University of Maryland, Baltimore County, US
CBI/CLIL: Approaches and Activities for Integrating Language and Content Instruction
Content-based Instruction (CBI)--also referred to as Content and Language Integrated Learning (CLIL)--has become a major approach for teaching and learning languages for students from primary through secondary and tertiary (university) levels. Each decade since the 1980s has seen dramatic growth in CBI/CLIL globally, with a diversity of program models for different contexts, purposes, and students of different ages and language proficiency levels. In this talk, I will discuss the rationale for using CBI/CLIL, describe a variety of program models, identify characteristics of effective content-based language instruction, and offer some guidelines for choosing content-centered texts and materials. Finally, I will provide examples of activities used by English teachers for learners of all ages and proficiency levels in a variety of contexts around the world.
Curtin University, Perth, Australia
The Case for Introducing Task-Based Language Teaching in Asian Primary Schools
The global importance of English has led a number of Asian countries to introduce English in the primary school despite the fact that there is no clear evidence that an early start results in higher levels of English proficiency. At the same time educational authorities in these countries have mandated the use of communicative language teaching - and, in particular, task-based language teaching (TBLT) - as the means for developing children’s communicative skills. I will begin by reviewing language policy in Asian primary schools. Then, after reviewing research on the relationship between age and second language acquisition, I will argue that if English is to be introduced at the elementary level, it is essential that a strong communicative approach, such as found in TBLT, is adopted as this is the approach most likely to develop the capacity to communicate confidently in English. I will also consider a number of misconceptions about TBLT that underlie the criticisms that have been directed at it. Finally, I will address a number of practical and structural problems that prevent the effective implementation of TBLT in primary schools in counties such as Japan.
University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan, US
Imported Ideas, Professional Confidence and Using What You Know to Teach in English
This presentation examines three ideas that profoundly shape the work teachers do in their ELT classrooms: language proficiency, methodology, and classroom management. The presenter argues that these ideas are less than helpful to teachers than we have been led to think because they do not really belong to the classroom work of language teaching. Instead they are imported to define, and often to judge, what teachers ought to know and should do. In their place, he will suggest a different perspective--the notion of professional confidence-- that is based on researching what language teachers do as they teach. I will define this particular type of confidence and examine the elements that make it up. I will make the argument that professional confidence is key to ‘effective’ classroom teaching and discuss what teachers can do to develop and sustain it in their teaching.
National Institute of Education Sciences, China
The Third Generation Tasks
There is a widespread saying that TBLT (Task-based Language Teaching) does not agree with Chinese local context. This paper argues that this perception is mainly due to different interpretations of TBLT. There have been different versions of TBLT (Skehan, 2011) and it is proposed that EFL teachers in China review different approaches and adopt the third generation tasks (Ribé & Vidal, 1993).The first and second generation tasks aim primarily to develop students’ communicative ability. With regard to the third generation tasks, they fulfill wider educational goals and are closely linked to students’ immediate life environments and experience. These multi-goal tasks are believed more appropriate for achieving the goal of whole-person development for students with thinking skills and character strengths through English education. This paper will provide some samples on how tasks are designed and what effects they might have on school students.
Deborah J. Short
TESOL International Association, Arlington, Virginia, US
The 6 Principles®: The Foundation for English Language Teaching in China
This keynote presents an overview of TESOL’s The 6 Principles for Exemplary Teaching of English Learners® and the application of these 6 core principles to settings where English is taught as a foreign language. It describes the vision for English education, explains optimal conditions for second language learning, showcases effective instructional and assessment practices, and discusses how to use 6 Principles for teacher development and program improvement. By implementing the 6 Principles in strategic ways, EFL teachers can create lessons that promote learner success.
University of London, UK
Nudging Tasks to Foster Language Development
There are many different views about the best ways to use a task-based approach to language teaching. The central goal, communicative effectiveness, is clear, but how can this achieved? Some people advocate a ‘hard’ version of task-based instruction, perhaps based on claims about task complexity, but this can encounter problems and limitations, particularly in some educational contexts. In this presentation I will argue that an important issue is not tasks themselves, but rather the way tasks are implemented. I will discuss options such as giving learners time to plan, either before or during a task; encouraging task repetition; and using post-task activities such as transcription. The intention with each of these teaching options is that learners complete a task but at the same time do not forget about language form. In addition, with each of these options, the foundation for the presentation will be the research that has been conducted over the last twenty years or so, which is generally supportive of the pedagogic interventions which are proposed. In addition, I will look at the post-task phase more generally, (beyond techniques such as transcription), and explore the potential of work that can be done after a main task to consolidate and extend the language which emerged while the task was being done. Tasks can make language salient – then, after the task, more needs to be done to nurture the language which has come into prominence in this way.
Guangdong University of Foreign Studies, Guangdong, China
A Fundamental Issue of L2 Teaching and Learning: the Xu-argument as a Resolution
One of the most difficult issues to tackle in research on L2 teaching and learning consists in how to convert linguistic structures being practiced to communicative use, that is, how to adapt static linguistic knowledge being learned to content dynamics during communication. This issue is fundamental to L2 learning research as evidenced by the dichotomous distinction couched in various terms such as learning vs. acquisition, usage vs. use, declarative knowledge vs. procedural knowledge, focus on form vs. focus on formS, grammar vs. grammaring, language vs. languaging. Persistent effort has been made by L2 teachers and researchers to find a way out of the predicament over the past decades. Nevertheless, effective means are still lacking. In this speech I would present what I call the Xu-argument as a solution to the knotty problem. The Xu-argument contends that language is efficiently and successfully learned through Xu, a Chinese word with a composite meaning of completion, extension and creation (CEC). During the CEC process nearly all major factors facilitating language learning can be activated. Based on the Xu-argument, various continuation tasks that contain CEC can be designed to facilitate L2 learning. A series of empirical studies have documented supporting evidence that continuation tasks are indeed capable of enhancing L2 learning efficiency. The Xu-argument points to a new direction for deepening interactional approach to language acquisition research in general and suggests useful means by which L2 can be effectively taught and learned in particular.
Lawrence Jun Zhang
University of Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand
Providing Meta-cognitive Scaffolding to Students for Effective Learning of English as a Foreign Language
In many foreign language classrooms, learners are faced with a deluge of information and many of them feel lost as they are unclear of the goals, processes, and strategies for optimizing their learning outcomes. Despite existing research on the role of metacognition in language learning, taking stock of this powerful concept in language teachers’ daily work with second/foreign language learners and providing learners with metacognitive scaffolding become an important pedagogical agenda. In this plenary keynote, I present an overview of the importance of metacognition, illustrating how a metacognitive perspective can contribute to our understanding of learners, learning tasks, and learning strategies for bringing to the fore the crucial role of metacognitive scaffolding in language classrooms. I describe several metacognitive scaffolding strategies that teachers might find useful in planning and execution of their lesson plans in order to help their students to enhance learning effectiveness and achieve higher levels of English proficiency.
Shanghai International Studies University, Shanghai, China
Developing Language Assessment Literacy: A Personal Narrative
In the past decade, increasing attention has been paid to language assessment literacy (LAL) both in research and in practice. What is LAL? What are the core components of LAL? Who need to obtain LAL? And to what extent? These are the questions that researchers have attempted to answer from different perspectives and in different contexts. In my presentation, I will first introduce some of the most frequently quoted LAL definitions and concepts, or models. Then, I would like to look into an individual’s experience of how LAL has been developed, using the above mentioned models as frameworks of reference. More specifically, I'd like to reflect on my own experience of 25 years as a language tester working for Test for English Majors (TEM). As my experience is inextricably interwoven with the development of TEM, I'd like to use the different stages in the history of TEM as my narrative framework. This means that I will relate what happened in one particular stage, what I learned from it, what level of LAL I thought I had obtained in that stage, etc. In other words, I will review my professional career as a language tester in the context of LAL attainment. On the basis of my reflections, I'd like to conclude my presentation by tentatively proposing some core qualities that a language tester (or in the case of a classroom teacher or a test writer) should possess. I hope that my personal experience and the reflections would shed some light on the design of future LAL training courses for different stakeholders.