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Communicative Skills for Secondary Teachers http://ced.cele.unam.mx/englishforteachers

Program developers Escuela Nacional Preparatoria No. 1 “Gabino Barreda. UNAM Ma. Elena Delgado Centro de Enseñanza de Lenguas Extranjeras. UNAM Leticia Martinek Karen Lusnia Eréndira Camarena Dulce Ma. Gilbón

Online tutor Marisela Checa

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CONTRIBUTORS

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ALDANA ALMARAZ EMMA MA DE LOURDES

México

Mexico

ANTONIO ROMAN TANIA MARIA LUISA

Distrito federal

Mexico

APOLONIO ORTIZ SAMUEL

Atlacomulco

Mexico

ARJONA ORTEGA ALEJANDRA

Distrito federal

Mexico

CRUZ DIAZ MARIA EVA

Distrito federal

Mexico

FLORES ORTIZ PATRICIA

Distrito federal

Mexico

FONSECA RODRÍGUEZ MAYRA GISELA

Distrito federal

Mexico

GALVEZ RENDON JOSE ALFREDO

Distrito federal

Mexico

GAMAS MÉNDEZ CARLOS MARIO

Tabasco

Mexico

GARCIA HERNANDEZ PAOLA ABIGAIL

Distrito federal

Mexico

GOMEZ LOPEZ MARIO

Distrito federal

Mexico

GOMEZ ORTIZ JOSE ALFREDO

Distrito Federal Mexico

GONZALEZ GARCIA JOSEFINA

Distrito federal

Mexico

GONZALEZ PELAGIO DORA LUZ

Distrito federal

Mexico

LARA LUNA BLANCA

Distrito federal

Mexico

LARA SALAZAR CYNTHIA

Distrito federal

Mexico

MAYORGA BARRON ALEJANDRO

Distrito federal

Mexico

MENDEZ ORTEGA ROSA LINE

Distrito federal

Mexico

MOCTEZUMA SARMIENTO CAROLINA

Distrito federal

Mexico

MONTERO RODRIGUEZ CARLOS

Distrito federal

Mexico

MORALES VELASCO LOURDESMICHELLE

Distrito federal

Mexico

OLIVARES RAMIREZ RUBEN

Distrito federal

Mexico

RUBIO HI MARIA GABRIELA

Distrito federal

Mexico

SANDOVAL GUADARRAMA JENIFFER SUSANA Distrito federal

Mexico

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Introduction

A 120 hour online teacher development program was prepared for English language secondary school Mexican teachers. Free access sites were carefully chosen in order to facilitate their improvement of language skills and grammatical competence as well. Seven modules were designed to reach this objective.

Would that program be an appropriate response to that population’s needs? At the end of each module, teachers were asked to reflect on their own learning process in the different contents: learning to learn, the four linguistic skills, teaching strategies and the use of ICT.

As a final project of the afore mentioned diploma, the participants are required to write a report. This volume includes the reflections of the third group participants who share their enthusiasm, surprise, stress and even frustration struggling with new technologies during their learning process, but their willingness to face the challenge as well.

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CONTENTS

Chapters

Pages

1. English language learning awareness 2. Cultural learning awareness 3. New teaching strategies discovered 4. Reading teaching strategies 5. Listening teaching strategies 6. Speaking teaching strategies 7. Writing teaching strategies 8. About ICT tools 9. Lesson planning

English language learning awareness BY: ALDANA ALMARAZ EMMA MA DE LOURDES

1.- What I have learnt about learning a language?

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First of all, I discovered that there are a lot of tools and sites that my students and I can use in order to increase our knowledge of English, and this could be very exciting because in the internet we have everything already done so in this way it is very easy to get information, and there are a lot of exercises that help us to practice and learn more. 2.- GRAMMAR: At this moment, I can understand spoken and written messages. I practiced capitalization and punctuation. Now it’s easier for me to understand the whole idea of a text. I practiced pronouns, idioms about (clothing, body parts, animals..), and I think these sites will help my students to learn more about the English language. 3.- VOCABULARY.- I have increased my vocabulary (phrasal verbs, idioms, prepositions, etc), through the quizzes, fill in exercises, etc. 4.-

READING.

I learnt some strategies like: Skimming.-

it is used to obtain the overall sense of

a text. (read the title, subtitles, look at the illustrations, read the first and last sentence of each paragraph, let the eyes skim over the text, think about the meaning of the text). Scanning.- it can be used to look for specific information in a text. (phone numbers, names, dates, etc.) Summarising.- it is used for researching, gathering or presenting information. Prior knowledge.- it consists on asking questions before, during and after reading because they connect new information to their existing knowledge base. They can clarify their own developing, understanding, and they can make connections, extend comprehension, analyze and evaluate ideas. I learnt about different text types.

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Instructive, Descriptive, Persuasive, Informative and Narrative. 5.- SPEAKING: I learnt about intonation.- it helps us to understand the feelings and attitudes from the people who is speaking Tonic stress.- It refers to the syllable which receives the most stress intonation unit. Emphatic stress.- It refers to what you want to emphasize. Contrastive stress.- It is used to point out the difference between one object and another. New information stress.- It is used when we asked a question, the requested information is naturally stressed up ). Other important aspects to consider are pause and rhythm. Thought groups.- there are three tips to do while listening: 1.- Pay attention to punctuation and grammar. 2.- Pausing between larger grammatical units, they create a natural rhythm and fluid speech. 3.-The speaker can’t break up short statements because they form a single idea. 6.- LISTENING.The listening skills help us to know the exactly information that we are looking for, this could be for pleasure, to take part in conversations, for information, for instructions, to get the gist of what is being said about listening. 7.-WRITING. My favorite activity was to create my own comix and I think that for my students this site will be very funny. It helps to imagine, to reflex, to invent, etc. The tutorials for writing were very interesting, because now I know that if I have to write something, there are some steps to follow. The activity “A Book of Poems” was a good way to create and think about vocabulary. It was very funny, too.

BY: GOMEZ ORTIZ JOSE ALFREDO

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In module 3 Reading, I learned more and clarify my understanding of the two main reading strategies: skimming and scanning. Skimming is to get the overall meaning of a text quickly. After skimming you might decide if the text is useful or relevant for you and continue reading slowly and in more detail. Scanning is used for obtaining specific information on a piece of text. I also learnt twenty thinking strategies readers use to comprehend nonfiction texts (Journey North Reading Strategies). For example: activate prior knowledge, ask questions, before, during and after reading; distinguish facts and opinions; analyze text structure; identify author´s point of view; identify main ideas and supporting details, make inferences

and draw conclusions; summarize information; use

context clues to decipher unfamiliar words and visualize images from the text. During the different quizzes and readings in this module, I started considering and using the strategies mentioned above and I realized that by using these reading strategies, I can approach to different levels. The lowest one is to get general information from a text and the highest one is to paraphrase and give an opinion of the article. For me the most difficult strategies when reading a text are to organize sequence of events and make generalizations. In module 4 listening, I learned the relevance of stress, intonation (raising and falling), rhythm, content word, tag questions and though groups to understand better a conversation. To improve my listening skills, I listened carefully the tasks on this unit and considered all the previous strategies mentioned. My weakness area in listening is to recognize fully the pronunciation of different English speakers, for example people from Australia and eventually British people. Module 5 Speaking, I learned the following aspects to consider at the moment of speaking: fluency, flexibility, topic development, coherence, precision, pragmatic

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awareness, vocabulary richness, grammar correctness and phonologic knowledge (stress and rhythms, clear voice and variations). I also learned to organize better my speech according to my audience a purpose. I could reach a better level of oral communication by doing the different recordings on the audiacity software, considering the aspects already mentioned. To be honest, I consider that I have to work more on vocabulary richness, grammar correctness and coherence. Finally in module 6 Writing, I learned to include an organization on texts, the main parts of any written texts must be an opening part or introduction, main body with supporting details and a final note o conclusion. It is also important to consider the purpose of your text and your readers to do an appropriate selection of language in order to communicate your ideas clearly. Another aspect to review on any texts is an appropriate punctuation and grammar correctness. By doing all the different tasks on this unit and considering the written models to write, I have achieved a higher level of my written skill. However, there are some aspects which I still need to practice and improve such as punctuation, spelling, correct lexical selection and grammar. BY: FLORES ORTIZ PATRICIA

Listening I listened again some of the recordings you provided. I found that I was able to understand them better. Now, I’m aware of some language aspects, for example, thought groups ( the “Welcome To Wherever You Are” videoclip by Bon Jovi, is great to work with them), the intonation of sentences, phrasal verbs, ( I require to work harder in this matter and get more practice concerning minimal pairs as well; the Manythings and Shiporsheep sites are very helpful and fun, too), etc. For the

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past few weeks, when watching a movie or a T.V. program, I just try to listen and not to watch the subtitles in Spanish. Speaking Improving my listening as I explained above, I improved my speaking as well, by imitating the native speaker’s way of talking. The Voicethread site, helped me describe a person at my own pace. Listening to one’s own voice allows self evaluation. Writing I thought I had no problem in writing texts about personal experiences, a book review or a plot of a film. Now I know how to write them in a correct way, following models. They give your writing, the proper sequence and all the elements that need to be included. Creating our visual story using Photopeach, was great. In my opinion, this activity let students express feelings and emotions, besides it is so fascinating to do it!

Vocabulary I’ve incorporated many new words to my vocabulary. I remember, for instance, one of them taken from a newspaper article about Michael Jackson’s doctor, (MANSLAUGHTER). This word is easy to remember, because I learned it, in a contextualized manner. Reading Working with the skimming and scanning strategies at the Skillswise site, (Portham Village Primary School prospectus), provided a very clear idea of what these two techniques intend the reader to achieve. Activate prior knowledge, ask questions before, during and after reading and make inferences, are very helpful strategies. I’m interested in the ones that make us reflect and go beyond the text, like identifying the author’s purpose or point of view, which I’ll introduce to my higher English level classes, hopefully. Finally I’ll say that I’ve checked again the diagnostic survey you provided at the beginning of each module, and found that I’ve indeed, improved some aspects of my English knowledge.

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BY: MAYORGA BARRON ALEJANDRO

To start with my report, I would like to say that I’m glad participating in this diploma. There are so many things I’ve learnt in this course from the very beginning until now, that is a little difficult to mention them in a few words. This entire course has been incredibly useful, I’m sure all the participants are better teachers now. Thank you for this wonderful opportunity! This is a summary of the most important aspects I learnt throughout the modules: Module 2. “Learning to Learn English through Internet tools and resources”. I discovered the advantages of learning English using internet sites because it is more attractive and funnier. First, I asked my students to check as much as possible “The English Pronunciation Dictionary”, where they can listen to the pronunciation of the words they are looking for and they liked it a lot. Then, I learnt new aspects about “Key Competences for Lifelong Learning” as well as multiple intelligences according to the European Reference Framework which enriched my knowledge about it. Finally, I could identify my grammar strengths and weaknesses with different exercises which refreshed and improved my knowledge about sentence structures, tenses, passive voice, conditionals, etc. The “Free English Study” site is now an important part of my lesson planning. Module 3. Reading I refreshed what I knew about reading comprehension strategies and discovered new ones (which will be mentioned on the activities required in the next units). I identified the different kind of texts as well as their different purposes. I learnt new vocabulary from the sites; especially “BBC Learning English” this site provides some ideas to help our students learn not only new vocabulary, but also for practicing grammar and pronunciation because they are listening the information from native speakers.(listening and reading the text at the same time is an extraordinary exercise) Module 4. Listening

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I improved my pronunciation when we worked with minimal pairs. I liked the site “ESL Cyber Listening Lab”. It is going to be useful in the future; you can get new ideas about pre-listening, listening and post listening exercises to work with our students. I talked to my students about the importance of a good pronunciation and the way to get it. You need to work on stressing the right syllables and the right words, as well as a good intonation and rhythm. All these sites were excellent, with all the elements you need for English Language Learning and Teaching. I learnt a lot by reading the concepts about pitch, rhythm, intonation, etc. Now, I am aware about the importance of these elements to communicate in English. Module 5. Speaking It was one of my favorite modules. I discovered new tools like the audacity program which can help our students to record short paragraphs according to their level of English as well as the topic we will work in that time. I improved my speaking ability and learnt to speak more fluently by applying the previous concepts of rhythm and intonation from module 4 and I also consolidated my knowledge about the using of sequencing and linking words when we made the activity of giving directions; that was a great experience with my students.

Module 6. Writing I think we all learnt to produce writings in a fun way by creating, illustrating and publishing them through using some tutorials and templates. This is a very attractive way to encourage our students to write funny tales, comics or poems. Writing is an excellent opportunity to develop our students’ creativity. In unit 8 “Movies and Grammar”, I learnt to watch movies with “different eyes” and discovered how much our students can learn from activities like these. Everybody loves movies, so we just have to adapt these films with grammar exercises and

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enjoy our lessons. I tried this with my students from first grade and it was a complete success. ( We watched “Kung Fu Panda�) By: MENDEZ ORTEGA ROSA LINE My purpose of studying this course was mainly to improve my language level and at this point I can say that it has progressed a lot. Working on different activities through these six modules has helped me to increase my vocabulary and design better strategies to learn and teach. At the beginning of the course, after I answered the diagnostic evaluation it was frustrating to see my grade because even though it wasn’t a bad grade many questions came to me, for instance: What was wrong? Why was it wrong? Was the correct answer in the other three options? Was the computer system functioning properly? Of course after that evaluation my first thought was to quit from this course but later on I realized that the best way to learn is by taking risks and making mistakes and then learn from them. During these six modules I have improved the four abilities English language requires. The variety of topics and activities each unit covered helped me a lot especially in those weaknesses that I had. In addition, I learnt how to use and apply different tools such as the internet; the email and the websites that made me create new ways to make English learning easier and funnier. It was very useful for me trying with so many attractive activities that let me share experiences with other classmates. In general, I can say, every module was a challenge and a great opportunity, to identify my weaknesses and strengthens in order to work on them. Talking about weaknesses I think intonation patterns and writing were the most difficult for me, but after I worked with the activities and material related to those topics, my listening, speaking and communication improved quite a lot, my students have noticed a change in the class and now they have gotten more interested in the class.

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