Sunday, September 2, 2012

Teaching by Principles Chapter 13 - 14

How is order set up and kept in learning environments?

The most important key to create an interactive language classroom is the initiation of interaction by the teacher.  Professor Brown define in the book Teaching by Principles  interaction as the heart of communication; it is what communication is all about. The other definition that I like the most is the following interaction is the collaborative exchange of thoughts, feelings, or ideas between two or more people, resulting in a reciprocal effect on each other. The success of classroom learning is very  much dependent on how students relate to each other, waht the classroom environment is, how effectively students cooperate and communicate with each other, and of course what roles the teacher and the learnes play. Teachers may play the folling roles:

  • The teacher as controller
  • The teacher as director
  • The teacher as manager
  • The teacher as facilitator
  • The teacher as resource
Teachers should be able to assume all five or these roles depending on the goals that they want to reach. Teachers have to create a good a atmosphere where the students can feel confortable. Doing so, students will be able to express their thoughts, ideas, opinions and so forth. In such way it will be easier for teachers to set up and kept the order in learning environments. 

Nowadays the task of the teacher is to make students participate in a 80% so that the participation of the teacher should be 20%. No less important terachers should motivate their students. Motivation plays an important role in the classroom. One of the best ways to develop the teachers´s role as an initiator and sustaniner of interaction is to develop a repertoire of questioning strategies. There are many ways to classify what kings of questions are effective in the classroom. Perhaps the simpliest way to conceptualize the possiblities is to think of a range of questions, beginning with display questions that attempt to elicit information already known by the teacher, all the way to hinghy referential questions that request information not known by the questioner; sometimes responses to the latter involve judgment about facts that are not clear or a statement of values.

The information below gives us a good strategy that teachers should implement in theirs classes in order to know their students. As teachers are aware about thier students´s likes and dislikes, teachers may have an idea what they can do and what they cannot do in order to make the students partipate in an actively way. 
This leades us to answer the following question:

What is the impact of strategies-based instructions on teaching English as a foreing language?

Before we need to know how to sustain interaction though group work some of the techniques that we can use in the classroom. There are several techniques for implementing interaction in the classroom, but probably the most common thus the most used is group formation or group work. 

As everything in life group work has its advantages and disadvantages.


1. Group work generates interactive language
2. Group work offers an embracing affective climate
3. Group work promotes learner responsability and autonomy
4. Group work is a step toward individual instruction.

Even though teachers should take risks, there are a lot teachers that give excuses (disadvantages) for avoiding group work. 


1. The teacher is no longer in control of the class
2. Students will use their native language
3. Students´s errors will be reinforced in small group
4. Teachers cannot monitor all groups at once
5. Some learners prefer to work alone

Teachers are in charge of the classroom, and everything that may happen in the classroom will depend on  teachers´s attitude.

There are a lot of techniques that teachers may use in the classroom.

 1. Games
 2. Role plays and simulaitons
 3. Drama
 4. Projects
 5. Interviews and so forth (if you want to know more about that you can read chapter 14 of the book Teaching by Principles)

The teacher is the responsable of selecting an appropriate group technique, and he or she should introduce the technique, justify the use of small groups for the technique, model the technique, give explicit detailed instructions (instructions are the heart of every single activity in the classroom), divide the class into groups, check for clarification, and set the task in motion.
Teachers  should plan carefully the activities that they will develop in the classroom. As Francisco Quintanilla (didactics teacher) If you are not really sure of implementing those activities in the classroom, do not do it because everything will be a mess. 

Set up and keep the order in the class is not easier, and teachers face a lot ot problems. But if you are a risk taker teacher, you will get into good and bad experiences that will help you to fulfill  the profile of a good teacher.

The impact of stragies-based instractions is that students will learn in a more effective way. Also, students will have fun, and they will develop their skills.  Students will engage in the activities, and the teacher will have the control of the class even if he is apply group work that nowadays is an effective technique which helps students to learn in a good environment and to communicate with their classmates.

As a conclution, I agree with the use of group work because students relate each others. While learning a second language in this case English, students should learn how to socialize with their classmates and to be exposured to real-life situations. 

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