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Video: Engaging ELs in Content Discussions in the Classroom

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Source: Video: Engaging ELs in Content Discussions in the Classroom

Language Learning Theories

Source: Language Learning Theories

Language Learning Theories

Learning Theories
There are 12 learning theories:
• Constructivism TTO-Vance-Stevens-8868 (1)
• Behaviorism
• Piaget’s Developmental Theory
• Neuroscience
• Brain-Based Learning
• Learning Styles
• Multiple Intelligences
• Right Brain/Left Brain
• Thinking
• Communities of Practice
• Control Theory
• Observational Learning
• Vygotsky and Social Cognition
In the mid-1950s, humanistic psychologist Abraham Maslow created a theory of basic, psychological and self-fulfillment needs that motivate individuals to move consciously or subconsciously through levels or tiers based on our inner and outer satisfaction of those met or unmet needs. I find this theory eternally relevant for students and adults, especially in today’s education.
Learning means bringing changes, by learning human enters new society and culture. When they learned new understanding, they perform on it. Otherwise, they lose it.
As stated earlier, learning transfers changes (behaviorism) and creates new knowledge or increases information (cognitive skills). Education empowers our brain and beliefs, so it encourages our intellectual power to improve knowledge.

Most important theories related to language learning.
1. Behaviorist,
2. Cognitive,
3. Constructivism,
4. Chomsky’s Universal Grammar
5. Schumann’s Acculturation / Orientation in a new culture,
6. Krashen’s Monitor
7. Conversation
The conversation theory is a transdisciplinary learning theory. Developed by Gordon Pask in 1975, it is influenced by a range of cybernetics, linguistics, computer science concepts, cognitive psychology, and neurophysiology.

How do you incorporate them into your teaching? Try to be as specific as you can.
I use the mix of different theoriesIt depends on the kind of my students.
In my view, theoretical concepts do not yield concrete prescriptions for classroom application, but the good theory can be used flexibly and creatively by teachers in their planning and educational practice. At the same time, not all learning takes place in the classroom as much of it occurs at home, on the sports field, in museums and so forth (non-formal education), and sometimes implicitly and effortlessly (informal learning).
Non-formal education and informal learning are vital for improving language learning.
How People Learn and What are their Learning Styles?
This is my video about the topic

Learning Styles

Nowadays the dominant theory is socio-constructivism which can be defined as an approach according to which individual knowledge relies on its social construction of it. (Piaget, Doise and Mugny, 1984). Particularly relevant in this respect are the communication processes (learning dialogs) occurring in situations where at least two persons try to solve a problem. The social world of a learner includes the people that directly affect that person, including teachers, friends, students, administrators, and participants in all forms of activities. Accordingly, learning designs should enhance local collaboration and dialogue but also engage other actors (e.g. domain experts) to participate in certain ways. Research on collaborative learning is particularly interested in learning mechanisms that are triggered by specific collaborative activities.
Key functionalities of a socio-constructivist learning environment are:
• Reflection & Exchange
• Scaffolding & Storyboarding
• Facilitation & Content
• Monitoring & Assessment
• Production, Investigation, etc.
• Psychological support & Community.
Theoretical concepts do not produce actual prescriptions for classroom application, but the good theory can be used flexibly and creatively by teachers in their planning and educational practice. At the same time, not all learning takes place in the classroom as much of it occurs at home, on the sports field, in museums and so forth (non-formal education), and sometimes implicitly and effortlessly (informal learning).
In the mid-1950s, humanistic psychologist Abraham Maslow created a theory of basic, psychological and self-fulfillment needs that motivate individuals to move consciously or subconsciously through levels or tiers based on our inner and outer satisfaction of those met or unmet needs. I find this theory increasingly relevant for students and adults, especially in today’s education.
Additionally, I would like to highlight Constructivism as one of the hot topics in educational philosophy right now. It potentially has profound inferences for how current `traditional’ instruction is structured, since it goes with several highly exposed educational trends, for example:
• the transition of the teacher’s role from “sage on the stage” (fount/transmitter of knowledge) to “guide on the side” (facilitator, coach);
• teaching “higher order” skills such as problem-solving, reasoning, and reflection (for example, see also creative learning);
• enabling learners to learn how to learn;
• increasing flexibility in the evaluation of learning outcomes;
• cooperative and collaborative learning skills.

For me, language learning through conversation and open communication is the most effective teaching technique.
I want my students to become active learners. As the brain works on a use-it-or-lose-it style, means students must apply whatever they learn.
It is necessary to use the new phrase or character in a real situation. Also learning the words and phrases through original videos helps to learn faster.
Moreover, I encourage my students to make language learning a passion.
I combine the fun of language learning with the commitment to follow through. They should remember that feeling the need to learn a new wording is not enough to take an action. Give yourself clarity on what exactly compels you to learn a new language.
My tips are;
• Figure out the how to comprehend a desire to learn.
• What’s the goal behind it?
• What’s the bigger picture?
• How will learn a new language open opportunities in future?
• Just answering these questions will motivate learners to get to the much higher level to take action when necessary.

Learning: Theory and Research

Learning theory: models, product and process


Language Learning Theories

Language Learning Theories


The modern psychological study of learning can be dated from the work of Hermann Ebbinghaus (1850–1909), whose well-known study of memory was published in 1885. Other early studies of learning were by Edward L. Thorndike (1874–1949), whose dissertation on problem solving was published in 1898, and Ivan Pavlov (1849– 1936), whose research on classical conditioning was begun in 1899 but first published in English in 1927. These theories focused on explaining the behavior of individuals and became known as behavioral theories. These theories use a stimulus-response framework to explain learning and dominated psychology and education for over half a century. Because behavioral theories focus on environmental factors such as reinforcement, feedback, and practice, they conceptualize learning as something that occurs from the outside in.

Behavioral theories provide very good explanations for certain kinds of learning but poor explanations for other types of learning. Operant conditioning, for example, is better than other theories at explaining the rote acquisition of information, the learning of physical and mental skills, and the development of behaviors conducive to a productive classroom (i.e., classroom management). In these situations, the focus is on performing behavioral tasks rather than developing a learner’s cognitive structure or understanding. Although classical conditioning frequently is dismissed as irrelevant to human learning (Pavlov’s initial research paradigm involved dogs salivating), this type of learning provides by far the best explanation of how and why people, including students, respond emotionally to a wide variety of stimuli and situations. The many types of emotional reactions acquired through classical conditioning include: anger toward or hatred for a particular person or group, phobias to a particular subject area or to school itself, and infatuation with another person. However, they are very poor at explaining how individuals come to understand complex ideas and phenomena.

But environmental factors are not the only ones that influence learning. Serious consideration of other perspectives began to enter mainstream psychological thinking about learning during the 1960s. For example, people clearly learn by observing others, and a learner’s belief about his or her ability to perform a task (i.e., self-efficacy) plays an important role in their learning. In 1963 Albert Bandura and R. H. Walters published the first formal statement of social-learning theory in their book, Social Learning and Personality Development. Social-learning theory has clear roots in behavioral theory but differs from these theories in significant ways. During the 1980s the theory became known as social-cognitive theory. Although essentially the same theory, the new name more accurately reflects the cognitive features of the theory and aids in differentiating it from behavioral theories of learning.

During the 1970s and 1980s conceptions and definitions of learning began to change dramatically. Behavioral theories gave way to cognitive theories that focused on mental activities and the understanding of complex material. An information-processing metaphor replaced the stimulus-response framework of behavioral theories. These theories emphasized that learning occurred from the inside out rather than from the outside in. During the late 1970s John Flavell and Ann Brown each began to study metacognition—the learners’ awareness of their own learning, an ability to reflect on their own thinking, and the capacity to monitor and manage their learning. During the mid 1980s the study of self-regulated learning began to emerge (see Zimmerman & Schunk, 2001).

Then, especially during the later 1980s and the 1990s, these cognitive theories were challenged by theories that emphasized the importance of social interactions and the sociocultural context of learning. The work of the Russian psychologist Lev Vygotsky (1896–1934) first became available in North America and along with the work of anthropologists such as Jean Lave began to have a major influence on theories of learning. Individuals were seen as initially participating in peripheral activities of a group (known as legitimate peripheral participation)before becoming fully integrated into group activities. Apprenticeship became a metaphor for the way people learn in natural settings. The notion that people learn by observing others, first articulated in social-cognitive theory, was expanded in a new context.

Traditionally, learning has been viewed as something that occurs within an individual. Individuals may participate and learn in groups, but it is the individual person that learns. With few exceptions, the educational systems in Europe and North America have adopted this perspective, if not entirely with regard to instructional practices, certainly in the evaluation of student performance and the assignment of grades. Many psychologists and educators currently consider learning to be a phenomenon that is distributed among several individuals and/or environmental affordances (such as calculators, computers, and textbooks) or situated (existing or occurring) within a “community of practice” (or community of learners). Both a social and a material dimension are involved in this distribution (Pea, 1993). For example, a student may use a calculator to help learn how to solve a three-digit multiplication problem (the material dimension) and/or work with another student to understand the proper procedures to follow (the social dimension). In either case, the student is not learning totally on his or her own but is taking advantages of resources (affordances) available in the environment. If the student is not able to solve a subsequent problem without the aid of the calculator or another student, then it is possible to see the distributed nature of learning. In such situations, participation or activity rather than acquisition becomes the defining metaphor (Greeno, 2006).

The evolution from behavioral to social to distributed to situated theories of learning was accompanied by new conceptions of knowledge (for a good discussion of these changes, see Schraw, 2006). Traditional theories conceive of knowledge as a commodity capable of being transmitted, more or less intact, from one individual to another. According to these theories, knowledge is something an individual acquires; when a student successfully learns it, he or she can reproduce the knowledge in its original form. In contrast, more recent theories conceive of knowledge as something each learner constructs or creates afresh rather than something that is assimilated in its preexisting form. According to current theories, truly “objective” knowledge does not exist, although something similar exists in the form of collective knowledge within a particular culture or discipline. Knowledge resides in the community of learners (individuals) that creates it and is distributed among members of the community and the various environmental affordances available to the group. Because each person constructs his or her own understandings, the knowledge they acquire is unique. Communities and cultures are composed of individuals with common understandings, and these groups provide opportunities for new members (e.g., children) to construct similar knowledge of the world through schools and/or a variety of informal activities.

The 1990s were dubbed “The Decade of the Brain,” and huge advances were made in neuroscience and how the brain relates to human behavior and learning. The study of how the brain relates to learning is in its infancy (for an introduction to some of the issue, see Bransford et al., 2006). An understanding of how the neurophysiology of the brain affects learning and cognition will add greatly to our understanding of human learning and have a large influence on future theories of learning. Nevertheless, a psychological component to these theories will remain critical for learning in educational settings. Education as it is presently understood is based on psychological processes and interactions capable of being influenced by instruction, and it seems likely that psychological interventions will continue to be important for the foreseeable future.




There are numerous definitions of online learning in the literature, definitions that reflect the diversity of practice and associated technologies. Carliner (1999) defines online learning as educational material that is presented on a computer. Khan (1997) defines online instruction as an innovative approach to delivering instruction to a remote audience, using the Web as the medium.
However, online learning involves more than just the presentation and distribution of the materials using the Web: the learner and the learning process should be the focus of online learning.
Teaching face-to-face and teaching online are both teaching, but they are qualitatively different.Online education starts when faculty move from the traditional classroom to the online classroom. There are some things that the two have in common, but there are also plenty of differences.
1. The online teacher plays the role of guiding students through one or more online learning experiences. These experiences are every so often designed and planned long before the course starts so that the teacher can devote more time to guiding the students and less time preparing lessons. Within this role, the teacher directs and redirects the attention of learners toward fundamental concepts and ideas.
2. Learning is hard work and studying online can sometimes feel isolating, confusing, or discouraging without the guide.
As a result, the effective online teacher makes intentional efforts to communicate precise encouraging messages to individual learners and the group as a whole. Moreover, even when providing constructive feedback, the teacher as supporter finds a way to promote positive messages alongside the critiques. Encouragement and welcoming support are an important approach to maintaining an overall positive morale in the class. At times, learners may fall into negative comments about themselves, the class, or their classmates (even the instructor, on occasion). The coach makes every effort to find ways to listen, respect the learner’s frustrations, but also to help them reframe the situation in a manner that students are more active and creative.
3. Many people focus on the role of the teacher as role model, and that is valuable. However, the role of the coach is just as important, even more, important if we want learners to develop high levels of competence and confidence. The online teacher must move beyond just modeling a depth motivation for the subject and personal skill with the content. The mentor needs to find ways to hand the matter over to the students to do something with it. Applied projects and papers work well for this, and it gives the teacher an opportunity to be a coach and advisor.
4. Learners need some feedback about their work. How are they doing? Are they getting closer to meeting the learning objectives or not? The effective online teacher finds ways to give thoughtful feedback to individual learners and, when appropriate, groups of students.
5. Without intentional efforts to build a positive social environment, online learning can feel lonely and impersonal. As a result, the online teacher must serve as an encouraging host, facilitating introductions, using discussion starters to enable conversations among students, and taking the time to get to know students and referencing that knowledge in interactions with them.
6. The whole thing is documented in an online course. The teacher can tell when and how many times a student logs into the course, what pages were viewed or not, how many discussions posts the student contributed, and much more. This data can be abused, but it can also be used to make adjustments and informed decisions by an online teacher. If a student is not logging in or failing to visit pages in the course with the direct instructions, the coach points that out to the learners or reorganizes the content so that it is easier to find.
7. Online courses are rich with content and sometimes students can get lost in all that content. The teacher as regulator intentionally releases content in chunks that are appropriate for students. Sometimes this comes in the form of only publishing content one week at a time. Other times, the teacher releases it all at once but directs students only to focus on individual parts at a time. Another key is to break content into smaller segments. Rather than a twenty-page document of instructions, it is better to consider breaking it into ten two-page documents.
8. Good teachers are lifelong learners, and they can model that learning for their students in a variety of ways in the online classroom. The teacher can be active (but not too active or it will silence students) participant in online discussions, sharing what they are learning about the subject, and even complete all or fragments of some assignments, sharing their work with the students. The procedure goes a long way in building an exciting and dynamic online learning community where one and all in the community commits to exemplifying the qualities of a lifelong learner.

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