Southern Cross Teacher Training Cambridge University CELTA Skills Assignment |Name |Submission date |Word count | | | | | |Signature to confirm the assignment is your own work | | | These are the criteria by which this assignment is assessed.
Before submitting the assignment, double check to make sure you have specifically addressed each area of assessment sufficiently. |Criteria |Trainer Comments | |Correctly use terminology that relates to language | | |skills and sub-skills, e. g. make sure a task you | | |design and name as skim reading is indeed a skim | | |reading task. | | |Relate task design to language skills development, | | |e. . make sure you provide a rationale for each task| | |(e. g. why is the initial task a reading for gist? ). | | |Find, select, and reference information learnt about| | |skills development from one or more sources. | |Use written language that is clear, accurate and | | |appropriate to the task. | | | | | | | | | |Pass 1st submission | Resubmission required | | | |Fail | | | | | | | | | | | | Skills Related Tasks
Section 1: Justification of text The text that I have chosen, a critical review of ‘Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2’, has the potential to be hugely engaging and I could create a very interesting and enjoyable lesson based from it. The film itself is very dramatic and universal to all audiences, and the text depicts this clearly. This allows learners to read the language on offer and use the video trailer in the lead-in as contextual background.
Using a film review format, a format that the learners will be familiar with, means that there will be greater focus on the reading skills of the learners, as they maybe put off by an unknown format, such as a legal document or medical journal. In addition the format of a film review is one that all learners would have seen before in a ‘real-world’ context and therefore understand the purpose and delivery of this text. As the film is recent and the whole series of films and books are a worldwide phenomenon, learners may appreciate the relevance and understanding of the basic plot and characters in the film.
This maybe an advantage than teaching a previously unknown book or film as extra class time may be required to explain the synopsis and context to the learners. As a film review, the text is specifically designed to inform and entertain the general public about the film in question. This means learners will hopefully enjoy reading the text and will be interested to find out the opinion of a professional film critic, and perhaps compare that to their own opinions of the film.
I will get the learners to use their own opinions of films by asking them to write a film review of their own. The learners can use the given text as a film review model so that they know what sort of lexis, register and structure to use for their productive task. This task will allow for free practice, however with a modeled example and also practice on forming critical opinions. Section 2 – A means of developing receptive skills and sub skills I will be trying to develop the learners’ reading skills.
I will vary the activities so sometimes they maybe reading for certain facts, or reading in depth for a full and detailed understanding of the text. The first task I will give the learners will be a simple and straightforward ‘gist-task’ where learners have to confirm their predictions they made in the lead in task. Learners will be reading for specific information so may not read the full text in detail. This type of ‘gist-reading’ or reading for basic understanding will hopefully get the learners engaged in the text and get them understanding the context of the text.
Reading for pre-defined material is another subskill that I could use this text to develop, as Harmer states in Practical English Language Teaching how vital “extensive reading for the development of our student’s word recognition” is. He thinks that “students need to be involved in both intensive and extensive reading” and hence the reason why the gist task I have chosen focuses on extensive reading and the detailed task does so on intensive reading.
I would ask learners to read again and set some basic comprehension questions, perhaps in a true/false format or multiple-choice format. They will then have the opportunity to confirm this by pair comparison and open class feedback, accompanied by delayed error feedback. Using both types of reading techniques helps to improve both types of reading skills, which is something that learners will need for practically using English outside of the classroom. For a lead-in to this text I would initially show the class the trailer of the film.
This will give a good engaging context to the lesson and all learners, irrespective of those who have seen the film, are on a the same level of pre-existing contextual knowledge. This means a greater focus on reading skills and language can occur, rather learners being confused about the plot and characters. I could perhaps use the trailer to elicit predictions form the learners about what happens in the film. I would then go on to elicit predictions about the success of the film and whether it was it would get a positive or negative review.
Learners will then be thinking about their own opinions of the film and would find an authentic film review very useful to compare their own ideas. This would then lead straight into me handing out the text and asking learners to complete the gist task. This lead-in should aim to get learners thinking about Harry Potter and then subsequently on the topic of film reviews and critical opinions. As this document is a published in an international newspaper there are a few words that will need clarification for intermediate learners.
I plan on highlighting five previously unseen words that are crucial for understanding of the text and not possible for their meaning to be deducted from the context. Only after the gist task will I go to elicit the meanings from these words, perhaps using antonyms, connotations or example sentences, as most of the complex lexis in the text are adjectives. Using these type of methods to clarify meaning I will hopefully be able to increase the knowledge of the learners while giving the learners a higher level of detail in their comprehension.
For example I would have to clarify the meaning of ‘grim’. In order to do this I explain it was the antonym of happy/cheery, it is usually meant to describe desperate/bleak situations, and show an example sentence such as “it was a grim situation when the engine stopped”. If the learners were having further problems with the lexis other than the five specific words, I would write some synonyms on the board. This will allow learners to be able to understand the entirety of the text as well as expand their vocabulary.
The varied comprehension activities that focus on developing different types of reading skills are attached. The first task (Question 1) is the initial gist question, where the learners have to guess the probable title and subtitle of the text. This means the learners will have to read the content of the text quickly to find out what the theme and approximate content of the text. In addition I asked the learners to write the title in the same style as the text is written, therefore meaning the learners have to scan read quickly for what sort of the language the author is using.
This is backed up by the familiarity of the type of text and the content, which gives learners a deeper contextual background. Even if the learners are unsuccessful in guessing the title and its form the pair work comparisons and controlled open class feedback will allow learners to be exposed to other learners ideas and language. Then I would move onto the detailed comprehension task. Once the learners have read the text once for the gist task they will have to go back and read it after reading the detailed questions (Question 2).
The detailed comprehension questions results in learners having to read the text in depth. However the information in the questions are predefined information that directs the learner to the specific part of the text to read in detail. The learners should be able to complete this task individually but if there are any learners struggling I can pair them up with a stronger partner for the learner-to-learner feedback. After that is complete I will get the learners to mark their own answers by using the key.
This is often one of the best way for learners to see their own errors and more importantly why the made the error that they did. After this I would bring the class together again in open class feedback and go through any of the harder questions and explain why the learners made the errors they did. Section 3 – Developing productive skills and sub-skills I am aiming to develop the writing skills, in particular the draft writing skills of the learners. The text I have chosen is a model of a film review, so I am going to ask the learners to write their own film review about a film they have seen recently.
Therefore the learners know what type of language, register and lexis is needed to write a film review. The learners will need a good level of writing skills because, as Jim Scrivener in Learning Teaching backs up, “many learners have a specific need to work on writing skills” and “writing involves a different kind of mental process, there is more time to think, to reflect, to prepare, to rehearse, to make mistakes and find alternative and better solutions”. After finishing the reading task I would get the learners to write down five different opinions they had about their chosen film.
This preparation time would allow learners to formulate ideas and more importantly how to convey them, while also allowing them to collect their ideas together without being under pressure. From the step I would then set a time pressured situation where the learners have to come up with a draft version of their review. The benefit of this they will not focus on grammar and language but on the actual content. In addition the time pressure means the actual draft writing skills of the learners will improve, as under no time pressure the learners could write an accurate film review but not increase their skills.
The next stage would be to give the learners an opportunity to self correct their work. In this step they would focus on grammar and language mistakes. If they can recognize their own errors without prompting then this is an improvement in their writing skills, as they would have to know the correct language to identify a mistake. This also makes them aware of the errors they are making themselves so in future they can get it right first time.
Depending on the practicality of the classroom layout, I would either put the film reviews on the wall and have the learners read each other’s in a gallery type format or have another learner read their review. This means other learners have the opportunity to correct other learner’s work and the errors that were not spotted in the first self-correction will be made obvious to the learners. I would finally finish the class with some open class feedback and delayed error correction. Again this adds to the learners writing skills development, as it is obvious where the learners can improve
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