TKT UNIT 14- LEARNER NEEDS

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Hello once again.

Let’s talk about what are learner’s needs. We find out that when a learner learns a foreign language exist various kinds of needs which influence on his/her language. They could be personal needs, learning need and professional need. Recognizing these needs is part of being a good teacher.

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  • Personal needs: security, challenge, support, praise, movement, goals, learning expectations and other physical need.

Reason: age, gender, cultural background, interests, educational background, motivation and personality.

  • Learning needs: specific ways of learning, specific target language, specific language sub skills, exam strategies, learner autonomy and working at a suitable level.

Reason: learning styles, past language experience, learning goals and expectations, level of skill and knowledge, availability of time and exams.

  • Professional needs: specific sub skills, specific vocabulary and grammar, specific functions and specific text types.

Reason: professional language requirements for employment and training or education.

By meeting learner’s needs helps to motivate learners and make the course seem relevant to them. We need to focus on what our learners need because this may be the way in which we can find how to apply an intrinsic motivation.

 

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TKT UNIT 13- LEARNER CHARACTERISTICS

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Hello to my readers.

I’m going to talk about this unit that talk about the learner characteristics which are:

  1. 1.       Learner’s motivation
  2. 2.       Learner’s learning styles
  3. 3.       Learner’s learning strategies
  4. 4.       Learner’s maturity

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On learner’s motivation we find the reflective: who needs time to consider and reflect and appears to learn slowly but he/she really learns profoundly; and the impulsive that responds immediately and has short attention. At this circumstance as teacher we need to use different strategies and use the right one based on the age and development.

Talking about learner’s learning styles we find that this is the way in which the learner begins to concentrate on something. This learning style influences on how we learn best. Here are some of the most important learning styles:

  • Visual: learner learns best through watching and looking.
  • Auditory: learner learns best through listening and hearing.
  • Kinesthetic: learner learns best through being physical, while moving or touching things.
  • Autonomous: learner likes to decide what he/she learns and how to learn.

On learning strategies we find that these are the ways that learners choose and use to learn a language. By using the right strategy that work for you in the right time can help you to learn the language better and to be more autonomous. Different learners use different strategies and this will make them more successful in their learning process.

On the last, maturity involves becoming grown up physically, mentally and emotionally. This means that depending on the age level you are standing on the way of learning will change.

  • Children: They need to move and cannot concentrate to long. They learn through experience and they are not afraid of making mistakes.
  • Teenagers: They are developing their concentration so they also need to move a little and they have more control of themselves but they are still afraid of what other may say about them.
  • Adults:  They can concentrate and keep still for longer periods and they may not be so willing to make mistakes or take risks.

O f course every learner is different so we may not see all this exact details on each one of them. And let’s not forget that each age group learns in a different way so they need to be taught in a different way.

TKT UNIT12- DIFFERENCES BETWEEN L1 & L2 LEARNING

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Hello to you all.

For today we are talking about the differences between the first language and second language. We may think of many because we all have a first language but not everyone is interested in learning a second language. But let’s find out about some of these differences.

First Language:

  • We learn it as babies and continue through our lives.
  • We learn the language in our growth process.
  • We are motivated to learn the language as we need to communicate.
  • We learn it by exposure and picking it up, so by being hearing it all the time and live around it.
  • We learn by interacting with our family, and also by talking, listening and playing with it.
  • We get to practice and experiment with the language.
  • We get to hear a simple speech, not to sophisticate.
  • We get to speak in an incorrect way and no one will correct us.

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Second Language (in the classroom):

  • Some learners start learning this second language in primary school or secondary school.
  • Their attitudes towards learning a new language it is not fully developed.
  • While adults may have goals and good expectations about this new language they will learn.
  • Sometimes they can be exposed to the language but they will still need to learn structures and specific language items.
  • They may have some motivation to communicate but they may do it with their teacher.
  • Let’s consider that the learner is not exposed to the language more than 3 hours per week the most in schools.
  • Teachers usually correct learners and use a short vocabulary or use of the language.
  • Learners are not given the opportunity to make mistakes and experiment by themselves.

 

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Let’s not forget that these differences can be easier to handle if we motivate our students, if we personalize our teaching but the most important that we should do is to teach at our learner’s level. We must also focus on the form of the language and encourage the use of English outside the classroom.

TKT UNIT 11-THE ROLE OF ERROR

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Hi everyone.

What is this role of error mean?

It is the focus on the mistakes learners make when they speak and write a foreign language, why to make them and the part this mistakes play in language learning.

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There are two reason of why this mistakes while learning a new language and this is:

  1. The first reason is because the learner is influenced by his/her first language or mother tongue on the second language and this is called interference. Learners use sound patterns, lexis and grammatical structures from their own language.
  2. The second reason is because they are constantly organizing and experimenting with the language, but these errors will often disappear.

Errors are part of a natural part of learning. I believe that while learning a second language, learning math or any other subject students have the right to be wrong and fix it or learn from their mistake, this is just part of their interlanguage. By having an error you realize that something was wrong so you work it out to make it right and here is when we really learn.

TKT UNIT 10- EXPOSURE OR FOCUS ON FORM? WHICH WAY OF LEARNING IS BETTER?

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Hello to my readers.

Well I was wondering if it is better to learn by exposure or by focusing on form, and I get to the point that it depends on the age and the position you are staying on.

Why is this? This is because if you were born in USA or lived there as a child, you were exposed to the language by hearing it all around you without even studying it.

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But what if you went to USA already knowing your tongue language? Well in this case you had to focus on the form of the language for you to be able to understand how it is pronounced and written so that you can understand how to use it in a conversation and then interact.

 I mention interact because now in days experts say that in order to acquire a second language is necessary to interact with other people too. This will lead us to try to make ourselves clear and make sure our message reach the target in a successful communication.

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So at the end we need to pick up the language, interact with others and by focusing on form so we can approach the target language.

To make sure I don’t forget anything about this unit here are some extra important points:

  • Translation method: focus only on grammar and translating texts.
  • Structural Approach: focus only on learning and practicing structures.
  • Communicative Approaches: focus on using language fluently in a communication. 

TKT UNIT 9- MOTIVATION

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Hello to my readers.

Well I will talk a Little bit about what is motivation. In a classroom is one of the most important techniques that we as teacher could use to turn our students ideas into action. Rarely at my Licenciatura we are also seeing this topic and I found it so similar what TKT book says to what my Didactics teacher told me. That is why I wanted to show you the similarities on these two ideas of what motivation stands for.

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TKT:  are the thoughts and feelings which make us want to and continue to want to do something and which turn our wishes into action.

IMCED:  to make them discover how useful could be that specific new knowledge and how important will be for them to have it.

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Both of the ideas of motivation are correct is just that with a different focus. On TKT we pretend to motivate them on a way for them to wish to keep learning. While, at the IMCED we want to motivate them by proving them that the knowledge they will get is going to provide them a better future full of opportunities. They both also share the idea of making students achieve their own personal goals and not something they already know.

As a teacher I will motivate my students to make them think about other possible results or ideas, so that way they will get a significant knowledge that they will hardly forget.

TEAMWORK LAST DAY BEFORE VACATIONS

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Hello to you all.

Well, it took me time to realize that vacations were over and I had to go back in track. So well on the last day of school on Mar 31st we worked with TEAMWORKS. I have to say that it was something really cool because I used to think that I work better alone but on that day we were all working so fast and we discovered things helping each other. Perhaps it was kind of hard at first because we had to agree on how to do things and how to work it out to achieve our tasks. But after the teacher scared us all about doing a power point over the vacations by using only the Gmail account we felt better when she told us that she said that just to make us feel how our students feel while working in teams. At the end the message of the teacher was all cleared on our minds and I believe we will never forget that experience.

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I really liked the activity because we were using power point, anthology, internet and we were filling in blanks and really getting the information. We also were watching videos along the readings and other topics and it was really useful because it made us focus more and understand how some people applied this knowledge before and today in days.  

VOXOPOP AND VOICETRHREAD

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Hello everyone:

I have to say it: “Ho my god!” This tools are just fantastic. I also have to say that as soon as I hit each of the links I found an amazing speaking tool. To tell you the truth the first time I get there, a conversation was taking place on the page about living either in a city or a farm was better than the other. I found it very interesting because the people speaking there was from all over the world and they had just left the messages, it has only passed seconds from message to message. I instantly wanted to participate but my computer froze and I couldn’t but I am willing to do it because it really catches my attention.

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I prefer Voxopop because it’s faster and easier to listen and play. I think it catches your attention immediately as soon as you hit play because it automatically plays all of the recordings. In contrast, Voicethread is also good but I don’t really recommend it because it was hard for me to understand the procedures to get to speak with other people.

I invite all of my followers to try it out, it’s amazing! 

TKT UNIT 7- LISTENING

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Hello dear.

I am going after the third language skill which is listening. Like reading, listening is a receptive skill, this means that a person respond to the language rather than producing it. Listening involves understanding spoken language and some of the characteristics of listening are:

  1. Disappears as soon as it is spoken.
  2. Indicates sentences and meaningful groups of words through stress and intonation.
  3. Consists of sounds, single words, or sentences joined together in connected speech.
  4. The speaker uses body language to support his/her communication.
  5. Is not so well organized.
  6. Gestures and facial expressions are used.
  7. It contains interruptions and hesitations.
  8. Often uses rather general vocabulary and simple grammar.

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There exists reason for listening such as:

  1. Listening for gist.
  2. Listening for specific information.
  3. Listening for detail.
  4. Listening for attitude.
  5. Listening for extensive listening.

There are also listening steps:

  1. Pre-listening: warm up with visualization or by telling a story.
  2. Main first listening: ask questions, second listening and focusing on specific questions.
  3. Post listening: summarize.

TKT UNIT 6- WRITING

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Hello to my readers.

As I said on my last post on class we are looking at the four skills and today I will talk about writing. First thing I learned is that there are several types of writing like Academic writing such as essays, reports or compositions. We also find job related writing which is messages, emails or letters. Another will be personal writing such as notes personal journals or poetry.  

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Just like in reading we also have a process or stages in writing:

  1. Prewriting: brainstorming, planning, or marking notes.
  2. Drafting: writing a piece of writing that can be changed.
  3. Editing/Revising: correcting and improving or rewriting.
  4. Proofreading: editing and checking it again.
  5. Publishing: post it to the world (blog).

Let’s have in mind that all writing tasks must have accuracy in writing, communication in writing and a writing process where we can check and revise what we got wrong.

I have to mention something that is new for me and that is what is called authentic writing, which is a part of writing that someone does on her/his self, without worrying on copying. Some examples will be writing a shopping list, writing the end of a story or writing emails and text messages.

How should we grade writing?

Yes, it may be a lot of work to grade so many tests or projects but lets valorize our student’s job and assign things that we will check.  And we need a rubric so we can focus our grading on the requirements it has.