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The Strange and the Bizarre

Title
The Strange and the Bizarre
Authors
Lee, Sumin
Issue Date
2012
Department/Major
외국어교육특수대학원 TESOL학과
Publisher
이화여자대학교 외국어교육특수대학원
Degree
Master
Advisors
Candice A. MacDonald
Abstract
Grammar Translation Method, a common methodology for teaching English in Korea has been the focus of English teaching and learning. Students put more importance on acquiring language form and accuracy than the fluency. Perhaps the reason for this wash-back effect, or teaching to the test, is because of the relentless competition to score well on entrance exams, especially in English Proficiency tests (Michael J, 2002). Entrance to prestigious universities and companies in Korea has been demanding their students and employees high scores on tests. The students rarely have much chance in practicing spoken English during classes; therefore, they naturally speak less and less. This textbook is designed on the basis of Communicative Language Teaching or CLT and Task-Based Learning, or TBL. The exercises and tasks in the textbook will emphasize the students’ productive skill (speaking and writing), promote learner autonomy by allowing them to make their own decisions in groups without teacher’s interference, and to communicate in the target language. It will be a stress-free, fun and interactive book that will encourage students to practice producing real language both in and out of the classroom. The target audience for The Strange and the Bizarre textbook is students who are advanced high according to the ACTFL Scale. The target audience will range from Korean university students to-working adults who need to practice their speaking. This group of students may able to understand the main ideas of most speech in the standard dialect but may not be able to comprehend linguistically complex extended discourse. They may also show emerging awareness of culturally implied meanings beyond the surface meanings of the text but may fail to grasp socio-cultural nuances of the message. The textbook will help them experience various dialects of English and different types of nuances that will appear in the VDO clips the students will be watching. Students at this level can discuss concrete topics relating to particular interests and special fields of competence and able to paraphrase and show fluency but limited when expressing extended explanations and opinions. Also, under the demands of Superior-level complex tasks, language may break down or prove inadequate. The goal the textbook intends the students to reach at the end of course includes being able support opinions and hypothesizes, being able to distinguish main ideas from supporting information through syntactic, lexical, and supra-segmental features such as pitch, stress, and intonation. Most importantly, this textbook will provide speaking review and practice for students who don’t have much time to use English in their daily lives. Through various speaking tasks, the textbook hopes to be the bridge to students to reach the goals stated above. Students will perform speaking tasks after reading an article or watching authentic video clips. They will, for example, be required to, in groups, discuss the given topics from selected articles, work together to find possible solutions to problems, and participate in short debates and presentations. Some writing exercises include, writing a diary about the most bizarre food they have eaten, writing a letter/email to a manager in a supermarket ordering a box of strange pine berries, and creating their own recipe for their friend’s bizarre restaurant that is about to go bankrupt. The core reason I chose to implement creative writing in my book is because this kind of writing is ‘a journey of self-discovery and self-discovery promotes effective learning’ (Gaffield-Vile 1998:31). An example of creative writing includes a narrative writing about a young girl who ran away from home and lives inside Lotte World for a week. Adults rarely have opportunities to practice creative writing in the target language; therefore, this textbook will allow them to put on their metaphorical “thinking caps” and re-experience that youthful creativity they have likely lost. The methodology that will be implemented in my textbook is a hybrid of CLT and TBL. CLT’s main goal is to improve the students’ communicative competence. Instead of concentrating on the form, pioneers such as David Wilkins in the 1970s looked at ‘what notions language expressed and what communicative functions people performed with language’ (1976). The concern was with spoken functions as much as with written grammar, and notions of when and how it was appropriate to say certain things were of primary importance. Most of my target audiences’ goals are being able to communicate with foreigners whose first language is English. The Korean government has introduced an English Proficiency Test focused more on the productive skills of English (speaking and writing) in NEAT Exams, and there are rumors that NEAT Exam will replace the Korean Entrance Exam. Having communicative competence will allow people in general to get better jobs with higher salaries in Korea. Employers insist that their employees have good English language skills, and fluency in English is a prerequisite for success and advancement in many fields of employment in today’s world (Richards 2006). The Strange and the Bizarre’s intentions are to encourage students to practice their productive communicative skills and to use them with foreigners without fear in their workplace. Giving students engaging articles and authentic video clips to view and talk about with other students in class will encourage productive output. CLT also centers on the belief that if studdents were given tasks within groups to practice in the target language, then ‘language learning will take care of itself.’ (Allwright 1979:170) Because the goals of my audience are to be able to speak aloud and communicate more fluently with confidence in the target language, the best way reach their goal is practice speaking. Jane Willis says, “you must learn the language freely to learn to speak it, even if you make a lot of errors” (1996:7). The task-based activities and tasks in the Strange and the Bizarre will follow Jane Willis’s TBL Framework that includes three basic stages: the Pre-task, the Task cycle and the Language Focus (Willis 1996: 52). Some of the activities include acting from a script, information-gap games, television and radio games, and buzz groups. Since my target audience is Advanced High, students will be able to express themselves with a degree of fluency despite Willis’s deep end strategy, meaning there is not much teacher’s intervention, and only giving cold feedback after the task is done. Even though there is little or no “hot” feedback during the task stage, teacher will monitor and note the strengths and weaknesses for each individual and so that teacher can provide more accurate “hot” feedback during the planning stage. Planning what to say in the ‘Reporting’ stage is essential and valuable. Students will perform much better if they have the chance to think about what they are going to say and how to say it (Wilson 2005). During the post task, students will be taught explicitly from the mistakes the majority of the class has made on form, vocabulary, and pronunciation. Teacher will also clarify, review mistakes and give either spoken or written critiques for the whole class or individually. Students may have to re-present their task next class or rewrite their rough draft to produce a better piece of writing to be published on the class’s blog. It is expected that by the end of the semester, students will be able to speak aloud confidently without being afraid to make mistakes. Since they will have completed 80 hours of intensive speaking classes and worked on the given tasks with peers in the target language, they will have become more comfortable functioning in English. Most of the activities and tasks will be focused on speaking and students will have their chance to speak as much as they can in class. The main goal for this class and the expected outcome is that students will get 80-hours of exposure of the target language and this may help them communicate more fluently in the future in their workplace or when they go to trips abroad.
Description
☞ 이 논문은 저자가 원문공개에 동의하지 않은 논문으로, 도서관 내에서만 열람이 가능하며, 인쇄 및 저장은 불가합니다.
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