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Second Language Learning Proposal


Introduction

The process of designing language-learning programs requires the participation of different individuals. Designing language-learning programs also requires the input of individuals involved in policy formulation. An example of a subject is the teaching of English as a second language.

English is taught as a second language to individuals who immigrate into areas where this is the language of choice. In addition, people are willing to learn this language so that they can participate more in international trade. This paper contains a proposal for the teaching of English as a second language to a group of immigrants.

Context Description

Background and Motivation

The learners are from different parts of the world having immigrated into an English-speaking nation. These individuals have immigrated here to pursue higher education or to engage in other activities such as trade. In addition, some of these individuals have relocated to their new home in search of better life in the country.

According to Barilla and Brown (2015), the motivation of language learners may include their desire to communicate with a certain group. In this case, the learners wish to integrate into the new society.

Additionally, these students are motivated by the desire to learn a second or third language. Some are traders and business individuals that look to trade with the people that mainly communicate in English.

Level of Learners

This section describes the levels of learners in relation to the syllabus-based learners and the research-based descriptions. The learners in the proposal are new to the English language compared to the syllabus-based learners who have had a level of exposure to the language.

According to George (2014), learning a new language requires that students are prepared adequately. In addition, these students require more attention and learning hours. Consequently, their learning level is below that of the syllabus-based learners.

Different learner levels are used to describe the proficiency of students in learning a language. The English language proficiency levels are mainly used to describe the language levels of individuals learning the English language. Most of the students described in the program are in level 1. In this level, students do not understand or speak the English language (Radom & Gammons, 2014).

In addition, students within this level only know a few English expressions and some isolated words (Radom & Gammons, 2014). The program also contains students in level two, who only speak the English language with hesitancy. In addition, students in this level of the language only understands simple directions.

Available Teaching Facilities and Resources

There are several learning institutions devoted to the teaching of English as a second language throughout Europe and the UK. Most of the schools in the UK also have tutors that provide lessons in this area. Other existing facilities include the evening classes that are provided for individuals that work during the day or are engaged in other activities. Some of these resources include teaching materials and a developed curriculum.

Prevailing Assessment Context

The prevailing assessment process in the context is not different from the existing language teaching curriculum (Kumaravadivelu, 2008). Learners are assessed based on the materials provided to them and the exposure they have in the curriculum.

The backgrounds of students in relation to the target language are also discussed. Most of the students are foreigners from areas that have English as a second or third language. In addition, these areas may not necessarily speak English. These students also communicate in another language while away from the learning institution.

Methodological Approach

The methodological approaches used in teaching a language are useful in determining the progress of students in the program. According to Kurt (2015), different individuals respond to different methods of learning English as a second language.

A combination of these methods is necessary to ensure the maximum benefit for the students. Some of the factors determining the effectiveness of each of the methodological approaches include the environments of the learners and their learning objectives. In this case, the students intend to learn English as a second language so that they can integrate with the local community and conduct business in this region.

Different researchers also state that it is not possible to use all the methodologies in the teaching of language (Torregosa, Ynalvez, Schiffman, & Morin, 2015). Among the factors that influence the ability of tutors to use a specific methodology is the background of the learners.

According to Yang and Yuen (2014), individuals learning a new language require different tactics and methodologies. However, the teachers have the responsibility of choosing the method that best suits their students (Nippold, Paul, & Hoffman, 2014). The context within which the language is taught also affects the capacity of students to acquire skills in the same language.

Researchers also describe principled eclecticism as an important approach when teaching English or any other language (Breen, 2009). In this approach, the language teachers apply the most appropriate technique in teaching and create the teaching methodology based on the learning style and context (Long & Crookes, 1992).

The methods used to teach English as a second language have evolved over the last five decades. A discussion of the different methodologies is important so that the choices used in this context are understood. Therefore, this section looks at the preferred methodologies in teaching English to immigrants as a second or third language.

The main methodologies used in the teaching of English as a second language in clued grammar translation and the direct method (Yang & Yuen, 2014).

Other methods that will be applied include the audio-lingualism, communicative language teaching and the humanistic approaches (Spada, 2011). However, the most effective methodology used in this particular proposal is the principled eclecticism. In this method, the language teacher selects a teaching methodology suitable to the learner.

Grammar translation focuses on write literary texts. In this methodology, the students are prompted to translate specific terms from English to their native language (Spada, 2011). When this occurs, the students can integrate what they learn in class.

This method is effective because the students can learn in a manner that they are familiar. Additionally, this methodology ensures that students can relate what they learn with similar words or phrases in their language (Peña, Gillam, & Bedore, 2014). This method of teaching a language is among the first to be developed and has been in use for decades.

The second methodology important in the current teaching of English as a second language is the direct method. This method focuses mainly on other languages in addition to English. In this methodology, the students learn by relating what they are taught directly in English (Tomlinson, 2010).

Additionally, students are required to have a specific background in the language so that they can effectively associate meaning directly in English (Breen, 2009). Therefore, this methodology is not as effective as the grammar translation because it depends on existing knowledge of the language. The students in the proposal do not have a significant English background.

The third methodology that is useful in this proposal is the Audio- lingual method that is widely used to train students to listen and speak in foreign languages (Yang & Yuen, 2014). In this methodology, the teachers aim to improve the listening and speaking skills of students through pattern practice. According to Arbona and Chireac (2014), students are made to speak and listen only in English.

This method is useful as the students can speak another language aside from their native language. In addition, the methodology does not require that the teachers have a background in the native language of the students they train.

The other methodology that is used in the proposal to teach immigrants English as a second language is the cognitive code approach that emphasizes on grammar rules. In this methodology, the teachers deduce grammar rules for the students and ensure that they understand them in context.

While this method is useful for students learning a new language, it requires that the teacher have in-depth grammar knowledge (Arbona & Chireac, 2014). Additionally, the teacher is required to have a wide knowledge of the different English grammar rules.

Aside from the methods mentioned earlier, the other method that the proposal utilizes is the humanistic approach to training the English learners. This method constitutes of several approaches such as suggestopedia and the community language learning (Canale & Swain, 1980). Another constituent approach of this methodology is the silent way where the teacher allows the student to interact without contributing.

In this method, the students learn from each other with minimal input from the teacher (Arbona & Chireac, 2014). In suggestopedia, the teacher provides a relaxing atmosphere with resources that allow adequate learning of English, with the commonest resource being music (Arbona & Chireac, 2014).

Another aspect of the humanistic approach when teaching a language is Community language learning where the understanding of the English language is achieved through several activities. In this approach, the students interact in a manner that encourages their learning of the English language.

These students are also encouraged to converse in English. In addition, they should participate in activities requiring the use of this language (Arbona & Chireac, 2014). The students participate with the aid of their teacher in community activities that improve their English language skills.

According to Arbona and Chireac (2014), such activities increase the capacity of students to understand the English language. The last approach in the humanistic approach is the comprehensive approach. In this approach, the teachers clarify that the students are ready to learn through visuals and actions.

This proposal constitutes of different methodologies and applies principled eclecticism where different methodologies are applied while teaching students a foreign language. According to Larsen-Freeman (2012), principled eclecticism is the most modern methodology used to teach any language as a second language. In this methodology, the teacher decides which method best suits the students and uses the method.

Some of the factors used in principled eclecticism include the background of the students, their level of skill, exposure to the language, available time, and their objectives (Larsen-Freeman, 2012). Teachers decide which methods are useful for which students. The methods are also adjusted according to the needs and progress of these students (Larsen-Freeman, 2012).

Subject Outline

Subject Title

Title: English as a second language. A subject that aims to improve the proficiency of students in the English language.

Subject Overview

The subject aims to improve their skills in written and spoken English language. Students are expected to have basic skills in English communication and to interact effectively using English as the primary language.

The subject also provides students with the required skills to communicate with their colleagues and other individuals in the country that use English as their primary language. In addition, the subject supports the learning of students by ensuring that they can understand the requirements of the curriculum that is structured in English.

This subject is tailored for students that have difficulty using English or have another language as a first language. Participating in this class ensures that the students can integrate the basic components of the English language. Additionally, the subject will ensure that the students acquire the basic skills in the English language.

Students can expect to communicate in English after this subject. Prior knowledge of the English language is necessary for this language. Consequently, students need to be able to listen to instructors as they provide different instructions in the language.

The aims and objectives of the current subject include improving the English capacity of students in the course and improving their integration into the new society. The subject also aims to improve the communication skills of the students. Additionally, the instructors aim to equip students with Basic English literacy to enable them learn other subjects. This subject is related to other subjects in several ways.

First, the rest of the subjects require that students can interpret and integrate what they learn in these subjects. Additionally, the ability to communicate is necessary if the students want to pass the rest of the subjects that are structured in English. Students should ensure that they participate in the different learning activities within the subject. Twenty hours will be included in the subject every week.

Learning Activities

Students will participate in several learning activities on this subject. These learning activities include workshops, online activities, and class discussion activities. Other activities include interactive language games, social interactions, and oral discussions. The activities will contribute to fifty percent of the overall assessment in the final exam.

The workshops will contribute to ten percent of the overall assessment while the rest of the activities will contribute to eight percent of the overall assessment each. The scores that the students attain in the different learning activities will be used to calculate the overall assessment score.

Learning outcomes

Aside from being proficient in English, students should do the following on completion of the subject:

  • Effectively communicate in English with their colleagues and other individuals within the learning institution and other areas within the country.
  • Interpret basic English words and know their meaning both in written and spoken language
  • Construct compound English sentences and use them in their communication. These sentences should make sense and be coherent enough to lead to a dialog.
  • Understand what other individuals and especially native English speakers, say and write. Students should have basic understanding of the English language as to facilitate communication.
  • Answer basic and complex English questions and demonstrate the highest level of English competence and proficiency.

List of Topics

Topics Meanings/purposes Forms/structures of language addressed
Introduction to English as a subject This topic aims to introduce students to basic English The forms of the introduction addressed include the different methods of communicating, the origin of the English language and the scope.
Basic Reading Skills Learners will be introduced to different reading activities The students will read different English texts and will be graded based on their ability to read these texts.
Basic Writing Skills Students will be required to write basic sentences that make sense Basic writing skills ensure that the students can write differently structured texts. The ability to write ensures that the students can communicate officially.
Sentence construction The purpose of this topic is to ensure that the students can communicate in sentences The ability to construct sentences determines how well the students can communicate. In addition, sentence construction is the beginning of learning more English.
Communication skills Ability to participate in communication Communication skills enable students to interact with their colleagues and other individuals. In addition, adequate communication skills are the main objective for this course

Assessment Scheme

Students will be assessed in a number of areas based on the period they will have spent in class. The subject aims and objectives will inform the assessment. Additionally, the assessment will comprise of a final exam and an internal assessment. The course assessment comprises of:

Task Description Weight (%)
Oral presentations made by the individual students and their group Students are required to prepare presentations during different times in their class. They should work individually or in groups. 5%
Workshops participation in at least two workshops is necessary during their training. 2.5%
Oral interactions Oral presentations ensure that the students can communicate in English. However, oral interactions include how the students participate in class and interact with their colleagues. 2.5%
Course written tasks (including notes, memoranda, and essays) Students will be prompted to write different English materials such as memoranda and notes. 5%
Essay skills Students are required to write a minimum of three essays on different topics. Each of these essays will contribute to 5% of the course assessment. 15%
Listening The listening skills of students will be continuously assessed in the classroom and during presentations. 5%
Translation of basic texts Students will be expected to translate basic texts after which they will be graded. 5%
Final Exam (written exam and an oral presentation) The final exam carries the bulk of marks in the assessment. This exam will constitute of a written and oral exam. The written exam will contribute 40% of the course assessment with the oral presentation contributing to the rest 20%. 60%

The requirements to pass the assessment include getting more than 50% of the available points. Students that pass the assessment are required to pass the final exam by getting 30% or more in the exam. In addition, the class learning activities that students participate in should be adequately undertaken to guarantee a pass.

The class attendance and participation are necessary for students to pass their exams. Students should plan to attend more than 75% of the class tutorials and participate in other activities. They should also ensure participation in group activities and presentations in addition to the oral tasks.

Recommended Learning Resources

Students are required to have several books and learning resources to ensure that they actively participate in their learning. The learning resources include the course textbooks, dictionaries, student workbooks, journals, and online activities. The learning resources necessary in the course are stated in this section.

Required Resources

Thomson, A., & Martinet, A. (2011). A practical English Grammar (4th Ed.). Oxford: Oxford University Press.

This book is among the basic texts for individuals looking to learn Basic English and learn the language as a second language. In addition, the book is tailored to meet the needs of individuals learning the language as a second language with many activities designed for the same.

Drabble, M. (2012). The Oxford Companion to English Literature (5th Ed.). Oxford: Oxford University Press.

This other text is also useful for students that intend to learn English as a second language. It is a relatively easy text with wide application in the current subject. In addition, the text contains many tasks that students can undertake in their learning.

Lily, W., & Colet, J. (2013). A short introduction of grammar, 1549. Menston, York: Scolar Press.

This book is another simple text that students can use to master some of the basic communication skills. Additionally, the text focuses on the use of English as the main language of communication. The book is freely available in the library and can be purchased online as an eBook.

Recommended Texts

Aside from the required texts, students can use other recommended texts in their learning. These are useful for the students as they provide alternative materials and information in the course. In addition, these recommended texts allow the students to get additional materials for use in their studies. The following is a list of some of the recommended texts including the workbooks and textbooks.

  • Simpson, J. (1989). The Oxford English Dictionary (2nd ed.). Oxford: Clarendon Press
  • Baugh, A. (2009). A history of the English language (2d ed.). New York: Appleton-Century-Crofts.
  • Evans V. & Dooley J. (2002). Upstream. Intermediate Course book. New York: Express Publishing.
  • Evans V. & Dooley J. (2002). Upstream. Intermediate Workbook. New York: Express Publishing. 2002.
  • Evans V. & Dooley J. (2002). Upstream. Grammar. New York: Express Publishing. 2002.

Subject Schedule

The following schedule provides some of the activities that the students need to undertake and the date for these activities. In addition, the schedule provides some of the required readings for the course. Students should use these readings to prepare for lessons.

Week Date Topic & Activities Requirements/Readings
Week 1 1stJanuary Introduction to the subject Course textbooks. Introduction to English Grammar
Week 2 8thJan Basic Communication Skills Course textbooks, class notes, oral presentation.
Week 3 15thJanuary Interpersonal Communication Course textbooks, class notes, group work
Week 4 22ndJanuary Reading basic text Course textbooks, class notes
Week 5 29thJanuary Interpreting skills Course textbooks, class notes, class presentation
Week 6 5thFeb Writing skills Course textbooks, class notes
Week 7 12thFeb Oral skills Course textbooks, class notes, class presentation
Week 8 19thFeb English literature Course textbooks, class notes, introduction to English grammar
Week 9 26thFeb Advanced English communication Course textbooks, class notes
Week 10 5thMarch First Assessment Presentation, examination assessment

References

Arbona, A. D., & Chireac, S. (2014). Language Learning Methodology for Adults: A Study of Linguistic Transfer. Procedia – Social and Behavioral Sciences, 142(The Fourth International Conference on Adult Education, Romania 2014), 318-324.

Barilla, R., & Brown, T. B. (2015). Reflections on Teaching and Learning the Arts: A Middle-Grade Classroom and a High School for the Arts. Journal of Education, 195(1), 11-14.

Breen, M. (2009). Collegial development in ELT: The interface between global processes and local understandings. In S. Gieve & I. K. Miller (eds) Understanding the language classroom. (pp. 200-225) Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.

Canale, M. & Swain, M. (1980). Theoretical bases of communicative approaches to second language teaching and testing. Applied Linguistics, 1(1): 1-47.

George, S. (2014). Effective Learner-centered English Language Teaching Techniques for L2 Learners. Writers Editors Critics, 4(2), 87.

Kumaravadivelu, B. (2008) Cultural globalization and language education. (pp. 167-190). New Haven: Yale University Press.

Kurt, M. (2015). Which methodology works better? English language teachers’ awareness of the innovative language learning methodologies. Education, 135(3), 309-322.

Larsen-Freeman, D. (2012). From Unity to Diversity: Twenty-Five Years of Language Teaching Methodology. English Teaching Forum, 50(2), 28-38.

Long, M. & Crookes, G. (1992). Three approaches to task-based syllabus design. TESOL Quarterly, 26(1): 27-56.

Nippold, M. A., Paul, R., & Hoffman, L. (2014). Language Intervention at the Middle School: Complex Talk Reflects Complex Thought. Language, Speech & Hearing Services In Schools, 45(2), 153-156.

Peña, E. D., Gillam, R. B., & Bedore, L. M. (2014). Dynamic Assessment of Narrative Ability in English Accurately Identifies Language Impairment in English Language Learners. Journal of Speech, Language & Hearing Research, 57(6), 2208-2220.

Radom, R., & Gammons, R. W. (2014). Teaching Information Evaluation with the Five Ws. Reference & User Services Quarterly, 53(4), 334-347.

Spada, N. (2011). Beyond form-focused instruction: Reflections on past, present and future research. Language Teaching, 44(2): 225-236.

Tomlinson, B. (2010). Principles of effective materials development. In N. Harwood (ed.) English language teaching materials: Theory and practice. (pp. 81-108). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Torregosa, M. B., Ynalvez, M. A., Schiffman, R., & Morin, K. (2015). English-Language Proficiency, Academic Networks, and Academic Performance of Mexican American Baccalaureate Nursing Students. Nursing Education Perspectives, 36(1), 8-15.

Yang, J., & Yuen, C. K. (2014). College English Teaching Methodology and Language Planning: A Pilot Study in Hefei, China. Procedia – Social And Behavioral Sciences, 118(International Conference on Knowledge-Innovation-Excellence: Synergy in Language Research and Practice (2013), Organized by School of Language Studies and Linguistics, Faculty of Social Sciences and Humanities, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (National University of Malaysia), 495-502.

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Nielsen, Carl. 2019. "Second Language Learning." IvyPanda (blog), August 6, 2019. https://ivypanda.com/essays/language-learning/.

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