Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Exercise 3.7 (Healey, 1999)

First of all, please download my list of tasks (click here)

Well, I took this activity, and I turned it into one which I could look at some of the things that I am already doing, and some of the things I would like to do, based partly on Healey's (1999) article.

I discovered that I had been doing a lot of the basic things that Healey had suggested, but that the activities on my website centered around 3 major areas:
1. Tutorial type activities that provide Ss with the material if they wish to pursue learning on their own.
2. Vocabulary, grammar, and comprehension type activities that are both interactive and tutorial.
3. Authentic listening tasks that both supported other types of learning, and gave extra practice to Ss.

Healey (1999) presents many types of activities that stimulate learning of specific language skills (vocabulary, and grammar), and skills that help in the learning process (reading: Skimming, and research of the WWW; Pronunciation: helps Ss to notice). Healey (1999)http://www.blogger.com/img/gl.link.gif also presents tasks that stimulate collaborative/cooperative work.

One thing that I have discovered about my own website is that there should not only be a variety of tasks that help language acquisition with specific language tasks, but also ones that encourage more holistic goals that incorporate socio-linguistic objectives, too. Motivation, group dynamics, and language context also influence a students behavior and willingness to take part in an activity.

Another thing that I discovered was that it is very important to have taskhttp://www.blogger.com/img/gl.link.gifs where a number of different skills support each other, often brought together by a theme. I found in my research, that there are many sites devoted to one specific area; be it grammar, vocabulary, listening or something else. What we need is collaboration between these sites, and better directories that bring them together better.
There are, however, some tasks (such as speech recognition and simulations), that still may be a little beyond my technical expertise and budget. Things that I would like to use, but have a very steep learning curve, that may discourage teachers like me implementing them at this point in time (not for a want to use them). That is why collaboration is increasingly more important between specialty sites...

Healey, D. (1999). Classroom practice: Communicative skill-building tasks in CALL environments. In J. Egbert, & E. Hanson-Smith (Eds.), CALL environments: Research, practice, and critical issues (pp. 116-136). Alexandria, VA: TESOL.

Mikulecky, B. S., Jefferies, L. (1996). More reading power, U.S.A: Addison-Wesley publishing.

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