The aim of the following discourse is to make a critical reflection on a particular lesson taught by a teacher. More precisely, the present assignment is going to evaluate activities of a particular lesson and thereafter to describe and assess one particular episode from the entire lesson. The objective regarding accomplishing these above-mentioned activities is to relate the lesson activities with certain theoretical concepts of second language learning. The ultimate purpose of evaluating key phases of the lesson is to understand and denote the relevance and influence of the lesson activities on teaching. For accomplishing this motive, the present paper has chosen the video clip of Illustration of Personalised Learning that has been published by the ACARA (Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority).
The considered video clip is about a particular second language-teaching pattern pursued by a teacher who has classroom of 27 students among whom 18 students are learning the English language as an additional language (EAL/D). It has been understood from the video and as per the brief elaboration given by the teacher herself that the lesson shown in the video is part of a particular unit of work among the students where they are to create stories (australiancurriculum.edu.au, 2017). Moreover, from the video it has been understood that the teacher has integrated the lesson content from the strands of literacy, language as well as literature. However, prior to describe the sequences of the chosen lesson, it is required to mention that the distinct video has been chose as per the reason that personalised learning as designed by ACARA is relevant in addressing individual needs of language learning (Gibbons, 2006). It should be considered here that personalised learning of ACARA prioritizes the general capabilities of the teachers to design rigorous as well as applicable learning lesson and integrate it with the age-equivalent learning contents (Aimin, 2013). Most significantly, the considered video has been chosen because the teaching pattern pursued by the teacher is found to be persuasive and applicable.
After watching the selected video clip, it has been understood that the chief aim of the teacher is to support the students of EAL/D in acquiring oral as well as written proficiency in English language (australiancurriculum.edu.au, 2017). The video shows that through the particular lesson, which is “creating stories”, the teacher is teaching the EAL/D students to acquire the ability of structuring texts, giving punctuation, making right pronunciation and making use of correct grammar and vocabulary. The activities related to the particular lesson starts with a brief introduction given by the teacher about her profession and about the distinct lesson that she is going to display. Her brief is quickly followed by the course of engaging the students in the story-creating activity, which is further pursued by an EAL/D student’s act of successfully creating a short story (australiancurriculum.edu.au, 2017). Later, the video shows how the teacher is monitoring the students and teaching them to make correct use of grammar and encouraging them to write their stories. The video further includes an activity in which the teacher provides sheets to individual students and asks them to write the story each of them has created. The sequence of activities gradually ends up by the teacher’s elaboration about her teaching style and the significant components along with supportive teaching strategies those she integrated throughout the lesson for accomplishing her goal (australiancurriculum.edu.au, 2017).
In this context, it is significant to denote that among several activities, which have been shown in the video, the most significant one is identified to be the particular procedure applied by the teacher to encourage the students to create new stories. The distinct episode included an interesting way of encouraging and engaging students of EAL/D in the “creating stories” lesson. More precisely, in the particular activity the teacher arranges several instructions for creating stories within several hoops and instructs the students to accomplish the instructions by stepping into each of the hoops. The particular activity is found to be most exciting and persuasive as per the reason that the teacher applied her general capabilities in an interesting way through which the aim of attracting students and thereafter engaging them to tell stories has been understandably achieved. Most significantly, in the activity, the teacher inaugurates the activity by selecting a student who according to the teacher herself has had very poor idea and skills about English language (australiancurriculum.edu.au, 2017). Within the activity, the teacher is found to be supportive and encouraging towards the students. It should be considered here that one of the chief ability of second language teachers is to give focus on interactive comprehensions and less focus on the conscious grammatical guidelines. Henceforth, considering the particular activity of the video, it can be said that the teacher has successfully engaged herself in promoting maximum learning. Most importantly, the chosen section of video is significant for contemplating as per the reason that the teacher has fruitfully abided the necessary rule of providing communicative as well as comprehensible inputs to the learners.
In this context, it is essential to denote that the predominant concept of the second language acquisition way, says that it is essential to maintain the key driving factor that is language input, which every student needs to receive (Eckman et al., 2013). It is also considered that second language acquisition is a particular process that includes scientific disciplines of teaching (Benthin, 2015). Considering the selected video and the particular activity, it is understandable that the teacher has followed the basic concepts of the socio-cultural theory as well as the theoretical approach of Stephen Krashen regarding second language acquisition. According to the socio-cultural theory of second language acquisition, development of human cognitive as well as standard mental function is achievable by integrating the socio-cultural as well as the biological aspects (Mills, 2014).
The socio-cultural theory focuses on the fact that in the process of human cognitive development, there is a dominant role of the socio-cultural circumstances (Lantolf et al., 2015). In other words, the primary idea of socio-cultural theory denotes that the human minds function by participating in the cultural mediation, which is integrated into various social activities (Ellis, 2015). After watching and understanding the teaching style and components used by the teaching individual, it can be said that the teacher has successfully applied the theoretical percept of socio-cultural theory. It is because; the video indicates that the teacher gathers all the EAL/D students and engaging them into creating and telling stories and sharing them with each other. Therefore, understandably the teacher has prioritized the socio-cultural theoretical concept and used the key percept in teaching the students about second language acquisition. On the other hand, Stephen Krashen’s concept of second language acquisition says that the way of language acquisition does not need an extensive utilization of grammatical rules (Gass, 2013). Krashen’s theory further suggests that “comprehensible input” is the most essential ingredient for a successful acquisition of second language (Krashen, 2013).
The theoretical concept of Krashen regarding a proper language acquisition is dependent upon five chief hypotheses, which are acquisition-learning hypothesis, monitor hypothesis, natural order hypothesis, input hypothesis and affective filter hypothesis (Harmer, 2015). The activity pursued by the teacher in the selected video seems to the acquisition-learning, monitor and input hypotheses. It is because; the teacher is engaging her students in meaningful interaction and thereafter utilizing the function of monitoring to influence the acquisition process. According to Stephen Krashen’s theoretical hypothesis of monitoring, monitoring is the particular act that plan, edit as well as correct the primary functions of the acquisition system (Larson, 2014). Therefore, monitoring is an integral part of the second language acquisition system. Finally, it is to say that the input hypothesis is also evident in the video as per the reason that the students in the video are found to acquire “comprehensible input” of second language in form of creating and writing stories. The “input hypothesis” says that students of second language learning improve and successfully progress when they receive comprehensible inputs (Krashen, 2013).
Most significantly, it is to mention in this respect that the video has helped me to obtain a more coherent understanding about a prominent teaching process of second language acquisition. The video is a significant piece that has helped to understand the utilization of common activities in terms of comprehension, which can act as appropriate “comprehensive input” for the students. On the other hand, the video is significant as it has helped to realize the fact that monitoring is an essential responsibility for a teacher of second language. It has helped to enlighten the fact that as a teacher it would be essential in future to engage the students in social activities like sharing feelings or playing comprehensive games with each other for the purpose of second language acquisition. Furthermore, it has been also learnt that instead of the fact that grammar acquisition is essential for every student of second language acquisition though it is necessary first to bring the student in a comfort zone. Socio-cultural activities like sharing stories or playing comprehensive games together and complete support from the teachers are two significant aspects, which can make the students comfortable.
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