EDUCATIONAL INSTITUTIONS, COMMUNITIES,
& PROFESSIONAL LIFE COMPETENCY
Theories of Contextual Influences on Language Education
AP_Dogme Fiesta presentation
(shows how the film movement is adapted to ELL)
CDA_pdf of English Language Introduction lesson plan
(based on my internship with refugees from several different countries in one class)
EAL_Grammar Reflection w/Elka’s notes
(shows how the meaning in grammar is contextual)
And in 2005, he writes:
And finally, in 2013:
With reference to contextual application of lamguage learning, the teaching context in my beginning English class at Ascentria, was a bit like a Persian carpet. The opportunities it gave me for using a multitude of approaches were exhilarating. My students were thrilled to play with me as I devised games and ways for them to share our lessons with each other. They were at different stages of “beginning,” as well as from 6 different countries, cultures, and languages. Through action games, they reached out to each other with shouts of encouragement. “Simple Simon” was a favorite vocabulary learning game, as was the “Fly-swatter” game. They came up with words, randomly wrote them on our white board, and raced between 2 teams to see who could find a "shouted out" word, first. To them, a welcome approach to learning to spell, write, and increase vocabulary.
A particularly challenging lesson for me was to find contexts in which to place words which looked the same but had different meanings: e.g., to pet, and a pet. Total physical response (TPR) and Dogme (using what we had in our classroom): I drew cats and dogs and horses, gestured toward the ground and upward, to demonstrate their sizes, barked, meowed, and neighed. All the while, emphasizing the definite article, “a.” I then acted out “to pet,” using the animals and also students’ arms, backs of chairs, etc. We reviewed the differences, as I went from one word to the other. You may imagine how much fun we had. Grown men meowed! BUT….they never forgot the lesson.
I like the following thought I wrote down from one of my Approaches classes
(attributed to Myles Horton): “You make a road by walking.”
We are not only language teachers. We are purveyors of socio-cultural knowledge, and societal adaptation. With refugees, in particular, instilling mores of their new country is essential for their overall success and happiness.