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Messages - beiduo721

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Summary & Paraphrase / Help your students to see the "deep structure"
« on: December 03, 2011, 12:54:03 AM »
 ESL/EFL students often struggle with paraphrasing the target source, either they distort the original meanings when using their own words or they just simply put everything in quotation marks (sometimes they even try to quote a paragraph!). We may want to teach them the two basic ways of paraphrasing: by making word-level transformations or by rebuilding the deep structure. Obviously the first one is much easier than the second and students love to use it, but itís hard to check if the students get a good understanding of the sources, since they may just need to switch some key words without touching the structure. I found some interesting exercises online that can help them practice the more challenging way of paraphrasing.
 http://www.tnewfields.info/Articles/parEX.htm
 
 
 

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Literature Reviews / Re: Introducing the Literature Review
« on: October 24, 2011, 11:37:01 PM »
Hi Kathy,I really like this activity! I observed Jin last week and she used this activity in her class for the last 30 minutes. Students were highly involved in their roles,they required to watch the video multiple times in order to analyze every detail; some of them even argued with each other about who's responsible for the accident.It is a good way to introduce literature review to ESL students by making them collect clues from others and develop them into a concise report.Students can practice speaking  and summarizing skills at the same time.It is better to assign the writing task to each student individually other than to have them just complete one report in a group. (some students may avoid contribution). Overall,it is a really interesting activity,thanks for sharing!   :)

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Summary & Paraphrase / How to write a good summary_Claire practice day
« on: October 20, 2011, 03:08:49 PM »
Here are the materials and handout that I used for the lesson "How to write a summary for a short video".The target learners are ESL/EFL intermediate or advanced college students.The major information gap activity can also be well-adapted to pre-writing activity.

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Pre-reading activities:
Before introducing the reading, I will put the students in groups (3 or 4) and have them discuss about some background information.
(Accessing prior knowledge/determining what is known about the topic) (please check the attachment)


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Feedback--Peer Review / Re: Give effective feedback in peer review
« on: September 25, 2011, 09:37:12 PM »
I suggested this idea to Jin,who is teaching two ESL writing classes this semester and she actually tried it last week. She assigned each student with a partner from the other class and asked them to do peer review online using dropbox without knowing each other's personal information.According to her,it worked very well.Since students had no idea whose work they were dealing with, so they tried to be more objective and made lots of thoughtful comments.It can also solve the problem that some students may feel reluctant to comment on those who have better writing skills.

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Feedback--Peer Review / Give effective feedback in peer review
« on: September 21, 2011, 09:07:14 PM »
 Although I have never taught academic writing before, I do want to share some ideas about peer review. As a language learner, I find it very helpful, both to the writer and to the one who contributes feedback. However, not many ESL/EFL students pay special attention to peer review. I discussed this issue with Jin, and she showed me some peer review samples from ESL writing classes. I have to say, the students are quite strict to their peers with comments such as Ēthis is wrong; itís not enough to support the main idea; I donít think soĒ etc.! We should let the students be aware of a proper way to provide effective feedback without hurting otherís feeling.

1.      Point out the good things first (the one you like or support). Praise, comment, and correct in that order.2.      Use complete sentences to provide clear explanations of your corrections. 3.      Make positive comments about topic sentences or thesis, examples, and conclusion. Be sure to comment on what you liked as well as what was not clear to you. 4.      Provide comments in clear handwriting if doing peer review with hardcopies. Here is a presentation about how to do peer review in writing class.
http://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/712/1/

Also, sometimes students lack motivation of correcting their classmateís work (sometimes they are just reluctant to criticize someone they know). As one possible solution, when I was in high school, we often did peer review among classes: we exchanged our assignments with the students from other classes and found it much easier to evaluate the strangerís work. Our teachers also made us compete with other classes to see who contributed more. We felt highly motivated and it worked so well. 
 

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Human Is: A Science Fiction Story / Activities for Human is...
« on: September 08, 2011, 01:17:09 PM »
I will target at high-intermediate or advanced ESL students, college level for the following reading and writing activities. Pre-reading activity Before reading the story, in small groups, I will let the students come up with the features of aliens that they can think about (appearance, characteristics, intelligence, etc). And every group will write down those features on the blackboard. Then the whole class will choose the representative features from all the groupsí ideas. If time permits, one volunteer student will draw the alien on the blackboard according to the features. During reading, students need to summarize the personalities of Lester and the alien. Post-reading activity 1.     After they finish reading the whole story, they will be asked to make comparisons between the alien in the story and the one they wrote on the blackboard. 2.     For final writing exercise, every student needs to rewrite the ending of the story: ďAt the end of the story, Jill decided not to turn in the alien but to keep it as her husband. So imagine if you are Jill, what will you do?Ē Students also need to provide reasons for their decision.  After they finish writing, call on several individuals to share their stories and reasons.

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