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Travel around the world

Title
Travel around the world
Authors
Moon, Mi Yeon
Issue Date
2012
Department/Major
외국어교육특수대학원 TESOL학과
Publisher
이화여자대학교 외국어교육특수대학원
Degree
Master
Advisors
Warren Euwon Chung
Abstract
The English education system in Korean primary schools is different from that in Korean secondary schools. In the latter, the curriculum is more focused on grammar-oriented approaches, and the examination-driven system makes students focus on reading comprehension skills. On the other hand, in the primary school EFL context, the main objectives of the curriculum are to help learners improve their communicative competence. The curriculum and objectives of the course are not the same, and thus it leads to teachers’ using different teaching methods. The Ministry of Education stated “The main purpose of elementary school EFL is to enhance students’ ability to understand and express basic English used for everyday communication” (p. 14). According to the curricular guidelines, students will have the opportunities to participate actively in the lessons and will learn the language from their own experiences. The group of students I seek to address is 12 or 13 year-olds who are in 5th or 6th grade in public elementary schools. This is an EFL situation and they have been studying English for more than 3 years and now they are participating in the course everyday for 45 minutes. Their proficiency level is from novice mid to novice high according to ACTFL criteria. I have chosen this target group of students for the following reasons. First, according to the Critical Period Hypothesis, young children can learn a second language particularly effectively before puberty because their brains are still able to use the mechanism that assisted first language acquisition (Lenneberg, 1967). Therefore, early language learning helps young learners have easy access to the target language and subsequently they are more likely to acquire English at native levels without an L1accent (Pinter, 2006). Second, children have more advantages than adults as language learners. Children try to find and construct the meaning and purpose of utterances by actively making sense of their environment and these characteristics have an important implication for language learning (Piaget, 1923). That is, teachers should adopt appropriate tasks and activities for them and monitor how children responded to these. Next, according to Vygotsky (1978), children’s language learning is advanced through social interaction and experiences based on the context or situation. Teacher talk is one of the main sources of language input and teachers can support children within their Zone of Proximal Development (ZPD). Vygotsky has defined the ZPD as the area of support provided so that a child can accomplish a task she could not do on her own. Wood, Bruner, Ross (1978) have used the term “scaffolding” to describe the type of support that can be given through interaction within a child’s ZPD. When considering children’s developmental attributes above, teachers need to incorporate the notion of the ZPD into the tasks and activities in the classroom and be aware that meaningful social interaction and scaffolding play a crucial role in early language learning. This course is based on a structural-functional syllabus, and thus learners will be given resources for grammatical structures, functional use of language in the sequence of linguistic complexity. The instruction, however, will be implemented in an indirect and inductive way because at the primary school level the children’s capacity for conscious learning of forms or grammatical patterns is still relatively undeveloped (Pinter, 2006). This course is organized according to a skill-based syllabus, and thus this program deals with the integrated listening, speaking, reading, and writing skills in a holistic way. This course approaches language teaching in terms of Communicative Language teaching (CLT), especially, Task Based Language Teaching (TBLT). The principle in CLT is that language should be taught through language use (Savignon, 1983) and target linguistic system will be best learned through process of struggling to communicate (Richards & Rodgers, 2001). Larsen-Freeman (1986) stated that “it is insufficient for students to simply have knowledge of target language forms, meanings and functions. Students must be able to apply this knowledge in negotiating meaning” (p.123). Therefore, learners will be engaged in functional communication activities and social interaction through meaning negotiation in this course. TBLT is especially beneficial for young learners because children tend to learn from their own experiences in real situations and tasks generally bear some resemblance to real -life language use (Skehan, 1996). Tasks provide full opportunities for both the input and output requirements which are believed to be key processes in language learning (Swain, 1985). This book covers the themes that are related to other subjects in school such as science, history, literature and art and food, traveling, occupation and family that is relevant to real life. When acknowledging young learners’ attributes, the teacher will use the techniques such as games, songs, and role play which stimulate learners’ interests and motivation. Students will participate in problem-solving, sorting and sequencing tasks, jigsaw puzzle and other creative tasks such as making environment posters and TV commercials. Expected learning outcomes are follows. First, learners will be able to acquire the knowledge for grammatical structure of the language, functional use of the language (suggestion, denial, request, and invitation) and sociocultural knowledge. Second, the learners should be able to understand the features of the pronunciation of the target language (stress, rhythm, intonation) and understand the main message and the purpose of the speaker in a variety of social contexts. Next, students should know how to express useful chunks of language related to real life and improve accuracy and fluency of the spoken form of the language. And also, students should understand the main idea of the different genres of the written text using cognitive strategies or skimming or scanning strategies. In addition, children should be able to produce common types of written texts (letters, diary, invitation cards, stories, posters). In conclusion, young learners will be able to perform speech acts that are useful in their everyday communication based on building linguistic and communicative competence and appreciate the learning process of the foreign language through meaningful social interaction and carrying out the activation or rehearsal tasks.
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☞ 이 논문은 저자가 원문공개에 동의하지 않은 논문으로, 도서관 내에서만 열람이 가능하며, 인쇄 및 저장은 불가합니다.
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