WORKSHOP 5

WORKING TOGETHER:
WHERE DO WE START?

 

LANGUAGES WITHOUT LIMITS

Tools

It's one thing to understand the phenomenon of barriers that affect learning, quite another to identify the particular barriers encountered by an individual learner or group of learners.

The first step is perhaps the most important one, however, and that is to accept that the unwanted behaviour I am observing in my class may be due, at least partially, to the learner's reaction to the experience of failure. "I hate language learning, and I'm not going to do it unless you make me," can allow the learner to save face more effectively than to admit, "I can't do it." So the teacher's aim is to identify what is hindering learning and then to devise measures that remove or circumvent the problems so that language learning seems easier and the learner begins to feel that success might be possible.

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The next step is to identify the problems – but this may be a new experience for a language teacher who hadn't, after all, planned to set up a barrier, and so may have difficulty seeing it. Support teachers, however, have been trained to do just that, so teaming up with a colleague from the Learner Support department will pay dividends for all involved.

This Workshop proposes a collaboration between a language teacher and a teacher of learning support that has the aim of identifying barriers which may be hindering the learning process for an individual learner or group of learners who may not have identified learning needs, but whose behaviour suggests that there may be problems that could be addressed.

This workshop task takes you away from this website to a page of Maximising Potential, a site that was set up to help language teachers to improve their provision for learners who appear to be struggling with current arrangements. The task is called Finding the barriers. Find it here: http://www.ltscotland.org.uk/maximisingpotential/unit1/task1.asp

Workshop 6 will suggest ways of dealing with what you discover.

 

 

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