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Teacher Education for Languages with Technology / Formation des enseignants de langue avec les TICE
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How Languages are Learned: Lightbown & Spada

Three 3-minute videos to promote the 4th edition of their classic teacher education volume.

 

1. How languages are learned

The authors were invited to prepare teacher education modules to give practising teachers in Quebec access to research applicable to their teacher in stand-alone form as opposed to as part of university training.  Classroom research involves a combination of research training and teacher preparation so work in this area naturally has practical implications.

 

2. How has their presentation of instructed SLA research changed?

More classroom research has meant a lot of updating, but perhaps more significantly, the authors have revisited the place of theory, moving it to later in the volume until readers have a better grounding in learner language and individual differences so that they can appreciate the need for and objectives of theories of second language acquisition.

 

3. Instructed second language acquisition

If we agree that instruction helps, SLA, what do teachers do? What do learners do? How can that be described systematically and how can this description be matched with effects on learning? Classroom practice has moved on from structural approaches, to more communicative approaches and then recognised a need for balance.  Research has continued to focus on this balance, particularly in the variety of communicative approaches with emphasis on meaning rather than form,  such as content-based (CLIL, immersion), task-based methodologies.

Shona Whyte's insight:

The new paperback is selling for 23 sterling, ebook at 17 or so.  This is one of a very short list of books I recommend to undergraduate, graduate students and practising teachers alike - very accessible yet solidly anchored in research with ideas for teaching and classroom research suitable for all levels and areas of focus.

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17 popular opinions about language learning and teaching

17 popular opinions about language learning and teaching | TELT | Scoop.it

List of assumptions about L2 teaching and learning from Lightbown and Spada's 2006 handbook.

Shona Whyte's insight:

In pre-service teacher training sessions, we've had the most fun with "Students learn what they are taught."  I always disagree with it on the grounds that learners will pick up extra, different information about the L2 from input in class, and not necessarily focus on any specific objectives the teacher has set.  My students often disagree because they think learners are lazy and don't bother to memorise the information the teacher transmits.

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