**Lesson 1 TBLT **lesson 2 Negotiated assessment CYCKE
introduction and description and analysis of who your syllabus/assessment is for
My students are 5 adult learners all between B2 and C1 level according to CEFR and all bring a great deal to the classroom such as motivation, ….
There are an average of 5 students from the ages of 30 to 50 in the class all business minded professionals. As advertised by my language school, the class is a business english class that usually takes material from several books, however this is not restricted and I can also use authentic material or other resources. There are a range of cognitive abilities within the class and aptitude levels. While English is taught as a foreign language in Japan and is compulsory, there is not much need for English communication in the students’ local environment , so students are generally reluctant to invest necessary time and effort outside of the class with reasons such as lack of exposure or need etc.
My objective was to create a syllabus that provided the students with a curriculum, which they could participate in choosing the content and there could be enough diversity in content within the course to satisfy all students needs as well as being able to adapt it to my own teaching.
Here in Japan when presenting any type of linguistic element , a word or structure for example, the approach can be notorious for producing stilted samples of target language therefore conforming to as Long and Crookes put it to 2 verb tenses and maybe 600 words.
I have found to counteract such problems when teaching from a traditional synthetic syllabus is is to use pedagogic tasks that are either likely or guaranteed to elicit particular structures(Loschky and Bley-Vroman, 1990).
Therefore I wanted to try a new approach when designing and implementing a course through a negotiation and task based. Reasons for this are
a section that outlines the type of syllabus or assessment you have created and why, with reference to relevant reading, you feel it is appropriate
Syllabus types can be divided into two different classes, analytic and synthetic (Wilkins, 1974, 1976).
A synthetic syllabus will guide student acquisition of a gradual process of accumulation over time, restricting the student to limited exposure and samples of the language.
Analytic syllabuses are different as they are organised to suit what the students are learning and need the language for but are presented whole language chunks of language at one time without any linguistic interference (Wilkins, 1974).
I have chosen to create a multi-purpose or blended syllabus that takes from both syllabuses negotiational and task based syllabus.
As I knew it is a very short course, I feel the first class of the syllabus would be better taught through an TBLT approach where the focus is on the tasks. Whereas, every second class, students have an assessment that has been negotiated, before the assessment takes place.A syllabus for TBLT should relate to the individual’s needs and aptitude, for example, a high school student’s syllabus would be very different to a housewife’s for travelling, or in my teaching context a business professional. As defined by Long and Norris, the target of tasks at teacher instruction level are to expose the student to concrete examples of what learners are expected to do in the following assed class (LONG (2015) Norris (2009).
In addtionan, reason for also choosing to hav a negotiated syllabus, is so that before the syllabus is created, there is a negotiation period in which students and tutors can participate in active discussion of individual and group wants and needs, as well as learning strengths and weaknesses. REF NEEDED). Therefore having such discussion with students as stated by (…) such collaboration could also promote intra-group respect, trust and students’ awareness of their own learning (Breen and Little john book)
As mentioned by (Breen and Littewood), there are four main processes to the negotiation within the course. Negotiation , process, content and participants’ experience. One of the main reasons I have created this syllabus is that it may enable students to learn just as much during the process of negotiation as it does in the actual content (Breen and LittenJohn…)
Reason I have also chosen to use some aspects of a TBLT syllabus is that I feel during the negotiation phase there may be some students who may be passive and find it difficult to choose unless there is a type of ‘menu design’, in which examples and ideas are given.
Some devices that could be used throughout the course could be intital questionnaires, LAP
a syllabus (or part of a syllabus/scheme of work) or assessment artefact, not included in the word count
where the main focus is on syllabus, a section that considers appropriate assessment strategies – or where the main focus is on assessment, a section that considers the type of curriculum/syllabus for which the assessment is designed
I believe the best type of assessment for students from my syllabus would be a negotiated evaluation. As you can see from the syllabus every second class there is an assessment on the previous class’s material. Since my time in Tokyo, students do not like to be under too much pressure generally in the production phase of a class or that of any type of assessment or test. Therefore, by doing a daily/weekly a class inbuilt assessment and reflection allows students to work at their own pace and reflect on what they have learned and what they also need to do to achieve their intended goals. Moreover, in Japanese education culture students have been given a high volume of tests which focus on form rather than communication aptitude.
Tests such as, gap fills, sentence transformations and word formations assessments are very effective in an exam class and then suited for focus on form type of assessment of exam practice. However, I believe students will get more from a task based assessment where there is no focus on form or grammar for example.
However, it depends on what the intended use of the assessment (Norris, 2000), asking such questions who, what, impact ? Why the student is taking the test?
This is the main reason I feel I can not just give an assessment and then some feedback from a task that students have or have not completed efficiently. But from students’ background in their own educational experiences and their expectations they will want some kind of grade, feedback and where possible revision. For these reasons I have decided to negotiate with students on what exactly they want to be taught and how they feel is the best way to assess.
I feel that in my teaching context eenthough it may be difficult with Japanese students some type of self-evaluation could empower students and help scope their strengths and weaknesses. As mentioned by Breen and Littlejohn ( ), without preparation students would most likely find the task of self-evaluation too difficult. Therefore, the first step of the assessment phase would be that of preparation as students need to experience and discuss the qualities needed produce successfully during their own assessments.
For example in the assessment of writing a letter’, students could be given a set of different sample letters with a range of weaknesses and strengths and then grade and discuss in small groups.
Next could be creating the rubrics.
When the student is undergoing the task (i.e. presenting information on a personal experience) the teacher, peers and the individual can use a grading rubrics to help evaluate, such as we see in FIG 1.
Compared to formative assessment such at the end of a lesson or LAST PART OF A TBLT CYCLE class should encourage self, peer and teacher scoring for feedback that students are used to or know well.
GRADING OF AN ASSESSMENT
Does not meet expectations
How well do I impact the audience?(Impact)
I use gestures, change my tone of voice and maintain attention from the audience, with visuals/realia etc
I use some visuals and realia and my gestures and tone of voice are acceptable.
I use small amount of effort to maintain the audience’s attention
How do I organise the presentation?(Communication strategies)
My presentation has many well detailed and interesting examples.
My presentation has some interesting examples
My presentations lacked organization and didn’t maint any flow.
How do I use the English Language?
(Language Control & Vocabulary Use)
I can write/speak sentence correctly and my presentation has appropriate vocabulary.
I demonstrate some accuracy in written/oral presentation as I memorised words or phrases. My vocabulary reveals basic information
My presentation is correctly but only at word level. My vocabulary is limited or repetitive in English and I used L1 too much.
Do the audience understand you?(Comprehensibility)
My message is easily understood by the majority of my audience.
I can communicate by memorising and reproducing set sentences or phrases.
I rely too much on visuals from my presentation for communication.
On the other hand when grading students using such a system I feel there could be problems with different teachers grading differently and having different opinions etc.
So I feel there would need to be some sort of rubrics in place for Teachers to follow, to make sure the grading is consistent enough throughout and fair.
Such criteria could be :
To consider ‘real-world criteria’, is the language used appropriate, are there crucial steps and elements of the in class task being used.
Qualities of the performance such as linguistics features such as gesture pragmatics fluency,accuracy, content and meaning is correct.
How well is your individual student’s performance level during the assessment. As the teacher of the course, you should know the student well enough compare his/her assessment to tasks from class..
The next step after a final negotiated rubric is completed there could be a norming task in which students grade anonymous samples of a particular assessment and then assign grades and evaluate again in small groups. The rationale of the norming task and combined with the reading and commenting of sample papers, allows students to identify different ways of reading and thinking about the assessment they later have to do themselves (Breen and Littlejohn, )
Then finally, in the last phase of the assessment would be the evaluation and revision part. Students would be invited to evaluate themselves and then the teacher also give their own grade, however it is import to remember as stated by Elbow (1993), even trained evaluators do so differently from others.
Also, if possible more than one teacher scoring for judgement, so some agreement can be reached.
Moreover in my own teaching context after the assessments my students want to revise their own work and have another attempt. As mentioned by Breen and Littlejohn maybe the last two phases could be repeated again if time to do so at another time, as to see how much has been obtained from the syllabus.
Eventhough many parts of the JApanese education system may still have outdated testing methods,I feel that within my own teaching context I can assess students differently. According to Wiggins (1998), assessments should be authentic tasks, in which students can demonstrate what they are learning. This then enables meaningful integrations of teaching, learning and assessment becomes more educative(informative) compared to that of mechanism and control.
As Geoff Brinley (1994)REF DATE comments the process of evaluation in relation to a set of explicitly stated criteria and the quality of communicative performances. It should be part of a goal-directed, meaning focused language use and requiring the integration of skills and knowledge.
This approach of assessing students is aligned with CLT and TBLT movements in pedagogy, where emphasis on L2 as stated from Brinley (1994). So therefore is defined as,
(Norris et al. (1998)
A TBLT assessment is as define by Norris : elicitation and evaluation of language use for expressing and interpreting meaning, within a well-defined communicative context, for a clear purpose, towards a valued goal or outcome. It focuses on what the student can actually do, which is assessed, with useful feedback through reflection of the course syllabus and it limits counter negative that traditional testing may bring (REF)
a brief evaluation of the submitted artefact (either syllabus or assessment), or an outline of how it could be evaluated
It is important to remember that sequences seem to be impervious to instruction, presumably because linguistic terms have to be comprehensible and processable before they are learnable, hence, teachable.
Moreover, some syllbi fail to take into account U-shaped and zig-zag development curves, in which within SLA there are times of “deterioration” in learner performance also known as ‘backsliding’. Therefore even with teachers’ and writers of textbooks best efforts, the idea that a student acquires one notion of function at one time as noted by Prabhu (1984) both kinds of syllabus have the fundamental similarity that they look on language acquisition as a planned process of input assimilation.
Negative of all syllabi (Pienemann, 1984, 1987).
I think that when in the negotiation period before the syllabus is designed it is vital that the teacher should at all costs avoid using complicated terminology and I believe that maybe the LAP approach should be used where possible. The idea of students looking at the syllabus and seeing phrases such as ‘communicative acts’ and ‘skills’, could be better presented by using words such as training priorities (BREEN and Little John). As from my own experience of creating this syllabus the wording and structure of the language took me a while as I had to carefully word to convey the correct meaning to students without deterring them from the course.
Moreover Candin, (1984) argued that any pre-designed syllabus will be redundant from the when the teacher and students begin working that only a genuine syllabus in hindsight is one that work had been covered and what had actually been achieved from it.
I believe my syllabus could in actual fact lean towards a notional syllabus rather a multi purpose, but I feel that the underlying negotiation principle of emancipatory process in which students are given that much control, would make students feel somewhat dissatisfied and uncomfortable because.
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