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This blog AIMS TO SHARE VIEWS, INSIGHTS AND MATERIALS RELATED TO THE TEACHING AND LEARNING OF ESL. tHE SHARED MATERIALS AND IDEAS MAY NOT BE THE BEST AND APPLICABLE IN ALL TEACHING AND LEARNING CONTEXTS. TAKE WHAT IS RELEVANT TO YOU, DOWNLOAD WHAT YOU WISH. MAY THIS BLOG INSPIRE YOU IN CERTAIN WAYS. LIKE THE TREES HERE, WE THE ENGLISH TEACHERS NEED TO KEEP ON GROWING. LET'S GROW TOGETHER. THANKS FOR VISITING @EZE.

OVERVIEW

21st century has affected language learning in many ways. The traditional teaching methods are no longer sufficient to enhance English proficiency among learners (Sapan, et, al., 2019). One of the learning and teaching methods that is widely practised in the world of education is Project-Based Learning (PjBL). Project-based learning is a teaching method that places learners at the heart of learning. It has been commonly recognised that PjBL has remarkable impact on the learning process as it involves learners to think creatively, collaborate, assess and present their work to an audience (Grant, 2014; Kokotsaki, Menzies, & Wiggins, 2016).

Du and Han (2016) state that project-based learning is not relatively new in pedagogy. In fact, PjBL began approximately in the early 1980s and it was greatly influenced by the communication approach. PjBL was originated from John Dewey’s theory of learning by doing in which he insisted that learning should be more practical where the learners e...

INTRODUCTION

Flipped classroom is one of the most significant technological innovations in the 21st century. The flipped classroom was introduced by Jonathan Bergmann and Aaron Sams for their trainees who had missed classes. Bergmann and Sams used live video recordings and screen casting software to record lectures, demonstrations, and slide presentation with annotations and posted them for the trainees to watch and read (Hamden, et, al., 2013).

Flipped classroom is a pedagogical approach which ensures that students become more active participants compared with the traditional classroom through activities which are conducted outside the classroom (Uzunboylu and Karagozlu, 2015). In a typical flipped classroom environment, pupils are required to watch instructional videos outside of the classroom or prior to their class. This enables pupils to learn at their own time and pace before the class session. Besides, it allows the instructors to use the class time for more practices, discussions...

Introduction

These days, it is not an uncommon scenario to see teachers of ESL classrooms embracing 21st century language learning and teaching methods. Some ESL teachers take advantage of the modern facilities and electronic gadgets and apply them in their teaching. It is possible and practical as most language learners have instant access to the Internet. Prihastiwi et, el. (2017) highlight that instead of obtaining information from printed resources, language learners normally prefer to have digital information from the Internet.

Blended Learning

In line with this age, applying blended learning in ESL classrooms is a practical and laudable approach. The word ‘blended’ means combined and implies a mixture of more than one components (Picciano, 2009). Currently, the term ‘blended learning’ involves combining Internet and digital media with established classroom forms that involve the physical presence of the teacher and learners. In blended learning, learners have some control over time,...

This strategy DOES NOT ONLY require lower intermediate learners to simply copy model essays of their level and proficiency. It is more than that. When lower intermediate learners are coached to examine essays critically, there are benefits for them to gain. One thing for sure, based on my observations and experiences, the whole process of copying, examining and scrutinising model essays do develop their confidence and motivation to write.

Copying model essays is helpful and it works in various contexts. Model essays show lower intermediate learners the kinds of sentences they should write as well as the techniques and ways to present and develop their own ideas. Instead of merely copying the model essays, teachers can always implement any of these activities for their learners:

  1. Revise the 7 techniques to develop ideas (posted in this blog on 22.10.2018 https://zanurinms.wixsite.com/englishzone/single-post/2018/10/22/GORENG-20-ENHANCING-DEVELOPMENT-OF-IDEAS-AMONG-WEAK-AND-RELUCTANT-ES...

This write-up is based on the performances of my Form 5 pupils in the recent examination. They answered this question, “Write about a character who proves that determination helps to achieve his/her dream.”. Having only learnt the novel Dear Mr Kilmer in January 2020 and they only did a few guided practices and one test based on the novel, it is not surprising that some of them had a few issues in answering the question recently.

Generally, my pupils did their best but as a teacher, it is my responsibility to highlight certain weaknesses exhibited in their responses. The ways the question should be examined and answered must also be explained to them. It is my ultimate hope, the following comments, tips and guidelines will be helpful to my pupils (as well pupils of other schools who also study Dear Mr Kilmer).

TIPS ON TO HOW TO ANALYSE THE QUESTION CRITICALLY:

  1. Read the question and underline the keywords. “Write about a character who proves that determination helps to achieve his/her ...

Some SPM candidates fail to examine the Continuous Writing questions precisely, either during practices in class or in examinations. They normally think as fast as possible and then start writing. In short, some learners do not think critically about what should be written but simply start writing the essay. Consequently, their essay could be partially relevant or occasionally, totally irrelevant. 

Personally, I believe the candidates can perform better in term of the content of their essay if they seriously think about what to write. No doubt, examination jitters are often experienced by some which affects their flow of thoughts. However, if the candidates are trained well, if they are always encouraged to pose questions about their essay question, they would be able to present accurate and good contents or at least present ideas which are in line with all the essay requirements.

I will share tips or reminders based on the weaknesses shown by some of my own Form 5 learners in the recent...

There are still SPM candidates who fail to score a full mark for format and content points. Some of them are simply careless despite repeated reminders and the examination tips given by the teachers. In this write-up I would like to share the Directed Writing question tested in the recent school-based examination. A model answer is offered. Moreover, comments on weaknesses are also given, together with suggestions on how they can be improved. No doubt, your SPM candidates and mine could be different groups of learners, however, I am positive some of my candidates' weaknesses are common to you too.

DIRECTED WRITING QUESTION

You have just returned from a two-day-one-night leadership camp. You are asked to write a report to the principal about the camp. Use the following notes to write your report.

In your report, include the following: 

  • Dates and place

  • Number of participants

  • Aim – groom future leaders

  • Accompanying teachers

  • Activities carried out and their benefits:

...

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CRITICAL SCRUTINY OF MODEL ESSAYS: A STRATEGY TO BOOST CONFIDENCE AND MOTIVATION AMONG LOWER INTERMEDIATE ESL WRITERS

March 27, 2020

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