Analytical (Field Independent)
Concrete (Field Dependent)
This person finds it relatively easy to detach an experienced (perceived) item from its given background
The item is extractable because it is perceived as having a rudimentary meaning on its own; thus it can be moved out of its presented surroundings and into a comprehensive category system---for understanding (and “filing” in memory)
Tendency to show traits of introversion (the person’s mental processing can be strongly activated by low-intensity stimulus; hence dislikes excessive input)
Tendency to be “reflective” and cautious in thinking task
Any creativity or unconventionality would derive from individual’s development of criteria on a rational basis
This person experiences item as fused with its context; what is interesting is the impression of the whole
Item is experienced and comprehended as part of an overall associational unity with concrete and personal interconnections; (item’s storage in, and retrieval from, memory is via these often affectively-charged associations)
Tendency to show traits of extraversion (person’s mental processing is activated by relatively higher-intensity stimulus; therefore likes rich, varied input
Tendency to be “impulsive” in thinking tasks; “plays hunches”
Any creativity or unconventionality would derive from individual’s imaginativeness or “lateral thinking”
Performs best on analytical language lasks (e.g. understanding and using correct syntactical structures; semantically ordered comprehension of words; phonetic articulation)
2. Favours material tending toward the abstract and impersonal; factual or analytical; useful; ideas
3. Has affinity for methods which are: focused; systematic; sequential; cumulative
4. Likely to set own learning goals and direct own learning; (but may well choose or prefer to use---for own purpose---an authoritative text or passive lecture situation.
5. “Left hemisphere strengths”
1. Performs best on tasks calling for intuitive “feel” for language (e.g. expression; richness of lexical connotation; discourse; rhythm and intonation)
2. Prefers material which has a human, social content; or which has fantasy or humour; personal; musical, artistic
3. Has affinity for methods in which various features are managed simultaneously; realistically; in significant context
4. Less likely to direct own learning; may function well in quasi-autonomy (e.g. “guided discovery”); (but may well express preference for a formal, teacher dominated learning arrangement, as a compensation for own perceived deficiency in ability to structure
5. “Right hemisphere strengths”
1. Greater tendency to experience self as a separate entity; with, also a great deal of internal differentiation and complexity
2. Personal identity and social role to a large extent self-defined
3. More tendency to be occupied with own thoughts and responses; relatively unaware of the subtle emotional content in interpersonal interactions
4. Relatively less need to be with people
5. Self-esteem not ultimately dependent upon the opinion of others
1. Tendency to experience and relate not as a completely differentiated “self but rather as---to a degree--- fused with group and with environment
2. Greater tendency to defer to social group for identity and role-definition
3. More other-oriented (e.g. looking at and scrutinizing other “faces; usually very aware of other” feelings in an interaction; sensitive to “cues”
4. Greater desire to be with people
5. Learning performance much improved if group or authority figure give praise
music or song can lead to a fruitful discussion. Some of the other aspects of music and songs are outlined below. Any one of these can be the basis of a class discussion.
Music has its own internal structure - melody, harmony, rhythm, theme development, instrumentation, dynamics, etc. These can be discussed purely in terms of internal meaning as students explore the structure of the music. Alternatively, students can imagine the music as architecture, painting or some other visible form and discuss their images.
Expression of Emotions
Music can effect us emotionally in many different ways. Four different ways that it might do so are given below. Students can discuss which emotions they feel and what makes them feel that way.
Imitation of the Human Voice
The meaning of an utterance is often indicated by the tone of voice as well as the words. Music can imitate these tones to produce anger, fear, happiness and other emotions.
Imitation of Human Movement
The weeping willow tree is considered to be sad because it resembles the stooped over figure of a person. In a similar way, a slow descending chromatic bass line can convey sadness. Funeral dirges are slow because they echo the slow procession of the people at a funeral. Marches move briskly to match the energy of soldiers going to war.
Some musical patterns and timbres are used to express particular emotions so often that we immediately associate them with that emotion. For example, minor keys often convey sadness. Similarly, trombones are often associated with solemn dignity and foreboding.
Some researchers believe that the energy of the song can transfer itself to our bodies through induction. For example, the anger or excitement of a punk song might be transferred through the raw harmonies and overwhelming volume.
Representation of External
This is a rich area for discussion. Music has often been regarded as having no external meaning. However, composers are effected greatly by surrounding culture. In addition, music can become associated with personal or media experiences. It can be interesting for students to try to discuss the external meanings which they associated with the song. Five types of external meanings are discussed below.
Music as a Reflection of Society
The current beliefs and conditions of society are always encoded in the music, either consciously or subconsciously by the composer. For example, during the Classical Period, concerts were usually given for small numbers of highly-educated aristocrats. During the Romantic Period, orchestration was increased because of the growing middle-class audiences and larger concert halls. More recently, particular areas have developed their own sound like Missisipi Blues or the LA sound which reflect certain aspects of the culture.
Association with Personal
Many people have a few pieces of music or a genre that they can associate with particular memories or people.
Association with Advertisements,
Producers often use music in movies and advertisements and the music often becomes linked to this product. For example, an old blues song became closely associated with Levi's jeans a few years ago.
Some music was written to accompany poems or paintings. For example, The Four Seasons by Vivaldi was written to a poem.
The cannon in the 1812 Overture is a pretty clear indicator of military activity. Other common effects are the sound of a train, bird songs, etc.
Many of the above meanings also apply to lyrics, but lyrics also have their own unique meanings.
This is a big area and an appropriate song can lead to a discussion in almost any topic. For example, the Beatles' song Nowhere Man can lead to a discussion on laziness, dreams or alienation. The large number of possible interpretations and the ambiguity in many lyrics makes possibilities for extended discussions.
Meanings of Song Vocabulary
Words may be used in new ways in songs. For example, Paul Simon sings about the 'Sound of Silence' . The Beatles sing about a 'Day Tripper' to refer to a short relationship. Cliches are often twisted or given a new meaning in songs such as Tom Petty's 'A Heart With A Mind Of Its Own'.
Rhyming scheme, rhythm, use of alliteration, onomatopoeia and imagery are all useful subjects for discussion.
Ambiguous People and Places in
Often, song lyrics refer to 'you' and 'I' without the listener knowing who they are. Similarly, the place and time are often unspecified. Eliciting student opinions about these ambiguous items can make an interesting discussion.
Songs as a Reflection of Culture
Even more than music, lyrics are a reflection of society and culture. For example, the lyrics of the 60's shows the changing values about sexual behaviour in society. Protest songs and street ballads describe society in a powerful manner.
Begin the lesson with some discussion questions that will help students focus in on the subject: Who are your favorite celebrities/entertainers? What do you like best about them? Do you like the way they look?
you could "be" any entertainer, who would you pick, and why?
Do you think celebrities always like the way they look and feel great about themselves?
Did you watch, see, or listen to any type of entertainment this week that made you feel bad about yourself? Anything that made you feel good about yourself?
Explain to students that you will be focusing on media-- namely, music-- that deals with issues of body image, self-esteem, and eating disorders. By looking at what certain artists have to say on the subject, we'll see that they're all related-and that everyone experiences these feelings, no matter how "successful" they are or "perfect" they seem on the outside.
one of the songs and ask students to just listen to it, taking note of how it
makes them feel. Pass out the song lyrics and play the song again, asking
students to follow along.
Discuss the song. General questions might include:
does the song title mean, and how does it relate to the song lyrics?
If you could come up with an alternate title for this song, what would it be? Why?
What is the songwriter trying to tell you? What do you think they were feeling when they wrote this song?
Do you agree or disagree with what they're saying? Why?
How did this song make you feel? Did you feel that it was expressing feelings that are similar to your own?
in the EFL Classroom
Songs, according to many scholars, are among the best ways of teaching a foreign language. The authors of Spectrum (Prentice-Hall Regents Publications) state that "Songs are an important aspect of culture, representing the history, folklore, and current idiom of a country.(...) Singing can build students’ confidence by allowing them to enjoy a degree of fluency in English before they have achieved it in speaking." Also,songs can be incorporated to all language skills ( listening, reading, writing and speaking).
Here are some techniques and procedures when using music in the EFL classroom:
This is possibly the way that most teachers use songs. Choose a song that has some connection with the structure or part of speech that you are teaching. Delete a few words from the lyric and hand the incomplete lyric to the students. For lower levels, you can include the deleted words in the bottom of the page ( of course, out of order) Hand out the incomplete lyric to the students and play the song a few times, depending on the level of the song. Students listen and complete the missing words. Then hand out the complete lyric (or write the missing words on the board). Give the students some time for correction and answer any vocabulary questions. Then play the song again , asking the students to join in and sing (they might not be aware of that, but by doing so they are actually practicing pronunciation and stress)!!
As a follow-up, you can prepare a sheet pointing out a grammatical point that you might want the students to learn at that point, and have a structural or communicative activity after that. Some great songs that can be used for specific grammatical purposes:
Eric Clapton’s Wonderful Tonight (simple present tense)
The Beatles’ Hello,Goodbye (beginning levels), I’m So Tired ( so/such plus result clauses) and Penny Lane( use of the)
Tom Jobim’s How Insensitive (use of must as a logical conclusion)
Supertramp’s Logical Song ( adverbs vs. adjectives)
Queen’s Lazing On a Sunday Afternoon(days of the week, prepositions)
2. Topic Introduction
Many topics exist in an advanced/intermediate classes, and songs are great for some topics, such as love, jealousy, friendship, money, and many others. You can give the song in cloze form or simply the whole thing just for introduction. Again, you can have a communicative activity as a follow-up to the topic, such as a role-playing activity.
Some suggestions are:
Simon and Garfunkel’s Bridge Over Troubled Waters and Queen’s Friends Will Be Friends (Topic: Friendship)
John Lennon’s Jealous Guy (topic: Jealousy)
Pink Floyd’s Money (economy/business)
Eric Clapton’s Nobody Loves You (When You’re down and Out)
Bonnie Raitt’s Thing Called Love (love)
3. Singalong Videos
Singalong videos are great because they have the lyrics on screen and students have fun watching the visuals while they sing. They are also easily available. My personal favorites are The Beatles Singalong Video and Singalong With Disney
Relaxing is great for opening a class, as long as if it’s not early in the morning, which might put the students to sleep. Play a slow song (classical, if you wish) and have students close their eyes. Guide them through and imaginary "trip" such as to an island, or through the mountains. This kind of activity is great for stressed adults that have come home from work and feel uncomfortable for being in class. You’ll be surprised by the results.
5. BGM (Background Music)
I personally enjoy having music in the background while I teach. Just select a calm tape (or cd) and let it play, in low volume, during the whole class. It works by relaxing the students and making them feel a little more comfortable in class, making the atmosphere a bit more informal
© 2003 by Brian Cullen
3.- TEACHING ENGLISH TO A BLIND CHILD – PART 3
Today we are publishing the third part of the paper that our dear SHARER and friend Cristina Araujo excerpted from her presentation at the Ninth National Congress of Teachers and Students of English last July.
If you missed parts one or two , you can always find it in issues 112 and 113 in the SHARE Archives of our Website: www.ShareEducation.com.ar
Next week we will publish the last part of this paper with classroom activities.
The design of materials to be used in an EFL class towards the dual integration of blind and sighted children necessitates a clear shift from the traditional methods that consider vision as the most important sense for general development and education and therefore are loaded with visual components to methods that can offer a wider variety of stimuli.
The present study reveals that all the informants shared virtually the same opinions about learning in general, and learning a Foreign Language in particular. On one hand they all agree that blindness is nothing more or less than what it is, i.e. the physical inability to see. It is their only handicap and has nothing to do with their mental capabilities (The Family, 2002:1), but on the other hand teachers insisted that the loss of a single sense did not make the remaining senses more acute; this simply means that special work has to be done to develop them. It is at this point that Suggestopedia, TPR and the theory of Multiple Intelligences may offer teachers suitable methodological options.
Suggestopedia could seem to trigger the deeper sources of the human brain with its use of the human voice plus the musical stimulus. The power of music in the English classroom lies in the fact that not only does it relax and stimulate the listener simultaneously, but it also educates the learner in listening skills and the refined architecture of sound. It enhances memory and associations; by providing students with holistic information, it gives the student a frame of mind for learning by developing the auditory channels equalizing the functioning of both sides of the brain (Danesi, 1988:19, Robertson, 1996). Besides, as Lozanov himself states in his assumptions, Suggestopedia also advocates the privilege of doing away with the barriers that hinder learning by creating special conditions that involve the person as a whole. Probably, in the view of some teachers, the length of the dialogues read aloud with exaggerated rhythm and intonation could be more confusing than motivating; others, for purely logistic reasons, might think that the provision of comfortable armchairs, together with the appropriate lighting and relaxing atmosphere, would probably be beyond the means of most educational establishments. Some others might find classical music disrupting and even annoying; and Heads of Institutes might argue that they need highly trained teachers. But while all these arguments are probably valid, they are not enough to ignore the benefits that Suggestopedia might offer in the areas of learning and memory, which is what matters in this circumstance where oral input is essential.
At the time of evaluating TPR, I would consider having it in my toolbox to be used when necessary, independently from the method or approach followed. To support this assumption, I think that it is valid to say that a lot of classroom warmers and games are actually based, consciously or unconsciously, on TPR principles. Bearing in mind that a method is an overall plan for the orderly presentation of language material, where no part of it contradicts another, that an approach is a set of correlative assumptions dealing with the nature of language teaching and learning, and that a technique is implementational and that it takes place in the classroom (Richards and Rodgers, 1986: 14-19), in a continuum from rigid to flexible, I would place a method at the rigid end, an approach in the middle and a technique or tool at the flexible end. This flexible end is the place where I would put TPR associated with Gardner’s Theory of multiple Intelligences.
The use of the spatial and bodily/kinaesthetic intelligences combined with TPR activities would be the perfect tool to introduce concepts and vocabulary as well as to develop mobility and the sense of touch. As indicated above a congenitally blind child has no memory of visual images. This raises the question of how to convey meaning at moments when even translation is of no use (see Projected applications: Video session /commentaries / what does a brain look like?). Teachers of fully sighted pupils may find it difficult to ensure comprehension even with their full repertoire of visual clues, such as flash cards, mime, gestures, facial expression and the use of walls and ceilings to display symbols and reminders; teachers of blind or visually impaired pupils suffer the limitations of such substitutes for the visual paraphernalia, and here the option is: do to learn, “the performance is the learning process” and humans are probably biologically wired up to acquire language through responding physically to language, and then internalising it (Cain, 2001: 37-38). A shelf with 3D models of everyday items, including dolls (leaving aside the misconception that dolls are only for girls) would be of great help. 3D models foster multiple kinds of hands-on activities which help to convey meaning while developing the sense of touch. If we are sure that there are no cords, desks or chairs out of place and that doors are not ajar but kept fully opened or closed, blind students can move around the classroom without problems. This would also help to increase their independence and confidence without forgetting that the sighted students in the classroom can always help by interpreting visual clues. Teachers and peers should not be afraid of using words such as “see”, “look” or “watch out”; these are expressions used by blind people although they seem to have a biological origin they have a mere etymological sense and blind students know the meaning of these words.
To conclude, I would like to refer briefly to the Braille issue since this system is the only way that a visually impaired person has to be able to read and write. A blind student would come to the classroom carrying his/her bulgy brailled books and folder and his/her noisy Braille typing machine. If either the teacher or the rest of the students do not know what Braille is and how it works, it may become a distractor during the class. This is the reason why I dare suggest that teachers as well as students should become acquainted with Braille while it is not necessary to be able to read it with the fingertips, not even to know the alphabet by heart, since sighted people can just decode the dots. If the teacher cannot read Braille, however, s/he will not be able to correct or even mark any kind of written tasks or tests, and we, teachers, know too well that this is not just inevitable but also crucial to every learner’s overall development.
Many pragmatists, however, would endorse no particular pedagogical or ideological position on these eclectic ways of teaching. Nevertheless, the obverse of the coin reveals that there are some aspects of Suggestopedia and Total Physical Response, supported by Gardner’s Multiple Intelligences theory that might become effective tools to be used successfully in a classroom to help Facundo and other blind children learn English better in a friendlier atmosphere. They offer flexibility and a wide range of activities that in the hands of skillful teachers can become powerful devices at all levels of instruction, moving from simple understanding to other more complex skills by changing and shaping students’ motivation and anxiety.
The present study has revealed that the difficulties that arise when having a blind child in the classroom can be tackled by:
§ creating appropriate learning conditions and environments;
§ developing autonomy, not dependence, by allowing some risk-taking behaviour; if we want our students to be cognitively active participants in the learning process, they need to encounter challenges and take risks;
§ teaching how to develop personalized learning strategies;
§ adopting tasks that provide exposure to meaningful language by increasing communicative and cognitive input;
§ enhancing features of the language by using clear and precise language at the time of providing a rationale and directions;
§ rewarding innovation and creativity;
§ introducing Braille.
Reading the preceding list but the last line, any teacher would think: “This is what should be done in any class”, and this is exactly my purpose: to make teaching practitioners understand that having a blind student in the classroom may be difficult but not impossible. The role of the teacher in all of this is a challenging one; but once we are able to overcome the feeling of loneliness, of “aloneness” that invades us, we realize that our blind student will require a little more of our attention, but our determination and commitment will be highly rewarded with the results. At this point, and as a teacher trainer myself, I wonder why the chance of having to teach English to people with special needs is never discussed in the course of our teacher education programmes. I also wonder if this merely depends on those educational programmes or if it goes further into our idiosyncrasy. The questions here would be: Do we really care for those who are different? However, this is subject for another study.
To conclude, and as it was stated at the beginning of this paper, the purpose of this study was mainly to outline course designs and classroom materials for the case at hand. The issue here should not simply be the variety of the materials to be produced but its synchronization with real needs. Based on the interviews conducted so far and the literature reviewed in the course of this study, I would suggest activities that cater for specific intelligence types by incorporating TPR and Suggestopedia
As a final remark I would dare say to my colleagues and myself: Do not hesitate to ask the student what s/he needs or what should be changed. S/he is the expert about his/her peculiar needs and do never forget Helen Keller’s words: “It is not blindness but the attitude of the seeing to the blind that is the hardest burden to bear” It is up to us to make it lighter to the point that it will no longer be perceived at all.
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Brancroft, W. J. (1983). The Lozanov method and its American adaptations. In Oller, J. and Richard-Amato, (Eds.), Methods that work: A smorgasbord of ideas for language teachers. Rowley, MA: Newbury House Publishers, Inc.; 105-106.
Cain, R. (2000). Total Physical Response. English Teaching Professional, 14, 37–39.
Campbell, B. (1989). Multiple Intelligences. Retrieved July 23, 2002, from http://www.newhorizons.org
Cantiello, M. S. C. de, and Fabricant, H. S. de (1987). Natural Communication Methodology, An update Guide to the Teaching of English as a Foreign and Second Language. Buenos Aires, Argentina: Ediciones Braga; 15-72.
Danesi, M. (1988). Neurological bimodality and theories of language teaching. Padova, Italy: Liviana Editrice; 13-31.
Earl, G. (2002). Accelerative Learning: Using the virtual limitless capacity of the mind in the virtual classroom. (n.d.) Retrieved June 25, 2002 from National University – Los Angeles: School of Management and Technology http://www.hispano.edu.mx/cenlex/ accelerativelearning.htm
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Gardner, H. (1983). Frames of Mind. The Theory of Multiple Intelligences. New York, NY: Basic Books.
Glisan, E. (1993). Total Physical Response: A Technique for Teaching All Skills in Spanish. Boston, MA: Heinle and Heinle Publishers.
Gray, C. (1996). Coping with the National Curriculum in Modern Foreign Languages: An equal opportunities issue? The British Journal of Visual impairment. 15 (1), 1-9.
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Omaggio, A. C. (1979). Pictures and Second Language Comprehension: Do They Help? Foreign Language Annals 12; 107-117.
Richards, J. and Rodgers, T. (1986). Approaches on Methods in Language Teaching. A description and analysis. Cambridge, UK: C.U.P.
Robertson, P. (1996). Music, the brain and String Quartets. BBC Music Magazine, Summer. 1-6
Rodgers, T. (2002). Language Teaching Methodology. (n.d.) Retrieved June 27, 2002 from the University of Hawaii: http://www.cal.org/ericell/digest/rodgers.html
Stevick, E. W. (1983) Interpreting and Adapting Lozanov´s Philosophy. In Oller, J. and Richard-Amato, (Eds.), Methods that work: A smorgasbord of ideas for language teachers. Rowley, MA: Newbury House Publishers, Inc.; 115- 145.
Stevick, E.W. (1998) Working with teaching Methods: What’s at Stake?, (pp. 142 –162). Pacific Grove, CA: Heinle & Heinle Publishers.
The Family, Teaching English at the blind Association in Karat. (n.d.) Retrieved June 7, 2002, from http://www.thaifamily.html
Two-Way Immersion Education. (n.d.) Retrieved October 22, 2002 from http://www.ed.gov/pubs/ToolsforSchools/2way.html
© 2003 by Lic. Cristina Araujo
4.- THE BIRTH AND DEVELOPMENT OF “EURO-ENGLISH”
Our dear SHARER Ann Lippincott has sent us this “tongue in cheek” contribution. Omar had the chance to meet Ann at the Binational Centre in Córdoba quite a few years back and has since been one of Ann´s number one fans. We were both very happy to receive her contribution and her warm note.
Omar and Marina
Here is something that a colleague at UCSB recently sent to that I thought might be fun to include in a future issue of SHARE. Know that I very much enjoy SHARE and do, in fact, share selected articles with my colleagues in California.