Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Curtain and Dahlberg, Chapter 2: Creating an Environment for Communication, p. 31- 47

      New information is stored in the brain that is meaningful and emotional. The four types of communicative competence are: grammatical competence, discourse competence, sociolinguistic competence, and strategic competence. An example of communication that is not "communicative" or does not carry meaning is asking a student "Are you a boy or a girl?" when you already know the answer. That is why speaking drills are ineffective; they do not carry valuable meaning or have "communicative purpose" (33).
      Some of the activities that can be used to facilitate meaningful communication include: games, songs, rhymes, and finger plays, hands-on experiences with props, stories, dialogues, role play, partner and small-group work and content-related instruction. 
      These ideas relate to what we talked about in class yesterday (10/22). We did an activity sharing with our groups. Most of the activities that were shared were some type of role play activity. Role play activities are great because they take place within a context (i.e. shopping, making crepes, bargaining in a market). My activity was a human scavenger hunt. The students look at pictures of various things (a football, piano, a family of four) and use the pictures to ask questions about their classmates' lives and interests. Since they are requesting new information from one another this activity has "communicative purpose."
     This chapter also emphasized the importance of using the target language for "regular classroom tasks, such as giving directions, organizing activities, and managing behaviors."This is significant because it sends the message to students that language is useful and works in authentic contexts. 

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