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英语学科发展前沿:第02讲:Role of foreign language learning

 

Session 2 The role of foreign language learning

 Reading

Berdan, S. N. et al. 2012, January 30. English is global, so why learn Arabic? New York Times, Retrieved January 31, 2012, from http://www.nytimes.com <http://www.nytimes.com/roomfordebate/2012/01/29/is-learning-a-language-other-than-english-worthwhile

Question 6: What can you find out from the debaters’ general information?

Wu Benhu:

I have discovered the following points:

1.     All the debaters have their international perspectives.

2.     They overwhelmingly promote foreign language learning in the United States even though English is global.

3.     They stress the importance of foreign language learning from different perspectives.

Question 7: What does Stacie Nevadomski Berdan mean by saying ‘The World Has Changed’? Or What has happened to the world?  

Wu Benhu:

The claim ‘The world has changed’ has a profound implication:

1.     Whenever you work abroad, you must compete with globally competent graduates with multilanguage competency.

2.     The world knows ‘early language learning works best, and aids cognitive development beyond language arts’ just as opening a window to the world?

3.     The world discovers that ‘language also matters for appreciating cultures, connecting and building relationships around the world’.

4.     The world faces the situation in which ‘as business globalizes, our colleagues, customers, owners and investors are increasingly overseas’.

 

Course work for Session 2: Answer the following questions:

1.     What are your updated purposes of learning English?

2.     How do you improve your English learning for your new purposes?

You are required to present your class work as responses to the article “英语学科发展前沿:第02讲:Role of foreign language learning” in the category “英语学科发展前沿课程” of 吴本虎学友之园博客生活 http://www.cnweblog.com/wubenhu/ This course work is required to be presented by 24:00, 29 February 2012.










posted on 2012-02-22 23:46 吴本虎 阅读(207) 评论(21)  编辑  收藏 所属分类: 英语学科发展前沿课程

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# re: 英语学科发展前沿:第02讲:Role of foreign language learning 2012-02-26 23:20 卢燕娟

卢燕娟 2011213058
1. What are your updated purposes of learning English?
Up till now, I have learning English for about 11 years. The purposes of learning English are changing in different periods of time. At the beginning, I learned it just for being admitted to a good university. As time past, I gradually realize that language is just a tool of communication. So at this time, my purpose of learning English is to transfer the language successfully and to be a good English teacher. Another purpose is to form English ways of thinking and to enjoy the English world.
2. How do you improve your English learning for your new purposes?
As to the first purpose, I think I should do the followings to realize it. Firstly, it is necessary to have a solid foundation of basic knowledge, especially speaking and grammar. Secondly, I should learn some knowledge about teaching methods, psychology and pedagogy so that I can help students to find a proper way to learn English. Besides, as a prospective teacher, I should also learn some practical teaching skills. In this aspect, I will try to grasp some chances to learn from skilled teachers and practice my own teaching skills. At the same time, learning from peers and discussing with them are also good ways to improve my teaching skills. Then, I can be an ideal English teacher one day in the future. Practice makes perfect. It is always true.
As to the second purpose, I think I can draw lessons from my classmates. In last class, the classmates bring forward some good ways of learning English and some effective ways to reach their purposes. It is not an easy way to form the English way of thinking. It needs long time practice. One classmate mentioned that watching English films and TV programs are helpful ways. Actually, I didn’t have a good habit of watching English TV programs. To some extent, it is an effective way to learn authentic English and form the English way of thinking eventually. So in the following time, I will try in this way. What’s more, English is a tool of communication. However, in my opinion, learning English is not just learning the basic knowledge of this language. In fact, it relates to the culture behind. So I think it may be helpful to read literatures English version instead of Chinese version. Meanwhile, it is essential to pay more attention to the news from English countries, for the action is a good reflection of their way of thinking. So far, I just have the above ideas. I hope my teachers and classmates can give some ideas later. Thank you! ^=^
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# re: 英语学科发展前沿:第02讲:Role of foreign language learning 2012-02-27 19:54 章素珍 2011213056

章素珍 2011231056
I have been learning English for more than 10 years. At first, i learned English not because i liked it but the school forced us to learn. So the only purpose or motivation is to get high marks. Gradually,i found i could do well in it without much effort. And the teacher told me that i had some talent in English learning, which changed my attitude in English learning. I fell in love with English. So with no hesitation, i chose English as my major in college. However, in college, getting high marks was not the main task. I found listening and speaking so important. From then on, i began to listen to English radios, such as VOA news or CNN and watch a lot of English movies. It did have some effect. Though my pronunciation could gain some improvement by listening, that was far not enough. In order to speak more natively, I tried to make friends with foreigners in my college. While communicating with them, i benifited a lot. Then after four years college life, i had to find a job. And my ideal job was to be a teacher. However, the knowledge i gained in college was not so relevant to English teaching. To be a qualified English teacher, much more need to be learned. To realize it, i began my new study life in Zhejiang Normal University.  回复  更多评论   

# re: 英语学科发展前沿:第02讲:Role of foreign language learning 2012-02-28 03:07 吴本虎

@卢燕娟
Yours is really a very good account of your updated purposes of English language learning and teaching. I have learned a lot from you and at the same time you enable me to offer you my ideas of English language learning and teaching to effectively support your effort in English language learning and teaching. One among my ideas is presented as follows:

In response to your idea 'Practice makes perfect. It is always true.' I made the following comment: 'But I never think so although practice is very important. From my 34-year teaching experience, I have found many things that are more important than practice such as the goal, objectives, resourceful reflection, critical thinking and creative thinking, to name just a few.'  回复  更多评论   

# re: 英语学科发展前沿:第02讲:Role of foreign language learning 2012-02-28 08:43 吴本虎

@章素珍 2011213056
Your experience is revealing in that forced learning may be effective for a short period of time but it can never last forever. We need to be prepared for our transformation from forced learning to our goal-oriented learning that will lead us further in our life.  回复  更多评论   

# re: 英语学科发展前沿:第02讲:Role of foreign language learning 2012-02-28 19:16 卢燕娟

@吴本虎
Thank you for your advice. Maybe learning with wisdom is more desirable. Learning is a long way, there are something I need to do.  回复  更多评论   

# re: 英语学科发展前沿:第02讲:Role of foreign language learning 2012-02-28 20:12 黄爽爽

黄爽爽 2011213066
1. What are your updated purposes of learning English?
I suddenly recall the original reason why I chose English to be my major as a university student. It was because I was simply into it as a foreign language, despite the fact that I learned the subject of English best during the three-year senior high school studying. But then I ask myself, why English? Why not Japanese, the language I was also interested in at that time.
My answer is that if I learn Japanese well, I would probably use it just as a tool of watching Japanese cartoons and TV series. But English is different. It is a global language, and as to me, it is still exotically charming, and I believe it will always be.
Then when I was facing the choice between job hunting and advanced studies, I chose the latter one, partly owing to my lack of self-confidence. At that moment, I realized that I neither was neither ready to be nor was qualified as an English teacher. There are so many things I haven’t learned well or ever heard about. I was afraid that I shouldn’t appear like an unprepared actor at the noble stage of teaching.
So my updated purposes of learning English is that I want to learn more about the magic of English and about the art of teaching during the two-year postgraduate period. Hope that I will be more confident when facing the vital challenge of my life.
2. How do you improve your English learning for your new purposes?
Without passion, how to succeed? It is always true for every career, so is teaching. A good teacher should embrace and enjoy every moment of his/her class, like an artist does to his/her work of art.
So when it comes to the improvement of my English learning for the new purposes, those so-called strategies or skills are not that attractive as they were four years ago. What matters to me is how to transform what I’ve learned into what I can teach.
As is known to all, listening, speaking, reading, writing and translating are five basic components of one’s foreign language abilities. Among them, speaking, as one of the two output abilities, is my “strongest” weak point. If I had planned to be a translator or something like that, speaking wouldn’t have been so important as it is now. But the fact is that, I had to think through a sentence before I can speak it out and if I’m forced to speak something improvised, I will be very nervous and frequently stumble over some words I don’t know how to express in English. To put it in a simple way, I am not able to express myself fluently and explicitly when speaking in English, which, unfortunately, turns out to be the key to the teaching career.
Imagine an English teacher who cannot speak English confidently in front of the whole class. What a terrible scene! So I’ve decided to catch every possible opportunity to speak publicly, for example, for the first time I participated an English speech contest in the last school term, and this Friday, I will take part in the academic salon. No matter what results it will be, those experiences are both precious and beneficial to me.
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# re: 英语学科发展前沿:第02讲:Role of foreign language learning 2012-02-28 21:05 乔佳佳 2011213065

1. What are your updated purposes of learning English?
I first learnt English when I was Grade one in senior school, at that time, the underatanding of learning English was very fuzzy, I just wanted to learn this couese well and got high score in the examination. However, as I knew nothing about the method of English, and I have no interest in learning English, so my English was very poor in Grade one. Since the second year of junior school, I just began to recite the passage when I learnt English, to my surprise, I began to have an interest in learning this course, and got high score in the examination. After that, English was always the best in all the subjects, and I want to become an English teacher to teacher the students using my true heart, l like to stay with students and communite with them. So I choose the English education as my major at the university, learnt about the knowledge and skills of English teaching. I hope I can become a good English teacher one day.
2. How do you improve your English learning for your new purposes?
Just as l said before,I want to become a good English teacher in the future. As an English teacher, in my opion, I should lay a basis for specialized knowledge, that is to say, I should learnt each part of English professional very well, and to have broad vision of the knowledge about all the aspects, for example, using the materials to gather the information related the education or I am interested in; and the important is to pracitce. The purpose of us to learn the theory is to use or guide our practice, but till now, I find the skill of giving a lesson to senior/junior is still diffcult, so improve the skill of how to teach is very important.Secondly, English is just the communicative laguage, the purpose of us learning is to use it, to communicate with others. But my spoken language is quite poor, so I need to improve my oral English in the next time, insist listen voa or bbc every day. Persistence is hard, so I just want to make progress step by step.  回复  更多评论   

# re: 英语学科发展前沿:第02讲:Role of foreign language learning 2012-02-28 21:25 唐真 2011213053

Q1:what are your updated purposes of learning English?
After attending this course, I gained some new ideas about my porpuses of learning English.
First, I learn English for communication. Not only use English to communicate with foreigners, but also with English cultre, social lives and etc.
Second, I learn English for self-perfection. Since I have decided to be an English teacher after graduation, a sound thoriy basis and international awareness are necessarily needed.
Third, I learn English for another way of seeing the world. As Mr.Wu said in the lecture of Language and Creative Thinking, language is a kind of power, which has the ability to change the world and influence the way we think. So I would like to give myself an opportunity to see this world in another way.

Q2:How do you improve your English Learning for new porpurses?
There are many ways to learn English: reading books, watching movies, listening to broadcast and etc. But for me, these are far from enough. In order to achieve my personal goals, I need to reading selectively, for time is limited. Then, what's the most important is that I need to persist in the way of studying, and never give up.  回复  更多评论   

# re: 英语学科发展前沿:第02讲:Role of foreign language learning 2012-02-28 21:32 童慧芳 2011213064

1. What are your updated purposes of learning English?
My English learning began in grade four, and would last to the end of my life. At the beginning, I was very fond of English. Thus, my purposes of learning English was to master English well and get high marks. Though I never considered that English would be my major, because of obeying the major transfer, English became my major in the end. There was no chance to change may major. So, to be an eligible English major became the purpose of learning English. Now, the other purpose is to be a good English teacher.

2. How do you improve your English learning for your new purposes?
There is no doubt that the basic knowledge and language skills should have already mastered well. So, now I should keep and improve my English skills, especially speaking. The most important are teaching skills and methods. Unluckily, though I will be an English teacher, I'm unfamiliar with teaching. Therefore, I should learn how to teach English by reading books and intern. In summary, combining theories with practice to improve my English level and teaching skills.  回复  更多评论   

# re: 英语学科发展前沿:第02讲:Role of foreign language learning 2012-02-29 15:00 张尧 2011213060

1. What are your updated purposes of learning English?
My purposes of learning English could be derived from my several English teachers who always asked me to answer their questions nearly in every class. It helped me a lot that I pay more attention to English than any other subjects in order to behave better than the others during class. When I was in Senior two, I did poor in all subjects except English, my English teacher treated me very well and always encouraged me. Since then, I determined to choose English as a mean to fulfill my childhood dream of being a teacher and studied hard to pass the college entrance examination. Later, I became an English major in English teaching, my purpose of learning English is to be a good English teacher both knowledgeable and skillful to let the students encouraged in my class.

2. How do you improve your English learning for your new purposes?
Beyond all doubt, learning the basic English knowledge and teaching skills is my goal during my past four-year undergraduate studies. But it is not enough. I want to have a good command of them and I need to combine theory and practice in my two-year further studies. What's more, my oral English is Number One emergency.  回复  更多评论   

# re: 英语学科发展前沿:第02讲:Role of foreign language learning 2012-02-29 20:28 厉灵珊 2011213050

1. What are your updated purposes of learning English?
The first sight of the word “updated” reminds me the memory of my former purposes of learning English. There is a little story here which was happened 5 years ago. That was the days in my high school. I did poor in all of my subjects such as Math, Chinese, Science and so forth. But comparatively speaking, my English is the best. So with the arrival of the College Entrance Examination, my parents suggested that I should choose English as my major. I thought that sounds reasonable. So I accept their suggestion. And this is the right reason why I learn English, not for loving English, but for abiding by what my parents’ idea.
But now, after four years’ English learning, I really find the charm of English, because it is a kind of language ability. Accomplishing a fluent oral English conversation with foreigners even makes me feel proud. That is my updated purpose of learning English. What’s more, the continuative learning of English also because I dream to be an English teacher.
2. How do you improve your English learning for your new purposes?
Because I have dreamed to be a teacher, firstly, I think I should learn some basic English cultural knowledge which is going to help me have a better understanding of the language. I have made my mind to read some books of English culture. Secondly, the spoken language is also vital to my English teaching because this ability is the main path to accomplish the information and knowledge transmission to the students. For this, I will practice my oral English more with others. Thirdly, the ability to do the research is also a necessity for me to learn because teachers are also the practitioners to do the research. This is what I can learn during my school days as a postgraduate student. Fourthly, as an English teacher, her or his mastery of language knowledge should be guaranteed. For this, I will read more English textbooks and do more learning exercises. Lastly, I should acquire a lot of teaching skills which is the most important thing during my learning period. I think auditing the English classes in the high schools and practicing giving students lectures must be a good way to improve this skills. All in all, I will try my best to make my dream come ture.  回复  更多评论   

# re: 英语学科发展前沿:第02讲:Role of foreign language learning 2012-02-29 20:34 陈飞飞 2011213052

1 What are your updated purposes of learning English?

As a prospective English teacher, it is time for me to meditate on the purposes of learning English. Frankly speaking, my purposes of learning English vary from period to period. As for me, I learned English when I was Grade Five in primary school. Up to now, I can still remember the original feeling and scene when I “make friends” with English. Since English for me at that time was so charming and amusing, my interest in English was aroused, thus despite the fact that the only English sentences I was able to say were “hello”, “ I don’t know ”,“good morning”, I was still quite enthusiastic about it. So my purpose of learning English at that period completely stemmed from interest. But as time progresses, my motivation of learning English is changing. When I was a middle school student, I learnt English not only because of my interest but also a must, for English was a compulsory course for me to learn. To be honest, obtaining a high score of English subject was a major purpose of learning English in middle school with the reason that all of us should take the High School Entrance Examination or College Entrance Examination. However, my aim of learning English in undergraduate period was split up into five reasons. At the very beginning, English was my major (I chose English as the first and the only major), so it was my responsibility to concentrate on it; meanwhile, English as a global language has its own glamour in that learning English not only enables me to have a good command of the language itself, but to cultivate my cultural awareness both abroad and at home. By immersing myself in the world of English, especially in the English and American Literature, I absorbed a lot of precious knowledge, which in turn broadened my horizon. Last but not least, learning English helps me to upgrade my English critical thinking, as an English major student, English critical thinking is a sort of crucial competence when we are confronted with the current complicated and changeable situation. Now, I am very delighted to be a postgraduate student in this university and I will take this opportunity to upgrade my integrated skills of English since my updated purpose of learning English is to be a qualified English teacher. At last, studying is a lifelong matter, as a saying goes it is never too old to learn.

2. How do you improve your English learning for your new purposes?

It turns out that to be a qualified English teacher is not an easy matter. As far as I am concerned, I will improve my English learning for my new purpose from the following three perspectives.

The first aspect is maintaining and inspiring my interest in learning English. Perhaps at the very beginning you will doubt that why I refer to inspiring my interest. Interested in English as I am, I still need to explore more about my English learning. I realize that the knowledge of English is endless, but our life is transient, so I need to stimulate my interest to learn more profound English language. Meanwhile, as everyone knows, interest is the best teacher, so I should make full use of this “teacher” to make progress. As a matter of fact, nowadays, the middle school students have already gain much more knowledge than we did years ago, which brings tremendous challenge for us novice teachers. So it urges us to enrich our knowledge of English. Here I really very appreciate the kindness of Professor Wu Benhu, who offers some English related information, such as some websites of English learning, which are very beneficial to us.

The second aspect is improving my English teaching skills. As I am not a normal school student, I have a serious shortage of teacher skill training or perhaps more accurately still lack any training about teaching, let alone English teaching. So during this term, I will grasp opportunities to listen to some front-line teachers’ classes and watch some videos of some English teachers. To be honest, at the thought of this weak point, a sense of melancholy descends on me… But however difficult it is, I will overcome it. I believe maybe these rocks and reefs will be priceless during my teaching career.
The third aspect is learning to reflect. I value input a lot, but at the same time, I will also attach much importance to reflection. English language learning and teaching need reflective thinking in that it is a good way for me to catch up with the process of learning and then to figure out the merits and demerits it exist. Life needs reflection, so is English language learning and teaching.

In conclusion, learning English is a long way, being a qualified English teacher needs my painstaking efforts.



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# re: 英语学科发展前沿:第02讲:Role of foreign language learning 2012-02-29 20:49 张颖

1. What are your updated purposes of learning English?
Just as I mentioned in the class, I didn't like English at first, but I had no choice because English is one of the compulsory courses. Under the pressure of college entrance examination, I worked very hard for English. I still remembered that I had did four examination practice papers every night in the last month before the college entrance examination. My experience of learning and living in Beijing changed me completely. And my purpose of learning English varied from dealing with the tests to communicating with others. Even now, I still don't think I have the gift in English, but I believe I have in teaching. There is no doubt that good students can become a good teacher, however, a "bad" student may be more easier to be a better teacher because she experienced the same comfuse with the poor students so that she had a deeper understanding with them.
2. How do you improve your English learning for your new purposes?
For achieveing this new purpose, I did a lot in my professional skills training including vocabulary, grammar, hand-writing, pronunciation, expression and so on. Only standing on the recognition of our limitation and potential, can we find the way to improving what we need to improve.  回复  更多评论   

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  语言是认知的源泉。
  语言不仅是交际工具,而且是认识世界、改造世界和创造世界的源泉。
  语言始终在人类认识世界、改造世界和创造世界的过程中发展与丰富本身。
  所以,英语教学的目标不能长期局限于“培养交际能力”,而应当将“发展包括语言能力、思维能力、感知能力、记忆能力等在内的综合认知能力”作为新的目标。--吴本虎

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