Level of cognitive demand and context represented by a student who performs a set of activities
Learning does not just involve passively receiving and remembering what is taught but entails actively constructing meanings of the learner’s concepts and ideas gained from the environment and are better comprehended if the learner is motivated to learn as advocated by the Implicit Theories of Intelligence.
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This therefore means that teaching ELL should involve creative meaning-making process through the use of a variety of different teaching methods such as discovery and lecture; and the learner should be given the opportunity to socialize with environment. Learning should be reinforced to make it meaningful to the learner. In the learning process, goals to be achieved should be set and pursued.
The teaching strategy for teaching ELL which involves consideration of the Implicit Theories of Intelligence enables the learner to acquire English concepts from the teacher, other learners as well as adults who have already acquired English language concepts.
It allows the learner to inquire more information on the English language and also allows the learner to communicate and acquire more language vocabularies from others (Mickovska, 2009).
Changing activities to fit learner’s abilities
A learner who reads for comprehension represents the fourth grade of cognitive demand as well as low context. Reading for comprehension represents higher cognitive demand as the learner attempts to understand the main idea in the text.
Such a learner requires low levels of contextual support, such as the use of non-verbal communication to enhance the learner’s higher cognitive skills by learning to fill in the gaps. Using the language by referring to situations as well as pattern of events which are well-known to the learner enhances comprehension in the learner (Bailey, L. Beauregard, Huang, Kerr, & Martínez, 2010).
A learner who acts out of a historical event is in the third level of cognitive demands and high level contextual support. Such level makes learning of English language to be complex and abstract to the learner. In this stage learning of English language can be enhanced by involving the learner in tasks such as role-play that involves acting out situations as well as involving the learner in dramatized case studies (Bailey, L. Beauregard, Huang, Kerr, & Martínez, 2010).
Pointing out items in the classroom represents the second level of cognitive demand and low context as it entails learner’s ability to match corresponding items and differentiating items that have no similarity. Developing a learner’s language through this method can be enhanced by providing various options for the learner to choose from (Abbott, David, Goouch, & Powell 2007).
A learner who writes short paragraphs represents the fourth level of cognitive demand and low contextual support in learning process (Martin County School District, 2010). Such a learner is able to summarize contents of simple observable features in the environment or events. Developing English language in such a learner would involve helping him or her understand the organizational structure of short compositions or paragraph compositions which may involve complex sentence structure (Abbott, David, Goouch, & Powell 2007).
A learner who watches a movie with an academic content represents an affective content of learning the language and a high level of cognitive demand of grade three as well as high level of contextual support. Enhancing development of the language of such a learner will require developing integrated instructions in the language content which enable the learner to describe feelings as well as emotions at the end of the movie (Abbott, David, Goouch, & Powell 2007).
A learner who participates in a baseball game represents a third level of cognitive demand and high level of contextual support as the learner acquires the elements of the English instructional process. The learner learns to link language and actions. He or she learns to listen and to respond using the language. Development of the language should be enhanced by giving the learner the opportunity to participate in summative assessments (Abbott, David, Goouch, & Powell 2007).
The level of cognitive demand represented by a learner who listens to a lecture in the atom is the fourth level of cognitive demand as well as low context and involves the learner’s ability to synthesize and analyze the vocabulary used by the lecturer or tutor (Martin County School District, 2010).
The learner engages the emotional as well as the analytical contexts to understand the complex contents in the lecture. Enhancing language development in such a learner requires giving the learning environment an opportunity to acquire complex language contents which enable learning of new and higher language skills (Bailey, L. Beauregard, Huang, Kerr, & Martínez, 2010).
Activities in quadrant D represents high cognitive demands with low contextual support while the activities in quadrant B involves low cognitive demand with low contextual support. Changing the activities in quadrant D to fit quadrant B requires that the teacher introduce complex and abstract contents bit by bit so that to enable the learner familiarize with the content to promote comprehension of the complex contents (Abbott, David, Goouch, & Powell 2007).
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A learner in the second quadrant who listens to a lecture on the atom can be assisted to understand the complex language involved in the presentation by introducing the topic in subsequent parts.
A learner who writes short compositions can be helped to acquire the language by assisting the learner first to acquire simple sentence organizational structures and then proceed slowly to the complex structures. Fitting reading for comprehension in the second quadrant involves providing simple texts at the beginning and the level of difficulty is increased with time.
Abbott, L., David, T., Goouch, K., & Powell, S. (2007). Theories about language development. Nottingham, Queen’s Printer.
Bailey, A. L. Beauregard, S. Huang, B. H. Kerr, D, & Martínez, J. F. (2010). Measuring opportunity to learn and academic language exposure for English language learners in elementary science classrooms. CRESST Report. Los Angeles: California University Press.
Martin County School District (2010). Basic interpersonal communication skills (BICS) and cognitive/academic language proficiency (CALP). Web.
Mickovska, A. (2009). A comparative analysis of Macedonian and English Teachers’ implicit theories of pupils’ intelligence and motivation. Journal of European Psychology Students (JEPS), JEPS 1(1). London: University of Cambridge.