Didactics of English Language.
Diana Herrero de los Reyes. 4ºA Magisterio de Primaria.
Introduction…………….........Page 3. Class Diary…………………..Pages 4-26. Conclusion-……………….….Page 27.
Didactics of English Language. .
This portfolio has been created to write and reflect about class contents as well as my progressive learning. Furthermore, it will contain information about my personal experiences and my opinion about every class of this subject during the term.
, Today I have attended to the first class of “Didactics of English Language”. At first, we have been in a small class with a distribution based on round tables. Then, it has been possible to move to another class with a better distribution and more space. There, our new Polish classmate has introduced herself and she has told us about education in her country. Sarai has introduced herself too and she has talked about her Erasmus experience. Then, our teacher explained the main contents and aims of the subject, as well as the assessment. Finally, Maribel has introduced herself and her family by using a kind of virtual tale with photos and comments about her childhood and hobbies.
In addition, this first class has been enjoyable, because I love to hear about people experiences abroad. I hope we can keep the same good atmosphere in future classes, as we did last year in “Practical Methodology”. Finally, I have learned a lot about education in other countries like Great Britain or Poland. For instance, Polish universities require a B2 level at English to start a degree to be a teacher, and Polish children learn 5 languages at school. Also, Sarai explained us that studying to be a teacher in Great Britain is a privilege not available for everybody, and it is recognized as one of the most important degrees.
, Maribel has dedicated today´s class to review the preamble of the Organic Law of Education. Our teacher gave us fifteen minutes to read the preamble individually. Then, everybody moved to the front of the class creating a circle around the screen with the presentation. Our teacher explained the main ideas and the three principles by using a presentation. At the same time, we participated by giving our opinions and trying to explain the principles. Finally, Maribel showed us a nice video related to the second principle.
Moreover, this class has been quite intense and long, although I admit it´s essential to review the Organic Law of Education to know the law in which Spanish Education is framed. I hope I can get used to the schedule in next classes. Regarding to what I´ve learned in this class, I would highlight the review of historic events and laws which are the base of current education, as well as the recent establishment of quality and equity in Spanish education. These ideas must be wellknown by every teacher, not only to understand today´s education, but also to improve it in the future.
, At first, Maribel explained which chapter of English for Primary Teaching had to be explained by each group. Previously, she had asked us to make groups of three people. My group decided to be called “The pink panthers”, and we are in charge of the chapter 6: How to start reading. Then, our teacher taught us some strategies to organize children in groups and we think about other strategies, such as: Eeny, Meeny, Miny, Moe; taking into account the moth of children´s birthday; counting 1, 2, 3, 1, 2, 3… Finally, on the last part of the class we finished activities 1.1.1 and 1.1.2. with our groups.
In addition, this lesson was quite light and time ran fast. I liked having enough time to do most of the work at class because it´s not easy to work in groups outside. This lesson has been quite interesting because we review the main ideas of each chapter of the Organic Law of Education, for example: the main ideas of the preamble, principles and aims of education, as well as the main contents related to the chapters each group will develop on their presentations.
, First of all, Maribel explained us some aspects we will have to take into account in future presentations: the participation and interaction with our classmates, a clear speech talked slowly or the use of gestures and neutral clothes, as well as the rubric. Then, we read the point 1.3. ROYAL DECREE 126/2014 about the first foreign language, teacher´s role, key competences, general principles or objectives of the stage and organization and assessment, between others. After reading it individually, Maribel explained the main ideas of the Royal Decree by using a Prezi presentation. Also, she explained us the point 1.4. DECREE 54/2014 OF THE CURRICULUM OF CASTILLA-LA MANCHA. Finally, we did the “Activity 1.3.1. Royal Decree” in class.
This lesson was intense and productive, because I reminded and learnt a lot of ideas about the Royal Decree and the Decree 54/2014. I guess it was a quite theoretical lesson, and sometimes it was a bit boring. To sum up, I´ve reminded important aspects about the Royal Decree such as teacher´s role, teaching-learning competence and the interdisciplinary vision. Also, I´ve discovered some differences between the Royal Decree and the Decree, for example: Royal Decree establishes Contents, Assessment Criteria and Learning Standards for Primary stage, and they are specified for each stage level in the Decree; or Royal Decree divides contents in 4 blocks, whereas Decree divides contents in just 2 blocks.
, Firstly, Maribel gave us half an hour to work in groups “Activity 1.4. Find the differences between the Royal Decree and the Decree”, and focus on foreign language curriculum. After that, each group shared some differences with the class group. Then, Maribel introduced point 1.5. Common European Framework of Reference
“multilingualism or “action oriented”. At the end of the lesson, she asked us to make a personal account in the ELP (European Language Portfolio) and Europass as homework.
In addition, I guess it was a hard lesson because it took me some minutes to understand the activity about differences between the Royal Decree and the Decree. However, I reminded and learnt some basic ideas about both of them which I consider essential for future teachers. Finally, this lesson was very interesting because I had the possibility to write the main differences between the Royal Decree and the Decree, which will probably be very practical on my future. Also, I reminded the difference between “plurilingualism” and “multilingualism”, as well as the reason why it is more accurate to use the second one; or the common reference levels, which are interesting to look over your language skills in a foreign language.
, In this occasion, some classmates opened the period of presentations. The first group explained the topic “Listen and Do”. They showed us the benefits of the incorporation of TPR (Total Physical Response) to increase the motivation and participation on pupils. Furthermore, it can be used as a strategy to control the class group with easy exercises. During the whole presentation, we have been working specific vocabulary through different games. At the end of the lesson, the professor who replaced Maribel asked us our opinion and evaluation of the exposition.
I guess this first presentation was a clear and dynamic full of enjoyable activities to practice the topic “Listen and Do”. Also, our classmates made sure they had our attention by using different tones of voice or combining theory and practice. Summarizing, I have reviewed the main methodologies related to the topic “Listen and Do”, such as: TPR, miming… Also, I´ve learnt a lot of useful activities I´m sure I will try at school, for example: giving instructions with and without gestures, practicing miming asking “Am I a…?” or playing the English hideout.
, Today´s lesson has been compounded of three parts. First, Maribel reviewed the main characteristics of the E-pel and its three parts (Biography, Dossier and Passport). Then, she gave us thirty minutes to finish the activities of Unit 1. After that, our teacher told us about her experience in Irish schools, and she showed us all the information about Ireland system of education she had get.
In addition, it was one of the most dynamic lessons of the subject because time flew. I think it was due to the combination of practice and a really interesting exposition about Maribel´s experience in Ireland. Finally, I have learnt more about the E-pel not only as a tool to capture personal achievements, but also as a platform to show my ideas and projects in the area of education. Also, I have realized how open-minded education in Ireland is and how important is to be opened to new styles of education to improve Spanish teaching.
, This lesson has been focused on the topic “Listen and Make”. First of all, our classmates made an introduction in which they establish differences between this topic and “Listen and Do”. Then, there was an explanation about how to prepare and set up listen and make activities. Later on, they talked us about the different contents to work listening in this type of activities (“listen and color”, “listen and draw” and “listen and make”). At the end, Maribel asked us to move forward and some classmates asked questions to solve doubts related to the topic.
From my point of view, it was a quite useful, clear and enjoyable presentation. Our classmates made sure we had a clear idea about the difference between the topics “Listen and Do” and “Listen and Make”. Also, we were given good examples of specific activities. Finally, I´ve learnt “Listen and Do” is based on hearing instructions and making movements, while “Listen and Make” is about listening to teachers instructions to make activities in which children make their own decisions.. Also, I´ve realized how important is to prepare this type of activities, explaining with gestures and actions, and repeating the instructions.
, Today, another group has introduced a topic named “Speaking with support”. They started giving us some useful strategies we should take into account to practice these type of activities. Then, they explained different activities: singing a song reading the lyrics, reading rhymes aloud, playing “What´s missing?” or “I spy with my little eye…”, between others.
Moreover, I think it was a practical presentation full of strategies and activities to work speaking at school. Also, it was quite clear and concise, and I was inspired to try new things not only as a teacher but also as an English learner. To sum up, I´ve learnt different strategies to make more dynamic lessons, such as: combining these games with TPR, constantly changing students role, or practicing plays based on quick questions and answers (“What´s missing”, “I spy with my little eye”…). Also, I´ve discovered some activities to increase vocabulary and fluency on students, for example: playing riddles or memorizing words related to an image to discover which image is hidden on the next round (which is called “What is missing?”).
, In today´s presentation, our classmates have explained “Speaking more freely”. First of all, they explained specific information about how to practice it at school. After that, they encourage us to participate in different activities, such as: “Chinese whispers”, “Pass the ball”, “Halloween heads up” or “Spot the differences”.
Although it was a useful presentation, I guess the theoretical part had more importance than in previous presentation. However, it was quite clearly explained and the global presentation was meaningful. Finally, I´ve realized the combination of strategies and activities related to the topics “Speaking with support” and “Speaking more freely” is great to improve speaking skills on children. Moreover, it provides teachers easy and quick tools to face children´s embarrassment and lack of confidence to communicate in a foreign language.
, In this session, Maribel introduced us the “Unit 5: ICT for the teaching of English”. We reviewed a video about the digital competence, as well as a brief introduction about the 33 digital skills that every twenty-first century teacher should have. Then, we completed a questionnaire about “Teachers of XXI century”, and we reflected about our digital skills for teaching. Also, Maribel asked us to research point “5.2. First steps” at home. This point contains information about “Teacher Reboot Camp”, “Google Tools for Educators” and a summary of “Horizon Report 2016”.
From my point of view, it was an amazing lesson due to the large list of interesting tools that Maribel shared with us. After making a research of some of these tools, my mind was full of new ideas to improve my teaching. Also, I was impressed about all the skills that teachers are required to have nowadays. Summarizing, I learnt which skills I need to improve to be a qualified teacher and to be able to face the challenges of the education in XXI century. Moreover, I realized it is very important to keep in touch with other teachers to go on improving my knowledge and my skills.
, Firstly, this session was based on the topic “Reading in English”. My group, “The Pink Panthers”, explained and practiced reading by using different strategies. The three members of the group divided the class group into three small groups. Then, we worked different games in three corners of the class. When the groups finished a game, they rotated to another station. In each corner, we played a game based on mysterious topics related to Halloween. At the end of the lesson, we explained how we created these games and what challenges we faced during the process of its creation.
In addition, I had a lot of fun playing with my classmates because they were very cooperative and pleasant. Also, it was an amazing experience to test a project in which my group dedicated much effort and dedication. Regarding what I´ve learnt, I have realized how important is: to test each game before trying it with the class group, to be accurate with timing and to create instructions to make sure everybody understands their roles.
, At the beginning of the lesson, Maribel asked us to create two questions with three possible answers in pairs, and she gave us some minutes to send it to a forum. After that, she introduced Class Dojo, a virtual platform for teachers to manage children behavior. While we were learning how to manage this app, Maribel practiced a strategy to get attention from students without shouting “Please, pay attention!” Then, she started to show us more useful applications and digital platforms, such as: Capzles, Story Bird, Powtoon or Voki Home, between others.
Furthermore, it was a really interesting lesson and I have fun discovering new tools. In fact, every time I am given the possibility to try to use new tools, I have a good time. Therefore, this lesson was very useful and productive for me. To sum up, I´ve acquired another strategy to catch the attention of children by asking them, one by one, in a kind way: “(Name)! Are you paying attention to me?” Also, I´ve started to work with new platforms like Class Dojo, which can be very useful to check who is in class or empowering children sending virtual rewards. Another interesting app is Voki Home, which can be used to transmit instructions in an original way.
, Today’s presentation was about “Writing”. Our classmates prepared different activities to practice English in groups. The first activities were useful to practice our knowledge about vocabulary. In the next activities, we had to write to create stories or writing single words. After that, we commented with our partners the principal aspects of their exposition. At the end, we made a trivial by using a virtual application.
Moreover, it was one of the funniest sessions, because I enjoyed a lot playing the games with my group. Also, it was nice to discover original activities working in a cooperative way. Regarding what I´ve learnt, I discovered different activities to increase writing skills on pupils, for example: working on a song about the alphabet, creating stories using several words as in a Scrabble game, or telling the stories which were previously created. Therefore, it is possible to work writing combining it with speaking and reading skills.
, At first, Maribel told us that the collaborative story was opened to make a contribution in the next few days. After that, our teacher explained how to create a website by using “Google Sites”, and she gave us ten minutes to try it out. Later on, we were given some minutes to have a first contact with different apps and digital platforms: “Template.net”, a template provider; “Symbaloo”, a free social bookmarking; “Etwinning”, a platform for educational teams of schools in any of the participating European countries, to communicate, collaborate and develop projects; “Sepie” (Servicio Español para la Internacionalización de la Educación); and “Twinspace”.
Moreover, I guess it was a very interesting and productive lesson, because I discovered new apps and digital platforms to improve my teaching skills. However, it was quite stressful to acquire all the information that Maribel taught. I would have like to have more time to try all this new tools under our teacher´s guide. Summarizing, I´ve learnt how to use new tools such as “Google Sites”, which is a good resource to get started on the making of a personal web site, or “Etwinning”, that can be used to share projects to carry children to another country. Also, I realized it´s necessary to maintain a daily contact with new technologies to be able to manage the newest resources.
, In this occasion, the lesson was focused on chapter 8: “Reading and telling stories”. First of all, our classmates introduced the main conditions and characteristics we should take into account to practice this topic with children. Then, we tried different activities: the creation of a spontaneous story to continue an unfinished tale; we also created a short story with some given words; some of our classmates represented different animals while the teacher was telling a story; and we created a story by answering an open question in a sentence, and passing a folded sheet of paper to the student on the right hand. After that, we were given some tips and ways to retell a story. At the end of the presentation, we asked some questions to solve doubts, for instance: “Do you think we can use storytelling with older children?”
Furthermore, it was a really enjoyable lesson, full of proposals to work reading and telling stories in a dynamic and even fun way. However, I would have like to see more activities focused on the topic. Anyway, our classmates did a good job developing activities based on the creation of stories while having a good time. Finally, I have realized storytelling is an essential tool to develop not writing, reading and even speaking skill on students. And it offers a wide range of possibilities to work in big or small groups in a cooperative and even fun way. Also, our classmates showed us it is possible to adapt storytelling to any learner at any age.
, At first, Maribel explained what a syllabus is and how we can create it. We also did a review about the law we´ll take into account as teachers, named BOE. This law contains different parts: introduction, objectives, content or evaluation, between others. Then, we saw some videos focused on “Didactic Programming”. These videos were a quick explanation to review how to do a didactic programming and they provided us information under the titles: LOE Vs LOMCE or instructional alignment. After that, Maribel explained us the point ”2.3. Lesson planning”, and she introduced a web page “multipleintelligencetheory.co.uk”. Also, we played “Kahoot” with some questions we prepared in a previous lesson. Finally, we get started on another website for teacher called “PDC Generator”, as we were asked to have a look to “PDC Generator” and the key competences.
Moreover, it was a great lesson full of contents and new proposals to improve our teaching. However, I would have like to dedicate more time to try “PDC Generator”, instead of reviewing BOE, which I´m quite used to work with. In conclusion, I´ve learnt some strategies to do didactic programming, such as: creating a table to establish a correlation between objectives, contents and learning standards. Also, I have experienced how “Kahoot” works, and I have had a first contact with “PDC Generator”, and I consider it can be a good tool to develop and plan didactic programming.
, At first, in this lesson our classmates made a presentation of chapter 8: “Reading and telling stories”. During their presentation, they invited us to participate in different activities, for instance: we talked about a video starred by “The three twins”; we saw another video in which we repeated some key words; or we created a short story related to a Christmas gadget using the platform “Storybird”, between others. Then, our classmates highlighted the importance of working stories at school, as well as the aims of the activities we practiced. Finally, we asked some questions to solve doubts, such as: Do you really think children could use Storybird easily?
In addition, it was a quite fun lesson in which our classmates showed us the importance of costumes, intonation and expressions when it comes to telling stories. I was amazed with the strategies and materials they combined during the activities. Finally, I´ve realized reading and telling stories must be an essential topic during the six years of Primary education, because it allows the contextualization of almost any topic. Moreover, the way we worked on stories can be easily modified to catch the attention of children, for example: providing objects connected to the topic in which the story will be based on, or including digital platforms, between others.
, First of all, today´s lesson was possible thanks to a chat on Moodle. Previously, Maribel advised us to see some useful videos related to the topic “Methods and approaches”. Then, she asked us to do a task in which we had to identify different methods and approaches on concrete activities.
From my point of view, it was an unusual lesson and we had to face some disadvantages, such as: the delay to start the lesson or the loss of time to confirm our attendance. Moreover, I wouldn´t like to repeat this experience because I guess that it would be easier to receive instructions by e-mail. Summarizing, the review of the different methods and approaches helped me to reflect about the importance of combining at school. Although it is usual to work CLIL or the “Communicative language teaching” at schools, there are other methods and approaches which can be useful to improve our teaching too. Therefore, the knowledge of all of them is essential for teachers.
, Today, Maribel explained the rubric of the syllabus and the characteristics of the final exam. Then, she introduced point “6.1. Definitions and goals of evaluation”, and we reflected about the anxiety and pressure that children face due to exams. Then, we reviewed a summary about the main factors which affects on the assessment. Later on, our teacher dictated a list of concepts from the OCDE to check at home. Accountability, cluster evaluation, assurance, formative evaluation, beneficiaries, or monitoring, between others. On the second part of this session, our classmates exposed chapter 10: “Planning for effective use of English in the classroom”. They gave some clues about the topic, for example: the more English children hear, the more they learn; learning English in school is focused in communication; the importance of maintaining our own proficiency in English; or the ups of using mother tongues in specific moments. Moreover, we enjoyed a lot with the relay race, an example of text based activity to empower speaking and listening in English. Regarding the planning of the lessons, I would highlight the creation of long and short term objectives, as well as specifying specific language and concrete structures that we are going to use during the lesson.
Furthermore, it was hard lesson in which I had to give my 100% to maintain the attention and concentration. It was a really interesting lesson in which I didn´t want to misunderstand anything. However, it was a challenge to do it in a two hours and a half lesson.
Regarding what I´ve learnt, I have acquired strategies to reduce the pressure on children who are about to do an exam, for instance: the teacher says “Let´s play this new activity” instead of saying “Let´s do your best on the exam! Be very concentrated!” Also, I´ve learnt that “assessment” and” evaluation” are similar concepts but they both are different on the testing. Moreover, I learnt the importance of knowing when and how to correct children to avoid their frustration or ashamed, as well as the value of managing recasting and rephrasing.
, In the final session of the subject, different volunteers shared the definitions they created at home of concepts from the OCDE, for instance: effectiveness, efficiency, formative evaluation, bench mark or target group. After that, Maribel developed Unit 6: Assessment and evaluation: PEL and EPOSTL. In point “6.1. Definitions and goals of evaluation”, we read a long definition of evaluation as well as its main goals. Also, our teacher introduced us “Menti”, a nice application in which we can developed up to five questions. Later on, we kept on with the next points of the unit: 6.2. Evaluating a foreign language in Primary Education, in which we could access to the book “Assessing young learners”; 6.3. Evaluation: regulations, in which we discovered orientations for the evaluation of foreign languages; and 6.4. Rating scales and rubrics, which Maribel explained by using a brief presentation. Then, our teacher showed us the rubric for our syllabus and she explained us some tools and techniques to evaluate, for example: “RubiStar”, a tool to help teachers who want to use rubrics, but do not have enough time to develop them from scratch. To finish the lesson, we were asked to review: personal statement, content, methodology, resources, lesson planning, conducting a lesson, independent learning and assessment.
Furthermore, it was an intense lesson in which we had to keep the concentration despite of being a quite long class. Sometimes, it was hard to follow the lesson because we jumped from one point to another quite quick. Finally, it was an important lesson in which I acquired the meaning of key concepts from the OCDE, well as the differences between some of them, such as: effectiveness and efficiency. Also, discover cool tools to improve the quality of my assessment skills, for example: “Pdcgenerator” or “RubiStar”, which can also be shared with the students to improve their motivation.
In conclusion, “Didactics of English Language” has been a really useful and quite practical subject in which I have discovered tons of new tools and strategies to improve my teaching in general. In addition, I have learnt a lot with my classmates presentations about the chapters of “English for Primary Teachers”. From my point of view, it was a great opportunity to learn and experience how to teach different skills. Although I would have like to deepen on the handling of some applications, I appreciate the huge amount of resources I have worked with during this term.
Published on Dec 31, 2016