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Using the Guide: A User's Handbook

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How to read the User´s Handbook

How to read the User's Handbook

Teaching and Learning Languages: A Guide is intended to be a resource for language teachers to use in reflecting on:
  • languages education in general
  • your role as language teachers
  • the pedagogies which you use and how these relate to contemporary education.

The Guide itself is available in a printed version and as a single PDF document. However these 'compact' versions of the Guide do not contain examples of the ideas discussed, and that is what this User's Handbook is about.

In these pages, we have broken the Guide down into chapters and sections, drawing out the main points of each. We invite you to reflect on the key ideas of each section or chapter, and to look at the full text of the section in order to read further on that topic. Then you should consider how the issues raised in the section play out in your current teaching, and also how you could experiment with the ideas of the Guide to potentially adjust your teaching. To assist you with this, we have provided some explicit questions for reflection with each chapter or section to get you thinking.

Because it is often easier to reflect on your teaching in relation to general concepts with the help of examples, for the majority of chapters of this User's Handbook we provide examples of how other teachers have reflected on their own teaching, and how the concepts discussed in that chapter can be seen in teachers' work. There are full program examples ('Program Examples') in six specific languages at three distinct levels which have been annotated with comments throughout the text and at the end, so that it is easier for you to see how the considerations and concepts in the Guide are reflected in each of the programs. Further examples looking at specific issues raised in the chapter ('Practice Examples') are also provided.

It is important to point out that these examples are not some instance of 'best practice', as 'best practice' in one context may not necessarily transfer in the same way to another context. Rather they are examples of what language teachers themselves have developed in the course of their work and reflection on that work. The examples have been taken from a variety of sources: directly from teachers specifically for this Guide, but also from other recently developed national projects run by the Research Centre for Languages and Cultures ( RCLC ) where teachers have reflected on their teaching, such as the 'Assessing Student Learning in Languages and Cultures Education' project, the 'Intercultural Language Teaching and Learning in Practice' project ( ILTLP ) and the project on Professional Standards Project for Languages teaching ( PSPL ); naturally, we have asked the teachers' permission to reproduce their work here!

While it's probably best to look at the examples individually as you work through each chapter, you can see the full set of program and practice examples which we refer to in this User's Handbook on the Examples page. Further examples of programs can also be found at the ILTLP website.

So, prepare yourself to think about languages education in the contemporary world, and to reflect on your role in language teaching.

Userís Handbook, Chapter 1: Orientation of the Guide

Chapter 1: Orientation of the Guide

Purpose

Purpose

This Guide is a resource for languages teachers to use in reflecting on languages education and their role as languages teachers, and their programs and pedagogies in relation to contemporary educational understandings and contexts. It invites teachers to think about the content, process and outcomes of their work in teaching, learning, and in assessment. The Guide is based on recent work by members of the languages teaching profession: teachers and researchers based in classrooms, schools and universities.

adobe pdf icon gapFurther discussion from the Guide

Using the Guide

Using the Guide

Each section of this Guide is supported with examples from classroom practice. The examples act as companion guides to the information provided in each section and present teaching activities in six languages. These online resources are provided as examples of what real teachers do when they are working in real contexts. They can be used for reflection on teaching, learning, assessment and evaluation. We know that teachers learn best from other teachers and so we encourage teachers to look across the sets of examples in all languages rather than just in languages they teach.

Some teachers may wish to work through the Guide chapter by chapter on their own or with a group of colleagues. Others may just wish to work on particular aspects of their practice, though it is likely that working on one aspect of teaching and learning will naturally lead to a consideration of others, in an ongoing cycle of reflection.

adobe pdf icon gapFurther discussion from the Guide

Developing a personal, professional stance

Developing a personal, professional 'stance'

Key ideas

  • Stance describes the positions that teachers take toward their work as languages teachers and to their knowledge and pedagogies
  • A teacher's stance is both personal and professional
  • A teacher's stance changes and evolves over time and in response to changing contexts

adobe pdf icon gapDiscussion of these points from the Guide

Working with complexity and change

Working with complexity and change

Key ideas

  • The nature, contexts and purposes of using language and languages in our multilingual and multicultural world is increasingly complex and teachers need to work with this complexity
  • The key concepts that are central to teaching and learning languages are constantly evolving and need to be open to deeper understanding

adobe pdf icon gapDiscussion of these points from the Guide

Understanding contemporary contexts

Understanding contemporary contexts

Key ideas

  • Context of time and place influences purpose, shape and orientation of teachers' role in education
  • Changes in the context of education influence teachers' personal and professional stance
  • Globalisation has focused the importance of developing capabilities in languages-literacy-communication and intercultural engagement
  • Languages have a central role in Australian education because they mediate the interpretation and making of meaning among people
  • Advances in technology alter the way people use language, communicate and relate with each other, with information and with learning (especially the learning of languages)

adobe pdf icon gapDiscussion of these points from the Guide

Questions for reflection

Questions for reflection

Think about your own personal, professional stance as a languages teacher. How does it reflect your particular personal social, cultural and linguistic make-up and values?

To what extent do your current beliefs, ethical values, motivations and commitments reflect the contemporary and global educational landscape?

What gaps in your current knowledge and understanding do you instinctively feel you need to investigate by learning more about? How does this influence your stance?

How do you currently engage with parents in relation to language teaching and learning? To what extent do you utilise the diversity of family experiences?




Userís Handbook, Chapter 2: Language, culture and learning


Chapter 2: Language, Culture and Learning

What is language?

What is language?

Key ideas

  • Language is more than just the code: it also involves social practices of interpreting and making meanings
  • The way we teach language reflects the way we understand language
  • What is learned in the language classroom, and what students can learn results from the teachers' understandings of language
  • There is a fundamental relationship between language and culture
  • It is important to consider how language as code and language as social practice are balanced in the curriculum

adobe pdf icon gapDiscussion of these points from the Guide

 

Questions for reflection

  • Consider the tasks you have used for a particular class or module. What do these tasks show about what you have been emphasising in your own teaching? Do these show a balance between treating language as a code and as a social practice of meaning making and interpreting?
  • How might you develop new tasks for use in the classroom which present a more balanced or more elaborated understanding of language?

 

What is culture?

What is culture?

Key ideas

  • Culture can be seen as practices or as information
  • Culture plays a central role in the way meanings are interpreted
  • Cultures are characterised by variability and diversity
  • The intercultural is not the same as culture but is a process which goes beyond the idea of "knowing a culture"
  • Culture is fundamentally related to language

adobe pdf icon gapDiscussion of these points from the Guide

 

Questions for reflection

  • Collect the tasks you have used to teach and assess culture for a particular class or module. What do these tasks show about the way you have presented culture in your teaching? Do they show that you have used culture explicitly to develop the interculturality of your learners or do they show a focus on acquiring information about others? Do these tasks explicitly include opportunities for activities such as noticing, comparing, reflecting and interacting?
  • How significantly does your stance as a languages educator focus on interculturality?
  • How might you modify your teaching to focus more on developing the ability to learn how to learn?
  • How would you explain intercultural language learning to parents?

 

Understanding learning

Understanding learning

Key ideas

  • There are changing views about learning in general and languages in particular in contemporary education
  • The learning theories that teachers hold implicitly or explicitly influence their teaching, learning and assessment practices
  • Theories of learning have changed from behaviourism to cognitive and sociocultural theories. They have been described through acquisition and participation metaphors and it is recognised that both are needed
  • Language, culture and learning together form the basis for the languages curriculum

adobe pdf icon gapDiscussion of these points from the Guide

 

Questions for reflection

  • How does your stance to language learning reflect your views on learning?
  • Where do your views on learning come from?
  • How are your views of learning evident in your teaching and assessment practice?
  • What are some implications of these learning theories for your own teaching?
  • Why do you think Sfard emphasises the merging of the two metaphors?
  • Are there dimensions of learning that are not captured by the acquisition and participation metaphors?

 

Understanding language learning

Understanding language learning

Key ideas

  • Second language acquisition and learning theories need to account for language learning by learners from diverse life-worlds, learning with diverse needs, interests, motivations and desires in diverse contexts
  • Intercultural language teaching and learning focuses on the relationship between language, culture and learning
  • Using languages, hence learning languages, is:
    • an intrapersonal and interpersonal process of meaning-making
    • interactional
    • developmental/dynamic
    • interpretive, imaginative and creative

adobe pdf icon gapDiscussion of these points from the Guide

 

Questions for reflection

  • How do you elicit and use students' prior knowledge?
  • How do you understand 'metacognition' and how would you discuss this with your students?
  • How does your current stance on languages teaching reflect differing, and perhaps oppositional, aspects of the theories discussed in this section?

 

Intercultural language learning

Intercultural language learning

Key ideas

  • The intercultural orientation to language learning is intended to give salience to:
    • the fundamental integration of language, culture and learning in learning and using any language, and
    • the reality of at least two languages being constantly at play in learning an additional language
  • Intercultural language learning can be considered through five principles: active construction, making connections, interaction, reflection and responsibility

adobe pdf icon gapDiscussion of these points from the Guide

 

Questions for reflection

  • How would you describe intercultural language learning to a colleague who is new to teaching languages?
  • What do you see as implications of the five principles for your teaching?

 

Summary

Summary

Some key dimensions of language learning include:

  • Learning is both intrapersonal (ie takes place within the individual) and interpersonal (ie accomplished socially in interaction with others). It is also personal in the sense of pertaining to the person, shaping who they are, and their identity. The most important point here is that learning is about personal meaning-making - how children and young people make meaning within themselves and with others, in and through learning.
  • Learning is developmental - that is, a continuous process where students engage with increasing complexity.
  • Learning builds on prior knowledge and cannot occur without attending to students' prior conceptions/misconceptions.
  • Learning is interactive where interaction is focused on meaning-making.
  • Learning is mediated primarily through languge - all the languages of the students' repertoires.
  • Feedback is critical to learning - students need to know where they stand and what they need to do and understand in order to take the next steps in their learning.
  • Learning involves transfer; it needs to be applied in diverse contexts. Through use in different situations, with different participants etc, students learn how to adjust their learning to the particular local context, circumstances and requirements.
  • Learning is self-awareness and relates to metacognition, (ie learners being aware of how they learn, and why they learn as they do).

adobe pdf icon gapDiscussion of these points from the Guide

 

Questions for reflection

  • Consider your view of language learning in the light of the discussion and summary above. Which characteristics are regular parts of your teaching? In what ways are these characteristics evident?
  • Which characteristics are less evident in your teaching? In what ways might you incorporate these characteristics? How will this change your 'stance'?

 

Practice examples

Practice examples

The following give you some examples from teachers' work where they have integrated the ideas of this chapter into their own teaching. Having reflected on your own teaching and how you might incorporate some of the ideas, you might have a look at the following to see how others attempted to understand language and culture in their language teaching. Please note that these examples are not intended as illustrating 'best practice', but rather giving you some ideas of what other teachers have done that you might wish to try out in your own work.

adobe pdf icon gapConnecting students' language and culture

adobe pdf icon gapLanguage and culture connections

Program examples

Program examples

Language, culture and learning are fundamental parts of language programs. We have provided here some examples of programs designed by teachers for different languages and different year levels. These programs are annotated with comments through the text, but also with specific collected comments at the end which relate to the ideas of this chapter of the Guide. Clicking on the program below will take you directly to the comments at the end which discuss how the program relates to this chapter.

Don't just look at the language and year level of your teaching; good ideas come from many places! Please note that these examples are not intended as illustrating 'best practice', but rather giving you some ideas of what other teachers have done that you might wish to try out in your own work.

 

Chinese
 
French
 
German
 
Indonesian
 
Italian
 
Japanese
       

 

Userís Handbook, Chapter 3: Teaching and learning


Chapter 3: Teaching and learning

Classroom interactions

Classroom interactions

Key ideas

  • Interaction is a social process of meaning-making and interpreting
  • Interaction has an important place in education as it allows active engagement with ideas and interpretation
  • Interaction must be purposeful and meaningful for participants

adobe pdf icon gapDiscussion of these points from the Guide

 

Questions for reflection

  • What kinds of interactions are evident in your classroom teaching and learning? How would you characterise them?
  • Using a task from your current program or textbook, describe how you could modify it to strengthen interaction as discussed above.
  • Imagine interaction in your language classroom from the point of view of one of your students. How do you think they might be experiencing the interactions you create? Ask them and compare their responses with yours.
  • Audio-record an interaction from one of your classes. Analyse it using the distinction being doing and learning made above. What do you notice?

 

The nature of interactional language

The nature of interactional language

Key ideas

  • An interactive classroom requires attention to the nature and quality of language use
  • Questioning is a central element in intercultural language teaching and learning and requires a thoughtful approach to the purpose of questions in learning

adobe pdf icon gapDiscussion of these points from the Guide

 

Questions for reflection

  • How would you characterise the kinds of questions you pose your students? The ones they pose to you? The ones they pose to each other?
  • Prior to your next class, consider the tasks/materials/ideas that you will be working with. Prepare two or three key questions that will extend your students' engagement. After the class take note of additional questions you posed. What do you notice?
  • Describe how you might use questions to extend students' thinking.

 

Tasks and task types

Tasks and task-types

Key ideas

  • Task-based language teaching shifted the focus of language learning from knowledge of language to a focus on its use to achieve communicative purposes
  • The value of tasks in language learning resides in their focus on purposeful use of language in diverse contexts
  • Task-types provide a means for ensuring that students experience a comprehensive range of learning experiences
  • The difficulty with using tasks as the basis for curriculum design resides in the issue of sequencing

adobe pdf icon gapDiscussion of these points from the Guide

 

Questions for reflection

  • In your languages teaching, do you draw a distinction between exercises and tasks or pedagogic tasks and real-life tasks? Why? Why not?
  • How do you ensure that your students experience a range of tasks through your program and interactions with you?
  • How might you modify one of the tasks you currently use to make it more complex and worthwhile for your students from a language-and-culture learning point of view?

 

Student engagement

Student engagement

Key idea

  • In planning student learning experiences, it is important to consider: 'How does this matter to the learner?'

adobe pdf icon gapDiscussion of this point from the Guide

 

Questions for reflection

  • Take a task or unit from your program or textbook and consider how it might matter to your students. What do you notice about, for example, the nature of the task itself, its orientation, its participants?
  • How can you enhance student engagement in your program? Ask your students and compare their responses.

 

Recognising the diversity of learners and their life worlds

The diversity of learners and their life-worlds

Key ideas

  • Learner differences have traditionally been understood as differences in 'ability', a fixed, cognitive characteristic of students. The shift now is to 'capability' which focuses on each student's potential
  • It is necessary to understand the biographies of students, both as learners and young people, as a basis for developing their continuing learning
  • Communicative interactions need to incorporate learner diversity

adobe pdf icon gapDiscussion of these points from the Guide

 

Questions for reflection

  • How might you develop a rich understanding of your students' biographies?
  • In what ways can you use the diversity of students and their families in your class?
  • What do you make of Melissa's description (given in the section of the Guide above)? What implications do you draw from it for your own practice?

 

Scaffolding learning

Scaffolding learning

Key idea

  • Scaffolding involves using a range of conceptual, material and linguistic tools and technologies to lead students towards understanding

adobe pdf icon gapDiscussion of this point from the Guide

 

Questions for reflection

  • What kinds of scaffolds do you provide learners in setting up tasks, explaining a new concept, examining visual texts, or engaging in ongoing interactive talk? What evidence do you have that they work?
  • Audio-record a segment of one of your classes. Review it in terms of (1) the way you use questioning and your own responses as a form of scaffolding and (2) the way you invite students to add to, elaborate, clarify, challenge the input and responses of another student.

 

Technologies in language teaching and learning

Technologies in language teaching and learning

Key ideas

  • Communication and information technologies are integral to teaching and learning
  • Technologies enable teachers and students to access contemporary materials and globalised communication interactions
  • Technologies facilitate participation in the target language and with its communities
  • Technologies increasingly provide students with personalised, flexible, asynchronous and networked learning opportunities

adobe pdf icon gapDiscussion of this point from the Guide

 

Questions for reflection

  • How can or do you incorporate technology in your own practice in language teaching and learning? Explain specifically the way in which the technology itself actually mediates learning.
  • Begin the process of building up a digitally sourced bank of contemporary material that you can use with your students. Think about the considerations you need to take into account in making your choices. Engage with your students in this task, acknowledge their expertise.

 

Practice examples

Practice examples

The following give you some examples from teachers' work where they have integrated the ideas of this chapter into their own teaching. Having reflected on your own teaching and how you might incorporate some of the ideas, you might have a look at the following to see how others attempted to understand the nature and impact of interactions, engagement and diversity in their language teaching. Please note that these examples are not intended as illustrating 'best practice', but rather giving you some ideas of what other teachers have done that you might wish to try out in your own work.

adobe pdf icon gapClassroom interactions

adobe pdf icon gapTeacher questions

adobe pdf icon gapQuestioning

adobe pdf icon gapInteractional language: transcript

adobe pdf icon gapStudent tasks

adobe pdf icon gapStudent engagement

adobe pdf icon gapBoys as language learners

adobe pdf icon gapEngaging parents

adobe pdf icon gapA reflection on teaching and learning

adobe pdf icon gapValuing the diversity of learners

adobe pdf icon gapStudent responses to a task

 

Program examples

Program examples

Teaching and learning are clearly fundamental parts of language programs. We have provided here some examples of programs designed by teachers for different languages and different year levels. These programs are annotated with comments through the text, but also with specific collected comments at the end which relate to the ideas of this chapter of the Guide. Clicking on the program below will take you directly to the comments at the end which discuss how the program relates to this chapter.

Don't just look at the language and year level of your teaching; good ideas come from many places! Please note that these examples are not intended as illustrating 'best practice', but rather giving you some ideas of what other teachers have done that you might wish to try out in your own work.

 

Chinese
 
French
 
German
 
Indonesian
 
Italian
 
Japanese
       

 

Userís Handbook, Chapter 4: Resourcing and materials

Chapter 4: Resourcing and materials

Key ideas

  • Resources are used for diverse purposes, such as input, scaffolding and reflection
  • The same resource can be used in multiple ways to enrich learning
  • Teachers are critical users of resources
  • Selecting resources is based on theories of language learning and culture
  • Selecting resources is a process of matching resources and learning goals
  • Authentic materials expose students to actual contemporary language use
  • Authentic resources enlarge understandings of language and culture
  • Adapting resources allows teachers to maximise their value for particular learners
  • Resources need to be personalised to allow for learners to connect with them
  • Language and culture are dynamic
  • Resources must have contemporary relevance for students
  • Effective teachers are critical users of their resources
  • Any selection of resources only ever presents a partial picture of language and culture
  • A resource does not exist in isolation but needs to connect with other resources as part of a learning program
  • Resources are not simply texts and materials, learners themselves, can become 'the resource'
  • A resource bank should provide a range of engaging learning experiences

adobe pdf icon gapDiscussion of these points from the Guide

 

Questions for reflection

  • How do you use the resources available to you to construct an image of the target language and cultures for your learners?
  • If you use a textbook, what experiences of language and culture does it provide for your learners? What additional resources may be needed? Where could you get these resources from?
  • How could you use your own learners as a resource to support language learning?
  • In what ways could parents, families and communities provide opportunities for linguistic and cultural analysis?

 

Practice examples

Practice examples

The following give you some examples from teachers' work where they have integrated the ideas of this chapter into their own teaching. Having reflected on your own teaching and how you might incorporate some of the ideas, you might have a look at the following to see how others attempted to understand the selection, modification and use of resources and materials in their language teaching. Please note that these examples are not intended as illustrating 'best practice', but rather giving you some ideas of what other teachers have done that you might wish to try out in your own work.

adobe pdf icon gapProducing resources

adobe pdf icon gapAdapting resources

adobe pdf icon gapUsing a textbook for sequenced learning

adobe pdf icon gapEvaluating a textbook

adobe pdf icon gapUsing authentic materials

adobe pdf icon gapUsing an authentic resource

adobe pdf icon gapUsing online and text resources

 

Program examples

Program examples

All language programs require resources to be selected, adapted and then used. We have provided here some examples of programs designed by teachers for different languages and different year levels. These programs are annotated with comments through the text, but also with specific collected comments at the end which relate to the ideas of this chapter of the Guide. Clicking on the program below will take you directly to the comments at the end which discuss how the program relates to this chapter.

Don't just look at the language and year level of your teaching; good ideas come from many places! Please note that these examples are not intended as illustrating 'best practice', but rather giving you some ideas of what other teachers have done that you might wish to try out in your own work.

 

Chinese
 
French
 
German
 
Indonesian
 
Italian
 
Japanese
       

 

Userís Handbook, Chapter 5: Assessing

Chapter 5: Assessing

Key ideas

  • Assessment is an integral part of learning
  • Assessment is used for diverse purposes
  • Assessment is both formative and summative
  • Assessment can be understood as a cycle of interrelated processes of conceptualising, eliciting, judging and validating
  • There are varied ways of eliciting evidence of student learning which capture diverse dimensions of students' learning

adobe pdf icon gapDiscussion of these points from the Guide

 

Questions for reflection

  • How do your current teaching and assessment practices reflect assessment of learning, assessment for learning and assessment as learning?
  • How do you currently elicit evidence for assessment? How diverse are your assessment processes?
  • Considering your role as a languages educator, what is your stance on assessment?

 

Practice examples

Practice examples

The following give you some examples from teachers' work where they have integrated the ideas of this chapter into their own teaching. Having reflected on your own teaching and how you might incorporate some of the ideas, you might have a look at the following to see how others attempted to understand the place of assessment in their language teaching. Please note that these examples are not intended as illustrating 'best practice', but rather giving you some ideas of what other teachers have done that you might wish to try out in your own work.

adobe pdf icon gapPlanning assessment

adobe pdf icon gapAssessing through learner reflection

adobe pdf icon gapAssessment task

 

Program examples

Program examples

Assessment is an important part of any language program. We have provided here some examples of programs designed by teachers for different languages and different year levels. These programs are annotated with comments through the text, but also with specific collected comments at the end which relate to the ideas of this chapter of the Guide. Clicking on the program below will take you directly to the comments at the end which discuss how the program relates to this chapter.

Don't just look at the language and year level of your teaching; good ideas come from many places! Please note that these examples are not intended as illustrating 'best practice', but rather giving you some ideas of what other teachers have done that you might wish to try out in your own work.

 

Chinese
 
French
 
German
 
Indonesian
 
Italian
 
Japanese
       

 

Userís Handbook, Chapter 6: Programming and planning

Chapter 6: Programming and planning

Key ideas

  • Program planning for languages is more than a description of activities and goals and includes the planning of conceptual and affective learning
  • Planning a language program centres around a focus on language conceived as interpersonal and intrapersonal meaning making and interpretation
  • Planning a language program is planning for long-term development of learning
  • Planning involves making connections between learning activities and learning goals
  • Planning happens at a range of different levels
  • Planning a language program involves planning the interactions in which learners engage and from which they will learn
  • Planning and language programming involves personalising learning experiences

adobe pdf icon gapDiscussion of these points from the Guide

 

Questions for reflection

  • How do you approach planning your long-term and short-term language programs? What are the main things you consider in your planning? How do you discuss your programs with your students and their parents?
  • How is conceptual learning integrated into your students' learning experiences? What might you change or add to your program?
  • How do you determine the scoping and sequencing of your students' learning? What connections are there between the elements that you have in your program (episodes, units of work, topics, concepts)?
  • What would personalised learning look like for a particular group of your students?

 

Practice examples

Practice examples

The following give you some examples from teachers' work where they have integrated the ideas of this chapter into their own teaching. Having reflected on your own teaching and how you might incorporate some of the ideas, you might have a look at the following to see how others attempted to devise a long or short-term program for their language teaching. Please note that these examples are not intended as illustrating 'best practice', but rather giving you some ideas of what other teachers have done that you might wish to try out in your own work.

adobe pdf icon gapCurriculum statement

adobe pdf icon gapContext statement

adobe pdf icon gapSequencing learning and planning interactions

adobe pdf icon gapLong term planning rationale

adobe pdf icon gapDeveloping cultural sensitivity

adobe pdf icon gapPurpose statement

adobe pdf icon gapPlanning interactions

 

Program examples

Program examples

Planning is vital in the development of a language program. We have provided here some examples of programs designed by teachers for different languages and different year levels. These programs are annotated with comments through the text, but also with specific collected comments at the end which relate to the ideas of this chapter of the Guide. Clicking on the program below will take you directly to the comments at the end which discuss how the program relates to this chapter.

Don't just look at the language and year level of your teaching; good ideas come from many places! Please note that these examples are not intended as illustrating 'best practice', but rather giving you some ideas of what other teachers have done that you might wish to try out in your own work.

 

Chinese
 
French
 
German
 
Indonesian
 
Italian
 
Japanese
       

 

Userís Handbook, Chapter 7: Evaluating language programs

Chapter 7: Evaluating language programs

Key ideas

  • Evaluation is an ongoing process of building understanding of professional work
  • Evaluation reflects the stance of the teacher
  • Evaluation is an integral part of the process of curriculum renewal
  • Evaluation is shaped by, and designed for, the context in which it is undertaken
  • Evaluation is particularly valuable when it is a participatory process that includes all those involved
  • The purpose of evaluation is to support improvement in teaching and learning
  • The scope of evaluation may include particular dimensions and/or the program as a whole
  • Evaluation involves an ongoing process of inquiry

adobe pdf icon gapDiscussion of these points from the Guide

 

Questions for reflection

  • What role does evaluation currently play in your own professional program and curriculum renewal?
  • What criteria would you use to evaluate your own curriculum? Where would these criteria come from?
  • How might you, and those you work with, take an inquiry stance to your work?

 

Practice examples

Practice examples

The following give you some examples from teachers' work where they have integrated the ideas of this chapter into their own teaching. Having reflected on your own teaching and how you might incorporate some of the ideas, you might have a look at the following to see how others attempted to evaluate their own language program. Please note that these examples are not intended as illustrating 'best practice', but rather giving you some ideas of what other teachers have done that you might wish to try out in your own work.

adobe pdf icon gapEvaluating practice

adobe pdf icon gapOn the need for change

adobe pdf icon gapEvaluating a languages program

adobe pdf icon gapTeacher's evaluation of pedagogy

Program examples

Program examples

Evaluation is important in order to be able to further develop a language program. We have provided here some examples of programs designed by teachers for different languages and different year levels. These programs are annotated with comments through the text, but also with specific collected comments at the end which relate to the ideas of this chapter of the Guide. Clicking on the program below will take you directly to the comments at the end which discuss how the program relates to this chapter.

Don't just look at the language and year level of your teaching; good ideas come from many places! Please note that these examples are not intended as illustrating 'best practice', but rather giving you some ideas of what other teachers have done that you might wish to try out in your own work.

Note that a number of the programs are missing from this list, as they do not explicitly refer to the evaluation of the program.

 

Chinese
 
French
   
 
German
 
Indonesian
   
 
Italian
   
 
Japanese
       

 

Userís Handbook, Chapter 8: Developing a professional learning culture

Chapter 8: Developing a professional learning culture

Key ideas

  • Effective language teachers are lifelong learners
  • Involvement in a professional learning culture is a commitment to develop professionally and personally
  • A professional learning culture involves developing a deep an ongoing awareness of the practices and processes of teaching and learning
  • A professional learning culture is an ongoing process of learning from, and reflecting on, a personal and professional stance, including understandings, ideas and experiences
  • The focus of a learning culture is on learning in diverse contexts: teacher learning, student learning, community learning
  • Professional learning happens in a range of different ways
  • A professional learning culture is based on dialogue with others, including students, peers, mentors and professional networks

adobe pdf icon gapDiscussion of these points from the Guide

 

Questions for reflection

  • How could you increase your opportunities for involvement in a learning community either within or outside your school?
  • What issues do you face in your professional practice which an investigative stance could help you understand and change?
  • How do you involve parents and members of the school community in developing and monitoring a learning culture?
  • What do the AFMLTA professional standards for languages teaching contribute to your understanding of your professional learning needs?

 

Practice example

Practice example

The following gives you an example from the work of a teacher who was integrating the ideas of this chapter into her own teaching. Having reflected on your own teaching and how you might incorporate some of the ideas, you might have a look at the following to see how one teacher attempted to reflect on her own practice in language teaching and work towards exploring her own professional learning culture. Please note that this example are not intended as illustrating 'best practice' or 'how to reflect', but rather it is intended to give you some ideas of what another teacher has done that you might wish to try out in your own work.

adobe pdf icon gapReflecting on language, culture and learning

 

Userís Handbook, Chapter 9: Further resources

Chapter 9: Further resources

Australian Government websites and projects

Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations (DEEWR): Languages Education

An Investigation of the state and nature of languages in Australian schools: DEEWR

National Statement and Plan on Languages Education in Australian Schools: DEEWR

National Statement for Engaging Young Australians with Asia in Australian Schools: DEEWR

School Languages Program: DEEWR

The Adelaide Declaration on National Goals for Schooling in the Twenty-first Century, DEEWR

National Curriculum Board

 

Professional development materials and research centres

Professional Standards Project: DEEWR

Asian Languages Professional Learning Project: DEEWR

Leading Languages Education Project

The Le@rning Federation

Council of Europe: Common European Framework of Reference for Languages: Learning, Teaching, Assessment

Research Centre for Languages and Cultures (RCLC), University of South Australia

CARLA: Centre for Advanced Research on Languages Acquisition

CILT: National Centre for Languages

 

Language and language teacher associations

Federation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Languages (FATSIL)

Australian Federation of Modern Language Teachers Associations

Language Teachers' Association of the Northern Territory

Modern Language Teachers Association of New South Wales

Modern Language Teachers Association of Queensland

Modern Language Teachers Association of South Australia

Modern Language Teachers Association of Tasmania

Modern Language Teachers Association of Victoria

Modern Language Teachers Association of Western Australia

 

School and parent associations

Australian Council of State Schools Organisations (ACCSO)

Australian Parents Council (APC)

Community Languages Australia: Australian Federation of Ethnic Schools Associations

Independent Schools Council of Australia (ISCA)

National Catholic Education Commission (NCEC)

 

Userís Handbook, Chapter 10: References

 

Chapter 10: References

The following lists all the works which are referred to in the text of the Guide. Some of these are available on the internet; however the majority are probably only available in university libraries or your state library.

Arnold, E 1991, ‘Authenticity revisited: How real is real?’ in English for Specific Purposes, 10(3), 237–244.

Australian Federation of Modern Language Teachers Associations (AFMLTA), Professional standards for accomplished teaching of languages and cultures, www.afmlta.asn.au

Australian Education Council 1989, Common and agreed national goals for schooling in Australia (The ‘Hobart Declaration’), Australian Education Council (now MCEETYA). Available at: www.mceetya.edu.au/mceetya/default.asp?id=11577

Black, P & Jones, J 2006, ‘Formative assessment and the learning and teaching of MFL: sharing the languages learning road map with the learners’, in Language Learning Journal,34, Issue 1, 4-9. Reprinted by permission of the publisher, Taylor & Francis Ltd: www.tandf.co.uk/journals

Broadfoot, P 2005, ‘Dark alleys and blind bends. Testing the language of learning’, in Language Testing, 2005, 22(2), 123-141 ©Reprinted by Permission of SAGE.

Candlin, CN 1999, ‘Researching and teaching for a living curriculum: Australia’s critical contribution to praxis in language teaching and learning’. Paper presented at the conference ‘The AMEP: 50 years of nation building’, Melbourne.

Cazden, CB 1988, Classroom Discourse: The Language of Teaching and Learning. Heinemann, Portsmouth.

Chomsky N 1957, 'A Review of Skinner’s Verbal Behavior', Language 35, 26–28.

Clark, JL, Scarino, A & Brownell, JA 1994, Improving the Quality of Learning, Hong Kong Institute of Language in Education, Hong Kong.

Collaborative Curriculum and Assessment Framework for Languages (CCAFL), www.go8.edu.au/policy/papers/2007/Go8%20Languages%20in%20Crisis%20Discussion%20Paper.pdf

Cochran-Smith, M & Lytle, S 1999, ‘Relationships of knowledge and practice: Teacher learning in communities’, Review of Research in Education, 24, 249-306 ©Reprinted by Permission of SAGE Publications.

Cope, B & Kalantzis, M 2000, Multiliteracies. Literacy learning and the design of social futures, Macmillan, Melbourne.

Council for the Australian Federation 2007, ‘The future of schooling in Australia’ in Federalist Paper 2.

Council of Australian Government (COAG) 1994, Asian Languages and Australia’s Economic Future, Australian Government Publishing Service, Canberra.

Crichton, J 2007, ‘Why an investigative stance matters in intercultural language teaching and learning: An orientation to classroom-based investigation’, Intercultural Language Teaching and Learning in Practice, Discussion Paper 8, www.iltlp.unisa.edu.au/doclibpapers/iltlp_paper8.pdf. Copyright Commonwealth of Australia. Reproduced by permission.

Crowther, F, Kaagan, SS, Ferguson, M, & Hann, L 2002, Developing Teacher Leaders: How Teacher Leadership Enhances School Success, Corwin Press, London.

Debski, R 1997, ‘Support for creativity and collaboration in the language classroom: A new role for technology’. In Debski, R, Gassin, J & Smith, M (eds.), Language Learning Through Social Computing (pp 39–66), ALAA & Horwood Language Centre, Melbourne.

Department of Employment, Education and Training 1991, Australia’s Language. An Australian Language and Literacy Policy, Australian Government Publishing Service, Canberra.

Farrell, TS C 2002, ‘Lesson planning’. In Richards, JC & Renandya, WA (eds.), Methodology in Language Teaching: An Anthology of Current Practice (pp 30–39), Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.

Fischer, J 2001, ‘Action research rationale and planning’. In Burnaford, G, Fischer, J & Hobson, D (eds), Teachers Doing Research: The Power of Action through Inquiry, Lawrence Erlbaum, New Jersey.

Gee, JP 2008, ‘A sociocultural perspective on opportunity to learn’, in Moss, PA, Pullin, DC, Gee, JP, Haertel, EH & Young, LJ, Assessment, Equity and Opportunity to Learn, Cambridge University Press, New York.

Gipps, CB 1999, ‘Sociocultural aspects of assessment’, Review of Research in Education, 24, 370.

Haertel, EH, Moss, PA, Pullin, DC & Gee, JP 2008, Assessment, Equity and Opportunity to Learn, Cambridge University Press, New York.

Kohler, M 2003, ‘Developing continuity through long-term programming’, Babel, 38(2), 9–16, 38.

Kohler, M, Harbon, L, Fischmann, V, McLaughlin, M & Liddicoat, A J 2006, ‘Quality teaching: views from the profession’, in Babel 40(3), 23–30.

Kramsch, C 1993, Context and Culture in Language Education, Oxford University Press, Oxford.

Kramsch, C 1994, ‘Foreign languages for a global age’, ADFL Bulletin, 25(1), 5–12.

Krashen, SD, & Terrell, TD 1983, The Natural Approach: Language Acquisition in the Classroom, Pergamon, Oxford.

Lambert, L 1998, ‘Foreword’, in Collay, M, Dunlap, D, Enloe, W & Gagnon, GW (Eds.), Learning Circles: Creating Conditions for Professional Development, Corwin Press, Thousand Oaks.

Lantolf, JP 2000, ‘Second language learning as a mediated process’, Language Teaching, 33, 79–96.

Liddicoat, AJ 2005, ‘Culture for language learning in Australian language-in-education policy’. Australian Review of Applied Linguistics, 28(2), 28–43.

Liddicoat, AJ 2006, ‘Developing professional standards for accomplished teachers of languages and cultures’, in Babel, 40(3), 4–6, 38.

Liddicoat, AJ, & Jansen, L M 1998, ‘Teachers as researchers in the language classroom: An overview’, in Jansen, LM & Liddicoat, AJ (eds.), Lifting Practice: Teachers as Researchers in the Language Classroom, LIFT and Languages Australia, Canberra.

Liddicoat, AJ, Papademetre, L, Scarino, A & Kohler, M 2003, Report on Intercultural Language Learning, DEST, Canberra. Copyright Commonwealth of Australia. Reproduced by permission.

Lightbown, PM, & Spada, N 1999, How Languages are Learned, Oxford University Press, Oxford.

Littlejohn, AP 1998, ‘The analysis of language teaching materials: Inside the Trojan Horse’, in Tomlinson, B (ed.), Materials Development in Language Teaching (pp 190–216), Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.

Lo Bianco, J 1987, National Policy on Languages, Australian Government Publishing Service, Canberra.

Long, MH 1983, ‘Native-speaker/non nativespeaker conversation and the negotiation of comprehensible input’, in Applied Linguistics, 4, 126-141.

Lynch, BK 1996, ‘Language Program Evaluation. Theory and Practice’, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.

Marzano, RJ, 2003, What Works in Schools: Translating Research into Action, ASDC, Alexandria.

Ministerial Council of Education, Employment, Training and Youth Affairs 2005, National statement for languages education in Australian schools: National plan for languages education in Australian schools 2005-2008, DECS Publishing, Hindmarsh.

Ministerial Council on Education, Employment, Training and Youth Affairs (MCEETYA) 1999, The Adelaide declaration on national goals for schooling in the twenty-first century. MCEETYA.

Moss, PA, Pullin, DC, Gee, JP, Haertel, EH & Young, LJ 2008, Assessment, Equity and Opportunity to Learn, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.

Moss, PA. 2008, ‘Sociocultural implications for assessment 1: classroom assessment’, in Moss, PA, Pullin, DC, Gee, JP, Haertel, EH & Young, LJ, Assessment, Equity and Opportunity to Learn, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.

Papademetre, L, & Scarino, A 2000, Integrating culture learning in the languages classroom: a multi-perspective conceptual journey for teachers, Language Australia Ltd. Adelaide.

Perkins, D & Unger, C 1999, ‘Teaching for understanding and learning’. In Reigeluth, C (ed.), Instructional-Design Theories and Models: A New Paradigm of Instructional Theory (pp. 92–114), Erlbaum, Mahwah.

Pinar, W F (ed.) 2003, International Handbook of Curriculum Research, Lawrence Erlbaum, Mahwah.

Scarino, A 1995 ‘Planning, describing, and monitoring long-term progress in language learning’, Babel, 30(3), 4–13.

Scarino, A 2007, ‘Words, slogans, meanings and the role of teachers in languages education’, Babel, 42, 1, 4–11.

Scarino, A, McKay, P, Vale, D & Clark, J 1988, Australian Language Levels (ALL) Guidelines, Curriculum Development Centre, Melbourne.

Scarino A & Mercurio, A 2005, ‘Heritage Languages at upper secondary level in South Australia: a struggle for legitimacy’, in International Journal of Bilingual Education and Bilingualism, Vol 8, 2 & 3, pp145–59.

Scarino, A & Papademetre, L 2007, Unpublished interview with Melissa Gould-Drakeley.

Scarino, A, Papademetre, L & Dellit, J 2004, Standards in teaching languages and cultures. Report prepared by the Research Centre for Languages and Cultures Education at the University of South Australia for the Department of Education and Children’s Services.

Sfard, A 1998, ‘On two metaphors for learning and the dangers of choosing just one’, in Educational Researcher, 27, 4–13.

Shepard, L A 2000, ‘The role of assessment in a learning culture’, in Educational Researcher, 29(7), 4–14.

Skehan, P 1998, ‘A Cognitive Approach to Language Learning’, Oxford University Press, Oxford.

Shohamy, E 2007, Language Policy: Hidden Agendas and New Approaches, Routledge, London.

SSABSA 1989, A National Assessment Framework for Languages at Senior Secondary Level (NAFLaSSL), SSABSA, Adelaide.

SSABSA 1996, Australia’s Indigenous Languages Framework, Senior Secondary Assessment Board of South Australia, Wayville.

SSABSA 1996, Australia’s Indigenous Languages in Practice, Senior Secondary Assessment Board of South Australia, Wayville.

Stubbs, M 1986, Educational Linguistics, Basil Blackwell, Oxford.

Svalberg, AM 2007, ‘Language awareness and language learning’, in Language Teaching, 40, 287–308.

Teaching Australia www.teachingaustralia.edu.au

Tschirner, E 1996, ‘Scope and sequence: Rethinking beginning foreign language instruction’, in Modern Language Journal, 80(1), 1–14.

Vygotsky, LS 1978, Mind in Society. The Development of Higher Psychological Processes, Harvard University Press, Cambridge.

Woodward, T 2001, Planning Lessons and Courses: Designing Sequences of Work for the Language Classroom, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.

Yoshino, K 1992, Cultural Nationalism in Contemporary Japan: A Sociological Enquiry, Routledge, London.