ENGL 6240 NAN JIANG AUBURN UNIVERSITY
A. Quizzes (15% Weeks 2 to 5)
There will be four pre-class quizzes, one for each week from Week 2 through Week 5. They are intended to help you check your understanding of the readings and prepare you for class activities. Each of them will be available on the course Web page a week prior to the intended class. They will be removed after the beginning of the class. So make sure you complete the quiz before you come to class each week.
Go to WebCT to complete and submit the quizzes on-line (you are required to do this as least once in the semester), or print out a copy of the quizzes and turn in a hard copy. User ID and password are required to access WebCT.
B. Teaching Demonstration (15%)
The purpose of this activity is to demonstrate how you understand a method and provide the class with a forum for discussing the method. You will work in pairs or small groups to teach a 20-minute lesson and lead class discussion about a method of your choice. This demonstrative teaching should include an introduction to the method to be demonstrated, a 20-minute lesson, and a discussion session in which the demonstrating students interact with the rest of the class regarding how this lesson reflects the principles and procedures of the method. The demonstrative lesson should be organized and taught to best reflect your understanding of the method you are demonstrating. The purpose of this lesson is not to demonstrate your teaching skills. The demonstration will be evaluated and graded in terms of the extent to which the demonstrating students help the rest of the class understand the demonstrated method through the lesson and the discussion session.
Pairs or groups will be formed on the first day of class and the class will also negotiate as to which pair/group will demonstrate which method. You are free to choose any target language (e.g., French, German, Chinese, English), any aspect of language (pronunciation, grammar, or vocabulary) or any language skill (listening, speaking, reading or writing) as the focus of the lesson. A brief introduction to this lesson may be provided as a way to orient the class, with information regarding, for example, the target language, the intended students, proficiency level. The rest of the class will serve as students. It is strongly recommended that you talk with me before your demonstration.
C. Interview with an ESL student/speaker (10%, due 10/30)
Each student is required to conduct an interview with an ESL student/speaker. The purpose of this interview is to help you look at ESL learning from a learner's perspective. You may choose any topic related to ESL learning and teaching. Make sure you know what you want from the interview and try to focus the interview on a specific area/topic. Construct a list of questions closely related to the topic before the interview and stay focused on that topic during the interview. It is always a good idea to ask the interviewee to provide a specific incident or anecdote to support his or her answer. The following are some sample topics/questions. They are not intended as a complete list of questions for an interview.
a. English learning
-- When you first started learning English, what aspect of the language did you find most difficult to learn?
-- Can you describe the teaching method an English teacher of yours used? What do you think of the method?
-- Do you think it is important to know the translation in your language in order to really understand the meaning of an English word?
-- In retrospect, what do you think you could have done to improve your English?
-- What aspect of the language (e.g., grammar, vocabulary, pronunciation, idioms) do you think you need to improve most now?
-- What do you do now to improve your English?
-- What else do you think you can do to improve your English?
b. English use
-- Do you feel comfortable talking with native speakers?
-- How often does it happen that you feel you are misunderstood by a native speaker? What do you do when it happens?
-- Can you describe an incident of miscommunication between you and a native speaker?
-- Do you sometimes find yourself constructing an utterance in your mind before you speak?
c. The role of the first language
-- Do you think your first language plays an important role in using English?
-- Do you sometimes use a bilingual dictionary?
-- When you read English, do you sometimes have to use your first language to help you understand?
-- Do you sometimes find yourself translating from your first language to English when you speak or write English?
-- Do you take notes mostly in your first language, mostly in English, or in both languages?
-- Do you think you are actually thinking in English?
After the interview, write a brief report that includes
a) factual information such as whom you interviewed, when and where it was conducted, how long it lasted,
b) an explanation of the purpose or topic of the interview, and
c) a summary of the outcome of the interview, with an emphasis on what you learned from the interview.
The report should be no more than 5 double-spaced pages in length and is due before class on October 30.
If you are an ESL speaker yourself, you may choose to write about your own experience learning English as a second language.
D. Class Observation (10%, due 11/20)
After we have covered the topic of the teaching process in ESL (Weeks 7 and 8), each student will be asked to observe an ESL class in the ESL Program, e.g., English 1800, English 1820, or an intensive English course. You will turn in a written report of your observation that includes
a) a description of the class, i.e., what happened in that class (See a sample class observation sheet or Box 15.5 on p. 222 in Ur, 1996),
b) an explanation of how this class can be interpreted in the framework we discussed in class, and
c) a summary of your reflections on the class such as what you learned from observing the class, your questions and suggestions.
A brief interview with the instructor before or after the class may help you better understand what is going on in class. The report should be no longer than 5 double-spaced pages. The report is due before class on November 20.
I have obtained approval from Dr. William Flick, Director of ESL, for you to observe classes at ESL. You may contact the instructor of the course you want to visit directly. It is recommended that you go in pairs or small groups of 3. It is very important that you remain unintrusive during your visit. Don't be late. Sit in the back of the classroom. Don't talk unless you are invited to. You can find the information about the ESL courses at the ESL Web page.
E. Other Activities
There will be other individual or small group activities and exercises to be done in class or after class.
Updated August 2000