speaking activities are integrated in most of the activities this Unit proposes. See Gramar & Vocabulary activity above.

Final task:

Students will present their CD description to the rest of the class (volunteer task) and the rest of the students will determine if they would buy it or not.

Monday, 9 January 2017

CEFR for Languages

Activity 3.1

1. What is the CEFR?

The Common European Framework of Reference for Languages is a document published in 2001 which was designed in order to provide a guide and the basis for the elaboration of curriculim guidelines and language syllabuses, the assessment of a language proficiency and the desing of learning and teaching materials. It is used in other continents too, not only Europe.

2. What are the main aims of the CEFR?

According to the CEFR itself, its main aims are:
- To intensificate language learning and teaching to improve international communication and to obtain greater mobility combined with cultural and identity respect.
- To promote and facilitate co-operation among educational institutions in different countries.
- To provide a sound basis for the mutual recognition of language qualification.
- To assist learners, teachers, course designers, examining bodies and educational administrators to situate and co-ordinate their efforts.

3. How many levels are described in the CEFR?

There are nine levels, six "standard" and three "plus" which are used to recognise language qualifications and to facilitate educational and occupational mobility. The levels are A1, A2, A2+, B1, B1+, B2, B2+, C1 and C2.

4. How would you implement the CEFR descriptors in your classroom?

We think that it is always useful to acknoledge what we "can do", especially if we are talking about a language. 
However, we must realize that this could be frustrating if you are a beginner learner or if you are a teacher and you are supposed to teach them what is included in the CEFR. So, it is important to know that we are human beings and that our learning process is not automatic and it cannot be designed as a software would be.
Because of this, we would not really implement them in our classroom, at least not in a direct way. We could present them and we could debate with the students if the "descriptors" are useful for them but always having in mind that they are an archetype that could be achieved or not and, in the last case, it does not mean that we are not learning English.