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Theme Based Instruction with Communicative Tasks for Young Learners

Theme Based Instruction with Communicative Tasks for Young Learners
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외국어교육특수대학원 TESOL학과
이화여자대학교 외국어교육특수대학원
Candice A. MacDonald
Ⅰ. Introduction The group of students I seek to address is made up of ten Korean students. The target learners are in a Montessori school, in which I teach, and we focus on learning subjects such as Social Studies, Math, Culture, and Language Arts through hands-on activities. I have chosen this target group of students because they learn the language through doing, and I want them to be better able to use English to communicate about the content of the corresponding themes and tasks in the L1 curriculum. The English textbook my students are currently using contains too many intensive activities that are overly form-focused. In response to this problem, my Textbook offers engaging tasks that allow the students to choose the linguistic resources they need to meaningfully complete the tasks. Their level is Level 2 Emerging according to WIDA 2012 Amplified ELD Standards. They are able to listen and read repetitive phrases and sentence patterns related to selected content. Also, they can produce and comprehend simple statements with their peers. This Textbook seeks to encourage the target audience to develop discourse skills through songs, vocabulary activities, and stories. Ⅱ. Methodology This Textbook will incorporate Theme Based Instruction (TBI) with communicative activities leading to final mini tasks at the end of each unit. Children will be exposed to new or unfamiliar language through interesting topics (Cameron, 2001). Theme based learning balances language with skill based instruction through content (Brinton, 2003). Students will have ample opportunities to work together to complete activities and mini tasks using target language and structure in pairs or groups. By incorporating a task-based approach, this textbook aims to boost students’ communicative competence with regards to both form and function. Task Based Language Teaching (TBLT) helps students learn language linguistically and communicatively with meaningful tasks (Ellis, 2003). In the ample Unit, students are introduced to the target theme, ‘Plants’, by watching a video clip from Sesame Street, about planting and subsequent activities have students practice asking and answering questions about plants/planting using target words and expressions. Relevant vocabulary includes seeds, vegetables, flowers, and fruits, while useful expressions include: “What are you planting?” or “What do plants need?” They, then, move on to learn about how seeds grow through the reading of a story book that has a seed as the main character. This seed becomes a tree and through this story, students discover the life cycle of a plant and what plants need to grow. These ideas are brought to life for YLs as they sing, read and act out motions of planting and growing, and eventually they plant and watch their own seeds and gardens grow in Mini Tasks at the end of the chapter. Ⅲ. Conclusion This Textbook integrates TBI, with communicative activities for young learners in order to naturally expose young EFL students to interesting topics. They will see familiar content similar to that of the Montessori curriculum in their L1, but with this Book, they will have opportunities to build vocabulary and language structure through many engaging activities, as well as to practice and language meaningfully in context. Each activity serves as a stepping stone to Mini Tasks; for example, in the Sample Chapter: guessing about the seed in the story book, drawing plants and gardens, sequencing how plants grow, playing a board game and hopscotch to ask and answer about plants. The intention is to have students recycle language forms as much as possible and to be able to use the language meaningfully both in an out of the classroom.
석사학위를 수여받기 위해 제출된 포트폴리오임. 이 논문은 저자가 원문공개에 동의하지 않은 논문으로, 도서관 내에서만 열람이 가능하며, 인쇄 및 저장은 불가합니다.
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