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Tuesday, 26. July 2016, 00:04

WELCOME! You have accessed the MediaWiki project of the Lehrstuhl für Englische Fachdidaktik (TEFL, administrator: Dr. Nancy Grimm [1]) at the University of Jena. This MediaWiki has been set up with the aim to publish our course projects and make them available for a larger audience. While you will find more information on wiki projects with regard to their implementation in the (EFL) classroom at [2], with this site we hope to accomplish the following:

The Journey Begins - Enjoy!
  • (1) to introduce pre-service teachers to wiki projects as a valuable teaching tool in the EFL classroom,
  • (2) to familiarize pre-service teachers with the technical and functional aspects of the software that wiki projects are based on as a pre-requisite for then forwarding this knowledge to students at school,
  • (3) to publish teaching sequences and suggestions as well as links that are structured and collected by pre-service teachers in their respective courses at Friedrich Schiller University in Jena.

With this threefold structure we hope to not only show how wiki projects may be used as teaching tools, but also to present interesting teaching suggestions for various topics relevant for today's EFL classroom (Please note: the individual projects vary greatly in scope and quality. Students were assessed for content, layout and command of language. However, as we chose a process-oriented approach for all of the projects, language mistakes have not been corrected in the online version of the projects. The below list contains projects of students (pre-service teachers) that have been created collaboratively so far:


Projects:

Wikis: An Integrative Approach to Implementing an International Medium in the EFL Classroom (FSU Jena, 2014)

  • Project Description: The implementation of Wikis in the EFL classroom becomes more and more prominent since the software system provides a basis for a wide scope of concepts. Potential modules for the concepts range from looking up information and guiding and instructing teaching processes, to editing and creating own entries. The first project Working with Media in Wiki: Advertising Agency is a combination of all the three options. The learners will receive and use information from Wikis, will be guided through the teaching sequences by the software, and will publish their own content within the framework of an own WikiWeb. The topic of this project is advertisement; this subject matter on the one hand allows a diversified use of media (visuals, movies, sounds, web-based applications, and the like) and on the other hand kicks off a critical examination with the media per se. The second project International Medium: When the Curtain Rises provides the framework for a stundent exchange. The learners will explore people and country, and write and perform a stage play together.
  • Attention:These Wiki projects are part of a paper for the first state examination called Wikis: An Integrative Approach to Implementing an International Medium in the EFL Classroom.

Syllabus, Materials & Task Design (FSU Jena, winter term 2013/14)

  • Project Description: Influenced by the Common European Framework of Reference (CEFR) and its pragmatic approach to acquiring foreign languages German curricula have undergone a considerable revamping – from largely grammatically organized curricula to notional-functional syllabi with a distinct focus on the foreign language learners’ communicative competence. It is not surprising then that the recent generation of textbooks, often deemed the classroom’s “secret syllabi,” mirror this change toward communicative functionality, i.e., through (semi-)authentic texts, tasks, and target-oriented projects. However, “while decked out in the trappings of target situation authenticity,” many textbooks and language learning materials “remain, at root, fundamentally language learning oriented, i.e., based on the view that the kind of authenticity most required for foreign language learning should relate first and foremost to the learner as a current interim acquirer rather than as a potential future user of the language” (Waters, Alan: “Advances in Materials Design.” In: Michael H. Long & Catherine J. Doughty (ed.). The Handbook of Language Teaching. Oxford, UK: Wiley-Blackwell, 2011, 315). In view of this, this project is an outcome of a course for pre-service teachers which focussed on (1) uncovering the politics of and strategies behind curriculum and textbook design, (2) discussing and defining essential features of language learning materials that suit the language learning requirements of foreign language learners, and (3) designing, presenting, and discussing language learning materials (with a special focus on technology enhanced materials). The results of our discussions and deliberations can be found in the sub-sites of this projects, each of which presenting language learning materials and lessons for beginners, intermediate, advanced, and vocational school students.

Mind the App! Using Digital Tools in the EFL Classroom (FSU Jena, summer term 2013)

  • Project Description: Within the context of the ongoing debate about the great potential, but also the risks and pitfalls of using digital media in school settings (Grimm 2012), this project aims at addressing the following predicament: "With the rapid development of the Internet, new technologies provide a wide range of opportunities for the EFL classroom. Weblogs, wikis, podcasts, and social networking sites are among the most significant Web 2.0 technologies that are currently being explored for teaching purposes. However, while some aficionados have made impressive use of these new tools, many teachers, often overwhelmed by the numerous possibilities and the rapid pace of change, find it hard to integrate them into their teaching [...]." (Grimm 2012: 229) On this site, we (pre-service teachers at the University of Jena) offer guidelines and ideas for teaching with digital media. The focus will be on "Educational Apps" (cf. Strasser 2012a & 2012b, Heckmann & Strasser 2012) - tools that have the great potential of facilitating student-centered, collaborative, and authentic learning scenarios, in which the medium does not become an obstacle, but rather a great asset.

Teaching Grammar & Vocabulary in the EFL Classroom (FSU Jena, winter term 2012/13)

  • Project Description: Within the context of the debate about "language learning" vs. "language acquisition", the role and methods of introducing grammar and vocabulary in EFL contexts has been hotly debated. Critics have argued that traditional methods of grammar and vocabulary teaching and practice still prevailing in many an EFL classroom are somehow archaic and inefficient with teachers focussing too much on the mere rote learning of grammatical rules and lists of vocabulary, thus neglecting the facilitation of communicative competencies. While this is one of the issues certainly worth debating, other foci of this project include discussing effective methods and ways of introducing grammar and vocabulary in the EFL classroom (with an emphasis on formats of grammar and vocabulary exercises, sequencing/progression, categorizing and marking errors and mistakes, using media applications) and evaluating textbooks with regard to their representation of grammar and vocabulary.

Literature in the EFL Classroom: Beginners, Intermediate & Advanced Learners (FSU Jena, summer term 2012)

  • Project Description: This project focuses on literature for all ages, ranging from younger learners to intermediate and advanced students. The literary texts discussed are from all genres (including poems, short stories, excerpts from novels, plays, songs, etc.). Against the background of the latest theoretical and methodological models for teaching literature, the respective sub-projects pay special attention to how these texts can be used in the EFL classroom to cater to present-day curricular demands.

Incorporating Media in the EFL Classroom (FSU Jena, summer term 2011)

  • Project Description: With the rapid development of the Internet in the digital age we live in, it is especially new media and its use in the EFL classroom which has been heralded as the breakthrough for 21st-century education. Blogging, wikis, podcasting, and social networking sites are among the most significant Web 2.0 technologies that are currently being explored for teaching purposes. However, with the enormous hype about new media and its application in the EFL classroom there is not only a tendency to diminish the dangers and limits post by Web 2.0 tools, but also to forget about the potential of so-called old media - both visual and audiovisual (textbooks, handouts, blackboard, OHP, pictures, MVCs, movies, etc.). Therefore, the contents and teaching sequences of this project explore both the chances offered and limits posed by both old and new media.

Cultural Studies in the EFL Classroom: Focus on Canada, the USA, Great Britain, India & New Zealand (FSU Jena, summer term 2009)

  • Project Description: What is "culture" and what kind of cultural knowledge do we need to teach in the EFL classroom? Teachers will find this question increasingly hard to answer as the traditional concept of teaching Landeskunde in the EFL classroom has been loosing ground since the 1980s. While Landeskunde was geared towards an accumulation of factual knowledge about the traditional target cultures in the EFL classroom, Great Britain and the USA, teachers are now required to apply a broader, more experiential, explorative, task-based, and learner-centered Cultural Studies-approach. Discussing the various challenges posed by this revised approach to teaching "culture" in the EFL classroom, the teaching suggestions published here focus on the following target cultures: Great Britain, the USA, Canada, New Zealand and India.

Cultural Studies in the EFL Classroom (FSU Jena, summer term 2008 )

  • Project Description: The concept of teaching Landeskunde in the EFL classroom has recently been replaced or rather adapted by a Cultural Studies-based approach which adds to the teaching of traditional topics such as the political system, history, governmental system, etc. a focus on the sub-layers (beliefs, attitudes, values, perceptions) of the culture(s) to be taught in the EFL classroom. A Cultural Ctudies-based approach also asks for a revised approach to teaching itself, moving from teacher-centered lessons to more student-oriented activities and projects. Against the background of the topics outlined for Sekundarstufe II in the curriculum (adolescence, people in society, politics and economy, environment, science & technology, culture and the mass media), the sub-projects offer carefully structured ideas for teaching the above topics along the lines of a cultural studies-based approach to introducing culture(s) to the EFL classroom on the basis of a variety of non-fictional and fictional texts and media.

Shakespeare Exchange (FSU Jena/Michigan State University, winter term 2005/06)

  • Project Description: This project is the collobarative outcome of a topic- and task-based telecommunication project with pre-service teachers at Michigan State University. The fascinating teaching sequences published here on a number of Shakespearan plays are informed by elaborate e-mail discussions among German and American students on how to approach and teach Shakespeare in motivating ways.

Glossary of Education-Related Terms: [3]

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