Katie Lee





My teaching approach

The Interaction and Immersion Methodology


Essay By Katie Jayne Lee


Introduction

 

The general Teachers objective is to teach and guide the students in a coherent manner, that  they learn the language and are able to speak grammatically correct. This is not as easy as it sounds, there are many factors that make some methodologies successful or unsuccessful. I will explain my methodology backing my methodology up with research. Showing you that if this method was used in classrooms it would work, not only by engaging the student but getting the student to store and retain the information using the use of  visuals and colour. My target age is to focus  on children from the age of five to the age of twelve, however my Methodology could be adapted to an adults student needs.

I believe that  the only way that you truly learn a second language fluently is being immersed in the language. The students become forced into a situation where they can only communicate in English, rather than learn the grammatical rules of the language but never speak the language. There are many schools that speak in the learners native language, which almost makes the target language your trying to teach out of context or artificial and theoretical rather than practical.

Immersion techniques have proven to be the most successful ways to teach  children a second language. Most language schools use this approach to teaching. Why?

By fully immersing yourself into another language the process comes from within the learner, by the teacher playing a passive role in this process the guide to the language. Previous methods such as grammar translation method may have tackled grammar, however translating meaning from one language to another becomes confusing and non productive. By using your native language to translate the second language you loose the context and the meaning. In the immersion process not only do you learn  the Target Language you learn the reason behind it and the context, this is something that is not always acquired by direct translation.

By the immersion process not only do you grasp the structure of the language, you improve your understanding of the pronunciation of the words.


“It is important to acknowledge that early studies carried out in one-way total immersion programs, where English may not be introduced until grades 2–5, show evidence of a temporary lag in specific English language skills such as spelling, capitalization, punctuation, word knowledge, and word discrimination. That said, these studies also find that within a year or two after instruction in English language arts begins, the lag disappears. There were no long-term negative repercussions to English language or literacy development.” (Tara Williams fortune, report; what research tells us about immersion) So although the submersion process does not concentrate on written activities or written learning, it does not cause major effects to the learners capabilities in the long-term. The brain naturally detects patterns and discards any irrelevant information,  this is a cognitive  response by developing cognitive processes and English language skills simultaneous. If we adopt Lakoffs view on motivation, we can assume that language learners  that are exposed to the language understand more of the meanings and the language in context.“What are Lakoff and Johnson saying  that there is not one central interpretation? Use different turns of speech — as we do naturally in our everyday lives”(Metaphor Theories-http://www.textetc.com/theory/metaphor.html)

 

Most studies say that children retain more information learning English than adults do. By introducing English at a young age the students reach fluency and their articulation is far better than a student that is older. My methodology the Interaction immersion methodology will be suited for children from five up to the age of twelve. However we have to take into consideration that children have a shorter attention span.

How  will I approach the transfer of information to memory?

By visual aids,  the students being children are captivated by colours and images . I will break the lesson into four phases on hourly based classes which means fifteen minutes per a phase. The first fifteen minutes is the introduction of the Target Language.

Introducing Colour patterns  like the methodology from the company English Experience, I think the use of colour patterns especially when learning grammar rules or tense systems are a great way for the student to distinguish the tenses by visual colours. Repetition method like songs, poems and rhymes are good ways to get the student to learn and memorize the TL. I am Using parts of the cognitive code method and adapting it which has an emphasises in  language learning involving an active mental process, and the presence of meaningful practice. Rules were introduced after examples were given. The main problem with this methodology according to the British Council was that it lacked examples from authentic material. The methodology used  P.P.P, Presentation Practice and Production.

In my methodology I have adapted this process. I believe in order to get the student to transfer the information to memory (The learning process) it is necessary to captivate and engage the student. The presentation Process is adapted and becomes the visual audial phase. At this stage the student will focus on images and audio, the images and audio(given by the teacher) will be the TL. Each lesson will contain a vocabulary activity, a listening activity, a topic activity and a structure activity. The first phrase will always be the listening activity. This is the most important part that the teacher plays as it is vital that the teacher captures the students attention. The student does not communicate in this phase they just take in the input. I think it is important to stick to a routine in the learning process and by inputting the target language by visual tools is the first step in the process. The images will always be in colour because colour this is part of my methodology as I feel it helps to engage the student. So the first phrase is to communicate to the student in a clear way the TL, and by giving examples of  how it is used in context.

 

The second phrase will be similar to the process stage where the students have to practice the TL in context, the structure and vocab will be used in the second phase. Using repetition methods and activities to transfer the information to memory, like memory games  or using flash cards and activities that Familiarize themselves with the TL. The Teachers will not focus on writing the  words for low levels such as L1 as this may cause difficulties such as mispronunciation. The drills and repetition techniques used in my methodology are repetitional activities and games. The important factor is making the learning process fun and engaging the students. The games will be used to practice the TL in its appropriate context. The activities will be short and snappy, as it is important that the student does not get bored.

 

In the third phrase I will incorporate the Production Process. The topic will always be the third phase where the teacher introduces the topic with the TL. The games and activities will be fun role plays, discussions. During the phases it is vital that the teacher does correct the students as errors can become grammatical bad  habits.

The final part of the class is to conclude the class and the best way of doing that is a mini recap of the whole-class. The main function of this is to trigger the information that was stored and to make sure they remember it. This will be quick questions and bullet points to the students about the TL that was covered during that class.

 

Not only does the syllabus and the teacher play roles in the overall process of a class but the surroundings and the quantity of students are effective factor as well. The table plan will be a semicircle, with the teacher in the middle allowing eye contact with the students at all times.

Course books will be used as rough guide however during the class the teachers will not teach with them directly. The syllabus will be revised using the guidebooks and act as skeleton structure for the teaching base. The classes will be hourly based with no more than 5 children per a class, in order to have effective teaching.

 

How will I motivate the children? 

Through researching different styles of motivating and engaging children, I have seen the influence of the reward system which plays a role in teaching systems throughout the world . The children are given rewards/goals for each class, for example the teachers say to the students “We will play a game, at the end of the class or we will get new pens for the class if we fulfil the objective/goal”. So the classes are based on a reward system. For children I think this system is really good at motivating the children towards a goal, but still making it fun. This reward system is also good to stop disruptions during the class, like misbehaved students,and to keep the children enthusiastic and focussed.

Conclusion


So the Interaction and Immersion Methodology has an interactive process which teaches grammar in a indirect approach. The Interaction Immersion method is based on four phases, the method is specialized to engage children. The phases consist of fifteen minute blocks,which stop the children getting bored or frustrated.

The use of repetitional activities and memorizing activities is vital in my approach, to make sure the information is transferred to memory. By creating colourful images and using songs in the first phase I engage the students, which is incredible important to captivate the attention of the children.

What makes my methodology different to other methods are the concepts using colourful visual images and incorporating songs as way of getting the children to memorize the TL in a fun engaging way. The children also become motivated and engaged by the reward system and want to learn, why? because they are having fun.


Websites:

 

Www.wikipedia.com 

www.brainfriendly.co.uk

http://esl.about.com/od/grammarlessons/a/coloredpens.htm

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Second-language_acquisitionhttp://www.reading.ac.uk/internal/appling/Cutrone.pdf

http://asiasociety.org/education/chinese-language-initiatives/what-research-tells-us-about-immersion

http://www.textetc.com/theory/metaphor.html

www.Thebritishcouncil.org

 

Books

Thinking In English: A New Perspective on Teaching ESL.  By John B. Muciacca


 Strategy and Process-Based Instruction in EFL Classrooms-Paper presented at the 6th Asia TEFL International Conference. August 1-3, 2008. Unpublished Paper 



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