suggest that learning involves using language to engage with and order

Suggest that learning involves using language to

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suggest that learning involves using language to engage with and order experience so that new ways of understanding and presenting reality are developed. We learn through language and we express our understanding in language. How best then can we enable pupils to become confident members of these new language communities? The question can be answered by considering how teachers and pupils use language in their interactions in the classroom. They say that embedded in the nature of the classroom heavily is on ‘cued elicitation’ (where to be ‘right’ the pupils had to guess what the teacher was thinking) and teacher’s main concern was to get through the set of planned activities. There are echoes here of reasons advanced for the predominance of the transmission mode [14]. They point out to teacher’s needs to keep pupils on task and under control and also to emphasize the ‘basics’ and performance rather than depth of understanding. For the author’s of both studies the issues have wider implications. In making the ethical decision to prepare pupils for choice and responsibility, teachers implicitly choose also an interpretation view of learning. “Teaching in which transmission predominates is the negation of educating for living” [15]. A rapidly changing society requires pupils to learn to be flexible, adaptable, multi-skilled problem-solvers who can apply learning in new situations. At the same time there is emphasis on qualifications, examination success, standards and statistical comparison of results all linked explicitly or by inference to economic and moral revival. In addition, the National Curriculum is expressed in subjects and underpinned by the idea of cultural transmission. In making choices about classroom communication, teachers are thus balancing a number of potentially conflicting demands and the decisions they make about ‘who does the talking will inevitably reflect their values, beliefs and responses to some of these unresolved dilemma’. It is good to collect data rather than rely on impressions. A reflective teacher needs to investigate how much time is spent in talking and listening in a whole class teaching session. Ask questions like: How much talking is there? Who is doing the talking? Are there differences between boy/girls, high/low attainers? What is the teacher talking about? What is the pupil talk about? Information of this kind can highlight the pattern of talk in a classroom. It can often reveal aspects which surprise us, because it is so difficult to be aware of how much we talk, to whom and why, while we are engrossed in the process of teaching itself. Paper ID: 02015439 85
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