|Type of paper:||Essay|
|Categories:||Teaching Learning Pedagogy Languages|
Teaching is the center of all education-related topics. Effective teaching of the second language demands an incorporation of all the skills and practice available to impart knowledge. Effective teaching in the L1 setting seeks to promote learning skills that will benefit learners from a different cultural background. Effective teaching of the second language to L1 learners is crucial, but there are many skills related to this, and exploring the issue of how a learner can acquire these skills has been a matter of great concern for a long time to pedagogical scholars.
Description Of The Observed Classroom
The observed lesson was level 1 Arabic as a foreign language class. They meet four times a week, and each meeting lasts for fifty minutes. The class had a capacity of nineteen students; seven males and twelve females. As I learned from their teacher, most of the students took the class towards meeting the University requirement of the foreign language. The class practiced three language skills; listening, speaking, and reading with more focus on grammar and vocabulary.
Classroom Activities, Interactions, And Events
The teacher started the lesson by reviewing the previous class session and asked the students what they could remember. The teacher then put on the audio of a story of two friends, Reem and Maha, for the students to listen. The audio was in Arabic. The students applied their listening skills. After the audio, the teacher asked the students to say what they understood. Most of the students had a general idea but missed out some details. After that, the students engaged in the reading activity. The teacher asked the students to read the same audio story in a script. Each student read a sentence loudly while the teacher corrected the obvious pronunciation mistakes but ignored the little ones. The teacher translated and explained the bold words in the script. The class exercised interaction. The teacher engaged the student in learning by asking them the comprehension questions. However, students only gave short answers. The teacher once more asked questions from the script and required full statement reply. She corrected some grammatical errors. The teacher further explained that some Arabic nouns have different words from singular to plural. She also emphasized on the board that the Arabic language only have present tense but no continuous present. The teacher then asked the students to fill in a blank exercise using the bolded words in the story.
The student later watched a video of two females talking over the phone. The teacher wrote five phrases on the board in Arabic as the students continued watching. The teacher instructed the students to watch the video once as she stopped it after each sentence so that the students would translate it to English with her help. The teacher explained the phrases illustrating to the students when and how to use the phrases. The teacher explained in English grammatical rules on how to construct Arabic sentences. She then explained the rules in English on the board with examples from the comprehension written in Arabic. The students also gave out more examples in Arabic.
After the class, I interviewed the teacher for approximately ten minutes asking about the rationale of her lesson. She explained to me that she had to do the translations and explanations so that the students would understand the grammatical rules. She further explained that she has to come back and review the rules in multiple lessons because the students are of elementary level. She also stated that the students need to get the vocabulary in multiple times in different context to familiarize and make use of the words.
Reflection and Discussion
Focus on Form
The concept of input flood interfaces with the observed class. In the lesson, for instance, the teacher gave the students an opportunity to read and listen to the story of two friends in Arabic. The teacher featured the vocabulary that was mostly complex to them. In the listening activity, the teacher put up audio of the same story for the class. She later asked the students to explain what the audio entailed. Many students answered the questions; however, missed essential details. It is clear from the observation that the input flood in focus on form increases the students' ability to use linguistic phrases. However, it does not decrease the use of inaccurate level 1 strategies, and it results to use of the vocabularies. Input flood can only affect students learning when combined with explicit attention to linguistic new terms. The teacher helped explain some of the new terms and structures by permitting the learners to translate new phrases and answer questions linked to the vocabularies. The teacher also gave the students two tests to target their implicit and explicit knowledge.
I observed that the teacher used audio, video, and scripts for the students to understand Arabic. She engaged students by answering questions both verbally and written. She also illustrated the phrases on the board and instructed the students to read loudly. Each student read a sentence loudly. The observation follows from the focus on form chapter that input enhancement combined with written input and other types of enhancement facilitates learners' noticing of real forms and improves the overall understanding. Research also states that the use of multiple types of enhancement enhances learners' cognitive function.
The teacher in the observed class corrected the students by supplying the right form without openly indicating that the student's statement was improper. She asked the students to read the sentences loud while correcting the difficult pronunciation. The teacher also corrected the grammatical mistakes and explained the grammar rules. The teaching strategy the teacher employed appears to interface with the focus on form concept of corrective feedback. Corrective feedback is essential in learning linguistics. Focus on form chapter indicates that' explicit, recast and prompt feedbacks are all valid for L2 learners. However, explicit feedback is more effective.
Acquisition of Grammar
I observed that the teacher provided the students with an audio, video, and script as a way to capture the students' attention. She also corrected grammatical errors and explained how some Arabic nouns have different words from singular to plural. It is clear from the observed class that focus on instruction involved drawing learners attention to second language learning. The class observations align with the acquisition of the grammar chapter, the concept of explicit instruction. The chapter on the acquisition of grammar explains that instruction helps learners understand grammar in a better way. It also emphasizes linguistic forms while instilling a meaning-focused element. Explicit learning provides the learners with knowledge of specific grammatical structures making it easier for the students to identify the structures in the input. The instruction form also makes learners feel comfortable learning new input.
I observed the teacher review the on when should Arabic sentences start with a noun or verb. She wrote the explanations on the board with examples in Arabic. The students then gave other sentences in Arabic. The acquisition of the grammar chapter, the concept of Present, practice, and produce instruction reflects on the observation. The instruction involves explaining the grammar point followed by the controlled production of the grammar structure. The final step involves engaging in free practice use of the structure.
Acquisition of Vocabulary
The teachers stated that she would have to review the sessions in multiple lessons for the students to understand. She also started her lesson by reviewing the previous lesson. The teaching practice in the L2 setting on the acquisition of vocabulary interfaces with the lesson. The chapter explains that learners get to familiarize a word after frequent exposure to the word. From my observation, the teacher used to explain any new vocabulary to the students and promised to repeat the same process for every reviewed lesson. The lesson activities connect to the chapter explanation on the importance of the need to understand the semantic and conceptual characteristics of the word. The proactive and receptive knowledge in vocabulary learning is essential. Research indicates that receptive knowledge is more significant than productive education of learners.
The teacher intentionally used audio, video, scripts to draw the students' attention toward the new input. She also asked a question in class to capture the students' attention. She also instructed each student to be loud each sentence. Furthermore, the teaching strategy involved in the observed class used intentional learning by the use of questions. The chapter illustrates that intentional learning aligns well with form-focused instruction (Loewen, 2011). The learning occurs through input enhancement and corrective feedback. In response to the report, the class employed both input enhancement and corrective feedback.
During the watching of the video, the teacher could stop it after each sentence so that the students could translate it to English through her help. After the students had read the script, the teacher translated and explained the bold words. The concept of contrastive analysis and translation in the acquisition of vocabulary chapter interfaced with the observed activities. Contrastive analysis and translation have theoretical and empirical support. Translation activities are essential in vocabulary learning because it explains more profound lexical terms.
The teacher needs to draw learners' attention to the target forms to enable the students to understand the language features and structure. Several types of instruction are effective in level 1 learner. Providing learners with explicit instruction is also important. The quality and quantity of learner's encounters with complex terms are important. The more times a learner encounters a word, and the deeper they engage with it, the more they are likely to retain and use it appropriately. The teacher gave an assurance of reviewing the lesson more to ensure the students understand. Translating the lexical terms provide the students with a clear understanding of the words. The teacher should, therefore, employ all the instructions as well as corrective feedback to improve the students' understanding.
Loewen, S. (2015). Introduction to instructed second language acquisition. New York, NY: Routledge.
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