Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Reflection 5 – How to change L2 bad practices in your students: Irregular verbs

With what I learned in the first class session, mostly about the benefits of bilingualism, the theory of second language acquisition, the myths and misconceptions about L2 learning, and the BICS & CALP theory, the following is my reflection. One of the hardest things for our students to do is to unlearn bad practices they have acquired through different means or misconceptions and that they use repeatedly. In this reflection, with what I learned in the first class session, I will give a practical example of how we can change those bad practices in L2 and replace them with the correct use; the topic will be irregular verbs.
First, we will connect the new information they will learn, the correct use of irregular verbs, to their emotions. We will show them the importance of their right use in real life situations; for example with a video of a student that travelled to a foreign country and needs to communicate in the native language, this will help with the students’ motivation. Another related activity is to show them the difference of reading a book in its original language and reading the L1 translation, where they will have to find, in an extract of the book, which irregular verbs were used in the book in the original language; this activity will lead to a deeper understanding of a different culture.
The next activity has to do with observation and the importance or repetition (in different ways) in L2 learning; we can see where our students are struggling and where they have bad practices. For this activity we acknowledge that all students learn differently. In the case of irregular verbs we can carry out a creative expression activity where the students will write in pairs a story, comic, play, or other writing activity approved by the teacher, where they will use three irregular verbs from a given list, in different tenses, that they find hard to learn; each group will have to choose different words.  Then they will act their story (or other) so they can practice those words in a different way, and they will hear their classmates use other irregular verbs correctly.
Finally, we will do the transfer task, where we will help them connect what they have learned to the real world. For this activity the students will make in pairs an interview to someone in the school, about hobbies, where they will practice the use of irregular verbs in different tenses. Throughout all of these activities we are applying different techniques that use the BICS & CALP theory, where students will learn different skills and the correct way of using irregular verbs.

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