Learning Languages Chart

The main aspects of effective pedagogy for learning languages are summarised in the
Generic Framework for Teaching and Learning Languages in English-medium Schools - Learning languages wall chart (PDF 814KB).

The teaching and learning guidelines designed to support teachers to develop programmes of learning for specific languages for students from curriculum levels 1 – 4 can be found in the Learning Languages Curriculum Guides on TKI http://learning-languages-guides.tki.org.nz/

Guidelines for Levels 5 - 8 are now located on the Senior Secondary Curriculum Guides website.

Resources to support the design and planning of Learning Languages programmes and units of work:

Learning Languages Unit Planning Template

Teaching as inquiry in The New Zealand Curriculum is a model to support teacher inquiry into the teaching-learning relationship. It is useful across the curriculum as a whole, and to consider teaching and learning in relation to the key competencies.

Since any teaching strategy works differently in different contexts for different students, effective pedagogy requires that teachers inquire into the impact of their teaching on their students. The fundamental purpose of the Teaching as Inquiry cycle is to achieve improved outcomes for all students. Less obviously, but very importantly, the cycle is an organising framework that teachers can use to help them learn from their practice and build greater knowledge. Read more ...

The Teacher Professional Learning and Development BES illuminates the kind of professional learning for teachers that strengthens valued outcomes for diverse learners. Free hard copies are available for New Zealand educators via orders@thechair.minedu.govt.nz or a .pdf version can be accessed online at http://www.educationcounts.govt.nz/publications/series/2515/15341

What is the nature of evidence that makes a difference to learning?

The Learning Languages Observation Tool was developed from a model used in the Technology learning area and has been trialled and successfully implemented by several HODs of Learning Languages departments. This tool provides an excellent guide to many of the facets that should be considered in appraisal of second language teaching and learning programmes. It can be used to support appraisal and revisited throughout the year by the HOD and teachers as they engage in teaching inquiry.

How the Key Competencies relate to Learning Languages
When students learn a new language, they progressively extend their linguistic and cultural understanding and their ability to interact appropriately with other speakers. At the same time, they progressively develop all five of the key competencies.

The Role of the Key Competencies in Second Language Learning

The Key Competencies and Learning Languages in the NZ Curriculum

Learners are most likely to develop and strengthen their capabilities for living and learning when they learn with teachers whose leadership creates conditions that stimulate key competencies.

What could key competencies look like in leadership?

Discussion Tools
Systems, Leadership and the Key Competencies
Pedagogy, Leadership, and the Key Competencies
School Leadership and Key Competencies

To learn a language effectively, students need to know how to learn as well as what to learn. Having a repertoire of learning strategies can help students become better and more autonomous learners. This presents twenty particularly useful learning strategies that teachers can introduce to their students and it demonstrates how teachers can introduce these strategies in their .

The Key Competencies and Effective Pedagogy

There are reciprocal relationships between the learning areas and the key competencies. When these relationships are purposefully exploited both the learning areas and the key competencies are strengthened. Opportunities to develop key competencies can play out as opportunities to develop learning areas and vice versa.

  • How well are the key competencies integrated into Learning Language ?
  • What opportunities are provided by Learning Languages to strengthen key competencies?
  • What impact is the integration between key competencies and Learning Languages having on students’ overall development? How do we know?
  • What aspects of key competency development might we need to do more work on?

The MoE has funded the development of a Key Competencies tool which has two main parts:
  • a self-audit framework of questions about effective pedagogy
  • a mosaic of 14 engaging examples of practice that show what this pedagogy might look like in different learning areas.

These materials support in-school professional learning conversations and can be accessed on TKI http://keycompetencies.tki.org.nz/Key-competencies-and-effective-pedagogy
Differentiated Instruction in the Foreign Language Classroom

Our language classrooms are tapestries of the world around us. Students come to us with varying ability levels, a myriad of language and cultural backgrounds, an abundance of interests, and an assortment of learning profiles. These students need inspiring, engaging lessons that will permit them to reach their highest potential and meaningful tasks that are relevant both to them and to the world in which they live. They desire a supportive learning environment which promotes diversity, nurtures creativity, acknowledges that they learn at varied rates and in different ways, recognizes their strengths, and honors everyone’s work. These students need variety, choices, challenges, complexity, and opportunities to demonstrate their capabilities. They need to experience differentiated instructional opportunities (Heacox, 2002).


Leading and Managing a Differentiated Classroom

The foremost expert on differentiation shares classroom-tested tips and tools for preparing the classroom, establishing routines, setting goals with students, and selecting teaching approaches. Carol Ann Tomlinson discusses what is required to successfully differentiate from pre-assessments of students' needs, interests, and learning profiles, to instructional strategies and on-going assessment ideas, to task cards, rubrics, and final assessments. http://www.scholastic.com/livewebcasts/teacher_talks/carol_ann_tomlinson.htm

Effective Instructional Strategies
  • Teaching Oral Communication, Reading and Writing in the FSL Classroom
  • Co-operative Learning
  • Multiple Intelligences
  • Higher Level Thinking


Differentiated Instruction Lesson Plan Checklist

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Distinguished Professor Rod Ellis from the Department of Applied Language Studies and Linguistics at the University of Auckland presented at the Hawkes Bay and Auckland Langsems 2013 on the 'eleventh' or 'new' Principle of Instructed Language Learning. Prof Ellis's research interests include second language acquisition, individual learner differences, form-focussed instruction, teacher education, course design and methodology of language teaching. The focus of his research is the interface between language pedagogy and second language acquisition research and theory.

This presentation was highly informative and motivating for the teachers who attended and Prof Ellis has kindly made the presentation available. Middle leaders will undoubtedly find this useful in terms of their departmental PLD to initiate learning conversations and teachers can use this to inquire into their own pedagogical approaches.

Thinking - Using Taxonomies in the Learning Languages Classroom

La Taxonomie de Bloom

Question Stems

The Cognitive Process Dimension - Anderson's Revision of Bloom's Taxonomy

repeat after me
The Student-Centred [Language-learning] Classroom

Some students say:
  • “Why do we have to do pair work and group work?”
  • “When I speak English, I feel stupid because I make lots of mistakes and don’t know enough vocabulary.”
  • “I don’t want to speak English until my English is much better.”
  • “I don’t want to listen to other students speaking incorrect English because I’ll learn their mistakes.”
  • “My teachers speak the best English. I want to learn from them.”

This booklet will respond to those comments.

We don’t want our students to become people who:
  • Can’t communicate in the real world
  • Panic when they can’t think of the right words to use
  • Are tongue-tied because they’re worried about making mistakes
  • and losing face
  • Can’t survive without a teacher to help them and guide them
  • Look away in embarrassment when someone asks, “Can anyone here speak English?”

A student-centered approach helps students to develop a “can-do” attitude. It is effective, motivating, and enjoyable. This booklet sets out to discuss how this approach can be implemented. It also deals with the problems that may arise.

Intercultural Competency and Language Learning Symposium

This PLD opportunity was hosted by the School of Language and Culture at AUT University. Many teachers from Auckland and Northland were fortunate to hear Professor Tony Liddicoat, Professor of Applied Linguistics, University of South Australia talk about Teaching and Learning Languages from an Intercultural Perspective and Using Intercultural Language Teacdhing and Learning in the Classroom. The following files include notes taken throughout the symposium and copies of the handouts that were shared. It is important to acknowledge Professor Liddicoat and the staff of the School of Language and Culture at AUT University for their work in developing the handouts/slides. The PowerPoint presentation from Professor Liddicoat's sessions will be made available shortly.

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Using Photographs: A Strategic Approach to Intercultural Communicative Language Teaching and Learning

Language teachers need to have a wide range of cultural resources in their classroom and these must include photographs. Photographs are cheap, flexible, and easy to use, and they can add colour and interest to language learning, as well as to the learning environment.

Visualisation has an enormous importance in affecting and giving us information. Photographs motivate students to interact with the target language because they allow students to clearly “see” the language in use by means of the meaningful elements which capture their attention and, at the same time, encourage them to use the language in different ways.

Generally, the photographs we use should be complex in their composition, illustrating a scene that contains lots of objects and details. They should be big enough to be seen by the whole class and be able to be used conveniently and repeatedly. In order for the photographs to stimulate and motivate students, the photographs selected for use must capture students’ interest, and be meaningful to both the learning context but also connect to the students’ own prior learning and experiences.

Using Photographs to teach iCLT and Thinking with Blooms Taxonomy

Recommended Reading:
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Leading inquiry at a teacher level: It’s all about mentorship

Middle-level leaders in schools have a critical role in mentoring teachers as they work with the teaching-as-inquiry process. One-to-one interactions and professional conversations with each teacher largely determine the quality of inquiry, both for an individual teacher and on a school-wide basis. In this article, an experienced senior secondary school leader explores the conditions necessary for school-wide inquiry to flourish, and explains why mentorship needs to be valued and to operate at a range of levels within the school if effective inquiry is to be initiated and sustained.


Differentiation in the Language Classroom

Picture a German II class in which the students are studying the weather in order to plan for their weekend activities. But rather than sitting all together and following the teacher’s lead in completing a single assignment, the students are using various learning centers. This means some are listening to radio podcasts in German. Others are watching a video clip of a German TV weather report. Still other students are reading and analyzing German weather maps from an online newspaper. It is up to the students to choose the center that will best help them understand a German weather report in order to make plans for the weekend, while the teacher plays the role of the facilitator to assist their learning.

Why is this teacher doing things this way? Isn’t having multiple activities a lot of extra work? Will it have a payoff for these students? Does it really work to “differentiate” learning in this way? http://www.actfl.org/sites/default/files/pdfs/TLEsamples/TLE_Aug11_Article.pdf

Current Issues in the Teaching of Grammar: An SLA Perspective

This article identifies and discusses a number of key issues relating tyo the teaching of grammar in a second language (L2) and. by drawing on theory and research in Second Language Acquisition, suggests ways to address these problems. It points to a number of alternative solutions to each problem, indicating that more often than not there are no clear solutions to existing contraversies. http://www.jstor.org/stable/40264512

A Comparison of Inductive and Deductive Approaches to Teaching Foreign Languages

When presenting new grammatical structures, foreign language teachers often offer rules first and then examples (a deductive approach). The problem many students have applying these various rules indicates that they may not in fact fully understand the concepts involved. This approach tends to emphasize grammar at the expense of meaning and to promote passive rather than active participation of the students. This research discusses the merits of not presenting the rule first but allowing the students to perceive and formulate the underlying governing patterns presented in meaningful context.

Principles of Instructed Second Language Acquisition

The principles described in this digest, are intended to provide teachers with a basis for argument and for reflection and not as a set of prescriptions or proscriptions about how to teach. They are designed to be general in nature and therefore relevant to teachers in a variety of settings, including foreign and second language situations and content-based classrooms.

Inquiry Cycles in a Whole Language Foreign Language Class; Some Theoretical and Practical Insights

This article expores inquiry cycles as a curricular framework in whole language foreign language classes. Whole language is an educational philosophy that advocates and espouses student-centered, activity based learning. The inquiry cycle is a holistic method of teaching that is based on a question or a set of questions that students themselves choose to explore. This curricular model, initially developed for elementary monolingual classrooms, includes the following stages: building from the known, taking time to find questions for inquiry, gaining new perspectives, attending to difference, sharing what was learned, planning new inquiries, and taking thoughtful action. A number of different approaches for implementing inquiry cycles are explained, ranging from a full implementation to a partial implementation with curricular engagements only. Furthermore, the authors address a number of possible drawbacks to the technique and present adaptations for using inquiry cycles in foreign language settings, particularly the beginning levels of instruction. Practical implications are outlined for foreign language teachers interested in incorporating this approach to their practice.

Learning and Teaching Styles in Foreign and Second Language Education

The ways in which an individual characteristically acquires, retains, and retrieves information are collectively termed the individual’s learning style. Mismatches often occur between the learning styles of students in a language class and the teaching style of the instructor, with unfortunate effects on the quality of the students’ learning and on their attitudes toward the class and the subject. This paper defines several dimensions of learning style thought to be particularly relevant to foreign and second language education, outlines ways in which certain learning styles are favored by the teaching styles of most language instructors, and suggests steps to address the educational needs of all students in foreign language classes.

Your Learning Style and Language Learning

This book (Clay Johnston/Carol Orwig) contains modules about different learning style elements and the implications of different preferences for language learning. The book describes the implications of your sensory preference, brain dominance, learning type and personality type for the choice of language learning activities and approaches. This information helps you apply the results of the learning style inventories provided in the bookshelf to your language acquisition program.

Here are the main sections of this book: