What is the goal of my mentor project?
The goal of my mentor project is to help another teacher use technology to increase students speaking and listening skills. I have found many articles about different apps and their potential. I have also found some research on the topic but most of it is related to students that are at the middle school level or higher. One study talked about the use of radio programs in areas of little economic growth. The study showed growth in the students speaking ability but not a large growth in their listening. This may reinforce the fact that listening is a skill that needs to be taught. You cannot just give a student more language and expect that since there is more they will listen better. I plan to combine some of my research so far one goal is to have teachers incorporate top-down and bottom-up comprehension (Richards 2008) activities in their lessons to help promote better listening skills and find a way to do that with technology or other classroom items. On method of teaching listening comprehension is the bottom-up method and activity they talked aobu t was creating a list of words after you read the title or main idea. They say to have students list words they think they may hear and list them. Then as they go they can be looking for them. The list of words can be done on an ipad or a whiteboard but something that the student can have in front of them. For many the whiteboard in front of the class is not personal enough and they don’t see it as theirs so they stop paying attention. For others it is too detached form what they are reading it isn’t the personalization of a lesson it is that they cannot hold the information and look up and search then they get distracted by other things. If it is on their desk or in front of them some students have a little larger window of focused learning time. I am not claiming it is huge but I have noticed a difference in my class
Another part of my goal is to use technology effectively. One study used podcasts to increase the speaking and listening skills of students. This is certainly a project that would have to take place after school in my case. There is very little “wiggle” room in our curriculums at this point. The time it would take to teach the student show to create the podcasts and the amt of work they will have to do to prepare would be a huge chink out of our mandated curriculum and the pacing we are to follow. I know that many of the kids have phones with this capability so they can play on their own time which makes the idea of introducing it as extra credit seem plausible. That is the direction the study went when they introduced it. The students were exposed to podcasts made by the instructors then they were given the opportunity to create one for extra credit. Ideally the technology I would like to use will fit within the classroom time. I did find a blog by a Mr. P in the UK and he has posted a Youtube video talking briefly about the technology he uses in his Language Arts class and how he uses them. There are a few that I am interested in. Over all I have a lot of material to continue to sift through to help me but am getting excited to work with another teacher on this project.
(2013). Teaching Ideas: Speaking and Listening. Retrieved from
Parky, L. (2013). TeachTweet – Apps to promote quality Speaking and Listening in you classroom. Retrieved
Richards, J. (2008).Teaching Speaking and Listening from Theory to Practice
Khameis, M. Using Creative Strategies to Promote Students’ Speaking Skills. Retrieved
Cenin, F., McCullough, E. Reynolds, B. (2006). Podcasting and Its Effects on Speaking
and Listening Skills in the Foreign Language Classroom. Retrieved from http://www.etech.ohio.gov/sites/all/themes/etechohio/images/sites/all/themes/etechohio/documents/NOlmstedFinalReport.pdf
Center for Learning Resources. (2005) Action Research Project in Improving the English
Language Communication Skills of Disadvantaged Rural and urban Students in Middle School of Pune District Through Interactive Radio Instruction 2000 – 2004. Retrieved from http://www.clrindia.net/downloads/clr_radio_project_report.pdf