An integrated Approach to develop Intermediate-Low learners’ cultural awareness and language acquisition
Purpose of the project:
It has been a recurring complaint of non-native students of Arabic at a novice-high/intermediate-low level of proficiency that they cannot retain the vocabulary they study and that at many times, even when they recognize the words they learnt in their books, they do not understand the overall meaning of the text. It is the teacher’s belief that consolidation and further supply of enriching language “input” through multiple media will lead to better acquisition of vocabulary and advancing the learners’ language proficiency and at the same time avoid student frustration.
The course-book, though provides learners with rich “input”, does not lead to the transfer of this input to “intake ; the process required for learning to happen and for proficiency level to advance. This is so, due to class-time constraints as well as to the lack of authentic appropriate materials and resources that are ready for the teacher to use or for the learner to select from at this level of Arabic proficiency.
The inability of novice-high and intermediate low students to select reading passages or choose from the multimedia available in the target language environment, due to constrained linguistic knowledge and limited comprehension, excludes the option of a reading portfolio based on an extensive reading syllabus to develop improve acquisition of language without teacher interference as proposed by:Chun and Plass(1997); Brandal (2002); Hunt and Beglar, (2005). .
Hence, the proposed portfolio supplies the teacher with multimedia skills-work at the end of each teaching unit. Through this work, the learners are exposed to a variety of authentic hypermedia that allow them to revisit the vocabulary and structure they studied in their course-book, through different theme-based topics and in authentic contexts. The portfolio materials thus enforces and supplements the course book “input” and convert it to “intake” most important to language acquisition (Krashen, 2004). The prepared variety of integrated -skills tasks engage the learners in both higher and lower levels of processing activities to help learners attain the “fluent lexical access” necessary for better comprehension and promoting oral and written production of the language and assessing general learner proficiency.
Objectives of the presentation and relation to Conference theme
In this presentation I shall explain about how I constructed the portfolio; the theme and why; why I chose hyper media? Integrated language skills and tasks; interaction modes; assessment strategy followed; why WebCT as a portfolio?
This application transfers easily to the teaching of other modern languages. It is an idea that has evolved due to a need in ASL classroom practice in which technology played an important role and thus it is closely related to the theme of the Conference.
2nd-Day Hands On: Exploring hyper-media for Arabic language teaching
Iman A. Soliman, from Egypt, earned her B.A. in English literature. In 1991, she completed the introduction to “Teacher Training Course” run by the International House in Cairo (ILI). AT the ILI, she worked as teacher of both Egyptian colloquial and Modern Standard Arabic, teacher trainer, assistant director of studies, as well as the director of development and student affairs. She also taught at University of Edinburgh, the University of Saint Andrews and at Middlebury College in Vermont USA. Iman has written a number of Standard & Colloquial Arabic cour-sebooks and workbooks. Most recently she co-authored Kallemni Arabi, an Intermediate Course in Egyptian Colloquial Arabic. In 2003, she received her Ph.D. in TAFL from the University of Edinburgh. Her research interests concern program evaluation as well as Computer enhanced learning teaching materials. She has participated in the Arabic language teaching reform in Qatar.