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SUPERVISION

AND
TEACHER TRAINING

A RESOURCE BOOK

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M’barek AHELLAL
Noureddine BENDOUQI
Ali BOUDDOUCH
Ahmed CHAIBI
Said ELKOUAISSI
Mohammed HASSIM
Omar MARZOUKI
Said MESSAOUDI
Mohammed MONADI

MATE 2002

Dear supervisor/trainer,
You are cordially invited to share your experiences with other colleagues by sending your contribution(s) to the
editor at: MATE, B.P. 6202, Rabat-Instituts, Rabat.
Email: ahellal@caramail.com
matemar@hotmail.com
- Texts should be typed, double spaced, and printed on one side of the paper only.
- If possible, texts should be accompanied by a version on diskette.
- Email and attachments are welcomed, but make sure you also send a printed copy.
- We reserve the right to make editorial changes in the contributions and will not return any material
submitted.

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The man (woman) who says he

“knows” is already dead.

But the man (woman) who thinks “I

don’t know,”

who is discovering, finding out,

who is not seeking an end, not

thinking in terms of arriving or

becoming – such a man is living

and that living is truth.

Krishnamurti

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Introduction

The contributions in this volume reflect some of the interests of Moroccan trainers and
supervisors. There are presentations that explore such controversial issues as the relevance of
Content-Based Instruction to the Moroccan situation. Other presentations propose a new way
of dealing with a variety of traditional problems and issues.

• Ali Bouddouch’s contribution presents a very comprehensive discussion of language


teaching/learning approaches and the various concepts related to these approaches. It
is a presentation that helps clear the ground and allows a good understanding of
Content-Based Instruction within the general context of ELT literature.
• Ahmed Chaibi addresses Content-Based Instruction (CBI) as one of the most currently
discussed issues in Moroccan ELT circles. His presentation is a comprehensive
theoretical and practical introduction to the CBI approach as compared to ESP and
related to Grabe and Stoller’s Six T’s Approach.
• Said Messaoudi proposes thought provoking tasks that will enable teachers to explore
their beliefs about teaching, relating these beliefs to the education/school system. The
main idea to be retained from this presentation is that changes sought in the teachers’
practices should necessarily be triggered by the latter’s reflection on their beliefs.
• The fourth contribution in this issue, the second one by Said Messaoudi, is an attempt
to make the teachers aware of their needs and induce them to reflect on the appropriate
ways to cater for these needs. The presentation is a call for the use of teacher
development techniques as a means to satisfy needs that cannot be answered by
teacher training courses.
• M’barek Ahellal’s contribution is inspired by chapter 8 from Richards and Lockhart
(1994). The suggested tasks are meant to make the teachers reflect on their daily
classroom practices and relate them to an inventory of learning activities. The ultimate
aim is to enable the practitioners to be aware of the learning objectives they want to
achieve and, as a consequence, design and/or analyse appropriate activities that are
conducive to these objectives.
• Noureddine Bendouqi revisits lesson planning focusing on the importance of long
term planning as opposed to planning for the day. The tasks will enable the teachers to
reconsider some theoretical assumptions related to the role of the textbook in making
instructional decisions, as well as the importance of other variables and steps that
should be taken into account in designing a plan for a unit of work as opposed to a
single lesson.
• Omar Marzouki’s contribution provides an overview of five models of process
writing, including the one adopted in Morocco. Discussion is centred on the
characteristics of writing as a process and on the principles underlying the various
models presented. The teachers will also have the opportunity to design writing
activities applying the principles discussed.
• In his second contribution, and in line with Marzouki’s presentation of process
writing, M’barek Ahellal looks at dialogue journals as an effective way of developing
the learners’ writing skills. The tasks will enable the teachers to discuss the
implications of creative/real-life writing for classroom writing and to introduce
dialogue journals as one way of making classroom writing a communication-centred
practice.

• Mohammed Monadi, addressing an unprecedentedly discussed issue, asks questions


that will enable the teachers to discuss the design and evaluation of writing test tasks.

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The teachers will be led to agree on a workable definition of writing and composition
composition before discussing and using the criteria that should be considered to
design and evaluate test tasks.
• Omar Marzouki’s second contribution to this issue looks at different ways of dealing
with reading comprehension questions, leading the teachers to adopt a more
systematic way of questioning. The tasks will enable the teachers to design and
classify reading comprehension questions using a taxonomy suggested by Johnson
(1987).
• Ali Bouddouch comes back to discuss the testing of reading comprehension. The tasks
he proposes enable the teachers to discuss such preliminary questions as how to select
and/or adapt a text to test reading, and what reading subskills should be tested and
how. The emphasis is then put on inference questions, and the teachers are led to use
Chicalanga’s taxonomy (Chicalanga 1991) of inferences to analyse a given set of
questions.
• Said Elkouaissi’s interactive presentation introduces the participants to four
approaches to vocabulary teaching, which enables them to reflect on how they usually
deal with vocabulary. Subsequent questions focus on what is involved in knowing a
word, the stages the students go through in the process of vocabulary learning, and
some useful vocabulary learning activities.
• Mohammed Hassim explores the use of film extracts in the classroom. The teachers
are first made aware of the importance of the VCR and authentic films in enhancing
motivation. The tasks suggested make it possible for the teachers to get acquainted
with the jargon related to film extracts. They are also introduced to some techniques
and activities that can be applied to the film extract of their choice.

It will be noticed that the task based approach adopted in the first issue of the Resource Book
(2001) has been kept; however, a notes-for-the-teacher section has been added more
systematically to some of the contributions in order to provide further theoretical information
about the topics discussed. It is hoped that this practice will be generalized in the next issue,
thus allowing the trainers/supervisors to share information about their respective readings and
research.
It goes without saying that your comments are invaluable to us. Please write or use the
questionnaire on pages 74 -75 to give us your feedback. The questionnaire on pages 76-77 is
for you to get feedback from your own trainees.

M’barek Ahellal
September 2002

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TABLE OF CONTENTS

Acknowledgements……………………………………………………………………... ii

Introduction………………………………………………………………………… …..iv

Content-Based Instruction Perspectives…………………………………………………..6


A. Bouddouch

Content-Based Instruction……………………………………………………………….21
A. Chaibi

Exploring Teachers’ Beliefs about Teaching…………………………………….………29


S. Messaoudi

Teacher Training and Teacher Development: Where do you stand?…………………….32


S. Messaoudi

Language Learning Activities: Design and Analysis…………………………………….37


M. Ahellal

Reconsidering the Lesson Plan: a Theme-Based Approach……………………………..40


N. Bendouqi

Process Writing ...……………………………………………………………………….43


O. Marzouki

Using Dialogue Journals to Promote Writing……………………………………………50


M. Ahellal

Designing and Evaluating Writing Test Tasks…………………………………………..54


M. Monadi

Questioning in a Reading Comprehension Lesson………………………………………59


O. Marzouki

Testing Reading Comprehension: Focus on Inference Questions……………………….62


A. Bouddouch

Customizing Vocabulary Teaching………………………………………………………69


S. Elkouaissi

The Film as Lesson: Exploring Film Extracts in the Language Classroom……………..73


M. Hassim

Feedback questionnaires ………………………………………………………………80

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CONTENT-BASED INSTRUCTION PERSPECTIVES
Ali Bouddouch
Academy of Kenitra

OBJECTIVES :
The participants will be able to
1. Discuss concepts inherent to the language teaching / learning process and to fully
understand these concepts.
2. Explore some innovative language teaching models and approaches and gain insights
from their underlying principles.
3. Understand common characteristics of these approaches and how they relate to
Content-Based Instruction.
4. Discuss the teacher roles in a Content-Based setting.

TASK 1: (pair/group work followed by discussion)


Match the concepts in column A with their counterparts in column B, then
give a short definition of each concept.

Column A Column B
1. Learning a. Meaning
2. Atomistic b. Authentic
3. Competition c. Acquisition
4. Product d. Skill
5. Teacher-fronted e. Learner-centered
6. Form f. Process
7. Artificial g. Holistic
8. Teacher-centered h. Group-based
9. Accuracy i. Cooperation
10. Knowledge J. Fluency

TASK 2: (group work followed by reports and discussion)


Discuss the characteristics of the following language teaching approaches and their
underlying principles. Two approaches per group.
1. Whole Language.
2. Multiple Intelligences.
3. Neurolinguistic Programming.
4. The Lexical Approach.
5. Competency-Based Language Teaching.
6. Communicative Language Teaching.
7. The Natural Approach.
8. Cooperative Language Learning.
9. Task-Based Language Teaching.
10. Content-Based Instruction

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TASK 3: (group work followed by reports and discussion)
Following your discussion of task 2 above, list some potential roles for the teacher in a
Content-Based classroom.

NOTES FOR THE TRAINER

TASK 1:

1. Learning/Acquisition: Learning refers to a process in which conscious rules about a


language are developed. It results in explicit knowledge about the forms of a language and
the ability to verbalize this knowledge. Formal teaching is necessary for learning to occur,
and correction of errors helps with the development of learned rules. Acquisition, by
contrast, refers to an unconscious process that involves the naturalistic development of
language proficiency through understanding language and through using language for
meaningful communication.

2. Atomistic/Holistic: Atomistic refers to the use of learning or testing in which items are
presented or tested in isolation; out of context. Holistic qualifies an approach to learning
in which language is considered in its totality for each act of communication, and not
broken into separate parts.

3. Competition/Cooperation: Competition refers to a learning situation in which students


work against each other to achieve an academic goal such as a grade. Cooperative
learning, by contrast, is the instructional use of small groups through which students work
together to maximize their own and each others’ learning.

4. Product/Process: Product refers to the students’ outcomes in terms of linguistic


performance after completing a task or an activity. Process, by contrast, focuses on the
skills adopted to complete the task or the activity.

5. Teacher-fronted/Group-based: Teacher-fronted teaching refers to an organizational


pattern in the classroom where the students are seated in a conventional setting in front of
the teacher. Group-based, by contrast, is a learning situation in which the class is broken
into pairs or groups. They may work simultaneously on the same task, or be given
different tasks of varied types or levels.

6. Form/Meaning: Form focuses mainly on the structural aspects of the language, whereas
Meaning focuses on the functional and communicative aspects of the language.

7. Artificial/Authentic: In an Artificial language teaching/learning situation language items


are not necessarily contextualized. In an authentic situation language is presented and
used in ‘real-life’ situations for meaningful purposes.

8. Teacher-centered/Learner-centered: In a teacher-centred situation the teaching process


is mostly controlled by the teacher. In a learner-centred context, the learning process is
mostly concentrated on the learner.

9. Accuracy/Fluency: Accuracy refers to a teaching / learning situation where the intention


is to provide and produce correct or appropriate language, rather than to perform a

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genuine communicative act. Fluency is the language work in which the learner is acting
naturally, in the same way as when using the mother tongue.

10. Knowledge/Skill: Knowledge is what the learner knows about the language. Skill
describes the learner’s ability to apply basic and other skills in situations that are
commonly encountered in everyday life.

TASK 2:

Whole language:
“If language isn’t kept whole, it isn’t language anymore” (Rigg 1991: 522). The approach
emphasizes learning to read and write naturally with a focus on real communication and
reading and writing for pleasure. In language teaching it shares a philosophical and
instructional perspective with Communicative Language Teaching since it emphasizes the
importance of meaning and meaning making in teaching and learning. It also relates to natural
approaches to language learning since it is designed to help children and adults learn a second
language in the same way that children learn their first language. Many of the activities which
characterize the Whole Language approach are also common in other instructional
approaches, such as Communicative Language Teaching, Content-Based Teaching, and Task-
based Language Teaching. Advantages claimed for Whole Language are that it focuses on
experiences and activities that are relevant to learners’ lives and needs, that it uses authentic
materials, and that it can be used to facilitate the development of all aspects of a second
language. The major key principles underlying the design of Whole Language instruction are
as follows:
• Focus on real and natural events rather than on events that do not relate to the
students’ experience.
• Reading for the sake of comprehension and for a real purpose.
• Writing for a real audience and not simply to practice writing skills.
• Writing as a process through which learners explore and discover meaning.
• Integration of reading, writing and other skills.
• Student-centered learning : Students have choice over what they read and write,
giving them power and understanding of their world.
• Reading and writing in partnership with other learners.
• Encouragement of risk taking and exploration and the acceptance of errors as signs of
learning rather than of failure.

Multiple Intelligences:
Multiple Intelligences (MI) theory was originally proposed by Howard Gardner (1993) as a
contribution to the cognitive science theory. It refers to a learner-based philosophy that
characterizes human intelligence as having multiple dimensions that must be acknowledged
and developed in education. Gardner notes that “traditional IQ tests measure only logic and
language, yet the brain has other equally important types of intelligence” (Gardner 1993). He
argues that all humans have these intelligences, but people differ in the strengths and
combinations of intelligences. He believes that all of them can be enhanced through training
and practice. MI thus belongs to a group of instructional perspectives that focus on differences
between learners and the need to recognize learner differences in teaching. Learners are
viewed as possessing individual learning styles, preferences, or intelligences. Pedagogy is
most successful when these learner differences are acknowledged, analyzed for particular

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groups of learners, and accommodated in teaching. Gardner posits the following eight native
intelligences:

1. Linguistic
2. Logical / mathematical
3. Spatial
4. Musical
5. Bodily / kinesthetic
6. Interpersonal
7. Intrapersonal
8. Naturalist.

Campbell notes that MI theory “ is not prescriptive. Rather, it gives teachers a complex
mental model from which to construct curriculum and improve themselves as educators”
(Campbell 1997: 19). Concerning the learner, Christison notes that “the more awareness
students have of their own intelligences and how they work, the more they will know how
to use that intelligence to access the necessary information and knowledge from a lesson”
(Christison 1997: 9).

Neurolinguistic Programming:
Neurolinguistic Programming (NLP) refers to a training philosophy and a set of training
techniques first developed by John Grindler and Richard Bandler in the mid 1970s as an
alternative form of therapy. Grindler and Bandler developed NLP as a system of
techniques therapists could use in building rapport with clients, gathering information
about their internal an external views of the world, and helping them achieve goals and
bring about personal change. They were essentially interested in how people influence
each other and in how the behaviours of very effective people could be duplicated.
Revell and Norman define NLP as
… a collection of techniques, patterns, and strategies for assisting effective
communication, personal growth and change, and learning. It is based on a
series of assumptions about how the mind works and how people act and
interact. (Revell and Norman 1997: 14)
The neuro part of the term NLP is concerned with how we experience the world
through our five senses and represent it in our minds through our neurological processes.
The linguistic part is concerned with the way the language we use shapes, as well as
reflects, our experience of the world. We use language – in thoughts as well as in speech –
to represent the world to ourselves and to embody our beliefs about the world and about
life. If we change the way we speak and think about things, we can change our behaviour.
We can also use language to help other people who want to change.
As for the programming part of the term, it is concerned with training ourselves to
think, to speak, and act in new and positive ways in order to release our potential and
reach those levels of achievement which we previously only dreamt of.
Four key principles lie at the heart of NLP:

1. Outcomes: the goals or ends. NLP claims that knowing precisely what you want
helps you achieve it. This principle can be expressed as “Know what you want”.
2. Rapport: a factor that is essential for effective communication – maximizing
similarities and minimizing differences between people at an unconscious level.

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This principle can be expressed as “Establish rapport with yourself and then with
others”
3. Sensory acuity: noticing what another person is communicating, consciously or
nonverbally. This can be expressed as “Use your senses. Look at, listen to, and feel
what is actually happening”.

4. Flexibility: doing things differently if what you are doing is not working : having a
range of skills to do something else or something different. This can be expressed
as “Keep changing what you do until you get what you want”.

Modeling is also central to NLP practice. Just as Bandler and Grindler modeled NLP on
the practices of successful therapists, so teachers are expected to model their teaching on
expert teachers they most admire. Similarly, learners are expected to find successful models
for that person they themselves are striving to become :
If you want to be an excellent teacher, model excellent teachers. Look at what
they do, how they act, what sort of relationship they have with their students and
colleagues. Ask them how they feel about what they do. What are their beliefs?
Second, position them. Imagine what’s it’s like to be them. As you learn techniques
and strategies, put them into practice. Share modeling strategies with students. Set
the project of modeling good learners. Encourage them to share and try out
strategies they learn. If you want to speak a language like a native speaker, model
native speakers. (Revell and Norman 1997: 116)

The Lexical Approach:


The Lexical Approach to language teaching refers to one derived from the belief that the
building blocks of language learning and communication are not grammar, functions, notions,
or some other unit of planning and teaching but lexis, that is, words and word combinations.
Lexical approaches in language teaching reflect a belief in the centrality of the lexicon to
language structure, second language learning, and language use, and in particular to
multiword lexical units or “chunks” that are learned and used as single items. Nattinger
commented on the central role of lexis in language learning stating
Perhaps we should base our teaching on the assumption that, for a great deal of the
time anyway, language production consists of piecing together ready-made units
appropriate for a particular situation and that comprehension relies on knowing
which of these patterns to predict in these situations. Our teaching, therefore, would
center on these patterns and the way they can be pieced together, along with the
ways they vary and the situations in which they occur. (Nattinger 1980: 341)
Collocation and other types of lexical units are thought to play a central role in learning
and in communication. Classroom procedures, therefore, typically involve the use of activities
that draw students’ attention to lexical collocations and seek to enhance their retention and
use. Woolard comments:
The learning of collocations is one aspect of language development which is ideally
suited to independent language learning. In a very real sense, we can teach students
to teach themselves. Collocation is mostly a matter of noticing and recording, and
trained students should be able to explore texts for themselves. Not only should they
notice common collocations in the texts they meet, but more importantly, they should
select those collocations which are crucial to their particular needs.
(Woolard 2000: 35)

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Hill (2000) suggests that classroom procedures involve (a) teaching individual collocations,
(b) making students aware of collocation, (c) extending what students already know by adding
knowledge of collocation restrictions to known vocabulary, and (d) storing collocations
through encouraging students to keep a lexical notebook.

Lewis proposes the following assumptions about learning theory in the lexical approach:
• Encountering new learning items on several occasions is a necessary but sufficient
condition for learning to occur.
• Noticing lexical chunks or collocations is a necessary but not sufficient condition for
“input” to become “intake”.
• Noticing similarities, differences, restrictions, and examples contributes to turning
input into intake, although formal description of rules probably does not help.
• Acquisition is based not on the application of formal rules but on an accumulation of
examples from which learners make provisional generalizations. Language production
is the product of previously met examples, not formal rules.
• No linear syllabus can adequately reflect the nonlinear nature of acquisition.
(Lewis 2000: 184)
Competency-Based Language Teaching:
Competency-Based Language Teaching (CBLT) is an application of the principles of
Competency-Based Education (CBE) to language teaching. Such approach has been widely
adopted by the end of the 1970s, particularly as the basis for the design of work-related and
survival-oriented language teaching programs for adults. CBE is an educational movement
that focuses on the outcomes or outputs of learning in the development of language programs.
It addresses what the learners are expected to do with the language, however they learned to
do it. The characteristics of CBE are described by Schenk (1978: vi) who states that
Competency-based education has much in common with such approaches to learning
as performance-based instruction, mastery learning and individualized instruction. It
is outcome-based and is adaptive to the changing needs of students, teachers and the
community. … Competencies differ from other goals and objectives in that they
describe the student’s ability to apply basic and other skills in situations that are
commonly encountered in everyday life. Thus CBE is based on a set of outcomes that
are derived from an analysis of tasks typically required of students in life role
situations.
CBLT seeks to teach language in relation to the social contexts in which it is used.
Language always occurs as a medium of interaction and communication between people for
the achievement of specific goals and purposes. CBLT has for this reason most often been
used as a framework for language teaching in situations where learners have specific needs
and are in particular roles and where the language skills they need can be fairly accurately
predicted or determined. As CBLT is built around the notion of communicative competence
and seeks to develop functional communication skills in learners, it shares some features with
Communicative Language Teaching.

Competencies consist of a description of the essential skills, knowledge, attitudes, and


behaviours required for effective performance of a real-world task or activity. In this respect
Docking notes that
CBLT is designed not around the notion of subject knowledge but around the notion
of competency. The focus moves from what students know about language to what
they can do with it. The focus on competencies or learning outcomes underpins the
curriculum framework and syllabus specification, teaching strategies and
assessment. (Docking 1994: 16)

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Auerbach (1986) provides a useful review of factors involved in the implementation of
CBI programs in ESL, and identifies eight key features:
1. A focus on successful functioning in society. The goal is to enable students to become
autonomous individuals capable of coping with the demands of the world.
2. A focus on life skills. Students are taught just those language forms/skills required by
the situations in which they will function.
3. Task- or performance-centered orientation. The emphasis is on overt behaviours
rather than on knowledge or the ability to talk about language and skills. What counts
is what students can do as a result of instruction.
4. Modularized instruction. Objectives are broken into narrowly focused sub-objectives
so that both teachers and students can get a clear sense of progress.
5. Outcomes that are made explicit a priori. Outcomes are specified in terms of
behavioural objectives so that students know exactly what behaviours are expected of
them.
6. Continuous and ongoing assessment. Students are pre-tested to determine what skills
they lack and post-tested after instruction in that skill.
7. Demonstrated mastery of performance objectives. Rather than the traditional paper-
and-pencil tests, assessment is based on the ability to demonstrate the pre-specified
behaviours.
8. Individualized, student-centered instruction. Objectives are defined in terms of
individuals needs. Students progress at their own rates and concentrate on just those
areas in which they lack competence.
(Auerbach 1986: 414-415)

Communicative Language Teaching:


Communicative Language Teaching (CLT) appeared at a time when language teaching in
many parts of the world was ready for a paradigm shift. Situational Language Teaching and
Audiolingualism were no longer felt to be appropriate methodologies. CLT appealed to those
who sought a more humanistic approach to teaching, one in which the interactive processes of
communication received priority. The work of the Council of Europe ; the writings of
Wilkins, widdowson, Candlin, Brumfit, Johnson, Hymes, and other British applied linguists
on the theoretical basis for a communicative or functional approach to language teaching ; the
rapid application of these ideas by textbook writers ; and the equally rapid acceptance of these
new principles by language teaching specialists gave prominence nationally and
internationally to what came to be referred to as the Communicative Approach, or simply
Communicative Language Teaching.
The characteristic features of CLT may be summarized as follows :
• It makes communicative competence the goal of language teaching and develops
procedures for the teaching of the four language skills that acknowledge the
interdependence of language and communication.
• It pays systematic attention to functional as well as structural aspects of language.
• It focuses on the communicative acts underlying the ability to use language for
different purposes.
• It allows for activities that involve real communication and promote learning,
activities in which language is used for carrying out meaningful tasks using
meaningful language that supports the learning process.
• It assumes that language teaching will reflect the particular needs of the target
learners.
• It allows for the use of authentic, from-life materials in the classroom.

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• It enables learners to use formal as well as casual styles of speaking.
• It encourages learners to engage in the use of cognitive and other processes that are
important factors in second language acquisition.
• It encourages learners to make guesses and learn from their errors.

• It encourages learners to employ a variety of communication strategies.


• It encourages the use of “holistic practice” involving the simultaneous use of a variety
of subskills, rather than practicing individual skills one piece at a time.
• It is learner-centered and experience-based
• CLT has a rich, if somewhat eclectic, theoretical base. It refers to a diverse set of
principles that reflect a communicative view of language and language learning, and
it can be used to support a wide variety of classroom practices and procedures. These
principles include:
• Learners learn a language through using it to communicate.
• Authentic and meaningful communication should be the goal of classroom activities.
• Fluency is an important dimension of communication.
• Communication involves the integration of different language skills.
• Learning is a process of creative construction and involves trial and error.

The Natural Approach:


In 1981, Krashen and Terrell joined forces to elaborate a theoretical rationale for the Natural
Approach, drawing on Krashen’s influential theory of second language acquisition and
Terrell’s classroom procedures and implementation of the approach. Krashen and Terrell see
communication as the primary function of language, and since their approach focuses on
teaching communication abilities, they refer to the Natural Approach as an aspect of the
communicative approach trend. The design and procedures of the approach are based on five
principal tenets of the theory : 1. The Acquisition/Learning Hypothesis 2. The Monitor
Hypothesis 3. The Natural Order hypothesis 4. The Input Hypothesis 5. The Affective Filter
Hypothesis.
The characteristics of the Natural Approach may be summarized as follows :
• Language is viewed as a vehicle for communicating meanings and messages. Hence
Krashen and Terrell stated that “acquisition can take place only when people
understand messages in the target language” (Krashen and Terrell 1983: 19).
• There is an emphasis on exposure, or ‘input’.
• Language is best acquired by understanding input that is slightly beyond the student’s
level of competence (I +1).
• The approach assumes a linguistic hierarchy of structural complexity that one masters
through encounters with input containing structures at the ‘I+1’ level.
• Conscious learning can function only as a monitor or editor that checks and repairs the
output of the acquired system.
• Clues based on the situation and the context, extralinguistic information and
knowledge of the world make comprehension possible.
• The ability to speak fluently cannot be taught directly ; rather, it ‘emerges’
independently in time, after the acquirer has built up linguistic competence by
understanding input.
• Motivation, self-confidence and low personal anxiety are considered important factors
to promote language acquisition.
• The purpose of a language course will vary according to the needs of the students and
their particular interests.

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These characteristics have obvious implications for language teaching. In sum, they are :
1. As much comprehensible input as possible must be presented.
2. Whatever helps comprehension is important. Visual aids are useful, as is
exposure to a wide range of vocabulary rather than study of syntactic structure.
3. The focus in the classroom should be on listening and reading, speaking should
be allowed to ‘emerge.’
4. In order to lower the affective filter, student work should center on meaningful
communication rather than on form ; input should be interesting and so
contribute to a relaxed classroom atmosphere.

Cooperative Language Learning:


Cooperative Language Learning (CLL) is an approach to teaching that makes maximum use
of cooperative activities involving pairs and small groups of learners in the classroom. It has
been defined as
group learning activity organized so that learning is dependent on the socially
structured exchange of information between learners in groups and in which each
learner is held accountable for his or her own learning and is motivated to increase
the learning of others. (Olsen and Kagan 1992: 8)
CLL has been embraced as a way of promoting communicative interaction in the classroom
and is seen as an extension of the principles of Communicative Language Teaching. It is
viewed as a learner-centered approach to teaching held to offer advantages over teacher-
fronted classroom methods and procedures which foster competition rather than cooperation.
Its goals are :
• To provide opportunities for ‘naturalistic’ second language acquisition through the use
of interactive pair and group activities.
• To provide teachers with a methodology to enable them to achieve this goal and one
that can be applied in a variety of curriculum settings.
• To enable focused attention to particular lexical items, language structures, and
communicative functions through the use of interactive tasks.
• To provide opportunities for learners to develop successful learning and
communication strategies through activities and tasks that develop learners’ critical
thinking skills.
• To provide opportunities for learners to develop communicative competence in a
language by conversing in socially or pedagogically structured situations.
• To enhance learner motivation and reduce learner stress and to create a positive
affective classroom climate.
• To foster cooperation rather than competition among learners.
• To maximize individual learning as well as the learning of others.

Task-Based Language Teaching:


Task-Based Language Teaching (CBLT) refers to an approach based on the use of tasks as the
core unit of planning and instruction in language teaching. Some of its proponents present it
as a logical development of Communicative Language teaching since it draws on several
principles that formed communicative language teaching movement from the 1980s, and has
also received strong support from second language acquisition theory. Examples of such
principles are:

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• Activities that involve real communication are essential for language learning.
• Activities in which language is used for carrying out meaningful tasks promote
learning.
• Language that is meaningful to the learner supports the learning process.
Tasks are proposed as useful vehicles for applying these principles because there is no
evidence, it is argued, that the type of grammar-focused teaching activities used in many
language classrooms reflects the cognitive learning processes employed in naturalistic
language learning situations outside the classroom. Engaging learners in task work provides a
better context for the activation of learning processes than form-focused activities, and hence
ultimately provides better opportunities for language learning to take place.
The key assumptions of task-based instruction are summarized by Feez (1998: 17) in the
following points:
• The focus is on process rather than product.
• Basic elements are purposeful activities and tasks that emphasize communication and
meaning.
• Learners learn language by interacting communicatively and purposefully while
engaged in the activities and tasks.
• Activities and tasks can be either those that learners might need to achieve in real life
or those that have a pedagogical purpose specific to the classroom.
• Activities and tasks of a task-based syllabus are sequenced according to difficulty.
• The difficulty of a task depends on a range of factors including the previous
experience of the learner, the complexity of the task, the language required to
undertake the task, and the degree of support available.
• Selection of tasks should be based on a careful analysis of the real-world needs of
learners.
TBLT proposes the notion of ‘task’ as a central unit of planning and teaching. Although
definitions vary in TBLT, there is a commonsensical understanding that a task in an activity
or goal that is carried out using language, such as finding a solution to a puzzle, reading a map
and giving directions, making a telephone call, writing a letter, or reading a set of instructions
and assembling a toy.
Skehan (1996b: 20) defines tasks as
…activities which have meaning as their primary focus. Success in tasks is evaluated
in terms of achievement of an outcome, and tasks generally bear some resemblance
to real-life language use. So task-based instruction takes a fairly strong view of
communicative language teaching.
Similarly, Nunan (1989: 10) states:
The communicative task is a piece of classroom work which involves learners in
comprehending, manipulating, producing or interacting in the target language while
their attention is principally focused on meaning rather than form. The task should
also have a sense of completeness, being able to stand alone as a communicative act
in its own right.

Content-Based Instruction:
Content-based Instruction (CBI) refers to an approach to second language teaching in which
teaching is organized around the content or information that students will acquire. Krahnke
offers the following definition of CBI:
It is the teaching of content or information in the language being learned with little
or no direct or explicit effort to teach the language itself separately from the content
being taught. (Krahnke, 1987 : 65)

15
CBI draws some of its theory and practice on the principles of Communicative Language
Teaching and from other curriculum approaches such as Language Across the Curriculum,
Immersion Education, Immigrant On-Arrival Programs, Programs for Students with limited
English Proficiency, and Language for Specific Purposes. It is grounded on the following two
principles:
1. People learn a second language more successfully when they use the language as a
means of acquiring information, rather than as an end in itself.
2. Content-Based Instruction better reflects learners’ needs for learning a second
language.

The following are assumptions about the nature of language and language learning
underlying CBI:
• Language is text and discourse-based.
• Language use draws on integrated skills.
• Language is purposeful.
• Language is best learned when the focus is on the mastery of content.
• People learn a second language most successfully when the information they
are acquiring is perceived as interesting, useful, and leading to a desired goal.
• Content is the point of departure or organizing principle of the course.
• Some content areas are more useful as a basis for language learning than
others.
• Students learn best when instruction addresses students’ needs.
• Teaching builds on the previous experience of the learners.
• Language learning is typically considered incidental to the learning of content.
• The theme-based model uses the syllabus type referred to as a topical syllabus,
the organization of which is built around specific topics and subtopics, as the
name implies.

All the approaches cited above address general aspects of language learning and
teaching that are now largely accepted as self-evident and axiomatic throughout the
profession because almost all of them incorporate principles and characteristics of
communicative methodology.

Some recent proposals take learning and learning factors as the primary issues to address
in teaching and learning. Whole Language belongs to the humanistic tradition, whose
motto is ‘Learner first, learning second’. Learner engagement is a priority. Multiple
Intelligences focuses on learner differences and how these can be accommodated in
teaching, whereas Neurolingistic Programming emerges from a therapeutic tradition in
which individual growth and personal change are the focus. Lexical and corpus-based
approaches to teaching start with a corpus of discourse relevant to the learners’ interests
and needs and the goal of methodology is to involve learners directly with this material.
Outcome is another dimension of the process of communication and is central in
Competency-Based Language Teaching. Outcomes are the starting point in program
planning with this approach. Some teaching proposals focus more directly on instructional
factors. Communicative Language Teaching focuses on the learners’ communicative
competence. The Natural Approach belongs to a tradition of language teaching methods
based on observation and interpretation of how learners acquire both first and second
languages. Cooperative Language Learning promotes learning through communication in
pairs or small groups. Cooperative organisation and activities are central with this
approach. Task-based Language Teaching advocates the importance of specially designed

16
instructional tasks as the basis of learning. Content-Based Instruction advocates that the
content or subject matter of teaching is of primary importance in teaching. Since CBI
shares many of the characteristics of the current communicative approaches and all the
other approaches discussed above and because it is based on a set of broad principles that
can be applied in many different ways and is widely used as the basis for many different
kinds of successful language programs, we can expect to see it continue as one of the
leading curricular approaches in language teaching. However, it is described as “a major
challenge.” [and] “Taking up this challenge requires a highly motivated and dedicated
individual – or group of individuals”. (Stryker and Leaver 1993: 311).

TASK 3:

The implementation of CBI in the classroom setting puts considerable demands on


language teachers and requires a change in their typical roles. They “…must be more than
just good language teachers. They must be knowledgeable in the subject matter and able
to elicit that knowledge from their students” (Stryker and Leaver 1993: 292). The
following essential skills are suggested for any CBI instructor:
1. Varying the format of classroom instruction.
2. Using group work and team-building techniques.
3. Organizing jigsaw reading arrangements.
4. Defining the background knowledge and language skills required for student
success.
5. Helping students develop coping strategies.
6. Using process approaches to writing.
7. Using appropriate error correction techniques.
8. Developing and maintaining high levels of student esteem.

To demonstrate these skills in a CBI classroom setting, a set of pedagogical and


methodological roles of the teachers are necessary:
• Teachers are responsible for selecting and adapting authentic materials for use in class.
• They become student needs analysts.
• They have to create truly learner-centered classrooms.
• They should select, adapt, and/or create tasks based on a careful analysis of the real-
world needs, interests, and language skill level of learners.
• They need to make adjustments and simplifications that native speakers make in
communicating with second language learners.
• They need to collaborate with the subject matter teachers.
• They have to create a highly structured and well-organized learning environment in
the classroom, setting goals, planning and structuring tasks, establishing the physical
arrangement of the classroom, assigning students to groups and roles.
• In their roles as facilitators, they should move around the class helping students and
groups as needs arise.
• They should encourage students to build positive relationships among them.
• They should create a classroom atmosphere that is interesting, friendly, and in which
there is a low affective filter for learning.
• They should choose and orchestrate a rich mix of classroom activities, involving a
variety of group sizes, content and contexts.

17
• They are required to generate a constant flow of language input while providing a
multiplicity of nonlinguistic clues to assist students in interpreting the input.
• They should help students become autonomous individuals capable of coping with the
demands of the world by promoting their study skills.
• They should reexamine their course books, adding exercises and activities that focus
explicitly on lexical phrases and collocations.
• They should create an environment in which learners can operate effectively and then
helping learners manage their own learning.
• They should encourage learners to model excellent and effective models.
• They need to establish learners profiles accounting for individual differences.

The following two descriptions may best sum up the teacher roles in a Content-Based
classroom setting :

The teacher has two main roles : the first role is to facilitate the communication
process between all participants in the classroom, and between these participants and
the various activities and texts. The second role is to act as an independent participant
within the learning-teaching group. The latter role is closely related to the objectives
of the first role and arises from it. These roles imply a set of secondary roles for the
teacher ; first, as an organizer of resources and as a resource himself, second as a
guide within the classroom procedures and activities. …A third role for the teacher is
that of researcher and learner, with much to contribute in terms of appropriate
knowledge and abilities, actual and observed experience of the nature of learning and
organizational capacities. (Breen and Candlin 1980: 99)

Teachers are asked to view their teaching in a new way, from the perspective of truly
contextualizing their lessons by using content as the point of departure. They are
almost certainly committing themselves to materials adaptation and development.
Finally, with the investment of time and energy to create a content-based language
course comes even greater responsibility for the learner, since learner needs become
the hub around which the second language curriculum and materials, and therefore
teaching practices, revolve. (Brinton et al. 1989: 3)

READINGS:
Auerbach, E. R. 1986. ‘Competency-Based ESL: One step forward or two steps back ?’
TESOL Quarterly . Vol 20/3: 411, 430.
Bandler, R., and J. Grindler. 1992. Reforming: NLP and the Transformation of Meaning.
Utah: Real People Press.
Breen, M., and C.N. Candlin. 1980. ‘The essentials of a communicative curriculum in
language teaching.’ Applied Linguistics. Vol 1/2: 89-112.
Brinton, D. M., M. A. Snow, and M.B. Wesch. 1989. Content-Based Second Language
Instruction. New York: Newbury House.
Brumfit, C.J., and K. Johnson (eds.). 1979. The Communicative Approach To Language
Teaching. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Candlin,C.N. 1976. ‘Communicative language teaching and the debt to pragmatics.’ In C.
Rameh (ed.), Georgetown University Roundtable 1976. GUP.

18
Campbell,L.1997.‘How teachers interpret MI theory.’Educational Leadership Vol 55/1
Christison,M. 1997. ‘An introduction to multiple intelligences theory and second language
Learning.’ In J.Reid (ed), Understanding learning Styles in the Second Language
Classroom. Englewood Cliffs, N.J: Prentice Hall :Regents. 1- 14.
Docking,R. 1994. ‘Competency-based curricular – the big picture.’ Prospect. Vol 9/2: 8-17.
Finocchiaro,M., and C. Brumfit. 1983. The Functional-Notional Approach: From Theory to
Practice. New York: Oxford University Press.
Feez, S. 1998. Text-Based Syllabus Design. Sydney: National Center for English Teaching
and Research.
Gardner, H. 1993. Multiple Intelligences: The Theory and Practice. New York: Basic Books.
Hymes,D. 1972. ‘On communicative competence.’ In J. B Pride and J. Holmes (eds)
Sociolinguistics. Harmondsworth: Penguin. 269-293.
Johnson, K. 1982. Communicative Syllabus Design and Methodology. Oxford: Pergamon.
Johnson, D., R. Johnson, and E. Holubec. 1994. Cooperative Learning in the Classroom.
Alexandria, Va : Association for Supervision and Curriculum development.
Krahnke,K. 1987. Approaches to Syllabus Design for Foreign Language Teaching. New
York: Prentice Hall.
Krashen, S. 1982. Principles and Practice in Second Language Acquisition. Oxford:
Pergamon.
Lewis,M. (ed.). 2000. Teaching Collocation : Further Developments in the Lexical Approach.
London: Language Teaching Publications.
Nattinger,J. 1980. ‘A lexical phrase grammar for ESL.’ TESOL Quarterly. Vol 14: 337-344.
Nunan,D. 1989. Designing Tasks for the Communicative Classroom. New York: Cambridge
University Press.
O’Connor,J., and I. McDermott. 1996. Principles of NLP. London: Thorsons.
Olsen,R. and S. Kagan. 1992. ‘About cooperative learning.’ In C. Kessler (ed), Cooperative
Language Learning: A Teacher’s Resource Book. New York: Prentice Hall. 1-30.
Revell,J., and S. Norman. 1997. In Your Hands: NLP in ELT. London: Saffire Press.
Richards, J. C. and Rodgers, T.S. 2001. Approaches and Methods in Language Teaching.
Cambridge University Press.
Rigg, P. 1991. ‘Whole Language in TESOL.’ TESOL Quarterly. Vol 25/3: 521-542.
Schneck, E. A. 1978. A Guide to Identifying High School Graduation Competencies. Portland,
Oregon: Northwest Regional Educational Laboratory.
Skehan, P. 1996b. ‚Second language acquisition research and task-based instruction.’ In J.
Willis and D. Willis (eds.). Challenge and Change in Language Teaching. Oxford:
Heinemann. 17-30.
Snow,M., and D. M. Brinton (eds) 1998. The Content-Based Classroom. New York:
Longman.
Stryker, S., and B. Leaver. 1993. Content-Based Instruction in Foreign Language Education.
Washington, D.C: Georgetown University Press.
Terrell,T.D.1982. ‘The natural approach to language teaching: An update’. Modern Language
Journal. Vol 66: 121-132.
Widdowson,H. G. 1978. Teaching Language as Communication. Oxford: Oxford University
Press
Wilkins,D. A. 1976. Notional Syllabuses. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Willis,J. 1996. ‘A flexible framework for task-based learning.’ In J. Willis and D. Willis (eds)
Challenge and Change in Language Teaching. Oxford: Heinemann. 52-62.
Woolard,G. 2000. ‘collocation-encouraging learner independence.’ In M. Lewis (ed)
Teaching Collocation: Further developments in the Lexical Approach. London:
Language Teaching Publications. 28-46.

19
CONTENT-BASED INSTRUCTION
Ahmed Chaibi
Delegation of Errachidia

OBJECTIVES :
The participants will be able to
1.Define content-based instruction ( CBI 9 )
2.Discuss the benefits and the shortcomings of the approach
3.Compare CBI and ESP
4.Relate CBI to the 6 T’s approach

TASK 1: (pair/group work followed by general discussion)


Fill in the table below, then compare your answers.

Jot down things you know about CBI Write down 2 questions you would like
this workshop to answer *

TASK 2: (individual, then pair/group work followed by general discussion)


Read the 3 quotes below underlying the key terms in each quote, then highlight
the similarities and the differences between them. Which one is for CBI ? Which
one is against ? And Which one is neutral?

Quote 1 :
In concept content-based teaching is simple : it is the teaching of content or information in
the language being learned with little or no direct or explicit effort to teach the language
itself separately from the content being taught….” Krahnke (1987)

Quote 1 :
This… view has had a steadily growing band of adherents. People engage in
communication about something. Language, these folk say, must be about something – it
has content. To teach language as if it were a set of patterns or rules or interactions apart
from content is not only misguided, it is impossible. Rodgers (1997)

Quote 1 :
In content based classrooms, students are exposed to a considerable amount of language
while learning content. This incidental language should be comprehensible, linked to their
immediate prior learning, and relevant to their needs – all important criteria for successful
language learning.’ Grabe and Stoller (1997)
* Questions to be discussed at the end of the workshop.

20
TASK 3: (individual, then pair/group work followed by general discussion)
Below is another definition. Read it and discuss the benefits of CBI as well as
the potential problems this approach might create.

Content-Based Instruction is :
… the integration of content learning with language teaching aims. More
specifically, it refers to the concurrent study of language and subject-matter, with
the form and sequence of language presentation dictated by content material.
(Brinton et al. 1989 )

TASK 4: (pair/group work followed by general discussion)


On the basis of your experience and readings, reflect on and discuss the
difference between CBI and English for Specific purposes (ESP).

TASK 5: (general discussion)


A number of approaches to language teaching (9 at least) claim to adhere to
Content-based instruction. Discuss the characteristics of the ones listed below
with more emphasis on the 6 T’s approach.

APPROACHES CHARACTERISTICS

immersion programs

sheltered instruction

Adjunct language
instruction

theme-based language
instruction

English for
specific/academic purposes

the 6 T’s approach.

21
TASK 6: (group work followed by general discussion)
Consider Highway; to what extent does it follow a CBI approach to syllabus
design ? The table of contents of the textbook could be used for this matter.

NOTES FOR THE TRAINER

1. Benefits of CBI :
CBI has been implemented in many language learning contexts for the last 25 years or
so, and the feedback from research on its efficiency has generally been positive. Here is
a list of benefits that accrue out of its implementation.

• Students are given opportunity to learn content and language simultaneously.


• Students are exposed to a considerable amount of language while learning content
( Krashen’s comprehensible input ) .
• While the focus is on content, language learning occurs incidentally (the notion of
acquisition as opposed to learning)
• Teachers and students explore interesting content .
• Students are engaged in appropriately demanding learning activities (as opposed to
meaningless or artificial exercises). These activities relate to and revolve around
the same content.
• CBI supports contextualized learning : students are taught useful language that is
embedded within relevant discourse context rather than as isolated language
fragments.
• Students in CBI have opportunities to use the content knowledge and expertise that
they bring to class(i.e. learners’ background knowledge).
• CBI promises to increase motivation among students because they are exposed to
complex information, and are engaged in very challenging activities which can lead
to intrinsic motivation.
• CBI supports cooperative learning, apprenticeship learning, experiential learning
and project-based learning.
• CBI lends itself to strategy training and learner training (i.e. autonomous learning).
• CBI allows greater flexibility and adaptability to be built into the curriculum and
activity sequencing( e.g. addition of sub-topics).
• CBI leads itself to student-centered classroom. In CBI, students have the opportunity
to exercise choices and preferences in terms of specific content or activity

(Adapted from Grabe and Stoller 1997)


2. Constraints and caveats :
CBI, in its various configurations, brings with it some potential difficulties or
problems :
• Planners need to keep language and content learning in balance. It’s easy for
teachers to become excited about interesting and appealing content and overlook
the language exploitation aspects of instruction. CBI should not under-emphasize
language learning.
• It is important that those implementing theme units not lose sight of content and
language objectives, and the time allotted to meet these objectives….There is
often the temptation to allow well-received themes, topics and/or tasks to ‘run too
long’.

22
• It is important not to overwhelm students with too much content. Sometimes
teachers become so involved in their own content learning that they want to share
all of their new insights( and content resources) with their students.
• Despite the fact that students are often motivated by teacher enthusiasm, they also
need sufficient time to work with and reflect on the content and language of the
assigned texts. It is better to examine the same set of content sources from a range
of perspectives and for a variety of purposes than to cursorily examine excessively
large amounts of content.
• Teachers and curriculum planners have spent far much time exploring issues
related to the design and implementation of CBI than on procedures for the
evaluation of content and language learning in CBI classrooms. Once again we
run into the problem of balance : how much content learning do we evaluate and
how much language learning do we evaluate? Evaluation of language and content
is an important part of CBI. Excluding the assessment area, in order to focus on
the other, does not serve the students well. Teachers and planners must keep in
mind the need to evaluate both content and language on a regular basis.
(Adapted from Grabe and Stoller 1997:p.p. 93-4)
3. Relationship between CBI and ESP :
Similarities :
• Both ESP and CBI stem from the practitioners’ unease about the separation of
language instruction from the contexts and demands of real world language use.
TENOR (Teaching English for No Obvious Reasons) does not/ cannot prepare
students for the demanding linguistic, rhetorical and contextual challenges for
the real world, e.g. the workplace or the academic classroom.
• Both movements engage students in meaningful use of language, rather than in
activities that focus upon the language itself. Language is not an object of study,
rather it is a ‘vehicle for communication’.
• In both movements, practitioners recognize that language classroom activities
should be designed to assist students in interacting with content and discourse
in cognitively demanding ways; in ways similar to those in the target language
situation.
Dissimilarities :
• CBI is generally limited to English in a second language settings.
• ESP provides itself as being an international movement and hence, it is the
conventional term used to designate specific purposes of language programs in
English as a foreign language.
• CBI is a multi-skill approach, integrating the four skills to make the language
learning experience authentic and draw from the learning styles and strategies
of enrolled students.
• On the contrary, ESP has often been limited to one skill, i.e. reading, because
this is what in foreign countries need badly in order to access texts in science
and technology.
• ESP has along research tradition, dating from early 1960s(Swales 1985)- a
tradition that has drawn from linguistic analyses, from discourse studies, from
pragmatics, and recently from studies of discourse communities. ESP
researchers are in general convinced that a thorough and systematic analysis of
written discourse is essential for creating a successful curriculum. Over time,
this research has expanded from item counts to form/function analyses
(Robinson,1991), and recently into examining a text’s uses of authority and the
values that underlie its discourse. CBI, on the other hand, seems to be much

23
more concerned with the classroom, with students’ affect, with instructional
strategies, and with models: no doubt each tradition can benefit from the
research and curricula of the other.
(Adapted from Johns, Ann, M.1992: p.p.71-6)
4. Models of CBI :

Sheltered Content Instruction (SCI) :


• SCI is addressed to non-native speakers.
• It is taught by a content instructor, not an ESL teacher.
• Students are ‘sheltered’ from native peers.
• SCI is almost always in high school, community college, or university setting.
Such a setting provides a low anxiety environment and students do not feel forced
to compete with native speakers.
• SCI requires accordingly considerable teacher development and teachers are
required to Know their subject well, Be successful teachers in their regular
content classes, Be able to choose texts accessible to students, and be able to tune
their speech to compensate for students’ linguistic deficiencies.

Adjunct Language Instruction :


• A language teacher works in tandem with a content instructor. This requires
naturally close cooperation between the content and the language instructor.
• Content in this model is primary whereas language is secondary.
• The language teacher is thought to be subordinate to the content instructor.
However, language teachers do not feel intimidated by having to deal with an area
of knowledge they are not familiar with, and see consequently their language
teaching experience serve them well in helping their students deal with their new
subject-matter .
• The content instructor often comes to the adjunct model with the feeling that her
teaching methods are somehow inadequate, but she becomes a better teacher, once
she realizes how to implement more learner-centered teaching procedures. She
becomes more culturally sensitive and starts for instance to avoid the use of
colloquial idioms (e.g. lesson of biology : chew the living heck out of you), she
uses the blackboard more frequently. she encourages more language use in the
classroom and more group work activities similar to those found in ESL
classrooms, e.g. role play or journal writing, and she appreciates the teaching
strategies the language teachers work with.

Theme-based Language Instruction


Even in the heyday of the grammatical syllabus, a class could not do grammar all the
time. Reading and writing revolved around the same theme; this allowed the necessary
schemata for that theme to be recycled and enlarged.
• Themes being recycled and dealt with via the use of various or integrated skills
foster critical thinking
• Themes can either be random selections, chosen and ordered with students input
or subsets of a larger unifying theme.
• Theme-based instruction requires teacher training in curriculum design and
materials development, particularly in regard to the conducting of needs
assessment to insure that the selection of themes is based on students’ interests.

24
• Teachers should be careful in selecting or generating materials if these are not
available on the market.
( Adapted from Ann, M. Johns1992:p.p.71-72)

5. The Six T’s Approach


The 6-T’s approach gets theoretical support from : Motivation and interest studies.
Krashen’s comprehensible input, Canadian immersion programs, Co-operative
learning and cognitive learning theory… etc. In the approach consideration must be
given to students needs, students goals, institutional expectations, available resources,
teacher abilities, and expected final performance outcomes. The 6 curricular
components are : themes, texts, topics, threads, tasks, and transitions.
• Themes are the central ideas that organise major curricular units ; they are chosen
according to the previous considerations.
Sample themes Possible instructional setting
Insects Elementary school classroom
The solar system Middle school or high school classroom (s)

• Texts are content resources (written or aural) which drive the basic planning of theme
units. Text selection adheres to the same criteria as themes (+ relevance, format
appeal, length, coherence, accessibility, availability, and cost, etc).
Examples of content resources
Types of texts
Instructor-compiled content Readings of various genres, videos, audio-tapes,
resources maps, tables, graphs, software, internet and the
World Wide Web
Instructor-generated content Lectures, worksheets, graphic representations,
resources bulletin board displays
Task-generated content Student free writes, discussions, problem-solving
resources activities, graphic representations, library searches,
debates surveys/questionnaires
External content resources Guest speakers, field trips

• Topics are the sub-units of content which explore more specific aspects of the theme.
Their selection adheres to the same criteria above.

Theme One set of sample topics Another set of sample topics


Insects i. Insects which are helpful i. Ants
ii. Insects which are harmful ii. Bees
iii. Insects which eat other iii. Caterpillars
insects
iv. Insects which eat vegetation

Solar system i. Humans in space i. Earth


ii. Technology in space ii. Venus
iii. Research in space iii. Mercury
iv. Pluto

25
• Threads are linkages across themes which create greater curricular coherence. They
are abstract concepts (e.g. responsibility, ethics, contrast, power…) that provide
natural means for linking themes…

Thread that links various theme units Themes


Responsibility to…
Uphold civil rights for citizens Civil Rights
Control pollution Pollution
Regulate family size Demography
Conduct ethical research Solar system

• Tasks are the basic units of instruction through which the approach is realised day-to-
day; they are activities and techniques utilised for content, language and strategy
training or instruction in the classroom.

Focus of instruction
Sample tasks
Language skills Pre-during, post-reading activities; strategy training;
improvement (reading, paced/speed reading; process writing (brainstorming,
writing, speaking, listening) drafting, revising, editing); speed writes; conversational
gambit practice; spontaneous speeches; directed
listening.
Vocabulary building Word family exercises, semantic clustering, lexical sets
and classification activities, dictionary practice,
synonyms and antonyms, word wall activities
Discourse organisation Graphic organisers, strip stories

Communicative interaction Role plays, simulation games, debates, problem solving


activities, class polls and interview, group work, co-
operative learning.
Study skills Lectures and note taking, test taking strategies, library
work

• Transitions are explicitly planned actions which provide coherence across topics in a
theme unit and across tasks within topics.

Transition types Sample transition activities in a theme unit on demography

Topical transitions A deliberate shift in emphasis from global population trends, to


trends in developing countries, to trends in developed
countries, to trends in students’ home countries. Students are
explicitly made aware of these transitions
Task transitions Teacher introduces an idea and encourages students to predict
upcoming topic within a theme unit; teacher poses questions
that help students link a previous topic with a new topic;
teacher encourages students to relate personal experiences
and/or opinions that connect to new topic or task.

26
• Highway table of contents
The table of contents of Highway below can be used to do task 6 in case the textbooks
are not available.

Unit 1 Welcome to English


Unit 2 Welcome to University
Unit 3 Where Are you From ?
Unit 4 I’ve Got a New House
Unit 5 Appearances
Unit 6 How do They Compare?
Unit 7 Making Plans
Unit 8 What’s the Weather Like?
Unit 9 People’s Past
Unit 10 Ceremony (ies)
Unit 11 City and Country
Unit 12 Holidays and Travel
Unit 13 Entertainment
Unit 14 Education and Schooling
Unit 15 Family Ties
Unit 16 Health
Unit 17 Sport
Vocabulary List

READINGS :
Brinton et al. ,1989. Content-Based Second Language Instruction. New York : Newbury
House Publishers.
Grabe, W. and Stoller, F. 1997. ‘Content-based instruction: research foundations’ in
Brinton, D. and Snow, M.A. (eds.). The Content-Based classroom: Perspectives on
Integrating Language and Content. California : Longman.
Grabe, W. and Stoller, F. 1997 ‘A six-T’s approach to content-based instruction’ in Brinton,
D. and Snow, M.A. (eds.) The Content-Based Classroom: Perspectives on Integrating
Language and Content. California : Longman.
Johns, A. M. 1992. ‘What is the relationship between content-based instruction and
English for specific purposes?’ CATESOL Journal. Vol 5/1.
Krahnke, K. 1987. Approaches to Syllabus Design for Foreign Language Teaching. New
Jersey : Preventive-Hall, Inc. Englewood Cliffs.
Master, P. 1992. ‘What are some considerations for teacher training in content-based
instruction?’ CATESOL Journal. Vol 5/1.
Rogers, T. 1997. ‘Language teacher education methodology- where now?’ Presentation at the
American Studies Centre in the Salzburg seminar May, 1997.
Turner, J. 1997. ‘Creating content-based language tests: Guidelines for teachers’ in Brinton,
D. and Snow, M.A. (eds) The Content-Based Classroom: Perspectives on Integrating
Language and Content. California : Longman.

27
EXPLORING TEACHERS’ BELIEFS ABOUT TEACHING
Said Messaoudi
Delegation of Rabat

OBJECTIVES:
The participants will be able to
1. Reflect on their beliefs concerning the teaching/learning process.
2. Explore these beliefs and how they relate to the educational/school system.
3. Question their beliefs as a first step towards changing their practices.

TASK 1: (individual task followed by group discussion)


Against each of the following statement is a scale 1 - 5. Circle 5 if you agree
that the statement describes you. If you strongly disagree, and the statement
does not describe you, then circle 1.The value 3 accords with a neutral view of
the statement.
What comments would you make on your results? (Report your findings to the
group on the next session)

1 2 3 4 5
I am committed to the growth and development of the whole school.
1 2 3 4 5
I actively engage with my students as they work in the classroom.
1 2 3 4 5
I am self-critical of my work.
1 2 3 4 5
I provide a wide variety of learning experiences for my students.
1 2 3 4 5
I regularly talk with individual students about their work.
1 2 3 4 5
I regularly get my students thinking about the work they are doing.
1 2 3 4 5
I encourage students to work together.
1 2 3 4 5
I am a teacher who is prepared to take risks in teaching.
1 2 3 4 5
I ask interesting and challenging questions in class.
1 2 3 4 5
I always provide encouragement for students.
1 2 3 4 5
I am continuously aware of the need to evaluate the quality of work.
1 2 3 4 5
My teaching is part of a planned progression of learning for students.
1 2 3 4 5
I keep thorough records of my students' attainment and progress.
1 2 3 4 5
In class I am lively and demonstrate my interest in students.
1 2 3 4 5
My marking is up to date.
1 2 3 4 5
I am an excellent listener with students.
1 2 3 4 5
My classroom is a caring and supportive environment.
1 2 3 4 5
I can command attention in class with ease.
1 2 3 4 5
I maintain a purposeful, relaxed, quiet working environment in class.
1 2 3 4 5
I ensure that the furniture is appropriately arranged for the work in hand.
1 2 3 4 5
I move around all parts of the classroom.
1 2 3 4 5
My lessons are planned and well organized.
1 2 3 4 5
My students always know the purpose of our lessons.
1 2 3 4 5
I provide homework linked to class work.
1 2 3 4 5
My classroom environment is lively.
1 2 3 4 5
I search for ways of making the students feel they are succeeding.
1 2 3 4 5
I am confident to use other adults(e.g. colleagues) in my classroom teaching.
1 2 3 4 5
I keep up-to-date with my educational reading.
1 2 3 4 5
I keep a good balance between my work for school and time for my personal
life.
1 2 3 4 5 I enjoy teaching and thrive on its challenges.

28
TASK 2: (individual followed by pair/group work)
What do you think creates a successful lesson? Look at the list below and
number the various factors in order of importance ( from most important (1)
to least important (6), then discuss your answers with your partner.

__ good lesson planning


__ the students interest in the subject
__ the teacher’s knowledge of the subject
__ the appropriate teaching method
__ the relationship between the teacher and the students
__ teacher enthusiasm
__ lack of criticism
__ acknowledgement and stimulation of students ideas
__ other (specify) ……………………………………..

TASK 3: (Group work followed by reports)


Look at the diagram and answer/discuss the questions below.

classes
Individual the headmaster
Students

Supervisor Administrators
TEACHER
Education
authorities colleagues

Parents

1. Which of the relationship do you value most? Why?


2. What contribution can your relationship with each of these individuals or groups
make to your teaching?
3. What feeling do you experience or see others (teachers, students, headmaster,
supervisor, colleagues) expressing most often at school?
4. Do any of these feelings worry you? How do you deal with them?

TASK 4: (individual followed by pair work)


How do you think teachers can “ manage ” their classrooms so as to
encourage better learning ? Make a list of possible ways and then discuss
your answers with your partner.

29
TASK 5: (pair work)
Read the text below by a teacher suggesting ways in which teachers can manage
their classroom better.
Look at your list from TASK 3 and put a tick next to the ways the teacher mentions.
Which one(s) do you find most important?

First of all you can make your classroom as attractive and as stimulating as
possible. it should look orderly and purposeful and create the expectation
that people do useful work here. It should also be a place that makes your
work as easy as possible. The way the furniture is arranged must reflect the
way you want to work. It need only take a couple of minutes for a class to
rearrange their tables and chairs, after a little practice.
Your lesson planning can also help your classroom management. Plan your
lessons so that the work is differentiated; so that every pupil, even the lowest
attainer, has something productive that they can do and so there is a graded
sequence of higher-level extension activities for the others.
Of utmost importance too is how you relate to your class. Teaching is a
professional activity, requiring human warmth, tact, sensitivity, resolve and
professional detachment. The management of students needs to be calm,
patient and measured. Your comments should be as positive as possible. You
should give more praise than censure more reward than punishment. We
should try to reinforce the behaviour we want more than we complain about
the behaviour we don't want.
Think too about your own behaviour. Be consistent and don't let your own
psychological baggage make you moody. Something ignored one day and
punished the next is naturally resented by students. And finally, don't forget:
all the advice in the world can only be of limited use unless we are willing to
examine and reflect on what we do in the classroom. Systematic evaluation
is the key to any effective teacher development.

N.B. Refer to pages 29-30 for a comprehensive list of readings

30
TEACHER TRAING AND TEACHER DEVELOPMENT:
WHERE DO YOU STAND?
Said Messaoudi
Delegation of Rabat

OBJECTIVES:
The participants will be able to
1. Be aware of and reflect on their needs as EFL teachers.
2. Make a distinction between teacher training and teacher development.
3. Discuss teacher development options and relate them to their needs.

TASK 1: (individual work followed by pair/group discussion)


The quotations below are from teachers who are saying what they need to teach more
effectively. Read them and put a tick next to the ones which are true for you. Add
other statements if you wish. Then compare your answers with a partner

I need time to read books


I need a language I need time to talk
and articles about
Improvement to colleagues
language teaching
course.

Teacher A teacher B Teacher C

I need to attend
I need further I need a methodology some conferences
qualifications course

Teacher D Teacher E Teacher F

I need time to write my I need time to reflect on


own materials my teaching

Teacher G Teacher H

TASK 2: (individual work followed by pair/group discussion)


The extract below makes a distinction between teacher training (TT) and
teacher development (TD). Read it and decide:
1. Which characteristics go under which heading?
2. Which expressed needs in TASK 1 relate to TT and which relate to TD?

31
Teacher Training and Teachers Development

Teacher Training and Teacher Development have often been discussed largely in isolation or
as distinct and sometimes contrasting dichotomies. The term Teacher Development is often
used as referring to an approach separate and different from Teacher Training, and in reaction
against over-rigid top-down and transmission-based models of Teacher Training. According
to this view, Teacher Training places authority in the hands of an external source, while
Teacher Development empowers the individual teacher and stresses his/her “whole person”
rather than the teacher as a technician.
These distinctions are over-simplistic, and neither model on its own is entirely satisfactory. As
I see them in my EFL context, Training and Development are not either/or propositions. Thus,
an integrated “context sensitive” approach to Teacher Education as a process of growth would
embody both Training and Development. In Teacher Training there is certainly room for input
from teachers on the basis of the expertise derived from classroom experience. There is
equally room for input from the trainer within Teacher Development framework.
Freeman (1989) provides this useful alternative relationship between Training, Development
and Education. He suggests that “ within the general process of language teacher education, a
valid operational distinction can be made between two functions, which I will call training
and Development. Thus, the term Education is perceived as the super- ordinate, whereas
Teacher Training and Teacher Development are used to describe the strategies by which
teachers are educated.” Wallace (1991), elaborating on this issue, suggests that a structured
professional education should include two kinds of knowledge development: received
knowledge and experiential knowledge. He offers a model for Teacher Education which he
calls the “reflective model” .
Reflection, as evidence from Teacher Education literature, means different things to different
authors . For the purpose of this workshop, I would use Moon’s (1994) definition of reflection
as being “deliberately thoughtful and self-questioning about one's own actions, experience or
attitudes”. It must be admitted though, that the implementation of such a model should be
taken for granted in any local situation because of the constraining “local environment
factors” Holliday (1994 ). To overcome this, a change in the teachers’ perception of their
role and practices is prerequisite. Hargreaves and Fullan (1992) note that “Teacher
Development involves changing the person the teacher is ...To focus on behavioural skills
alone without reference to their grounding in or impact on attitudes and beliefs is misguided
and liable to prove ineffective.”

CHARACTERISTICS

bottom-up; continuing; fixed agenda; flexible agenda; hierarchical; information/skills


transmission; inner-directed; other directed; peer-oriented; problem solving; related to
needs of course; related to needs of the individual; terminal outcomes open; terminal
outcomes pre-empted; time-bound; top-down.

32
Teacher Training Teacher Development

- -
- -
- -
- -
- -
- -
- -

TASK 3: (individual work followed by pair/group discussion and reports)


The following are eight examples of teacher development options. Put a tick
next to those you would be interested in. Then compare your answers with
your colleagues. Do you have the same interests? Report your findings to the
whole group.
1. Teacher A feels constantly under stress, is sleeping badly and is off her food. She
decides to act. After reading articles/books on stress and on personal organisation, she
decides to set aside 30 minutes `quiet time' daily and to use this to make lists of
personal action points.
2. Teacher B finds a good practical idea in an ELT journal. He decides, with a colleague,
to try it out for a month and to discuss progress once a week.
3. Ten teachers from School X decide to meet once a month to discuss a book or article
all have agreed to read.
4. Eight teachers from School Y decide to meet once a month to talk over problems
individuals have encountered. There is no agenda but the group is tolerant and
mutually supportive.
5. Teacher C decides to take a course on a non ELT subject, which she thinks may give
new insights for her teaching. (For example, a course on counselling skills,
photography, and so on.)
6. Teacher D decides to improve his qualifications. He enrols on a post graduate TEFL
course.
7. Teacher E has never written for a publication. She decides to review a recent book she
feels enthusiastic about. She seeks advice from more experienced colleagues on how
to write the review and who to submit it to.
8. Teachers G and H decide to implement ideas they have on learner independence. They
set up a small action research project. They present their findings at the next MATE or
SIE Conference.

NOTES FOR THE TRAINER

1. The Teacher Development (TD) movement is a relatively recent phenomenon. How


has the need for TD arisen? There are at least five overlapping reasons:
• A feeling that training courses cannot alone satisfy all trainees' needs.
• A need to go beyond mere training. (`Is there a life after the course?')
• The search for a sense of direction which characterises the increasing
professionalization of ELT.
• The growing confidence of teachers in their ability to shape their own growth.

33
• The influence of the wider life-long education movement.

2. Explicitly or implicitly TD is often compared with Teacher Training (TT). Such


comparisons certainly help to clarify the respective merits of TD and TT:

3. The single characteristic which crucially distinguishes TD is the vesting of decision


making in teachers rather than in organisations, however well-intentioned. In TD it is
the teacher who decides whether to undertake a given project, which one, who with,
how, where, when, how often, for how long - and why, and who bears the
responsibility for these decisions.

4. The TD movement is in many ways parallel to the Learner Independence movement.


Just as learners appear to make better progress when they make their own learning
decisions, the chances are that teachers too will achieve better personal and
professional growth when they take on personal responsibility for their own
development.

READINGS:
N.B. The following references have been used by Said Messaoudi to prepare and suggest a
long term in-service training course consisting of a series of complementary workshops that
he started implementing in his area. The presentation above and the presentation on page 23
have been taken from the suggested course. Although not all these references relate to the two
contributions in this volume, we thought of including the integral list as it may be very useful
for the trainers/supervisors eager to do some further reading.

Ajzen, I. 1991. Attitudes, Personality and Behaviour. Milton Keynes: Open University Press.
Allal, M. 1992. A Discourse Analysis of Inspectors’ Reports, CFIE: Rabat.
Bax,S.1997. ‘Roles for a teacher educator in context-sensitive teacher education’ in ELT
51/3
Bolitho R and Wright T. 1997. ‘Working with Participants’ Ideas and Constructs’ in Ian
McGrath (ed) Learning to Train : Perspectives on the Development of Language
Teacher Trainers. Prentice Hall Europe.
Borg, S. 1995. ‘Conflict in Process-Oriented Training’ in The Teacher Trainer.Vol.9/1.
Britten, D. 1997. ‘A Plea for Flexibility’ in Ian McGrath (ed) : Learning to Train :
Perspectives on the Development of Language Teacher Trainers. Prentice Hall Europe.
Ellis, R. 1986. ‘Activities and procedures for teacher training’ in ELT J 40/2.
Freeman, D. 1995. ‘Transfer in second language teacher education’. Paper Presented at the
29th TESOL Conference, Long Beach. California
Freeman, D. 1989. ‘Teacher training, development and decision-making: model of teaching
and related strategies for language teacher education’ in TESOL Quarterly 27/2.
Fullan, M. 1991.The New Meaning of Educational Change. London: Cassell
Handy, C. and R. Aitken . 1986. Understanding Schools as Organisations. Harmondsworth:
Penguin Books Ltd.
Hargreaves, D. and M. Fullan (eds) 1992. Understanding Teacher Development. London and
New York: Cassell and Teachers College Press
Hayes, D. 1995. ‘In-service teacher development: some basic principles’ in ELTJ. Vol 43/3
Holliday, A.1994. Appropriate Methodology and Social Context. Cambridge: Cambridge
University Press.
Lightbown, P. M. and N. Spada . 1993. How Languages are Learned. Oxford University
Press.

34
Makee, N. 1992. ‘The diffusion of innovation in language teaching’ in Annual Review of
Applied Linguistics. Vol 13.
Miller, W. C. 198. ‘Staff Morale, School Climate, and Education Productivity’ in
Educational Leadership. Vol 38/ 6
Moon, J.1994. ‘Teachers as mentors: a route to in-service development’ in ELTJ. Vol 48/1
Rachidi, M.1989. A Non-Directive Approach to Teacher Supervision. CFIE, Rabat.
Stenlund, K. V.1995.’Teacher Perceptions Across Cultures: The Impact of Students on
Teacher Enthusiasm and Discouragement in a Cross-Cultural Context’ in The Alberta
Journal of Educational Research. Vol 41/2.
Tijani, M.1987. Does Inspecting Teachers make a Difference? Paper submitted at the
University of Lancaster.
Wallace, M. J.1991. Training Foreign Language Teachers: A Reflective Approach.
Cambridge University Press
Wong, Y. S.1993. Communicative Language Teaching in Hong Kong. MA dissertation.
CELTR: University of Warwick.
Yousfi, A.1989. For a Positive and Constructive One-To-One Oral Feedback. CFIE, Rabat.

35
LANGUAGE LEARNING ACTIVITIES : DESIGN & ANALYSIS
M’barek Ahellal
ENS Rabat

OBJECTIVES :
The participants will be able to
1. Identify various learning activities.
2. Relate the activities to given goals.
3. Produce a checklist for selecting and designing classroom activities.

TASK 1: (pair/group work followed by general discussion)


Match the learning activities with their definitions providing a suitable
example for each activity. The first one has been done for you.

_b_1. Presentation activities ___6. Feedback activities


___2. Practice activities ___7. Assessment activities
___3. Memorisation activities ___8. Affective activities
___4. comprehension activities ___9. Strategy activities
___5. Application activities

Definitions :
a. Tasks which require learners to use in a creative way knowledge or skills that have been
previously presented and practiced.
b. Tasks in which new learning material is introduced for the first time.
c. Tasks that develop particular learning tactics and approaches to
learning.
d. Tasks that enable the teacher or learner to evaluate the extent to
which the goals of an activity or lesson have been successfully
accomplished.
e. Tasks that are used to give information about learning or about
aspects of performance on the activity.
f. Tasks that involve retention of information or learning material.
g. Tasks which have no specific language learning goal but are
included to improve the motivational climate of the classroom and
to develop the students’ interest, confidence, and positive attitudes
towards learning.
h. Tasks that require students to develop or demonstrate their
understanding of written or spoken texts.
i. Tasks which involve performance or learning of an item that has
been previously presented.
TASK 2: (group work followed by reports)
The following activities are commonly used in language classrooms. What
kind of activities are they according to the classification in Task 1

• Songs
• Reading aloud
• Debate
• Brainstorming
• Dictation

36
• Cloze passage
• Dialogue Reading
• Dictionary training
• Nory activities
• Problems solving

TASK 3 : (group work followed by reports)


(i) discuss and comment on the following two objectives and
their respective learning activities.
(ii) Suggest other activities to achieve the objectives.

Objective 1 : To develop fluency in reading and to develop good reading habits, including
reading for main ideas and keeping the purpose of the passage in mind while
reading.
Learning activity :Students read a passage aloud in front of the class.

Objective 2 : To develop fluency in writing and to develop the students’ ability to use
drafting and revision skills when writing.
Learning activity: Using discourse clues, the students unscramble a list of sentences to write
a coherent paragraph.

TASK 4 : (group work followed by general discussion)


In selecting and designing classroom activities to accomplish specific
objectives, a number of issues related to the 11 dimensions listed below
should be resolved. What questions could be asked to highlight these
dimensions? The first one has been done for you.

1. PURPOSE : How will the purposes of an activity be communicated to the pupils ?

2. PROCEDURE : ………………………………………………………………………...

3. SEQUENCING : …………………………………………………………………... ……

4. COMPLEXITY : ………………………………………………………………………...

5. RESOURCES : …………………………………………………………………………

6. GROUPI NG : ……………………………………………………………………….. ..

7. STRATEGIES : ………………………………………………………………………….

8. LANGUAGE : ………………………………………………………………………….

9. TIMING : ……………………………………………………………………….....

10. OUTCOMES : …………………………………………………………………………..

11.ASSESSMENT : …………………………………………………………………………

37
TASK 5 : (general discussion)
Look back at the four tasks you performed :
What kind of activities were you involved in?
Have the objectives of the workshop been achieved?

Acknowledgement : This workshop has been inspired by and adapted from Richards, J.C. and Lockhart, C.
1994. Reflective Teaching in Second Language Classrooms. Cambridge University Press.

NOTES FOR THE TRAINER

1. The following questions (taken from Richards and Lockhart 1994 : pp 167-172) relate
to task 4. You might find it appropriate to give the list in a scrambled order to the
participants and ask them to match the questions with the categories given.

PURPOSE How will the purposes of an activity be communicated to the pupils ?

PROCEDURE What procedures will students use in completing an activity?

How will the activity be sequenced in relation to other activities within


SEQUENCING the same lesson ?

COMPLEXITY What kind of demands does the activity make on learners ?

RESOURCES What resources will be required?

GROUPI NG What grouping arrangement will be used?

STRATEGIES Should a particular learning strategy be used in carrying out an activity?

LANGUAGE What language or language learning focus should the activity have?

TIMING How much time should students spend on the activity?

OUTCOMES What will the outcome of the activity be?

ASSESSMENT What kind of demands does the activity make on learners?

38
2. The participants may be asked to use the checklist to analyze a lesson/unit from a
textbook they are using.

39
RECONSIDERING THE LESSON PLAN:
A THEME-BASED APPROACH
Noureddine BENDOUQI
Delegation of Taounate

OBJECTIVES:

The participants will be able to


1. Discuss the importance of long term planning as opposed to planning for the day.
2. Define the elements they should take into account to prepare a unit of work.
3. Reflect on the steps and procedures of planning a unit of work.
4. Discuss the different sections of a lesson plan.
5. Devise a reflective unit of work based on a unit from Highway.

TASK 1: (pair work followed by whole group discussion)


Consider the quotes below from Richards and Lockhart (1994).
Which position would you adhere to? why?

Some teachers make significant use of published textbooks and ‘teach to the
book’, letting the textbook make many of their instructional decisions.

..... Others regard textbooks as a hindrance to their creativity and prefer to make
more use of authentic materials or teacher-generated materials.

Relying too much on the textbook, teachers may consequently become ‘deskilled’
through their over dependence on materials. That is, their input to the
instructional program gradually becomes limited to making decisions about
presentation, timing and the orchestration of practice activities.

TASK 2 : (pair work followed by whole group discussion)


Consider the quotes below from Nunan and Lamb (1996).
What issues do they raise ?

The potential success or relative failure of a lesson will often be determined by


the amount of planning and preparation the teacher is able to devote to the lesson,
class or unit of work, and the extent to which the preparation of lessons and units
of work is tied in to teacher’s overall pedagogical goals.

....... in planning their programs, teachers gave greatest prominence to the needs,
interests and abilities of their students, followed by subject matter, goals and
teaching methods.

Pre-teaching planning decisions play an important part in creating the patterns and
fibers that give texture to a course.

TASK 3 : (pair/group work followed by reports)


Before planning a Unit of work, a reflective teacher needs to think of many
variables. Read the list below and add other variables that you think should
be considered.

40
1. Variety: variety in techniques keeps the lesson lively and interesting
2. Gauging difficulty: think of giving an example or solicit an example of a subtask
within a technique.
3. Individual differences: think of these well below or well above the classroom norm
4. Managing student talk and teacher talk: keep the balance between the two and
promote student initiation.
5. Adapting to an established curriculum: The class hour must contribute to the goals
that the curriculum is designed to pursue or rather the syllabus in the textbook.
6. .....................................................................................................................................
7. .....................................................................................................................................
8. ………………………………………………………………………………..................
9. …etc …………………………………………………………………………………….

TASK 3: (pair/group work followed by discussion)


The following steps for designing a plan for a unit of work are inspired from functional
approaches to language teaching; reflect on them and put them in the order you think is right

___ a. Choose theme or area of interest


___ b. Plan a final task or tasks (to be done at the end of the unit)
___ c. Determine Unit Objectives (social, affective, cognitive ……...)
___ d. Specify contents (all content types: thematic, linguistic …....)
___ e. Specify aspects of strategic competence (aspects of the learner-training
syllabus)
___ f. Plan the process: Tasks for day 1, day 2, day 3, …….. leading to the final
task(s)
___ g. Plan instruments and procedure for evaluation.

TASK 4: (pair/group work followed by general discussion)


Suggested by an experienced teacher, the following are steps to observe when
designing a lesson plan. Do you think she is right?
1. State the enabling objectives: identify those objectives you will attempt to accomplish
by the end of the class period. Objectives should be explicitly stated because, among
other things
- They preserve the unity of the lesson
- They control the pace of your lesson
- They help you evaluate students’ success at the end of or after the lesson
2. List your materials and equipment.
3. Think of the Opening of the lesson (warm up, Review work,...etc).
4. Think of Sequencing the activities.
5. Think of the Pacing of the lesson (how much time to be spent on every activity and
why).
6. Think of the Closure of the lesson and the ties with the coming lesson within the same
unit.

TASK 5: (group work followed by reports)


Based on the knowledge of your students, on the guidelines in the T.B, on the
checklist at hand, and on the previous discussion, devise a reflective unit of
work related to a text of your choice. The text on pages 28-29 from Highway 2
could be exploited for this purpose.

41
READINGS:
Richards ,J.C. and Lockhart, C. 1994. Reflective Teaching in Second Language Classrooms.
Cambridge: Cambridge university Press
Nunan, D. and Lamb, C. 1996. The Self-directed Teacher: Managing the Learning Process.
Cambridge: Cambridge university Press

42
PROCESS WRITING
Omar Marzouki
Delegation of Kenitra

OBJECTIVES :
The participants will be able to
1. define and discuss the characteristics of process writing.
2. Discuss various models of the process approach to writing.
3. design writing activities applying the principles discussed.

TASK 1: (individual work followed by pair/group discussion)


Indicate the extent to which you agree or disagree with the statements below.
Tick the appropriate box, then compare and discuss your answers.

1 = agree strongly
2 = agree
3 = not sure
4 = disagree
5 = disagree strongly

1 2 3 4 5
1. Students learn to write
effectively by imitating
model texts written by
competent writers.
2. All writing is directed
towards an audience, i.e.
reader.

3. Text does not spring full-


formed from the brain and
pen of the writer but is
shaped through mental and
social processes.

4. A student’s paper should


not be graded until it has
undergone at least two drafts.

5. The best writers are ones


who edit and rewrite most.

6. Teacher’s intervention at
various points in the process
of writing encourages more
interaction between the writer
and the reader.

43
7. When writing the first draft
students should not expect
perfection.

8. Application of the process-


focused activities will yield
immediate and miraculous
changes in writing
performances

9. Students will learn nothing


valuable from looking
critically at the writing of
their peers.
10. Prewriting activities can
help students discover both
what they want to say and
how to say it on paper.

11. Writing is a non-linear


recursive and generative
process that involves several
stages.

12. Revising and rewriting


are merely error checking
exercises.

13. Students should be


encouraged to assess their
own writing to determine
what they need to do to meet
the writing expectations.

TASK 2: (pair/group work followed by reports)


In the light of your discussion in TASK 1, list some principal features
characterizing the process approach to writing.

1. The approach view writing as a non-linear recursive process that involves several
stages.
2. …………………………………………………………………………………………..
3. …………………………………………………………………………………………..
4. …………………………………………………………………………………………..
5. …………………………………………………………………………………………..
6. …………………………………………………………………………………………..
7. ……... …………………………………………………………………………………..
8. ……………………………………………………………………………………etc….

44
TASK 3: (group work followed by reports)
Look carefully and critically at the 5 models below and, taking into account
your own conception of writing as well your working conditions, design a
workable model for Moroccan secondary school.
Decide which activities/steps should be carried out in class and which should be left
for outside class work.

1. White and Arndt’s model:

Drafting

Structuring re-viewing Focusing

Generating ideas evaluating

Discussion (class, small group, pair)


Brainstorming/making notes/asking questions
Fast writing/selecting ideas/establishing a viewpoint
Rough draft
Preliminary self-evaluation
Arranging information/structuring the text
First draft
Group/peer evaluation and responding
Conference
Second draft
Self-evaluation/editing/proof-reading
Finished draft

45
2. Singh’s model:

Focus Function Activities


1st stage : Planning
1. Input motivation and starter generating ideas through
for the writing Task brainstorming, discussion
research, making notes
on handouts
2. Types of writing, definition of writing goals surveying possibilities
purpose and subject and constraints
3. Writing strategy mapping out an approach deciding on ways of
handling the task
a) organization selection of text deciding on overall
structure presentation and
logical ordering
b) information selection of a text narrowing down content
content and choosing appropriate
information to suit aims
and ideas developed so far
2nd Stage: DRAFTING
1. text evolved so far recall of what has been re-reading the text
written
2. Coherence of ideas, assessment of how well locating and examining
organization, the text “hangs together” problems; changing,
argumentation content deleting, and/or adding
3rd Stage: REVISING
1. Cohesion, syntax general improvement of checking, changing,
and vocabulary the text deleting, and/or adding
to these surface features
of the text
2. Spelling correction of mistakes noting mistakes and
punctuation eliminating them
3. Purpose, re-assessment of estimating effect on the
argumentation effectiveness of reader and the
the text effectiveness of the text
for the intended purpose
rewriting if necessary

46
4. Keh’s model:

1 - 1 ½ sessions INPUT
generating ideas

(outside class)
WRITE
FIRST DRAFT

(focus on
PEER content only)
EVALUATION
(dicto-comp)

WRITE (outside class)


SECOND DRAFT

(teacher collects
WRITING second drafts and
WORKSHOP looks at content and
grammar separately)

STUDENT-
TEACHER
SESSIONS
(remedial
grammar)

(outside class)
FINAL DRAFT

5. The Moroccan TEFL Guidelines model:

Getting ideas together Planning and outlining Making notes


making a first draft Revising, preplanning and redrafting Editing

47
TASK 4: (pair/group work followed by reports)
You want your students to write a letter of apology; do the tasks below and be ready
to report to the whole group.

1. Formulate the topic in such a way as to make your students aware of the
purpose and the target audience.
2. Design a prewriting activity to help your students generate ideas (oral
group brainstorming, fast writing, clustering, silent reading, looping, use
of questions, making un/structured notes, use of pictures …etc)
3. Design a content evaluation checklist to help you respond to your
students’ first draft.
4. Discuss the advantages and limitations of peer-evaluation.
5. Use the checklist below to formulate a set of guidelines to focus your
students’ attention when evaluating their own or their peers’ writing.

Checklist
(a) Type of writing:
• What type of writing is this text intended to be?
• Does it conform to the conventions usually expected of its type?

(b) Purpose and ideas:


• Is the writers purpose clear?
• Do we understand the main idea(s)?

(c) Structure of text:


• Is it easy to follows the development of ideas/argument?
• Would it help to rearrange the sequence of ideas?
• Do the relations between the ideas need to be changed?
• Do the connections between the ideas need to be made more explicit?
• Are the ideas grouped together in a suitable way?
• Is the text segmented into appropriate paragraphs?
• Should any of the paragraphs be joined together?
• Should any of the paragraphs be broken down into smaller units?

(d) Response as readers:


• Does the opening make us want to read on?
• Do we feel satisfied with the way the text comes to an end?
• Are there any points which are not necessary?
• Are there any points which we don’t understand?
• Are there any points on which we would like more information?

(From White and Arndt 1991)

48
6. Discuss the advantages and limitations of self-editing and peer-editing.
7 .Having the topic in question in mind, devise a set of guidelines highlighting
the editing points you want your students to consider before writing their
final versions

READINGS:

Charles, M. 1990. ‘Responding to problems in written English using a student self


monitoring technique.’ ELT Journal. Vol. 44/4.
Clarke, D. and D. Walker 1980. ‘Speedwriting: a technique for improving writing fluency.’
English Teaching Forum.
Hamp-Lyons, L. 1994. ‘Interweaving assessment and instruction in college ESL writing
classes.’ College ESL. Vol. 4/1.
Hyland, K. 1990. ‘Providing productive feedback.’ ELT Journal. Vol. 44/4.
Jacobs, G. 1986. ‘Quickwriting: a technique for invention in writing.’ ELT Journal. Vol. 40/4.
Keh, C. L. 1990. ‘A design for a process-approach writing course.’ in English Teaching
Forum. Vol 28/1.
Knepler, M. 1984. ‘Impromptu writing to increase fluency.’ TESOL Newsletter. Vol. 18/1.
Lees, E. O. 1979. ‘Evaluating student writing’ in Tate, G. and Eward, P. J. (eds) The Writing
Teacher’s Sourcebook. Corbett, New York: Oxford University Press.
Leki, I. 1990. ‘Coaching from the margins: Issues in written response’ in Kroll, B. (ed)
Second Language Writing: Research Insights for the Classroom. Cambridge: Cambridge
University Press.
Leki, I. 1991. ‘Teaching second language writing: Where we seem to be.’ English Teaching
Forum. Vol. 29/2.
Mittan, R. 1989. ‘The peer review process: Harnessing students’ communicative power’ in
Johnson, D. and Duan, H.R. (eds) Richness in Writing. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Oluwadiya, A. 1992. ‘Some prewriting techniques for student writers.’ English Teaching
Forum.
Raimes, A. 1983. Techniques in Teaching Writing. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Rico, G.L. 1986. ‘Clustering: A prewriting process’ in Booth, C (ed) Practical Ideas for
Teaching Writing as a Process. California State Department of Education.
Singh, M. 1992. ‘A student’s guide to process writing.’ English Teaching Forum. Vol 30/2.
Sommers, N. 1982. ‘responding to student writing.’ College Composition and
Communication. Vol. 33/2
White, R. and Arndt, V. 1991. Process Writing. London: Longman.
Zamel, V. 1985. ‘Responding to student writing.’ TESOL Quarterly. Vol. 19/1.

49
USING DIALOGUE JOURNALS TO PROMOTE WRITING
M’barek Ahellal
ENS Rabat

OBJECTIVES :
The participants will be able to :
1.Discuss writing sub skills
2.Relate creative/real – life writing to writing in the classroom
3.Discuss dialogue journals as an effective way of developing writing skills

TASK 1 : (pair/group work followed by general discussion)


Read the following quotes and discuss their implications for the teaching of
writing in the classroom.

1. I think best with a pencil in my hand. (Ann Morrow Lindberg)

2. I am never as a clear about a matter as when I am just finished writing about it.
(James Van Allen)

3. Writing is a form of therapy. (Roald Dahl)

4. Learning to write well takes time and much effort, but it can be done. (Margaret Mead)

5. Writing is building sand castles. (a student)

6. I believe in miracles in every area of life except writing. Experience has shown that there
are no miracles in writing. The only that produces good writing is hard work.
(Isaac Bashevis Singer)

7. You have to work problems out for yourself on paper. Put the stuff down and read it – to
see if it works. (Joyce Cary)

8. Occasionally you can hit it right the first time. More often you don’t. (John Don Passos)

9. My first draft usually has only a few elements worth keeping. I have to find what these are
and build from them and throw out what doesn’t work. (Susan Sontag)

10. I rewrote the ending of Farewell to Arms, the last page of it, thirty times before I was
satisfied. (Ernest Hemingway)

11. Writing is rewriting. (Donald Murray)

12. For excellence, the presence of others is always required. (Hannah Arendt)

50
TASK 2 : (individual/pair work followed by discussion)
Read the following entry from a student’s journal and write a suitable
response to the problem in the space provided. Then compare your responses.
October 27 th, 2001
I went to bed at 9 :00 pm yesterday. I slept soundly for sometimes but I woke up at
about midnight and could not go back to sleep. I tried all the postures possible but
there was no way I could sleep again. In the morning I felt so tired and weak after the
sleepless night that I could not go to work. It is not the first time this happens, and
every time I am in a bad temper in the morning and too weak to go to work. What
should I do?

TASK 3 : (general discussion)


If you decided to introduce dialogue journals with your students, what level
would you do it with ?
What mistakes would your students be likely to make ?
How would you deal with these mistakes ?

TASK 4 : (pair/group work followed by discussion)


Read the following student’s journal entry and the teacher’s response, then
answer the questions below.

November 10th, 2000


Today I had some problems with my mother. I was very upset that I played sports for
two hours in order to take it easy, than I went to my friend’s house, there we enjoyed
ourselves, we listened to the music and we watched TV. It was very great and I could
forget for moments my problems.

Teacher’s response :
That’s a good way of calming down. There is nothing better than practising sport or
listening to music when you are in a bad mood. However, it might be a good idea to
talk the problems over with your mother. It is true that sometimes one is so upset that
communication becomes impossible, but it is never too late to discuss your problems
when you feel ready to do so.

51
QUESTIONS :
1. Is the teacher’s response focused on meaning or on language ?
2. Are there any mistakes in the student’s journal entry ?
3. How are these mistakes dealt with ?
4. What are the benefits and/or drawbacks of such exercise?

TASK 5 : (pair work followed by discussion in groups)


Read the following entry from a student’s journal and write an appropriate
response. In your response, focus on meaning without neglecting language.

November 20, 1998


There is nothing to tell you about this days, but if you don’t mind I like to ask you a
question. I’ like to have an idea about my english, my pronunciation and what I
must do for having a good English. Here in Kenitra, we don’t find books and
newspapers in english, so we can’t read, please teacher would you mind telling me
what should I do ?
There is another thing that I want to understand is that : when the teacher ask a
question, I know the answer but I can’t tell it, why ? I don’t know. And this stupid
fault make my participation in class not very well. So what I my going to do?
That’s all teacher and thank you very much
Your student Leila Daoudi

52
NOTES FOR THE TEACHER

1. As a starter the participants could brainstorm the question : " Why should we teach
writing ?” Raimes provides the following answers :
• Writing reinforces the grammatical structures, idioms, and vocabulary that has
been taught.
• It gives the students the chance to be adventurous with the language, to take
risks.
• It enables the students to become very involved with the new language; the effort
to express ideas and the constant use of eye, hand, and brain is a unique way to
reinforce learning.
(Raimes 1983:3)

2. The following procedure has proven very efficient to introduce dialogue journals to
the students :
a. Make students read a journal entry to discuss and introduce the idea
of journal writing.
b. Ask the students to write a response to the entry and then compare
their responses. They should be reminded that the focus should be on
the message.
c. Show them your own response and hint to how mistakes have been
dealt with.
d. Ask the students to write a journal entry of their own.
e. Make them exchange their entries and respond to each other.
f. Ask them to keep a journal that you would react to on a regular basis.
The frequency of your responses can be negotiated with the students.

3. Always keep in mind that the focus is communication. Any correction of the form
should be made indirectly in your responses. However you may find it appropriate to
do some systematic remedial work in order to deal with a given recurrent language
problem.

4. Some of your students may be more motivated than others; keep responding to their
writing even if the others give up. It has been noticed that the latter resume writing
when they see that other students are taking it seriously. Also, be flexible as far as the
frequency of writing is concerned; some students may just be unable to think of
something worth writing about. Showing enthusiasm and readiness to cooperate
motivates the students.

5. Rules should be stated in the beginning as to which topics should be avoided and
which ones may be addressed. Some students, for example, would tend to “talk” about
other teachers. There are limits not to go beyond and the students should be made
aware of the ethics that govern relationships between fellow teachers.

READINGS:
Axelrod, R.B. and Cooper, C.R. 1993. The Concise Guide to Writing. New York: St.
Martin’s Press.
Raimes, A. 1983. Techniques in Teaching Writing. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

53
DESIGNING AND EVALUATING WRITING TEST TASKS
Mohammed Monadi
ENS Rabat

OBJECTIVES :
The participants will be able to
1. Discuss the main criteria related to the design and evaluation of writing test tasks.
2. Discuss these criteria in relation to reliability, validity, and practicality concerns.
3. Evaluate and improve hypothetical writing test activities, taking into account their
own testing context.

TASK 1: (pair / group work)


Provide your own definition of what you think writing or composition is.

TASK 2: (pair / group work followed by general discussion)


Read the definition below and compare it with your suggestion :

“writing is a process of communication which uses a conventional graphic


system to convey a message to a reader”. (Lindemann 1982 : 11)

TASK 3: (pair / group work followed by general discussion)


In designing writing test tasks, a number of important criteria should be
considered. Match each criteria with its corresponding definition on the next
page.

___ 1) Realism

___ 2) Appropriatenesss

___ 3) Clarity

___ 4) Familiarity

___ 5) Feasibility

___ 6) Consistency

___ 7) Fairness

54
DEFINITIONS :

a. refers to a topic which is writable and readable


b. refers to a task which provides an adequate and representative sample of a
writer’s ability, and which will allow readers to score the compositions reliably.
c. refers to the adequacy of a task in (i) mirroring the kinds of composition tasks
that testees must normally perform in class or in the real world, (ii) requiring the
examinees to compose and communicate their ideas to someone using
appropriate modes, genres, and functions of discourse.
d. refers to a task which allows adequate time for task completion; presents a
reasonable degree of difficulty; provides a writing topic broad enough to be
approached by all testees from various angles; provides a topic free of hidden
elements of bias.
e. refers to a task in which the topic, the instructions, and the amount of time for
task completion are stated unambiguously.
f. refers to a task which provides a topic that will relate to testees personally- to
their own country, academic interests, or cultural background.
g. refers to the adequacy of a particular topic to the testees age, educational levels,
interest, socio-cultural background, and sex.

TASK 4: (pair / group work followed by general discussion)


Which of the above criteria, if violated, may cause serious threats to
reliability, validity, practicality, or a combination of some of them ?

TASK 5: ( pair / group work followed by reports)


Which of the criteria discussed in tasks 3 and 4 above do you find useful and
relevant to the writing test purposes and types you usually devise in your own
context ?

TASK 6: (pair / group work followed by reports)


The following writing test tasks are hypothetical. Based on the criteria you
agreed upon in task 5, (i) evaluate the two tasks and (ii) rewrite them so as to
conform to the characteristics of what a “good” writing test task requires.

TEST TASK ONE:


Write a conversation between you and your father.

TEST TASK TWO:


Write a composition telling about how you celebrated the latest New Year’s Eve.

55
NOTES FOR THE TRAINER

I. Suggested answer for task 1:


Bracy (1971) makes the distinction between “writing” and “composition”. Whereas “writing”
involves controlled sentence exercises in paragraph disguise, “composition” tasks focus on
generation of ideas and their organization. On the other hand, Heaton (1975) distinguishes
between “composition” and “essay” writing. “composition” is, by definition, a communicative
task which frequently takes the form of letters, reports, extracts from diaries etc…, whereas
essay writing demands “creativity” and “originality” and it is generally intended not only to
inform but to entertain as well.

II. key for Task 3:


1=c 2=g 3=e 4=f 5=a 6=b 7=d

III. Suggested answers for task 4


1. Realism
• “Syllabus mismatch”: A test lacks face or content validity when it fails to
measure adequately either instructional objectives or course content by
reference to vocabulary, structures, and skills actually taught (Henning, 1982).
Concerning testing composition, Harris (1969: 69) notes that “composition
tests motivate students to improve their writing; conversely, if examinations
do not require writing, many student will neglect the development of this skill ;
hence, negative “backwash” effects.
• “Mixed content”: “A test is valid only to the extent that it actually measures the
content or ability it purports to measure” (Henning, Ibid: 35). Since
composition is, by definition, a communicative task, there is threat to construct
validity when no distinction is made between “interactive composition tasks”
(or “authentic”/ “communicative” tasks and “relatively interactive composition
tasks” (or “semi- authentic”/ “pseudo-communicative” tasks) when interpreting
test scores, for “any test … may be valid for some purposes, but not for
others”. (Henning, 1987 ; Cited in Alderson et al. 1995: 170).

2. Appropriateness
Test takers’ characteristics”: threat to test validity since systematic factors such
as: age, sex, cognitive style, educational background, socio-cultural
background etc… are not generally associated with language ability ; they are
considered a source of measurement error (Bachman, 1990). Other personal
attributes such as: personal motivation, fatigue, illness, mental alertness are
unsystematic or random factors which constitute another source of error. These
factors vary with testing conditions, and therefore, they affect test reliability
rather than validity.

3. Clarity
• “Wrong medium”: threat to construct validity when tests “require extensive
skills in a response medium other than that which is being tested (Henning,
1982: 35). A composition topic which imposes a heavy reading burden on
students will not be understood, and therefore, their responses will be invalid.

56
• “Inadequate instructions”: instructions which are not clear or which are not
typed neatly will impair the practicality of the test in terms of ease of
administration.

4. Familiarity
“lack of topical knowledge”: threat to test validity when students do not know
much about the topic since, as Oller (1979b) explains, “an unmotivated
communicator is a notoriously poor source of information” (Cited in Alderson
et al. 1981:14).

5. Feasibility
“Workability of the task”: threat to validity when the writer (or testee) cannot
compose a coherent composition due to the complexity of the topic and when
the reader (or tester) finds the topic so intricate that it is difficult for him/her to
write a good model composition in response to the topic.
Also, feasibility is related to the level of difficulty of the task and the time
allotted for its completion. A very difficult task + inappropriate timing will
obviously affect test reliability. A test which is too easy or too difficult will
yield a restricted range of scores or very little variance ; i.e., inter-individual
score variance (Bachman, 1990).
To make sure that a task is workable and realistic (or practical) within the time
limits set for the test, a teacher can write a model composition or at least have
it fully planned so as to check the feasibility of the writing test task since
pretesting a topic on a student population similar to the target group is practical
mainly for large-scale testing.

6. Consistency
• “writer consistency”: threat to test reliability because students perform
differently on different topics and on different occasions.
To increase test reliability, Harris (1969) suggests that two or more
compositions will prove to be more reliable than a single sample (sampling
adequacy). Also, he adds, allowing no choice of topics will increase reader
consistency since all the students will “have undertaken equivalent tasks”
(choice of topics).
• “Reader consistency”: threat to scorer or rater reliability since scoring
composition is highly subjective.
To increase rater consistency in a classroom, a rating scheme or grid might
yield more stable scores than a system based on absolute notions or standards
(Harris, 1969). Hence, reliability will not be sacrificed to achieve a high degree
of validity when the scorer considers the main components of a composition to
judge the testee’s overall communicative effect (holistic scoring).

7. Fairness
• “Test difficulty” and “Timing allotted”: threat to reliability if reasonable
expectations about the amount of time for the test are not set and if the writing
task is made too easy or too difficult for most of the students of varying
proficiency levels.
• “Test bias”: threat to test validity when favoring certain students as regards sex
differences or specialized field of study, for instance. Also validity may be
threatened when the scope of the topic is so narrow that examinees, especially

57
those who belong to diverse cultural and educational backgrounds, may not be
able to write about some aspects of it.
It is noteworthy to mention that personal attributes such as age, sex, cultural
background, educational background etc… may be a potential source of test
bias or test invalidity if they are not a priori considered part of the ability being
measured because a task or a topic will be biased in favor of some students and
against others. Therefore, the test scores obtained may indicate “systematic
differences in test performance that are the result of differences in individual
characteristics, other than the ability being tested, of test takers” (Bachman,
1990: 271).

IV. In compliance with the principle of the “relative value” of test qualities, Jacobs et al.
(1981) note that classroom testing must demonstrate only some levels of reliability and
validity as compared to large-scale testing where strong test qualities are required. By
combining assessments, a teacher can reduce the effects of unreliability and can achieve a
reasonable degree of validity if the instructional value of tests is promoted. Concerning
practicality, administrative and scoring problems might prove to be less serious as well since
it is assumed that the teacher is familiar both with the students and the testing context where
s/he functions. Therefore, it is up to the teacher to determine or decide how to balance the
demands of reliability, validity, and practicality, taking into account the “test’s purpose and
the consequences for individuals” (Alderson et al., 1995: 187).

V. In testing composition in a classroom context, Jacobs et al. (Ibid.: 10) list a number of
purposes for assessing writing ability ; namely: “to diagnose learners’ needs, measure
growth at the end of an instructional sequence, provide feedback to focus the learning efforts
of student - writers, and to evaluate the efficacy of certain teaching methods or techniques”.
In addition, composition tests also enable teachers to assign grades to students for promotion
purposes.

READINGS
Alderson, J.C. clapham, D. Wall. 1995. Language Test Construction and Evaluation.
Cambridge: Cambridge university Press.
Bachman, L.F. 1990. Fundamental Consideration in Language Testing. New York: Oxford
University Press.
Bracy, M. 1971. ‘controlled writing vs. Free Composition.’ TESOL Quarterly 5,3: 239 - 246.
Harris, D.P. 1969. Testing English as a second language. New York: McGraw - Hill.
Heaton, G.B. 1975. Writing English Language tests. London: Longman.
Henning, G. 1982. ‘Twenty common Testing Mistakes for EFL Teachers to Avoid.’ English
Teaching Forum. Vol 20/3.
Jacobs, H.L., Zinkgraf, S.A. Wormouth, D.R. Hart field, VH and Hughey. J.B. 1981. Testing
ESL composition : A Practical Approach. Rowley, Mass: Newbury House.
Lindemann, E. 1982. A Rhetoric for Writing Teachers. New York: Oxford university Press.

58
QUESTIONING IN A READING COMPREHENSION LESSON
Omar Marzouki
Delegation of Kenitra

OBJECTIVES:
The participants will be able to
1. Discuss different ways of questioning in a reading comprehension lesson.
2. Categorize different types of reading comprehension questions.
3. Write a checklist to assess reading comprehension questions.

TASK 1: (pair/group work followed by discussion)


Discuss the statements below. Which statements do you agree/disagree with?

1. Questioning in a reading lesson is essentially an attempt to test comprehension.


2. In order to check comprehension appropriately the teacher should ask students not to
look at their texts when answering questions.
3. A perfect answer to a question teaches nothing, but each wrong answer is an
opportunity for learning.
4. When dealing with comprehension questions the teacher should accept only the first
correct answer and move on to the next question.
5. Written questions should always be answered in writing.
6. Questions of literal comprehension are essential preliminaries to any serious work on
the text.
7. The teacher’s evaluation of the students’ answers should focus more on the form.
8. Teachers should refrain from evaluating the students’ product until several students
have given their answers.

TASK 2: (group work followed by reports)


Discuss the questions you usually ask in a reading comprehension lesson. Can
you group them by type in a systematic arrangement?

TASK 3: (group discussion)


►Read the following taxonomy of comprehension questions suggested by Johnson
(1978). How does it compare to the categories you came up with in task 2 ?

CATEGORY DEFINITION

Textually-explicit questions low-order level, for factual/literal


comprehension: “reading the lines”.

Textually-implicit questions middle-order level, for inference:


“reading between the lines”.

Scriptually-implicit questions high-order level, for the application of one’s


knowledge about the world:
“reading beyond the lines”.

59
►The quest►The questions below are from Lesson 20 in EIL2, what
categories do they
belong to? Tick the appropriate box, then discuss your answers.
TEQ = Textually-explicit questions
TIQ = Textually-implicit questions
SIQ = Scriptually-implicit questions

TEQ TIQ SIQ


QUESTIONS

1. What are Laura’s two problems?

2. When does Laura want to give her father a present?

3. What does she want to give him? Why?

4. Do people often give pets as presents in Morocco?

5. What do you think of Laura’s plan?

6. What do you think would be best?

7. Why can’t she ask her father?

8. Why must she borrow money?

9. Why not from her mother?

10. Who do you think she would borrow from?


11. What does “you” in line 17 refer to?

TASK 4: (pair work followed by discussion)


Read the text on page 241 in EIL2 and design questions to illustrate the three
categories of the taxonomy. Write at least 2 questions for each category.

TEQ

TIQ

SIQ

60
TASK 5: (pair/group work followed by discussion)

►Write a checklist to take into account when assessing reading comprehension


questions

►Compare your checklist with the following assessing questions. What questions
from your checklist would you add to the list?

(a) Can the questions be answered without reading the text?


The answer should be no!
It is quite surprising how often it turns out to be yes, especially when MC
questions are concerned.
(b) Are there several questions on every part of the text?
This is not a principle to be maintained at all costs, but it is unusual to find a part of a
text that is not worth any attention. Some textbooks seem to have a ration of
questions for each text and this may result in patchy coverage, if one part demands a
lot of questions at the expense of others.
(c) Are there enough questions?
Textbooks rarely supply anything like enough questions; many of the extra ones
should be presented orally and geared to the difficulties that arise in the classroom.
(d) Are the questions varied in type?
(e) Do some questions specifically try to make students aware of the strategies a
reader needs?
(f) Do the questions attempt to help the students to understand?
Or have they been written only as tests?
(g) Are they written in language that is more difficult than the text?
We hope for the answer no.
(h) Do the answers require language that is too difficult for the students to
handle?
Again, we hope for no.
(Nuttal 1982: 134)

READINGS:
Dutta S.K. 1994. ‘Predicting as a pre-reading activity.’ English Teaching Forum. Vol. 32/1.
Ezzaki, A. 1986 ‘Questioning in language education’ in the Proceedings of the XIth MATE
Annual Conference.
Kissok,C and Iyortsuun, P. 1982. A Guide to Questioning: Classroom Procedures for
Teachers. London: The Macmillan Press.
Konaré, B. 1994. ‘Reading comprehension in large classes.’ English Teaching Forum. Vol.
32/4.
Nuttal, C. 1982. Teaching Reading Skills in a Foreign Language. London: Heinmann
Educational Books.
Silberstein, S. 1987. ‘Let’s take another look at reading: Twenty-five years of reading
instruction.’ English Teaching Forum. Vol. 25/4.
Tollefson, J.W. 1989. ‘A system for Improving teachers’ questions.’ English Teaching
Forum. Vol. 27/1.

61
TESTING READING COMPREHENSION :
FOCUS ON INFERENCE QUESTIONS
Ali Bouddouch
Academy of Kenitra

OBJECTIVES :
The participants will be able to
1. Discuss how reading texts could be selected and adapted for testing purposes.
2. Discuss comprehension question formats.
3. List reading subskills that are usually tested.
4. Discuss and analyse the ability to infer.

TASK 1: (group work followed by general discussion)


Below is a list of parameter that should be considered to choose a reading text
for testing purposes. Define each variable highlighting its implications for the
design of a good writing test.

Genre

Topic

Structure

Length

Organization

Exploitation

62
TASK 2 : (group work followed by reports)
In the light of your discussion of task 1, list types of texts that should be
avoided when designing a reading test?

TASK 3 : (group work followed by reports)


When adapting and rewriting a text, what considerations should be taken in
relation to the items listed below?

Content

Length

Organization

Vocabulary

Structures

TASK 4 : (group work followed by reports)


When designing comprehension question items, what considerations should
be taken into account ?

TASK 5 : (group wrk followed by reports)


Listed below are 4 "macro skills" directly related to a course objectives; list
"micro skills" that underlie them. One has been done for you.

Macro skills :
1. Scanning text to locate specific information.
2. Skimming text to obtain the gist.
3. Identifying stages of an argument.
4. Identifying examples presented in support of an argument.

Micro-skills :
• Identifying referents of pronouns.
• ……………………………………….
• ……………………………………….
• ……………………………………….
• ……………………………………….
• ……………………………………….

TASK 6 : (individual then group work followed by reports)

63
Read the taxonomy of inferences proposed by Chicalanga (1991) and use it
to identify the comprehension questions about the text below.

According to Chicalanga (1991), there are three main inference categories :


1. A propositional inference : made when the reader uses explicit statements in
the text to come to a conclusion that is not explicitly stated, without recourse
to knowledge from outside the text. There are two kinds of propositional
inferences: informational and explanatory.
►Informational inferences are either referencial (typically answering
questions beginning with what and which), or spatio-temporal (typically
answering questions with where and when).
►Explanatory inferences are concerned with motivation, cause and
consequences, and enablment, and will often answer questions beginning with
why and how.
2. Pragmatic inferences are those in which the reader must make use of the text
but also of his/her own knowledge of the world and sometimes of his/her
opinions. Such inferences are of three kinds: informational and explanatory
(as for propositional inferences, and with the same sub-categories), and
evaluative.
3. Lexical inferences are of three kinds: the resolution of lexical ambiguity, the
prediction of the meaning of unknown words, and the identification of
pronominal reference.

GEORGE ANDREWS IN ENGLAND


George Andrews went to England in 1962. It was the first time that he had been
abroad. Initially he was very restless. He spent a little time in London then travelled from
town to town, staying just a few days in each.
Eventually, in June that year, he settled in Liverpool. Throughout the three years that
he spent there he lived in a small room in a terraced house in Toxteth. Every morning he
would stroll into the center of the city and make drawings of people in the streets or down at
the docks. At lunch time he would go to a pub and have a sandwich, as well as several pints of
beer. He would then stagger home and spend the rest of the afternoon sleeping. It was in the
evening that he painted the pictures for which he is now famous: the sombre street scenes,
with their characteristic yellow ochre, umber, and burnt sienna, laid on in heavy brushstrokes.
In the early hours, around one or two o'clock, he would go to the nearby drinking club, where
he would pick up a woman and take her to his room.
Andrews finally lost interest in painting Liverpool scenes. He set off on a world tour,
visiting Europe, India, China and Australia, before returning home to Canada.

QUESTIONS
1. Where did Andrew come from when he went to England ?
2. Is Toxteth far from the center of Liverpool ?
3. Why did Andrews stagger home in the afternoon ?
4. What are umber and burnt sienna ?
5. What does pick up mean ?
6. Why did Andrews leave Liverpool ?
7. Did Andrews live a highly moral life ?
8. What does "he" refer to in the text ?

64
NOTES FOR THE TEACHER

1. Below are some ideas that could be discussed in task 1

Genre : The appearance in the test of only a limited range of text types will
encourage the reading of a narrow range by potential candidates.
Therefore, the question of backwash is likely to be compromised
because a test in which areas of language are under-represented, or not
represented at all, is unlikely to be accurate. Such a test is likely to have
a harmful backwash effect since areas not tested are likely to become
areas ignored in teaching and learning. On the other hand, areas which
are frequently tested are likely to become highly predictable. Therefore,
whenever the content of a test becomes predictable, teaching and
learning are likely to concentrate on those areas that can be predicted at
the expense of others

Topic : We ideally need to select texts which are of interest for all participants
and fall within their experience. In constructing tests, it is important to
include topics which mirror as much as possible those which students
have been exposed to or are likely to meet in their target situations.

Structure : The way a text is structured would certainly affect the way we process
it. For this reason, it is important to identify what is appropriate to the
students' level and select texts accordingly for different levels. For
example, at lower levels texts selected are often, by necessity,
artificially constructed because of the restrictions imposed by the lexis
and structures available to the students.

Length : If texts are too short you may not be able to test skimming skills. You
may only be able to test intensive reading. However, in texts of equal
difficulty the longer the text, the greater the amount of time needed for
reading and processing it. In this respect, the question of speed is to be
considered since we cannot ignore individual differences on how to
process a text

Organization : In terms of grammar, cohesion and rhetorical structure, texts selected


should represent good writing. They should be well organized, be
logically sound, and be factually correct.

Exploitation : Texts should be of such a nature as to permit a number of questions


with unambiguous answers that cover the range of skills called for in
the test specifications. Generally speaking, passages dealing with a
series of events, a collection of facts, or different opinions and attitudes
make the best types of texts for testing puposes; those dealing with a
single idea or main theme are rarely suitable.

65
2. The following is a list of texts that should be avoided when designing a reading
test :
• Those that contain so much new, densely packed information that candidates
are overwhelmed and confused.
• Those that require "outside" information for their full comprehension.
Examples of these are : (a) a technical passage in engineering or science that
cannot be understood without prior knowledge of a physical law or theory, or
(b) a description of an event that presupposes a knowledge of the geographical
area in which the event occurs.
• Those made up of information which may be part of the candidates general
knowledge. Such texts often lend themselves to questions to which correct
responses are available to some candidates without even reading the passage.
• Those that are culurally biased or loaded.
• Those that are too familiar to candidates.
• Those besed on topics relating to life experiences that some students but not
all have had.
• Those based on topics which may appeal to one sex but not to the other.
• Those taken from materials used in specific courses which may be known to
some candidates but not to others.
• Those based on highly sensitive religious and political topics.

3. The following are some considerations for adapting and rewriting a text :
• Content : Does all the information relate directly to the topic ? Could or
should some facts be omitted ? could or should some elements be added to
devise specific questions ? Does the text provide sufficient information for
questions to be devised ?
• Length : Is the text too long ? too short ?
• Organization: Is the information presented in a logical order ? Is there a clear
progression of ideas? Is there a clear and logical transition at the sentence and
paragraph level ?
• Vocabulary: Is the vocabulary at an appropriate level ?
• Structures: Are the structures at an appropriate level ?

4. Some consideration to be taken into account when writing comprehension


question items :
• Test techniques: WH questions, True /false (with justification), Sentence
completion, Gap filling, Chart filling, Matching, Summary cloze ...etc. At least
3 or 4 of these test types should appear in each reading comprehension
section.
• Clarity of instructions: It is very important to ensure that the task is known and
understood by students as their performance might be unrepresentative and
may not really reflect their actual abilities if they fail to understand the
instructions. Therefore, it is very important that similar formats should have
been practised in class beforehand to ensure that candidates are familiar with
the task types and other features before sitting for the test proper. (This is the
role of continuous assessment.)
• Questions shouldn't be answerable without prior reading of the passage.

66
• The wording of one question shouldn't "give away" the answer to another
question.
• Overlapping questions should be avoided.
• Open-ended questions shouldn't call for long answers because these type of
questions often represent a mixture of reading and writing skills. Therefore the
scoring is likely to be subjective.
• It is desirable that items should be moderated by colleagues.

5. Some micro skills underlying the macro skills listed in task 5 :


• Using context to guess meaning of unfamiliar words.
• Understanding main ideas and important details.
• Understanding information not explicitly stated by:
a) Making inferences / reading between the lines.
b) Deducing meaning of lexical items from morphology and context.
c) Understanding communicative functions.

Some of these skills might include knowledge of some "Linguistic skills" which may
contribute to their development such as:
• Understanding concepts and grammatical notions like: cause, result, purpose,
comparison, opposition ....through grammatical cohesive devices.
• Understanding syntactic structure of sentence and clause.
• Undersanding discourse markers.
• Understanding lexis.

6. A taxonomy of inferences:
Recognition of the need to assess the ability to infer is to be found in the
specifications for various language tests and in books on language testing. However,
there is little indication of the different forms that inferences may take. Because of
this, there is a danger that testers will concentrate on some forms of inference to the
neglect or exlusion of others, thereby putting in danger the content validity of tests
and some of their potential for beneficial backwash.
The proposed taxonomy is essentialy that of Chikalanga (1991), which he
developed for use in his research into the development of English reading ability in
Tanzania, and which is based on the inferences of Nicholas and Trabasso (1980),
Pearson and Johnson (1978), Warren et al (1979), and the work of Graesser (1981).
The taxonomy recognises three main categories of inference: propositional,
pragmatic, and lexical. The text and the questions in task 6 are meant to illustrate
these inferences and their sub-categories with concrete examples.

propositional inference
►An example of a prepositional-informational inference is the inference we can
make that it was from Canada that Andrews went to England. ("It was the first time
that he had been abroad" ... "returning home to Canada").
►An example of a propositional-explanatory inference is the inference that Andrews
left Liverpool because he lost interest in painting Liverpool scenes.

67
Pragmatic inferences
►An example of a pragmatic-informational inference is the inference that Toxteth
is not very far from the centre of Liverpool, since Andrews walked (in fact, strolled
and staggered) from one to another every day and returns on foot every afternoon.
Our knowledge of the world tells us that it is most unlikely that this would happen if
Toxteth were far from the city centre. If it were a long way, the writer would almost
certainly have commented on it.
►An example of a pragmatic-explanatory inference is the conclusion we can come
to that Andrews staggered home because of the beer he had drunk. Our knowledge of
the way beer affects people's locomotion informs this conclusion.
►A pragmatic-evaluative inference, as the term suggests, is one where the reader
makes an evaluation on the basis of the content of the text. We might conclude, for
instance, that Andrews was not a conventionally moral person (he was a heavy
drinker and apparently consorted with many women). We might also conclude that
he was a dedicated painter (he made drawings every day).

Lexical inferences are of three kinds: the resolution of lexical ambiguity, the
prediction of the meaning of unknown words, and the identification of pronominal
reference.
►Lexical ambiguity is resolved when the reader makes a choice between two or
more meanings of a lexical item. In the passage, this happens when the successful
reader decides that "pick up" in this context means "to scrape acquaintance
informally with" as the dictionary puts it rather than "to lift from the ground".
►The meaning of unknown words may be infered in the passage. It is quite obvious
from the context that "burnt sienna" and "umber" can only refer to pigments.
►The identification of George Andrews as the referent of "he" throughout the
passage is an example of the third kind of lexical inference.

READINGS:
Alderson, J. C. 1990. ‘Testing reading comprehension skills.’ Reading in a Foreign
Language. Vol. 6/2
Heaton, J. B. 1988. Writing English language tests. Longman.
Hughes, A. 1989. Testing for Language Teachers. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Madsen, H. 1983. Techniques in Testing. Oxford University Press.
Seng, P. 1988. ‘Testing Reading Comprehension.’ Inspectors' Seminar Document. Rabat.
Williams, E. and Moran, C. 1989. ‘State of the art: Reading in a foreign language.’ Language
Teaching. Oxford University Press.
Weir, C. J. 1988. Communicative Language Testing. Exeter: University of Exeter.
Weir, C.J., Hughes,A. and Porter, D. 1990. ‘Reading skills: Hierarchies,implicational
relationships and identifiability’. Reading in a Foreign Language. Vol.7.

68
CUSTOMIZING VOCABULARY TEACHING
Said Elkouaissi
Delegation of Tata

OBJECTIVES:
The participants will be able to
1. Discuss and compare different approaches to teaching vocabulary.
2. Discuss aspects involved in knowing a word.
3. Discuss classroom vocabulary learning activities.

TASK 1: (pair/group work followed by general discussion)


Consider the views of vocabulary learning below and answer the following questions:
• Which approach suits your teaching/learning situation?
• What class level (elementary, intermediate, advanced …), you think, is
more suitable to each of the four approaches?
• What learning environment (mother tongue, second language, foreign
language), you think, is more suitable to each of the four approaches?

Contextual Acquisition Approach


Students will learn all vocabulary they need from context by reading extensively,
as long as there is successful comprehension. In fact, there is no need or even
justification for direct vocabulary instruction.
(Krashen 1989, 1993; Nagg and Herman 1984)

Strategy Instruction Approach


Although context is the major source of vocabulary learning, it is very crucial to
teach students explicit strategies for learning vocabulary. It is even appropriate
at times to use some partially decontextualized or decontextualized activities in
some very limited situations.
(Oxford and Scarcella 1994; Williams 1985)

Explicit Instruction Approach


Explicit teaching of certain types of vocabulary using a large number of
techniques and even direct memorization of some highly frequent items is
beneficial and necessary. Significant emphasis should be on the explicit
teaching of words at an early stage of acquisition, with the later stages being
more context-based.
(Coady 1993, Nation 1990, 1993)

Classroom Activities Approach


Vocabulary is best learned when encountered in the classroom situation and
when the learner perceives a need for it. Emphasis should be on the teaching of
vocabulary words along traditional lines using practical classroom activities.
(Allen 1983; Grain and Redman 1986)

69
TASK 2: (pair/group work followed by general discussion)
There are many aspects involved in knowing a word; read the following statements and tick
the aspects you attend to more often in your teaching, then compare your answers.

1. Being able to recognize the spoken form of the word and


pronounce it.

2. Being able to spell the word and write it.

3. Knowing the underlying meaning of the word.

4. Knowing the range of meanings of the word.

5. Knowing the grammatical patterns the word fits in.

6. Knowing the affixes the word stem can take.

7.Knowing the words that fit into the same lexical sets.

8. Knowing the typical associations of the word.

9. Knowing the range of the collocations of the word.


10. Knowing whether the use of the word is limited by consideration
of politeness, gender, age, country, formality, and so on.

11. Showing whether the word is commonly used or not.

12. Being able to use the word receptively and productively.

TASK 3: (pair/group work followed by discussion)


The process of word learning is very complex as students do not often learn all the aspects of
a word simultaneously.
(a) Put the jumbled learning stages in the ‘right sequence’ (number them from 1
to 5).
(b) Think of 3 or more activities for each of the five stages.

____ a. Establishing previously met vocabulary.

____ b. Developing vocabulary strategies.

____ c. Meeting new vocabulary.

____ d. Enriching previously met vocabulary.

____ e. Developing fluency with known words.

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TASK 4: (pair/group work followed by discussion)
Consider the following learning/teaching activities; which learning stages
discussed in TASK 3 do they fit in?

…………………………………………………………..

• Selecting new vocabulary.


• Relating the word to a variety of aspects.
• Creating a context for the new word.
• Drawing on a range of clues to recall the new word
• Relating the new word to previous knowledge.
• Using the vocabulary item in a goal directed activity.

……………………………………………………………

• Organizing words into meaningful sets.


• Learning cognates.
• Using word parts/analysing words.
• Guessing from context.
• Using a dictionary.
• Learning vocabulary in isolation using mnemonic devices.
• Using paraphrase to make up for gaps in production.

……………………………………………………………

• Gaining new input from the teacher and other sources.


• Extending the knowledge of word meaning.
• Placing the new word in new context.

……………………………………………………………..

• Testing previously met vocabulary and building on the


results.
• Setting aside class time for revision.
• Planning the recycling of previously met vocabulary.

TASK 5: (pair/group work followed by discussion)


(a) What would you do when faced with a text crammed with new words?
Explain your choice.
- Just ignore some vocabulary items.
- Teach only the most difficult ones for the students.
- Select high frequency items and teach them productively, and the rest
receptively.

71
- Teach only those items which I think might hinder comprehension.
- Other ………………………………………………………………….
(b) How would you group and sequence items to be taught?
- By similarity/opposition in meaning.
- By word type and grammatical association.
- By phonological similarity.
- By process.
- By collocation.
- By topic/theme.
- Other ………………………………………

72
THE FILM AS LESSON : EXPLOITING FILM EXTRACTS
IN THE LANGUAGE CLASSROOM
Mohammed Hassim
Delegation of Ouarzazate

OBJECTIVES:
The participants will be able to:
1. Discuss the importance of the VCR and films in promoting motivation
2. Discuss techniques of using film extracts in the classroom
3. Plan a lesson based on a film extract of their choice

BRAINSTORMING: (general discussion)


Read the quote below and answer/discuss the following questions:
1. What type of video materials can be used in the classroom ?
2. What are the benefits to be gained from the introduction of
film extracts in the classroom ?

Video can provide unique kinds of teaching. It can extend the learners’ access to English
and its uses by presenting a greater variety of speakers in a wider range of contexts than
can be convincingly treated in the classroom or textbook. It can focus attention at work
within whole systems of interaction, including non-verbal communication; and it can help
supply the social and cultural background necessary for the language to be understood
fully. The narrative interest of television can motivate learners to watch, to find out what
‘happens next’, and thus sharpen their determination to understand. The ability of
television to focus closely on details and to show the telling moment can also make the
meaning of difficult language immediately clear. Powerful images, suspense, visual
comedy, animated cartoons and the activities of familiar characters will all make people
want to watch and learn. (Walton 1988: 2)

TASK 1: (pair/group work followed by discussion)


Below is a table containing characteristics of educationally prepared
and commercialized dramatized video materials. Supply the equivalent
characteristics of film extracts to complete the table.

Educational dramatized Film extracts


materials
- Meant for teaching and learning. -
- Pedagogical purposes and -
objectives are already decided
upon.
- Contrived/artificial language. -
- Difficult to relate to local -
context
(syllabus, textbook …etc.) -
- Difficult to use in parts. -
- Contain more cultural bias. -
- Limited degree of authenticity -
- Difficult to find

73
TASK 2: (group work followed by reports)
List some criteria for choosing a film extract for language teaching.
Example: -The students’ level and interests

TASK 3: (pair/group work followed by discussion)


The following are 5 terms related to film extracts; match the terms with
their definitions. Write the letter of the definition (a, b, c, d, or e) next to
the appropriate term.

___ 1. Shot ___ 2. Cut ___ 3. Sequence ___ 4. Scene ___ 5. Script

Definitions
a. usually a series of shots that are unified by time and space; in writing, … roughly
analogous to a paragraph. (Jinks 1971: 158)
b. actual words spoken by the actors or narrator. To write it, it is advisable to use an
audio cassette recorder.
c. single uninterrupted running of the camera (this may be actual or apparent).
(Jinks 1971: 158)
d. a division of the film, roughly analogous to a chapter in a novel; usually a series of
events that are related by time, space or both. (Jinks 1971: 158)
e. the change from one camera to another. (Cooper et al 1991: 103)

TASK 4: (pair/group work followed by reports)


List some characteristics of a good film extract.
Example: - It should have a clear topic.

TASK 5: (pair/group work followed by discussion)


Film extracts are multidimensional. They can be exploited at least on four
level: vision, sound, text and film. Each level allows for a rich variety of
activities (see next page). Complete the table below by putting the activities in the
appropriate column (some activities may fall in more than one level of
exploitability).
VISION SOUND TEXT FILM

74
FILM EXTRACT ACTIVITIES:
1. Description of setting
2. Discussion of theme
3. Studying sound effect
4. Focusing on facial expressions
5. Imagining the scene from script
6. Discussion of plot
7. Studying gestures
8. Discussing general atmosphere
9. Guessing about characters from their voices
10. Discussing actors’ performances
11. Listening activities
12. Ordering scenes
13. Outward description of characters
14. ‘Who says what’ activities
15. Filling the blanks
16. Completing dialogues
17. Discussing attitudes towards extracts
18. Guessing about characters from their appearance
19. Answering reading comprehension exercises
20. Ordering speech
21. Guessing about characters from speech
22. Character analysis
23. Discussing the director’s point of view
24. Studying cultural differences
25. Writing film summary

READINGS:
Bouman, L. 1990 ‘Veni, vedio, vici in language teaching.’ English Teaching Forum. Vol.
28/2.
Cooper, R., Leavery, M. and Rinvolucri, M. 1991. Video. Oxford University Press.
Goette, G. 1992 ‘Movies in EFL teaching.’ English Teaching Forum. Vol. 30/3
Hassim, M. 1995 ‘An introduction to the use of the VCR in the language classroom: Teaching
songs as example’, a workshop in a MATE Day in Taroudant, Oct.27th.
Jinks, W. 1971. The Celluloid Literature: Film in Humanities. Glencoe Press.
Lonergan,J. 1994. Video in Language Teaching. Cambridge University Press.
Sheperd, D. 1990. ‘Using videos to integrate the study of American short stories with English
language programs.’ English Teaching Forum. Vol26/1.
Stempleski, S. and Tomalin, B. 1990. Video in Action. Prentice Hall international.
Stoller, F.L. 1990. ‘Films and videotapes in the content-based ESL/EFL classroom’ English
Teaching Forum. Vol. 28/4.
Tomalin, B. 1990. Video in the English Class. UK: BBC English.
Voller, P. and Widdows, S. 1993. ‘Feature films as text: a framework for classroom use.’ ELT
Journal. Vol. 47/4.
Walton, P. 1988. BBC video English courses 1988. UK: BBC English.
Massi, P.M. and Meriňo, G.A. 1996. ‘Films and EFL, what’s playing in the language
classroom.’ English Teaching Forum. Vol. 34/1.

75
NOTES FOR THE TRAINER

1. Some techniques related to the use of video:


- with sound (sound on / vision off)
- Without sound (sound off / vision on)
- In parts / split viewing / jumbling sequences
- Freeze frame / pause control
- Counter number
For more details, see Hassim, M, (2001) “An introduction to the use of the VCR in the
language classroom” in Supervision and teacher training: A resource book, number 1.

2. Task 2: some criteria for choosing a film extract for language teaching
a. Purpose:
• pedagogical objectives:
motivation, variety, culture, frequency of use …etc.
• linguistic objectives:
grammar, vocabulary, skill development …etc.
b. The script: Studying the linguistic and thematic content of the extract.
c. Preparation: the flexibility of the extract for a variety of activities, numerous viewing,
and timing (length of the extract)

3. Task 3:
_c_ 1. Shot _e_ 2. Cut _d_ 3. Sequence _a_ 4. Scene _b_ 5. Script

4. Task 4: some characteristics of a good film extract


The extract should
- have a clear topic
- contain unity of time and space
- present a clear relationship between characters
- have a clear beginning and ending
- stand by itself
(films normally allow for this kind of division into separate complete sequences)

5. Task 5: as mentioned, some activities may fall in more than one level of exploitability; the
participants will therefore have to justify their choices as their answers will vary.

6. Lesson planning:
a. Viewing comprehension (listening + viewing)
Preparation for viewing comprehension is not different from other lesson preparations
(e.g. the four skills), but the viewing medium should be emphasized, as well as the
motivational power of film extracts.
b. Active viewing and comprehension
Viewing should not be introduced for its own sake; it should be active through the use of
tasks that help the learners understand, and guide their viewing and comprehension.
c. Preparation
The lesson can be divided into three main parts: pre-viewing, viewing, and post-viewing
activities. This order may vary.

76
7. An example:
The purpose of giving an example is not necessarily to use the extract mentioned below as
you may not have the film; the purpose is to help highlight many of the ideas discussed in
the workshop and provide you with a model to follow in the use of any other film extract.

An extract from Passage to India


- Length: 05 minutes (from minute 18 to 23)
- Level: post beginners / intermediate
- 2 characters: an Indian doctor and a Mrs. Moore, an English lady
- Topic: introducing oneself / questions and answers about personal life / cultural
differences
- Linguistic content: see the script
- Work mode: group work (groups of 4 to 6 students)
Introduction: preparing students
a. Presenting vocabulary / structures / functions (see script)
b. Introducing the extract: freeze frame at the beginning before the appearance of the
woman and ask questions about the setting, place and time + description questions.
c. Guessing: How does the man feel? What is he going to see? What nationality is he?

Part One: From beginning to “Mrs. Moore”


a. Pre-viewing activity: sound on / vision off (cover the screen with a cloth or
newspaper). The students listen without viewing and answer these questions: How
many characters speak? What does the woman look like? What is her name?
b. Viewing activity: Replay part one; sound on / vision on. The students check their
answers while viewing.
c. Post-viewing activity: The students read the following paragraph and supply the
missing words (Possible items: night – mosque – quiet – moon – noise – silence –
leaves – wind – lady – conversation).

It was already ……… when the Indian doctor was in the ……… . The place was
empty and ……… , and the bright full ……… in the sky reflected in the still pool water in
the middle of the mosque. Suddenly, the doctor heard some strange ……… approaching
and disturbing the ……… of the place. At first, he thought it was the cracking noise of the
dry ……… moved by the soft ………. But it was not! For an old foreign ……… dressed
all in white appeared at entrance of the mosque. Their meeting led to a very nice ………
and friendship.

Part Two: From “I came from the club …” to “And so did my second.”
a. pre-viewing activity: predicting future events / guessing information about
characters.
b. Viewing activity: The students view part two and complete the following table
Name: …Mrs. Moore …………………………………………….
Nationality: ………………………………………………………………
Husband: …………………………………………………………………
Children: …………………………………………………………………
Purpose of visit to India: …………………………………………………

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c. Post-viewing activity: Comprehension questions

Part Three: From “Then we are in the same box …” to the end of the extract
a. pr-viewing activity: Jumbled dialogue
The students read the following jumbled dialogue between Mrs. Moore and the
doctor. The doctor’s speech is in the right order but Mrs. Moore’s is not. The
students match the doctor’s sentences with Mrs. Moore’s (example: 1 / C).

The doctor Mrs. Moore

1. Then we are in the same A. And your wife?


box. Is the city Magistrate the
entire of your family? B. I think I’d better
2. Ah Mrs. Moore, like go back now
yourself I have also a son and
a daughter. Is this not the same C. No, I have a
box with abundance? daughter in England by
3. No, indeed, Akbar and my second husband;
Jamila. They live with my Stella. She is an artist.
wife’s mother.
4. In giving me a son, she D. But not for
died. You have the most kind Ronny and Stella, surely.
face of any English lady I have
met.

Key: 1 / C, 2 / D, 3 / A, 4 / B

b. Viewing activity: The students view part three and check their findings.
c. Post-viewing activity: Discussion questions about cultural difference
Are Christians allowed in a mosque?
Can you get into a mosque with your shoes on?
Why did Mrs. Moore and her son have two different family names?

Follow up activities:
a. writing: divide the students in two groups
- Group one: write a short paragraph about Mrs. Moore using the information in
the chart in part two (other information may be added).
- Group two: write a short paragraph about the doctor using the information in the
dialogue in part three.
b. Re-viewing: Replay the whole extract and ask questions about
- the relationship between the doctor and Mrs. Moore

78
- Attitudes toward the extract.
c. Homework: write a full summary of the extract combining the three short paragraphs
presented in the lesson.

THE SCRIPT OF THE EXTRACT FROM PASSAGE TO INDIA


The doctor = D
Mrs Moore = M

Part One:
D : Madam, this is a mosque. You have no right here? You should have taken off
your shoes.
M : I have taken off my shoes. I left them outside.
D : Then I ask your pardon.
M : Let me go.
D : Madam.
M : I am right, am I not? If I remove my shoes I am allowed?
D : Of course, but so few ladies take the trouble, especially thinking no one is here to see.
M : God is here.
D : God is here. That is very fine. May I know your name?
M : Mrs Moore.

Part Two:
D : Oh.
M : I came from the club. They are doing a rather tiresome musical play I’d seen in London.
It was very hot.
D : I think you ought not walk alone Mrs Moore. There are bad characters about, and
leopards may come from the Marabar hills. Snakes also.
M : Do you walk alone?
D : I come here quite often. I am used to it.
M : Used to snakes?
D : Ah, I am a doctor you see, snakes don’t dare bite me. Please Mrs Moore I think you
Are newly arrived in India.
M : Yes, how did you know?
D : By the way you address me. Look, sometimes I have seen a dead body float past from the
narrows, but not very often. There are crocodiles.
M : Crocodiles?! How terrible! What a terrible ……..! What a wonderful river!
D : Please, may I ask you a question now? Why do you come to India?
M : I come to visit my son. He is the City Magistrate.
D : Oh no, excuse me, our City Magistrate is Mr Heaslop.
M : He is my son all the same. I was married twice.
D : And your first husband died?
M : He did. And so did my second.

Part Three:
D : Then we are in the same box. Is the City Magistrate the entire of your family now?
M : No. I have a daughter in England by my second husband; stella. She is an artist.
D : Ah Mrs Moore, like yourself, I have also a son and a daughter. Is this not the same box
with abundance?
M : But not for Ronny and Stella, surely.

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D : No, indeed; Akbar and Jamila. They live with my wife’s mother.
M : And your wife?
D : In giving me a son, she died. You have the most kind of any English face I have met.
M : I think I’d better go back now.

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FEEDBACK QUESTIONNAIRE

Dear colleague,
The purpose of this questionnaire is to get your feedback about the format and the content of
the second issue of the Resource Book. Your answers, as well as any additional comments,
will provide us with invaluable information that will be considered in the coming issues.
Please fill out the questionnaire and send it to the editor at: MATE, BP 6202, Rabat-Instituts,
Rabat. Email: ahellal@caramail.com / matemar@hotmail.com

1. Does the content of the Resource Book meet the needs of your teachers ?

not at all ο fairly ο very ο


2. Does it contribute to your own professional development ?

not at all ο fairly ο very ο


3. Is the working mode adopted appropriate ?

not at all ο fairly ο very ο


4. Are the instructions and the tasks clear ?

not at all ο fairly ο very ο


5. Are the tasks and activities relevant ?

not at all ο fairly ο very ο


6. Is the layout clear and user-friendly ?

not at all ο fairly ο very ο


7. Have you tried out one (or more than one) of the presentations with your own
teachers/trainees ?

yes ο no ο

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8. If the answer is yes, state your feedback below.
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8. If the answer is no, do you think you will do it in the future ?

yes ο no ο
9. List 3 contributions you found most interesting in the Resource Book.
a. ……………………………………………………
b. ……………………………………………………
c. ……………………………………………………

10. Generally speaking, did the Resource Book meet your expectations ?

yes ο no ο
11. What changes do you recommend to improve the quality of the coming issues ?
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Thank you for your collaboration

PARTICIPANTS' FEEDBACK QUESTIONNAIRE

1. Did the presentation begin effectively ?


not at all fairly very

2. Was the participants' attention held for most of the session ?


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3. Was the working mode appropriate


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4. Was the seating arrangement appropriate ?


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5. Were the tasks and instructions clear ?


not at all fairly very

6. Did you have enough time to carry out the activities ?


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7. Were the activities participant-centred ?


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8. Was the supervisor/trainer successful in attracting and maintaining interest ?


not at all fairly very

9. Did the supervisor/trainer maintain eye-contact while addressing the participants ?


not at all fairly very

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10. was the session informative ?
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11. Did the session answer your immediate needs ?


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12. Did the session end effectively ?


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13. Did the supervisor/trainer reveal a verbal tic


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Please specify:………………………………………………………………

14. Did the supervisor/trainer reveal a non-verbal tic ?


not at all fairly very

Please specify: ………………………………………………………………

15. COMMENTS AND SUGGESTIONS:

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