Modern technologies in teaching FLT — страница 10

  • Просмотров 8429
  • Скачиваний 89
  • Размер файла 61

three stages, the cognitive, the associative, and the autonomous (Anderson, 1983a). Progression through these stages is facilitated by scaffolding, which involves providing extensive instructional support during the initial stages of learning and gradually removing this support as students become more proficient at the task (Chamot & O'Malley, 1994). Second language acquisition (SLA) research emphasizes that literacy development can be facilitated by providing multiple opportunities for learners to interact in communicative contexts with authentic, linguistically challenging materials that are relevant to their personal and educational goals (see, e.g., Brinton, et al., 1989; Kasper, 2000a; Krashen, 1982; Snow & Brinton, 1997; Snow, et al., 1989). In a 1996 paper

published in The Harvard Educational Review, The New London Group (NLG) advocated developing multiliteracies through a pedagogy that involves a complex interaction of four factors which they called Situated Practice, Overt Instruction, Critical Framing, and Transformed Practice. According to the NLG, becoming multiliterate requires critical engagement in relevant tasks, interaction with diverse forms of communication made possible by electronic technologies, and participation in collaborative learning contexts. Warschauer (1999) concurred and stated that a pedagogy of critical inquiry and problem solving that provides the context for "authentic and collaborative projects and analyses" (p. 16) that support and are supported by the use of electronic technologies is

necessary for ESL students to acquire the linguistic, social, and technological competencies key to literacy in a digital world. According to a 1995 report published by the United States Department of Education, "technology is an important enabler for classes organized around complex, authentic tasks" and when "used in support of challenging projects, [technology] can contribute to students' sense ... that they are using real tools for real purposes." Technology use increases students' motivation as it promotes their active engagement with language and content through authentic, challenging tasks that are interdisciplinary in nature (McGrath, 1998). Technology use also encourages students to spend more time on task. As they search for information in a

hyperlinked environment, ESL students benefit from increased opportunities to process linguistic and content information. Used as a tool for learning, technology supports a level of task authenticity and complexity that fits well with the interdisciplinary work inherent in content-based instruction and that promotes the acquisition of multiliteracies. THEORY INTO PRACTICE These research findings suggest that in our efforts to prepare ESL students for the challenges of the academic and workforce environments of the 21st century, we should adopt a pedagogical model that incorporates information technology as an integral component and that specifically targets the development of the range of literacies deemed necessary for success in a digital, information-oriented society. This

paper describes a content-based pedagogy, which I call focus discipline research (Kasper, 1998a), and presents the results of a classroom study conducted to measure the effects of focus discipline research on the development of ESL students' literacy skills. As described here, focus discipline research puts theory into practice as it incorporates the principles of cognitive learning theory, SLA research, and the four components of the NLG's (1996) pedagogy of multiliteracies. Through pedagogical activities that provide the context for situated practice, overt instruction, critical framing, and transformed practice, focus discipline research promotes ESL students' choice of and responsibility for course content, engages them in extended practice with linguistic structures and

interdisciplinary material, and encourages them to become "content experts" in a subject of their own choosing. CONCLUSION It can be seen that it is difficult and probably undesirable to attempt to determine the difficulty of a listening and viewing task in any absolute terms. By considering the three aspects that affect the level of difficulty, namely text, task, and context features, it is possible to identify those characteristics of tasks that can be manipulated. Having identified the variable characteristics of tasks in developing the model, it is necessary to look to the dynamic interaction among, tasks, texts, and the computer-based environment. Task design and text selection in this model also incorporate the identification and consideration of context. Teachers