Why Don*t Students Like English Class?

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J. Puccini
ELF in El Salvador, 2012
What kind of person are you? Do you prefer…
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To vacation at the beach OR in the mountains
Cats OR dogs
Saturday nights out OR at home
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How did you like the activity?
How do you think it might help students’
learning and/or participation?
How might you adapt it?
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Your ideas and experiences
6 reasons and some possible solutions
suggested by research
Conclusion
Q&A
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To explain different answers to the question
(why don’t Ss like English class?)
To describe ways to help solve the “puzzle”
What explanations do you have for the
question, “Why don’t students like English
class?”
Example, “Many students just don’t think
English is important.
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How Learning Works. Susan Ambrose, et
al.,2010.
Switch. Chip & Dan Heath, 2010.
“Ten Commandments…” Zoltan Dornyei and
Csizer, 1998.
Why Don’t Students Like School? Daniel
Willingham, 2009.
Broader:
1. Society
2. The subject (English)
3. Classroom environment
Narrower
1. Peers
2. Students’ history
3. The teacher
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How might society contribute to students’ not
liking English?
How might the subject, English, contribute to
students’ not liking English?
How might the classroom envirnonment
contribute to students’ not liking English?
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English is not important (compared to math,
science, and other subjects)
The rider, elephant, and path (Switch)
Example: the $1,000,000,000 gloves
English is boring (grammar rules, reading,
topics unrelated to Ss reality)
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What makes language classes interesting?
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Classrooms are dark, uncomfortable places
From Social-psychology:
◦ Broken Windows theory
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What reasons did Jeff talk about?
What solutions does the research suggest?
What ideas seem most useful for you and
your context? In other words, what is
something specific you can do?
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How might peers contribute to students’ not
liking English?
How might students’ history contribute to
students’ not liking English?
How might the teacher contribute to
students’ not liking English?
The rider, elephant, and path (Switch)
Example: malnurished children in Vietnam
Poor practice  failures
Good practice  successes
“Learning is best encouraged when students’
practice includes 4 points” (Ambrose, et al.)
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Goal
Challenge level
Quantity/frequency
Feedback
Zoltan Dornyei’s, “10 Commandments”
6.
5.
4.
3.
2.
1.
Make classes interesting
Increase Ss linguistic self-confidence
Develop good relationships
Clear instructions
Classroom atmosphere
T as personal example
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How Learning Works: “Ss motivation
determines, directs, and sustains what they
do to learn.”
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What reasons did Jeff talk about?
What solutions does the research suggest?
What ideas seem most useful for you and
your context? In other words, what is
something specific you can do?
Cognitive science and social-psychology have
shown us that
The possible
reasons why
students
don’t like
English are
countless
The human
mind is built
to find
simple, easy
answers
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They don’t like English because they are
_____
My team lost the game because the coach
_______
Our party lost the election because the
other side _________
This is how the our minds work because we
crave coherent stories. The answer to our
question is not one simple, coherent story.
There is no one magic formula or solution.
When the door closes, there is just me and
my students. What steps will I take?
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What insights have you had?
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What steps might you take?
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What questions do you still have?
Materials available: jspuccini.com
Contact me: [email protected]
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