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sábado, 13 de julho de 2013



1.      What is the function of education?


According to David Nunan the function of education is to enable students to learn. Among many others conceptions about the actual function of education David stresses that it is necessary for educators to provide circumstances where students achieve the meaning by themselves, thus arousing autonomy.


2.      What is the point of considering that “all cultures have their own concepts of teaching, learning, an education” when planning a class?


As Nunan claims that it is indispensable to be sensitive to the students’ culture and backgrounds we should adjust our lessons plans to the leaners’ needs in its four aspects: listening, reading, writing and speaking.  Moreover, every class is diverse and it will demand adaptions of methods and approaches according to the circumstances.


3.      What are the main principles of experiential learning?


Kolb believes that “learning is the process whereby knowledge is created through the transformation of experience” (1984, p. 38). Nunan says that in experimental learning, the learning process is based from the student previous learning experiences.


4.      Mention three main differences between behaviorism and experiential learning.


The behaviorism learning perspective works only with the transmission of knowledge while in the experiential learning (constructivism) it’s not just passing the information but also enabling students to transform it.  The behaviorism gives the absolute authority to the educator whereas the constructivism comes to believe that it must have a relation between equals where teachers are also learners. In the constructivism, the learners are active in the process; they can participate, integrate and interact in groups or in pairs and they can even contribute and collaborate to the class learning while in the behaviorism the students are just passive receivers and the teacher holds the whole control over the class.


5.      Define inductive and deductive learning.


The deductive learning is an approach more teacher-centered where the teacher leads the class introducing and explaining concepts and rules for students to absorb and then apply exercises for them to practice. On the other hand, inductive learning is more student-centered, the teacher explains trying to provoke the ability of observation and inference, he asks students to give examples from their daily lives and then he expects for them to infer the rules by themselves.


6.       Discuss the shift from the concept of language as a “unified system” to the concept of language as a “system for expressing meanings” and its effects on language teaching.


As reported by Nunan (1998), up to 1960s, language was supposed to be just a system of rules and the students should incorporate, absorb and dominate those language’s structures.  In 1970s they appeared with another idea about the language, instead of just a structured syntactic system, they came up with the concept that language is also a system for the expression of meanings.


7.      What is learner-centered education?


As the name already suggests, learner-centered is more students oriented education; it focuses on the development of the students’ autonomy. Students should be no longer passive on the process, as just a receiver, but they should also participate and integrate on the learning process. Students have their voices and decide which way is better for them to learn. By negotiating with the teacher, learners can decide what subject, how and when to be taught and how to be evaluated.


8.      Mention three principles of adult learning that apply to you as a learner.


The three principles of adult learning that I most identify myself as a learner are:   1. Adults learn best when they are involved in developing learning objectives for themselves that are congruent with their current and idealized self-concept.

2. Adults do not learn when overstimulated or when experiencing extreme stress or anxiety.

3. Adults learn best when the content is personally relevant to past experience or present concerns and the learning process is relevant to life experiences. 


9.      What is the relationship between learner-centeredness and negotiated curricula? How can they be applied?


Nunan (1998) claims that “The philosophy of learner-centeredness has been given practical effect in the form of negotiated curricula in which the views of the learner as well as the pedagogical agenda of the teacher are satisfied through a process of give-and-take. In a classroom where the content and process are negotiated, neither learners nor teachers have it all their own way.” 


10.  What is task-based language teaching? (TBLT)


Task-based learning focuses on the use of authentic language through meaningful tasks such as visiting the doctor or a telephone call.   It is student-centered, it brings pragmatic problems and situations for students to perform and it encourages meaningful communication.


11.  What’s the difference between tasks and exercises?


In Task-based language teaching, problems and situations about daily outside lives are brought for students to solve in the target language; whereas exercises are just given for students to learn the structured rules system of the language. According to Nunan (1998) “[…] the essential differences between a task and an exercise is that a task has a nonlinguistic outcome, while an exercise has a linguistic outcome.


12.  When designing a lesson, why is it important to make the form and function relationships clear?


It is important to engage learners in the pragmatic, authentic, functional use of language for meaningful purposes.        


13.  What is the “task dependency principle” Do you agree with that?


As stated by Nunan (1998), “it is a principle in which each succeeding task is the instructional sequence flows out of, and is dependent on, the one that precedes it. In this way, a series of tasks in a lesson or unit of work  forms a kind of pedagogical ladder, each task representing a rung on the ladder, enabling the learner to reach higher and higher levels of communicative performance.”


14.  Define:

A)    Syllabus design:

B)    Methodology:


The syllabus design is the subject and content that is going to be taught. It is the outcome of the organization of the topical contents. A methodology for syllabus design is the guideline that is referenced to develop the logic of the order and context of the content included in the syllabus.