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Whether Peer Microteaching Became More Task-based?

By Author: carling
Total Articles: 129

The 'extension' aspect of the programme involved the teachers in planning and performing a short lesson early and late in the programme. Both lessons were on the same topic so that they could be compared. They were not specifically instructed to use tasks. The early lessons were predominantly teacher-fronted and whole class. There were no tasks, although there were some group activities.In the later lessons, all of the teachers used at least some pair or small group work, sometimes through tasks.

Criterion 1: meaning focus
All of the lessons (not surprisingly) were strongly meaning focused. Of course, the thrust of the first criterion is aimed at language teachers who may have a language focus rather than a meaning or content focus. Thus it is of more interest that these teachers began to include a language focus in pre- and post-task activities. In the later lessons these foci included not only vocabulary (which all of the teachers had explicitly introduced in their early lessons), but also areas such as subject-verb agreement, articles, and word classes. For example, the biology teachers designed a split information task which required distinguishing between nouns used to classify entities (for example, heterotroph) and adjectives used to describe processes (for example, heterotrophic) in order to correctly complete a chart.
Criterion 2: gap
A gap, where at least one participant has information, reasoning, or an opinion that another needs in order to successfully complete the activity, is perhaps the key criterion for tasks since it promotes interaction. The teachers showed the greatest growth in understanding and implementing this criterion; they came to understand that not all group activities were tasks.

In the early lessons, there were no tasks because they lacked gaps. The biology teacher passed out a reading passage on nutritional processes accompanied by a partially filled-in graphic organizer on types, subtypes, and examples which could be completed by copying from the text. Although students were instructed to work in groups, there was no need to and most did not. The chemistry teacher passed out a set of cards with different isotopes of different elements to groups and gave the instruction, 'You can play with the cards'. (The video shows how puzzled everyone was since the cards did not make the aim or procedure transparent and the instructions were not modified.) The maths teacher provided groups with a list of items to organize as an introduction to set theory. All three activities could be successfully completed without any interaction, despite instructions to work in groups.

In the later lessons all four teachers used small group activities, and two of them were designed to include a gap. The biology teacher redesigned the graphic organizer activity into two different tasks: first, a jigsaw reading (different participants had different paragraphs) with a common chart for each group to complete, and second, a cut-up graphic organizer split between different members which had to be reassembled, thus requiring the students to discuss the relationships between types, subtypes, and examples of nutritional processes. The chemistry teacher designed a 'listen and do' activity on the structure of an atom, where one person read a passage describing an atom while the rest of the group drew it.

Both the maths and physics teachers included small group activities, although neither clearly involved an information gap. The maths teacher distributed a reading passage introducing set theory with a blank-fill exercise to complete in groups, although it could be done individually. However, the maths teacher justified this activity on the grounds that it required the text to be read, which this teacher thought was ignored by maths students and teachers alike in favour of problem-solving with minimal language use. The physics teacher had originally designed a short experiment done as a whole class using thumbtacks to demonstrate the relationship between force, area, and pressure. Although it was redesigned as a small group activity, it did not clearly include a gap. However, it did require comprehension of written instructions, whereas the earlier version could have been completed by imitating the teacher. These two teachers seemed to have grasped the idea that they needed to promote language use even though they appeared unclear about the role of gaps.Our Coach Replica Bags with detailed imitation, qualified materials and lowest price endow you the same dignity and elegance of the original one. You would love Coach bags MADISON OP ART 43265 in black at first sight.

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