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Section 1. Statement of Beliefs and Definition of Context. Antonio Mora G.

Part I. Statement of Beliefs.


It is definitely important to have a clear idea of what consists our own teaching practices.
Hence, it seems appropriate to have a clear idea of why we do the things we do the way we decide
to do it. Even though, we might not always have a defined list of principles, by reflecting on our
teaching methods, it can be possible to establish certain features that characterize how we think
English should be learned. The following are some of my beliefs:
Practice makes the master
I think that one of the problems that many students face is that sometimes it is hard for them
to notice a great progress in their learning process. Nevertheless, it is important to practice as
much as possible. The progress might not be incredibly noticeable at first, but it is the lack of
practice that makes it even harder to progress when learning a language.
Motivation makes the difference
This is probably too obvious for some people, but I do believe it is possible to learn English
more easily if you really like it. In fact, I think that intrinsic motivation is great because it makes it
easier for the students to learn since they are the ones interested in learning the language.
However, I think there is a chance that extrinsic motivation can help, too. For example, by having
the need to learn English in order to get a job or a promotion, the students might want to make an
effort to learn the language. Nevertheless, students can always find a way to be motivated. This
is really beneficial because motivated learners can learn foreign language more effectively & can
bear high expenses and make sacrifices in order to achieve their goals in leaning L2. (Rehman,
Bilal, Sheikh, Bibi, and Nawaz, 2014, p. 256). Indeed, there are some advantages of being a
student who is actually motivated to learn.
Consider prior knowledge

Section 1. Statement of Beliefs and Definition of Context. Antonio Mora G.


I consider that one of the most important factors when teaching a language is to take into
account students prior knowledge. In this way, it will be great for the teacher to plan the kind
activities and task that will best suit the students. For example, by realizing that students
understand a topic, the teachers can avoid teaching it from scratch; or on the other hand, if the
teachers knows that students do not master a topic, they will proceed to review that topic before
moving on to a more complex one that requires that prior knowledge.
Interact with the language through technology
The use of technology in order to teach a language has been evolving through the years.
In my opinion, it has definitely become a phenomenon in the language teaching field of education.
Also, there is a wide variety of hardware and software available for teachers of English as a
Second Language (ESL) and of English as a Foreign Language (EFL) (Zimmerman, 2009, para.
1). Technological resources have a way of facilitating or providing teachers with resources to
interact with the language.
As part of some of the benefits found from using technology in order to enhance language
learning can be that
it can increase interaction among students and with real-life audiences outside the
classroom; meet the different learning styles of students; make learning authentic
through providing students with materials and activities relevant to the real world;
and create a positive learning environment that are supportive and open. (Moqbel &
Padmarani, 2013, p.2)
It is clear how there might be some value when using technology in order to teach. Moreover, the
use of technology with a device that has access to the Internet helps in motivating EFL learners
to learn through authentic, challenging tasks that are interdisciplinary in nature. Such use also
encourages EFL learners active involvement with the target language and content in a real,

Section 1. Statement of Beliefs and Definition of Context. Antonio Mora G.


authentic situation (Mujtaba & Mubarak, 2013, p.66). It can be inferred that the use of technology
can indeed be favorable in the English language teaching and learning process.
Play games in English
I believe that there is a way that can actually give teachers a chance to promote different
language skills, and that is through the implementation of a pedagogy which is more ludic, that is
related to games (Broussard, 2011, p. 6). In other words, if teachers adopt a way of teaching that
includes games as part of the development of their classes, they might be able to promote the
skills they want to promote in the classrooms. Groff, Howells and Cranmer (2010) tremendous
variety of digital games available has provided much for educators and researchers to explore,
resulting in many arguing that many games have benefits both in and out of the classroom for
learners of all ages. (p. 13)
Nevertheless, I must say that it is important that whenever a game is included into the
classrooms of English as a Foreign Language teaching, this one should have a purpose. In fact,
Broussard (2011) stated that This purpose is varied by both player intent and experience, but
even play for fun (in the understanding of frivolity) can have meaning (p. 31). There might be
some kind of resistance to playing games in the classrooms, but it is necessary to understand that
the playing of games in the EFL classrooms might provide some benefits for the students. As a
matter of fact, Groff, Howells and Cranmer (2010) mentioned as some of the benefits of paying
games in the classrooms the following aspects:
Engagement and motivation have long been established as clear outcomes of using
games in the classroom
Beyond increased motivation, teachers using games in the classroom have also
noted improvement in several key skills areas

Section 1. Statement of Beliefs and Definition of Context. Antonio Mora G.


There is no doubt the use of games in the classes of English can provide advantages for
students. In this regard, Prensky (2001) concluded that Play has a deep biological, evolutionarily
important, function, which has to do specifically with learning. (p. 5-6). Indeed, there are several
reasons for teachers to have games for the students to play and learn.
Part II. Definition of Context
1. What is the name of the course?
The name of the course is Level II from the program at Centro de Estudios en Ingls
Conversacional (CEIC). This course is the fourth one in a series of 12 different levels.

2. What role did you have in planning the course and/or preparing materials for the course?
When it comes to the course, I do have to point out that the program is already designed
and so are the topics to be developed in it. However, I am able to choose what activities to carry
out as long as the established content is covered in the course time. The course uses a textbook
to develop all the contents that form part of the program, but I am able to incorporate other material
that I find appealing and suitable for the course.

3. Who were the students in the course? Why were they taking the course? What do you think
they expected to know/do as a result of taking the course? What role did they play in any changes
you made to the course as you taught it?
The students of the course are mostly adults, but also teenagers, from the area of Alajuela
and outskirts. The students who attend these open courses are people who work and need a
foreign language to better perform in their work, or even require it to apply for a job position.
Moreover, other people who attend these open courses are high school students who consider
that their English classes at high school are not good enough to be competent in the language.

Section 1. Statement of Beliefs and Definition of Context. Antonio Mora G.


As a result of taking this course, the student should improve their fluency as well as lexicon
based on the topics covered in the course. Also, they are interested in being able to communicate
and understand others in the target language. I believe that based on the level of English they
demonstrated in the first week, I was able to choose more conversational activities for them to
practice speaking in the classes.

4. What were your goals for the course? What did you expect the students to know or be able to
do as a result of taking the course?
The goals of the course included were that the students would be able to understand
listening material, develop some phonetic parameters, and use appropriate linguistic forms to
express different language functions. Hence, I expected my students to be able to do such things
but taking into account the specific topics covered in the course like childhood and teenage
memories, which includes the use of past structures; places in a town or city, which includes ask
and give directions; vacations, trips, and traveling preparations; objects and furniture at home,
which includes talking about routines at home.

5. How was the course organized?

What were the main focuses?


Some of the main focuses of the course were the use of past tense structures when talking

about childhood memories. Also, the use of modals in order to give recommendations about
traveling preparations. Besides, vocabulary used when giving and asking for directions as well as
recommending things to do around a neighborhood r city.

How did you begin the course? Why?

Section 1. Statement of Beliefs and Definition of Context. Antonio Mora G.


I decided to begin the course with a series of activities to determine their knowledge about
the topics that would be studied in the course. Hence, they would work in groups and answer a
set of four questions about recommending places to visit in their hometown, mentioning an object
that they would take with them when traveling and why, telling an anecdote from when they were
kids and got in trouble, and commenting on what kind of activities they like to do at home. Also,
they would watch an episode of a sitcom in order to know how well they are doing with listening
comprehension.

How did you end the course? Why?


For the ending of the course, I carried out two final assessments on Speaking and Listening

skills. This are actually required to be applied in the last week of classes by the policies of CEIC.
The oral task consisted on talking about a persons place of birth, childhood life, as well as
achievements during his or her life. They were asked to use past tense structures appropriately at
all times during the presentation. On the other hand, the Listening test included audios about the
topics studied during the course.

What were some regular features of the course?


I think some of the main features that the course had was that it included games in order to

reduce anxiety and promote the use of the students oral and listening skills. Also, there were
several speaking activities in order for the students to be able to use the topics or structures studied
in the course.

6. What kinds of materials were used? Why?


As part of the course, the textbook Touchstone Second Edition must be used. On the other
hand, there was a use of technology like presentation on PowerPoint as well as videos. The use

Section 1. Statement of Beliefs and Definition of Context. Antonio Mora G.


of board games like Headbanz, Scattegories, CatchPhrase amongs others were included as part
of the activities carried out in the class.
7. How was student learning assessed?
Assessment on the course was carried out by applying different instruments according to
the topic or skill being assessed. For example, there were four quizzes divided into Listening,
Vocabulary, Grammar, and Reading parts to evaluate the content studied on the four units covered
in the course. There were two oral tasks, a conversation that was recorded and sent to me to
check it and a Voki created by the students in order to be presented to theirs classmates. There
was a pronunciation task that assessed the students ability to correctly pronounce the four
phonetic sounds studied in the pronunciation workshop carried out in a class of the course. Finally,
there were two final exams that assessed Listening and Oral skills, respectively.

8. How was the course assessed? Were the students involved?


As a matter of fact, at CEIC, there is always an evaluation almost at the end of the course
which assesses both the course in general and the teacher. The students are in charge of
assessing several aspects of the course and the teacher dynamics. They would provide feedback
so that their needs are met efficiently.

9. What do you think were successful aspects of the course? Why? What do you think were
unsuccessful aspects of the course? Why?
Some of the successful aspects of the course were the participation of the students as well
as the attitude towards the course in general because it was really positive. Also, they were eager
to be part in the activities carried out in the progress of the course.

Section 1. Statement of Beliefs and Definition of Context. Antonio Mora G.


On the other hand, one of the unsuccessful aspects of the course was the lack of time to
carry out some more activities that were planned, but this happened due to sick leave I needed to
take.

10. How were your beliefs about learning and teaching manifest in the way the course was
organized, in the materials that used, and in the way student learning was assessed?
I can say that most, if not all, of my beliefs manifested in the course since I was able to
implement of them one way or another. For example, I included the use of technology every now
and then to present topics or simply to have tasks for them to carry out in the class. I often brought
games for them to play and use the language while doing so. They acted motivated to learn and
in part, I would like to think that it was due to the kind of activities that were implemented in the
class.

Section 1. Statement of Beliefs and Definition of Context. Antonio Mora G.

References
Broussard, J (2011). Playing Class: A Case Study of Ludic Pedagogy. Retrieved from:
http://etd.lsu.edu/docs/available/etd-11092011154402/unrestricted/jbroussard_dissertation.pdf
Groff, J., Howells, C. & Cranmer, S. (2010). The impact of console games in the classroom:
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Moqbel, M. & Padmarani, L. (2013). Enhancing EFL Teaching and Learning through Technology.
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Mujtaba, S. & Mubarak, M. (2013). The Use of Computer Technology in EFL Classroom:
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1(1),

61-71.

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Section 1. Statement of Beliefs and Definition of Context. Antonio Mora G.


Rehman, A., Bilal, H., Sheikh, A., Bibi, N. & Nawaz, A. (2014). The Role of Motivation in Learning
English Language for Pakistani Learners. International Journal of Humanities and Social
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http://etcjournal.com/2009/06/03/eslefl-teachers-and-how-they-use-