EN4: Reflection

Class reflection the 19th of January


In this lesson we talked a lot about the requirements for the module and all the formalities around it. For the lesson one of the chapters we had to read was chapter 7 called Listening: An Active Thinking Process in Pauline Gibbons, Scaffolding Language, Scaffolding Learning. I think listening is a very interesting feel and something that needs to be practise not only for the language skills, but also for the student’s attention in class. Listening exercise is a good way to practise the student’s attention and communicative skills.

Working in class today we used the grid from page 186 in Scaffolding Language, Scaffolding Learning, (as seen on the picture), to analyse a recording of a student’s English.  In this proses we debated the function of the grid and way it is important to be aware of. In my opinion we do have a tendency to use recordings from Radio, TV and presentations on YouTube which is a part of the D quadrant. The D quadrant might be the most difficult one of the quadrants to understand, because it often contains difficult language use and the students can’t make clarifying questions, because of the one way dialog.

I would like to incorporate some listening task in the more informal quadrant, because the students are going to use their English mostly in an informal setting, at least in the beginning of their intercultural endeavours. I don’t know how to find the materials for informal listening, but I would imagine that working with films I might find some informal interactions.

31st of January

Creative approaches to drama in the English classroom

My reflections on Drama in Chapter 5 in Literature in the English classroom by Anna Birketveit and Gweno Williams

Drama is a good way to create meaningful language use, were the focus might not be on the languages itself, but on collaborating using English as a medium. In the beginning of the chapter it focuses on the younger learners and how using picture books can be a good way to help the students create a play around the story. By using drama in the classroom it incorporates 3 of the 4 skills: speaking, listening and reading, and it can include writhing if students need to come up with their own play.

For the younger learners the chapter suggests using a picture book as a script for the play. It could be The Magic Paintbrush written by Julia Donaldson and illustrated by Joel Stewart or Mrs Armitage on Wheels written and illustrated by Quentin Blake, as the web page http://www.picturebookplays.co.uk/home/ recommends. By assigning the characters in the book to the kids and reading the story out loud, it can become a play, by reading it several times and stopping to discussideas costumes placement etc. A example of this can be found on  http://www.scottishbooktrust.com/.

Drama and theater have always been a part of my life and for me it has given me a safe space to find new sides of myself, therefore I would like to include it in my teaching. As I am going to work with the older students I would like to incorporate drama, but not based on picture books. In this chapter the suggestion for older students is working with Shakespeare’s plays. I disagree with this and think it is a very old fashion way of looking at English as a subject. The text states that:

The pre-eminence of Shakespeare in world theatre and in English-speaking culture means that it is particularly important for English learners to have some access to his plays, read as universal in their themes and concerns. Experience of Shakespeare’s plays offers shared cultural knowledge and understanding. – p. 124

The way that I would work with drama in a classroom with older students is by working with small scenarios and self-written text. I would leave Shakespeare on a dusty shelf, and try to work with the student’s cultural knowledge and empathy. When the students have to play an outcast or their mother they need to understand the person’s actions and not just do them. I think drama is a powerful way to work with othering and understanding, that other media does not give.

I do see the point in working with drama as a genre and we could do a play by an author, but the language and setting of Shakespeare’s plays even in a lot of new versions I don’t see as relevant for. I will work with set scrips but Shakespeare is not the target languages for my and the cultural knowledge that the chapter says is important they will get from somewhere else.

Class reflection 2nd of February

My Teacher profile and analysing the broad concept of text

This has been a fairly rare day for me. In today’s lesson I don’t think I have learned anything new, in terms of becoming an English teacher. We worked with analysing texts and films, but we did have the required skills to analyse a text for our STX or HF. We also had Kristine in to talk about how she works with films in her teaching and that was fine but I would have liked to go more in to depth with one of her teaching sequence, because it seemed a bit rusted.

The most important thing for me as an English teacher and a teacher in general was the realisation that I have a teacher profile. I realised how some of the excises my group came up with was just much more my style! So what is my teacher profile? You might be asking. I love creativity and that is a key word in the teacher I want to become. Creativity can be a lot of thinks but I like coming up with my own task and ideas and trying them out.  I also think it is important to let the students be creative and think creatively, so not just give the some cardboard and say they have to make a model of the house in the test, but also letting them find holds in my planning and bend the rules. An example of this could be “Wright a letter to Jane in the story” This can be interpret in many ways so if one of my student ask if they can wright as Mr. Darcy or wright to Jane 20 years after the story ends, I would allow that and love it. Of cause there are also many facets of my teacher profile I have figure out, and I hopefully  I and going to work with it all my working life.

Class reflection the 23nd of February

Poetry and pronunciation

In today’s lesson I stared out with having a presentation with Louise H. and Thomas B.T. about The Mode Continuum. I think the presentation when really well and that our fellow students understood The Mode Continuum form more-spoken-like language to more-written-like language.

After our presentation we turned our attention to children’s poetry and pronunciation. We had to read a children’s poem out loud and record our self. I worked whit Louise to see if we could fine any mistake in pronunciation, stress and other important arias of speaking English. I am already quit aware of my pronunciation problems and have been working with them for years. I have a difficult time with words inside my mouth like: brewery, plural, refrigerator and bureaucracy. The way I work with my pronunciation is that I have this target words and I just try to pronounce them correctly. I also use Oxfords Living Dictionary to hear the pronunciation correctly, and it can be a very good tool if a student wands to sound more British English.

For this lesson we also worked with children’s poetry and how to use it in the English classroom. The way I want to work with poetry in my classroom is working with teams, feelings and reading them on a personal level. I do not think that it is fitting to work with analysing the rhymes if they are A B A B or A A B B. For my analysing poems on that level is a task for Danish, because we have so little precious time in the English classroom and there are so many important arias that we need to work with. English is globalization in the Danish school system and we have so little time to prepare them for their cultural encounters.

8th of Match

Literature and films

My reflections on the interface between literature and film in Chapter 8 in Literature in the English classroom by Andrew Gordon

In this chapter we look at the differences between the book Dracula by Bram Stoker and the film adaptation Dracula from1992 by Francis Ford Coppola. There are selected scenes that are explained were the differences between the two media are clear to see, for instance the first person narrative or the different genres Dracula is written in that cannot be shown on film.  The chapter also takes a similar look at Khaled Hosseini’s The Kite Runner from 2003 and film from 2007, were some of the more graphic parts of the book has transformed in to parts were you have to read between the lines, so to speak.  There is also a run through of the film Billy Elliot from 2000 that was directed by Stephen Daldry and screenplay by Lee Hall. Billy Elliot was published as a novel in 2001 by Melvin Burgess and is therefore the reversed of Dracula.

During my reading of this chapter about the different between books and films it hit me that I didn’t learn anything new. I have read many books that were turned in to films and seen films that I later read, and that might be why I wasn’t surprised.

In terms of my teaching the likelihood that my students will be on a reading level that we can read Dracula, The Kite Runner or Billy Elliot is quiet unlikely. I might pick another book/film combination were we can watch the film in class and read paragraphs from the books to compare the two and see the differences. I do love Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling and it would be a joy to introduce some of my students to her writhing and this would be a good tool to do so.

Class reflection the 23nd of Match

Working with Graphic Novels or Novels for Teenage Readers

Graphic novels and comics are novels that uses at mixture of text and pictures. Working with Graphic novels in the English classroom is a gait way to work with visual information and sheathing the students reading strategies.

When working with graphic novels and comics it is important to know the specific terms for working with it. In Literature in the English Classroom by A. Birketveit and G. Williams, there is a table of basic graphic novel vocabulary.

Table 1: Outline of basic graphic novel vocabulary

Panel: The frame in which each image appears.

Gutter: The space between panels. It typically indicates a moment of transition.

Splash page: A full-page image.

Speech Bubbles: Text that indicates what characters are saying usually contained in a bubble-like shape. Also referred to as “word balloons”.

Thought Balloons: Text that indicates what characters are thinking, usually contained in a balloon-like shape.

Text box: A box that contains narration, not necessarily spoken by any character

Motion or radiation lines: Lines that indicate a character’s movement

Sound effects: An onomatopoeic representation of a sound, often presented as part of the artwork

O’Connor (2012)

I love working with graphic novels and comics, because of the visual input. I will work and explain a lot more about graphic novels and comics in my synopsis on the subject. In my synopsis I am going to be working with the series Scott Pilgrim and focus on the ganger.

Class reflection the 6th of April

A Cultural Studies Approach to Intercultural Encounters and Interculturality

In today’s lesson we talked about Culture Studies as we did in the 3nd module. It was realy nice to get a repetition of Critical Media Literacy, Othering, Critical intercultural communication and Intersectionality. I think I understand these terms and can use them in an exam setting. The aria were my knowledge is lacking is how to describe and use the terms national and trans-national view of culture and how it is not similar to a essentialist and non-essentialist view of culture or small culture and large culture.

The way I understand it is that

A national view of culture is focused on a single country and is based on landeskunde. In this view you can explain why a person does something by using culture, an example of this could be: She is from Denmark therefore she mush love pork.

In a transnational view of culture has a large focus on a global scale. When using this view you are looking at tenderness across countries borders and can use it to compare processes in arias of the world.

An essentialist view of culture is that a culture is basted in a physical place that you can go visit and it is a homogeneous population. We often talk about countries and that the physical border separates two completely different cultures.

The non-essentialist view of culture is a more complex view of culture, because in this view is a country a not a homogeneous country, like in the essentialist view. In this we look at culture as something that shapes the people and that people shapes, it is a social force and it is not bound by physical borders.

A large culture view of culture is used both fore national and international entities, but is form a national paradigm. What that means is a more landeskunde view but also in at international contest.

A small culture view of culture is used to analyses sub-cultures and is form a non-essentialist angel.

I am still very confused by this and not sore that this is correct. I hope to discuss this with my fellow students next class and if I still don’t get it I need to talk with Lone.

10th of April


My reflections on the noticing theory in chapter 5 in Fremmedsprogsdidaktik by Catherine Watson

This chapter is mostly a run through of language acquisition in this reflection I would like to focus on the noticing theory. In the chapter the theory is explained like this:

BEMÆRKE-HYPOTESEN. Sprogindlæringsteorien kaldet bemærke-hypotesen (Lightbown & Spada, 2013: 115) hævder, at elever er nødt til at registrere og være opmærksomme på det, de skal lære, før de vil være i stand til at lære det. Sproginput vil ikke føre til sprogtilegnelse, før eleven bliver opmærksom på det sprogtræk, der skal læres. – page 71.

I do understand the basic principal in this theory, but I do not agree with it. When learning your L1 you are not explicitly taught how to speak the language, but you learn it anyway. It is also true if you are learning your L2 while you are young. The noticing theory might be more relevant for older learners that need a more academic approach to once L2. This might be because older learners have a better meta linguistic awareness that young learners.

If I were to work with the young children in school I will rely on the students to use their intuition and learn English like they did their L1. With the older students I still believe that they get a lot of information form input, but I will also be more explicit in my teaching.

11th of April

Teaching materials

My reflections on teaching materials in chapter 8 in Fremmedsprogsdidaktik by Catherine Watson

In this chapter Watson introduces three types of teaching material didactic, semantic and functional.

A didactic teaching material is what you often think of as a teaching material. Didactic teaching materials are made for teaching purposes and often contain an entire teaching sequence. They are most likely made by some kind of publishing house and have a mix of text and excesses. Didactic teaching material can both be form a book or online platform. An example of this could be Clio Online, Forskerland, Gylendal  Funture City and Hour of code.

A semantic teaching material is a material that is not maid for teaching. This is often what teachers add to a didactic teaching material to fit it to their students. A semantic teaching material is materials like pictures, video clips, games and articles. We can often find semantic teaching material on YouTube, Wiki, e-books and filmcentralen.dk.

A functional teaching material is a tool that is used in teaching. The tools can both be digital  a physical. A digital functional teaching material can be Google doks, google slids, tagxedo.com, PowerPoint, MindMarster, and karhoot. A physical functional teaching material can be SmartBoard, Projekter, tables, pens and paper.

Class reflection the 20th of April

Universal values

In today’s lesson we had time to look at our practical element and student analysis with our fellow students. It is really nice to have time to talk about our products so that we can make them even better.

An interesting discussion we had in today’s lesson was about universal values. In a teaching sequence we had a look at was a list of universal values. The list of values was:

Altruism, authenticity, community, compassion, creativity, determination, fairness, honesty, generosity, kindness, optimism, respect, responsibility, self-respect, tolerance, and wisdom.

In this teaching sequence, which was made in America, they state that everyone has these values. I do believe that this is a simplification and sort of wrong if you see it from the perspective of a society. For example does self-respect not go well with the Danish concept Jentloven. Another and perhaps better example is fairness that might be interpreted in many different ways around the world. There are many countries that do not have tolerant laws.

The way I see how these values can be universal values is in the way that we meet people. I believe that all people like to be met with fairness, honesty, generosity and so on way. I think these values become universal when it is a value that all human beings like to be meat with and I do agree with the universal values listed above.