Saturday, July 25, 2015

Methods of Teaching English Language (PDGE-022)-Postgraduate Diploma in Education- Rajarata University of Sri Lanka

Aims and objectives of teaching English in schools
a.      English is a global language
Science and Technology/Commerce and Business/Health and Physical Education/Legal Matters/ Research/Higher Education/Sports/Astronomy/Modern Communication Methods/Aviation and Shipping/Agriculture/Education/World Summits and Conferences
b.      Students should be able to use English
Productive skills-speaking/writing
Receptive skills-listening/reading
Skimming/scanning/loud reading/reproduction/telephone conversation/dialogues/direction/instructions
c.       GCE-OL Examination-Certificate
Grammar/(Essay/Letter/Note/Story/Report/Notice writing/ etc…), Reading Comprehension/Picture Description/Cloze Passages/
d.      English Day Competition-Creative writing/copy writing /recitation/dictation/dramas/
e.      English Literary Association
Agenda/minutes/speeches/vote of thanks/welcome speech/announcing
f.        Wall Paper/Articles to school magazine and children’s corner in newspapers (Fun day Times/Junior Observer)
g.      Motivating the children to learn in English (English Medium Classes from Grade 06 to Grade 13)
h.     After entering the university, the students will be able to follow their respective courses in English medium
i.        Employability in both public sector, private sector or self-employment
j.        English Literature for both OL and AL Examinations
k.      Intellectual/Rational/Ethical/Academic/Cultural/Political/Religious and Social Development
l.        Improving soft skills/personality/leadership/motivation/patience/flexibility/ politeness/adjustability/empathy etc…
m.   Higher studies in Local and International Universities
n.     Employments overseas
o.      International relationship
p.      Ultimate outcome: Creating an intellectual and  ethical academic, who will serve both the people and the country


Direct Method-Postgraduate Diploma in Education-Rajarata University of Sri Lanka

Direct Method of Language Teaching “Teach the language not about the language”
Direct Method is also known as Natural Method, Phonetical Method, and Anti-Grammatical Reform Method.
1.     Background
 In the mid and late 19 century, Europe experienced a wave of increasing opportunities of communication, due to industrialization and international trade and travel. A need was felt to develop oral proficiency in foreign languages. Language teachers had already found Grammar-translation method inadequate and ineffective in developing communicative ability in learners.
2.     Background
 They strongly advocate an alternative method, in which language was presented in contexts and the mother tongue was avoided.  Its principal advocates were Pendergast and Sauveur, who proposed what they called Natural Method that suggest radical change from Grammar- translation. It is this method that later on came to be known as the Direct Method.
3.     Direct Method
Direct Method is named “direct” because meaning should be connected directly with the target language without translation into the native language. Concept/ Target Meaning language L1 Target concept language
4.     Theoretical Assumption
Language can be learnt only through demonstration. Instead of analytical procedures of explaining grammar rules, students must be encouraged to use language naturally and spontaneously so that they induce grammar.
5.     Theoretical Assumption
The learning of second language was seen as parallel to the acquisition of the child’s first language. This method therefore emphasizes the importance of sounds, simple sentences and direct association of language with object and person of immediate environment- the classroom, the home, the garden, etc.
6.     Basic Principles
Classroom instruction is conducted exclusively in the target language. The teacher should demonstrate, not explain or translate. NEVER TRANSLATE: DEMONSTRATE
7.     Basic Principles
. Only everyday vocabulary and sentences are taught. BASIC VOCABULARY IS GIVEN FIRST. Vocabulary is taught through known words, demonstration, authentic objects (realia), pictures, and miming.
8.     Basic Principles
Grammar is taught inductively. There may never be an explicit grammar rule given. DO NOT GIVE RULES: MAKE THEM FIGURE OUT THE RULE.
9.     Basic Principles
New teaching points are introduced orally. ORAL TRANSMISSION. Both speech and listening comprehension are taught.
10.                        Basic Principles
The teacher, by asking the student to make a choice, gets him to correct his own error. LEARNING BY SELF- CORRECTION8. The syllabus is based on situations or topics, not usually on linguistic structures. CONTEXTUAL/TOPICAL TEACHING
11.                        Basic Principles.
Correct pronunciation is emphasized. 10. Students should learn to think in the target language as soon as possible
12.                         Basic Principles
The purpose of language learning is communication; therefore students need to learn how to ask questions as well as answer them.
13.                        Techniques
 The teacher asks questions of any nature and the students answer. Dictation: The teacher chooses a grade appropriate passage and reads the text aloud. Teacher reads the passage three times
14.                        Techniques
Reading Aloud: Students take turn reading sections of a passage, play or dialogue out loud.
15.                        Techniques
Map Drawing: Students are given a map without labeled then the students label it by using the directions the teacher gives. Paragraph Writing : The students are asked to write a passage in their own words.
16.                        Advantages
One of its positive points is that it promises to teach the language and Not about the language. It is a natural method, which teaches language in the same way the mother tongue is acquired. Only the target language is used and the learning is contextualized. Its emphasis on speech made it more attractive for those who have needs of real communication in the target language. It is one of the first methods to introduce the teaching of vocabulary through realias.
17.                        Criticism
In spite of its achievements, the direct method fell short from fulfilling the needs of educational systems. One of its major shortcomings is that it was hard for public schools to integrate it. As R. Brown (1994:56) points out, the Direct Method “did not take well in public schools where the constraints of budget, classroom size, time, and teacher background (native speakers or native like fluency) made such a method difficult to use.” After a short popularity in the beginning of the 20th century, it soon began to lose its appeal because of these constraints. It then paved the way to the Audio-lingual Method.

Article was written by Ayesha Bashir, student of AWKUM

Grammar Translation Method-Postgraduate Diploma in Education-Rajarata University of Sri Lanka

Latin and Ancient Greek are known as "dead" languages, based on the fact that people no longer speak them for the purpose of interactive communication. Yet, they are still acknowledged as important languages to learn (especially Latin) for the purpose of gaining access to classical literature, and up until fairly recently, for the kinds of grammar training that led to the mental dexterity considered so important in any higher education study stream. Latin has been studied for centuries, with the prime objectives of learning how to read classical Latin texts, understanding the fundamentals of grammar and translation, and gaining insights into some important foreign influences Latin has had on the development of other European languages. The method used to teach it overwhelmingly bore those objectives in mind, and came to be known as the Classical Method. It is now more commonly known in Foreign Language Teaching circles as the Grammar Translation Method. It is hard to decide which is more surprising - the fact that this method has survived right up until today (alongside a host of more modern and more "enlightened" methods), or the fact that what was essentially a method developed for the study of "dead" languages involving little or no spoken communication or listening comprehension is still used for the study of languages that are very much alive and require competence not only in terms of reading, writing and structure, but also speaking, listening and interactive communication. How has such an archaic method, "remembered with distaste by thousands of school learners" (Richards and Rodgers, 1986:4) persevered? It is worth looking at the objectives, features and typical techniques commonly associated with the Grammar Translation Method, in order to both understand how it works and why it has shown such tenacity as an acceptable language teaching philosophy in many countries and institutions around the world. Objectives most teachers who employ the Grammar Translation Method to teach English would probably tell you that  the most fundamental reason for learning the language is give learners access to English literature, develop their minds "mentally" through foreign language learning, and to build in them the kinds of grammar, reading, vocabulary and  translation skills necessary to pass any one of a variety of mandatory written tests required at High School or Tertiary level. Some teachers, who use the method might also tell you that it is the most effective way to prepare students for "global communication" by beginning with the key skills of reading and grammar. Others may even say it is the "least stressful" for students because almost all the teaching occurs in L1 and students are rarely called upon to speak the language in any communicative fashion. More conservative teachers from more conservative countries are even likely to be put out by anyone merely questioning the method, and a typical response could be "because that's the way it's always been done - it's the way I learned and look; now I'm a professor". The point being, the method is institutionalized and considered fundamental. Such teachers are probably even unaware that the method has a name and can be compared alongside other methods. Key Features According to Prator and Celce-Murcia (1979:3), the key features of the Grammar Translation Method are as follows:  
(1) Classes are taught in the mother tongue, with little active use of the target language.
(2) Much vocabulary is taught in the form of lists of isolated words.
(3) Long elaborate explanations of the intricacies of grammar are given.
 (4) Grammar provides the rules for putting words together, and instruction often focuses on the form and inflection of words.
(5) Reading of difficult classical texts is begun early.
(6) Little attention is paid to the content of texts, which are treated as exercises in in grammatical analysis.
(7) Often the only drills are exercises in translating disconnected sentences from the target language into the mother tongue.
 (8) Little or no attention is given to pronunciation.
Typical Techniques Diane Larsen-Freeman, in her book Techniques and Principles in Language Teaching (1986:13) provides expanded descriptions of some common/typical techniques closely associated with the Grammar Translation Method. The listing here is in summary form only.
(1) Translation of a Literary Passage (Translating target language to native language)
(2) Reading Comprehension Questions (Finding information in a passage, making inferences and relating to personal experience)
(3) Antonyms/Synonyms (Finding antonyms and synonyms for words or sets of words).
(4) Cognates (Learning spelling/sound patterns that correspond between L1 and the target language)
(5) Deductive Application of Rule (Understanding grammar rules and their exceptions, then applying them to new examples)
(6) Fill-in-the-blanks (Filling in gaps in sentences with new words or items of a particular grammar type). (7) Memorization (Memorizing vocabulary lists, grammatical rules and grammatical paradigms)
(8) Use Words in Sentences (Students create sentences to illustrate they know the meaning and use of new words)

(9) Composition (Students write about a topic using the target language)

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Hard Skills and Soft Skills- Employability

Hard skills are part of the skill set that is required for a job. Employers typically require both soft skills and hard skills when considering applicants for a job.
Types of Hard Skills
Hard skills include the specific knowledge and abilities required for success in a job. Examples of hard skills include computer programming, web design, typing, nursing, finance, electrical, accounting, finance, writing, mathematics, legal and other quantifiable skills that are included in the requirements for a job.
These types of skills are learned and can be defined, evaluated and measured. They are most commonly used during the hiring and interview process to compare candidates for employment.  Hard skills are the qualifications required to work successfully at a job.
Conversely, soft skills are attributes and personality traits that affect interpersonal interactions and while different, are also as important as hard skills in the workforce. These include characteristics such as leadership, empathy, communication, etiquette and more skills that aren’t as quantifiable as hard skills.
Focus on Your Most Relevant Skills
When job searching, it’s important to include the skills the employer is seeking in your resume and job applications. The skills (both hard and soft) will be listed in the requirements section of job postings, and help wanted ads.
During the job application and interview process, employers look for applicants with two skill sets: hard skills and soft skills. Hard skills are teachable abilities or skill sets that are easy to quantify.
Examples of hard skills include:
  • Proficiency in a foreign language
  • A degree or certificate
  • Typing speed
  • Machine operation
  • Computer programming
These hard skills are often listed in your cover letter and on your resume, and are easy for an employer or recruiter to recognize.
Soft skills, on the other hand, are subjective skills that are much harder to quantify. Also known as "people skills" or "interpersonal skills," soft skills relate to the way you relate to and interact with other people.
Examples of soft skills include:
Skills Employers Look For
While certain hard skills are necessary for any position, employers are looking increasingly for job applicants with particular soft skills. This is because, while it is easy for an employer to train a new employee in a particular hard skill (such as how to use a certain computer program), it is much more difficult to train an employee in a soft skill (such as patience).
  Emphasize Both Hard and Soft Skills
During the job application process, you should therefore be sure to emphasize both your hard and soft skills. This way, even if you lack a particular hard skill required by the company, you can emphasize a particular soft skill that you know would be valuable in the position.
For example, if the job involves working on a number of group projects, be sure to emphasize your experience and skill as a team player and your ability to communicate with team members.
What skills are most important for companies that are hiring? There are some skills and qualities that employers require of all applicants for employment, regardless of the position they are hiring for.
These are called soft skills, and they include the interpersonal skills and attributes you need to succeed in the workplace.
In addition, there are the more tangible skills you need in order to do the job effectively.
Employees need to be able to figure things out, so you will need to have some analytic skills to succeed in the workplace. The skills you need and the level of skills required will vary depending on the job and the industry. In conjunction with being able to analyze, employees are expected to be able to organize, plan and prioritize effectively.
The ability to communicate effectively, both verbally and in writing, is essential, no matter what job you have or industry you work in. You will need to be able to communicate effectively with employees, managers, and customers in-person, online, in writing and/or on the phone.
Interpersonal skills, also known as people skills, are the skills you use to interact and engage with people. I just heard about someone who was hired because of his ability to connect with people. That trumped the other skills the employer was seeking, so be sure yours are up to par. Your interpersonal skills will be evaluated during your job interviews, so it's important to prepare for the interview so you are as comfortable and confident as possible when interviewing.
When companies hire for leadership roles they seek employees who can successfully interact with employees, colleagues, clients and others. Even if you're not applying for management jobs, leadership is a valuable skill to bring to the employer.
Positive Attitude
Attitude might not be everything, but it’s extremely valuable. Employers want employees who are positive, even in stressful and challenging circumstances. They want to hire applicants with a “can do” attitude, who are flexible, dedicated and who are willing to contribute extra, if necessary, to get the job done.
Regardless of the job, employers want to hire people who are team players who are cooperative and work well with others. They don’t want employees who are difficult to work with. When you are interviewing be sure to share examples of how you worked well on a team.
Showcase Your Skills
To be sure you are showing your top skills when you're job searching, make a list of the skills and qualities that best are best reflected in your background. Incorporate them into your resume and cover letters.
Also think of examples of how you have applied these skills to achieve success on the job, in the classroom or in volunteer work. Share the examples with your interviewers so they know exactly how much of asset you will be if you're hired.
Intellectual Development skills
General Intelligence is the ability to think about ideas, analyze situations, and solve problems. It is measured through various types of intelligence tests. Currently, through research, psychologists have identified several types of mental abilities that make up intelligence:
The following skills should be developed in addition to hard skills and soft skills.
·        Professional skills
·        Self-msanagement skills
·        Inter personal skills
·        Communication skills
·        Initiative skills
Doing the right thing without being told
You do it yourself
·        Mannerism
·        Motivation skills
·        Socialisation
Ability to work with others
·        Team work skills
·        Leadership