Department of English

Welcome to The Department of English at BATNA University

December 2018


Calendar Calendar

A Guide For Creative Thinking

Thu Sep 17, 2009 3:12 am by BHSoft

A Guide For Creative Thinking by Brian Tracy
Einstein once said, “Every child is born a genius.” But the reason why most people do not function at genius levels is because they are not aware of how creative and smart they really are.I call it the “Schwarzenegger effect.” No one would look at a person such as Arnold Schwarzenegger and think how lucky he is to have been born with such …

Africain Literature

Wed Mar 04, 2009 8:15 pm by Lily

Things Fall Apart is a 1959 English-language novel by Nigerian author Chinua Achebe. It is a staple book in schools throughout Africa and widely read and studied in English-speaking countries around the world. It is seen as the archetypal modern African novel in English, and one of the first African novels written in English to receive global critical acclaim. The title of the novel comes from [url=]

Algeria's Newspapers ...

Wed Mar 04, 2009 1:11 pm by Lily

study study study study


Algerian Vote

Thu Apr 09, 2009 12:39 pm by Lily

Algerians are voting in a presidential election which opposition groups have described as a charade.

American English

Fri Mar 13, 2009 4:00 pm by Maria

Going to is pronounced GONNA when it is used to show the future. But it is never reduced when it means going from one place to another.

We're going to grab a bite to eat. = We're gonna grab a bite to eat.
I'm going to the office tonight. = I'm going to the office tonight.

2. Want to and want a are both pronounced WANNA and wants to is pronounced WANSTA. Do you want to can also be reduced …

American Slangs

Sat Mar 21, 2009 8:54 pm by Maria

airhead: stupid person.
"Believe it or not, Dave can sometimes act like an airhead!"

amigo: friend (from Spanish).
"I met many amigos at Dave's ESL Cafe."

ammunition: toilet paper.
"Help! We're completely out of ammunition!"

antifreeze: alcohol.
"I'm going to need a lot of antifreeze tonight!"

armpit: dirty, unappealing place.

An Introduction to the British Civilization

Wed Nov 18, 2009 10:54 am by Maria

University of Batna First Year
English Department G: 6-7-8-9
General Culture

[center]An Introduction to the British Civilization

*The United Kingdom :

Full Name : The UK's full and official name is the "United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland".

Location: The United Kingdom (UK) of Great Britain and Northern Ireland is a country …

Announcements and News

Thu Mar 05, 2009 2:55 am by Lily

"Dear students , we would like to inform you that , from now on , your marks can be consulted through your Website ...Let's surf ! bounce bounce Wink

Applying for Research Study in the Department of English

Sun Apr 12, 2009 11:32 pm by Lily

Applying for Research Study in the Department of English

The process of applying for a research studentship begins with the identification of a potential supervisor. If you already know a staffmember who is willing to work with you to develop a research proposal,please start by contacting them. If you do not have a supervisor inmind already, …

    Modules Taught


    Number of posts : 776
    Age : 41
    Location : Montreal/Canada
    Job/hobbies : University Teacher / Phd Student /Fitness Coach
    Humor : Optimist
    Registration date : 2009-03-03

    William Faulkner 's Works

    Post by Lily on Fri Mar 20, 2009 1:52 pm

    Soldiers' Pay. Faulkner's first novel, about a disfigured American flyer's painful homecoming to Georgia, is published with the assistance of Sherwood Anderson, who supposedly agreed to recommend it to his publisher under the condition that he would not have to read the book.

    Mosquitoes. Faulkner's second novel assembles a mixed group of characters on the yacht of a New Orleans
    matron for conversations on literature and sex. Daring for its time in
    its references to masturbation, lesbianism, and syphilis, the book,
    according to critic Cleanth Brooks,
    "is Faulkner's least respected novel, and it is easy to see why...
    there is almost no story here; nothing of real consequence happens to
    any of its characters." The book retains a biographical relevance in
    expressing Faulkner's view of the New Orleans literary scene.

    Sartoris. Faulkner's third novel, an abridgment of the unpublished The Flags in the Dust, is his first work set in Yoknapatawpha County, the imagined equivalent of the author's native northern Mississippi.
    It traces Bayard Sartoris's return home from the war, haunted by the
    death of his twin and his aristocratic Southern family's legacy. The
    novel introduces themes, settings, and characters that would dominate
    Faulkner's books from then on. Faulkner also publishes The Sound and the Fury, which presents the disintegration of the Southern patrician Compson family through stream-of-consciousness interior monologues of the three Compson sons--the idiot Benjy, the incestuously haunted Quentin, and the grasping Jason--concerning their relationship with their fallen sister, Caddy. The fourth section is an objective account focusing on the Compson's black cook, Dilsey. It is the first of Faulkner's technically innovative narratives and one of his greatest achievements.

    As I Lay Dying.
    Faulkner's most experimentally daring novel, written over a six-week
    period when Faulkner was working the night shift at a powerhouse, is a
    multivocal stream-of-consciousness account of the poor white Bundren family's journey to bury their mother, Addie, in her native town, Jefferson, Mississippi. The book combines horror, comedy, and a profound meditation on the nature of being.

    Failing to reach the public with his previous novels, Faulkner set out
    to write a potboiler--"the most horrific tale I could imagine"--to make
    money. Composed in three weeks (but substantially reworked by a shocked
    Faulkner when he received the galleys), the story of Temple Drake's
    rape and torture by the sadistic psychopath Popeye becomes Faulkner's only bestseller. Also published in 1931 is the story collection These 13, including some of his greatest stories, such as "Victory,"
    "Red Leaves," and "A Rose for Emily."

    Light in August. One of Faulkner's greatest novels concerns the tragic ramifications of the purportedly mixed-blood heritage of the outcast Joe Christmas and the rigidity and alienation of a large cast of memorable characters, including New England liberal Joanna Burden, disgraced minister Gail Hightower, and seduced-and-abandoned country girl Lena Grove.

    A Green Bough. The writer, who would regard himself as a "failed poet," publishes his second and last poetry collection.

    Doctor Martino, and Other Stories. Faulkner's story collection includes "Fox Hunt,"
    "Mountain Victory," and "Honor."

    Pylon. Between the masterful Light in August (1934) and Absalom, Absalom! (1936), Faulkner publishes what is generally regarded as a minor work about aviators during a Mardi Gras celebration.

    Absalom, Absalom! Regarded by many as the writer's masterpiece, this complex, multivocal novel depicts the fall of the house of Mississippi's Thomas Sutpen and reflects American and Southern history before, during, and after the Civil War.

    The Unvanquished. Faulkner groups previously published short stories into a narrative chronicling the Sartoris family of Mississippi during the Civil War and Reconstruction.

    The Wild Palms. Two stories centered on the precariousness of love juxtapose a New Orleans doctor's tragic affair with a married woman and a convict's relationship with a pregnant hill woman during a flood.

    The Hamlet. The first of a trilogy that includes The Town (1957) and The Mansion (1960), the novel covers the rise to power of the grasping, corrupt Flem Snopes and his kin in Faulkner's imagined county in Mississippi.

    Go Down, Moses and Other Stories. Faulkner's short story collection deals with the McCaslin
    clan and includes one of his most admired works, "The Bear." Reviewers
    alternately recognize evidence of Faulkner's maturity and greatness as
    a writer and express their irritation at the "hopelessly tangled
    skeins" of his sentences, creating opaqueness rather than lucidity.

    The Portable Faulkner. This selection and arrangement of Faulkner's work, edited by Malcolm Cowley, is widely credited with reviving interest in the writer, most of whose books were out of print by 1946.

    Intruder in the Dust. In a working out of Faulkner's response to the South's "Negro Problem" (as it was called at the time), Lucas Beaucamp, a black Mississippi
    farmer, is charged with the murder of a white man. He is eventually
    cleared by black and white teenagers and a spinster from an old
    Southern family.

    Knight's Gambit. A story collection featuring country attorney Gavin Stephens in Faulkner's version of the detective genre. According to critic Malcolm Cowley, the work is "the slightest... and the pleasantest of all the books that Faulkner has published."

    Collected Stories. These forty-two
    stories represent what, according to Faulkner, constitutes his
    achievement as a short story writer. The stories are arranged with care
    into six thematic units that provide a key to the author's intentions.
    The collection is universally praised and receives the National Book

    Requiem for a Nun. This sequel to Sanctuary is yet another of Faulkner's
    experiments with novelistic form. Three prose sections providing
    historical background are interspersed with three others constituting a
    three-act play. The story concerns the fate of Nancy Mannigoe, a black
    nurse accused of murdering a white child.

    A Fable. Faulkner's novel is a long parable about the passion of Christ, set during World War I. Faulkner had labored for years over the novel and considered it his masterwork. Although it wins the Pulitzer Prize, later critics would deem it one of his weakest books.

    Big Woods. Faulkner's collection brings together his previously printed hunting stories--"The Bear,"
    "The Old People," and "A Bear Hunt"--with a new story, "Ride at Morning," as well as the author's explanatory comments.

    The Town. The second installment of Faulkner's Snopes trilogy appears seventeen years after the first volume, The Hamlet (1940). The novel focuses on an outsider, the lawyer Gavin Stevens,
    and his naive longing for two of the Snopes women. Narration by another
    outsider, the itinerant sewing machine salesman V. K. Ratliff,
    integrates The Town with its predecessor in the trilogy. The set would be completed with the 1960 publication of The Mansion.

    New Orleans Sketches. This book collects Faulkner's experimental prose pieces written in 1925, marking his transition from poetry to fiction.

    The Mansion. Faulkner concludes his trilogy on the Snopes family, begun with The Hamlet (1940) and continued in The Town (1957). The novel shows a prosperous Flem Snopes and the vengeance of his cousin Mink, which ends Flem's career.

    The Reivers: A Reminiscence. Published one month before his death, Faulkner's final novel is a nostalgic last look at Yoknapatawpha County in a comic tale set in 1905. It wins Faulkner a second Pulitzer Prize.

    Essays, Speeches, and Public Letters. This collection includes Faulkner's review of Ernest Hemingway's The Old Man and the Sea, lectures, introductions, essays on various writers including Sherwood Anderson and Albert Camus, impressions of Japan and New England, and comments about social issues such as race relations.


    Number of posts : 776
    Age : 41
    Location : Montreal/Canada
    Job/hobbies : University Teacher / Phd Student /Fitness Coach
    Humor : Optimist
    Registration date : 2009-03-03

    William Faulkner 's Biography

    Post by Lily on Fri Mar 20, 2009 1:46 pm

    William Faulkner was born on Sept. 25, 1897, in New Albany, Miss. He grew up in Oxford, Miss., which appears in his fiction as "Jefferson"in "Yoknapatawpha County." William was the oldest of four brothers.Both parents came from wealthy families reduced to genteel poverty by the Civil War. A great grandfather, Col. William Falkner (as the family spelled its name), had authored The White Rose of Memphis,a popular success of the 1880s. William's father owned a hardware store and livery stable in Oxford and later became business manager of the state university. William attended public school only fitfully after the fifth grade; he never graduated from high school.
    In 1918, after the U.S. Army rejected him for being underweight and too short (5 feet 5 inches), Faulkner enlisted in the Canadian Air Force. During his brief service in World War I, he suffered a leg injury in a plane accident. In 1918 he was demobilized and made an honorary second lieutenant.In 1919 Faulkner enrolled at the University of Mississippi as a special student but left the next year for New York City. After several odd jobs in New York and Mississippi, he becamepostmaster at the Mississippi University Station; he was fired in 1924. In 1925 he and a friend made a walking tour of Europe, returning home in 1926.
    During the years 1926-1930 Faulkner published a series of distinguished novels, none commercially successful. But in 1931 the success of Sanctuary, written expressly to make money, freed him of financial worries. He went to Hollywood for a year as a scenarist and an adviser.It was not until after World War II that Faulkner received critical acclaim. French critics recognized his power first; André Malraux wrote an appreciative preface to Sanctuary, and Jean Paul Sartre wrote a long critical essay on Faulkner. The turning point for Faulkner's reputation came in 1946, when Malcolm Cowley published the influential The Portable Faulkner (at this time all of Faulkner's books were out of print!).
    The groundswell of praise for Faulkner's work culminated in a 1950 Nobel Prize for literature. His 1955 lecture tour of Japan is recorded in Faulkner at Nagano (1956). In 1957-1958 he was writer-in-residence at the University of Virginia; his dialogues with students make up Faulkner in the University (1959). William Faulkner: Essays, Speeches and Public Letters (1965) andThe Faulkner-Cowley File (1966) offer further insights into the man.
    Faulkner had married Estelle Oldham in 1929, and they lived together in Oxford until his death on July 6, 1962. He was a quiet, dapper,courteous man, mustachioed and sharp-eyed. He steadfastly refused the role of celebrity: he permitted no prying into his private life and rarely granted interviews.
    Poetry and Short Stories
    During the early 1920s Faulkner wrote poetry and fiction. In the volume of verse The Marble FaunThe Green Bough (1933), was supplied by a lawyer friend, Philip Stone, on whom the lawyer in Faulkner's later fiction is modeled. Faulkner's poetry shows the poet's taste for language but lacks stylistic discipline.(1922), a printer's error allegedly introduced the "u" into the author's name, which he decided to retain. The money for another book of poems, Faulkner is considered a fine practitioner of the short-story form, and some of his stories, such as"A Rose for Emily," are widely anthologized. His collections - These Thirteen (1931), Doctor Martino and Other Stories(1934), Go Down, Moses and Other Stories (1942), and Knight's Gambit (1949) - deal with themes similar to those in his novels and include many of the same characters.
    Early Novels
    Soldiers' Pay (1926) and Mosquitoes (1927) precede Sartoris (1927), Faulkner's first important work, in which he begins his Yoknapatawpha saga. This saga, Faulkner's imaginative recreation of the tragedy of the American South, is a Balzacian provincial cycle in which each novel interrelates, clarifies, and redefines the characters. The central figure is Bayard Sartoris,returned from the war, who drives and drinks violently to compensate for his sense of alienation. He seems determined to find some extraordinary form of self-destruction. He becomes an experimental aviator and dies in a crash, leaving his pregnant wife to sustain the family name. The novel introduces families that reappear in many of Faulkner's novels and stories: the Sartoris and Compson families, representing the agrarian, aristocratic Old South; and the Snopes clan, representing the ruthless, mercantile New South.
    "The Sound and the Fury"
    The book generally regarded as Faulkner's masterpiece, The Sound and the Fury (1929), is a radical departure from conventional novelistic form. It uses a stream-of-consciousness method, rendering a different type of mentality in each of its four sections. The title, taken from Macbeth's utterance of cosmic despair in Shakespeare's play, is a clue to the profound pessimism of the novel, which records the decay and degeneracy of the Compson family and, by implication, of the aristocratic South.It is difficult to read, and Faulkner's "Appendix," written much later at the publisher's request, hardly clarifies it.
    Each section takes place in a single day; three sections are set in 1928 and one in 1910. The difficulties begin with the fact that the 1910 section is placed second in the book, and the other three are not sequential in their 1928 three-day span. Further, the opening section is rendered in the stream of consciousness of an idiot, who cannot distinguish past from present.
    Unquestionably the most difficult for Faulkner to write, the Benjy section (of April 7, 1928) is also the most difficult to read. It has been likened to a prose poem, with the succeeding three sections being simply variations on its theme of futility. Because the mentally impaired Benjy lives in a state of timelessness, his report is purely sensuous,and the reader must figure out his own chronology. Faulkner gives two aids: the device of signaling time shifts by alternating the typeface between bold and italic, and the variance of the African American attending Benjy (Roskus and Dilsey ca. 1898; Versh, T.P., and Frony ca. 1910; Luster ca. 1928).Out of Benjy's garbled report come a number of facts and motifs. He is 33 years old, in the constant care of an African American youth named Luster. Benjy is tormented by the absence of his sister, Candace, though she has been out of the household for 18 years; each time he hears golfers on the neighboring course call "Caddy!" (coincidentally her nickname), he is painfully reminded of her. The golf course,formerly part of the Compson estate, was sold so that Benjy's older brother, Quentin, could attend Harvard, where he committed suicide in 1910. Mrs. Compson is a self-pitying woman; Mr. Compson was a drunkard; Uncle Maury was a womanizer; Candace was sexually promiscuous and, in turn, her daughter, confusingly called Quentin (after her dead uncle), is also promiscuous. Benjy has been castrated at his brother Jason's order. Ironically,the most sensitive and intelligent Compson, Quentin (whose day in the novel is June 1, 1910), shares Benjy's obsession about their sister.Candace and the past dominate Quentin's section, which is set in Boston on the day he commits suicide. His musings add more facts in the novel's mosaic. The head of the family, Mr. Compson, is wise but cynical and despairing. Quentin has falsely confessed incest with Candace to his father; the father has not believed him. Quentin had fought one of Candace's lovers over her "honor." He is oppressed by knowing that the pregnant Candace is to be married off to a northern banker; the impending marriage is symbolic to Quentin of his irremediable and intolerable severance from Candace and is the reason for his suicidal state.Quentin's ludicrously methodical preparations for his suicide culminate when the last thing he does before leaving to kill himself is brush his teeth.Jason (his day in the novel is April 6, 1928) is one of the great comic villains of literature. He has an irrational, jealous loathing of Candace. Now head of the family, he complains bitterly of his responsibilities as guardian of Candace's daughter, Quentin, while systematically stealing the money Candace sends for her care. Jason is cast in the Snopes mold - materialistic, greedy, and cunning.What makes him humorous is his self-pity. He sees himself as victim -of Candace, who he feels has cost him a desired job; of his niece,whose promiscuity seems a personal affront; of Benjy, whose condition causes embarrassment;of Mrs. Compson, whom he constantly bullies and whose inefficiency has burdened him; of the Jews, whom he blames for his stock market losses;of the servants, whose employment necessitates his own work at a menial job. Jason's lack of soul is evident in all his habits. He leaves no mark on anything and lives totally in the present - the perfect Philistine of the New South.
    old black servant, Dilsey (her day is April 8, 1928). As with other Faulkner African Americans, her presence is chiefly functional: her good sense and solidity point up the decadence of the whites. In this section Jason meets with an ironic, overwhelming defeat. The novel's chief social implication is that the South is doomed.
    Novels of the 1930s
    As I Lay Dying (1930) is a farcical burlesque epic, again using the multiple stream of-consciousness method to tell the grotesque, humorous story of a family of poor whites intent on fulfilling the mother's deathbed request for burial. Sanctuary (1931), taken seriously by most critics, was discounted by Faulkner as a "potboiler." It is the lurid tale of Popeye, a sexually mutilated bootlegger, who has degenerate sexual acts performed for his gratification.
    One of his victims is a college girl whose lie in Popeye's behalf at the trial of another bootlegger results in the latter's conviction of Popeye's crime. In an ironic ending, Popeye is hanged for a crime of which he is innocent.
    The story in Light in August (1932) takes place in a single day. It is overly complicated by a subplot. Beginning with a pregnant girl searching for her lover, this plot is subordinated to the story of Joe Christmas (same initials as Jesus Christ), whose uncertain racial identity perplexes him. Though structurally unsound, Light in August generates enormous power and probably ranks second among Faulkner's books.
    Late Novels
    Faulkner's creativity ebbed after 1935. Though occasionally interesting and fitfully brilliant, his work tended to be increasingly repetitious, perverse, and mannered to the point of self-parody.
    Pylon (1935), one of Faulkner's weakest novels, is the story of a flying circus team. Absalom, Absalom!(1936) is an extremely complex novel; the title comes from the biblical cry of David ("My son, my son!"). This novel tells of a poor white from the Virginia hills who marries an aristocractic Mississippi woman, inadvertently launching a three-generation family cycle of violence, degeneracy, and mental retardation.
    Two minor novels, The Unvanquished (1938) and The Wild Palms (1939), were followed by an uneven but intriguing satire of the Snopes clan, The Hamlet (1940). Of this novel's four parts, the first and the last manifest Faulkner's greatest faults: they are talky and oblique and seem out of focus. The middle sections, however, are Faulkner at his best.
    Intruder in the Dust
    (1948) takes a liberal view of southern race relations. Lucas Beauchamp, an eccentric old African American, is saved from a false murder charge through the efforts of fair-minded whites. A Fable (1954) is a very poor parable of Christ and Judas. The Town (1957), The MansionThe Reivers (1962), a trilogy that is part of the Yoknapatawpha saga, are generally regarded as minor works.

    Last edited by Lily on Fri Apr 24, 2009 9:25 pm; edited 1 time in total

    Number of posts : 776
    Age : 41
    Location : Montreal/Canada
    Job/hobbies : University Teacher / Phd Student /Fitness Coach
    Humor : Optimist
    Registration date : 2009-03-03

    American Literature :William Faulkner

    Post by Lily on Fri Mar 20, 2009 1:14 pm

    • Born: 25 September 1897
    • Birthplace: New Albany, Mississippi
    • Died: 6 July 1962(heart attack)
    • Best Known As: American author of As I Lay Dying
    Name at birth: William Cuthbert Falkner
    William Faulkner wrote As I Lay Dying(1930) and other novels, short stories and plays. Many of his stories took place in fictional Yoknapatawpha County, Mississippi, and Faulkner's writings gave an almost mythological status to the culture of the southeastern United States. He also wrote screenplays for Hollywood, including the 1944 adaptation of Raymond Chandler's The Big Sleep starring Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall. His most famous novels includeThe Sound and the Fury (1929), Light in August (1932), Absalom! Absalom! (1936), and The Reivers (1962). In 1949 he was awarded the Nobel Prize in literature ""for his powerful and artistically unique contribution to the modern American novel."
    During World War I, when Faulkner was trying to get into the Royal Air Force in Canada (he was too short for the Americans), he changed the spelling of his name so it would look more English. Faulkner did join the RAF, but never made it overseas... Faulker was preceded as Nobel Laureate by T.S. Eliot (1948) and followed by Bertrand Russell (1950).


    Number of posts : 776
    Age : 41
    Location : Montreal/Canada
    Job/hobbies : University Teacher / Phd Student /Fitness Coach
    Humor : Optimist
    Registration date : 2009-03-03

    Methods of assessement

    Post by Lily on Wed Mar 18, 2009 12:03 am

    Reasons for testing i.e. the objectives of test-types
    1.What basic questions should a teacher/tester ask himself/herself before setting a test -What to test. How to do it. Whether to test at all. Why the assessment is being made. What it should contain. The consequences for teaching,learning and administration. The quality of the proposed test material.
    The characteristics of a good test are:
    Validity - it should measure what it is intended to measure and nothing else. Reliability - (unless valid it cannot be reliable): if administered a 2nd time a reliable test would result in the same order of merit when neither learning nor teaching has intervened. Discrimination: Decide first whether the primary purpose is to discriminate between testees. School exams are generally designed to discriminate as widely as possible among the testees.
    Backwash: Effects of the test on learning & teaching. Does it have a good influence on the learning & teaching that takes place before the test.

    2. What are the relationships between learning, teaching & testing?
    Content validity: Purposes for assessment: Aims of teacher / learner.
    Content specification = list: ensures that test reflects all areas tobe assessed in suitable proportion.
    Balanced sample (nature of items included). Backwash/Washback:
    Influence on learning & teaching before the test. Teaching through testing.

    3. What are the main reasons for testing?
    Achievement/Attainment tests: usually more formal,designed to show mastery of a particular syllabus (e.g. end-of-year tests, school-leaving exams, public tests) though similar (re-syllabus)to progress tests. Rarely constructed by classroom teacher for a particular class. Designed primarily to measure individual progress rather than as a means of motivating or reinforcing language.
    Progress Tests: Most classroom tests take this form.Assess progress students make in mastering material taught in the classroom. Often given to motivate students. They also enable students to assess the degree of success of teaching and learning and to identify areas of weakness & difficulty. Progress tests can also be diagnostic to some degree.
    Diagnostic Tests: can include Progress, Achievement and Proficiency tests, enabling teachers to identify specific weaknesses/difficulties so that an appropriate remedial programme can be planned.
    Diagnostic Tests are primarily designed to assess students'knowledge & skills in particular areas before a course of study is begun. Reference back to class-work. Motivation. Remedial work.
    Placement Tests: sort new students into teaching groups sothat they are approx. the same level as others when they start. Presentstanding. General ability rather than specific points of learning.Variety of tests necessary. Reference forward to future learning.Results of Placement Tests are needed quickly. Administrative load.
    Proficiency Tests:Measure students' achievements in relation to a specific task which they are later required to perform (e.g.follow a university course in the English medium; do a particular job).
    Reference forward to particular application of language acquired:future performance rather than past achievement. They rarely take into account the syllabus that students have followed. Definition of operational needs. Practical situations. Authentic strategies for coping. Common standard e.g. driving test regardless of previous learning. Application of common standard whether the syllabus is known or unknown.
    Aptitude Tests: measure students probable performance.
    Reference forward but can be distinguished from proficiency tests.Aptitude tests assess proficiency in language for language use (e.g.will S experience difficulty in identifying sounds or the grammatical structure of a new language?) while Proficiency tests measure adequacy of control in L2 for studying other things through the medium of that language.
    4. What are the essential differences between a classroom test and an external examination? -Most external exams are designed to discriminate as widely as possible among testees.
    5. Briefly describe the following types of test in terms of their objectives: a) aptitude b) placement c) diagnostic d) achievement e) proficiency.
    a)Aptitude has no past and concerns the future: re language performance itself e.g. Modern Language Aptitude Test University of York
    b)Placement Tests: sort new students into teaching groups so that they are approx. the same level as others when they start.
    c)Diagnostic concerns the past. It may or may not refer to a known syllabus (e.g. Kernel entry test and tests on each 3 units)
    d)Achievementhas a known syllabus and concerns the future (e.g. "O" & A level or University degree exams)
    e)Proficiencyrelates to the future: re- Use of Language to undertake a non-language task (e.g. Cambridge Proficiency, TOEFL)
    6. How far is it possible to predict student success in language learning?
    Aptitude tests assess profieciency in language for language use i.e.language performance itself. They do not assess the use of language to undertake a non-linguistic task.
    Problem one: definition of student success in language learning: should we consider language learning for other goals.
    Problem two: before we can predict success we have to be able to measure it. How do we measure proficiency?
    Problem three: If aptitude tests are conceived as measuring the amount of linguistic skill needed for language learning,supposing we are able to measure linguistic skill, surely this is not the only factor which accounts for successful performance.
    Is it possible to separate linguistic skill (even if wethink we are testing it!) from factors such as intelligence,motivation, the whole teaching situtation. There are too many variables. Need for more research into what is fundamentally involved in LL.
    How do we separate APTITUDE from IQ? There is a correlation between HIGH IQ and SUCCESS IN LL.
    7. Can one measure a student's progress in learning a L2? What are the difficulties? Defining the syllabus: Clear statement of aims & methods & specification of the content of learning.
    The design and content of the progress test will seek to show that students have attained those abilities the course seeks to develop.Difficulty in knowing whether to attribute progress to the course,previous knowledge, outside influences, time in host environment or classroom, etc. The quality of the test and the assumptions on which it is based.
    8. How does one specify test objectives? How far does the way objectives are defined influence subsequent assessment?
    Definition of objectives: "The best basis for setting valid tests is to ask questions at every stage, but especially at the beginning of test development process, so that specification is as clear a statement as possible of why assessment is being made, what it will contain and the consequences for teaching, learning and administration.
    Linguistic Competence ("Levels"): Tests of grammar & usage (Morphology &Syntax),vocabulary(Lexis & emantics: collocations),LC (Phonology:discrimination,recognition,pronunciation,Stress&intonation) & writing skills(graphology)
    9. What are the main language skills and their components? Are there other skills that should be tested?
    For lists of skills and sub-skills see:
    Communicative Syllabus Design John Munby (Cambridge 1978)

    • Taxonomy of Language Skills 1-54 Pages 123-131 Examples: 1.Discriminating/Articulating sounds in isolate word forms/ connected speech 2. Discriminating/Articulating stress patterns within words & connected speech 12. Producing intonation patterns 17.Recognising the script of a language: discriminating the graphemes 19.Deducing the meaning of unfamiliar items, through stems/roots/ 24.Understanding conceptual meaning/ communicative value.
    • Developing Reading Skills - by Françoise Grellet [ 256 pages: Cambridge 1981].
      This is an easy book to understand. Applied Linguistics Students who wish to review the work on Reading Strategies should also consult "Comprehension & Comprehension Tests" Lunzer, E. et al (1979), "Research in comprehension in reading pp499-545 Davis, F. B. (1968) Reading Research Quarterly 3, "Identification of Subskills in Reading Comprehension by Maximum Likelihood Analysis" Spearritt, D. (1972) Reading Research Quarterly 8, "A Model Program for Teaching Advanced Reading to Students of EFL" Eskey, D. E. 'Language Learning', Vol 23, No 2, pp169-184, and "Reading as problem solving: an investigation of strategies" Olshavsky, J.E.

    Last edited by Lily on Wed May 06, 2009 11:50 am; edited 1 time in total

    Number of posts : 776
    Age : 41
    Location : Montreal/Canada
    Job/hobbies : University Teacher / Phd Student /Fitness Coach
    Humor : Optimist
    Registration date : 2009-03-03

    English Language Teaching Methods

    Post by Lily on Tue Mar 17, 2009 10:18 pm

    • 01 English Pronunciation and Listening to spoken English

      • Priorities and materials for phonology and phonetics
      • English vowel sounds - the 12 monophthongs
      • Presentation and practice of the 8 English diphthongs
      • Materials to practise Final Consonant Clusters in English
      • Specifying the priorities for pronunciation teaching
      • Teaching intonation, rhythm and stress
      • Speech versus written English
      • Listening to spoken English: techniques for L2 learners
      • Should spoken English be the principal objective in language learning?
      • idiom, cliché, jargon, slang, motto, phoneme, allophone, redundancy
    • 02 Syntax & Semantics

      • Ways of presenting grammar
      • Short Texts for production and grammar presentation
      • Dialogues for grammar-presentation or conversation-facilitation
      • Function & Form: uses of the Present Perfect Tense
      • Grammar content of FCE as covered in leading exam course books 1979-1987
      • Key developments in the teaching of English vocabulary during the mid 20th century
      • The importance of concordancers and corpuses in vocabulary learning and teaching today
      • Choosing a dictionary for English language learning
      • Functional and linguistic analysis of occupational varieties of English
      • Specialist English dictionaries and companion workbooks to develop vocabulary
    • 03 History and Practice of TESL /TEFL methods & approaches

      • Audiolingualism (drilling as habit formation)
      • Cognitive Theory (awareness of the rules) Mentalism
      • Notional | Functional approach i.e. setting (topic areas) | speech acts (social purpose of utterance)
      • The Communicative Approach - the theoretical background
      • Communicative Language Teaching and task-based learning
      • Definitions of learning
    • 04 Language Acquisition Forum on current methods & approaches and the role of the teacher

      • "The appeal & poverty of CLT" (Robert O'Neill: March 2000)
      • "The limits of functional/notional syllabuses" (Robert O'Neill: 1997)
      • "Crucial differences between L1 and L2 Acquisition" (Robert O'Neill: 1998)
      • "Dogmas and Delusions in Current EFL Methodology" (Robert O'Neill: 1999)
      • "The Myth of the Silent Teacher" (Robert O'Neill: April 1994)
      • Verbal characteristics of good teacher-talk. How to be a good teacher: the most common tips.
      • What makes a good teacher? Use marketing clichés, catch-phrases and jargon in your answers.
    • 05 Principles Syllabus and Course Design

      • Selection and Grading of Structural items
      • Questions to consider when designing a syllabus (Ron White)
      • A critique of Breen's Process Syllabus (Ted Power)
      • Motivating large classes of captive language learners in poorly resourced MLT environments
      • Planning a visit with captive 12-13 year-old UK learners of French to Boulogne, France
      • A list of criteria for evaluating the Main Course Book
    • 06 Methods of Testing and Assessment

      • INDEX: to Language Testing Objectives
      • Objectives of test types: a) aptitude b) placement c) diagnostic d) achievement e) proficiency
      • What are a) discrete point tests b) tests of integrative skills?
      • Subjective and objective testing techniques
      • Standardized tests ("psychometric objective" & "linguistic realistic")
      • The main requirements of an efficient test - the problem of "test rubric"
      • Item analysis - the facility value of an item and its discrimination index
      • The problems of assessing communication in a second language L2
      • What are a) norm-referenced tests and b) criterion-referenced tests?
      • Test reliability and validity: the most important aspects of both for the teacher / tester?
    • 07 Developing a Placement Test

      • Getting started & types of test to avoid
      • Content specification
      • The Placement Test
      • Marking instructions and Answer Key
      • Item Analysis for selective deletion Placement Tests set on an incline of difficulty
      • Testing the test 1: Item analysis: facility value and discrimination index
      • Testing the test 2: Statistical measures of the Mean, Standard Deviation and Reliability
      • Reliability versus Validity
      • Accommodating "complete beginners" during a 60-minute Placement Test and Bibliography on Language Testing
    • 08 A Multiple Choice Placement Test designed for quick marking and optimum validity

      • Part 1 Grammar
      • Part 2 Vocabulary
      • Part 3 Reading Comprehension
      • Part 4 Listening Comprehension
      • Tape Script for Part 4 Listening Comprehension (cassette, minidisk or teacher can read aloud)
      • Protecting TEST QUESTION PAPERS for re-use by subsequent intakes of students
      • ANSWER SHEETS WITH GRIDS and OVERLAYS for easy marking
      • Using computers or computer labs with or without Internet to administer and mark the test
    • 09 English Language Teaching songs and games

      • Folk songs listed by Level and frequency of problematic English Vowel & Consonant Sounds
      • English Phoneme Chart: Key to problematic Vowel & Consonant Sounds
      • Folk songs listed by a) Theme b) Discussion Topic and c) Level
      • Games for English Language Learning colour-coded by Level
    • 10 Reading in the Second Language Class

      • Reading is not the same as Text Study
      • Classroom activities and Skills for Reading
      • L2 Reading objectives for English for Specific Purposes (Business and ESP)
      • L2 Reading objectives for English for Academic Purposes (EAP) Candidates for English medium universities
    • 11 Writing in the Second Language Class

      • 1) Exercise-types for teaching writing in the second language class. 2) Is writing an extension of speaking?
      • Adjusting lesson content to the contexts in which writing is needed
      • Coherence and cohesion in esl student writing
      • Correction techniques: behaviourist (steering round errors) v cognitive (earmarking the fault)
      • Link to Adult Literacy Materials for zero beginners with no knowledge of our alphabet
      • Link to BBC Skillwise: writing - a community web site, offering general writing tips and practice for learners at lower levels
      • Link to Royal Literary Fund - help with essay writing for advanced learners hoping to attend UK universities
    • 12 Learner Independence; Learner Autonomy and the Web; Self-access Centres and Practice Time

      • Self-access Centres: the rationale
      • Using javascript templates on other sites to make your computer lab teaching & testing material interactive
      • Downloading freeware from the web to run javascript interactive teach/test templates and how to create your own
    • 13 Particular challenges for English language teachers: real communication; very low or very high level learners

      • The "authenticity argument" as applied to learners at different levels
      • Teaching beginners - goals and strategies; 2 different methods (Robert O'Neill: 1980)
      • Teaching advanced learners


    Number of posts : 776
    Age : 41
    Location : Montreal/Canada
    Job/hobbies : University Teacher / Phd Student /Fitness Coach
    Humor : Optimist
    Registration date : 2009-03-03

    Content and Language Learning

    Post by Lily on Tue Mar 17, 2009 10:10 pm

    • Methodology

    • Home
    • CLIL in Germany
    • CLIL in Europe
    • CLIL and DaF
    • Methodology
    • Literature
    • Links
    • Video
    • Editorial
    Some Educational and Methodological Principles of Content and Language Integrated Learning (CLIL)

    Original considerations on developing a general teaching method for bilingualsubject teaching are meanwhile judged with some ambivalence. While some basic features of a teaching methodology for CLIL may bedistinguished, bilingual teaching is determined by the features of theteaching of each specific subject. Thus, one should distinguish betweengeneral teaching methods for CLIL and a subject-specific componentwithin them, i.e. a component that is tailored to the specific subjectbeing taught in the foreign language. This statement applies less tothe linguistic side of CLIL (i.e. the language through which thesubject is taught), although approaches to foreign language teachingoften differ on account of different teaching traditions in teachingdifferent languages. Thus, we can only discuss typical features ofgeneral teaching methods in CLIL that are an inherent part of allcombinations of subject and language (cf. in this connection also Jansen O’Dwyer 2007).
    Simultaneous promotion of subject and language knowledge
    In terms of teaching methodology, the way in which one can integrate subject and language work is of central importance for every form of CLIL. As in any form of institutionalised learning, however, the question also arises for CLIL as to how the learning processes in school can be appropriately promoted methodologically and didactically.This crucial didactic question raises itself doubly in the context of CLIL since the aim is to promote knowledge of a subject and knowledge of a foreign language at the same time. It has emerged ever more clearly in foreign language teaching in the last decade that learning processes at school can only be influenced by the teacher to a limited extent; there are meanwhile similar findings in the teaching of a number of other humanities and social sciences subjects, e.g. history. Increasingly, calls are rather being made to promote learning processes through appropriately designing the learning environment. If learners work actively with one another in an appropriate learning environment in which they engage with the subjects consciously and emotionally, so the argument goes, learning processes are promoted to a greater extent than in traditional forms of teaching in which the teacher may be actively involved but learners are involved only reactively. While such learning environments have been discussed for some time in the teaching of foreign languages and also occasionally in the teaching of other subjects, they are introduced by teachers into lessons with little enthusiasm – and unfortunately that also applies to CLIL lessons. I am referring here in particular to forms of work involving a partner, work in groups and project work.These cooperative forms of work are linked with the educational principle of learners’ autonomy, the conceptual basis of all recent educational approaches.
    It is the learning environment that counts
    It is precisely this concept of a modern learning environment based on constructivist principles (cf. Wolff 2002) which, in the view of CLIL methods, also best does justice to the demands of integrated subject and foreign language teaching. The best way to combine subject and language work is to integrate them in a learning environment of this kind. Bilingual subject teaching is first of all subject teaching, i.e. the subject presents the contents with which the learner has to deal.The contents of the subject are real in the sense of the discussion in the early 20th century on Realien- material objects used as teaching aids to stimulate the imagination,i.e. contents relating to the real world. Unlike the often fictional contents of foreign language teaching, these contents encourage learners genuinely to deal cognitively, consciously and emotionally with the subject, thus promoting optimal learning processes. Because the contents of the subject are real, they are also more appropriate for modern forms of joint learning such as group and project work than the contents of foreign language teaching. When learners work in small groups on geography or history topics, their individual learning processes are enhanced, their motivation for dealing with these contents is increased and they are more involved in the learning process. Of course, such an approach requires the development of learners’ autonomy, i.e. the ability to work independently, which is developed in turn in the context of group and project work (cf. here also Dam 1994).
    The question of integrating content and language
    These comments do not yet answer the central question, of course. So far, CLIL lessons have only been described as modern subject lessons like those that could also take place in the learners’ mother tongue.The question of the linguistic side of CLIL and above all of the integration of content and language requires further considerations.Language plays a central role in the teaching of any subject. History or biology lessons in the learners’ native language also work with language to a great extent. The concepts of specialist subjects are conveyed to learners through language. Language is needed to be able to observe and describe situations, and language enables learners to exchange ideas and discuss controversial insights. It is no coincidence that the observation was made in the field of specialist English teaching methodology back in the eighties that all teaching is language teaching. The concept of language across the curriculum that called on all teachers to make language transparent in their lessons is also indirectly a didactic basis for CLIL. This is because if one teaches a subject in a language other than the learners’ mother tongue, raising an awareness of linguistic products and processes plays an even more important role.
    A repertoire of speech acts is needed
    While the foreign language is not the focus of lessons in modern CLIL,more emphasis is placed on the language and on making it transparent to learners than in lessons in the learners’ native language.Terminological aspects should not be the focus here, as was originally called for in CLIL. What appears to be much more important in language work is to develop a repertoire of speech acts that play a central role in subject lessons. This may be determined for all subjects, regardless of whether they are science, social science or humanities-orientated.The pupil has to be equipped linguistically for these speech acts in order to be able to act independently. If lessons are held in a foreign language, the relevant linguistic repertoire in the foreign language must also be provided. These speech acts include the following:
    *Describing: identifying, defining and classifying the partial actions.
    *Explaining: using the partial actions to provide examples, to elaborate and to reduce.
    *Evaluating: using the partial actions to argue and to provide evidence.
    *Drawing conclusions: concluding and explaining with the partial actions.
    These acts, which may be assigned to linguistic functions, are implemented linguistically in the learners’ native language or, in the case of bilingual subject lessons, in the foreign language, but they serve the work with the subject’s contents and are therefore very realistic. Because learners are made aware of them in their work with subject contents and regard them as necessary, they are also learned.
    Academic interaction skills
    Thus, the decisive factor in promoting language skills is the development of language skills related to subject-based work. Allow me to illustrate this with an example. Subject work is to a great extent based on work with texts and documents but also refers to other materials, e.g. pictures, graphs and films.
    Learners need to be linguistically prepared to deal with such materials. That means that their reading skills need to be developed more than in traditional foreign language lessons, for example, where oral interaction plays a greater role. Reading texts and documents is dependent on reading strategies that have to be taught to learners. Work with pictures,graphs and films requires other strategies that also have to be developed and promoted in respect of the linguistic application of the knowledge that has been gained. For example, describing the picture of a geological formation requires strategies by means of which the important features of this formation can be recognised, but at the same time it requires the ability to translate this knowledge from its conceptual form into a linguistic form. Thus, the promotion of language skills always takes place in combination with subject-related tasks; these tasks determine which linguistic processes and strategies, but also which linguistic means, are included in the lesson. In the broadest sense, this involves promoting academic interaction skills in the sense of Cummins' cognitive academic language proficiency (CALP) concept. While foreign language teaching, especially in the first years, promotes what Cummins referred to as basic interpersonal communication skills (BICS), bilingual subject teaching focuses from the outset on developing academic interaction skills.
    Code switching required
    To conclude these considerations, allow me to make a methodological remark on the use of the mother tongue and the foreign language in bilingual teaching. In the early days of CLIL, the methodological demand was for bilingual subject teaching to be strictly monolingual, in line with the principle of foreign language teaching at that time i.e. the mother tongue was not to be used in the classroom. Views have now changed -the importance of the mother tongue in integrated foreign language and subject learning processes is no longer called into question,particularly since it has been recognised that the code-switching processes often to be observed in the bilingual classroom are very important in language-learning and language awareness-raising processes, but as yet have rarely attracted methodological interest(cf. here in particular Wannagat).
    Literature on the subject
    Cummins, J. (1987): “Bilingualism, language proficiency and metalinguistic development”. In: Homel, P., Palij, M. & Aaronson,D. (eds.): Childhood Bilingualism: Aspects of Linguistic, Cognitive and Social Development. Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum.
    Cummins, J. (1992):"Heritage language teaching in Canadian schools". Journal of Curriculum Studies 24, 281-86.
    Dam, L. (1994): "How do we recognise an autonomous classroom." Die Neueren Sprachen, 93, 503-527
    Jansen O’Dwyer, E. (2007): Two for One: Die Sache mit der Sprache. Berne: h.e.p. VerlagWannagat, U. (working title, to be published in 2008/2009):
    Bilingualer Sachfachunterricht und EMI (English as Medium of Instruction): Ein Vergleich zwischen Deutschland und Hong Kong.

    Number of posts : 776
    Age : 41
    Location : Montreal/Canada
    Job/hobbies : University Teacher / Phd Student /Fitness Coach
    Humor : Optimist
    Registration date : 2009-03-03

    Learning Theories2

    Post by Lily on Tue Mar 17, 2009 9:10 pm

    Cognitive conflict and social context.
    According to Dewey, "Reflection arises because of the appearance of incompatible factors within an empirical situation. Then opposed responses are provoked which cannot be taken simultaneously in overt action" (p.326).
    To say this in another way, cognitive conflict or puzzlement is the stimulus for learning, and it determines the organization and nature of what is being learned. Negotiation can also occur between individuals in a classroom. This process involves discussion and attentive listening,making sense of the points of views of others, and comparing personal meanings to the theories of peers. Justifying one position over another and selecting theories that are more viable leads to a better theory.
    Katerine Bielaczyc and Allan Collins have summarized educational research on learning communities in classrooms where the class goal is to learn together, to appreciate and capitalize on distributed expertise, and to articulate the kinds of cognitive processes needed for learning.
    Constructivist assessment.
    Assessment of student learning is of two types: formative and summative. Formative assessment occurs during learning and provides feedback to the student.It includes evaluations of ongoing portfolios,and demonstrations of work in progress. Student collaboration also provides a form of formative assessment. In FCL, for example, students report to each other periodically on their research. In knowledge-building classrooms,students can read and comment on each other's work with the Knowledge Forum software. Formative assessment rarely occurs in classrooms.
    Summative assessment occurs through tests and essays at the end of a unit of study. Summative assessments provide little specific feedback. From a constructivist perspective,formative assessments are more valuable to the learner, but with the recent emphasis in North America on standards, and due to the poor alignment of constructivist approaches and standards, it is very difficult to harmonize formative and summative assessments.Technology and constructivism. Cognitive research has uncovered successful patterns in tutorial, mentoring, and group discussion interactions. However, typical Internet chat and bulletin-board systems do not support a constructivist approach to learning and instruction. During the 1990s, researchers created tools such as Knowledge Forum, the Knowledge Integration Environment, and Co Vis to more fully address constructivist principles. Each of these tools invites collaboration by structuring the kinds of contributions learners can make, supporting meaningful relationships among those contributions, and guiding students'inquiries. Teachers who use information and communication technologies in their classrooms are more likely to have a constructivist perspective towards learning and instruction. Additionally,sophisticated information and technology communications tools can capture the cognitive processes learners engage in when solving problems. This affords teacher reflection and coaching to aid deeper learning. It also affords teachers the chance to learn from each other.
    The teacher's role.
    The teacher's role in a constructivist classroom isn't so much to lecture at students but to act as an expert learner who can guide students into adopting cognitive strategies such as self testing,articulating understanding, asking probing questions, and reflection.The role of the teacher in constructivist classrooms is to organize information around big ideas that engage the students' interest, to assist students in developing new insights, and to connect them with their previous learning.The activities are student-centered, and students are encouraged to ask their own questions, carry out their own experiments, make their own analogies, and come to their own conclusions. Becoming a constructivist teacher may prove a difficult transformation, however, since most instructors have been prepared for teaching in the traditional,objectivist manner. It "requires a paradigm shift," as well as "the willing abandonment of familiar perspectives and practices and the adoption of new ones" (Brooks and Brooks, p. 25).
    A constructivist approach to education is widely accepted by most researchers, though not by all. Carl Bereiter argues that constructivism in schools is usually reduced to project based learning,and John Anderson, Lynn Reder, and Herbert Simon claim that constructivism advocates very inefficient learning and assessment procedures. In any event, the reality is that constructivism is rarely practiced in schools.

    Number of posts : 776
    Age : 41
    Location : Montreal/Canada
    Job/hobbies : University Teacher / Phd Student /Fitness Coach
    Humor : Optimist
    Registration date : 2009-03-03

    Learning Theories

    Post by Lily on Tue Mar 17, 2009 9:08 pm

    Constructivism is an epistemology,or a theory, used to explain how people know what they know. The basic idea is that problem solving is at the heart of learning, thinking, and development. As people solve problems and discover the consequences of their actions - through reflecting on past and immediate experiences -they construct their own understanding. Learning is thus an active process that requires a change in the learner.
    This is achieved through the activities the learner engages in,including the consequences of those activities, and through reflection.People only deeply understand what they have constructed.A constructivist approach to learning and instruction has been proposed as an alternative to the objectivist model, which is implicit in all behaviorist and some cognitive approaches to education. Objectivism
    sees knowledge as a passive reflection of the external, objective reality. This implies a process of "instruction," ensuring that the learner gets correct information.
    History of Constructivism
    The psychological roots of constructivism began with the developmental work of Jean Piaget (1896 - 1980), who developed a theory (the theory of genetic epistemology) that analogized the development of the mind to evolutionary biological development and highlighted the adaptive function of cognition. Piaget proposed four stages in human development: the sensorimotor stage, the preoperational stage, the concrete operational stage, and the formal operational stage. For Piaget, the development of human intellect proceeds through adaptation and organization. Adaptation is a process of assimilation and accommodation, where external events are assimilated into existing understanding, but unfamiliar events, which don't fit with existing knowledge, are accommodated into the mind, thereby changing its organization.
    Countless studies have demonstrated - or tried to discredit- Piaget's developmental stages. For example, it has become clear that most adults use formal operations in only a few domains where they have expertise.
    Nonetheless, Piaget's hypothesis that learning is a transformative rather than a cumulativeincompatible with their previous understanding. This transformative view of learning has been greatly extended by neo-Piagetian research.Process is still central. Children do not learn a bit at a time about some issue until it finally comes together as understanding. Instead,they make sense of whatever they know from the very beginning. This understanding is progressively reformed as new knowledge is acquired,especially new knowledge that is [b]The Russian psychologist Lev Vygotsky's (1896 - 1934) relevance to constructivism derives from his theories about language, thought, and their mediation by society. Vygotsky held the position that the child gradually internalizes external and social activities, including communication, with more competent others. Although social speech is internalized in adulthood (it becomes thinking), Vygotsky contended that it still preserves its intrinsic collaborative character.In his experiments, Vygotsky studied the difference between the child's reasoning when working independently versus reasoning when working with a more competent person. He devised the notion of the zone of proximal development to reflect on the potential of this difference. Vygotsky's findings suggested that learning environments should involve guided interactions that permit children to reflect on inconsistency and to change their conceptions through communication. Vygotsky's work has since been extended in the situated approach to learning.Vygotsky and Piaget's theories are often contrasted to each other in terms of individual cognitive constructivism (Piaget) and social constructivism (Vygotsky). Some researchers have tried to develop a synthesis of these approaches, though some, such as Michael Cole and James Wertsch, argue that the individual versus social orientation debate is over-emphasized. To them, the real difference rests on the contrast between the roles of cultural artifacts. For Vygotsky, such artifacts play a central role, but they do not appear in Piaget's theories.
    For the American philosopher and educator John Dewey (1859 - 1952), education depended on action - knowledge and ideas emerge only from a situation in which learners have to draw out experiences that have meaning and importance to them. Dewey argued that human thought is practical problem solving, which proceeds by testing rival hypotheses.
    These problem-solving experiences occur in a social context, such as a classroom, where students join together in manipulating materials and observing outcomes. Dewey invented the method of progressive education in North America. The Fostering Communities of Learners (FCL) program, devised by Ann Lesley Brown and Joseph Campione, is a current attempt to put Dewey's progressive education theory to work in the classroom.
    In summary, Piaget contributed the idea of transformation in learning and development; Vygotsky contributed the idea that learning and development were integrally tied to communicative interactions with others; and Dewey contributed the idea that schools had to bring real world problems into the school curriculum.
    Constructivist Processes and Education
    There are a number of competing constructivist views in education. Constructivists tend to celebrate complexity and multiple perspectives,though they do share at least a few educational prescriptions.Prior knowledge. Constructivists believe that prior knowledge impacts the learning process. In trying to solve novel problems, perceptual or conceptual similarities between existing knowledge and a new problem can remind people of what they already know. This is often one's first approach towards solving novel problems. Information not connected with a learner's prior experiences will be quickly forgotten. In short, the learner must actively construct new information into his or her existing mental framework for meaningful learning to occur.
    For example, Rosalind Driver has found that children's understanding of a phenomenon (interpretations that fit their experiences and expectations) differ from scientific explanations. This means that students distinguish school science from their "real world"explanations. Studies of adult scientific thinking reveal that many adults hold non-normative scientific explanations, even though they have studied science. This is what the philosopher Alfred Whitehead (1861 - 1947) referred to as inert knowledge. Asking students what they already know about a topic and what puzzles them affords an opportunity to assess children's prior knowledge and the processes by which they will make sense of phenomena.
    Real and authentic problems.
    Constructivist learning is based on the active participation of learners in problem-solving and critical thinking - given real and authentic problems.
    In anchored instruction, for example,as advanced in the work of the Cognition and Technology Group at Vanderbilt University, learners are invited to engage in a fictitious problem occurring in a simulated real-world environment. Rich and realistic video contexts are provided - not only to provide relevant information for solving the problem, but also to create a realistic context. If the students buy in to the proposed problems, they will be engaged in problem solving similar to what the people in the video are engaged in.
    There are also many examples of project-based learning in which students take on tasks such as building a vehicle that could cross Antarctica. It is unclear whether these constitute authentic problems - or what students learn from project-based learning.
    Constructivist curriculum.
    A constructively oriented curriculum presents an emerging agenda based on what children know, what they are puzzled by, and the teachers'learning goals. Thus, an important part of a constructivist-oriented curriculum should be the negotiation of meaning. Maggie Lampert, a mathematics teacher, guides students to make sense of mathematics by comparing and resolving discrepancies between what they know and what seems to be implied by new experience.In constructivist classrooms, curriculum is generally a process of digging deeper and deeper into big ideas, rather than presenting a breadth of coverage. For example, in the Fostering Communities of Learners project where students learn how to learn, in knowledge-building classrooms where students seek to create new knowledge, or in Howard Gardner's classrooms where the focus is on learning for deep understanding, students might study endangered species,island biogeography,or the principles of gravity over several months. As students pursue questions, they derive new and more complex questions to be investigated. Building useful knowledge structures requires effortful and purposeful activity over an extended period.

    Number of posts : 776
    Age : 41
    Location : Montreal/Canada
    Job/hobbies : University Teacher / Phd Student /Fitness Coach
    Humor : Optimist
    Registration date : 2009-03-03

    Phonetics: Intonation3

    Post by Lily on Sun Mar 15, 2009 11:53 pm

    Some listeners find it easy to discern whether the pitch movement on a nuclear syllable is rising or falling, but others find the distinctions almost impossible to hear. It is fruitless - and distressing - to ask such people to try to say something with a predetermined rise or fall. It is better to ask them to say something to express a certain attitude. If they are asked to express finality or certainty, the result is most likely to be a fall. If they are asked to say something in a questioning way, it is most likely to be a rise. If they are asked to express uncertainty, it will probably be a fall-rise.Fortunately, the ability to hear and interpret intonation in everyday speech does not depend on the ability to analyse it or replicate it in class.
    Although intonation is an important feature of spoken English, it is represented in written English only rather crudely bythe use of such punctuation devices as full stops, commas, questionmarks, and exclamation marks. Skilful writers can convey shades ofmeaning in various ways. Some resort to a simple method of adverbials.
    How are you today?" he asked "cheerfully".


    Number of posts : 776
    Age : 41
    Location : Montreal/Canada
    Job/hobbies : University Teacher / Phd Student /Fitness Coach
    Humor : Optimist
    Registration date : 2009-03-03

    Phonetics: Intonation

    Post by Lily on Sun Mar 15, 2009 11:18 pm

    Let's return to the beginning example to demonstrate how this affects speech.
    The beautiful Mountain appeared transfixe d in the distance . (14 syllables)
    He can come on Sunday s as long as he doesn't have to do any homework in the evening . (22 syllables)
    Even though the second sentence is approximately 30% longer than the first, the sentences take the same time to speak. This is because there are 5 stressedwords in each sentence. From this example, you can see that you needn't worry about pronouncing every word clearly to be understood (we native speakers certainly don't). You should however, concentrate on pronouncing the stressed words clearly.
    Now, do some listening comprehension or go speak to your native English speaking friends and listen to how we concentrate on the stressed words rather than giving importance to each syllable. You will
    soon find that you can understand and communicate more because you begin to listen for (and use in speaking) stressed words. All those words that you thought you didn't understand are really not crucial for understanding the sense or making yourself understood. Stressed words are the key to excellent pronunciation and understanding of English. I hope this short introduction to the importance of stress in English will help you to improve your understanding and speaking skills.
    How Intonation Works?
    The full description of intonation patterns is very complex. Here, only some fundamental points will be explained.
    Within each tone group, there will be the normal English combination of stressed (strong) and unstressed (weak) syllables.
    *It was the best car for them to buy.*Within the tone group, one syllable will be even more strongly stressed than the other stressed syllables. This is called the nuclear syllable.
    *It was the best car for them to buy. (Buy is the nuclear syllable.)
    *The nuclear syllable carries the main focus of information. It also carries any new information.
    *We looked at the hatchback. (Hatchback is new information.)
    *The hatchback was old. (Hatchback is given information. Old is new information.)
    *The usual position for the nuclear syllable is on the final lexical word in the tone group.

    • It had a lot of rust in it.
    • However, the nuclear syllable can appear in other positions if the sense requires it.However, the nuclear syllable can appear in other positions if the sense requires it.
    Normal placement:

    • Linda was wearing that black skirt.
      Contrastive placements:
    • Linda was wearing that black skirt. (not a red one)
    • Linda was wearing that black skirt. (a particular skirt referred to already)
    • Linda was wearing that black skirt. (not just carrying it)
    • Linda was wearing that black skirt. ( you said she wasn't)
    • [b]Linda was wearing that black skirt. (it wasn't Jill wearing it)
    The nuclear syllable sounds louder than the other stressed syllables. It also has a change of pitch.
    The two most common pitch movements are:
    rising pitch yés
    falling pitch yès
    It is also possible to have a fall-rising pitch ys a rise-falling pitch yês
    Compare these replies:
    Q: When would it suit you to come?
    A: Nów? (The intonation expresses a question: would it be OK if I came now?)
    Q: When would it suit you to come?
    A: Nòw. (The intonation expresses a statement: I'll come now.
    -They're coming on Mònday / arèn't they? (question seeking an answer, yes or no)
    -In New Zealand speech, we often hear a rising intonation pattern where we might expect a fall.
    -I went down to the shóps / and I saw this gírl / and she was riding a bíke / and she had this big bág /...
    Questioner: Could you tell me where the Post Office is? New Zealander: Just round the corner?
    This feature of intonation is known technically as a high-rising terminal contour or HRT for short. When it was documented, especially in female speech, it was at first interpreted as a sign of women's insecurity and need for confirmation. Today, it is seen as a discourse feature that connects the speaker with the listener, indicating "Are you with me?" It has the same function as the "eh" ending, or phrases such as "you know" or "you see." Its function is to assist conversation, and it can be a politeness marker, as in the example immediately above.
    A falling tone is used to show completeness.
    A rising tone can indicate incompleteness.
    If they finish the tone group with a rising tone, we are likely to understand that they wish to continue speaking and are seeking feedback, by word or gesture.
    A falling tone is used at the end of a list to show that the list is complete
    Would you like tea / coffee / fruit juice / lemonade / (There might be other drinks as well that I haven't named.)
    These nuances can be tested by asking someone to express different attitudes or emotions using only "mmmmm".enthusiasm? boredom? uncertainty? anger?
    The variations in pitch can be quite difficult to analyse objectively. Just as we can distinguish very fine differences in taste that are difficult to analyse scientifically, so it is often very difficult to determine and describe the exact changes in pitch that produce these different responses.


    Number of posts : 776
    Age : 41
    Location : Montreal/Canada
    Job/hobbies : University Teacher / Phd Student /Fitness Coach
    Humor : Optimist
    Registration date : 2009-03-03


    Post by Lily on Sun Mar 15, 2009 10:22 pm

    What Is Intonation?
    Question: What is the difference in the way the following two sentences sound?
    A. You are going tomorrow.
    B. You are going tomorrow?
    Answer: The ‘melodies’ of the two sentences are different:
    The melody of sentence A drops at the end, making it a statement. The melody of sentence B rises at the end, making it a question.
    Periods, question marks, and other punctuation in a written story help the reader to know about the melody.
    In languages like English and Spanish, we call these sentence melodies intonations. An intonation is a melody that belongs to an entire sentence. All spoken languages have intonations.
    Say this sentence aloud and count how many seconds it takes.
    The beautiful Mountain appeared transfixed in the distance.
    Time required? Probably about 5 seconds. Now, try speaking this sentence aloud.
    He can come on Sundays as long as he doesn't have to do any homework in the evening.
    Time required? Probably about 5 seconds.
    Wait a minute the first sentence is much shorter than the second sentence!
    The beautiful Mountain appeared transfixed in the distance.
    He can come on Sundays as long as he doesn't have to do any homework in the evening.
    You are only partially right!
    This simple exercise makes a very important point abouthow we speak and use English. Namely, English is considered a stressedlanguage while many other languages are considered syllabic. What doesthat mean? It means that, in English, we give stress to certain words while other words are quickly spoken (some students say eaten!). In other languages, such as French or Italian, each syllable receives equal importance (there is stress, but each syllable has its own length).
    Many speakers of syllabic languages don't understand why we quickly speak, or swallow, a number of words in a sentence. In syllabic languages each syllable has equal importance, and therefore equal time is needed. English however, spends more time on specific stressed words while quickly gliding over the other, less important,words.
    Let's look at a simple example: the modal verb "can".When we use the positive form of "can" we quickly glide over the can and it is hardly pronounced.
    They can come on Friday. (stressed words underlined)
    On the other hand, when we use the negative form "can't"we tend to stress the fact that it is the negative form by also stressing "can't".
    They can't come on Friday.
    As you can see from the above example the sentence,"They can't come on Friday" is longer than "They can come on Friday"because both the modal "can't" and the verb "come" are stressed.
    So, what does this mean for my speaking skills?
    Well, first of all, you need to understand which wordswe generally stress and which we do not stress. Basically, stress wordsare considered CONTENT WORDS such as:

    • Nouns e.g. kitchen, Peter
    • (most) principal verbs e.g. visit, construct
    • Adjectives e.g. beautiful, interesting
    • Adverbs e.g. often, carefully
    Non-stressed words are considered FUNCTION WORDS such as:

    • Determiners e.g. the, a, some, a few
    • Auxiliary verbs e.g. don't, am, can, were
    • Prepositions e.g. before, next to, opposite
    • Conjunctions e.g. but, while, as
    • Pronouns e.g. they, she, us

    Number of posts : 776
    Age : 41
    Location : Montreal/Canada
    Job/hobbies : University Teacher / Phd Student /Fitness Coach
    Humor : Optimist
    Registration date : 2009-03-03

    Re: Modules Taught

    Post by Lily on Sat Mar 14, 2009 3:19 pm

    Consonants Practice
    Reading the letter "t"
    Thirty Little Turtles
    A bottle of bottled water had 30 little turtles. It didn't matter that each turtle had to rattle a metal ladle in order toget a little bit of noodles, a total turtle delicacy. The problem wasthat there were many turtle bottles for the less than oodles ofnoodles. The littlest turtles always lost, because every time theythought about grappling with the haggler turtles, their little turtleminds boggled and they only caught a little bit of noodles.
    Reading the letter "l"
    Leave a Little for Lola

    Little Lola felt out in life. She told herself that luck controlled her and she truly believed that only by loyally following an exalted leader could she be delivered from her solitude. Unfortunately,she learned a little late that her life was her own to deal with. When she realized it, she was already eligible for Social Security and she had lent her lifelong earnings to a low life in Long Beach. She lay on her linoleum and slid along the floor in anguish. A little later she leapt up and laughed. She no longer longed for a leader to tell her how to live her life. Little Lola was finally all well.

    Reading the letter "r"
    The Mirror Store
    The Hurly Burly Mirror Store at Vermont and Beverly featured hundreds of first-rate mirrors. There were several mirrors on the chest of drawers, and the largest one was turned toward the door in order to make the room look bigger. One of the girls who worked there was concerned that a bird might get hurt by hurtling into its own reflection. She learned by trial and error how to preserve both the mirrors and the birds. Her earnings were proportionately increased at the mirror store to reflect her contributions to the greater good.
    Reading the "th" Sound
    The Throng of Thermometers
    "The throng of thermometers from the Thuringian Thermometer Folks arrived on Thursday. There were a thousand thirty-three thick thermometers, though, instead of a thousand thirty-six thin thermometers, which was three thermometers fewer than the thousand thirty-six we were expecting, not to mention that they were thick one rather than thin once. We thoroughly thought that we had ordered a thousand thirty-six, not a thousand thirty-three, thermometers, and asked the Thuringian Thermometer Folks to reship the thermometers; thin, not thick. They apologized for sending only a thousand thirty-three thermometers rather than a thousand thirty-six and promised to replace the thick thermometers with thin thermometers".
    th = voiced (17)
    th = unvoiced (44)
    "V" As In Victory
    When pronounced correctly, V shouldn't stand out too much. Its sound,although noticeable is small. As a result, people, depending on their native language, sometimes confuse V with B (Spanish, Japanese), with F (German), or with W (Chinese, Hindi). These four sounds are not at all interchangeable.
    The W is a semivowel and there is no friction orcontact. The B, like P, uses both lips and has a slight pop. You cancheck you pronunciation by holding a match, a sheet of paper in yourhand in front of your mouth. If the flame goes out, the paper wavers,or you feel a distant puff of air on your hand, you've said P not B. B[b] is the voiced pair of P.Although F and V are in exactly the same position, F isa hiss and V is a buzz. The V is the voiced pair of F. When you say F,it is as if you are whispering. So for V say F and simply add somevoice to it, which is the whole difference between fairy and very, asyou will hear in our next exercise. (The F, too, present problems toJapanese, who say H. To pronounce F the lower lip raises up and theinside of the lip very lightly touches the outside of the -- teeth andyou make a slight hissing sound Don't bite the outside of your lip at[b] all.)

    Number of posts : 776
    Age : 41
    Location : Montreal/Canada
    Job/hobbies : University Teacher / Phd Student /Fitness Coach
    Humor : Optimist
    Registration date : 2009-03-03


    Post by Lily on Sat Mar 14, 2009 2:52 pm

    As a first step to the elimination of mother tongue influence and the eventual improvement of pronunciation, the consonantand vowel sounds of the English language are introduced in this chapter.
    The American Consonants
    There are 24 consonant sounds in American English. Each of these is described with a 3-label term. They are:

    1. Voiced or Voiceless: The air, when it passes through the vocal chords, makes the chords vibrate if they are held close together. But if the vocal chords are held loosely apart, the air passing through produces no vibration. If there is a vibration during the articulation of a particular sound, it is called a voiced sound. If there is no vibration, it is termed voiceless.
    2. Place of Articulation:
      During the articulation of consonants the air coming from the lungs is stopped for a moment before it is released. The place where it is stopped or the area of obstruction is called the place of articulation. The various areas are, -

      1. Bilabial-The upper and lower lip clamp together for a moment stopping the air before releasing it.
      2. Labio-dental-The upper teeth comes into contact with the lower lip.
      3. Dental-Both rows of teeth and the tongue touch each other for a brief period.
      4. Alveolar-The tip of the tongue touches the alveolar ridge creating an obstruction.
      5. Post - Alveolar-The tip of the tongue touches the region just behind the alveolar ridge.
      6. Palato Alveolar-The middle of the tongue touches the region between the post alveolar and palatal position.
      7. Palatal-The middle of the tongue is in contact with the hard palate.
      8. Velar-The back of the tongue touches the soft palate or the velum.
      9. Glottal-The obstruction of the air takes place in the glottis.
      Thus we see that the tongue and the palate are the two most important organs in the production of speech sounds. The tongue is called the active articulator and the palate is the passive articulator.</li>
    3. Manner of articulation:
      Manner of articulation refers to the way the air is finally released from the mouth. There are six different ways that this air release is possible. They are :

      1. Plosives- When the lung-air is blocked in the mouth and the release is sudden, with a little pop sound.
      2. Fricatives-The active and the passive articulators come close to each other and the air is released with friction.
      3. Affricates-The Affricates are a combination of a plosive and fricative. The articulators clamp together as in the case of a plosive, but the release is not sudden.The air is released slowly as in the case of the fricatives.
      4. Nasals-A nasal sound is produced when there is a complete closure of the oral passage and the air is exhaled through the nose.
      5. Lateral-The air is released from the sides of the tongue with the tongue being held firmly to the alveolar ridge.
      6. Semi-vowel / Approximant-The active and the passive articulators do not come close and the air is released without any friction.


    Number of posts : 776
    Age : 41
    Location : Montreal/Canada
    Job/hobbies : University Teacher / Phd Student /Fitness Coach
    Humor : Optimist
    Registration date : 2009-03-03

    Edgar Allan Poe :Literary Style and themes

    Post by Lily on Sat Mar 14, 2009 1:35 am

    Literary style and themes

    1860s portrait by Oscar Halling after an 1849 daguerreotype
    Poe's best known fiction works are Gothic,a genre he followed to appease the public taste.His most recurring themes deal with questions of death, including its[b] physical signs, the effects of decomposition, concerns of premature burial, the reanimation of the dead, and mourning.Many of his works are generally considered part of the dark romanticism genre, a literary reaction to transcendentalism,which Poe strongly disliked.He referred to followers of the movement as "Frogpondians" after the pond on Boston Common.and ridiculed their writings as "metaphor-run", lapsing into "obscurity for obscurity's sake" or "mysticism for mysticism's sake."Poe once wrote in a letter to Thomas Holley Chivers that he did not dislike Transcendentalists, "only the pretenders and sophists among them.
    Beyond horror, Poe also wrote satires, humor tales, and hoaxes.For comic effect, he used irony and ludicrous extravagance, often in an attempt to liberate the reader from cultural conformity. In fact, "Metzengerstein", the first story that Poe is known to have published, and his first foray into horror, was originally intended as a burlesque satirizing the popular genre. Poe also reinvented science fiction, responding in his writing to emerging technologies such as hot air balloons in "The Balloon-Hoax".
    Poe wrote much of his work using themes specifically catered for mass market tastes.To that end, his fiction often included elements of popular pseudosciences such as phrenology and physiognomy.
    Literary theory
    Poe's writing reflects his literary theories, which he presented in his criticism and also in essays such as "The Poetic Principle".He disliked didacticism and allegory,though he believed that meaning in literature should be an undercurrent just beneath the surface. Works with obvious meanings, he wrote, cease to be art.He believed that quality work should be brief and focus on a specific single effect. In "The Philosophy of Composition",an essay in which Poe describes his method in writing "The Raven", he claims to have strictly followed this method. It has been questioned,however, if he really followed this system. T. S. Eliot"Biographer Joseph Wood Krutch described the essay as "a rather highly ingenious exercise in the art of rationalization".To that end, he believed that the writer should carefully calculate every sentiment and idea.said: "It is difficult for us to read that essay without reflecting that if Poe plotted out his poem with such calculation, he might have taken a little more pains over it: the result hardly does credit to the method.
    Literary influence
    During his lifetime, Poe was mostly recognized as a literary critic. Fellow critic James Russell Lowellprussic acid instead of ink.Poe was also known as a writer of fiction and became one of the first American authors of the 19th century to become more popular in Europe than in the United States.Poe is particularly respected in France, in part due to early translations by Charles Baudelaire. Baudelaire's translations became definitive renditions of Poe's work throughout Europe.called him "the most discriminating, philosophical, and fearless critic upon imaginative works who has written in America", though he questioned if he occasionally used.Poe's early detective fiction tales starring the fictitious C. Auguste Dupin laid the groundwork for future detectives in literature. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle said, "Each [of Poe's detective stories] is a root from which a wholeliterature has developed.... Where was the detective story until Poebreathed the breath of life into it?" The Mystery Writers of AmericaEdgars".Poe's work also influenced science fiction, notably Jules Verne, who wrote a sequel to Poe's novel The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym of Nantucket called The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym, Le sphinx des glaces. Science fiction author H. G. Wells noted, "Pym tells what a very intelligent mind could imagine about the south polar region a century ago. have named their awards for excellence in the genre the "Like many famous artists, Poe's works have spawned innumerable imitators.One interesting trend among imitators of Poe, however, has been claims by clairvoyants or psychics to be "channeling" poems from Poe's spirit. One of the most notable of these was Lizzie Doten, who in 1863 published Poems from the Inner Life,in which she claimed to have "received" new compositions by Poe'sspirit. The compositions were re-workings of famous Poe poems such as "The Bells", but which reflected a new, positive outlook.Even so, Poe has not received only praise. William Butler Yeats was generally critical of Poe and denounced him as "vulgar". Transcendentalist Ralph Waldo Emerson reacted to "The Raven" by saying, "I see nothing in it" and derisively referred to Poe as "the jingle man". Aldous Huxley wrote that Poe's writing "falls into vulgarity" by being "too poetical" the equivalent of wearing a diamond ring on every finger.
    Physics and cosmology
    Eureka: A Prose Poem, an essay written in 1848, included a cosmological theory that presaged the big bang theory by 80 years,as well as the first plausible solution to Olbers' paradox.Poe eschewed the scientific method in Eureka and instead wrote from pure intuition.For this reason, he considered it a work of art, not science,but insisted that it was still true and considered it to be his career masterpiece.Even so, Eureka is full of scientific errors. In particular, Poe's suggestions opposed Newtonian principles regarding the density and rotation of planets.
    Poe had a keen interest in the field of cryptography. He had placed a notice of his abilities in the Philadelphia paper Alexander's Weekly (Express) Messenger, inviting submissions of ciphers, which he proceeded to solve.In July 1841, Poe had published an essay called "A Few Words on Secret Writing" in Graham's Magazine. Realizing the public interest in the topic, he wrote "The Gold-Bug" incorporating ciphers as part of the story.Poe's success in cryptography relied not so much on his knowledge of that field (his method was limited to the simple substitution cryptogram), as on his knowledge of the magazine and newspaper culture.His keen analytical abilities, which were so evident in his detective stories, allowed him to see that the general public was largely ignorant of the methods by which a simple substitution cryptogram can be solved, and he used this to his advantage.The sensation Poe created with his cryptography stunt played a major role in popularizing cryptograms in newspapers and magazines.
    Poe had an influence on cryptography beyond increasing public interest in his lifetime. William Friedman, America's foremost cryptologist, was heavily influenced by Poe.Friedman's initial interest in cryptography came from reading "The Gold-Bug" as a child — interest he later put to use in deciphering Japan's PURPLE code during World War II.


    Number of posts : 776
    Age : 41
    Location : Montreal/Canada
    Job/hobbies : University Teacher / Phd Student /Fitness Coach
    Humor : Optimist
    Registration date : 2009-03-03

    American Literature :Edgar Alln Poe

    Post by Lily on Sat Mar 14, 2009 1:00 am

    Edgar Allan Poe (January 19, 1809 – October 7, 1849) was an American poet,short-story writer, editor and literary critic, and is considered part of the American Romantic Movement. Best known for his tales of mystery and the macabre, Poe was one of the earliest American practitioners of the short story and is considered the inventor of the detective-fiction genre. He is further credited with contributing to the emerging genre of science fiction.He was the first well-known American writer to try to earn a living through writing alone, resulting in a financially difficult life and career.He was born as Edgar Poe in Boston, Massachusetts, Poe's parents died when he was young. Poe was taken in by John and Frances Allan, of Richmond, Virginia, but they never formally adopted him. After spending a short period at the University of Virginia and briefly attempting a military career, Poe and the Allans parted ways. Poe's publishing career began humbly, with an anonymous collection of poems, Tamerlane and Other Poems (1827), credited only to "a Bostonian".
    Poe switched his focus to prose and spent the next several years working for literary journals and periodicals, becoming known for his own style of literary criticism. His work forced him to move between several cities, including Baltimore, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and New York City. In Baltimore in 1835, he married Virginia Clemm, his 13-year-old cousin. In January 1845, Poe published his poem "The Raven" to instant success. His wife died of tuberculosis two years later. He began planning to produce his own journal, The Penn (later renamed The Stylus),though he died before it could be produced. On October 7, 1849, at age 40, Poe died in Baltimore; the cause of his death is unknown and has been attributed to alcohol, brain congestion, cholera, drugs, heart disease, rabies, suicide, tuberculosis, and other agents.Poe and his works influenced literature in the United States and around the world, as well as in specialized fields, such as cosmology and cryptography.Poe and his work appear throughout popular culture in literature,music, films, and television. A number of his homes are dedicated museums today.
    Life and career

    This plaque marks the approximate location where Edgar Poe was born in Boston.
    Early life
    He was born Edgar Poe in Boston, Massachusetts, on January 19, 1809, the second child of actress Elizabeth Arnold Hopkins Poe and actor David Poe, Jr. He had an elder brother, William Henry Leonard Poe, and a younger sister, Rosalie Poe.Edgar may have been named after a character in William Shakespeare's King Lear, a play the couple was performing in 1809.His father abandoned their family in 1810, and his mother died a year later from consumption. Poe was then taken into the home of John Allan, a successful Scottish merchant in Richmond, Virginia, who dealt in a variety of goods including tobacco, cloth, wheat, tombstones, and slaves.The Allans served as a foster family but never formally adopted Poe,though they gave him the name "Edgar Allan Poe".
    The Allan family had Poe baptized in the Episcopal Church in 1812. John Allan alternately spoiled and aggressively disciplined his foster son.The family, including Poe and Allan's wife, Frances Valentine Allan,sailed to England in 1815. Poe attended the grammar school in Irvine, Scotland (where John Allan was born) for a short period in 1815, before rejoining the family in London in 1816. He studied at a boarding school in Chelsea until summer 1817. He was subsequently entered at the Reverend John Bransby’s Manor House School at Stoke Newington, then a suburb four miles (6 km) north of London.Poe moved back with the Allans to Richmond, Virginia in 1820. In March 1825, John Allan's uncle.Poe may have become engaged to Sarah Elmira Royster before he registered at the one-year-old University of Virginia in February 1826 to study languages. The university, in its infancy, was established on the ideals of its founder, Thomas Jefferson.
    It had strict rules against gambling, horses, guns, tobacco and alcohol, but these rules were generally ignored. Jefferson had enacted a system of student self-government, allowing students to choose their own studies, make their own arrangements for boarding, and report all wrongdoing to the faculty. The unique system was still in chaos, and there was a high drop out rate.During his time there, Poe lost touch with Royster and also became estranged from his foster father over gambling debts. Poe claimed that Allan had not given him sufficient money to register for classes,purchase texts, and procure and furnish a dormitory. Allan did send additional money and clothes, but Poe's debts increased.Poe gave up on the university after a year, and, not feeling welcome in Richmond, especially when he learned that his sweetheart Royster had married Alexander Shelton, he traveled to Boston in April 1827,sustaining himself with odd jobs as a clerk and newspaper writer.At some point he started using the pseudonym Henri Le Rennet.and business benefactor William Galt, said to be one of the wealthiest men in Richmond, died and left Allan several acres of real estate. The inheritance was estimated at $750,000. By summer 1825, Allan celebrated his expansive wealth by purchasing a two-story brick home named Moldavia.

    Number of posts : 776
    Age : 41
    Location : Montreal/Canada
    Job/hobbies : University Teacher / Phd Student /Fitness Coach
    Humor : Optimist
    Registration date : 2009-03-03

    Phonetics' Lectures "Second Year Students"

    Post by Lily on Fri Mar 06, 2009 9:55 pm

    University of Batna
    Faculty of arts and Human Sciences
    Department of English
    Module :Phonetics
    Teacher :L.Badache
    Level : Second year
    Articulatory phonetics

    Review of place and manner of articulation of consonants
    Detailed study of English Consonants allophony
    Chart of English consonants
    Consonant clusters
    Initial and final clusters
    Longer consonant Sequences
    The words in connected speech
    Stress and intonation
    The study of stress and rhythm
    Weak /Strong forms
    Word stress
    Degrees of stress
    Word stress patterns
    An introduction to the study of intonation
    Basic intonation patterns

    Number of posts : 776
    Age : 41
    Location : Montreal/Canada
    Job/hobbies : University Teacher / Phd Student /Fitness Coach
    Humor : Optimist
    Registration date : 2009-03-03

    Jean Piaget is....(2)

    Post by Lily on Thu Mar 05, 2009 2:46 am

    Stage 2: the Biological Model of Intellectual Development
    In 1928 Piaget married one of his graduate students and started a family in the 1930s. Having his own infant children set the stage for the second phase of Piaget's work, the exploration of the development of intelligence in infants. During this period, Piaget studied his own three offspring. The semiclinical interview was clearly not of much use with infants who could not talk. Piaget, therefore, invented a number of ingenious experiments to test the infant's knowledge about the world. For example, he placed a cloth over a toy that the infant was playing with to see whether or not the baby would try to remove the cloth to recover the toy. If the baby removed the cloth this would be evidence that he or she had some mental representation of the toy. If the baby did not remove the cloth, but merely cried in frustration, this would be evidence that the infant had not yet attained representational thought.
    During this second period of his work, Piaget elaborated a biological model of intellectual development, which he combined with the sociological model of the earlier period. He now described intelligence as having two closely interrelated facets. One of these, carried over from the earlier period, was the content of children's thinking. The other, new to this period, was the process of intellectual activity. Piaget now introduced a truly powerful idea, namely, that the process of thinking could be regarded as an extension of the biological process of adaptation.He argued, for example, that the child who sucked on anything and everything in his or her reach was engaging in an act of assimilation, comparable to the assimilation of food by the digestive system. Just as the digestive system transforms a variety of foodstuffs into the nutriments needed by the body, so the infant transforms every object into an object to be sucked. At much higher level, whenever one classifies an object, say a dog, he or she in effect assimilates this exemplar to their more general dog concept. In so doing the particular dog is transformed into the universal, conceptual dog. At all stages of development, therefore, whenever one transforms the world to meet individual needs or conceptions, one is, in effect, assimilating it.
    Piaget also observed that his infant children not only transformed some stimuli to conform to their own mental structures but also modified some of their mental structures to meet the demands of the environment. He called this facet of adaptation accommodation. At the biological level the body accommodates when, for example, its blood vessels constrict in response to cold and expand in response to heat. Piaget observed similar accommodations at the behavioral and conceptual levels. The young infant engages primarily in reflex actions, such as sucking the thumb or grasping. But shortly thereafter the infant will grasp some object and proceed to put that in his or her mouth. In this instance the child has modified his or her reflex response to accommodate an external object into the reflex action. That is to say, the infant's instinctual thumbsucking reflex has been adapted to objects in the environment. Piaget regarded this behavioral adaptation as a model for what happens at higher intellectual levels as well. Whenever one learns new facts, values, or skills, he or she is, in effect, modifying mental structures to meet the demands of the external world.
    In Piaget's view, assimilation and accommodation are the invariant processes of intellectual processing and are present throughout life. Furthermore, because the two are often in conflict they provide the power for intellectual development. The child's first tendency is to assimilate, but when this is not possible, he or she must accommodate. It is the constant tension between assimilation and accommodation and the need for some form of equilibrium between them that triggers intellectual growth. For example, in the "hiding the toy experiment" described above, the six-month-old infant simply cried while the one-year-old infant lifted the cloth to reveal the hidden object. This initial upset, and failure of assimilation, thus led to the infant's construction of a mental image of the object. This new construction allows the child to solve the problem and remove the cloth from the toy. At each level of development, the failure of assimilation leads to a new accommodations that result in a new equilibrium that prepares for yet another level of disequilibrium.
    Piaget published the results of these infant studies in three books, The Origins of Intelligence in the Child, The Construction of Reality in the Child, and Play Dreams and Imitation. These books continue to stimulate a wide range of investigations into the developing abilities of infants.
    Stage 3: the Elaboration of the Logical Model of Intellectual Development
    During the third period of his work, from the 1940s through the 1960s, Piaget explored the development of many different physical and mathematical concepts in children and adolescents. To explore the physical and mathematical conceptions of children and adolescents, Piaget returned to the semiclinical interview, but in modified form. He decided that the way to test children's level of conceptual development was to challenge their understanding of conservation, that is, their understanding that an object's physical or mathematical properties do not change despite a change in its appearance. Piaget based this methodology on the fact that scientific progress occurs when judgments of reason win out over judgments based upon appearance. The discovery of the roundness of the earth is a good example. The ancients believed that the world was flat. It was only from later observations and reasoning about the disappearance of ships on the horizon and the shadow of the earth on the moon that the perception of flatness could be overcome.
    To test children's understanding of conservation, Piaget presented children with a wide array of tasks in which the child had to make a judgment on the basis of either perception or reason. Only when the child made his or her judgment on the basis of reason was the child said to have attained conservation. For example, in his studies of children's conception of number, Piaget confronted children with two rows of six pennies, one spread apart so that it was longer than the other. Young children judge the longer row to have more pennies, while older children judge both rows to have the same amount. Older children have attained the conservation of number while younger children have not.With this conservation methodology, Piaget and his longtime colleague, Barbel Inhelder, explored how children constructed their concepts of number, space, time, geometry, speed, and much more. In this third phase of his work, Piaget introduced a logical model to explain children's attainment of conservation in different domains and at different age levels. It is this logical model of intellectual development for which he is perhaps best known. Piaget argued that intelligence develops in a series of stages that are related to age and that are progressive in the sense that each is a necessary prerequisite of the next. There is no skipping of stages. In addition, he contended that each stage was characterized by a set of mental operations that are logical in nature but vary in complexity. At each stage of development the child constructs a view of reality in keeping with the operations at that age period. At the next stage, however, with the attainment of new mental abilities the child has to reconstruct the concepts formed at the earlier level in keeping with his or her new mental abilities. In effect, therefore, Piaget conceived of intellectual development as an upward expanding spiral wherein the child must constantly reconstruct the ideas formed at an earlier level with new, higher order concepts acquired at the next level.
    The first stage, infancy or the first two years of life, Piaget described as the sensori-motor period. In the first two years of life, the baby constructs elementary concepts of space, time, and causality but these are at the visual, auditory, tactual, and motoric level, and do not go beyond the here and now. At the next stage of development, the pre-operational level, children acquire the symbolic function and are able to represent their experience. Children now begin to use words and symbols to convey their experience and to go beyond the immediate. Concepts of space, time, and causality, for example, begin to be understood with terms like now and later, as well as day and night. Once the child's thought moves from the sensori-motor to the symbolic level, it has much more breadth and depth.By the age of six or seven children attain a new set of mental abilities that Piaget termed concrete operations, which resemble the operations of arithmetic and which lift school-age children to a whole new plane of thinking. Concrete operations enable young children to reason in a syllogistic way. That may be the reason the ancients called these years the age of reason. Concrete operations enable children to deal with verbal rules and that is why formal education is usually begun at about this time. Following rules is in effect reasoning syllogistically. Consider the classic model of the syllogism.
    All men are mortal.Socrates is a man.=Therefore Socrates is mortal.
    This is the same form of reasoning the child must employ if he or she is to follow the rule that says "when two vowels go walking, the first one does the talking.
    "When two vowels go walking the first one does the talking.
    In the word ate there are two vowels and the first is an a.
    In this word, a does the talking".
    Concrete operations enable young children to construct their conceptions of space, time, number, and causality on a higher quantitative plane. It is during the elementary years that children are able to learn clock and calendar time, map and geographical space, and experimental causality.At about the age of eleven or twelve young people develop yet a higher level of mental operations that Piaget labeled formal. These operations are formal in the sense that they are no longer tied to the here and now and are abstract in the sense that they can be in conflict with reality. For example, if you ask a younger child to imagine a world in which snow was black and to guess what color, in that world, Mickey Mouse's ears would be, the child would have trouble saying they were white. Adolescents who have attained formal operations have no trouble with this problem. Formal operations enable young people to understand celestial space, historical time, and multivariable causality. They can construct ideals, think in terms of possibilities, and deal with multiple variables at the same time. Formal operations move young people to a new plane of thought, which is on a level with adult thinking.
    Stage 4: the Study of Figurative Thought
    During the last stage of Piaget's work, which lasted until his death in 1980, Piaget explored what he called the figurative facets of intelligence. By figurative Piaget meant those aspects of intelligence such as perception and memory that were not entirely logical. Logical concepts are completely reversible in the sense that one can always get back to the starting point. The logical addition of concepts, such as "boys plus girls equals children," can be undone by logical subtraction, such as "children minus boys equals girls" or "children minus girls equals boys." But perceptual concepts cannot be manipulated in this way. The figure and ground of a picture, for example, cannot be separated because contours cannot be separated from the forms they outline. Memory too is figurative in that it is never completely reversible. Piaget and Inhelder published books on perception, memory and other figurative processes such as learning during this last period of his work.
    Jean Piaget is clearly the giant of developmental psychology. His experimental paradigms have been replicated in almost every country in the world and with quite extraordinary comparability of results. Piaget's observations, then, are among the hardiest, if not the hardiest, data in all of psychology. No other research paradigm has received such extensive cross-cultural confirmation. In the early twenty-first century there has been a tendency of investigators to dismiss Piaget's work as passé. This would be a mistake. While it is important to challenge Piaget and to build upon the foundation he has provided, it would be wrong to discount his work without having a comparable database on which to found such a rejection. Indeed, the opposite is more likely the case, namely, that the value of much of Piaget's work both for developmental psychology education and for other disciplines is yet to be fully realized.

    Number of posts : 776
    Age : 41
    Location : Montreal/Canada
    Job/hobbies : University Teacher / Phd Student /Fitness Coach
    Humor : Optimist
    Registration date : 2009-03-03

    Jean Piaget is ...

    Post by Lily on Thu Mar 05, 2009 2:32 am

    Jean Piaget was born on August 9, 1896, in Neuchâtel, Switzerland, the son of a historian. When he was 11, his notes on a rare part-albino sparrow were published, the first of hundreds of articles and over 50 books. His help in classifying Neuchâtel's natural-history museum collection stimulated his study of mollusks (shellfish). One article, written when he was 15, led to a job offer at Geneva's natural-history museum; he declined in order to continue his education. At Neuchâtel University he finished natural-science studies in 1916 and earned the doctoral degree for research on mollusks in 1918.Piaget's godfather introduced him to philosophy. Biology (life) was thus merged with epistemology (knowledge), both basic to his later learning theories. Work in two psychological laboratories in Zurich introduced him to psychoanalysis. In Paris at the Sorbonne he studied abnormal psychology, logic, and epistemology, and in 1920 with Théodore Simon in the Binet Laboratory he developed standardized reasoning tests. Piaget thought that these quantitative tests were too rigid and saw that children's incorrect answers better revealed their qualitative thinking at various stages of development. This led to the question that he would spend the rest of his life studying: How do children learn?
    After 1921 Piaget was successively director of research, assistant director, and co-director at the Jean Jacques Rousseau Institute, later part of Geneva University, where he was professor of the history of scientific thought (1929-1939). He also taught at universities in Paris, Lausanne, and Neuchâtel; was chairman of the International Bureau of Education; and was a Swiss delegate to UNESCO (United Nations Economic and Scientific Committee). In 1955 he founded the Center for Genetic Epistemology in Geneva with funds from the Rockefeller Foundation and in 1956 he founded and became director of the Institute for Educational Science in Geneva.
    In studying children, particularly his own, Piaget found four stages of mental growth. These are a sensory-motor stage, from birth to age 2, when mental structures concentrate on concrete objects; a pre-operational stage, from age 2 to 7, when they learn symbols in language, fantasy, play, and dreams; a concrete operational stage, from age 7 to 11, when they master classification, relationships, numbers, and ways of reasoning about them; and a formal operational stage, from age 11, when they begin to master independent thought and other people's thinking.Piaget believed that children's concepts through at least the first three stages differ from those of adults and are based on actively exploring the environment rather than on language understanding. During these stages children learn naturally without punishment or reward. Piaget saw nature (heredity) and nurture (environment) as related and reciprocal, with neither absolute. He found children's notions about nature neither inherited nor learned but constructs of their mental structures and experiences. Mental growth takes place by integration, or learning higher ideas by assimilating lower-level ideas, and by substitution, or replacing initial explanations of an occurrence or idea with a more reasonable explanation. Children learn in stages in an upward spiral of understanding, with the same problems attacked and resolved more completely at each higher level.
    Harvard psychologist "Jerome Bruner "and others introduced Piaget's ideas to the United States circa 1956, after which the translations of his books into English began. The post-Sputnik (1957) goal of American education, to teach children how to think, evoked further interest in Piaget's ideas. His definable stages of when children's concepts change and mature, derived from experiments with children, are currently favored over the hitherto dominant stimulus-response theory of behaviorist psychologists, who have studied animal learning.
    Piaget's theories developed over years as refinements and further explanations and experiments were performed, but these refinements did not alter his basic beliefs or theories.Piaget received honorary degrees from Oxford and Harvard universities and made many impressive guest appearances at conferences concerning childhood development and learning. He remained an elusive figure, though, preferring to avoid the spotlight. A quieter life allowed him to further develop his theories.
    Piaget kept himself to a strict personal schedule that filled his entire day. He awoke every morning at four and wrote at least four publishable pages before teaching classes or attending meetings. After lunch he would take walks and ponder on his interests. "I always like to think on a problem before reading about it, " he said. He read extensively in the evening before retiring to bed. Every summer he vacationed in the Alpine Mountains of Europe and wrote extensively.
    Piaget died on September 17, 1980 in Geneva, Switzerland and was remembered by the New York Times as the man whose theories were "as liberating and revolutionary as Sigmund Freud's earlier insights into the stages of human emotional life. Many have hailed him as one of the country's most creative scientific thinkers."
    Director of the Institute of Educational Science in Geneva and professor of experimental psychology at the University of Geneva, Jean Piaget was the most influential developmental psychologist of the twentieth century. Many of Piaget's concepts and research methods have become so much a part of the conventional wisdom and practice that psychologists are often unaware of their origin. The stages of development that Piaget observed and conceptualized are given extended treatment in every introductory psychology and developmental psychology textbook. In addition, much of contemporary research on infancy grows directly out of Piaget's innovative studies of his own three infants. Moreover, a great deal of present day research and theory regarding adolescence starts from Piaget's demonstration of the appearance of new, higher level, mental abilities during this age period. In these and in many other ways, Piaget's research and theory continue to be a powerful stimulus in many different fields and areas of investigation.
    Piaget's work, however, has had an impact on other disciplines as well. The contemporary emphasis upon constructivism in education, for example, stems directly from Piaget's theory of intellectual development. According to Piaget the child does not copy reality, but rather constructs it. Reality is developmentally relative; it is always a joint product of the child's developing mental abilities and his or her experiences with the world. Piaget's research and theory has also had considerable impact upon psychiatry. His description of the intellectual stages of development has provided a very important complement to the psychosexual stages of development outlined by the Austrian psychologist Sigmund Freud. In these, and in many other ways, the power of Piaget's work continues to be felt in many diverse fields.
    Once at the university, Piaget took courses in both philosophy and biology and struggled to find some way to reconcile his philosophical interests with his commitment to science. He hit upon a unique solution in an unexpected place. After receiving his doctorate, Piaget explored a number of different professions including psychiatry. He eventually took a position in Paris, translating some of the intelligence tests created by the English psychologist, Sir Cyril Burt, into French. As part of this endeavor, it was necessary for Piaget to test a number of children in order to ensure that his translations had not made the items easier or more difficult than they were for English children of comparable age. While administering these tests, Piaget became fascinated with the children's wrong answers. To Piaget, these wrong answers did not seem random. Rather they appeared to be generated by a systematic way of seeing things that was not wrong, but simply reflected a different world view than that held by adults.
    Piaget was fascinated by his unexpected discovery that children's perception of reality was not learned from adults, as had heretofore been assumed, but was constructed. Children's conception of the world, Piaget reasoned, was different than that of adults because their thought processes were different. Piaget assumed that he would pursue this problem, the development of children's thinking, for a few years and then move on to other things. Instead, this pursuit of the ways in which children construct reality, became the foundation of a lifelong professional career. Piaget came to realize that the study of the development of children's adaptive thought and action, of their intelligence, was a way of pursuing both his philosophical and his scientific interests.
    One field of philosophy is epistemology, the study of how people come to know the world. Most philosophers approach this topic by means of introspection and logical analysis. Piaget, however, believed that he could put epistemological questions to the test by studying the development of thought and action in children. Accordingly Piaget created his own new discipline with its own methods and problems. The field was genetic epistemology, the study of child development as a means of answering epistemological questions. Piaget's career exploration of genetic epistemology can be roughly divided into four different stages.
    Stage 1: the Sociological Model of Development
    During this first stage, roughly corresponding to the 1920s, Piaget investigated children's heretofore unexplored conceptions of the world, the hidden side of children's minds. To further this exploration Piaget made use of a combination of psychological and clinical methods that he described as the semiclinical interview. He began with a standardized question, but followed up with nonstandard questions that were prompted by the child's answer. In order to get what Piaget called children's "spontaneous convictions" he often asked questions that the children neither expected nor anticipated. In his study of children's conception of the world, for example, he asked children whether a stone was alive and where dreams came from. He made a comparative study of children's answers and found that for these and for similar questions there was a gradual progression from intuitive to scientific and socially acceptable responses.
    During this early period, Piaget published The Language and Thought of the Child, The Child's Conception of the World, The Child's Conception of Physical Causality, and The Moral Judgment of the Child. Each of these books was highly original and they made Piaget world famous before he was thirty. In these books he elaborated his first theory of development, which postulated the mental development was fueled by a social dynamic. He proposed that children moved from a position of egocentrism (a failure to take the other person's point of view into account) to sociocentrism (the recognition that others see the world differently than they do). Children moved from the egocentric to the sociocentric position thanks to social interaction and the challenge to younger children's ideas by the ideas of those children who were more advanced. Piaget made it clear, however, that the young children's egocentric ideas were not wrong, but merely different from those of the older children. Egocentric ideas are developmentally appropriate for young children, if not for older ones.

    Number of posts : 776
    Age : 41
    Location : Montreal/Canada
    Job/hobbies : University Teacher / Phd Student /Fitness Coach
    Humor : Optimist
    Registration date : 2009-03-03

    Re: Modules Taught

    Post by Lily on Thu Mar 05, 2009 1:41 am

    From birth until the onset of speech, the child is referred to as an infant. Developmental psychologists vary widely in their assessment of infant psychology, and the influence the outside world has upon it, but certain aspects are relatively clear.While no agreement has yet been reached regarding the level of stimulation an infant requires, a normal level of stimulation is very important, and a lack of stimulation and affection can result in retardation and a host of other developmental and social disorders[.Some feel that classical music, particularly Mozart is good for an infant's mind.While some tentative research has shown it to be helpful to older children, no conclusive evidence is available involving infants.The majority of a newborn infant's time is spent in sleep. At first this sleep is evenly spread throughout the day and night, but after a couple of months, infants generally become diurnal.
    Infants can be seen to have 6 states, grouped into pairs:
    1.quiet sleep and active sleep (dreaming, when REM occurs)
    2.quiet waking, and active waking
    3.fussing and crying
    Infants respond to stimuli differently in these different states. Habituation is frequently used in testing psychological phenomenon. Both infants and adults attend less as a result of consistent exposure to a particular stimulus. The amount of time spent attending to an alternate stimulus (after habituation to the initial stimulus) is indicative of the strength of the remembered percept of the previous stimulus, or dishabituation.
    Habituation is used to discover the resolution of perceptual systems, for example, by habituating a subject to one stimulus, and then observing responses to similar ones, one can detect the smallest degree of difference that is detectable by the subject.
    Infants have a wide variety of reflexes, some of which are permanent (blinking, gagging), and others transient in nature. Some have obvious purposes, some are clearly vestigial, and some do not have obvious purposes. Primitive reflexes reappear in adults under certain conditions, such as neurological conditions like dementia or traumatic lesions. A partial list of infantile reflexes includes:
    *Moro reflex or startle reflex:
    *spreading out the arms (adduction)
    unspreading the arms (abduction)
    Crying (usually)
    *Tonic neck reflex or fencer's reflex
    *Rooting reflex, sucking reflex, suckling reflex: can be initiated by scratching the infant's cheek; the reaction is pursing of the lips for sucking.
    *Stepping reflex, step-up reflex: can be initiated if you support the infant upright from its armpits below a given surface so the baby lifts its foot and steps up on the surface (like climbing a stair).
    *Grasp reflex: can be initiated by scratching the infant's palm.
    *Parachute reflex: the infant is suspended by the trunk and suddenly lowered as if falling for an instant. The child spontaneously throws out the arms as a protective mechanism. The parachute reflex appears before the onset of walking.
    *Plantar reflex or Babinski reflex: a finger is stroked firmly down the outer edge of the baby's sole; the toes spread and extend out.
    Infants have significantly worse vision than older children. Infant sight, blurry in early stages, improves over time. Infants less than 2 months old are thought to be color blind.
    Hearing is well-developed prior to birth, however, and a preference for the mother's heartbeat is well established. Infants are fairly good at detecting the direction from which a sound comes, and by 18 months their hearing ability is approximately equal to that of adults.
    Smell and taste are present, with infants having been shown to prefer the smell and taste of a banana, while rejecting the taste of shrimp.There is good evidence for infants preferring the smell of their mother to that of others.
    Infants have a fully developed sense of touch at birth, and the myth believed by some doctors even today that infants feel no pain is inaccurate. Doctors are slowly becoming aware of the need for pain prevention for newborns.
    Piaget asserted that there were several sensorimotor stages within his broader Theory of cognitive development.
    *The first sub-stage occurs from birth to six weeks and is associated primarily with the development of reflexes. Three primary reflexes are described by Piaget: sucking of objects in the mouth, following moving or interesting objects with the eyes, and closing of the hand when an object makes contact with the palm (palmar grasp). Over these first six weeks of life, these reflexes begin to become voluntary actions; for example, the palmar reflex becomes intentional grasping. (Gruber and Vaneche, 1977
    **The second sub-stage occurs from six weeks to four months and is associated primarily with the development of habits. Primary circular reactions or repeating of an action involving only ones own body begin. An example of this type of reaction would involve something like an infant repeating the motion of passing their hand before their face. Also at this phase, passive reactions, caused by classical or operant conditioning, can begin (Gruber et al., 1977).
    *The third sub-stage occurs from four to nine months and is associated primarily with the development of coordination between vision and prehension. Three new abilities occur at this stage: intentional grasping for a desired object, secondary circular reactions, and differentiations between ends and means. At this stage, infants will intentionally grasp the air in the direction of a desired object, often to the amusement of friends and family. Secondary circular reactions, or the repetition of an action involving an external object occur begin; for example, moving a switch to turn on a light repeatedly. The differentiation between means also occurs. This is perhaps one of the most important stages of a child's growth as it signifies the dawn of logic (Gruber et al., 1977). Towards the late part of this sub-stage infants begin to have a sense of object permanence, passing the A-not-B error test.
    *The fourth sub-stage occurs from nine to twelve months and is associated primarily with the development of logic and the coordination between means and ends. This is an extremely important stage of development, holding what Piaget calls the "first proper intelligence." Also, this stage marks the beginning of goal orientation, the deliberate planning of steps to meet an objective (Gruber et al. 1977).
    *The fifth sub-stage occurs from twelve to eighteen months and is associated primarily with the discovery of new means to meet goals. Piaget describes the child at this juncture as the "young scientist," conducting pseudo-experiments to discover new methods of meeting challenges (Gruber et al. 1977).
    *The sixth sub-stage is associated primarily with the beginnings of insight, or true creativity. This marks the passage into the preoperational stage.

    Special methods are used to study infant behavior.
    When studying infants, the habituation methodology is an example of a method often used to assess their performance. This method allows researchers to obtain information about what types of stimuli an infant is able to discriminate. In this paradigm, infants are habituated to a particular stimulus and are then tested using different stimuli to evaluate discrimination. The critical measure in habituation is the infants' level of interest. Typically, infants prefer stimuli that are novel relative to those they have encountered previously. Several methods are used to measure infants' preference. These include the high-amplitude sucking procedure, in which infants suck on a pacifier more or less depending on their level of interest, the conditioned foot-kick procedure, in which infants move their legs to indicate preference, and the head-turn preference procedure, in which the infant's level of interest is measured by the amount of time spent looking in a particular direction. A key feature of all these methods is that, in each situation, the infant controls the stimuli being presented. This gives researchers a means of measuring discrimination. If an infant is able to discriminate between the habituated stimulus and a novel stimulus, they will show a preference for the novel stimulus. If, however, the infant cannot discriminate between the two stimuli, they will not show a preference for one over the other.

    Number of posts : 776
    Age : 41
    Location : Montreal/Canada
    Job/hobbies : University Teacher / Phd Student /Fitness Coach
    Humor : Optimist
    Registration date : 2009-03-03

    Psychology:Developmental Psychology

    Post by Lily on Thu Mar 05, 2009 1:23 am

    Developmental psychology, also known as human development, is the scientific study of systematic psychological changes that occur in human beings over the course of the life span. Originally concerned with infants and children, the field has expanded to include adolescence and adult development, aging, and the entire life span. This field examines change across a broad range of topics including motor skills and other psycho-physiological processes; cognitive development involving areas such as problem solving, moral understanding, and conceptual understanding; language acquisition; social, personality, and emotional development; and self-concept and identity formation.Developmental psychology includes issues such as the extent to which development occurs through the gradual accumulation of knowledge versus stage-like development, or the extent to which children are born with innate mental structures versus learning through experience. Many researchers are interested in the interaction between personal characteristics, the individual's behavior, and environmental factors including social context, and their impact on development; others take a more narrowly focused approach.
    Developmental psychology informs several applied fields, including: educational psychology, child psychopathology, and forensic developmental psychology. Developmental psychology complements several other basic research fields in psychology including social psychology, cognitive psychology, ecological psychology, and comparative psychology.
    Attachment theory
    Attachment theory, originally developed by John Bowlby, focuses on close, intimate, emotionally meaningful relationships. Attachment is described as a biological system that evolved to ensure the survival of the infant. A child who is threatened or stressed will move toward caregivers who create a sense of physical, emotional and psychological safety for the individual. Later Mary Ainsworth developed the Strange Situation Protocol and the concept of the secure base. See also the critique by developmental psychology pioneer Jerome Kagan.
    Role of experience
    A significant question in developmental psychology is the relationship between innateness and environmental influence in regard to any particular aspect of development. This is often referred to as "nature versus nurture" or nativism versus empiricism. A nativist account of development would argue that the processes in question are innate, that is, they are specified by the organism's genes. An empiricist perspective would argue that those processes are acquired in interaction with the environment. Today developmental psychologists rarely take such extreme positions with regard to most aspects of development; rather they investigate, among many other things, the relationship between innate and environmental influences. One of the ways in which this relationship has been explored in recent years is through the emerging field of evolutionary developmental psychology.
    One area where this innateness debate has been prominently portrayed is in research on language acquisition. A major question in this area is whether or not certain properties of human language are specified genetically or can be acquired through learning. The empiricist position on the issue of language acquisition suggests that the language input does provide the necessary information required for learning the structure of language and that infants acquire language through a process of statistical learning. From this perspective, language can be acquired via general learning methods that also apply to other aspects of development, such as perceptual learning. The nativist position argues that the input from language is too impoverished for infants and children to acquire the structure of language. Linguist Noam Chomsky asserts that, evidenced by the lack of sufficient information in the language input, there is a universal grammar that applies to all human languages and is pre-specified. This has led to the idea that there is a special cognitive module suited for learning language, often called the language acquisition device. Chomsky's critique of the behaviorist model of language acquisition is regarded by many as a key turning point in the decline in the prominence of the theory of behaviorism generally.But Skinner's conception of "Verbal Behavior" has not died, perhaps in part because it has generated successful practical applications.
    Mechanisms of development
    Developmental psychology is concerned not only with describing the characteristics of psychological change over time, but also seeks to explain the principles and internal workings underlying these changes. Psychologists have attempted to better understand these factors by using models. Developmental models are sometimes computational, but they do not need to be. A model must simply account for the means by which a process takes place. This is sometimes done in reference to changes in the brain that may correspond to changes in behavior over the course of the development. Computational accounts of development often use either symbolic, connectionist (neural network), or dynamical systems models to explain the mechanisms of development.
    History of developmental psychology
    The modern form of developmental psychology has its roots in the rich psychological tradition represented by Aristotle,Tabari,Rhazes,Alhazen,and Descartes. William Shakespeare had his melancholy character Jacques (in As You Like It) articulate the seven ages of man: these included three stages of childhood and four of adulthood. In the mid-eighteenth century Jean Jacques Rousseau described three stages of childhood: infans (infancy), puer (childhood) and adolescence in Emile: Or, On Education. Rousseau's ideas were taken up strongly by educators at the time.In the late nineteenth century, psychologists familiar with the evolutionary theory of Darwin began seeking an evolutionary description of psychological development; prominent here was G. Stanley Hall, who attempted to correlate ages of childhood with previous ages of mankind.A more scientific approach was initiated by James Mark Baldwin, who wrote essays on topics that included Imitation: A Chapter in the Natural History of Consciousness and Mental Development in the Child and the Race: Methods and Processes. In 1905, Sigmund Freud articulated five psychosexual stages. Later, Rudolf Steiner articulated stages of psychological development throughout human life. The first three of these stages, which correspond closely with Piaget's later-described stages of childhood, were first presented in Steiner's 1911 essay The Education of the Child. By the early to mid-twentieth century, the work of Vygotsky and Piaget, mentioned above, had established a strong empirical tradition in the field.
    Stages of development
    The prenatal development of human beings is viewed in three separate stages, which are not the same as the trimesters of a woman's pregnancy:
    1.Germinal (conception through week 2)
    2.Embryonic (weeks 3 through)
    3.Fetal (week 9 through birth)
    The germinal stage begins when a sperm penetrates an egg in the act of conception (normally the result of sexual intercourse between a man and a woman). At this point a zygote is formed. Through the process of mitosis, the cells divide and double.
    The embryonic stage occurs once the zygote has firmly implanted itself in the uterine wall. It is in this stage that the vital organs are formed, and while the external body is still extremely dissimilar from an adult human, some features such as eyes and arms, and eventually ears and feet, become recognizable.
    The fetal period is the pre-natal period when the brain has its greatest development, becoming more and more complex over the last few months.
    During pregnancy there is a risk to the developing child from drugs and other teratogens, spousal abuse and other stress on the mother, nutrition and the age of the mother. Genetic testing prior to pregnancy is also increasingly available. Three methods of determining fetal defects and health include the ultrasound, amniocentesis, and chorionic villus sampling. Although difficult, some methods of treating fetal disorders have been developed, both surgical and drug based.

    Number of posts : 776
    Age : 41
    Location : Montreal/Canada
    Job/hobbies : University Teacher / Phd Student /Fitness Coach
    Humor : Optimist
    Registration date : 2009-03-03


    Post by Lily on Thu Mar 05, 2009 1:06 am

    The study of age-related changes in behavior from birth to death. Developmental psychologists attempt to determine the causes of such changes. Most research has concentrated on the development of children, but there is increasing interest in the elderly, and to a lesser extent in other age groups. Although most developmental work examines humans, there has been some work on primates and other species that would be considered unethical with human beings. Thus the sensory deprivation of kittens and the separation of monkeys from their mothers have provided information about abnormal perceptual and emotional development, respectively.
    Method:Developmental psychologists who study children rely more upon careful observation in natural settings than upon laboratory experiments. Under these circumstances, only partial conclusions can be drawn about the causes of development. The field has been dominated by descriptive research, with increasing attempts to explain developmental phenomena by the use of animal experiments or by statistical methods. In longitudinal research, a group of individuals is studied at regular intervals over a relatively long period of time. This contrasts with cross-sectional research, where individuals of different ages are studied at the same time. Conclusions from the two types of research may differ. Finally, case studies, that is, close and extensive observations of a few subjects, have been relied upon by important developmental theorists such as S. Freud and J. Piaget.
    An explanation of developmental changes requires a judgment as to the relative importance of genetically programmed maturation and environmental influences. Although most developmentalists believe that genetic endowment and environmental experience interact to account for behavior, the degree to which either affects a particular behavior is still often debated. This issue has important implications for the success of environmental intervention in the face of genetic constraints. For example, the influence on children of parental speech versus genetic programming in language acquisition is much debated, as is the origin of gender differences in behavior. See also Behavior genetics.
    Developmental psychology is divided roughly between those who study personal–social (emotional) development and those who study intellectual and linguistic development, although there is a small but growing interest in the overlap between these two aspects of personality, known as social cognition. The study of personal-social development in childhood is dominated by the theory of attachment formulated by J. Bowlby and extended by M. Ainsworth. In adolescence and adulthood, E. Erikson's theory of psychosocial development is prominent. The study of intellectual development at all ages is dominated by Piaget's theory of cognitive constructivism.
    Emotional development
    Ainsworth defines attachment as “an affectional tie that one person forms to another specific person, binding them together in space, and enduring over time … [It] is discriminating and specific.” It is not present at birth, but is developed. In a word, attachment means love. Attachment behaviors such as crying, smiling, physical contact, and vocalizing are the means by which attachment is forged but are not to be equated with the more abstract, underlying construct of attachment. Attachment theory is strongly based on ethological notions. Thus, attachment is seen as serving a biological function, that is, the protection of infants by ensuring their proximity to (attached) adults. The common goal of attached individuals is proximity. Bowlby was influenced by Freud's psychoanalytic theory of development, but argues that there is a primary biological need to become attached to at least one adult, whereas Freud argued that love for a mother was secondary to her satisfaction of an infant's hunger.
    Intellectual development
    For Piaget, intelligence is defined as the ability to adapt to the environment, an ability that depends upon physical and psychological (cognitive) organization. The adaptation process has two complementary components, assimilation and accommodation. Assimilation refers to the tendency to process new information, sometimes with distortion, in terms of existing cognitive structures. Accommodation refers to the opposite process, that is, the modification of existing cognitive structures in response to new information. An individual strives for equilibrium between assimilation and accommodation, with thought being neither unrealistic (excessive assimilation) nor excessively realistic and hence disorganized (excessive accommodation). See also Cognition; Intelligence.
    For Piaget, cognition gradually becomes abstracted from perception over the course of 12 years. Infants begin cognitive exploration by actively perceiving and reflexively manipulating objects, giving the name sensorimotor period to the first phase of intellectual development. Perception is a key form of early cognitive activity, especially with newborns. The newborn infant can see, hear, smell, taste, and feel much better than previously thought, though sensitivity in these areas improves throughout the first year of life. Between the ages of 18 and 24 months, infants become capable of symbolic representation, occasionally solving problems just by thinking about them. The major accomplishment of the sensorimotor period is object permanence, the realization that objects continue to exist even when not observable. During the next 5 years, sometimes termed the preoperational period, children work on concrete operations such as classifying objects into categories, arranging things in serial order, figuring out causes and effects, or understanding a one-to-one correspondence of numbers to objects counted. They also eventually manipulate reality enough to overcome perceptual illusions such as that an amount of water changes when it is poured from a short wide glass into a tall narrow glass. From 7 to 11 years, children further consolidate their concrete mental operations. At about 12 years, many adolescents enter the final stage of intellectual development: formal operations. They become capable of abstract, logical thought. They understand reality as a subset of possible worlds, and are able to form multiple, systematic hypotheses, involving all possible combinations of relevant variables, in order to explain things.Many quarrel with Piaget's age assessments of children, but most people accept his sequence of stages as useful for classifying children.
    Moral development
    L. Kohlberg's work on moral development spans the chasm between intellectual and emotional development. He studied reasoning about hypothetical moral dilemmas, such as whether a person should steal an unaffordable drug in order to save someone's life. He classified such reasoning in six stages. At birth children are considered to be premoral. By the age of 7, most children are in stage 1, chiefly characterized by the belief that people should act in certain ways in order to avoid physical or other punishment. In 2 or 3 years, children reason primarily in terms of doing things for rewards; this is stage 2. Stage 3 involves reasoning focused less on rewards than on maintaining the approval of others. Stage 4 involves reasoning that unquestioningly accepts conventional rules. Actions are judged by a rigid set of regulations, religious, legal, or both. Most individuals do not develop past this point. A few, however, do reach postconventional moral reasoning, stage 5. These individuals think in terms of moral principles. Rarely, a step higher to stage 6 is reached, governed by original abstract moral principles such as articulaton of the golden rule. Kohlberg argued that moral development is progressive, without regression to earlier stages.

    Number of posts : 776
    Age : 41
    Location : Montreal/Canada
    Job/hobbies : University Teacher / Phd Student /Fitness Coach
    Humor : Optimist
    Registration date : 2009-03-03

    Re: Modules Taught

    Post by Lily on Wed Mar 04, 2009 11:08 pm


    Valid though the interlanguage perspective may be, which views learner language as a language in its own right, this language varies much more than native-speaker language, in an apparently chaotic way. A learner may exhibit very smooth, grammatical language in one context and uninterpretable gibberish in another. Scholars from different traditions have taken opposing views on the importance of this phenomenon. Those who bring a Chomskyan perspective to SLA typically regard variability as nothing more than "performance errors", and not worthy of systematic inquiry. On the other hand, those who approach it from a sociolinguistic or psycholinguistic orientation view variability as a key indicator of how the situation affects learners' language use. Naturally, most research on variability has been done by those who presume it to be meaningful.
    Research on variability in learner language distinguishes between "free variation", which takes place even within the same situation, and "systematic variation", which correlates with situational changes. Of course, the line between the two is often subject to dispute.
    Free variation, variation without any determinable pattern, is itself highly variable from one learner to another. To some extent it may indicate different learning styles and communicative strategies. Learners that favor high-risk communicative strategies and have an other-directed cognitive style are more likely to show substantial free variation, as they experiment freely with different forms.
    Free variation in the use of a language feature is usually taken as a sign that it has not been fully acquired. The learner is still trying to figure out what rules govern the use of alternate forms. This type of variability seems to be most common among beginning learners, and may be entirely absent among the more advanced.
    Systematic variation is brought about by changes in the linguistic, psychological, social context. Linguistic factors are usually extremely local. For instance, the pronunciation of a difficult phoneme may depend on whether it is to be found at the beginning or end of a syllable.
    Social factors may include a change in register or the familiarity of interlocutors. In accordance with Communication Accommodation Theory, learners may adapt their speech to either converge with, or diverge from, their interlocutor's usage.
    The most important psychological factor is usually taken to be planning time. As numerous studies have shown, the more time that learners have to plan, the more regular and complex their production is likely to be. Thus, learners may produce much more target-like forms in a writing task for which they have 30 minutes to plan, than in conversation where they must produce language with almost no planning at all.
    Affective factors also play an important role in systematic variation. For example, learners in a stressful situation (such as a formal exam) may exhibit much less target-like forms than they would in a comfortable setting. This clearly interacts with social factors, and attitudes toward the interlocutor and topic also play important roles.
    Learner-external factors
    The study of learner-external factors in SLA is primarily concerned with the question: How do learners get information about the target language? Study has focused on the effects of different kinds of input, and on the impact of the social context.
    Social effects:The process of language learning can be very stressful, and the impact of positive or negative attitudes from the surrounding society can be critical. One aspect that has received particular attention is the relationship of gender roles to language achievement. Studies across numerous cultures have shown that women, on the whole, enjoy an advantage over men. Some have proposed that this is linked to gender roles. Doman (2006) notes in a journal devoted to issues of Cultural affects on SLA, "Questions abound about what defines SLA, how far its borders extend, and what the attributions and contributions of its research are. Thus, there is a great amount of heterogeneity in the entire conceptualization of SLA. Some researchers tend to ignore certain aspects of the field, while others scrutinize those same aspects piece by piece."Community attitudes toward the language being learned can also have a profound impact on SLA. Where the community has a broadly negative view of the target language and its speakers, or a negative view of its relation to them, learning is typically much more difficult. This finding has been confirmed by research in numerous contexts. A widely-cited example is the difficulty faced by Navajo children in learning English as a second language.
    Other common social factors include the attitude of parents toward language study, and the nature of group dynamics in the language classroom. Additionally, early attitudes may strengthen motivation and facility with language in general, particularly with early exposure to the language.
    Input and intake
    Learners' most direct source of information about the target language is the target language itself. When they come into direct contact with the target language, this is referred to as "input." When learners process that language in a way that can contribute to learning, this is referred to as "intake."
    Generally speaking, the amount of input learners take in is one of the most important factors affecting their learning. However, it must be at a level that is comprehensible to them. In his Monitor Theory, Krashen advanced the concept that language input should be at the "i+1" level, just beyond what the learner can fully understand; this input is comprehensible, but contains structures that are not yet fully understood. This has been criticized on the basis that there is no clear definition of i+1, and that factors other than structural difficulty (such as interest or presentation) can affect whether input is actually turned into intake. The concept has been quantified, however, in vocabulary acquisition research; Nation (2001) reviews various studies which indicate that about 98% of the words in running text should be previously known in order for extensive reading to be effective.
    A great deal of research has taken place on input enhancement, the ways in which input may be altered so as to direct learners' attention to linguistically important areas. Input enhancement might include bold-faced vocabulary words or marginal glosses in a reading text. Research here is closely linked to research on pedagogical effects, and comparably diverse.
    Long's interaction hypothesis proposes that language acquisition is strongly facilitated by the use of the target language in interaction. In particular, the negotiation of meaning has been shown to contribute greatly to the acquisition of vocabulary (Long, 1990). In a review of the substantial literature on this topic, Nation (2000) relates the value of negotiation to the generative use of words: the use of words in new contexts which stimulate a deeper understanding of their meaning.
    In the 1980s, Canadian SLA researcher Merrill Swain advanced the output hypothesis, that meaningful output is as necessary to language learning as meaningful input. However, most studies have shown little if any correlation between learning and quantity of output. Today, most scholars contend that small amounts of meaningful output are important to language learning, but primarily because the experience of producing language leads to more effective processing of input.
    Pedagogical effects
    The study of the effects of teaching on second language acquisition seeks to systematically measure or evaluate the effectiveness of language teaching practices. Such studies have been undertaken for every level of language, from phonetics to pragmatics, and for almost every current teaching methodology. It is therefore impossible to summarize their findings here. However, some more general issues have been addressed.
    Research has indicated that many traditional language-teaching techniques are extremely inefficient. (P Lightbown, 1990) However, today a broad consensus of SLA scholars acknowledge that formal instruction can help in language learning.Another important issue is the effectiveness of explicit teaching: can language teaching have a constructive effect beyond providing learners with enhanced input? Because explicit instruction must usually take place in the learner's first language. Research on this at different levels of language has produced quite different results. Traditional areas of explicit teaching, such as phonology, grammar and vocabulary, have had decidedly mixed results. Interestingly, the higher-level aspects of language such as sociopragmatic and discourse competence have shown the most consistently strong effects from explicit instruction.
    Learner-internal factors
    The study of learner-internal factors in SLA is primarily concerned with the question: How do learners gain competence in the target language? In other words, given effective input and instruction, with what internal resources do learners process this input to produce a rule-governed interlanguage?

    Number of posts : 776
    Age : 41
    Location : Montreal/Canada
    Job/hobbies : University Teacher / Phd Student /Fitness Coach
    Humor : Optimist
    Registration date : 2009-03-03

    Seconde Language acquisition

    Post by Lily on Wed Mar 04, 2009 10:49 pm

    Second language acquisition is the process by which people learn a second language in addition to their native language(s). The term second language is used to describe the acquisition of any language after the acquisition of the mother tongue. The language to be learned is often referred to as the "target language" or "L2", compared to the first language, "L1", referred to as the "source language". Second language acquisition may be abbreviated "SLA", or L2A, for "L2 acquisition".
    Describing learner language
    Through the descriptive study of learner language, some SLA researchers seek to better understand language learning without recourse to factors outside learner language. Researchers may adopt an interlanguage perspective, exploring learner language as a linguistic system, or they may study how learner language compares to the target language. Research is centered on the question: What are the unique characteristics of learner language? Much of the research has focused on the English language as the L2, because of the huge number of people around the world learning and teaching it.
    Error analysis
    The field of error analysis in SLA was established in the 1970s by S. P. Corder and colleagues. A widely-available survey can be found in chapter 8 of Brown, 2000. Error analysis was an alternative to contrastive analysis, an approach influenced by behaviorism through which applied linguists sought to use the formal distinctions between the learners' first and second languages to predict errors. Error analysis showed that contrastive analysis was unable to predict a great majority of errors, although its more valuable aspects have been incorporated into the study of language transfer. A key finding of error analysis has been that many learner errors are produced by learners making faulty inferences about the rules of the new language.
    Error analysts distinguish between errors, which are systematic, and mistakes, which are not. They often seek to develop a typology of errors. Error can be classified according to basic type: omissive, additive, substitutive or related to word order. They can be classified by how apparent they are: overt errors such as "I angry" are obvious even out of context, whereas covert errors are evident only in context. Closely related to this is the classification according to domain, the breadth of context which the analyst must examine, and extent, the breadth of the utterance which must be changed in order to fix the error. Errors may also be classified according to the level of language: phonological errors, vocabulary or lexical errors, syntactic errors, and so on. They may be assessed according to the degree to which they interfere with communication: global errors make an utterance difficult to understand, while local errors do not. In the above example, "I angry" would be a local error, since the meaning is apparent.
    From the beginning, error analysis was beset with methodological problems. In thisparticular, the above typologies are problematic: from linguistic data alone, it is often impossible to reliably determine what kind of error a learner is making. Also, error analysis can deal effectively only with learner production (speaking and writing) and not with learner reception (listening and reading). Furthermore, it cannot account for learner use of communicative strategies such as avoidance, in which learners simply do not use a form with which they are uncomfortable. For these reasons, although error analysis is still used to investigate specific questions in SLA, the quest for an overarching theory of learner errors has largely been abandoned. In the mid-1970s, Corder and others moved on to a more wide-ranging approach to learner language, known as interlanguage.
    Error analysis is closely related to the study of error treatment in language teaching. Today, the study of errors is particularly relevant for focus on form teaching methodology.gghgjhkjmgb dxdb htn g bg mjh and marigolds in the pond
    Interlanguage scholarship seeks to understand learner language on its own terms, as a natural language with its own consistent set of rules. Interlanguage scholars reject, at least for heuristic purposes, the view of learner language as merely an imperfect version of the target language. Interlanguage is perhaps best viewed as an attitude toward language acquisition, and not a distinct discipline. By the same token, interlanguage work is a vibrant microcosm of linguistics. It is possible to apply an interlanguage perspective to learners' knowledge of L2 sound systems (interlanguage phonology), and language-use norms found among learners (interlanguage pragmatics).
    By describing the ways in which learner language conforms to universal linguistic norms, interlanguage research has contributed greatly to our understanding of linguistic universals in SLA. See below, under "linguistic universals".
    Developmental patterns
    Ellis (1994) distinguished between "order" to refer to the pattern in which different language features are acquired and "sequence" to denote the pattern by which a specific language feature is acquired.
    Order of acquisition
    Researchers have found a very consistent order in the acquisition of first language structures by children, and this has drawn a great deal of interest from SLA scholars. Considerable effort has been devoted to testing the "identity hypothesis", which asserts that first-language and second-language acquisition conform to the same patterns. This has not been confirmed, probably because second-language learners' cognitive and affective states are so much more advanced. However, orders of acquisition in SLA do often resemble those found in first language acquisition, and may have common neurological causes.
    Most learners begin their acquisition process with a "silent period", in which they speak very little if at all. For some this is a period of language shock, in which the learner actively rejects the incomprehensible input of the new language. However, research has shown that many "silent" learners are engaging in private speech (sometimes called "self-talk"). While appearing silent, they are rehearsing important survival phrases and lexical chunks. These memorized phrases are then employed in the subsequent period of formulaic speech. Whether by choice or compulsion, other learners have no silent period and pass directly to formulaic speech. This speech, in which a handful of routines is used to accomplish basic purposes, often shows few departures from L2 morphosyntax. It eventually gives way to a more experimental phase of acquisition, in which the semantics and grammar of the target language are simplified and the learners begin to construct a true interlanguage.
    The nature of the transition between formulaic and simplified speech is disputed. Some, including Krashen, have argued that there is no cognitive relationship between the two, and that the transition is abrupt. Thinkers influenced by recent theories of the lexicon have preferred to view even native speaker speech as heavily formulaic, and interpret the transition as a process of gradually developing a broader repertoire of chunks and a deeper understanding of the rules which govern them. Some studies have supported both views, and it is likely that the relationship depends in great part on the learning styles of individual learners.
    A flurry of studies took place in the 1970s, examining whether a consistent order of morpheme acquisition could be shown. Most of these studies did show fairly consistent orders of acquisition for selected morphemes. For example, among learners of English the cluster of features including the suffix "-ing", the plural, and the copula were found to consistently precede others such as the article, auxiliary, and third person singular. However, these studies were widely criticized as not paying sufficient attention to overuse of the features (idiosyncratic uses outside what are obligatory contexts in the L2), and sporadic but inconsistent use of the features. More recent scholarship prefers to view the acquisition of each linguistic feature as a gradual and complex process. For that reason most scholarship since the 1980s has focused on the sequence, rather than the order, of feature acquisition.
    Sequence of acquisition
    A number of studies have looked into the sequence of acquisition of pronouns by learners of various Indo-European languages. These are reviewed by Ellis (1994), pp. 96-99. They show that learners begin by omitting pronouns or using them indiscriminately: for example, using "I" to refer to all agents. Learners then acquire a single pronoun feature, often person, followed by number and eventually by gender. Little evidence of interference from the learner's first language has been found; it appears that learners use pronouns based entirely on their inferences about target language structure.
    Studies on the acquisition of word order in German have shown that most learners begin with a word order based on their native language. This indicates that certain aspects of interlanguage syntax are influenced by the learners' first language, although others are not.
    Research on the sequence of acquisition of words is exhaustively reviewed by Nation (2001). Kasper and Rose (2002) have thoroughly researched the sequence of acquisition of pragmatic features. In both fields, consistent patterns have emerged and have been the object of considerable theorizing.


    Number of posts : 776
    Age : 41
    Location : Montreal/Canada
    Job/hobbies : University Teacher / Phd Student /Fitness Coach
    Humor : Optimist
    Registration date : 2009-03-03

    Didactics:The Direct Method

    Post by Lily on Wed Mar 04, 2009 10:28 pm

    The direct method, sometimes also called natural method, is a method for teaching foreign languages that refrains from using the learners' native language and just uses the target language. It was established in Germany and France around 1900. Characteristic features of the direct method are:
    -teaching vocabulary through pantomiming, realia and other visuals
    -teaching grammar by using an inductive approach (i.e. having learners find out rules through the presentation of adequate linguistic forms in the target language)
    -centrality of spoken language (including a native-like pronunciation)
    -focus on question-answer patterns
    1.Classroom instructions are conducted exclusively in the target language.
    2.Only everyday vocabulary and sentences are taught. (The language is made real.)
    3.Oral communication skills are built up in a carefully graded progression organized around question-and-answer exchanges between teachers and students in small, intensive classes.
    4.Grammar is taught inductively.
    5.New teaching points are introduced orally.
    6.Concrete vocabulary is taught through demonstration, objects, and pic&shy;tures; abstract vocabulary is taught by association of ideas.
    7.Both speech and listening comprehensions are taught.
    8.Correct pronunciation and grammar are emphasized.
    Historical context
    The direct method was an answer to the dissatisfaction with the grammar translation method, which teaches students in grammar and vocabulary through direct translations and thus focuses on the written language.
    There was an attempt to set up such conditions as would imitate the mother tongue acquisition. For this reason the beginnings of these attempts were marked as The Natural methods. At the turn of the 18th and 19th centuries, Sauveur and Franke wrote psychological roots regarding the associations made between the word and its meaning. They proposed that in language teaching we should move within the target-language system and this was the first stimulus for the rise of The Direct method.
    Later on, Sweet recognized the limits of The Direct method and he proposed a substantial change in methodology, and for this reason there was an introduction of the audio-lingual method.

    Number of posts : 776
    Age : 41
    Location : Montreal/Canada
    Job/hobbies : University Teacher / Phd Student /Fitness Coach
    Humor : Optimist
    Registration date : 2009-03-03

    Didactics :The Audio-lingual Method

    Post by Lily on Wed Mar 04, 2009 10:10 pm

    The Audio-Lingual Method, or the Army Method or also the New Key, is a style of teaching used in teaching foreign languages. It is based on behaviorist theory, which professes that certain traits of living things, and in this case humans, could be trained through a system of reinforcement—correct use of a trait would receive positive feedback while incorrect use of that trait would receive negative feedback.This approach to language learning was similar to another, earlier method called the Direct method. Like the Direct Method, the Audio-Lingual Method advised that students be taught a language directly, without using the students' native language to explain new words or grammar in the target language. However, unlike the Direct Method, the Audiolingual Method didn’t focus on teaching vocabulary. Rather, the teacher drilled students in the use of grammar.Applied to language instruction, and often within the context of the language lab, this means that the instructor would present the correct model of a sentence and the students would have to repeat it. The teacher would then continue by presenting new words for the students to sample in the same structure. In audio-lingualism, there is no explicit grammar instruction—everything is simply memorized in form. The idea is for the students to practice the particular construct until they can use it spontaneously. In this manner, the lessons are built on static drills in which the students have little or no control on their own output; the teacher is expecting a particular response and not providing that will result in a student receiving negative feedback. This type of activity, for the foundation of language learning, is in direct opposition with communicative language teaching.
    Charles Fries, the director of the English Language Institute at the University of Michigan, the first of its kind in the United States, believed that learning structure, or grammar was the starting point for the student. In other words, it was the students’ job to orally recite the basic sentence patterns and grammatical structures. The students were only given “enough vocabulary to make such drills possible.” (Richards, J.C. et-al. 1986). Fries later included principles for behavioural psychology, as developed by B.F. Skinner, into this method.
    Oral Drills:Drills and pattern practice are typical of the Audiolingual method. (Richards, J.C. et-al. 1986) These include
    Repetition : where the student repeats an utterance as soon as he hears it
    Inflection : Where one word in a sentence appears in another form when repeated
    Replacement : Where one word is replaced by another
    Restatement : The student re-phrases an utterance
    Inflection : Teacher : I ate the sandwich. Student : I ate the sandwiches.
    Replacement : Teacher : He bought the car for half-price. Student : He bought it for half-price.
    Restatement : Teacher : Tell me not to shave so often. Student : Don't shave so often!
    The following example illustrates how more than one sort of drill can be incorporated into one practice session :
    “Teacher: There's a cup on the table ... repeat
    Students: There's a cup on the table
    Teacher: Spoon
    Students: There's a spoon on the table
    Teacher: Book
    Students: There's a book on the table
    Teacher: On the chair
    Students: There's a book on the chair
    Historical Roots:The Audio-lingual method is the product of three historical circumstances. For its views on language, audiolingualism drew on the work of American linguists such as Leonard Bloomfield. The prime concern of American Linguistics at the early decades of the 20th century had been to document all the indigenous languages spoken in the USA. However, because of the dearth of trained native teachers who would provide a theoretical description of the native languages, linguists had to rely on observation. For the same reason, a strong focus on oral language was developed. At the same time, behaviourist psychologists such as B.F. Skinner were forming the belief that all behaviour (including language) was learnt through repetition and positive or negative reinforcement. The third factor that enabled the birth of the Audio-lingual method was the outbreak of World War II, which created the need to post large number of American servicemen all over the world. It was therefore necessary to provide these soldiers with at least basic verbal communication skills. Unsurprisingly, the new method relied on the prevailing scientific methods of the time, observation and repetition, which were also admirably suited to teaching en masse. Because of the influence of the military, early versions of the audio-lingualism came to be known as the “army method.”
    In Practice:As mentioned, lessons in the classroom focus on the correct imitation of the teacher by the students. Not only are the students expected to produce the correct output, but attention is also paid to correct pronunciation. Although correct grammar is expected in usage, no explicit grammatical instruction is given. Furthermore, the target language is the only language to be used in the classroom.[Modern day implementations are more lax on this last requirement.

    Sponsored content

    Re: Modules Taught

    Post by Sponsored content

      Current date/time is Wed Dec 19, 2018 5:28 am