Anda di halaman 1dari 30

Distribucin gratuita

Prohibida
su venta
2002-2003

Los Adolescentes y el Aprendizaje del Ingls


Programa y materiales de apoyo para el estudio

Licenciatura
en Educacin
Secundaria
Especialidad:
Lengua Extranjera
Programa para
la Transformacin
y el Fortalecimiento
Acadmicos de las
Escuelas Normales

Programa y materiales
de apoyo para el estudio

Los Adolescentes
y el Aprendizaje del Ingls

er
semestre

Los Adolescentes
y el Aprendizaje del Ingls
Programa y materiales
de apoyo para el estudio
Licenciatura en Educacin Secundaria
Especialidad: Lengua extranjera
Tercer semestre

Programa para la Transformacin


y el Fortalecimiento Acadmicos
de las Escuelas Normales
Mxico, 2002

Los Adolescentes y el Aprendizaje del Ingls. Programa y materiales de apoyo para el estudio. Licenciatura en
Educacin Secundaria. 3er semestre fue elaborado por el personal acadmico de la Subsecretara de Educacin Bsica y Normal de la Secretara de Educacin Pblica.
La SEP agradece la participacin de los profesores de las escuelas normales en el diseo del programa
y en la seleccin de los materiales.

Coordinacin editorial
Esteban Manteca Aguirre
Cuidado de la edicin
Rubn Fischer
Diseo
Direccin Editorial de la DGMyME, SEP
Formacin
Ins P. Barrera

Primera edicin, 2000


Segunda edicin, 2001
Primera reimpresin, 2002

D. R. Secretara de Educacin Pblica, 2000


Argentina 28
Centro, C. P. 06020
Mxico, D. F.
ISBN

970-18-6356-9

Impreso en Mxico
DISTRIBUCIN GRATUITA-PROHIBIDA SU VENTA

Index

Presentation

Adolescents and the Learning of English


Program

Introduction

Content organization

General guidelines for instruction and evaluation

11

Introductory activity

13

Themes
Unit I. The social function of language

14

Unit II. The learning of English as a foreign languaje


in the escuela secundaria

18

Bloque III. The challenges a foreign language theacher faces in


the escuela secundaria and the consideration given to the
essential educational purposes

26

Support materials
Unit II. The learning of English as a foreign language
in the escuela secundaria
Learning a first language
Patsy M. Lightbown y Nina Spada

33

Cognitive transitions
Laurence Steinberg

61

Spelling and pronunciation


Peter Avery and Susan Ehrlich

69

Styles and language anxiety: An overview


Rebeca Oxford

73

Unit III.The challenges a foreign language theacher faces in


the escuela secundaria and the consideration given to the
essential educational purposes
Why its all about
Robert F. Mager

77

Presentation
This material has been prepared to support the updating workshop for teachers that
will be in charge of teaching the course Los Adolescentes y el Aprendizaje del Ingls in the
Foreign Language specialty (English) pertaining to the Licenciatura en Educacin Secundaria,
plan 1999. It contains the curriculum and texts of the basic bibliography that teachers
and students will read during the third semester.
The support study materials that the Secretara de Educacin Pblica prints and distributes free of charge to the students and teachers, only includes readings of the basic
bibliography that for some circumstance, are hard to get or arent part of the common
property of the escuela normal; all other titles have been incorporated to each schools
library to encourage the students to directly make use of them.
It is important that the teachers read the complete works from which the suggested
titles in the curriculum come from, to strengthen and enrich their professional training.
This way they will have more elements to promote students learning and motivate
them to constantly look up the bibliographic materials that the school has, which will
without any doubt, be of great help all along their career. With all this the future teachers will develop habits to investigate and use information, capacity teachers themselves
will have to develop in their students and moreover, they will take advantage of the wide
variety of books that the Secretara de Educacin Pblica (SEP) has provided for the
escuela normal.
The bibliography to approach the topics suggested in the course does not end with
the recommendations made in this curriculum, the teachers can enrich it with other
books, articles, stories, recorded material on video or audio cassettes or CD-ROM they
consider appropriate to fulfill the proposed objectives in each one of the topics.
The SEP again invites teachers and students to send recommendations regarding the
selected materials. Your opinion will be taken into account to improve the educational
resources that support the Teacher Training Curriculum Development.
Secretara de Educacin Pblica

Adolescents and the


Learning of English
Horas/semana: 4

Crditos: 7.0

Program

Introduction
A necessary condition to transform the way of teaching nowadays in the escuela secundaria reduced many times to the simple transmission and reception of information
on the teacher and students part, respectively is that the initial training of teachers for
this school level should guarantee enough knowledge of the processes of change the
students undergo in this period of their life and that influences their learning as well
as knowledge of their school background and the conditions and demands of a specific
teaching practice, so that regardless of the subject that is being taught they acquire the
capacity to carry out their job as educators of adolescents, and that by means of their
daily work they can contribute to the fulfillment of the objectives contained in the basic
education curriculum.
In the second semester the future teachers started studying subjects concerning
the specialty. In the course Introduccin a la Enseanza de Lengua Extranjera (Ingls) the
students did activities related to the study and analysis as well as observation in the escuela secundaria which led them to obtain a general and realistic view of the purposes
for teaching English, in addition to some strategies and materials through which student
learning is promoted, and learn about what a teacher must take into account to know
the students of a certain group and organize the class work.
In this course, Los Adolescentes y el Aprendizaje del Ingls (Adolescents and the Learning
of English) the teacher trainees will analyze the social function of language as a system of
communication, the processes the students follow to learn English, the ways in which
the native language interferes, and the factors that influence these processes. The activities done to prepare and develop the teaching practice will allow the identification
of the challenges that teaching English represents and understand the role that the
teacher must play to strengthen the students development of basic linguistic competencies.

Content organization
The curriculum is organized in three instructional units, in which the general aspects of
English acquisition by adolescents in the escuela secundaria is analyzed. In each unit you
will find the content and basic bibliography that supports the study of the contents and
complementary bibliography to extend the information, as well as a set of activities for
the development of the topics. These activities are flexible and allow changes that enrich the work with the contribution that teachers and students make, always keeping in
mind the purposes and contents of the course.
9

In Unit I The social function of language the general characteristics of language as


a system of communication are analyzed. Through the suggested activities and the texts
studied during this unit, the future teachers will recognize the aspects of language and
the factors that influence its evolution, as well as the variations that are product of the
changes in history among societies.
In this unit the students should be able to identify the characteristics of spoken and
written language, and the necessary conditions for an efficient communication in each
one of them. Likewise, they will recognize the underlying elements of the structure of
the English language, and they will carry out activities that will help them understand
the meaning of communicative competence when speaking or writing, and the importance of considering varieties in the English language according to the regions and
contexts where they are used.
The analysis of these aspects will allow the students to understand how the varieties interfere with the comprehension of a foreign language. These factors are concerned with understanding the characteristics and the structure of the English language
and the aspects that encourage its learning.
Unit II The learning of English as a foreign language in the escuela secundaria deals
with aspects related to the ways in which individual teenage students develop communicative competency in the foreign language.
The suggested activities have the intention of making the future teachers understand
that there are many factors affecting the process of learning a foreign language either to
favor it or make it more difficult and, that the teacher must know them and take them
into account to help the students get acquainted with English in a secure and respectful
environment through the use of strategies that promote expression and communication.
Taking as a starting point their own experience as junior high school students, its
important that the future teachers analyze the common obstacles adolescents face to
express themselves orally or in a written form. The intention of this is to begin designing activities pertaining their field of study for which it is absolutely necessary for the
teacher trainees to pay special attention to the English classes, the activities performed,
teaching procedures, and materials that favor the communicative skills in junior high
schools during the periods of observation and practice. This way the future teachers
will gather necessary information to put into practice their own activities focusing on
the purposes of teaching a foreign language at this level.
In unit III The challenges a foreign language teacher faces in the escuela secundaria,
and the consideration given to the essential educational purposes students analyze the
teaching practices that favor the fulfillment of the educational purposes in foreign language teaching at escuela secundaria level. The intention of studying this unit is to make
the students reflect on the circumstances that favor learning English, the aspects that
take part in achieving better learning results and designing and putting into practice a
sequence of activities in an escuela secundaria .
10

Its essential to point out that the topics in this unit dont necessarily have to be
dealt with at the end of the course: some of the contents that are necessary to participate in the observation and practice periods may be revised to prepare the work and
analyze the teaching experiences at the escuela secundaria.

General guidelines for instruction and evaluation


Following are suggestions for the treatment of the content of the curriculum, strategies
and activities that, according to the features the graduates must be endowed with and
the criteria established in the curriculum, are advisable to keep in mind during the development of the course to accomplish the desired aims.
1. Before starting the study of the topics it is advisable for the students and the
teacher of the subject to fully analyze the curriculum; this way they will have a general
idea of the characteristics, contents, and texts that will be analyzed, as well as the
type of activities it suggests. This first review will be useful in organizing the work
during the semester as it will let you foresee the activities the students will carry out
before attending an escuela secundaria, the ones that will be carried out during the
period of observation and practice and the ones that will be done afterwards to
analyze the experience.
2. The themes of study in this curriculum and the features of the course demand that
the working procedures at the escuela normal correspond to those revised during the
development of the course. This will avoid frequent contradictions students notice
between the new proposals and common teaching practices.
3. The contents are organized according to a sequence, nevertheless, when examining the curriculum and according to agreements teachers reach at their meetings, they
can adjust the activities to achieve the fulfillment of the aims of the subject, the satisfaction of the students expectations regarding their education, and contribute to obtain
the graduation features pointed out in the curriculum for the Licenciatura en Educacin Secundaria. In this sense, unit III of this course requests designing a sequence of activities and
applying it in the escuela secundaria to later analyze it the escuela normal. To prepare
these activities with time enough in advance, its necessary to work with the contents
of this unit in the appropriate moment and not leave them until the end of the course.
4. The study of the topics of the course is combined with the analysis of the observation and practice experiences that the future teachers acquire in the escuela secundaria.
In this semester two periods of observation and practice are expected, each one lasting
a week, and attending a first grade group as established in the subject Observacin y Prctica Docente I. Each period will have the following characteristics:
a) During the first week the students will watch the work that is taking place in a
first grade class at the escuela secundaria in all the subjects during a whole day,
paying special attention to the classes corresponding to the specialty they are
11

studying, in this case English. During that period, if possible, the teacher trainees
will conduct a class in which they will experiment with previously planned activities.
b) During the second week, the teacher trainees will continue with the observation of the work that takes place in all the classes in one or two groups of first
grade. Unlike the first period of observation, the future teachers will put into
practice activities with both groups for which we recommend to stay in the
classroom the whole time on the dates the classes will be performed.
The teacher of the subject Los Adolescentes y el Aprendizaje del Ingls should contact
the teachers at the escuela secundaria that will be visited to point out to them the type
of activities the teacher trainees are required to perform so they will allow the students to work with simple activities that emphasize the development of communicative
skills, and not as it usually happens, grammar contents.
5. According to the contents of the course, during the observation and practice
periods, the teacher trainees will gather information regarding the adolescents work in
the English class; for which they are to talk to students, teachers and parents, record
conversations among students and if possible some fragments of class as well (if the
teacher agrees), photocopy some parts of the students English notebook or through
the written description of the performed activities in class. For these activities to be
organized properly, before each period of observation and practice the teacher of
the subject and the students will agree on the kind of material they will collect.
6. Its the responsibility of the teacher of the subject Los Adolescentes y el Aprendizaje
del Ingls to prepare with the students the observation guide they will need to watch
the classes. Likewise it is important for the teacher of this subject to attend the escuela
secundaria and supervise the students work with the group. Only by doing so will he
have enough information to guide the later analysis of the visits to the schools that is
also done in this course.
7. Practicing reading in this subject isnt only a requirement for the analysis of the
texts in the basic bibliography, it is as well, a skill that must be encouraged in the students. Reading texts in English with the purpose of a better understanding begins in this
course and it is essential for the teacher to support the students, according to the
characteristics of the group, in making reading in English a useful tool for the analysis,
reflection and study and not only view it as a mere transcription of information.
8. Its fundamental to take advantage of this course and the others taught in this
semester so that students can strengthen their capacity of selecting and interpreting
information from different sources, read analytically, defend, and communicate their
own ideas in a written or oral form. When faced with these challenges, the teacher
trainees will be able to discover the factors and conditions that influence the development of the communicative competence, otherwise, the knowledge obtained from the
texts included in the basic bibliography will have no specific meaning and therefore will
12

have little or no influence in their teaching practices. In addition, its important to


remember that the abilities to narrate, describe, explain, ask and read out loud are
elements of the didactic competence.
9. According to the approach used in this subject and the aims of the course, its
desirable to select the criteria and procedures that will allow appreciating the students
progress, avoiding evaluation to be reduced to simple testing or use of other means
that only require memorizing or transcribing information. The assessment of the arguments students express in class, the questions they ask, their effective participation in
team work as well as the written texts (essays, didactic proposals, reading controls) and
research in the escuela secundaria they visit can be taken advantage of for their evaluation. Another aspect to be considered is the solution the students give to the situations
suggested in the activities of the curriculum, their ability to analyze, critical judgment,
comprehension, relationship, etcetera. Tests should be considered a complement to
the suggested evaluation procedures.

Introductory activity
In teams, select one of the following situations. Prepare a message related to the situation you wish to communicate. Devise an oral or written code to convey that message.
Dont use known symbols or words (if the message is transmitted orally, its better to
record it).
Situation A
How would you advise people traveling on the highway of the danger there is
on a washed out part of the road and no signal to indicate it?
Situation B
How would you explain to a tourist who approaches you how to get to a certain
place?
Situation C
How would you advise the people in a town that a storm is approaching?
Situation D
If youre planning on inviting some friends over for a party, how would you
explain the intention of the party and place of reunion.
Give another team the written or recorded message and have them decipher it.
Each team will show the rest of the group the corresponding message after discussing:
If the message was deciphered in the way it was designed. Why?
What features were considered to decipher it?
What difficulties were faced to decipher the message?
What is needed to interpret the oral messages and what for the written ones?
13

Unit I. The social function of language


1. Language as a system of communication.
a) General characteristics and social uses.
b) The constant evolution of language. Factors that influence the changes process.
c) Variations of language.
2. Spoken and written language: characteristics, similarities and differences.
a) The contexts of use: the flexibility in the use of the spoken language and the
requirements of written language.
b) What does it mean to be able to speak and to write?
3. English and its characteristics.
a) General aspects related to the structure of English: phonetics, phonology,
grammar, semantics.
b) Varieties of language and their impact on understanding a foreign language.

Basic bibliography
Cassany, Daniel, Martha Luna y Gloria Sanz (2000), Conocimiento y uso de la lengua, in Ensear
lengua, 5th ed., Barcelona, Gra, pp. 83-99.
Enciclopdia Britannica, Types of Communication, Language, Origins and Basic Characteristics of the English Language and Varieties of English, in http://www.britannica.com.

Complementary bibliography
Resnick, Lauren B. (1999), El alfabetismo dentro y fuera de la escuela, in Propsitos y Contenidos
de la Educacin Bsica I (Primaria) Programa y materiales de apoyo para el estudio. 1er semestre. Licenciatura en educacin secundaria. Mxico, SEP, pp. 44-59.

Suggested activities
1. In group, make a list (as complete as possible) of the students answers regarding the
question What is language used for? Then, with this information ask the students to
make a word map that explains why language is used.
2. In teams discuss the following topics and write down the aspects that are considered most important when giving your own point of view in relation to this next
question:
How would you describe communication in the following cases?
In the family, within a group of friends, in school.
In a conference (about politics, human rights, economy, etcetera).
In an international reunion on education.

14

Would you say there is a more efficient communication in any of the discussed
cases? Why yes or why not.
Submit the results of your team discussion to the group.
Individually read Types of communication and make a chart that shows the general characteristics of language.
In class talk about some of the charts that were made. Then, considering the conclusions that arouse in class, write a text in English that describes the characteristics of
language and answers the question Why do we write?
3. In teams examine a short text in any indigenous language (maybe the words to a
song, a poem, legend, etcetera) and:
If possible record someone reading the text.
Try to decipher the text.
Make up a spelling rule starting from what you were able to interpret and the
structure of the text.
Later on, submit the translation of the text and the spelling rule you came up with to
the group and explain how you got to that conclusion. Listen to the song and compare
it with the work done in each team.
Comment on:
Similarities in pronunciation.
What things were taken into account to say the text.
Difficulties faced to understand the message and the strategies used to solve
the exercise.
4. Individually read the section entitled Conocimiento y uso de la lengua (Knowledge
and use of language) by Cassany. In teams, think about the following issues and answer
the question in writing.
The authors ideas about the different types of competencies and the relationship among them.
The characteristics of the communicative approaches and linguistic abilities.
Considering the ideas in the text about oral and written skills, answer the question:
What does it mean to know how to speak and how to write Present and explain
your answers before the group.
5. Individually look up in the article Language information about the general characteristics of language, variations and factors that influence their production.
In group, discuss:
The characteristics of language that the author mentions.
The similarities and differences between the article and the texts each one
wrote in the last activity.
Taking into account the discussion that just took place, review your own text, if
necessary, to include characteristics that werent there in the first place. In group, talk
out the changes that could be made in the text and explain why. Each writing must
15

include the explanation of the following items: Phonetics and Phonology, Grammar,
Semantics.
After the discussion make a chart like this:
Variety

Reason or cause for its use in social groups

Based on the information registered in the chart, identify which variations of language are used most evidently in spoken language and which in written language.
After studying the content of the previous chart, make a similar one that represents
the variations that Spanish used in Mexico has, and explain some of the causes that
brings them about.
6. In teams select one of the following words and research its origin, uses the word
has been given over time or in different cultures or regions, etymological and actual
meaning, word its derived from and words its related to. Submit the results to the
group.
EMOTION
FOCUS
IGLOO
ROCKET
SALT
WELCOME
An example to guide the type of exercise that is asked for, could be the following
which is done using the word moon: Moon: Earths natural satellite, visible because it
reflects sunlight; Latin: Luna; light, from Indo European leuksn, moon, light, from leuk,
light, shine. Light: Electromagnetic radiation the human eye perceives and that makes
objects visible, light, brightness, latin lucem accusative of lux (theme Luc-) light, light of
day, from Indo European: leuk light; shine. Of the same family as shine, dazzle, illuminate,
illustrate, illustrious, leukemia, leukocyte, Liechtenstein, evening star, brilliant, shine, fire, luminous, lunar, lunatic, light, luster, shining, glimpse, and probably Oslo, Santa Lucia, possibly
Nicosia.1

Taken from Guido Gmez da Silva, Breve diccionario etimolgico de la lengua espaola,
Mxico, El Colegio de Mxico/FCE, 4a reimpresin, 1996.

16

After doing the activity, group into teams to reflect on the influence words of other
languages have in English and their adoption in the modern vocabulary.
7. In teams, select one of the next situations and discuss the questions that follow.
Convince someone of danger in case of an emergency.
Narrate to a soccer match to someone who is not watching.
Explain and support your point of view on abortion.
Tell someone akin a personal problem or feeling with the intention of seeking for
advice.
In which cases is it more common to use spoken language? In which is it better to
use written language? Why?
In each case how does the context influence the speakers intention?
Explain in each case explain the importance of Phonetics, Phonology, Grammar and
Semantics.
8. With the text written in activity 2 and after reading Origins and basic characteristics of the English language review the writing and include the concepts of Phonetics, Phonology, Grammar and Semantics the text introduces. In small groups read
some of the works and explain why they were rewritten.
9. In teams determine the essential features of fragments of dialogues in which
variations of language are self evident (record for example, parts of movies, TV or radio
news reports, conversations between tourists, etcetera) and discuss the difficulties students have to understand the content or the messages. Then, in group consider the
following:
In which cases was it easier or more difficult to understand the content of the
message. Why?
Which is the country or origin of the people that speak and which is the situation taking place in the dialogue?
What strategies were used to be able to understand the messages they convey?
10. Individually read the article Varieties of English and enroll in a class discussion
about:
The characteristics of English in the following regions: London, Ireland, some
places in The United States, New Zealand, India, Pakistan and Africa.
Characteristics and conditions of the so called RP.
The challenges the variety of pronunciations around the world represent for
English teaching.
11. Individually, write a text, in English, that describes the importance of aural comprehension in learning a language.

17

Unit II. The learning of English as a foreign language


in the escuela secundaria
1. The adolescents as users of their native language.
a) The use of spoken language. The pragmatic competency: Interiorizing knowledge and communication skills. Similarities and differences with written
language.
b) Individual variations in communicative competence among adolescents.
2. Main obstacles students face when studying English in the escuela secundaria.
a) Exposure to a language with a different structure. Transferring native language
to foreign language: type of mistakes this situation brings forth.
b) The difficulties encountered when listening to and understanding spoken and
written language.
c) Hindrances in learning how to write.
d) Fear to speak in another language.
3. Circumstances that favor the developmental processes of foreign language communication skills.
a) Aural and reading comprehension.
b) Rendering written texts and oral expression.
c) Linguistic awareness.
4. Factors affecting learning English in the escuela secundaria.
a) Students motivation for learning and the feasibility of using the language in
real life situations. Their learning style.
b) The teacher, instructional activities and the practice of linguistic skills in class.

Basic bibliography
Avery, Peter and Susan Ehrlich (1992), Spelling and Pronunciation in Teaching American English
Pronunciation. New York, Oxford University Press, pp. 3-6.
Laroy, Clement. (1995) Introduction in Pronunciation, New York, Oxford University Press,
pp. 5-8.
Lightbown, Patsy M. and Nina Spada (2000), Learning a First Language and Theoretical
Approaches to Explaining Second Language Learning, in How Languages are Learned,
New York, Oxford University Press, pp. 1-9 and 31-48.
Oxford, Rebecca L. (1999), Styles and Language Anxiety: an Overview, in Dolly Jesusita Young
[Editor], Affect in Foreign Language and Second Language Learning. A Practical Guide to Creating a Low-Anxiety Classroom Atmosphere, New York, McGraw-Hill, pp. 218-220.
SEP (1999), Aspectos metodolgicos, en Libro para el Maestro. Ingls. Secundaria, Mxico, pp.

15-26.
Steinberg, Laurence (1999), Cognitive Transitions, in Adolescence, 5 th ed., McGraw-Hill College,
USA, pp. 58-62.

18

Complementary bibliography
Brown, H. Douglas (1994), Teaching Listening Comprehension, Teaching Oral Communication Skills, Teaching Reading and Teaching Writing Skills, in Teaching by Principles:
An Interactive Approach to Language Pedagogy, New Jersey, Prentice Hall, pp. 233-346.
(2000), Neurological Considerations, in Principles of Language Teaching and Learning, 4 th ed.,
New York, Longman, pp. 54-70.
Lightbown, Patsy M. and Nina Spada (2000), Factors Affecting Second Language Learning, in
How Languages are Learned, New York, Oxford University Press, pp. 48-70.

Suggested activities
1. Organize teams and record a conversation between teenagers (not necessarily in
school). The tape may contain chats among friends, sections of movies, interviews, etcetera. Listen to the recording and discuss the following questions.
Which characteristic of the conversation would you highlight?
Possible reasons why teenagers communicate in that way.
If the communication among teenagers had been written, Which changes or
characteristics would be depicted? Discuss your points of view.
Point out the results of your discussion to the whole group and write down the
most important aspects.
2. Individually read the text Learning a first language by Lightbown and Spada and
engage in a whole group conversation that makes your points of view apparent in
relation to the authors ideas about:
The steps human being takes to master his own language.
How far can you get in this mastery without schooling?
Whats understood by pragmatic competence?
3. Using the information from the previous analysis, individually make up a diagram
that includes: significant aspects related to the use teenagers give their native language,
and also, any individual differences concerning the development of communicative competencies you might have identified through the recorded conversations. Afterwards,
enroll in a whole group discussion in which you can establish the possible causes that
bring about these differences among teenagers.
4. With this knowledge in mind, identify in Steinbergs text Cognitive transitions the
ideas the writer mentions regarding the way the following aspects influence teen communication.
The ability to think about what is possible.
Development of abstract thinking.
Reflecting on what is thought.
Ability to see things in multiple dimensions.
Relative way of seeing things.
19

Individually think about situations in which language forms and styles used during
your adolescence may have provoked conflicts or misunderstandings. Share your experience with the group.
5. In teams analyze these interviews and discuss the questions that follow them.
Entrevista a alumnos de secundaria2
P: Pregunta.
Al: Alumnos.
Entrevista 1
Grado: 3.
Asignatura: Ingls.
P: De todo esto que hace la maestra con ustedes, qu es lo que te gusta
a ver si lo puedes sealar de manera precisa de esa forma de trabajo, y qu
no te gusta de esa forma de trabajo, de esa forma de llevar la clase?
Al: Lo que ms me gusta es el material que usa porque muchas veces le
entendemos mejor que lo que explica ella. Lo que me desagrada es que no nos
deja hablar a nosotros y no nos deja dialogar y siempre est explicando ella.
P: Qu actividades con el idioma realizas generalmente en la clase?
Al: Bsicamente es organizar un dilogo o completarlo con palabras que
nos va dando durante la clase o muy pocas veces nos deja dialogar entre
nosotros.
P: Escuchan expresiones en ingls?
Al: Con el audiocasete nos deja escuchar y respecto a eso dialogamos tambin.
P: Usas el libro de texto en la clase?
Al: No, nosotros no usamos libro de texto.
P: No consultan ningn libro, no manejan ningn libro?
Al: No, la maestra no pidi el libro desde el principio del ao.
P: Slo son materiales que ella lleva?
Al: S.
P: Escritos en ingls?
Al: S, son materiales que ella hace respecto al tema que nos va a dar o el
dilogo que viene en el audiocasete, nos explica y ella nos hace el material.
P: Cules son las caractersticas del material que ms te gusta?
Al: Ms que nada es el audiocasete que nos deja mucho a la imaginacin y
como que nos adentramos ms al tema.
2

Interviews conducted for this subject.

20

P: Alguna otra caracterstica del material que te atraiga, que te haga placentera la clase?
Al: Muchas veces en las lminas llevan dibujos y entendemos mejor el tema
y los verbos que nos plantea.
P: Ya dices que no llevan libro de texto, pero aparte no llevan algn otro
material.
Al: No, no usamos ninguno.
P: Entonces si no llevan el libro, el material, lminas, qu otros materiales
utilizas t?
Al: Solamente el cuaderno de trabajo.
P: Qu es lo que se te hace ms difcil de la clase de ingls?
Al: Se me dificulta entenderle cuando la maestra explica muy rpido y por
eso muchas veces prefiero el audiocasete.
P: Fuera de los dilogos que se organizan en la clase, hablas el ingls con
tus compaeros?
Al: Muy pocas veces, slo para algunas frases pequeas o bromear entre
nosotros.
P: Slo bromas o hay algunas otras actividades que adems les gusten?
Al: Cuando realizamos la tarea en las horas libres que tenemos s lo practicamos mucho.
Entrevista 2
Grado: 2.
Asignatura: Ingls.
P: Cmo te dan la clase de ingls?
Al: Nos la pasamos respondiendo el libro, pero si vemos algo un da jams
lo volvemos a ver hasta la hora del examen bimestral.
P: Qu te gusta y qu no te gusta de la clase de ingls?
Al: Me gustan los crucigramas y no las conversaciones porque hay veces en
las que se burlan de la pronunciacin que uso.
P: Qu actividades realizas comnmente?
Al: Siempre son ejercicios del libro, puras conversaciones.
P: Usas el libro de texto en la clase?
Al: S y bastante.
P: Qu haces en l?
Al: En l hago ejercicios y los respondo por grupos.
P: Te gusta trabajar con l?
Al: Ms o menos.
P: Por qu?
Al: Porque lo que me gusta son nada ms los crucigramas.
21

P: Adems del libro de texto qu otros materiales utilizas?


Al: El cuaderno, pero muy poco, de ah en fuera nada.
P: Qu es lo que se te hace ms difcil de la clase de ingls?
Al: Relacionar columnas y las preguntas de opcin mltiple.
P: Hablas el ingls con tus compaeros en la clase?
Al: No.
Entrevista 3
Grado: 1.
Asignatura: Ingls.
P: Qu es lo que ms te gusta de tu clase de ingls y qu es lo que no te
gusta o lo que menos te gusta?
Al: Lo que ms me gusta es el idioma ingls y, no s.
P: Pero, por qu te gusta el idioma ingls, le encuentras alguna utilidad?
Al: Porque pienso que es algo que despus puedes utilizar de muchas formas,
que es algo que desde ahora es muy importante para cualquier trabajo en el
futuro, que sirve para cualquier cosa actualmente y es algo ms importante,
desde cosas tan sencillas como una computadora para entender en lo que ests o un instructivo de cualquier aparato el ingls es fundamental. Lo que ms
me disgusta de la clase es a veces la forma en que nos trata el maestro,
porque muchas veces dependiendo del humor de que venga es la cantidad de
tarea que nos deja, si viene de buen humor no nos deja mucha tarea, si viene
de malas nos puede dejar como 20 palabras.
P: Qu hacen con esas palabras?
Al: Las tenemos que repetir 10 veces en el cuaderno con su respectiva
traduccin.
P: Eso es lo que ms te disgusta?
Al: S.
P: Qu otras actividades realizas en forma comn?
Al: Eso normalmente, o lo que seran los ejercicios en el libro es lo fundamental de la clase siempre.
P: Como qu tipo de ejercicios?
Al: Vienen en ese libro sopa de letras que tenemos que resolver y despus
le damos las respuestas al maestro, ejercicios de falso o verdadero, segn
unos textos que tenemos que leer en ingls, obviamente, y son relacionar
columnas tambin de otros textos en ingls, as como repetir otros textos
tambin.
P: Qu utilidad le encuentras por ejemplo a una actividad como la sopa de
letras, l les explica cul es el sentido de la actividad o solamente les deja la
actividad?
22

Al: Nada ms nos deja la actividad y a lo mejor el sentido podra ser la


memorizacin de las palabras.
P: Y en esto participan diferentes compaeros contigo o es una actividad
en forma individual?
Al: Es una actividad en forma individual todo lo que se hace, pero despus
ya cuando se supone que todos terminan la sopa de letras el maestro las va
preguntando, a veces por nmero de lista o dependiendo quin quiera participar, te pregunta una o dos palabras y se le dice en qu columna o hilera est
y te vale como una participacin.
P: Por ejemplo una participacin a cunto equivale?
Al: A medio punto en el examen bimestral.
P: De qu forma utilizas el libro de texto? Ya me dijiste que te ponen a hacer
algunas lecturas, pero qu otra forma tienes para utilizar tu libro de texto?
Al: Es eso principalmente, tiene sopas de letras, textos, hay varias, tienes
que completar tablas, tambin con informacin, casi todo se basa en textos que
tiene al principio de cada leccin, de falso o verdadero, columna y tablas.
P: De complementar ideas, por ejemplo, que le falten palabras a un enunciado o algn texto y t lo tengas que rellenar?, hay ejercicios de este tipo?
Al: S, tambin hay ejercicios de gramtica, de la forma de acomodar palabras, y vienen de poner las palabras que son, poner como se [...] con cada
verbo y lo vas anotando, una especie de complementacin de enunciados.
P: Te gusta trabajar con tu libro?
Al: S.
P: Qu te gusta ms: trabajar con tu libro, con la explicacin que te da tu
maestro o los ejercicios que te pone?
Al: A m me gustara ms trabajar con la explicacin que dara el maestro,
pero casi siempre se trabaja con el puro libro, l casi no nos explica nada, la
mayora se basa en todo lo que es el libro.
P: Adems de tu libro de texto tienes algunos otros materiales que utilices?
Al: No, nada ms es el libro.

Main difficulties you found in each case.


Possible reasons why the students like or dislike the class.
What advantages or disadvantages do you see in the way teachers give the
class?
According to the interviews, which are the main obstacles in learning a language?
After discussing the previous questions, answer, in writing, How would you give an
English class?

23

6. Individually, and after reading the texts Spelling and pronunciation by Avery, and
Introduction by Laroy, write, on specific working cards, your own interpretation of the
ideas the authors express about:
The difficulties a Spanish-speaking person faces with the American alphabet,
specifically in regard to phonetics and phonology.
What obstacles does a person meet when trying to learn English?
In teams, present the content of the cards you prepared, and explain in which attitudes of the escuela secundaria students you perceive the difficulties they have in learning English. With this information design some activities to interest the escuela secundaria
students in learning English.
7. Get into teams, and again analyze interview 2, considered in activity 5 in this unit,
and place your attention on the causes that hinder the student from speaking English,
and discuss:
The role of the teacher.
The effects this situation has on the practice of the language.
The tolerance to mistakes when speaking English.
Why do you think English is not spoken in class?
Reasons why solving puzzles is preferred.
8. With this information, the conclusions reached in the previous discussion and the
personal experience during the periods of observation and practice taken place up to
date (in this and other semesters), design a set of activities in which, the following
aspects are favored intentionally, when teaching adolescents:
Oral expression in English within a respectful environment.
Attention to the difficulties Spanish-speaking people face with the English spelling system.
Strengthening the communicative skills.
Share some of the sequences with the group and discuss them to evaluate the
possibility of putting them into practice in an escuela secundaria during the periods of
observation and practice.
9. In group, and after reading Theoretical approaches to explaining second language
learning by Lightbown and Spada, review the previous sequences of activities, and in
group, analyze them at the light of the following aspects the authors mention:
Essential elements to learn English.
Similarities and differences between the theories that explain language learning.
Taking into account this new information and after discussing it in group, if necessary, make adjustments in the sequences of activities planned to put in practice with
adolescents.
To do the following activities, its necessary for the future teachers to have organized the information gathered in the escuela secundaria related to the students ability
to communicate in the foreign language as well as have read the section Aspectos
24

metodolgicos in Libro para el maestro. Ingls (Methodological aspects, in the English Teachers book).
10. In teams organize the collected materials taking into account the information
you identified regarding foreign language skills.
Submit the result of your analysis to the group and explain the criteria used to place
the material, pointing out:
Aspects related to the texts you read.
Specific situations in which you collected the information.
Individually write down the most outstanding details.
11. Individually read Styles and language anxiety: an overview by Rebecca L. Oxford
and write down the authors ideas about:
The way the learning style influences the acquisition of skills in a foreign language.
Characteristics of the learning styles.
Enroll in a team discussion directed to:
The relation between the authors ideas and the situations that have been observed in the schools.
The importance it has for the teacher to know the students learning styles.
The teachers influence in strengthening the students learning styles.
Present and explain to the group the result of the team discussion.
12. Once more, review the sequence of activities that was begun in activity 8 of this
unit and include details from the last topics studied.

Unit III. The challenges a foreign language teacher faces in


the escuela secundaria and the consideration given to the
essential educational purposes
1. Knowing the students and the ways to teach them.
a) Students characteristics, interests and needs as a basis to enhance the learning
of English.
b) Activities that allow getting the students acquainted with English.
Reading out loud to enhance students attention and aural comprehension.
Music and songs in English.
Use of available information in the immediate surroundings.
2. Organization and development of group work.
a) Designing and practicing sequences of activities that help develop aural and
reading comprehension.
b) Difficulties encountered and possible solutions.
c) Activities carried out and their contribution in the fulfillment of the aims for
this level.
25

3. The attention given to students with special needs in teaching or learning a language.

Basic bibliography
Brown, H. Douglas (2000), Language Learning and Teaching, in Principles of Language Learning
and Teaching, 4 th ed., New York, Longman, pp. 1-4
Holden, Susan and Mickey Rogers (1998), Listening and Using Songs and Rhymes in English
Language Teaching, Mxico, DELTI, pp. 35-42 and 66-72.
Mager, Robert F. (1984), Why its all About, in Developing Attitude Toward Learning, 2 nd ed., California, Lake Publishing Company, pp. 7-12.
Mata Barreiro, C. (1990), Las canciones como refuerzo de las cuatro destrezas, in P. Bello et al.,
Didctica de las segundas lenguas. Estrategias y recursos bsicos, Madrid, Santillana (Aula
XXI), pp. 158-171.

Complementary bibliography
Vila, Ignasi [coord.] (1997), Ensear y aprender ingls en la educacin secundaria, Barcelona, ICE/
Horsori (Cuadernos de formacin del profesorado, 13).

Suggested activities
1. Read the following hypothetical situations.
Teacher A is a female teacher with eight years teaching experience. She is a quiet, softspoken teacher who is always polite and pleasant to her students. Her students do
well academically and are always quiet and attentive in class.The students sit in single
rows. When the teacher enters the room, students stand up and greet her. They
raise their hands when they want to speak, and they stand when they answer the
teachers questions. Teacher A follows the textbook closely in her teaching. She tends
to be teacher-centered in her teaching, because she believes her classroom is a place
where students come to learn.
Teacher B has three years teaching experience. His class does not do as well academically as the students in Teacher As class, although they work hard and are enthusiastic.
The teacher has an excellent relationship with his students, but his classroom is much
less traditional in its organization. Students do not have to stand up when the teacher
enters, or raise their hands to answer a question, or stand up when they answer a
question.The classroom atmosphere is very relaxed. Students can volunteer answers
when they wish to, so the class is often quite noisy.The teacher often makes use of his
own teaching materials, and is often critical of the assigned text. (Richards, 1997:36)

26

Organize in teams to compare the situations with the ones observed at that escuela
secundaria and answer the following questions:
What coincidences have you noticed between the previous situations and those
observed in the escuela secundaria?
Does a quiet and well behaved group learn better than one in which the students communicate among themselves and get up from their place without the
teachers permission?
How does the teachers practice influence the students attitude toward learning English? Explain your answers.
In each situation, what would you keep and what would you change? Support
your answers.
2. Taking as a starting point the answers given to the previous questions and the
reading of the selection Why its all about by Mager, in teams discuss the following ideas
stated by the author:
Why teach to learn?
Factors that influence attitudes toward teaching.
Considering your personal experience and the texts that were read, What aspects
would you include in your practice with adolescents? Write them down and present
your ideas to the group, explaining the criteria considered in the selection.
3. Individually, organize the data collected in the escuelas secundarias regarding the
general characteristics of the groups that were observed considering the information
in reference to:
Size of the group, age, amount of boys and girls.
Interest the students show toward learning English. Possible causes.
Activities students like and dont like to do.
Difficulties you noticed students have regarding English (in writing, conversations, diction, etcetera).
In group discuss this information and the individually answer the following questions:
The group I observed What is it like?
What criteria would I take into account in designing sequences of activities to
teach English in that group?
Its appropriate to remember that the intention in this type of activities is to analyze
the factors that influence learning English and not to disqualify the teachers work or the
activities the students do in class.
4. Starting with the analysis of the materials in the previous activity, your personal
experience as an escuela secundaria student and the results of the discussions, in teams
consider the following issues:
What is read in class?
Who reads?
27

When and why is reading done?


Do these activities favor the students attention in class?
Are music and songs used in the English class? What kind of music?
What attitudes are apparent when using music or songs in class?
Is it attractive for the students? Discuss your points of view for or against.
What impact do these activities have in learning?
Do the students search for information in English? How, for what?
Write down the conclusions resulting from the discussion and submit them to the
group.
5. Individually read Language, learning and teaching by Brown and in group, consider
the questions the author makes in reference to learning a second language.
After reading Las canciones como refuerzo de las cuatro destrezas (Songs as a reinforcement of the four skills) by C. Mata Barreiro and, Listening and Using songs and rhymes by S.
Holden and M. Rogers, in teams, design some activities directed to intentions like:
Enhancing students attention and aural comprehension.
Taking advantage of songs in English to strengthen aural comprehension and
pronunciation.
Motivate the students to understand what they read.
6. Review the activities developed in this curriculum (in the three units) regarding:
The characteristics of English.
Obstacles for learning the language.
Abilities to communicate in the foreign language.
Status and characteristics of the group.
The activities or sequences of activities designed to teach English.
If pertinent, the obstacles faced when practicing with the designed activities.
7. Individually, select a content from the English curriculum for the escuela secundaria
level (if possible, in agreement with the teacher of the group you will practice with), and
with the experience acquired during the observation and practice periods and the
analysis of the texts studied during the semester:
a) Design a sequence of activities for three consecutive classes with the purpose
of encouraging aural comprehension and reading.
b) Put the activities into practice with first grade students at an escuela secundaria.
After the period of observation and practice, in group, discuss about:
Personal development. Relationship with the group.
Students achievement noticed as far as the aims of the subject and the level are
concerned.
Aspects you consider must be strengthened or reviewed.
Hints to improve: Considering the difficulties you noticed in the students and your
personal development before the group, write five recommendations to improve learning a foreign language in the escuela secundaria.
28

8. In view of the sequences of activities carried out by the future teachers at the
escuela secundaria, identify in the curriculum of that level:
The relationship between the educational aims of the subject and the level.
The agreement with the foreign language teaching approach.
9. Participate in a round table discussion with this topic: Considering different options to deal with the most frequent obstacles in learning a foreign language, in which
you should analyze some of the following issues:
Proof that allows detecting the difficulties the escuela secundaria students have
in learning English.
Main causes of the difficulties to learn a foreign language.
Students responsibility for his own learning.
The challenges of a foreign language teacher at an escuela secundaria level.

29