Thursday, October 23, 2014

What is important in Education?

I am going to talk about active teaching.
For me - teaching online is using technology in the classroom; as an additional method of traditional teaching.
I am for blended learning which means - taking advantage of both, traditional f2f techniques and possibilities given by new technologies.
Some say that: participants in online classes seemed to be more involved and engaged in lesson activities than students in traditional classes.
In my view, we can activate our learners, in the same way, in both situations.
Getting decent communication in different educational settings requires altered teaching approaches.
This way we can change them from passive learners to active students.
But how to help them learn actively and meaningfully, it is a separate issue.
Active learning includes providing chances for students to discuss and listen meaningfully, write, read, and reflect on the content, ideas, issues, and concerns of an academic subject.
(Meyers & Jones, 1993, p. 6)
Confucius’s aphorism:
I hear, and I forget. I see, and I remember. I do, and I understand.
(Page 75 Instruction at FSU Handbook 2011)
Should not be forgotten.
By doing and practicing, we build our long-term memory library.
Short term recollection is formed mostly by memorizing, which is, unfortunately, assessed in the majority of schools.
My experience tells that I ought to practice active learning principles to progress activities for my students that best mirror my particular communication style. What is more, I choose the subjects, forms of thinking, and strategies to solve the problems that should be understood and relate to the topics.
This method will help me to create “active learners”.
Looking for answers to the most common questions: what, when, where, who, why, why don't, how, etc. is always the starting point.
As a result of our discussion - we can put together part of incompetent content knowledgeable student with fully involved learner and self-motivated thinker.
Traditional education focuses on teaching, not learning. In most schools, memorization is mistaken for learning. Taking part in free study lessons and online Speaking Groups, will help a lot. This would also increase our confidence in speaking, as well as improve vocabulary and pronunciation. Additional excellent setting to practice is   Virtual Classroom such as WizIQ, where teachers would encourage us to work on all language skills.
Standards for Foreign Language Learning
Communicate in Languages Other Than English
Standard 1.1: Students engage in conversations, provide and obtain information,
express feelings and emotions, and exchange opinions.
Standard 1.2: Students understand and interpret written and spoken language on a
variety of topics.
Standard 1.3: Students present information, concepts, and ideas to an audience of
listeners or readers on a variety of topics.

In my view, the most important skill to master is speaking the language. Communication is a difficult assignment especially if you don’t live or work in a native speaking count. We can look for reliable supports to talk to via Skype. It is essential to find someone whom we’re comfortable talking to. The process of natural assimilation, involving intuition and subconscious learning. It is the product of real interactions between people in environments of the target language and culture, where the learner is an active player. It is similar to the way children learn their native tongue, a process that produces functional skill in the spoken language without theoretical knowledge. It develops familiarity with the phonetic characteristics of the language as well as its structure and vocabulary, and is responsible for oral understanding, the capability for creative communication and the identification of cultural values.
A classic example of second language acquisition is the adolescents and young adults that live abroad for a year in an exchange program, often attaining near native fluency, while knowing little about the language. They have a good pronunciation without a notion of phonology, don't know what the perfect tense is, modal or phrasal verbs are, but they intuitively recognize and know how to use all the structures.
The traditional approach to the study of languages and today is still practiced in high schools worldwide. Attention is focused on the language in its written form, and the objective is for the student to understand the structure and rules of the language, whose parts are dissected and analyzed. The task requires intellectual effort and deductive reasoning. The body is of greater importance than communication. Teaching and learning are technical and based on the syllabus. One studies the theory in the absence of the practice. One values the correct and represses the incorrect. Error correction is constant leaving little room for spontaneity. The teacher is an authority figure, and the participation of the student is predominantly passive. Schools will teach how to form interrogative and negative sentences, force to memorize irregular verbs, study modal verbs, etc., Therefore, students hardly ever masters the use of these structures in conversation.
The efficient teaching of languages isn't that tied to a packaged course of structured lessons based on grammatical sequencing, translation or oral drilling, nor is the one that relies on technological resources. Well-organized teaching is personalized, takes place in a bicultural environment and is based on the personal skills of the facilitator in building relationships and creating situations of real communication with comprehensible input focusing on the learner's interests.
Krashen, Stephen D.  Principles and Practice in Second Language Acquisition.  Prentice-Hall International, 1987.
Krashen, Stephen D.  Second Language Acquisition and Second Language Learning.  Prentice-Hall International, 1988.