The activities of social interaction add a more clearly defined social context to the dimension of functional activities. Littlewood’s most significant features are: (1) Apprentices must pay greater attention to functional and social meanings that language conveys; (2) These activities more closely approximate the kind of communication that happens outside the classroom; (3) Learners should try to communicate in a way that is not merely functional, but fits the social conventions governing communication between friends or greater degree of formality; (4) Students usually do not need encouragement to communicate since they automatically engage their social role; (5) From their mother tongue, learners know that all speech is both functional containing social implications and must ultimately ensure social acceptability as the functional effectiveness; (6) There are many ways teachers can prepare students for communication in various social contexts in which they will have to act outside the classroom; (7) Within the activities of social interaction, classroom discussion is also presented as a social context. The classroom is itself a real social context where learners and teachers also enter real social situations. The most common activities within social interaction techniques are simulation and role play. In conclusion, the teacher should consider the following factors when choosing the type of activity for social interaction: The teacher should correlate the language requirements of an activity as closely as possible with the linguistic capabilities of the learners. Note that the structures and functions are not subject to specific situations. The teacher should ensure maximum efficiency and economy in student learning.The situations should be able to encourage learners to a high degree of communicative engagement. Students’ role play should have some margin of occurrence in real life.
1.1.3 Three Sets of Constructs
Differentiated Instruction (DI)
At its most basic level, DI means shaking up what goes on in the classroom so that students have multiple options for taking in information, making sense of ideas, and expressing what they learn. In other words, “a differentiated classroom provides different avenues to acquiring content, to processing or making sense of ideas, and to developing products so that each student can learn effectively” (Tomlinson, 2001, p.1). The author also lists what she considers are the main characteristics of differentiated instruction; among others, she mentions that DI is proactive, more qualitative than quantitative, rooted in assessment, learner centered, and provides multiple approaches to content, process, and product.
Ocak (2010) proposes learning stations as part of the numerous strategies employed by DI. These are understood as centers where students gain mandatory or voluntary skills; that is to say, the teacher organizes activities with specific contents so each task is developed by a group of students with similar needs, ages, learning styles, etc. It is by circulating around the learning stations that the teacher can act as a facilitator or coach who supports, clarifies doubts, and encourage students’ learning. Students are expected to work with greater autonomy and get time management skills so to enhance their learning opportunities while doing the tasks.
As presented, DI makes students learn more autonomously since its approach is student centered. If learning styles are also taken into account when designing learning stations or tasks, we understand DI as one of those tools that can be used to transform traditional pedagogical practices into more adequate practices demanded by the actual society.