TITLE: This could happen to you!
Wednesday, September 22, 2010
Thursday, September 9, 2010
Time: 70 minutes (2 periods)
Topic: Know Your Maps
General Objectives: By the end of the lesson, students should be able to have the ample understanding of prepositions of directions and the use of maps by using Google Maps.
Students should be able to:
1) know how to use a map using the Google Maps
2) transfer the given information into effectively and efficiently
3) look for information using internet browsers and search engines
1) ICT Skills
2) Thinking Skills,
3) Multiple Intelligences
4) Creative and Critical Thinking Skills
1) A computer room filled with fully functioning personal computers (maybe shared among 2 - 3 students per computer)
2) Microsoft Office 2003/2007
3) Internet Accessibility
3) Web browsers : Internet Explorer or Mozilla Firefox
-pictures of the planet Earth and Google Maps webpage
2)prepare a worksheet to recap the previous lesson
1) Google (http://www.google.com/)
2) Google Maps (http://maps.google.com/)
Previous Knowledge: Students have learned the rules and the examples of prepositions of directions.
1) Teacher shows students a picture of the Earth on a white board screen using the electronic projector
2) Teacher asks a few questions about the planet Earth to some students:
-When you see the picture, what are the things that you could find on the planet Earth?
-Where are the places on Earth you would like to pay a visit?
-If you want to go to any places on Earth, what should we have or do?
3)Teacher provides concise descriptions the use of a map and its significances to people generally.
1) Teacher asks students if they be familiar with or have encountered with other alternatives of technologies which provide the use of maps other than the traditional maps that printed on papers.
2) Teacher tells students to search the alternative gadgets using the internet browsers and write them down in their book with at least 3 gadgets with their descriptions in one sentence.
Examples (for teacher's use):
3) Teacher responds the students’ answers and discuses explicitly
4) Teacher introduces students with the topic of the lesson: “Know Your Maps”
1) Teacher shows a video on Youtube on "Google Maps Introduction".
2) Teacher asks students to open up the Google Maps (GM) webpage using any internet browsers available and teaches them how to use it explicitly.
3) Teacher comes up with several places e.g. the school, shopping malls or interesting places in Malaysia and inquires students to search for the maps of the selected places using the GM.
4) Teacher facilitates students’ work and provides aids if needed.
5) Teacher asks for students opinions of using GM and discuss about it.
1) Teacher recaps the previous lesson on prepositions of directions with students by giving a worksheet and asks them to complete it in 3-5 minutes, and later discusses the answers with students.
2) Teacher asks directs students into 6 groups which consist of 5 members per group.
3) Teacher provides instructions to the 1st activity:
-Using GM, search for the maps of the selected places and the routes used.
-After found the ‘right’ map, each group has to come up with a direction based on the maps using the words of prepositions.
-Later, one representative of each group has to come in front and read the concocted direction.
-Other groups have to draw a map out of the directions that have been read in a piece of mahjong paper that teacher has provided.
-Each group later will show their maps in front of the classroom and the winning group will be determined based on the details and the precise of map based on the directions given from each group.
1)Teacher recaps what has been learned during the lesson with students.
2) Teacher implicitly discusses the moral values they learn on the lesson.
Saturday, August 28, 2010
Journal: CALICO Journal, Vay66gf4rzsol. 24, No. 1. 2006
Authors’ Names: HSIEN-CHIN LIOU, JASON S. CHANG (National Tsing Hua University, Hsinchu, Taiwan)
HAO-JAN CHEN, CHIH-CHENG LIN (National Taiwan Normal
University, Taipei, Taiwan)
MEEI-LING LIAW (National Taichung University, Taichung, Taiwan)
ZHAO-MING GAO (National Taiwan University, Taipei, Taiwan)
JYH-SHING ROGER JANG, YULI YEH (National Tsing Hua University, Hsinchu, Taiwan)
THOMAS C. CHUANG (Vanung University, Taoyuan, Taiwan)
GEENG-NENG YOU (National Taichung Institute of Technology, Taichung, Taiwan)
Designation: The CANDLE Project
Background: This paper describes the development of an innovative web-based environment for English language learning with advanced data-driven and statistical approaches. The project uses various corpora, including a Chinese-English parallel corpus (Sinorama) and various natural language processing (NLP) tools to construct effective English learning tasks for college learners with adaptive computational scaffolding. It integrates the expertise of a group of researchers in four areas: (a) advances in NLP technologies and applications, (b) construction of a self-access reading environment, (c) exploration of English language learning through written exercises and translations, and (d) use of bilingual corpora for culture-based English learning. In this paper, the conceptualization of the system and its various reference tools (e.g., a bilingual concordancer) for English learning and pilot testing on various modules (e.g., a reading module, Text Grader, and Collocation Practice) are reported.
Keywords: Bilingual Concordancer, Chinese-English Parallel Corpora, Computational Scaffolding, Natural Language Processing
Summary of the Research
This is a 3-year project with the use of natural language processing (NLP) and corpus for digital learning of English (CANDLE). A number of researchers from computer science, particularly in NLP and CALL have been working together with the aim of using cutting edge corpora processing and NLP tools to advance English learning for students in Taiwan. As this research as it speaks itself, is unique domestically and internationally because of its application on a Chinese-English corresponding corpus and builds on learners’ first language background knowledge to authorize learners with culture-based materials. While learning English as the new language, the learners’ first language and their culture perspectives will provide a scaffold in order to learning the new language. This research examines the enlargement of the CANDLE project and its four subprojects.
Before we are going further into the methodology(s) of this research, the goals of the CANDLE project are twofold: (a) construction of a web-based English learning environment that is practical for intermediate learners (e.g., college freshman students and senior high students) in Taiwan and (b) evaluation of the use of the CANDLE system in classrooms by investigating learners’ use of strategies. To achieve these two goals, four subprojects have been conducted: the first subproject consists of developing advanced NLP tools and is followed by three subprojects on online English language-learning activities which focus on aspects of reading, writing, and culture:
- I. The first subproject provides the infrastructure of the web-based system (see http://candle.cs.nthu.edu.tw, http://candle.fl.nthu.edu.tw), that is, basic and advanced NLP tools necessary for the other three subprojects, and tracking mechanisms to monitor online learner progress. The tools comprise articles from the Sinorama magazine which includes a wide range and insightful topics and reports.
- II. Subproject two focuses on the construction and assessment of a self-access reading environment that is adaptive to learners’ levels of English proficiency. Feedback on the instructional effectiveness of the reading module was obtained from 150 students plus some instructors after they used the module in a questionnaire.
- III. Subproject three develops the potential of using writing or translation activities to help students learn English. Students were asked to refer to one of the NLP tools for word usage while writing their first drafts and later for error correction as they revised their drafts. On average, researchers marked two to three errors of misused verbs, nouns, or adjectives on each draft. Additionally, a background questionnaire and an evaluation questionnaire were used to elicit participants’ data and perceptions about the effectiveness of the practice module.
- IV. Subproject four uses a bilingual corpus to enhance English culture learning, an area that has not yet been fully explored. Formative assessment of the culture component is being undertaken by collecting the students’ reading comprehension test scores, vocabulary quiz scores, and the quality of their writing. In addition, the students’ vocabulary notebooks will be analyzed and put into categories of (a) dictionary query for reading comprehension, (b) dictionary query for writing assistance, (c) concordance query for reading comprehension, or (d) concordance query for writing assistance.
All of these subprojects have implications for innovative digital learning, NLP (computer engineering), and English teaching and learning.
Each subproject is conducted differently and solely from one another. However, the subject/sample of the research is similar with one another because the first subproject produces required digital and content-related advanced technologies for the other three subprojects to conduct research on e-learning strategies and behaviours essential to prove the usefulness of such advanced English e-learning. The samples are conducted within the college students around the Taiwanese universities due to the various researchers to demeanour the research.
The summary of the sampling of each project:
- NLP and Assessment Tools: University students, in general.
- The Reading Module: 150 university students answering questionnaire
- The Writing Component: 32 first-year university students majoring in English
- The Culture Component: University students, in general.
The findings of the research
This research is described as an initial part of a web-based English learning project which is the CANDLE project. For the first research project; the NLP and Assessment Tools, it is developed with three tools which are:
- · “TOTALrecall” involves bilingual sentence, word, and phrase alignment and meets learners’ needs by supporting sophisticated queries and displaying ranked outputs from a variety of topics taken from the Sinorama magazine (an official monthly publication that has been provided by the Government Information Office of the Republic of China)
- · “Tango” which allows learners to access English collocations (of a certain types such as verb-noun or adjective-noun) and bilingual examples of these collocations from Sinorama.
- · “The Collocation Checker” utilizes NLP techniques to chunk sentences in order to extract V-N collocations in input texts and to derive a list of candidate English verbs that share the same Chinese translations via the processing of bilingual corpora.
The tools are used consecutively to build computational scaffolding for the students before they engage into the other three projects; reading, writing, and cultural learning activities that make full use of corpus processing. The second research project; The Reading Module, the participants found the module very useful for improving their reading abilities. In particular, they liked the click and show dictionaries because it helped them read without having to spend extra time on consulting word meanings in a paper dictionary. Some also found the comprehension questions to be useful since they could check if they understood the texts. In addition, the pronunciation in the audio file of the text was extremely clear. However, students also indicated that improvements could be made in text selection, difficulty level of the vocabulary quizzes, help with sentence structures, and varieties of post-reading exercises. The third research project; The Writing Component has found that the effectiveness of the practice module with significant learner improvement from the pre-test to the post- test. The fourth and last research project; The Culture Component is examined for the reasons students made from previous test scores and the quality of their writing into cultural and non-cultural reasons. The students’ viewpoints expressed in the written responses to Sinorama readings will be analyzed for cultural awareness. The focus of the analysis is to compare the social customs in the Chinese and Western cultures.
Does the research interest you?
Just by glancing to the title of the research, it does intrigue me to be acquainted with it. I think this research puts two essential elements of learning which are ‘scaffolding’ and Web-based language learning under one scrupulous topic to be looked on deeply. Learning itself is one important fundamental of gaining knowledge, but with the advancement of technology nowadays, educational practitioners should put a lot of considerations in order to make the learning process consequential and meaningful for learners and one of them is ‘scaffolding’. Therefore, after I gained this research as my article to be reviewed, I did not look back for other researches because it had interest me enough and for me to evaluate and assess in more profound understanding.
Do you think the research well conducted?
For me, I do not have to think either this research is well conducted or poorly carried out in order to meet the objectives of the research. It is clearly shown that it has been accomplished with a lot of afford. This research has been conducted for about 3-year period of time with a wide range of sills has been put into consideration for a web-based English learning environment. It comes up with four subprojects for learners to participate and be evaluated sequentially to offer learners with rigorous exposure to specific, repeated patterns of language structure with the encroachment of technology. Second language learners are not theoretical to straight away learn the language by simply focusing on it, but they gradually incorporate the language over time by continuing to notice the rudiments of the language that they come across. That is what this research is all about which it tries to put the scaffolding strategy into the consideration of learning by using a web-based learning milieu.
What is/are the implication(s) of the research in the teaching and learning of ESL (in the general and Malaysian contexts)?
Before we going any further into the implications of the research, let start with ‘Scaffolding’. Scaffolding instruction as a teaching approach derives from Lev Vygotsky’s sociocultural theory and the zone of proximal development (ZPD) concept which he founds himself. According to Raymond 2000, ZPD is the distance between what children are capable of within themselves and the next learning that they can be helped to achieve with competent assistance (p.176). The scaffolding teaching strategy provides individualized support based on the learner’s ZPD (Chang, Sung, & Chen, 2002). The scaffolds assist a student’s ability and aptitude to construct on prior knowledge and internalize new information. The activities provided in scaffolding instruction are just beyond the level of what the learner can do alone (Olson & Pratt, 2000).
Now, based on the research done and the 4 subprojects that have been carried out in order to see the outcomes of the objectives of the CANDLE project, let me summarize each project into four points of my personal views and the implications of the projects:
- · From the first project, learners are expected to read extensively in order to enhance reading abilities, vocabulary development and useful for developing reading competence. Same goes with any other learners who are learning a second language, especially in Malaysian context, not all learners would feel participated and encouraged with the approach. Some students might not enjoy reading on computers due to the lack of exposure to the technology perhaps. Thus, teachers are advisable need to constantly encourage students to read more. For example, printed copies from various ranges of topics and sites might help some students read more.
- · For the second project, learners are expected to learn vocabulary while doing extensive reading, yet learners might have improved and seen the progress of their vocabulary but they tend to use intensive ways to tackle an extensive reading task. Therefore, for the unskilled learners in extensive reading, the combination of both intensive and extensive reading is suggested. For learners who happen to expose themselves with a language which is not their native language, an intensive approach itself might be burden for them to encounter. So, with the combination of both intensive and extensive, they would find options are in their hands but with proper guidance.
- · For the third project, learners are expected to learn underused verbs, nouns, and adjectives through induction of the text. There are two outcomes for this approach: the pre-test which covers the drafts of the writing process and also the pro-test which is the actual writing of a particular topic or subject. However, learners might make some significant improvements in the post-test but still they need more time and exposure to use the learned words in their writing. They need more time and practice for using the learned words in actual writing tasks.
- · For the last project, learners are expected to appreciate other cultures from exploring home culture from the Sinorama articles. By this approach, learners might find the studies of their home customs and traditions not only improve their English abilities but also enlarge their minds to recognize others’ cultures. Teachers should enclose learners with a greater attention. It needs to be paid to students’ topics of discovery, and a comparison/contrast is suggested between students’ home culture and the target culture.
These cases exemplify how teachers can foster their professional development in using CALL to enhance English teaching and there is always a room for improvement. One of them maybe is by the help of the CANDLE project in order to improve the teaching and learning process in classroom. I think our Malaysian educational policy can apply the findings of this project into our own educational context. To be blunt, our educational status is quite ‘behind’ compared even in the university level to other Asian countries such as Japan, Korea and Singapore. We are still maybe 70-80% using the traditional teaching and learning approach but we are improving from time to time. Therefore, I think this research should not be considered as inappropriate and ineffective because we want to improve our educational system of our own.
In my opinion, our English teachers can implement the instructional design from the ‘CANDLE’ project which involves of blending both classroom teaching strategies and the ‘CANDLE’ teaching into their own classroom lessons if the frameworks are parallel with those presented in the research. The detailed description of the pedagogical processes can offer righteous procedures for teachers to consider when their frameworks are different from the cases, or using other online materials. Any teaching practice, especially English teaching is a process of decision-making and adaptation based on each teacher’s philosophy and local context. Therefore, each teacher has their own approach in planning and giving the lessons regarding to their beliefs and considerations of their students’ capabilities.
Without a doubt, most learners are already possessed ample electronic literacy in their life, directly or indirectly and the technology implementation in the classroom with English curriculum concoction is a process that needs a long period of time to be succeeded. It also necessitates a display of several fundamentals and requirements to have a successful outcome. But still, are we ready to answer the question, “Are our teachers ready to incorporate technology into their teaching?” So, with this kind of research, it is actually a starter for the educators to have an overview or a pre-idea of what they should and could accomplish before the implementation of a web-based English learning. I think, with supplementary in-class CALL activities are needed and encouraged rather than self-access activities because this option can present access for individuals who do not have the opportunity at home.
Truth to be told, our teachers especially the English teachers are not completely ready because the technology itself is indeed advanced for them to apply or they are unsure how technology can meet the pedagogical objectives. Hence, hopefully, this research could provide some thoughts, ideas or, possibly, guidelines for infusing the web-based teaching and learning strategies into the English lessons.
Thursday, August 12, 2010
Title: Little Red Riding Hood
There are two different sets with the same topic.
Click LRRH Set 1 (for the first set) and LRRH Set 2 to download the worksheets.