Active Learning and Modern Languages

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Transcript Active Learning and Modern Languages

Active Learning and Modern Languages

Suzanne Milne Angus Council Educational Development Service November 2009

Ancient Chinese Proverb I hear…………..I forget I see…………….I remember I do……………..I understand

What is Active Learning?

“Learning is not a spectator sport. Students do not learn much just sitting in classes listening to teachers, memorising pre packaged assignments, and spitting out answers. They must talk about what they are learning, write reflectively about it, relate it to past experiences and apply it to their daily lives. They must make what they learn part of themselves.” (Chickering & Gamson, 1987)

How do we define Active Learning?

Any strategy “that involves students in doing things and thinking about the things they are doing.” (Bonwell & Eison, 1991) This derives from two basic assumptions: • That learning is by nature an active endeavour • That different people learn in different ways

What do we mean by Active Learning?

Teachers’ explanations are clear and demonstrate links with previous learning.

Teachers spend time actively teaching.

Young people actively participate through listening, thinking and reflecting Teachers present material actively in a structured way without over reliance on text books or worksheets Active Learning: Key Ideas Contexts for learning are challenging and enjoyable.

Young people are involved in hands-on learning.

Young people take risks and understand they learn from their mistakes.

According to Edgar Dale’s “Cone of Learning” After 2 weeks we tend to remember…..

Passive Reading 10% of what we read Hearing Words Looking at pictures 20% of what we hear 30% of what we see Movies/Videos/Exhibits Demonstrations Seeing it done on location 50% of what we see and hear Active Participating in a discussion Giving a talk 70% of what we say Doing a dramatic presentation Simulating the real experience Doing the real thing 90% of what we say and do

The Active Teaching Continuum




LEARNER IS IN CONTROL Most teachers move back and forth along this continuum as the learning needs of pupils demand.

Is teacher talk effective?


Convenient for delivering explanations The pupil is not required to form an understanding Content can be tailored to the needs of a class No feedback on whether learning has taken place It can be inspiring Retention is low Little preparation is required A quick method of presenting material More personal than written communication The teacher must adopt the same pace for the whole class Material may be delivered too quickly It can be boring No active involvement of pupils It assumes consenting students


Pupils will only get good at something

– by doing it!