Friday, May 31, 2013

On Paying Attention in the classroom by Marta Braylan


As language teachers our daily challenge is to get to a point where students (in my case elementary school students) become intrinsically motivated to pay attention

Most students get motivated to learn about authentic content when they need the language/grammar to express themselves, to convince others, to publish their work, to post their work in cyberspace and more.

When working with CLIL projects, I am sometimes astonished to see how many students ask for the language they need (really paying attention) in order to express themselves. I believe this happens because "they really need to solve a problem or answer a challenging question".Perhaps they need to write a note giving an opinion on something they care about" or "they want to test a previous idea"  or "they want to be part of something with their classmates" or "they expect certain serious feedback on their work" and so forth.

This, of course requires us to

  • Be careful to consider all the opinions (in different formats, not only orally but also by inviting them to write,  to make mind maps, to draw, to write and illustrate cartoons, to finish incomplete ideas.......and more). 
  • Be patient and listen, try to refrain from correcting before is time to do so.
  • Be aware and remember that teachers opinions and reactions are fundamental to keep the right learning atmosphere and students' valued attention.

Please, leave your comment/opinion!!!!