Tuesday, 24 July 2012

Post #1

"Listening strategies in the L2 classroom: more practice, less testing" by Cecilia Aponte-de-Hanna was an interesting article. It focuses on teaching students to become autonomous language learners.  I believe that this is very true.  If a student has a desire to learn a language, but their only engagement with the language is through their teacher, the odds of them developing a high level of proficiency in the language is low.  On the other hand, if a student uses their teacher's lesson as a way to create a foundation for their own learning, they will likely have more success.  In my quest to become fluent at Japanese, I found that I had much greater success when I took the learning into my own hands and began visiting a number of Japanese language learning related online tools, such as Kanji Box, in order to improve my Japanese language ability.  I also developed a habit of obsessively writing Chinese characters in a notebook during my free time.  My Japanese improved a lot after practicing these for some time.  
Aponte-de-Hanna calls it "meta-strategic awareness", but however one expresses it, teachers ought to encourage their students to do their own language learning outside of the classroom as well as teach them to be aware of their own shortcomings with the language in order for them to work on their language weaknesses themselves.  In fact, textbooks should also include within their pages advice on ways in which students can study the language in their own time, such as recommending learning strategies or useful websites they can use for their study, for example.

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