Among the current definitions available, the common sense had divided “curriculum” into two main concepts: formal and informal. The former is used to describe a solid and closed curriculum (with predefined themes and areas of study, even without previous contact with students), while the latter is dedicated to more flexible and dependent on parallel plans (a conglomerate of successful practices without a rigid structure). The fact is that both of them focus their efforts in contributing to classroom practices, especially in the directions that guide professors, teachers and instructors in the best way to achieve the goals proposed in the official curriculum. Both definitions presented here lead to a formal or informal educational context, which, at the same time, is and is not the same as the online 4 BP course proposed by this thesis. The course outlined here corroborates Kraemer (2012) when the author states that, in addition to common sense, there is a third definition of a plausible curriculum: it has to be a pedagogical plan, with goals, content and assessment criteria, but it must also be flexible and adaptable to every group involved, thus promoting meaningful learning.
The three teachers who participated in the second part of the study are aware that the now experienced focus on form approach may represent an improvement in the language learning process. They believe that the focus on form is more advantageous for languageteaching in contrast with focus on formS (cf. Long, 1991) and focus on meaning. The first one proved to be a positive development for these teachers since they were only familiar with the last two approaches. On the one hand, the focus on formS, with its vision of the language segmented in lexicon, grammatical rules, pronunciation, phonemes… (Long & Robinson, 1998), in which the contents are presented in a linear and cumulative form; on the other hand, the focus in the meaning, in which the model of acquisition of an L2 approaches the models of acquisition of an MT. However, this recognition does not invalidate their concerns and doubts about the consequences of replacing these more traditional practices with linguistic reflection practices, following a focus on form approach.
Portugal has followed the example of several countries all over the world as far as multilingualism is concerned. The path to introduce English as a compulsory subject in Primary Education has been a long one, but now that third and fourth graders in Portugal have already got English as a Foreign Language (EFL), it is significant to analyse how this language is being taught in these levels. This study aims at presenting the main practices of teachers in primary schools and their understandings of Task-based LanguageTeaching (TBLT), which is considered as a holistic languageteaching approach. To verify the level of acquaintance and use of TBLT in the teaching of English in Portuguese Primary Education, the methodology of this study is based on a simple quantitative analysis. Thus, a questionnaire was delivered to teachers through mailing lists and closed groups of social networks, throughout a period of one month. Despite the limited number of teachers who participated in the study, the fact that they are from different parts of the country contributes for having an overall representation of the teachers’ practices within English languageteaching in the primary level in Portugal. The results reveal that teachers tend to adhere to different teaching methods and approaches, such as the Communicative Method and the Audio-lingual Method. Furthermore, although teachers recognize the value of TBLT, the results demonstrate that are constraints that discourage them to apply it more frequently. This study displays similar outcomes to other international studies, mentioned in the literature review, which lead us to reflect on the relevance of adopting TBLT in EFL settings with young learners. As English was recently implemented as a compulsory subject in Primary school in Portugal and given the limitations of this study, the development of more research on EFL teaching techniques with young learners in Portugal is suggested. The same study could be complemented with variance tests and action-research could also be developed.
As to what regards the Aprendizagens Essenciais para o Português [Essential Learning for Portuguese](2018b), the fields of reading and literary education point to story-reading and to the importance of "students becoming familiar and contacting with reference literature on a daily basis" (PORTUGAL, 2018b, p. 3). We believe that children's literature is another pedagogical resource available to primary education teachers. This literary genre has not only a playful function and an aesthetic function, but also a formative function. In fact, in these age groups, children's literature allows children to be in touch with humour, a world of wonder, and the playful uses of language, which enable linguistic and literary games, often marked by irreverence and unpredictability. Children's literature is also an aesthetic object. It allows the child to interact with other languages - the literary languageand the visual language -, which diverge from stereotypes and present children with another way of looking at reality and representing it.
Finally, we come to the last point, which concerns the global perception of learning. The observations made by the assistant researchers, first individually and later discussed in the meeting, as already mentioned, lead to the conclusion that the courses did not completely respond to what had been proposed. In the case of the Mandarin course, the objective of the course would be “to provide basic knowledge of Mandarin, which will allow to establish business in China”. Considering the complexity of Mandarin, a distant language to speakers of Spanish andPortuguese, it would be naïve to expect that a ten-hour course would be enough to achieve this objective, although very modest. Even with such a timid goal, the course delivers less than it promises, reducing itself to explore, superficially, the tonal structure of the Chinese pronunciation, aspects related to greetings and courtesy, business card etiquette and numerals. Hardly would anyone be able to make an expressive import/ export agreement with so few elements. Obviously, the course will help those who have the support of an interpreter, allowing them to express small courtesies in the target language, which will certainly be well received by the hosts, but the language skills developed do not exceed this modest limit.
instrumental objectives. It seems that the next step would be to follow a more formal path in the future. The next Summer, in 2006 (Despacho 12 591/2006), English classes in official primary schools became compulsory in all schools although it was still not a mandatory subject. Being so, a new challenge was set: all children may attend English classes in their 3 rd or fourth year of schooling but they do not have to. Some families, for different reasons, did not register their children in these English classes and, as a result, in the following years – the 5 th and the 6 th – teachers had to face classes that were very heterogeneous: some children had already had two years of contact with the English Language, some others were simply in the early beginning. More recently, in December 2014, the Ministry of Education decided to create new curricula and syllabus for all the official English classes, starting with the introduction of mandatory English classes in the last two years of primary schools. The basic idea for this change was to consolidate the changes already introduced and to assure more coherence to all study cycles. Currently, the children officially start mandatory English learning in the 3 rd year of primary school and must have, at least, seven years of this contact, improving their levels of proficiency from A1 to C1 in the end of compulsory schooling. The official document Currículo Nacional do Ensino Básico describes the main competences in languages. The capacities and skills are organized under different competences that vary with the study cycle and the schooling year. In this context, the competences defined for primary schools are significant. A linguistic competence is, at this point, defined as the appropriation of organized knowledge that is included in a culture and a people’s identity but also as the capacity to use strategically linguistic resources in a real communicative situation. Linguistic competence implies a metacognitive capacity and the recognition that languages are in permanent evolution and in constant interaction with the way individuals behave and live in society. Furthermore, this legal document demonstrates the concern with the need to articulate and integrate languageteaching with all the other areas of basic education, especially in the paragraphs that deal with the general competences of the curriculum and the competences that are specific to languages. Stimuli and trust are key words in the documents made by the Ministry of Education. The process of languageteaching is to be centered in the promotion of an affective relation with the second language itself and opportunities of motivating communicative learning situations must be granted to learners in general.
School teachers’ beliefs are frequently related to the monolingual approach which generates not desirable variability concerning the academic skills of non-native students. In the English Second Languageteaching context, the implications of that approach were been examined but still not well documented for the contexts of second languages other than English. Is this the case of Portuguese. Scientific evidence supports that less experienced teachers have lower orientation toward multiple task-tests for non-native students. It is expected that the teachers perceive differently the tasks relevance for the proficiency evaluation and that might compromise the academic performance of non-native learners of Portuguese as a Second Language. This study intends to analyse the importance degree between the four skills/tasks: reading, writing, speaking and listening, in the perspective of school teachers. The questionnaire “Inventory of Undergraduate and Graduate Level: Reading, Writing, Speaking and Listening Tasks (Rosenfeld, Leung & Ottman, 2001), with 40 items (respecting to broad skills of reading, writing, speaking and listening) was adapted for PortugueseLanguageand was administered to 77 teachers, aged 32-62, with (and without) experience in teachingand adapting materials for immigrant students, divided into six groups according to their scientific domain. The results suggested different degrees of importance attributed by teachers on tasks that should be included in academic andlanguage test for immigrant students and that perceptions of teachers are determined mainly by scientific domain. Findings will be discussed concerning the difference among the teachers of public Portuguese schools on their practices (based on their perceptions) for the evaluation of non-native students and how that difference and disproportion might affect the students’ outcomes in Portuguese as a Second Language.
The second article, by Lia Abrantes Antunes Soares, is entitled “O fenômeno pausa como pista para avaliação de fluência em português do Brasil como segunda língua” (Pause phenomena as a clue to evaluating fluency in Brazilian Portuguese as a second language). In this paper, Soares presents a study on how levels of fluency can be determined, at least in part, by the phenomenon of pausing. It is safe to say that very little research has been done in the way of prosody in BP, especially with respect to its application to L2 acquisition. Pausing is important because it can clue us in to how native as well as non-native speakers manage their oral discourse. As such, not all kinds of pauses are indicative of non-nativeness, though the way in which pauses are applied over the course of one’s speech potentially reveals levels of fluency.
Over the years, ELT processes andteaching materials have gone through several changes regarding both grammar and culture. While in the 1940s and 1950s materials focused primarily on grammatical issues, in the 1960s there was a shift towards a more social perspective of language. Later in the 1970s, from a sociolinguistic point of view, Hymes (1972) presented several issues worth considering when observing language use, namely possibility, feasibility, appropriateness and performance, which brought important implications for ELT. According to him, standards of correctness should be observed in language use, as well as in issues of language appropriateness. As a result, textbooks began to be arranged according to social situation and/or language function, in which particular emphasis was given on the surface to language use andlanguage appropriateness, while grammatical issues were camouflaged in the dialogs written to exemplify and practice specific grammatical structures (McKay, “Teaching Materials”). Up to this day, this continues to be the most common practice in the majority of the published ELT textbooks.
Contrary to the idea that the technical knowledge of the teacher of a native tongue serves primordially to the content of its teaching or to the planning of classes, this article discusses the precept that such knowledge should be seen as the basis for the creation of an attitude to be maintained in face-to-face interactions in the classroom. This attitude relates to the constant need to make decisions before the unexpected, and points to the construction of a specific discursive place for the language teacher – that of someone who listens to the student’s words and enlaces them to his or her own words, so as to make sure that the assumption of the position of subject follows a reflection about the linguistic means available to such end. As an example to fuel this debate, the text describes the case of the unusual interpretation made by some students of the word “rataria” present in one of Monteiro Lobato’s works. Some of the possible attitudes before this reading mistake are discussed, as well as their implications: to request a change in the answer, to modify the didactic material, to make explicit the linguistic work underlying the mistake, or to use the mistake as a pretext to other activities. The procedures discussed are based on the premise that mistakes and other unforeseen manifestations not only reveal procedures of construction of knowledge, but also offer important opportunities for the teacher to include him/herself into the student’s word, being, therefore, a fundamental aspect in the construction of a relationship in which teaching becomes possible.
With this topic I was able to draw on students’ personal, experiences. I was also able to use online resources to directly connect students with French counterparts. The benefit of using online resources for this project is the prevalence of current material published by individuals or groups coming from outside of the traditional media sphere, and of forums which allow greater scope for interaction, feedback and self-publishing. In this instance this included forums and blogs established by individuals, unions and community associations. This means that students do not have to rely solely on the interpretation offered by text-books and commercial media outlets, and dissenting voices can become audible.
Libya became an independent country in 1951 after forty years of occupation by European powers. The country had been an Italian colony until the defeat of the Axis forces in North Africa in 1942. From 1942 to 1951 it was under temporary British military rule. Under the monarchy (1951-1969), all Libyans were guaranteed the right to educations. Schools at all levels were established; and old Koranic schools were reactivated and new ones were opened resulting in a heavy religious influence on Libyan education (Deeb and Deeb, 1982). The revolution in 1969, and the establishment of the modem Libyan state, brought with it considerable changes to the educational system. For example, the number of primary schools increased significantly and primary education became compulsory for all children in Libya. In the 1970s an educational structure was introduced with four levels: primary (six years), intermediate (three years), secondary (three years), and vocational (three years). Students studied a range of subjects such as Arabic language, Islamic religion, English language, French language, Science, and Mathematics. The teaching workforce in Libyan schools in the 1970s and 1980s relied heavily on expatriate teachers from Egypt.
Composing teachers need to approach writing and revision thoughtfully and carefully so that students can assimilate these processes accurately and build strategies that will help them better develop their composing skills. Accordingly, teachers should help students to perceive that writing is a process of communicating meaning. Therefore, a text must be grounded on the expression of feelings and opinions by which one develops his/her ability to elaborate, argue and think critically. As Zamel (1985) observes, this can only be achieved by showing students in our responses to their writing that our niiain concern is with meaning. As far as revision is concerned, teachers should involve groups of students in collaborative work so that, as readers of their colleagues’ texts, they can realize that they are mostly interested in comprehending the text. Therefore, ideas must be clear and well organized. Additionally, student-writers should be engaged in “revise-and-resubmit” (Ferris, 1996) tasks. In conducting systematic revisions of a same text, composers would not only be able to understand the recursive nature of writing, but also would be able to see how much improvement they make between drafts. Probably, this would make them merit revision as it deserves to be merited.
Die Methoden, Community Language Learning, Suggestopädie, Silent Way, Total Physical Response, Tandem-Lernen vereinigt die Idee, Lernen zu einem stressfreien Vorgang zu machen und ebenso die verschiedenen Lerntypen auf diverse Weise und auf möglichst ebenso verschiedenen „Kanälen” anzusprechen. Unter Vereinigung neurophysiologische Erkenntnisse wollen diese z.T. gleichsam beide Gehirnhälften für den Sprachlernvorgang anregen. Studenten sind teils außerordentlich unabhängig in ihrem Aufgreifen des Unterrichtsmaterials, teils auch sehr eingeengt durch aufgezwungene und exakt innezuhaltende Verfahren. Professoren haben innerhalb der Gruppen Bestimmungen, diese reichen vom Leiter, dem absolut zu vertrauen wird, über den Partner bis hin zum Betreuer. Dies führt einerseits zur Selbständigkeit der Studenten, andererseits aber auch zu einer Abhängigkeit.
Comprehension/Expression (oral &written): it is certainly the final and common aim of the whole languageteaching process to build sound communicative skills in the learner. In AFL teaching, comprehension is intended to help students be aware and in control of their reading and listening, by understanding the messages conveyed through technical or specialised discourse and being able to re-express them in an accurate and intelligible way. One of the main goals in teaching comprehension for AFL may be getting the learners to improve their fluency in reading, writing and speaking tasks, especially when these deal with authentic texts taken from a specified professional sector. The success of such an approach is possible through “task-based instructions” (NUNAN, 1991; WILLIS, 1996; SANCHEZ, 2004). According to this approach, the teaching actions should bring learners to concentrate more on meaning analysis than on form-oriented efforts. This could come under two different frames and contexts, as showed in the following table:
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Mozambique is an example of a country where the Portugueselanguage is dramatically increasing, because it is felt and thought by the (middle class) population as the language of culture and power, and the lingua franca for communication in the whole country. Faced with the impossibility to choose one African language among the 20 or more existing in the country, the rulers after independence took the administration language as a neutral and practical choice. This is not the whole story, though: It is important to note that most of the revolutionary intelligentsia had been formed in metropolitan Portugal and also the communication with the other African independence movements was done in Portuguese. In fact, most of the new political class had Portuguese as their native tongue, together with the fact that quite a few whites (belonging to a cultural elite) had chosen to stay. So, it is easy to understand that, since the Mozambican revolution was done in Portuguese, so the state after it remained so. All educational infrastructure, albeit little and underdeveloped, was in Portuguese as well, and the Portugal of revolutionary times was a source of help and of people (cooperantes) who wanted to help build the new Mozambican country. Also Brazilian help came to the land, for they felt they belonged to the same language community. It is not my role to discuss the correctness of this choice, see Katupha (1986), Firmino (2008) or Reite (2013) for discussion; what I want to mention here is that the population who speaks Portuguese now is much larger than at the time of independence, and that Mozambican linguists are studying both the influence of African (bantu) languages in the Mozambican variety, and the influence of Portuguese in those languages as well (Gonçalves, 1998, Gonçalves & Stroud, 1997-2000, Firmino, 2005, Silva, 2003).
Even though most NLI research has been car- ried out on English data, an important research trend in recent years has been the application of NLI methods to other languages, as discussed in Malmasi and Dras ( 2015 ). Recent NLI studies on languages other than English include Arabic ( Mal- masi and Dras , 2014a ) and Chinese ( Malmasi and Dras , 2014b ; Wang et al. , 2015 ). To the best of our knowledge, no study has been published on Por- tuguese and the NLI-PT dataset opens new possi- bilities of research for Portuguese. In Section 4.1 we present the first simple baseline results for this task.