Implementing Vygotsky’s socio-cultural approach in the foreign language classroom

With his work on the role of social constructivism to learning, Vygotsky (1934) and his ‘socio-cultural’ theory have become the foundation of much research not only in the field of cognitive development but also in that of language learning. A brief study of key notions that underlie his major theories, such as the Zone ofContinue reading “Implementing Vygotsky’s socio-cultural approach in the foreign language classroom”

Equivalence and skopos: ‘transferring’ these key concepts of translation theory to SLA and foreign language learning

    Translation theory: focusing on the notions of equivalence and skopos and how they can be ‘associated’ with second language learning and teaching.     For Bassnett (2002:27), translation is not only a ‘form of communication’, but also a ‘continuity’, ensuring the ‘survival of a text’, by ‘effectively becoming its after-life, a new original in anotherContinue reading “Equivalence and skopos: ‘transferring’ these key concepts of translation theory to SLA and foreign language learning”

The role of noticing in foreign language learning and teaching

How can we encourage our learners to notice new language structures in the TL and discover their role and function? Here are some key points on the role of deductive learning and consciousness raising tasks in promoting language acquisition. According to Batstone (1994:54) noticing activities are those which “encourage a more introspective engagement with language,Continue reading “The role of noticing in foreign language learning and teaching”

Consciousness raising and the foreign language learner

    In their book on second language teaching (1988:51) , W. Rutherford and S. Sharwood Smith talk about the notions of “explicit” and “implicit” knowledge and the impact these have had on second language acquisition. They argue that helping our learners achieve the much desired goal of “spontaneous, unreflecting language use” will depend on manyContinue reading “Consciousness raising and the foreign language learner”

Listening skills and strategies for the foreign language classroom

How can we turn listening from a passive skill to an active and engaging process for our learners?Here are 7 points to consider when designing listening tasks for the foreign language classroom. By Joanna Nifli (MA TEFL/CELTA certified EFL instructor)     Listening may be one of the passive skills in language teaching and learningContinue reading “Listening skills and strategies for the foreign language classroom”

The role of teacher talk in the foreign language classroom

How effective can teacher talk be in promoting language learning? Here are some points to consider on the input and feedback we give to our learners and on our level of involvement during the lesson The role of teacher talk, our overall involvement in the language lesson and our interaction with our students can playContinue reading “The role of teacher talk in the foreign language classroom”

Selecting listening tasks for the EFL classroom

What makes a good listening activity? How can we make sure that our listening tasks foster language comprehension and acquisition? Here are some tips on designing and choosing effective listening activities for our foreign language learners.     In many EFL contexts learners do not get enough exposure to the L2 outside the language classroom. UsingContinue reading “Selecting listening tasks for the EFL classroom”

Designing reading activities for the foreign language classroom: some key points to consider

Instilling the ‘reading bug’ to our learners may be one of the greatest achievements of a language teacher. We need to make our students want to read in the TL not because they have to but because they want to. This starts in the language classroom by choosing interesting texts, relevant to their age, levelContinue reading “Designing reading activities for the foreign language classroom: some key points to consider”

Managing speaking tasks in the EFL classroom

A checklist of things to consider when planning speaking tasks for the foreign language classroom Task-setting (the pre-task stage) Brainstorming, activating learner schemata     What support do our learners need to be able to carry out the speaking task? How much do they know about the topic? Do they need some help with language toContinue reading “Managing speaking tasks in the EFL classroom”

Lesson planning and its importance to effective language teaching

How can we create efficient lesson plans for the EFL classroom? Here are some key factors to take into account when designing the various stages of our English language lessons In how much detail should we plan? Harmer (2001) has described the stages of lesson planning in the following ‘planning continuum’: What should be includedContinue reading “Lesson planning and its importance to effective language teaching”

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