The Place of Literature in a Task-Based Language Teaching Classroom: The Futo Experience (Published)
This paper examined the deployment of literature texts in the teaching of language using the task-based constructive approach. The theory of constructivist language learning is one which advocates a learner-centred, task-based approach, contrary to older teaching methods where the teacher dominates the classroom or where rote learning is encouraged. In a constructivist learning situation, the learner discovers new knowledge for himself as he undertakes certain language tasks with the guidance of the teacher-facilitator. This paper studied the use of literature texts, rather than isolated constructed sentences, as material for language tasks in the teaching of Use of English at the Federal University of Technology, Owerri (FUTO). The two areas of language examined in the paper were coherence in text organization and descriptive writing. The use of literature texts was found to be closer to authentic data than de-contextualised constructed sentences and, therefore, challenged and excited the learners more. The paper recommends a greater adoption of literature texts and other texts taken from real-life or near real-life situations as material in task-based learning.
Research on the Strategy-Based Instruction of News Broadcast Listening For English Minors in China (Published)
News broadcast, as a kind of authentic input, are invaluable materials to improve listening proficiency for both ESL and EFL learners. However, the particular characteristics of news broadcast present a number of challenges to achieving comprehension: unfamiliar patterns of discourse, vocabulary, speech rates, syntactic structures, and a high density of factual contents, etc. In this paper, based on the Constructivism views on education, the author chooses 86 English learners in China who take English as their second major as the research subjects, carries out a strategy-based instruction to the experimental group. After the 15-week instruction, the author collects and analyses the data to examine whether the strategy-based instruction would help students improve their news listening performance.
Education is considered a prerequisite for all individuals to make meaningful impact in their society. It enlightens the individuals and engrains in them the capacity to develop critical ability that would enable them transform their society in the best way they can. However, the actual teaching method and the structure of the curricula across the tiers of learning seem to have defeated this basic purpose of education. In most cases, education has been designed as an instrument of conservatism, where the learner becomes a passive receptor of certain knowledge. This makes the learner unproductive and sterile so much so that rather than the learner utilizing the knowledge acquired, the learner gives value to the certificate awarded. Paulo Freire considers this method of education as a banking system of education, which for him is a dangerous approach to impacting knowledge. He suggests problem-posing as the alternative model to the banking system of education. This alternative model engrains in the learner the liberty to develop thinking abilities, which aid such person to contribute in the learning process. This model conceives education as a kind of symbiotic method of learning. While we appreciate Freire’s alternative model, our work assesses it as inadequate. This paper therefore aims at exposing the limitations and pragmatic bankruptcy of a problem-posing pedagogy as espoused by Freire in contradistinction to a problem-solving type of education, which our paper strongly advocates. Our study also underscores the fact that it is not enough for a learner to participate in the learning process, which only results in posing problem. Adopting the constructivist approach, this paper strongly argues that the most appropriate model that gives the learner that huge independent capacity to transform the society is the problem-solving type. Through this model, the learner develops critical abilities to address societal and contextual problems.
The constructivism philosophical paradigm is an efficient tool that can yield many benefits when implemented in the carrying out of research in diverse field of study as well as in undertaking teaching and learning activities at any educational level. There was the need to adopt the qualitative research’s powerful tool thus, document analysis to present a literature review on the subject to enlighten researchers and teachers of the great imports, rich and useful information that they can glean from this vibrant paradigm of philosophy. The paper projects, how researchers can be coached with this philosophical paradigm in their selection of research design, instrumentation, theoretical framework and data analysis procedures. It recommends viable instructional strategies that teachers can employ for instructing learners in the constructivist approach. The paper contends strongly that the constructivism philosophical paradigm provides a firm foundation for researches, especially in humanities, education and other behavioral researches while maximizing students’ learning outcomes when employed in teaching and learning activities.