Educational Strategies for English Learners

Abstract

The paper presents a education strategy for the teaching and learning of the English language. The learning model has been framed within conceptual and philosophical precincts of the various theoretical contributions on the related domains of education. Among other sources of influence the model has been done in cognisance of insight of widely accepted critical hypothesis theoretical framework concerning the mastering of languages. Upon drawing influence from the neurological contributions on the education theory dynamics the modeling will tap in the insights of psychomotor. It is perceived that to have a holistic approach to the complex process of language education there is need to be a multi-dimensional approach that seeks to tap in education approaches theories’ merits from various models and theoretical contributions. The model has also drawn nuances from affective, linguistic and cognitive considerations as way of assembling a multi-dimensional language education design. The paper will culminate in a reflection tract on one of the implemented methods form a real time practice simulation.

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Details on certain teaching strategies

Below is a presentation of teaching strategies table with indications of their capability as well as band.

R& V= Reading and viewing Band A= approx K – 3
S & L= Speaking and Listening Band B= approx 4 – 7
W= Writing Band C= approx 7 – 10
Band D= approx 11 – 12

Teaching strategy

Language learning, motivation, and achievement

A thrust into the contribution made on the children education theories presents valuable nuances on the dynamics of student motivation and achievement. There can be drawn useful insights in exploring the contributions that have been made into the debate over childhood teaching approaches and teaching techniques; the child numeric and literacy–oriented “academic” approach versus the contributions from the child-initiated approach. Views based on Jacobson (1996) as well as Katz (1996) hold that coming from the “academic” standpoint the young child must be treated as reliant on adults’ instructions “… in the academic knowledge and skills essential for a feasible beginning for later academic challenges”. The “academic” standpoint is in direct contrast to the child-initiated approach that holds the young children as active contributors of knowledge bodies not entirely and necessarily reliant on the didactic. The child-initiated thrust favors the use of learning centers within learning environments like the classroom as well as the advocating of learning approaches based on play activities. This places greater emphasis on the variables of student involvement which has been proved to bolster student motivation and thus heighten chances of student achievement.

Steinhart & Weikart, (1997) ran the Louisville and Illinois empirical researches to establish the better of the two approaches, the “academic” and the child-initiated approaches. According to the outcomes of the research children involved in direct instruction, models outperformed those in the child-initiated learning models. Inferences drawn from the research outcomes have been used to further validate and evaluate the curricula in some countries. By extension, the research outcomes integrated with an evaluation of the curricula have also been used to provide recommendations for the remodeling of the existing curricula models in various learning domains. The foregoing point to the inalienable link between student achievement and motivation. This has been underscored from the exploration of the tenets of motivation theories which illuminate the essence of motivation, group work, and involvement in any settings either academic or career where success remains the core objective.

Cultural Diversity, Student Retention, and Student Success

Cognitive and affective considerations have entailed insights on the essence of cultural diversity in language teaching and learning domains. Cultural diversity begins in the development of the educational program. Powers Wendy, (2006) notes, “In contemporary language learning domains learning institutions have under more challenge to be committed to encouraging diversity in the campus by first providing resources that will lead to the establishment of an academic program as well as in attracting foreign staff, faculty, and students to the university.” Cultural diversity will obviously impact the following aspect of university life:

  • Learning Environment;
  • Extracurricular Activities;
  • International Faculty and Staff; and the
  • Courses that will be offered in the said university.

Quacquarelli Symonds use of the following indicators reveals much about how to assess the relative strengths of the world’s leading universities; these indicators are listed as follows:

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  • Employer Review
  • Faculty Student Ratio
  • Number of international faculty
  • Number of international students

The quality of language learning education can be measured in different ways. It can also be gauged by the quality of the graduates in terms of their ability to work and serve in a real English language use world setting.

Andragogical versus Pedagogical Educational theories

The resonating notion in academic modeling and theories analyses circles is that emergent Andragogical models of education are more effective in ensuring student involvement, motivation and hence ensuring academic success. That also applies to language teaching and learning. It is perceived and presented that Andragogical approaches have a lot to offer in tapping students contribution and active involvement in the learning process and hence boost students motivation whilst the conventional pedagogical theories shave been criticized for relegating learners to passive roles in the learning process and thus resulting in de-motivation and failure to master the English language.

Researches conducted on the subject of second language acquisition and socio-educational models have spurred the intent into a detailed probing of motivation as a significant contributing factor in English learning paradigms. Although the paper focuses on pre-eminently evaluation of education strategy, nuances are considered from studies conducted for learning processes for particularly language multi-cultural classes. The studies present a valuable conceptual confluence of the merits of student involvement in social integration endeavors in multi-cultural language learning environments. In the conceptual and theoretical precinct within which cited studies, motivation is defined as the student’s inclination with regard to the goal of learning or acquiring new knowledge. Cited studies have taken particulate thrusts in exploring the dynamics and aspects of the motivation factor in for instance in multi-cultural domains where in English language acquisition is a major feature for students in culturally diverse learning environs which constitute multi-cultural linguistics variables.

Hudson G. (2000) notes that in socio-educational domains as well as in language studies motivation denotes the learner’s propensities or orientations with regard to the goal of acquiring new knowledge. According to the scholar, motivation in the mentioned study and bodies of knowledge can be dissected into two key types which are integrative and instrumental motivation. The scholar presents that Integrative Motivation entails the learner’s positive attitudes and disposition in the direction of the language group as well as the desire to integrate into the desired knowledge community. (Hudson G. 2000) The scholar further outlines that instrumental motivation underpins the intent to appropriate some social or economic reward after knowledge acquisition and thus the definition relates to the more functional sources of motivation for the learning endeavors in various English learning processes. The consulted studies present a particulate relationship between certain forms of student motivation and student achievement (English language mastering in this case) as well aspects of student retention.

It is worth making nuances of the work on Gardner who has made valuable contributions in the domains of motivation. The scholar advances that a child’s success when learning a language may be ascribed to the profound inclination and desire to gain identity within the knowledge family enclosure and then to the broader knowledge community. (Alston M et al 2003) The underlying perception is that in concurrence with Gardner’s perspectives who went on to probe the aspect of motivation as a significant influencing factor in knowledge acquisition, primary education learning processes and concepts established on first language learning desire can be analyzed in light of the bearing the similar aspects have on L2 acquisition.

Considerations have been made on the paradigm of the social or cultural milieu. The dimension is key to the concepts and scope of the study as it denotes the context where-in the individual learning process is located. Benson, M.J. (1991) concurs that this has bearing on the individual’s beliefs about other cultures and languages. This is particularly relevant to the preliminary evaluation off of the presented educational models s it is tailored in the conceptual premise of the foregoing; cultural diversity, student involvement, and andragogical theories, etc.

The Debating component

The debating component in the presented English language teaching thrust plays a vital role in enabling the learners to develop skills attached to the mastering of the English language. Debating is a structured manner of exploring the range of views over some issues or issues. The purpose of debating in the presented education strategy is to promote collaboration as well as to develop research skills, to assist in the enhancing of argument development in the thinking and verbal skills of the English Learners. Debating is also meant to develop an understanding of basic principles of democracy-which entails that opposing should be laid out as a way of developing an understanding of the debated matter. Debating also helps in the development of the contextual understanding b by presenting a diverse exploratory of matters.

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Reflections on strategy activities implementation

Data collection, known as data elicitation is a key aspect of language learning strategies evaluation researches. Benson, M.J. (1991) notes that pilot testing especially in English language learning researches will help cut costs as well as time-consuming hurdles in the final education model implementation. The tutor thus conducted pilot testing for preliminary strategy components as means to enhance the model instrumentation and effectiveness evaluations. Modifications following pilot testing are likely to be instrumented in the sampling targets of the evaluation processes as there may be surface pitfalls on the aspect of diverse population representation. This is in cognizance of the fact that the strategy is particularly designed to enhance the English language mastering for a potentially cultural diverse learners group.

The likely research results are that largely instrumental motivation has a key role in the English language learning acquisition even in multi-cultural classes. The presentation of results details nuances and empirical findings on the form of motivation as well as the link between the form of motivation and English language learning strategies. Some of the conclusions drawn from the data with perceived recommendations are in the line of feasible solutions of curtailing the dropout levels of English language learners in multi-cultural environs. This will be valuable particularly for furthering the scope of preceding researches which has unveiled a phenomenal drop in the English language acquisition enthusiasm and motivation for university entrants, especially in Asian multi-cultural tertiary institutions.

References

Frederic Guay and Robert J Vallerand, 2007, Social Context , student’s Motivation and Academic Achievement, Kluver Academic Publishers.

Witting P.A, 2001, Student Motivation, Univesity of Glamoran Publishing.

Bruce Schafer and David Coronado, 2006, Student success,, Access, Motivation , Retention, Mlen Publishing, Sidney Aus.

Esther, Y. Strahn , 2001, The effects of social anxiety and social skills on academic performance, Pergamon Pubblishing, USA.

GSCE Business Studies, 2005, Theories of Motivation, Oak Press.

Martin Ian, 2001, Youth Education, Routledge and Falmer, London and New York.

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Mcnamara kay, Social Intergration of Internation students, ISANA International Confernce, Adelaide Aus.

Powers Wendy, 2006 Student Retention: Macro and Micro Academic Affairs Strategies, WV State College, USA.

Marcus Henning, 2007, Students’ Motivation to Learn, Academic Achievement, and Academic Advising, AUT University.

Ethopian Association in te GTA, 2005, LINC, the magic of Social Integration & Success!, GTA Ethopia.

Alston, M., & Bowles, W.(2003) Research for social workers, An introduction to methods, Allen and Un-win, NYK, US.

Benson, M.J. (1991). Attitudes and motivation towards English, A survey of Japanese freshmen. RELC Journal, 22(1), 34-48.

Berwick, R., & Ross, S. (1989). Motivation after matriculation : Are Japanese learners of English still alive after exam hell? JALT Journal, 11(2), 193-210.

James Neil (2003), Principles of language learning and teaching (4th ed.). Englewood Cliffs NJ: Prentice-Hall.

Crookes, G., & Schmidt R.W. (1991). Motivation: Reopening the research agenda. Language Learning, 41(4), 469-512.

Ellis, R. (1997). The study of second language acquisition. Oxford University Press.

Stewart and Kamins (1993), Linguistics and language : A survey of basic concepts and implications (2nd ed.). John Wiley and Sons.

Rubin L & Finegan, E. (1999). Language : Its structure and use (3rd ed.). Harcourt Brace.

Gardner, R.C. (1982). Language attitudes and language learning. In E. Bouchard James Neil, Attitudes towards language variation (pp. 132-147). Edward Arnold.

Gardner, R.C., & Lambert, W.E. (1972). Attitudes and motivation Second language learning. Newbury House.

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