A French-speaking Canadian volunteer helps two Haitian students with their English. The volunteer was in Haiti with the volunteer group EDV to help recovery efforts after the earthquake in early June 2010. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
COMMUNITY LANGUAGE LEARNING (CLL)
- Learning Theory: CLL advocates a holistic approach to language learning. “True human learning“ is both cognitive and affective. This is termed “whole person learning”. A group of ideas concerning the psychological requirements for successful and “non-defensive” learning are collected under the acronym (SARD).
Security: Students should feel secure to enter into a successful learning experience. Classroom atmosphere, students‘ relations with each other, teacher‘s attitude to students all affect students’ feelings of security.
Attention: Attention is the learner’s involvement in learning.
Aggression: is to show what has been learnt for “self-assertion” like a child who tries to show what he/she has learnt. The child tries to prove the things he/she has learnt.
Retention: If the “whole person” is involved in the learning process, what is retained is internalised and becomes a part of the learner’s “new persona” in the foreign language. The material should neither be too old nor be too new or conversely too familiar. Retention will best take place somewhere in between novelty and familiarity.
Reflection: Students need quiet reflection time in order to learn. The teacher reads the text for three times and the students relax and listen for reflection. Students also listen to their own voice from the tape for reflection.
Discrimination: Students should discriminate the similarities and the differences among target language forms by listening to themselves and the teacher carefully. They should also listen to discriminate if what they say is similar or different from what the teacher says.
Present Continuous: She is studying French
Past Continuous: Tom was cooking. (In Both tenses “-ing” is used)
John visited his uncle (regular verb)
John bought a new car (irregular verb)
- Language Theory: Language is for communication. Language is for developing creative thinking. Culture is integrated with language. The focus shifts from grammar and sentence formation to a “sharing and belonging between persons“. Language is what you learn and share with others. Students should trust the learning process, the teacher and the others.
- Culture: Knowing the target culture is important to be successful in communication. Culture is integrated with language. Social life style, art, literature, customs, habits should be learnt.
- Teacher’s Role: T’s initial role is that of a counsellor. The teacher tries to remove the threatening factors in the classroom. Even the teacher stands behind the students to reduce because the teacher’s superior knowledge and his existence are also threatening factors.
- Students’ Role: Initially the learner is dependent on the teacher. As s/he goes on studying the language he becomes more and more independent.
- Interactions: st-st, T-st interactions occur in the classroom. In addition, group work, and pair
work tasks are carried out by students. Usually the teacher physically removes himself/herself from the circle in order to increase st-st interactions.
- Vocabulary Teaching: Literal native language equivalents are given to the target language in order to teach their meanings. This makes meaning clear.
- Grammar Teaching: Large chunks are analysed by means of equivalents in L1. It can be explicit when necessary.
- Materials: A textbook is not considered necessary. Materials may be developed by the teacher as the course develops. Materials depend on students’ needs. Conversations are generated by the students depending on what they want to say in the target language.
- Syllabus: CLL does not use a conversational language syllabus, which sets out in advance the grammar, vocabulary, and other language items to be taught and the order in which they will be covered. Syllabus is developed in terms of students’ communication needs.
- Role of L1: Students’ security is initially enhanced by using their native language. Where possible, literal native language equivalents are given to the target language words that have been transcribed. This makes their meaning clear and allows students to combine the target language words in different ways to create new sentences. Directions in class, students’ expressions of feelings are in L1. In later steps, more and more L2 is used.
- Evaluation: A teacher-made classroom test would be an integrative test rather than a discrete-
point test. Students are asked to write a paragraph or they can be given an oral interview.
- Goals and Objectives: Students should learn how to use the target language communicatively. Students should learn about their own learning to take an increasing responsibility about it. Non-defensive learning is the result when the teacher and the students treat each other as a whole person.
- Error Correction: The error is treated in a non-threatening way. The teacher repeats the correct form without calling further attention to the error and the owner of the error.
- Sts’ Feelings: Students’ feelings are considered extremely important. One regular activity is getting feedback from students’ about their feelings; how they feeling about learning a foreign language. Negative feelings may block students’ learning. Security is basic. Clear instructions, enough time, should be given to the individual for the respond.
A) Transcription: The teacher writes the L1 equivalent of the text in the target language on the board or a poster-sized paper in order to be able to refer later. Students copy them in their notebooks.
B) Reflection on Experience: Students tell about their feelings about language learning
C) Reflective Listening: Students relax and listen to their own voices speaking the target language on the tape. The teacher may also read the transcript while students are
D) Human Computer: The teacher repeats the correct form as many times as the students
The teacher never corrects the student’s error. Only repeats the correct form.
E) Small Group Tasks: Students learn from each other. Also small groups can let students
know each other well.
- Skills: In the early stages, students design the syllabus. They decide what they want to say in
L2. The most important skills are listening comprehension and speaking. Reading and writing
are also worked on.