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Started by ddeubel in Websites / links / access to new resources / communities.. Last reply by Nadeem Nawaz Jul 16, 2019. 102 Replies

We are now in our 3rd edition of "Site of the Day"! Hundreds of the best sites for teaching/learning. See #1 and…Continue

Tags: collection, list, web 2.0, resources, websites

ABCs - Alphabet Resources or Ideas?

Started by NEWS NOW in Teaching and Methodology. Last reply by Amelia Meirizka Jun 20, 2019. 73 Replies

I guess the alphabet is our bread and butter.Got any good ideas for teaching it or using it…Continue

Tags: children, abc, kids, phonics, reading

Learning Designs

Started by Elise in Teaching and Methodology Mar 27, 2019. 0 Replies

I was wondering what you all thought of learning designs pertaining to English language teaching? What are the ways in which you design your lessons to achieve better learning in your students?Continue

A NEW way to teach PHRASAL VERBS so that your students understand and remember them

Started by Andromeda Jones in Teaching and Methodology Dec 31, 2018. 0 Replies

Phrasal verbs are a verb + preposition, adverb or particle. Teaching…Continue

Tags: prepositions, teach, verbs, phrasal


Student Created Content - "It's about LEARNING not TEACHING!"

I would like to share one of the ideas that most invigorates and informs me as a teacher. The idea of "Student Created Content" or SCC. I borrow the term from UGC or UCC, "user generated/created content" that is the motor of Web 2.0 and the internet.

What is SCC?

It is an approach that tries to simplify the teaching/learning process and equalize the power relationship that exists between teacher/learner (much like CLL - community language learning does with its focus on the teacher as a language "knower". ). It also is a way of instruction that completely focuses on the student's world/context. That all language learning must start from that focal point, no where else. The teacher models and then the students create the content and re-practice based on the teacher's modeling as an "expert".

I believe we focus too much on "teaching" without giving due attention to "learning". We need to turn things upside down and get out of our tired and worn delivery methods. SCC as an approach does that. Those interested might listen to this podcast - an excellent summary of the teaching/learning divide.

It is an approach. There is no "one way" but rather some basic tenants to be followed. These are:

1. The students create the content (worksheets, words, sentences, topics, dialogues that will be used for instructional purposes). It is a complete "Personal" approach to language instruction.

2. It is REAL. Not about anything artificial or from a textbook. It is about the lives and times of the student and teacher. The classroom situation is no longer treated as an artificial "studio" but rather as a meeting place for real events, for real talk about real things that interest the students.

3. The teacher is also a learner and does what the students do. In this fashion, the teacher is not all knowing but a participant. In this "low level" way, the power barrier that exists is diminished and better learning occurs and better modeling of the language.

4. It is an inductive approach. It is a wholistic approach. The students are first engaged and prior knowledge elicited on the topic. Only then, are the students asked to create the content and practice the language first modeled and encountered holistically and in context.

5. It is simple in design. There is not a lot of planning for the teacher. The focus is on instruction, the art of "how" and not "what". Teachers using an SCC approach don't have to spend time planning, making materials, preparing. Their energy and reflection goes into developing their teaching skills as they happen, during instruction. The students create the text and textbook.

I now have 60 strong lessons I'll be sharing in the near future in an ebook where I'll also expand my thoughts on the SCC approach. Get some of them HERE and start mucking about with your students. But let's look at one example. 

Life is Wonderful travel postcard

The lesson delivery is always the same.

1. The teacher uses a photo/picture to elicit student response. Student prior knowledge is primed as they try to communicate with the teacher. The students talk about "the teacher's world/life". In the example below - Travel Talk, the students ask the teacher about his/her last vacation. It is always about "reality".

2. The students are asked to create the content. This can be in the form of words, questions, brainstorming, drawing etc..... In this example, they choose items of a dream vacation. The materials are created simply so that the student can easily add the content based on their life experience and knowledge.

3. Using this content the students in small groups or pairs, practice with it. The teacher sets up the target language but from the nature and simplicity of the materials, this is usually self evident. In this example, the students ask about each others dream vacation using the question prompts. The teacher monitors and even participates with students.

4. A student or students become the teacher. Step 1 / activity 1 is repeated but this time a student is the teacher. In this example, a student is asked about their last vacation just like the teacher was to begin the lesson. The teacher is off the stage and to the side as the language is reviewed and used purposefully.

Downloads: 276

Comment by Ellen Pham on April 28, 2010 at 4:24am
IMO, there is no stronger teaching methodology than #3 The teacher is also a learner and does what the students do, except perhaps for #1 The students create the content.

I'm not sure about there not being a lot of planning for the teacher, though- I've never experienced that, but that might be my personality, if you know what I mean ; ) Actually, it just takes a lot of time to teach. The room, the projects, the reflection, the individual responses, the organization!... a lot of time.

I think this is as much an approach to teaching as a new method? I've just found these principles in many "programs" or methods, such as project-based learning, writer's workshop, constructivist approach, probably many more?

I think it's a wonderful and badly needed way to approach teaching EFL or any foreign language. In fact, I think it's the only way a MAJORITY of people are going to be able to learn a second language! Many of us can't learn to speak and understand another language from a textbook, we just can't : ( .
Comment by Ellen Pham on April 28, 2010 at 4:55am
Forgot to add- that does sound like an excellent, useful project! 60, you say? I can't wait!

Comment by Ruth Ferris on May 1, 2010 at 1:06pm
Your title "It's about Learning not Teaching" really caught me, as I pondered my own teaching. As I ponder this thought and plan for next week, I realize it is altering my approach. How I present things. As I have been pondering your article the last few days, I heard another educator say: "It's ok to be the guide on the side and not the sage on the stage". Thank you for such a thought provoking article.

Comment by ddeubel on May 2, 2010 at 1:31am

You're welcome! I think we all need constant reminding. Why?

Well, I think it is so so so easy and we continually do it, to fall back into the model instilled and programmed into us by our own "school" experience. We sat through 1,000s of hours of school and have within us , a "model teacher". We keep drifting towards this model, a model based on how we were taught. So we need to keep being woke up - that it is about them, not our own power or place in class.... I need waking up too and probably why I wrote this LOL!

A Crazy Yesterday.doc
Comment by Ellen Pham on May 2, 2010 at 2:27am
It's like we are training our imaginations to imagine differently... Thank god it's easier to do with teaching than with other areas in our lives! :D

(in my experience, at least)

Comment by ddeubel on May 3, 2010 at 12:47am
That's exactly it Ellen! Perfectly stated -- it is so hard to see the obvious, isn't it?

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