Touro TESOL Candidate Lai Lai Tam’s Virtual Fieldwork Project in EDPN 673: Methods and Materials for Teaching English as a Second Language

Contact Touro TESOL – Summer 2020 enrolment is open. Online courses are available, and students can transfer up to twelve credits from previous graduate-level studies toward our requirements. Students pursuing an Advanced Certificate in TESOL may apply their credits toward the Masters degree. Completion of the program makes you eligible for New York State certification as a TESOL teacher for PreK-12.

COVID19 Online Fieldwork: When schools closed Touro TESOL candidates still needed to finish their fieldwork. Many candidates were not able to use Zoom due to security concerns. Schools were still trying to implement online learning modules. However, Touro Tesol is agile, resilient, and focused on supporting our candidates through challenging times.  We came up with an alternative fieldwork assignment keeping the spirit of observing experienced teachers implementing different pedagogical approaches and methodologies.

Contact Touro TESOL – Summer 2020 enrolment is open. Online courses are available, and students can transfer up to twelve credits from previous graduate-level studies toward our requirements. Students pursuing an Advanced Certificate in TESOL may apply their credits toward the Masters degree. Completion of the program makes you eligible for New York State certification as a TESOL teacher for PreK-12.

Online Fieldwork assignment description:

  1. Watch all the listed methods of presentation videos.
  2. Keep a field log of time a date when watched.
  3. Take notes of your take-ways
  4. List 3 differentiated teaching approaches per video
  5. Create and describe 2 activities (describe for which grade and ENL level)  that you could use in your classroom using this method.
  6. Compare 2 of the videos and reflect on what you learned.
  7. Reflection on the videos and future implications for your teaching.
  8. Paper in Times Roman or similar font
  9. APA style reference section.

Touro TESOL Candidate Lai Lai Tam was born in Hong Kong and immigrated to the US 20 years ago. She works in a public school as a paraprofessional. “The experiences I encountered from teaching the students whose English is not their first language inspired me to change my career from business marketing to education. Through raising my children in New York I experienced all the struggles and challenges that ELL students routinely come across. Therefore, I am passionate to teach and help to make a difference for ELLs, ENLs, and bilingual students.”

  1. List 3 differentiated teaching approaches per video

Audio-Lingual Model (ALM)

Differentiated teaching approaches: Role-Play, Grammar Drilling, Positive Reinforcement

Silent Way

Differentiated teaching approaches: Use of the Chart and Floor Plan, Hand Gestures, Self-correction strategy


Differentiated teaching approaches: Act out the actions, Use of cue cards for answering questions, Use of music

Community Language Learning (CLL)

Differentiated teaching approaches: Connect the personal experiences (house in their hometown), Provide immediate feedback to correct their language, Feedback section to reflect their learning experiences and feelings

Comprehension Approach (Total Physical Respond Approach)

Differentiated teaching approaches: Use of physical movements, Ask the students to give comments to others, List out the vocabulary on the board

  1. Create and describe 2 activities (describe for which grade and ENL level) that you could use in your classroom using this method.
  2. Comprehension Approach (TPR) for Kindergarten and ENL level 1 Chinese speaking students

I would like to tell the story of a character visiting their country – China. I would incorporate the commends for the actions with the target language and the students’ native language if needed to obtain the target language goal. Focusing on the repetition of the keywords or phrases (target language) and using the actions to act the meaning out are the lesson and language goals in the lesson.

First, I would read out the story and act the actions out to model the target language. Second, I would repeat it again and then repeat it only focusing on the key target language. I would have the story and pictures displaying on the Smartboard to model the actions while I am reading the story or key vocabulary and acting out the actions.

After that, I would invite a student to come up and I give commends for that student to perform the actions in front of other students. Then, I would give the comments to the students to point to their body parts or anything they see it inside the classroom that is related to the story. Following that, I would ask the students to point at other students to give the commends so that other students could act out the actions. I would ask them to stand in a circle to play a game with them using the small ball. The game would be that I will throw the ball to one of the students and that student needs to act after I say out the word. Then, the students will give the commends to other students by throwing the ball to another student to perform his or her commends. Using the game would engage their learning and they could learn the target language in a fun way which could aid their learning. Also, giving the chance to the students to give commends to other students could help them to comprehend and understand the target language.

For the next step, I would display the two-column chart with the action words on the right side and pictures of the actions on the left side. Using the chart to differentiate the teaching skill not only could help the students to visualize the target language, but also organize the words so that they could learn them better and effectively. Besides, I would reinforce the language and turn their learning into the long-term memory by repeating them with the actions and pointing to the pictures and the students saying out the words. And, I would ask the students to tell me a sentence using the words which could actively involve them in the learning and engage them to think of using the words in other sentences. Also, I would use the words to make another sentence so that they could relate the words in another situation. It enables the students to transfer their learning and knowledge to use it in another way. Also, I would give them the paper with the words and pictures for them to practice at home with their parents for their homework to reinforce the learning at home.

  1. Audio-Lingual Model for First Grade and ENL level 2 or 3 Chinese speaking students

I would like to use the short dialogue practice, such as greeting and shopping, for teaching the target language using the audio-lingual teaching method focusing on listening and speaking skills. According to the study of English language structure and basic concepts of behavioral psychology, especially the work of B.F. Skinner, these linguists developed a method that focused on listening and speaking (Arroway, 2020)

I would prepare character information and pictures to help them to get more background information and associate with the character. The use of visual cues would help the students to develop vocabulary. Then I would prepare a shopping list and the price for role play so that they could change the words from the dialogues for extended practice. Before starting the dialogue practice, I would preview the vocabulary with the students so that they could practice and pronounce them correctly. It would help the student to increase participation and better pronunciation from the drilling practice.

I would start the lesson by reading out the dialogue and asking them to repeat after me. Then, I would ask one of the students to work with me for practicing the dialogue. After that, I would ask the students to work in pairs and practice with their partners. During the practice processes, I would give them immediate feedback and correct their mistakes.

After that, I would practice the sentence structure using the substitution of a particular word with another that would be found in the same place in the sentence with the cue word provided to the students or the shopping list on the paper. For example, I would like to buy a bag of tomatoes (carrots). Through repetition, the students could listen and say the pronunciation, sound or articulation and corrected by themselves or the teachers. Besides, I would give them positive feedback to reinforce their behavior.

  1. Compare 2 of the videos and reflect on what you learned.

For the Larsen-Freeman video of The Silent Way teaching method, the teacher acted as a facilitator to model the language in a silent way. The teacher started the theme of describing the house at the beginning of the lesson. Then, the teacher showed the chart to teach some of the words and the students corrected the pronunciation by themselves or other students before the lesson. After that, the teacher taught the target language in a small group and used tangible materials to build the floor plan of the house. The teacher let the students build the floor plan of the door, front hall, back door, living room, and then asked the students to say out the words using the word “the”. The teacher used hand gestures to prompt the students to repeat the phrase correctly and asked the students to model the correct phrase to other students as well. The teacher asked all the students to repeat the phrase together. Besides, the teacher used the body gestures to correct the mistakes and affirmed the students for the correct answers. During the group teaching, the teacher referred to the chart to prompt the students to use the correct words. Also, the teacher used the skill to build the words from known to unknown words using the chart. For example, the sidewalk, the other sidewalk, the wall of the living room, the back wall of the kitchen, etc. The teacher modeled the language using the silent way with another group. The teacher asked the students to arrange the furniture inside the floor plan. The students self-corrected their mistakes from the teacher gestures prompts or other students’ answers. The teacher let the students actively participating in constructing the floor plan and arranging the furniture which respected the intelligence of students and developed their own “inner criteria” for correcting errors. The teacher allowed the students to practice the target language by writing one sentence that they learned something new about the house. The students read out their sentences and the teacher corrected their mistakes. In the end, the teacher asked the students to share what they have learned in the lesson, such as the use of preposition, to put the furniture in the right places, etc. The feedback from the students helped the teacher to understand and get the information that they had learned to plan for the future learning lesson. It believed that teaching should be subordinated to the learning and not learned by repeating after a model. Also, it relied on the trust of the students and they have to responsible for their production and target language. It based on the teacher worked for the students and the students worked for the language. It is important that the students self-corrected their mistakes that would help them to learn and retain from their mistakes. The teacher was silent and did not model the language. Thus, the students could pay full attention to the teacher’s cues and learn from others. It believed that the students practicing the language, not the teacher. It aimed at the students to learn to accept the responsibilities for their own learning.

I learned that Caleb Gattegno developed The Silent Way approach in 1963 based on his experiences and he believed that learning is not from drilling, memorizing, or translation. The students learn the language using observation and discovering the language rather than remembers and repeats what is to be learned compared to other teaching methods. It is extensive use of silence as a teaching technique. Learning is facilitated by using physical objects and involving self-commitment. The students could use the language for self-expression and develop independence from the teacher. The teacher creates the platform for interaction between the students and develops self-exploration by discovering own mistakes. The teacher models a word, phrase, or sentence and elicits learners’ responses. Learners then create their own utterances by putting together old and new information. Although much of the activity is teacher-directed, teachers’ modeling is minimal. The role of the teacher is silently guiding the students to produce language structures, listening attentively to students’ utterances, whereas the role of the student is active participants, expected to be independent without relying themselves on the teacher, uses their knowledge of their native language, is autonomous and responsible learners, and involves in verbal interaction and peer correction activities (Akmar, 2016). It uses colored sticks called Cuisenaire rods and Fidel Chart (show all the possible spellings for each phoneme) to teach sounds which could help them learn as they can remember and create memorable images. It helps them recall back what they have learned as the objects are mainly physical items which require them to use their senses. The assessments are structured feedback, observations on their speech production, the lesson, and what they had learned. Ont of the advantage of using The Silent Way is to get students to have a better foundation in speaking in targeted language or uttering a word fluently which could lead the students to have better pronunciation. The students able to fix their own pronunciation based on their teacher’s guidance. The students can concentrate on the task given, finish it, and ace it to its full potential in the silent environment. Also, the students are aware that they have to depend on themselves and their own resources and they will discover that they can use the knowledge of their own native language to open up somethings in a new language. They are aware that they have the freedom to choose among any set of linguistic choices and having the ability to choose intelligently and carefully. The students will eventually use the proper expressions in a given set of circumstances and situations (Lydia, 2016). One disadvantage is lack of sound or pronunciation knowledge and teachers’ guidance, and they might be confused with their pronunciation

For the Larsen-Freeman video of the Comprehension Approach (TPR), the teacher placed the value of the students’ understanding of the target language by listening to the language and learning through actions by giving them commends. The students responded physically which enhance their retention through movements and actions. The teacher reviewed the vocabulary and asked the students to point to the materials after she said the words. The teacher drew the floor map on the board and then she repeated the actions by saying the actions. Then, the teacher asked the student to demonstrate the actions in sequence order with her. Afterward, the teacher asked the students to do the actions together. The teacher gave comments asking the students to perform the actions. The teacher asked one student to comment on another student to act. The teacher used other adjectives to perform the action of between quickly and carefully. The teacher gave 3 steps commends to all the students and some students were struggled to perform. Thus, the teacher picked some students to demonstrate 3 steps actions. Then, the teacher asked different students to perform different actions and gave comments to other students to do the actions spontaneously. Next, the teacher asked the students about their preferences for doing the cleaning of the house and then asked the students to point to the students who like or does not like to clean the house. It helped the students to pay attention to other students, listen to the comments, and respond to the commends. After that, the teacher wrote the phrase down on the board with the action verbs and the materials used for actions. The teacher asked the students if they understood all the words on the board. The teacher clarified the meaning of the words using the examples and drawing on the board. The teacher gave the homework to the students to practice giving commends at home. The lesson illustrated the students felt success when the teacher moved the complexity and commends in proper speed. Also, the students feeling low anxiety could facilitate their learning. The teacher corrected the students’ mistakes by repeating the commends and giving opportunities to the students to self-correct. The teacher used the skills of changing the order of commends instead of memorizing the fixed routine and gave unexpected commends which the students needed to understand more of the commends. The teacher motivated the students and carried out the lesson in a fun way which helped the student learning effectively. The students listened more instead of speaking which implied that listening comprehension comes first and the students would speak when they are ready.

I learned that the TPR approach is developed by James Asher in 1965, using the whole brain to learn the language based on the left brain of language learning and the right brain of movement. By using the motion while doing the movement will enhance the learning. It is good for young learners since they are more active physically and learn best by doing or moving. Also, it would help them to have long term retention since it exercises the whole brain by the movements and actions to learn the language. The students will learn and understand the meanings of the words by doing them. Compared with The Silent Way, the students are more active in the movement and they learn by repeating or drilling the words of performing the movements or actions. The teacher models the actions and performs the actions instead of keeping silent most of the time.

  1. Reflection on the videos and future implications for your teaching.

For the Larsen-Freeman video of the Audio-Lingual Model, the teacher demonstrated the role-play dialogue first and the students listened to the teacher. The teacher’s role was to model the language to the students which helped the students having a strong habit of learning by repeating them more times. Then, the teacher asked the students to repeat. The teacher corrected the students and asked them to repeat and speak in a whole sentence. The backward buildup drill method was used to teach the students who have trouble saying the sentence. It started at the end of the sentence and have the students repeat. It provided a chance for the students to practice the dialogue and correct the mistakes by the teacher. The teacher used the single slot substitution skill of replacing the adverbs in the sentence and have the students to read out the phrase or whole sentence until the students could repeat the whole sentence or phrase smoothly. Also, the teacher gave the paper to the students to read and practice more at home so that they could memorize the dialogue. The teacher used the skills of the grammar drills, single-slot substitution, and questions and answer drills to help the students learning the sentence patterns of the targeted language. Besides, the teacher used positive reinforcement to help the students to develop language habits.

I learned that ALM uses the actions, pictures, or realia to give meaning and the goal is the student is able to use the target language communicatively and form new habits in the target language. It emphasizes oral-aural skills and focuses on syntax and language structure (Celec-Murcia, 2014). It also called backward build-up and multiple-slot substitution drill.  The teacher directs and controls the language behavior of the students and the students learn through imitating with the teacher and repetition. Structural Linguistics emphasizes the teaching of listening and speaking before reading and writing. It bases on the “Skinner’s Behaviorism Theory”, behavioral psychology influenced audiolingual, it believes that human is organisms that are capable of leaning many behaviors. It depends on stimulus to bring out behavior, responds to trigger by stimulus and uses reinforcement for marking the response as being appropriate, and encourages repetition which is important in the learning process. Language skills are learned more effectively if they are learned in a spoken form (drills) rather than written form. Noam Chomsky rejected this approach and his theory of transformational grammar suggested that language is creative and generated, and language is not a habit. The language derives from innate aspects of the mind and from how humans process experience through language.

I would use the ALM approach to set up some short-term objectives, such as listening comprehension, accurate pronunciation, recognition of speech symbols as graphics, signs on the printed page, and the ability to reproduce these symbols in writing. I would develop simple techniques and the separation of language skills. Some techniques I would use for my future lesson are dialogue memorization, repetition drill, chain drill, single-slot substation drill, transformation drill, and complete the dialogue. I would make language learning accessible to a large group of ordinary learners. Also, I would emphasize the sentence production, control over grammatical structures, and development of the oral ability of the learners.  It aims to develop the communicative competence of students using dialogues and drills. The use of dialogues and drills are effective in foreign language teaching as they lead the students to produce speech. Repetition of the dialogues and drills will enable students to respond quickly and accurately in the spoken language. Compared to some teaching approaches, it has no creativity because students repeat and memorize that they might not understand. The techniques used in this method might become boring. And, reading and writing are neglected and not treated as independent forms. Also, learners having little control over their learning. It tends to be more teacher-oriented materials and the teacher dominated the class (Veen, 2016).

For the Larsen-Freeman video of Suggestopedia, the teacher created a pleasant environment by using the music, posters, and the plants which facilitated the students’ learning. The teacher started the lesson by reading out and acting out of the reading passage using the music. After, she read out the passage again without playing music and acted out in order for the students to understand and remember. The students have a copy of the reading passage and they read and acted it out together. It helped the students to remember the verbs when they acted them out. The teacher appraised the students for their good work which could increase the students’ confidence. The teacher showed the two-column chart to teach the two different sounds of the past tense verbs. The teacher gave the opportunity for the students to practice listening to the words and used the color cue cards to respond to the “d” (pink) and “t” (blue) sounds. The follow-up activity was the teacher throwing the ball to the students by saying the word of the present tense and the students have to answer the word of the past tense. Next, the teacher paired the students with a partner to work on the green worksheet for practicing the pronunciation of the words. The teacher and the students read the passage together and asked one student to act out the character’s actions in front of the class. The teacher gave out the short dictation of some of the words from the passage in a different sentence. The teacher reinforced their learning by asking the students to read the passage at home and chapter dictation of the words. The teacher used verbally encouragement to make the students feel the confidence of what they did, and they could do which could help them to learn better. The teacher used the skills of activating the materials, such as using the ball, dictation, which aided the students to learn variously. And, the teacher used and spoke in reassurance voice which the students will learn when they feel comfortable. Words used in imagination could aid them to learn as well.

I learned that the Suggestopedia approach is developed by Bulgarian psychiatrist educator, Georgi Lozanov, in the 1970s which the science concerned with the systematic study of the non-conscious implements. It suggests that how the brain works effectively with the positive and creative suggestion, and how the environment affects the learning process. It aims at reducing the affective filler of internal (previous experience) and external (external noise). It tries to recreate the conditions of feeling safe in the womb and willing to learn in that environment. Theory of Language is the importance of experiencing language material in whole meaningful texts communication, refers most often to the language to be learned as the materials, the centrality of memorization of vocabulary and lexical translation, recommends the use of stories with emotional content. Learning is facilitated in an environment that is as comfortable as possible featuring softly cushioned seating and dim lighting. It believes that the students feel comfortable, relax, and concentrate by using background music. Also, it could build up a good teacher-student relationship. They learn through role-playing, games, songs, gymnastic exercises to help the students to gain self-confidence, spontaneity, and receptivity. They learn not only from the direct instructions, but also from the environment in which the instruction takes place (Perdomo, 2016). “Peripheral” learning is encouraged through the presence in the learning environment of posters and decorations featuring the target language and various grammatical information.

I would use the Suggestopedia approach to set up my classroom by creating a physical environment that does not feel like a normal classroom, and the students would feel as relax and comfortable. I would play the music softly in the background to increase mental relaxation and the potential to take in and retain new material during the lesson. I would have the students work from lengthy dialogs in the target language with accompanying translation into the students’ native language. I would integrate music, drama, and the Arts, singing, and dancing are integrated into the learning process. I would use of imitation, questions and answer, role play, listening activities into my lesson. I would allow the students to make errors and emphasis on content and not structure. Grammar and vocabulary would be presented. I would use the visualization skills by asking the students to close their eyes to visualize scenes and events to help them to relax which could facilitate positive suggestions and encourage creativity from the students. Also, I would use the role-play in which the students pretend temporarily that they are someone else and perform a role using the target language. Besides, I would use the first concert by introducing the story as related in the dialogue and call the students’ attention to some particular grammatical points that arise in it, and then they read the dialogue in the target language. The second concert will be introduced, and the students will be asked to put their scripts aside and simply listen as I read the dialogue at normal speed. I will seat and read with the musical accompaniment. The students will reread the dialogue out loud individually, in the group, or with their partner. The students engage in various activities designed to help them learn the new material and use it spontaneously (Jaafar, 2016). Peripheral learning aims to help the students absorb information effortlessly when it is perceived as part of the environment rather than the material to be attended to. The teachers appeal to the students’ consciousness and subconscious to better orchestrate the suggestive factors involved in the learning. I would give the homework to the students for re-reading the dialog they are studying once before they go to sleep at night and once in the morning before they get up.

For the Larsen-Freeman video of the Communicative Language Learning, the teacher told the students to think about and visualize their home in their hometown. The teacher led their thinking by asking them to think of their house, outside of the house, the temperature, the room, people, and things inside the house. Then, the teacher asked the students to turn and talk with their partner to describe their home using the pronunciation and intonation. The students wrote and listed out some of the words to describe their home on the paper. The students shared their words while the teacher wrote all the words on the board and have them read them silently afterward. The teacher went over the words to make sure they understood. The teacher taught the meaning of each word, listed out similar meaning words, and used the words to make a sentence. While the teacher stayed at the back of them, the teacher asked the students to say out the words on the board first, and then she repeated the words with the correction. This could reduce the threat of the superior knowledge and power to attain the purpose of the students paying full attention to the words at the front of them. The teacher asked the students to work individually and raised their hands if they wanted to practice those words. And, the teacher repeated after them until they stopped repeating. It allowed the students to learn the words and took control of their learning. The writing activity, followed practicing the pronunciation, was to write a sentence using the words on the board or from their paper to describe or tell about their home. The students shared the writing sentence with the teacher and the teacher repeated the sentence. In the end, the teacher asked the students to share their opinion about how they felt about the lesson. The students felt comfortable when they knew what they would learn and the purpose of the lesson. The students expressed that it was a good chance to exchange their ideas and not feeling the pressure of learning. The students learn grammar by speaking and listening with others. The students felt respect and excepted as a whole person when the teacher understand their feelings. By stating out the lesson goal would help the students learn best by feeling secure. The teacher used the time setting and enforced the time limit to remind the students the time left which could help the students to feel secure. The teacher used the skill of listing out of the words to actively involve the students’ learning experience. The students have the responsibility to generate the language they wish to learn and work on.

I learned that CLL, invented by Richards & Rodgers 1986, is the language method that the students work together in the aspect that they would like to learn. It also called a counseling-learning theory. The belief is that language is meant for communication and the goal is the ability to communicate rather than the understanding of structures and habit formation (Celec-Murcia, 2014). The teacher as a counselor-facilitator whereas the student as a client and works as a community group. The lesson could be presented in their native language that the students could ask questions in their native language and the teacher answer in the target language. The students would feel safe to learn as mistakes would be corrected by repeating the target language and drilling skills. Advanced students may serve as counselors to beginners.  The students experience the feel of self-assertion and aggression when they are ready. Also, the students’ retention and participation in class activities first, and then they could do some reflection.

I would incorporate CLL in my future lesson by operating in a supportive role and monitor learner utterances, assisting when requested. I would allow the learners to determine the type of conversation and to analyze the language inductively. When the students listen, and they involve elements they might have elicited. The students would have freedom conversation and are ready to speak with the teacher or other students. The students listen to the teacher attentively, become counselors of other learners. Repeat target utterances without hesitation (Barreno, 2016).  I would translate what the students trying to say, and the students repeat it. The students would work with groups and complete a task that will be presented to me and the rest of the class. I would allow the students to record a conversation in the target language and the students transcribe conversations they have recorded. I would have the students analyze the transcriptions of the target language to use them. It could help the students to sort out the differences among the target language. Also, when they exchange deepen information, the class creates a community of learners. Besides, I would use some learning activities, such as interactive language games, information sharing, task-based, social interaction, and functional communication to facilitate their learning.


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Author: drcowinj

Education is our passport to the future, for tomorrow belongs only to the people who prepare for it today,” determined Malcolm X at the O.A.A.U.’s [Organization of Afro-American Unity] founding forum at the Audubon Ballroom. (June 28, 1964). (X, n.d.) Dr. Jasmin Bey Cowin a Fulbright Scholar, SIT Graduate, completed the Education Policy Fellowship Program (EPFP™) at Columbia University, Teachers College. Dr. Cowin served as the President of the Rotary Club of New York and Assistant Governor for New York State; long-term Chair of the Rotary United Nations International Breakfast meetings; and works as an Assistant Professor at Touro College, Graduate School of Education. Dr. Cowin has over twenty-five years of experience as an educator, tech innovator, entrepreneur, and institutional leader with a focus on equity and access to digital literacy and education in the Sub-Saharan Africa region. Her extensive background in education, administration, not-for-profit leadership, entrepreneurial spirit, and technology innovation provide her with unique skills and vertical networks locally and globally. Dr. Cowin participates fully in the larger world of TESOL academic discipline as elected Vice President and Chair-Elect for the New York State, NYS TESOL organization, for the 2021 conference. Ongoing research, expressed in scholarly contributions to the advancement of knowledge is demonstrated through publications, presentations, and participation in academic conferences, blogging, and other scholarly activities, including public performances and exhibitions at conferences and workshops. Of particular interest to her are The Blockchain of Things and its implications for Higher Education; Current Global Trends in TESOL; Developing Materials and Resources in Teaching English; E-learning; Micro and Macro-Methodologies in TESOL; E-Resources Discovery and Analysis; and Language Acquisition and the Oculus Rift in VR.

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