Language–based Tasks following Constructivist Paradigm

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Language–based Tasks following Constructivist Paradigm

Postby C.Praveen » Mon, 27 Jun 2011 09:27:39 -0500

A couple of days ago, a National Workshop on English for Academic Purpose was organized by UGC-SAP, Institute of English & Centre for English Language Teaching, University of Kerala, at Trivandrum, Kerala State, India. Around thirty teachers from four universities in Kerala who participated in the Workshop were expected to identify texts/ activities suitable for teaching English following the Constructivist paradigm at the Under Graduate level.

On the second day of the three-day workshop, I was invited to make a presentation on the kind of text-based activities which could be given for testing and evaluation in ELT classrooms following the Constructivist paradigm. The handout which I distributed during my presentation is given below. The main thrust was on developing Critical /Creative thinking and linguistic competence.

Please feel free to comment on the activities mentioned.

Types of Activities/ Testing and Evaluation
-Dr. C. Praveen, Govt. College of Teacher Education, Trivandrum


•To a talk on radio, or a recorded version of the same
•To a Podcast on a topic related to the text available in the Internet – Streaming audio or downloadable audio files
•Focussed listening to recorded versions of texts with responses to questions

•Pair work : Peer –Peer ; Student – Public; Student – Native speaker[e-pal; e-twinning]
•Explaining a given text in own words
•Stating personal perspective regarding issue in a text
•Stating orally, the main ideas of a given text (three paragraphs after speed reading)
•Giving a one minute speech on a topic related to the text
•Giving an oral summary of a given text
•Engaging in Group Discussions
•Role Plays

•SQ3R (Survey, Question, Read, Recite, Review)
•Reading between lines
•Reading beyond lines
•Predicting what follows
•Understanding implied meaning
•Speed reading
•Reading and making notes
•Reading critically (Eg: an article in a newspaper with an argument not always true/correct)
•Reading around the topic (articles, Letter to the editor etc.)
•Identifying writer’s point of view

•Argumentative; Persuasive writing
•Writing about a character
•Creative writing: A new ending to a story
•Summarizing a paragraph in one sentence
•Translations into English short pieces on theme related to text studied
•Pure Academic Writing: Citing studies in writing; Writing a problem-solution text (Describing a problem, its causes, several solutions);Report writing; Graphical representations of textual facts
•Discourses: Diary, Letter, Poster, Notice, Dialogues, Reports, Film Script, Telegrams, SMS, e-mail etc.

•Conversion Poem to Prose
•Conversion Prose (Short Story) to One-act Play[Pair/Group work]
•Correcting passages with syntactic and semantic errors
•Language functions (tasks related to context in texts)
•Select Grammar exercises (with discretion)

•Identifying word clusters in given text
•Finding synonyms or antonyms for words in given text
•Rewriting idiomatic usages using common vocabulary
•Rewriting short paragraphs using words not used in a given text [making use of Word Menu or Thesaurus]

•Regular exposure to audio talks in good accent
•Tasks to identify correct pronunciation using CD-ROM of Dictionaries

Thinking Skills
•Identifying irony
•Inferring author’s tone
•Identifying fact/opinion
•Identifying bias of writer
•Compare and contrast
•Identifying major issues in the text
•Relating textual material to local issues / current events
•Connecting with other texts in the collection

* * * * *
For more articles by the author please view
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Re: Language–based Tasks following Constructivist Paradigm

Postby shelleyvernon » Mon, 19 May 2014 11:31:41 -0500

It's useful to reflect on how you learn since one can make the assumption that everyone learns the same way.

For example take a "Spot the Difference" exercize - you'd think there cannot be that many ways to look at two pictures and find out where they differ. But it is enlightening to ask, once the exercize is done, HOW did you find the differences?

Some students do it by looking at all the colours first to see which are different, some look at the picture over all and just see what springs out at them, others look systematically at all the animals first, and then take the people's faces, and some start at the top and work down. Some are attentive to detail and methodical, others are chaotic and random in their work but not necessarily slower than the methodical ones.

Thinking about how one does things as well as doing them can be surprising and fun.

Shelley Ann Vernon
For fun fluency activities and language drills to liven up your classroom and make your teaching more effective. (Also on Amazon as a paperback).
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Postby Jayref » Mon, 26 May 2014 03:47:20 -0500

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