- My First English
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- 외국어교육특수대학원 TESOL학과
- 이화여자대학교 외국어교육특수대학원
- Deborah Sukyung Chin
Academic stress refers to mental distress coming from excessive study or demands of study, which may cause academic failure by causing hopelessness, depression, or demotivation (Akgun & Ciarrochi, 2003; Jeon, 2009; Lal, 2014;). Korean students tend to have higher pressure from their academic lives compared to those in other OECD countries (Kim, 2015). For instance, about 92.7 percent of elementary school students, take extra lessons after school, each student takes one to three lessons on average (Cho, Choi & Choi, 2008). This may explain why Korean young learners (KYLs) perform relatively poor even though they invest a considerable amount of time and money on English.
Another reason explaining poor performance of KYLs can be rampant English classes without giving consideration to the characteristics of YLs: lacking of motivation, consideration to Multiple Intelligences (MI), and need of repetition. YLs have short attention spans and get bored easily, thus they need to be or stay motivated when they learn (Pinter, 2006). Individual learners have different strong intelligence to learn (Gardner, 1983). Thus, various activities satisfying different intelligence can support students’ learning. YLs also need to review and recycle the language that they have learned through different activities until they get used to it (Harmer,2007). However, English classes for KYLs mostly focus on grammar or reading comprehension due to negative washback effect from the Korean version of the Scholastic Aptitude Test (KSAT)(Choi, 2008). As a result, students remain passive learners and become demotivated in learning English. Moreover, excessive extra school classes make KYLs exhausted to the point that they cannot review what they have learned in the class.
Due to the current problems in English education in South Korea, the purpose of my textbook is to balance mental and physical development of YLs while learning English. To reduce academic stress and help learners enjoy learning English, this textbook will follow the guidelines set by Ministry of Education and Science Technology (MEST) and incorporate activities to use different intelligences. According to MEST, the third grade of Korean elementary students is anticipated to balance and help their mental and physical development while managing their school life(MEST, 2009). The purpose of English education for third graders is to help learners understand simple sentences and use them to express their thoughts.
The target learners of this textbook are 3rd graders attending afterschool program at Seongnam English Education Center. Most of them have been learning English since 1st grade for two hours per day on average. Their English proficiency level is around Level 2 on the WIDA scale. They are anticipated to read and understand simple instructions. They prefer P.E., science, or cooking class to English class. In order to help learners’ language development while reducing academic stress, this textbook will cover different subjects and provide fun activities for young learners. Also various review activities will be introduced to recycle the target language.
Methods & Rationale
The main methodology used in this book is Theme-Based Instruction (TBI). TBI motivates YLs to become engaged and produce the target language naturally in many discourse types(Cameron, 2001). Since all the themes are connected to each other, students can also use their schema from previous lessons to learn a new language, which will naturally lead learners to review the previous lessons. TBI belongs to Content-Based Instruction (CBI). CBI aims teaching content in target language rather than focusing on teaching the target language itself (Richards & Rodgers, 2001). By dealing with different subjects such as geography, mathematics, or science, students are expected to improve their language skills. While CBI emphasizes acquisition of knowledge on content, TBI tries to develop learner’s knowledge not only on content, but also the target language (Cameron, 2001). This textbook will cover different themes such as Feelings or Food to help learners balance mental and physical health. While exploring familiar themes relevant to themselves, students may enjoy learning English (Nunan, 2011).
Moreover, MI will be considered to satisfy the strength of individual learners. Each unit will involve activities using different intelligences. To learn about feelings, for example, they may watch a short video clip, listen, chant, or move their body. At the end of the book, there will be a simple evaluation chart. By ticking, students can see their activity preference or the language they felt difficult. The students and teachers can use the chart for future reference to review.
In sample unit 8, < Feelings >, students will learn about eight different feelings. The overall aims of the unit are to describe how learners feel and explain reasons. Also they will make their own emotion book individually and an emotion chart as a group. In extra curricular activity, students will be asked to visit the art museum in their neighborhood and have opportunity to appreciate paintings. At first, students will practice receptive skills through listening to a song, watching video clips, or reading a book. Then they practice productive skills while interviewing each other or making the emotion book or emotion chart. Activities are designed to satisfy different grouping settings such as individual, mini group, or the whole class. Those activities can help students develop their social skills as well. Students will be able to practice all four skills and develop them throughout the lesson.
This book is designed for students who are suffering from academic stress. Respecting the standard set by MEST, the themes introduced in the book are relevant to students. This may help learners maintain interest in learning English because they can personalize while they are learning. Also, each unit contains input and output activities to balance learners’ language skills. Various review activities will be included to support learners. After using this textbook, students are expected to develop their English in different themes and to find the joy of language learning.
- ☞ 이 논문은 저자가 원문공개에 동의하지 않은 논문으로, 도서관 내에서만 열람이 가능하며, 인쇄 및 저장은 불가합니다.
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