Teachers Project Pedagogy

Enhancing Communication Skills in EFL Classes

 

    Miss.C.Boukhiar **Miss.N.Azzaz  ** Mrs.N.Zamamouche

Rationale:

Communicating effectively in the target language is of paramount importance for contemporary EFL teachers in Algeria. It is one of the main concerns as it pertains to students’ performance and well doing in class, in exam situations and in real-life contexts into the bargain. “Students respond well if they possess the right tools of communicating their ideas”, most teachers claim. Teachers also keep claiming that if they knew about the latest brain findings and how learners scaffold their learning styles, they would be more prepared to handle things in class and be the harbinger of effective communication among those young speakers of the language in question.  Ranging from class, to exam or even extra-curricular contexts, teachers need to foster students’ communicative skills through ways that go far beyond a mere focus on accuracy or fluency accordingly, English being simply a tool.

Objectives:

Help teachers :

1)    Identify and categorize learning needs among EFL students

2)    Interpret related brain findings and academic research and literature and bringing about  teachers’ schemata into real practice

3)    Respond appropriately to students’ diverse learning styles

4)    Provide strategies to deal with communication situations in class

5)    Foster students’ communicative skills and help them manage effective ways of conveying messages within social contexts.

6)    Design appropriate assessment tools for students’ oral skills performance.

Methodology:

To handle the topic in question, the team deemed it crucial to conduct a survey with teachers of English to get further data as to the latter’s need to deal with communication problems. The survey consists of two main parts, the first one being “interviews with teachers”, the second one “reporting findings”. Interpreting the survey results would next help the team figure out teachers’ schemata about the topic as well as their conception of possible resolutions. Reflecting upon a case study prior to some experts’ assumptions would also instill the audience’s inquisitiveness to share experience and feedback about the raised topic. Right after that, three full-time sessions will be suggested, presented and debated. Assessing the workshop through a suggested assessment  grid will culminate in a short feedback after which part the workshop will come to its end.

 

Material needed:

1)    ICTs room

2)    slide show projector

3)    handouts

4)    audio and video scripts

5)    chart paper

6)    drawing material

Team’s reflection after their project presentation

Miss Nassima Azzaz:

 Going through this experience, I have recognized so many things I didn’t consider before in my teaching and in my dealing with my students in class. Though I have always tried to raise my students’ motivation in designing the different tasks in my lesson plan and in selecting the relevant teaching material, I always felt there was something missing there. Most of the time, the aims were achieved to a certain extent but not with all pupils. i.e. not all of them were always involved in practising the language effectively, particularly with slow-learners-classes.

Taking part in this project, however, helped me a lot to see things from a different perspective. Firstly, varying teaching strategies is a key element to maximize learning and to get all types of learners communicate in the target language. Secondly, resorting to skills other than linguistic ones, such as body language and facial expressions to compensate pp’s weaknesses and deficiencies in communication is an effective way to overcome shyness and to trigger out students’ potentials. Finally, learners respond more appropriately in L2 when led through a certain motivating context which is designed to be explored for linguistic outcomes.

 

Mrs Nawel Zamamouche:

It was such an enjoyable and an interesting experience I had with my wonderful colleagues. Personally I learned a lot of things through the preparation of our project. Indeed, I got more experience because it is the first time I present something in front of an audience. It’s really motivating to be engaged in such a work. This will help me a lot in my teaching career, i.e. I mean in varying my strategies and my techniques.  Moreover, I recognized that our learners, especially the weaker ones, can use other alternatives as body language, facial expressions and gestures in case they don’t find words. In such a way, they will be interested and can express themselves in different ways;  so they  communicate effectively

 

Miss C. Boukhiar:

Taking part in this project, I was granted a unique opportunity at learning a lot more about EFL students’ learning strategies and how it is possible they can transfer and incorporate communication skills and strategies they have for long acquired via their mother tongue into the learning process of a foreign language like English. In fact, studies have shown that learners of a foreign language already possess skills of conveying messages through non-verbal communication skills. The latter would help EFL teachers redeem failure and strain at communicating messages via words only, an approach I have for long believed is the harbinger of triggering learners’ linguistic competencies in a particular language. Making use of such findings has added a lot to my conception of competency-based learning and how effective teaching might be if teachers went far beyond their belief in being mere teachers of a language. This assumption has allowed me pay more attention to my students’ way of interacting in class instead of focusing on the language they come to practise. Indeed, I no longer see complete evidence in what my students say; instead I rather consider how they say that and how effective that is on the audience around them. In short, I think it is high time I started learning from my silent students instead of bothering myself at deciphering the humming tunes hovering high above my ears.

Bibliography:

1)    Judith Dodge, Differentiation in Action, 2005.

2)    Jennifer Barton, Paul Heilker, and David Rutkowski, Fostering Effective Classroom Discussions, English Department Virginia Tech

3)    Harada Taoka, Use of Communication Strategies by EFL learners in a Japanese University, , 2009.

4)    Rolf Palmberg, Vocabulary awareness activities for EFL learners, University, Vaasa- Finland, March 2005

5)    Jane King, Preparing EFL Learners for Oral Presentations, July 2002.

 Teachers Feedback
 

1.  It is very interesting. We have learnt new techniques which may be used with our students. It has enriched our way of teaching.

 

2.    I appreciate the project in the sense that they managed to deal with techniques related to the three levels. Congratulations.

 

3. The project was well prepared. It will help us in changing our way of teaching; looking for other materials as  the use of appropriate videos can lead to a better learning.

 

4.  Interesting and very helpful;  techniques easy to handle in class. Thanks for such contribution.

 

5. It is really good, motivating and helpful. Congratulations.

 

6. Big efforts were done to motivate learners. ICTs are very well-used and help a lot both in the project presentation and in teaching.

 

7.  The project was successful. It helps me not to stick anymore to the official textbook. I discover new and easy techniques. I like very much the team spirit. Thank you very much for the excellent work.

 

8.The project was really interesting. It motivates me to improve my teaching techniques.

 

9. I find it helpful, practical, very interesting and motivating. It’s a very good project. Thank you so much.

 

10. It’s a good project. The teachers showed a remarkable intelligence and logic in dealing with the topic they have chosen. They have a scientific spirit! I like the work. Thanks a lot and carry on.

 

11. The project was carefully-organized and well-presented. It seems to me that it is a real group who has a great sense of collaboration. It helps a lot through its attractive tasks and feasible techniques. Thanks to the group for their great efforts.

 

12. It’s really well-presented, well-done. It shows the group’s high technological skills and team work. This project will certainly help us enhance communication skills in our classrooms.

 

13. The project was well-prepared. They really did a good job, and I feel that we learnt  something good in language learning and communication strategies. Thanks a lot.

           M. Normach

14. We appreciate the efforts of the team. We feel inspired and motivated to use these techniques in our classrooms.

15. The project was well-presented and motivating.

Bensliman

16. It was really an impressive project.

Miss Belkaid

17. The project is realistic. With efforts and serious work, the teachers managed to motivate the learners and got the objectives assigned          ( videos).

 

18. I would like to thank all the group for their valuable work. I like it very much. They did their best to make it clear for us. The way they presented demonstrated how well collaboration works. So thank you.

                                                                                           Bessaim

19. I feel I learnt a lot today, and I will do my best to use what I have learnt to enhance my students’ communication skills.

20. Great work! Congratulations.

                                                Derragui

21. I really felt happy and concerned with all the techniques suggested.

22. I like the project very much. The ICTs were very motivating.

 

 

 

 

Upcoming Events

No upcoming events


eltalgeria@ymail.com