A skill training unit for teachers of English as a foreign language

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Davis, Tara Elyssa
McClure, James M.
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The purpose of this dissertation is to develop materials for a skill training unit for teachers of English as a foreign or second language. This development was an attempt to meet the need for short-term, self-instructional materials, based on sound psycholinguistic theory, and designed to give trainees the opportunity to practice isolated skills of foreign language teaching.First of all, a review of related literature was conducted for a fourfold purpose: to assess the success of the skill training approach as used heretofore in education, to discover those aspects of the skill training approach which research studies have proven to be most effective, to determine a rationale for application of the skill training approach to foreign language teacher education and to review the successful components off the major approaches to foreign language teaching. From this review of the literature and research, basic principles are drawn, to serve as the criteria for the development of the skill training unit. The design of- the skill training unit is based on the pattern of the teacher education minicourses developed by the Far West Laboratory for Research and Development. In other words, the training unit is divided into three packets for the isolated practice of three different skills or teaching activities in the teaching of English as a foreign language: 1) Introducing and Presenting Language Material, 2) Directing Practice Activities and 3) Providing for Communication Activities. Each of the three packets contains six items to be used systematically by the trainee: 1) A Self-Instructional and Check-Off Sheet, 2) A Description and Rationale of the teaching activity in that packet (i.e. language learning theory simplified to a one-page explanation), 3) A Checklist of Objective Teaching Behaviors for that packet, 4) A Model Lesson on Videotape (including a written outline of the model lesson), 5) A Lesson Plan for the trainee to follow in the preparation of his own 5-8 minute lesson segment for videotaping and evaluation and, 6) An Outline for the Trainee's Plan to Reteach the lesson based on self and other evaluations from the first practice lesson.The emphasis of this dissertation is on the development of the product rather than on a statistical analysis of its effectiveness. However, following the development of the materials, a small scale evaluation is conducted to obtain feedback on the content validity. Through a process of rational, judgmental analysis, a panel of five experts and a group of teacher trainees decide whether each criterion has been met. The succeeding revision of the unit refines any of the problem areas indicated by the panel, as well as three additional areas indicated by the trainees.The completed skill training materials are available and recommended for use by preservice or inservice trainees in any area of the world who need the opportunity to practice basic skills of teaching English as a foreign or second language. The unit can be used by those who are unable to research theory and need demonstration and practice, or by those who are studying theory and need application opportunities. It can serve as a supplemental unit in a regular methods class or as an entire program for a workshop or self-instructional study, and does not require the presence of an informed leader. While it is definitely preferable that videotaping facilities be available for feedback purposes, the course could be conducted without this provision as long as a VTR monitor is available for showing the model lessons. The skill training unit is available by order through contacting: Tara E. Davis Secondary Education Ball State University Muncie, Indiana 47303