Type: Process Essays
Sample donated: Margarita Barnes
Last updated: July 27, 2019
A multilingualclass consists of students from various countries who may all speak differentlanguages. My multilingual class has 5 students from the Middle East, 6 fromJapan, and 5 from France. The text that I am trying to teach was published onGuradian.
com in February, 2017. The article is about a fashion photographer, DavidLaChapelle. The photographer was very famous in 90’s and now he is workingagain with Diesel. In this age of chaos and greed, he is all about positivity.I will be teaching this text considering pronunciation, lexis and semanticmeaning and grammar.Recentdiscussion of and research on the teaching and learning of pronunciation havefocused on the following issues: the importance of accent, stress, intonation,and rhythm in the comprehensibility of the speech of nonnative speakers; theeffects of motivation and exposure on the development of native-likepronunciation; and the intelligibility of speech among speakers of differentEnglish varieties (Schaetzel & Low, 2009). Research suggests thatenvironment and motivation may be more important factors in the development ofnative-like pronunciation than is age at acquisition (Marinova-Todd, Marshall,& Snow, 2000).
An understanding of the features of learner accents andtheir impact on intelligibility can help teachers identify and addresscharacteristics of learner pronunciation (Derwing & Munro, 1995). Theprimary aim is that students be understood. Good pronunciation is needed forthis, but a “perfect accent” is not (Harmer, 1991). Even heavily accentedspeech is sometimes intelligible and that prosodic errors (i.e., errors instress, intonation, and rhythm) appear to affect intelligibility more than dophonetic errors (i.
e., errors in single sounds). For this reason, pronunciationresearch and teaching focus both on the sounds of language (vowels andconsonants) and on suprasegmental features—that is, vocal effects that extendover more than one sound—such as stress, sentence and word intonation, andspeech rhythm (Crystal, 2011). Differenttheories have backed up the use of semantic sets in vocabulary teaching.
Semantic sets have been advocated by many scholars in the field (Hashemi , 2005). These researchers assume that semantically related sets ofwords facilitate the process of L2 vocabulary learning in two ways: (a)The similarity between the lexical items eases the learning task, and (b)They lead the learner to become aware of slight distinctions between therelated words. Onesuch theory is the semantic fields theory, which provides evidence for theefficiency of presenting semantically related sets and leads to the assumptionthat semantic sets can bring about: 1.Common approaches of establishing complex lexical networks 2.Efficient and fruitful acquisition of words, in which learning of a new wordmotivates learning of its neighbors 3.A means of illustrating the distribution of meaning of related lexical items Manyadult English language learners place a high value on learning grammar (Rodriguez,2009). Perceiving a link between grammatical accuracy and effectivecommunication, they associate excellent grammar with opportunities foremployment and promotion, the attainment of educational goals, and socialacceptance by native speakers.
Reflecting the disagreement that was once commonin the second language acquisition research, teachers of adult English languagelearners vary in their views on how, to what extent, and even whether to teachgrammar. Indeed, in popular communicative and task-based approaches toteaching, the second language is viewed primarily as “a tool for communicatingrather than as an object to be analyzed” (Rodriguez, 2009). Nonetheless, mostresearch now supports some attention to grammar within a meaningful,interactive instructional context. Second language acquisition research has notdefinitively answered many important questions regarding form-focusedinstruction, studies have provided promising evidence that focus on form iscorrelated with more acquisition of new grammar and vocabulary thannon-form-focused approaches. Instructors should consider learners’developmental readiness when deciding whether a focus-on-form approach isappropriate in a given context. Since learners with low literacy often struggleto comprehend form in their first language, it is not advisable to teach themgrammar in the second language until they have advanced into higher stages ofliteracy. It has also been suggested that focus on form should not be initiatedwith beginning learners.
An instructor must also consider learners’ needs andinterests in identifying the best way to draw their attention to a form and practiceusing it in a meaningful context. For example, in an ESL class for landscapingworkers at an intermediate level of proficiency, an oral work report given atthe end of a shift (e.g., “I mowed the lawn, then I weeded the flower beds”)could be used to focus students’ attention on the formation of the past tense.Finally, a focus-on-form approach may be more difficult to use in programs inwhich teachers are obligated to strictly follow mandated curricula or in whichclass sizes are too large to allow much individual feedback Ihave chosen lexis and semantic area because the important lexical differenceconcerns the specificity level of each element of the bilingual pairs (e.g.English and French).
A French instruction may be less specific because a conceptualargument has been left implicit while explicitly realized in the equivalentEnglish instruction. However, even when both instructions are at tile samespecificity level, differences may appear in the way semantic content is spreadover the lexical material. This is mainly due to the fact that verbs availablein both languages do not necessarily cover the same part of the initial content(Cerbah, 1996.) Studies have shown that learners rely on their backgroundexperiences and prior knowledge of their native language to acquire a secondlanguage.
They use structures from their first language that are comparable tothe second language transfer forms and meanings while attempting to read, speakor write the second language (Ismaili, 2015). So, the French students needspecific supervision in this context. the use of semantic clusters withoutsystematically attending to certain learning specificities (e.
g., learners’vocabulary knowledge) can be detrimental to vocabulary learning, but when agroup of words has been analyzed and classified in a semantically principledway with due attention to learning factors, they can be used with all learners,healthy or disabled, young or adult. Therefore, there is an undeniable placefor the design and use of a semantic curriculum, which encompasses senses,definitions, and the features of the words that can be taught over a longerperiod. This type of curriculum helps the teacher to diagnose the possiblefeatures of the word’s meaning the learner has never been taught. Furthermore,by using a semantically oriented curriculum, the teacher can rank the wordswithin their semantic fields in order to identify the easiest ones to instructand to predict the challenges that will occur so that they require less effort.
The case with foreign language learners is that their vocabulary knowledge maybe superficially vast but insufficient since they have only an incompleteunderstanding of the words and the relationships between them. Thus, theirvocabulary base lacks a firm and structured foundation. Here, the semanticcurriculum can be employed to make up this deficit. Teachers can accomplishthis in a very short time by taking the small number of words to be taught andidentifying their major features. In other words, teachers can help learnersretrieve the required words easily, recognize the organization of words, andobserve the way information can be stored in the brain by using semanticallyrelated sets of words and pertinent exercises (Gholami & Khezrlou, 2014). Forexample this paragraph logically difficult to understand: “David LaChapelle issitting on a black leather sofa in a studio in Shoreditch, east London,rattling through a mind-boggling range of subjects: the fall of Rome, the 1966Texas University shooting, the metaphysical theories of writer MarianneWilliamson. He compares the vilification of Donald Trump at the Golden Globesto Hitler’s rejection by the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna. Then he reaches acrescendo, celebrating the progressive attitudes of America’s founding fathers:”Jefferson travelled more than George Bush, and this was before they inventedaeroplanes,” he says.
“These were worldly people. They had an organic garden!””Ihave 5 students from the Middle East too. When teaching English to Arabic speakers,teachers need to take on several challenges, starting from the completelydifferent writing system and including problems caused by differences in thegrammatical systems of English and Arabic. As Arabic is written from right toleft, English looks backwards to Arabic speakers, meaning theycan find course books overwhelming. Adults, in particular, may be slowerin the initial stages of studying English than learners whose first languageuses the same alphabet as English. Moreover, Arabic does not have upper- andlower-case letters and, although punctuation is introduced atschool as part of the writing system, it is given less attention(Kharma & Hajjaj, 1989).
It’s therefore common to find Arabic learnersmixing big and small letters within sentences and not using enough full stops.I will be using this text area to especially focus on punctuation problems ofmy Middle Eastern students. “Badged “Make Love Not Walls”, it centres on a bandof shiny, happy people – gay, straight, transgender, multiracial – breaking aheart-shaped hole through a barbed wire-topped wall using an inflatablerainbow-coloured tank, while pink smoke billows in the background. The holefills with colourful flowers and serves as the backdrop for a gay wedding atwhich one of the grooms wears a keffiyeh-like headdress fashioned from denim.”Japanesetense and voice are conveyed through changes in the verb form, as in English.
What is different is that Japanese has no auxiliary verbs, so, predictably, theformation of the progressive/perfect tenses and questions or negation in thesimple tenses cause problems for learners. Japanese verbs do not change forperson or number, the most common consequence of which is the omission ofthe -s in the present simple 3rd person: she go .. / myfather work ..
.Likemost learners of English Japanese ESL students struggle to choose the correcttense to convey the intended meaning (Kubota, 1999). As a brief example:Japanese learners may be tempted to use the present simple to convey futureevents, because this is how it is done in their own language (e.
g., Ihelp you after school.)Differencesin the circumstances in which English and Japanese use the passive and in theways that it is constructed may result in sentences such as He was cuthis hair or When were you come to Germany?Grammar – Other: Japanese has a Subject-Object-Verbword order; ‘prepositions’ follow the noun and subordinating conjunctionsfollow their clause; other particles (for example, to express interrogation)follow the sentence. All adjectival phrases, no matter how long, precede thenoun they modify. In all these aspects Japanese is different from English.
Mistakes in the production of correct English syntax are not surprising,therefore. The noun system in Japanese has features that can result in negativeinto English (Kimizuka, 1968). Articles do not exist in Japanese. The fact thatmany Japanese nouns can also function as adjectives or adverbs leads tomistakes in the choice of the correct part of speech in English (Kisano, 1976).Nouns can be pluralized in various ways (depending for example on the degree ofrespect to be conveyed) or not at all if the conetxt is clear. No distinctionis made between countability and uncountability, which are extremelysignificant for the correct use of the article in English. It is little wonderthat this aspect of English continues to cause difficulty to even the mostproficient Japanese speakers of English. I will be using this paragraph tofocus on grammatical mistakes of Japanese.
“LaChapelle, now 53, was a Studio 54regular in his youth – Andy Warhol gave him his first job, at Interviewmagazine in the 80s – and he crossed paths with Trump on the New York scene. “Iwas repulsed by this guy,” he says. “And I’m not saying that in retrospect –when I was 21, I could not stand him. He was always, always after thecelebrities.” Trump’s victory, he continues, “is giving people the permissionto be mean.
It’s ‘greed is good’, this Bonfire of the Vanities idea of societywhere the bully wins”. He launches into another dizzying speech that spans hisLithuanian mother’s arrival in Ellis Island during the second world war (“Shedidn’t talk about it much, it was very painful, but I read books and you think,how can this happen?”), reproductive rights, Obamacare, Sandy Hook, Bob Fosse’sCabaret, the bleaching of the world’s coral and the theory that: “They say thatwhat enabled us to survive as human beings was our ability to adapt, but thatmay also be our downfall.”