Unit 3: Developing Activities to Scaffold and Engage Students

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ETAP 623 Fall 2020 (Zhang) | Marissa Zuccardo's Portfolio Page | Go to Mini-Course Home
Go back to Unit 2: Pragmatic Instruction (Implicit and Explicit): Studies and Teaching Examples Continue to Unit 4: Tying it All Together: Create a Lesson Plan
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Objectives

  • Using the mini-lecture and other resources, the participant will begin to develop pragmatic instruction activities designed to:
    • Improve pragmatic competence
    • Motivate and engage students
    • Scaffold students by taking their L1s and cultural backgrounds into account.
  • The participant will discuss ideas for their final lesson plan based on knowledge acquired from the unit and prior language education knowledge and experience in a self-reflexive learning journal.
  • The participant will demonstrate their ability and motivation to further educate themselves on pragmatics instruction by navigating the internet to find outside resources and adding sources to a comprehensive final list.

Mini-Lecture

Developing Activities

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In the previous unit, we discussed examples of implicit and explicit teaching strategies as well as explanations on what they are. For this unit, we are going to discuss some other factors to take into with examples for each. Make sure to follow along with the activity journal in the section for Unit 3 to develop some of your own ideas.

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Improve pragmatic competence

These we actually discussed in the last mini lecture, so I would like to redirect you here if you need to review them.

  1. REDIRECT Unit 2: Pragmatic Instruction (Implicit and Explicit): Studies and Teaching Examples

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Motivate and engage students
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Motivation is one of, if not the most, important factors that affect the outcome of language learning and instruction. For language learners, being motivated is important in order for them to want to become more proficient in the language. For many learners, it is easy to become frustrated or overwhelmed during the process; motivation is one of the key factors in helping students desire to progress despite any difficulties they might encounter on their journey.

There are three different views of motivation by the historical schools of thought in linguistics; these are behavioristic, cognitive, and constructivist. We won't get too in depth on what each entails, but you can reference the table next to this text.
In addition to those views, there is also the fact that nature of motivation can be both intrinsic and extrinsic. Essentially, intrinsic motivation is when a student in inwardly motivated by self-direction to gain something. Extrinsic is when a student is motivated by an external factor, such as a prize or reward. Examples of what these types of motivations can look like in students will be shown in a table in this section.

Is is important when designing activities to assess what types of goals your students want to accomplish when learning the language. There are Bloom's five levels of affectivity and six affective factors that can be taken into account when developing activities and assessing student motivation(as cited in Brown, 2014)1. These factors include student self-esteem, inhibition, the level of risk the student is willing to take, anxiety level, empathy, and level of extroversion. ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

Scaffold students by taking their L1s and cultural backgrounds into account.
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ELL educators oftentimes will have students with varying levels of proficiency and diverse cultural and ethnic backgrounds in a single class. In Unit 2 we gave some examples of explicit instruction that help encourage relation of a student's L1 into the target language.
Larson & Lockee (2020)2 list effective practices for designing online coursework which coincide with characteristics of activities that encourage bidirectional transfer of both content and context. Some of these are:

  • “[Activities are] matched to learner needs and characteristics”
  • “Provides opportunities for meaningful interaction with, and reflection on, the content”
  • “Supports learners in organizing new knowledge and making connections to prior knowledge”
  • “Is flexible in nature to provide access and opportunities for all learners through multiple means of representation, multiple means of expression, and multiple means of engagement”

Educators should keep in mind the cultural differences of their students; this means providing various methods for students to express themselves, opportunity for personal reflection upon both the material and their thoughts on this newfound exposure, and to acclimate to interacting with those from cultures they might not be familiar with through facilitated collaboration. This flexibility also applies to working with students and ensuring they are all learning and able to keep up with the material. This could involve catering to specific learning types (audio vs. visual, etc.), creating activities that are inclusive to students with disabilities, etc.

To-Do

Activities

  1. Fill out your activity journal for the section Unit 3
  2. Optional: Post your journal response in the Unit 3 discussion board.

Continue

Go to Unit 4: Tying it All Together: Create a Lesson Plan

References and Resources

1 Brown, H. D. (2014). Principles of language learning and teaching (6th ed.). White Plains, NY: Pearson Education.
2 Larson, M. B., Lockee, B. B., Erlewine, M., & Fuchs, M. L. (2020). Chapter 1. In Streamlined ID: A practical guide to instructional design / Miriam B. Larson and Barbara B. Lockee ; with illustrations by Meg Erlewine and Mikaela L. Fuchs (pp. 1-22). New York, NY: Routledge.