According to Singleton (1989) “the age factor has been a constantly recurring theme in the great expansion of language studies of the last few decades”. Thus, researches into second language acquisition have carried out during the last fifty years in order to get a clear conclusion. Onthe one hand, there is a theory that explains that taking up languages when being older is much difficult and the level of acquired proficiency is lower than younger learners. Examples of this theory are the studies conducted by many researchers, (Penfield & Roberts, 1959; Yamada et al, 1980; Lenneberg, 1967) which have concluded that being younger is the recommended age to learn a foreign language. Onthe other hand, there are stated opinions based on forward experiments which conclude that being older has more advantages to the second language acquisition (Asher & Price, 1967; Politzer & Weiss, 1969; Smith & Braine, 1973). However, these studies have not forward analyzed whether there are other factors that influence second language learners despite the age. As suggested by Bialystok (1997) there must be psychological factors involved to promote learning. To support this statement Carmen Muñoz (2001) added that there must be other factors such gender, the first language influence, the social class or the exposure of the language which lead thelearning.
Graph 16 shows that students feel inhibited when speaking in front of the rest since the 18,75 percent of the students indicate that they totally agree, 23,29 of them agree, 21,02 percent partially agree, and 36,93 percent of them disagree. These results reveal that the majority of students feel inhibited when speaking in front of the rest. It is seen that teachers do not promote an environment of trust and mutual help causing in the students fear to be embarrassed in front of their mates. Miller and Cunningham (2009) state that to best deal with student fears of peer judgment the roll of the teachers is valuable since they have to offer students an atmosphere wherethey are more likely to feel safe to actively participate in class. Onthe other hand, the authors say that a light environment promotes a sense of personal connection between students and teachers through group and pair activities that help learners to get more familiar.
that is 41% agree, 24 students, that is 14% partially agree and 4 students, that is 2% disagree. 84% of students consider that they are able to practice listening and speaking, as well as reading and writing, which shows that large class size is not an impediment for students to be able to practice the above areas. This agrees with the findings of Blatchford (2003) and Woodward (2001). They state that in classrooms with a large number of students, they can be organized into collaborative groups and pairs to complete activities. This kind of grouping is vital if the necessary interaction to practice listening and speaking skills is going to take place. Onthe other hand, the results of the current study do not support the observations made by Gilstrap, S. C. (2003), who states that large classes only received teacher-centered instruction, which would greatly limit the amount of time spent on practicing speaking skills.
Finally, once the class is set and the students understand what is required; learners need to receive feedback of their performance – it can take several forms -. Feedback is one of the most important roles in teaching, through it teachers can evaluate the level of success or progress the learner has developed so far; . Gower, Philip and Walters (2005, p.163) states “Everyone thrives on genuine praise and encouragement. When giving feedback … always be onthe lookout for positive points to comment upon.” There are different ways of giving feedback: praising or encouraging; correcting; setting regular tests; talk about how the groups are performing; or individually how the learners are doing. One of the best ways to be fair and centered at the moment of providing feedback is the use of criterion - referenced feedback, telling students how they are progressing in learning specific types of knowledge and skills, this is better than giving them a score reflecting numbers of correct answers.
The Oracle Education Foundation is an organization that develops ‘ThinkQuest’, an online learning platform that helps students develop skills for the 21 st Century like communication, critical thinking, and technology skills. With this resource, students solve real-life problems. Moreover, this organization gives access to its library: http://library.thinkquest.org/J001156/writing process/writingprocess.htm. In this library, students are again provided with the steps they need to take in order to complete a quality piece of writing. In this case, the steps offered are the following: (1) Brainstorming, (2) Story Starters, (3) Graphic Organizers, (4) First Draft, (5) Revising, (6) Editing, and (7) Final Copy. By clicking on each step, students have access to detailed information on every step. Furthermore, if students click on ‘Brainstorming’ and then on ‘Writing’, they will be able to read about the different areas related to ‘writing’. At this state, by clicking on ‘History of Writing’, students will find the answer to Activity 3.2. “What civilizations were the first to use writing?”
An observation during an hour class was applied to 4 th class following educational patterns; the objective of this was to determine the methodology applied by the teacher observed and if that methodology was related with theinfluence that the mother tongue has in the target. The observation was divided into some section to have a clear idea about the class methodology; the first section was focused onthe context and the goal of the teacher´s lesson plan. The second section was the techniques and methods the teacher applied to engage the class, the next part was related to the preparation and instruction that show if teacher dominates the topic in class and the classroom environment with the students, and the last part included the student assessment that is how the work of students is assessed by teachers. The sections had in total 20 aspects to examine. The following categories: always, some, and none were considered to evaluate the 20 aspects of the observation that was applied in 4 th class. (See appendix A)
Traditionally, classroom instruction in EFL context has been developed by using methods based on grammatical approach. Teachers assumed that after learning some grammar rules, students would be able to speak. However, some research on lexis has demonstrated that vocabulary is more fundamental than grammar in oral production. (Lewis 1993, Moudraia 2001, Lee 2004) Lewis (1993) argues that lexis is the base of language learning and that mastering grammar is not a requirement for effective communication. Furthermore, Sakale and Seffar (2012) carried out a study in which they pinpointed the significant role of lexis in oral production. They found that the lack of vocabulary competence tremendously affects students’ oral interaction. Then, they suggested training students in the
An interesting study was conducted by Blackmore, Betaman, Cloonan, Dixon, Loughlin, Mara, and Senior (2010), whose main purpose was to research about the extent to which innovative learning environments contribute to improve cognitive, affective, and social learning outcomes for students. As conclusion the authors said that improving students’ learning is possible by changing the habits of the minds and hearts of teachers to focus on student learning. This means focusing onthe purpose and rationale for change, the social practices of teaching and leading, relationships with colleagues, and organizational structures and cultures that support collaborative inquiry. At the same time, there are ranges of external factors which impact on an individual school’s capacity to improve student learning, the neighborhood environment, the policy environment, and the built environment. The limitations were the time that has elapsed in each of these environments constrains any substantial or enduring predictors of cognitive, affective and social learning outcomes for students. The very short period of data collection for this study exacerbates this situation.
There are many researchers and debaters about class size reductions who are skeptic when demonstrating the evidence for efficiency and educational improvement standards. Blatchford (2003) supports the idea that there is trouble when the number of students goes over 30. One of the best things in education is to have smaller classes which allow for a better quality of teaching and learning. Furthermore, (Jerner & Loomis, 2007, p. 1, 2, 3) assert “ Smaller class sizes enable teachers to spend the t ime and energy needed to help each child succeed and enhance safety and discipline in the classroom”. Although research tends to support the belief that small classes give optimal effects, not all studies onthe subject reflect this affirmation; working in small-class- settings is not necessarily a synonym for increasing learning.
The authors above also pointed out that there are different and stimulating techniques to learn English. First, there are interesting tools for teaching English, such as jigsaw tasks, information gaps and solving tasks. Second, information-gap tasks show that students find out information missing from other students. Third, problem solving tasks where the students have to obtain information to solve a problem. Next, decision-making activities help students to get multiple results of information to solve a problem. And the last task, opinion exchange focus on students guide mutual expressions of opinions without worrying to reach a term.
Gower, Phillips, and Walters (2005) state that short instructions are entirely appropriate to this situation where the students accept their authority. Also, they usually realize that a firm directive manner is necessary in order to make a good language practice and to avoid confusion and uncertainty. Sometimes students need a little time before they get going while others get on with the task immediately. By providing ongoing feedback you can help your students evaluate their achievement and progress. Feedback can take a number of forms: giving praise and
CBLI is the last approach regarded before dealing with other topic. It focuses on providing content information through the target language and using academic subjects to acquire the foreign language (Chamot, Barnhardt, El-Dinary, and Robbins, 1999; Richards et al., 2001). CBLI has many advantages in a foreign language class but two are especially relevant. The students are able to improve their language competence into specific areas of their interest and the four language skills (speaking, writing, reading, and listening) are naturally joined (Brinton, 1989; Chamot et al., 1999).
Some authors (Navarro, 2001; Fortanet, 2002; Crystal, 1997) suggest acting against this international scene of predominance of a language and consequent discrimination of others because otherwise they consider to be accepting a secondary position in the world’s science. Similarly, Fortanet (2002:20) is against consulting only Anglo-American bibliography and advocates checking first national bibliography and then European or from any other country in the world. Crystal (1997:12-13) also underlines the fears for the danger of a possible disappearance of minority languages as a consequence of a presence of a global language that could make people lazy about learning other languages, since the existence of a global language would make all other unnecessary. Actually, the process of dominance and loss of languages has been known to take place throughout history, but for Crystal this occurs independently of the emergence of a global language (1997:17).
Before keep on indicating the results obtained in the survey, it is necessary to state that there are students that never raise their hand when a teacher asks them a question despite the fact that they know the right answer. This sometimes happens because some students are shy and are also afraid of being embarrassed if they make a mistake. This limits their participation in EFL classes and does not enable the teacher to give feedback when needed. As a result, the teacher cannot use questions as a means of identifying the strengths and weaknesses of the students who are shy and who do not like to participate in class very often.
This study provides a better understanding of the different influences students receive and appropriate when making decisions towards learning. Part of students’ understanding about what impulses them to study any discipline, or in this case learning a second language is their inner motivation, created by their will to learn. However, after a deeper dialogue with students, one may notice that their families’ conceptions about learning a second language become something crucial which does not make them be compelled to take any decision but still makes students take into consideration their families’ perceptions as part of their decision-making process to learn a language. This implies that, what families tell their daughters becomes something students will consider when deciding about their life projects, and here lies the essence of this research project: Finding the dimension and extent of the power of families’ conceptions gives us a better insight on how the construction of knowledge and identity takes place from the first stages of socialization to the latter, and how the family in this context still maintains its dominant role in the individual’s self constructions.
Another study was conducted by Nakabugo (2008). The goal was to identify emerging issues in teaching large classes in Uganda, the strategies that teachers have developed over time to combat this problem, and institutional responses to the challenges. It also explores the improvements that may result from participation in teacher research on their own classroom practices and reflection on it. Although, teachers have the ability to facilitate teaching and learning in large classes, they still need governmental policies and institutional support. Urgent support required include, but is not limited to the provision of basic infrastructure such as more classroom space, sufficient furniture and instructional materials. Increasing the number of teachers to allow at least two teachers per class, providing schools with the necessary resources and enabling teachers to develop the confidence and skills to improve thelearning environment in large classes seems to be paramount.
Onthe other hand, CL was applied to the fifteen OS-CL sessions. At the beginning of the course, permanent groups of four students (base groups) were formed. Because of CL, each member of a group had to be an expert on some basic concepts of the topic during each session. For this reason, the kind of homework which students were given depended onthe type of expert. There were four kinds of homework, one addressed to each expert. For each session, this homework was structured into three parts: the first described thelearning objectives and skills to be acquired with the homework; the second indicated the information to be studied, and the third part consisted in solving basic problems, developing a simple programme or answering some questions. Both the second and the third part were set estimated periods of time to be carried out. Homework had to be handed to the professor before the session concerned started and the real amount of time it took them to do it had to be indicated. Along each session, CL method was put into practice and all base groups tried to solve a problem which required the knowledge of the four experts (jigsaw). At the end of the session there was a global discussion about the difficulties encountered and the different ways to solve the problems.
T1: well I have been a teacher for two years…from 2014 to…nowadays I: can you please tell me or describe your first experiences as a teacher? T1: OK, OK my first experiences as a teacher, at the beginning it was difficult because you don’t have the experience or have the idea of what is teaching…I had been practicing in the B. A. you have to…when you have to…something to do… when you have to teach to earn money is different, you have an obligation, you have to think how to create your classes in order to continue…earn money you know…you have to pay attention to all those things…well, eh yes it was difficult because the level of English it was…it wasn’t high because I don’t know I was kind of I don’t know how to say…kind of shy yes and my pronunciation I think I thought it was not enough, it was awkward you know and the students I think that the students…in that moment I thought that the students had more level than me and that’s why is a real problem but when I gave my class… I taught my class the students were patient, they were participating with me and you know I felt good in that moment and then in the other day I start to create my lesson, to do my lesson plan very well you know with activities well formed and…in order to taught a…to teach in order to teach a good class…for my classes, games for example are good for me, I liked to use games in my classes because the students don’t get bored and they learn, yes and that was my experience uh uh…yes
Being able to learn is indispensable for an organization to succeed. Nevertheless, organizations can only maintain continuity through their employees’ commitment and, consequently, they can build an organizational memory and then transform information into problem solving and innovation into learning (M. Atak, 2009). Therefore, the relation between commitment and learning within the organization becomes relevant.There are some perspective differences in the relation between these variables that can be found in literature reviews. Onthe one hand, most researchers have proposed that learning orientation is an antecedent for organizational commitment. In this regard, Balay (2012) and Veisi (2010) explain, specifically, that thelearning orientation’s dimensions of team learning and shared systems are positive predictors of organizational commitment based on identification. Onthe other hand, a different research view proposes that organizational commitment is a positive predictor for learning orientation and also necessary for successful implementation of organizational learning initiatives (Massingham & Diment, 2009). In this sense, Senge (1990) points out that capturing real commitment among employees is indeed a challenge and of most importance to build a learning organization. Researchers in this field have provided evidence of both perspectives onthe relation between organizational commitment and learning orientation. Theinfluence of learning orientation on organizational commitment is empirically demonstrated in the research done by D’Amato & Herzfeldt (2008); Erdem & Ucar ( 2013) and Yafang (2014).
Nevertheless, there is no a consensus onthe definition of brand equity, since it will be a different conceptualization depending on whether it is regarded as a financial asset, conceptualized from the marketing standpoint, or even approached from the consumer’s viewpoint (Aaker, 1991; 1996). From the consumers’ viewpoint, brand equity arises from the differences in the perception of a product or brand, based on their previous knowledge and experiences with the brand or product (Keller, 1993; Aaker, 1996). In addition, in order for these differences to take place, consumers need to “be aware” or be conscious of the brand. In some situations, consumers will not develop a different response to the brand after being aware of it; and in these situations, the brand can be considered a generic brand or the product could be considered as a commodity (Aaker, 1991). Likewise, a positive response to the brand, highlights that consumers have positive associations linked to the brand; whereas a negative association or image would mean the opposite. These differences derive in consumers’ preferences, as well as in their perceptions and consumption behavior. Therefore, brand equity will be influenced by the subjective perceptions and preferences of consumers (Tuominen, 1999).