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We do not learn so much from experience as we do from

reflecting on our experience. John Dewey


A journey of Learning-LS in ELT
This journey started with many diverse activates like
Reading literature
Critical arguments in classroom with examples
Selection of topics and school for practicum
Planning Unit and lesson Plan with Critical Analysis
Implementation of Lessons and Post implementation reflection
Presentation of next lesson plan for critical review

English Language Classroom as a Living System


In the course Learning Systems in ELT, for a teaching practicum I prepared a unit plan and
taught three lessons focusing on all four skills, in general, and in particular writing of students.
This implementation facilitated me to discover much knowledge. Additionally, it facilitated me
to reflect and link theory with practice.

It was not first experience of teaching writing with multimodal approach by using different
learning spaces like classroom, past of student (Prior Knowledge) library and media lab. I
discovered that teaching writing is not only limited to classroom context (although I didnt use
library or media lab but used their imagination of past). Moreover, I came to know that how to
teach a single topic using different modes i.e. movie, charts, text book, pics, imagination etc.

Key Concepts of LS in ELT


Process Enneagram: These nine perspectives of Enneagram signify the following concepts such
as identity of our learners like Who they are? What is their identity? Their context? What they
want to do? What are their intentions and future potentials? Their issues and their questions and
confusions? What are their relationship with system and other fellows? Their working criteria?
What is their context? Have they grown up mentally?
Learning Spaces: Learning space refers to a physical setting for a learning environment. The
term is commonly used as an alternative to "classroom," but it may also refer to an indoor or
outdoor location may be real or imaginative.
Multimodalities: In actual multimodality is a theory of communication and social
semiotics. Multimodality describes communication practices in terms of the textual, aural,
linguistic, spatial, and visual resources - or modes - used to compose messages.
Multimodal Semiotic approach: A multimodal social semiotic approach focuses on meaning-
making, in all modes. These resources include modes such as image, writing, gesture, gaze,
speech, posture; and media such as screens, 3 D forms of various kinds, books, notes and
notebooks. In semiotics, the sign is the basic unit of meaning (Kress et al 2001).

Demographics
The school selected was an English Medium, co-Education, Private Secondary
School (Class IX) with strength of 37 diverse students. Topic was selected
after negotiation with the classroom teacher in accordance to their
curriculum.

Role of Key concepts in Practicum


Enneagram: This practicum taught me that how Process Enneagram is involved in teaching and
planning a lesson. I considered classroom as a living system where all parts are connected,
continuously interacting and adapt changes in the surroundings to maintain their identity and
sustainability (Knowles, 2006).
Learning Spaces: This experience also let me know that classroom is not the only place for
learning. Learning can take place anywhere formally or informally (Classroom or s[ace other
than classroom).
Multimodalities: This task has enabled me to teach writing in large class using different modes.
Although, I had experienced teaching large classes but teaching with different modes was a bit
new experience for me.
Multimodal Semiotic approach: I learned how to teach a single topic using different modes i.e.
Flash cards, Worksheets, Scripts etc. I almost achieved the planned objectives and students work
reflected that it has raised their writing and imagination skills. It showed that they had enjoyed
the sessions as a whole. The reason behind that I have observed during my first and second
lessons that students were really engaged in activities.

Challenges
Controlling large class (difference in identity and relationship-Process Enneagram): First
challenge that I faced in controlling outsized class brought the whole process enneagram in
before me. I reflected back on my know-how, I found that to supervise gigantic classes where the
students have less control on themselves; teacher must teach them some social skill before going
towards anything else. This is not one time process rather a long route and entails nonstop
fortification.
For this teacher should know her own identity and intention that who she/he is? Furthermore,
she/he should also know the identity of her/his students. Following this she/he could explore
their troubles and solution to it by conversing and constructing relationship with each other.
Time management: This is yet another challenge that how to engage learners into learning that
they must follow certain time limit.

Insight
Learning is an ongoing process: It is a continuous process where students and facilitators both
learn. During teaching practicum I came to know that there are no limits for learning. This
reflection is also one of the learning I gained from whole process.
Learning not confined within the school/class boundaries: Learning cannot be done only in
classroom but in other places too. Like learner can learn something even by just looking at any
signboard/commercials. Imagination is yet another domain of learning which I used in my lesson
one to bring them to the topic of teaching.
Learners Engagement: If facilitator involves learners in activities according to their needs, then
they will learn more than otherwise. As in my first and second lesson learners were engaged in
lesson; for them activities were interesting.
No single way of Teaching and Learning (Multimodality): One can use many different modes
to teach and engage learners in teaching-learning process; may be worksheets, vocabulary sheets,
pictures, images etc.
Fewer teacherss input (Activities): If a teacher introduces many activities; all at one time; then
learners will get confused in how and what to do like in my third lesson learner were not able to
incorporate all activities together.
More activities, less output: Again this insight is related with the previous learning that if many
activities will be introduced in one lesson then students will not be able to produce. As again
example of my third lesson where due to many activities learners were not able to produce
whatever they supposed to doless than 50% students were able to finish their task in allotted
time.
Use of multiple Modes for meaning making (Multimodal Semiotic Approach): This is the
time of presentation; so, if a teacher would use multiple mode for instructions and learning; It
will make the learning fast and interesting.
Planning is mandatory: I learnt that No teaching, if no Planning (Learning, intention and work-
Process Enneagram) because without an infrastructure it is impossible to construct a building of
knowledge and learning.

Critical Incident
Incidents are part of our daily life and cannot be separated from life but one
who look at these incidents critically these incidents open door of deep
learning for a teacher as well as groom them as a teacher and teacher
educators.
One such incident happened on the day of my first lesson. On 4th of
December when I reached school I came to know that there is some activity
in school in specially assigned zero period and all other periods will be
shortened. Till this it was fine but later on a prolonged break added in the
trouble as my lesson was after break time. And now I was only left with 25
minutes period. I turned my lesson upside-down by attempting activities in
different way. I was not happy at that time but my critical friends told me
that the lesson was awesome.

When I thought of it afterward I realized that I almost have achieved my


goals and with the basis of this lesson I can move forward.

Critical Friends
A critical friend is someone who agrees to speak truthfully, but
constructively, about weaknesses and problems/issues. My two friends
observed deeply into lesson plans and at the time of implementation and
provided timely and constructive feedback with suggestions for future. Both
of these friends feedback showed use of multiple modes for providing
feedback, practical approach of their learning.

Conclusion
For me teaching practicum was a mini action research in which I started with planning,
followed by implementation and observation, reflected, and re-planned and so on.
Before this mini action research practicum I had never realized that classroom is a living
system.
But, now in light of literature and teaching experience I can consider classroom a living
system having configurations and progressions that are connected with each other.

Just as no man lives or dies to himself, so no experience lives


and dies to itself. Every experience lives on in further
experiences. - John Dewey
Way forward
The above words of John Dewey will serve as a path for way forward i.e. it
provide me the basis to apply whatever I have learnt during this practicum I
will keep this learning with me always and act accordingly..
References

Knowles, R.N. (2006). The Process Enneagram: A Tool from the Leadership Dance.

Perspectives, 20(1), 1-8.

KRESS, G., JEWITT, C., OGBORN, J. & TSATSARELIS, C. (2001) Multimodal Teaching and

Learning: rhetorics of the science classroom (London, Continuum).

http://laurentureff.weebly.com/inspirational-quotes.html

http://s-k-5-6.blogspot.com/2014/04/place-out-of-time-importance-of.html