Teaching by principles - AFFECTIVE PRINCIPLES


These principles are characterized by a large proportion of emotional involvement. How we look at feelings about self, about relationship in a community of learners and bout the emotional ties between language and culture.

Principle 6: language Ego

This principle can be summarized as:
As human being learn to use a second language, they also develop a new mode of thinking, feeling and acting—a second identity. The new “language ego”, intertwined with the second language, can easily create within the learner a sense of fragility, a defensiveness and raising of inhibitions.

The language ago Principle might also be affectionately called the “warm and fuzzy” principle, because all second language learners need to be treated with affective tender loving care.

How can you bring some relief to this situation and provide affective support? Here are some possibilities:
-          Overtly displayed a supportive attitude to your students.
-          One a more mechanical, lesson-planning level, your choice of techniques and sequences of techniques need to be cognitively challenging but not over-whelming at an affective level.
-          Considering learners’ language ego states will probably help you to determine
ü  Who to call on
ü  When to ask to volunteer information
ü  When to correct a student’s speech error
ü  How much to explain something
ü  How structured and planned activity should be
ü  Who to place in small groups or pairs
ü  How “tough” you can be with a student
-          If your students are learning as a second language, they are likely to experience a moderate identity crisis as they develop a “second self.” Help them to understand that the confusion of developing that second self in the second culture is a normal and natural process.

Principle 7: Self-Confidence

            Another way of phrasing this one is the “I can do it” principle, or the self-esteem principle. At the heart of all learning is a person’s belief in his or her ability to accomplish task. While self-confidence can be linked to the Language Ego Principle above, it goes a step further in emphasizing the importance of the earners’ self-assessment, regardless of 

the degree of language-ego involvement. Simply put is:
Learner’s belief that they indeed are fully capable of accomplishing a task is at least partially a factor in their eventual success in attaining the task.

Some immediate classroom applications of this principles emerge:
-          Give sample verbal and nonverbal assurances to students.
-          Sequence techniques from easier to more difficult.

Principle 8: Risk-Taking

This affective principle interrelated with the last two is the importance of getting learners to take calculated risks in attempting to use language—both productively and receptively. The previous two principles, if satisfied, lay the groundwork for risk-taking.
Successful language learners, in their realistic appraisal of themselves as vulnerable beings yet capable of accomplishing tasks, must be willing to become “gamblers” in the game of language, to attempt to produce and to interpret language that is a bit beyond their absolute certainty.

This principles strikes at the heart of educational philosophy. Many instructional context around the world do not encourage risk-taking; instead they encourage correctness, right answers and withholding “guesses” until one is sure to be correct. Most educational research shows the opposite to be more conducive to long-term retention and intrinsic motivation. How can your classrooms reflect the Principle of Risk-Taking?
-          Create an atmosphere in the classroom that encourage students to try out language, to venture a response and not to wait for someone else to volunteer language.
-          Provide reasonable challenges in your techniques—make them neither too easy nor too hard.
-          Help your students to understand that calculated risk-taking is, lest some feel that they must blurt out any old response.
-          Respond to students’ risky attempts with positive affirmation, praising them for trying while at the same time warmly but firmly attending to their language.

Principle 9: The Language-Culture Connection

            Language and culture are intricately intertwined. Any time you successfully learn a language, you will also learn something of the culture of the speakers of that language. This principle focuses on the complex interconnection of language and culture:

Whenever you teach a language, you also teach a complex system of cultural customs, values and ways of thinking, feeling and acting.

Classroom applications include the following:
-          Discuss cross-cultural differences with your students, emphasizing that no culture is “better” than another, but that cross-cultural understanding is an important facet of learning a language.
-          Include among your techniques certain activities and material that illustrate the connection between language and culture.
-          Teach your students the cultural connotations, especially the sociolinguistic aspects, of language.
-          Screen your techniques for material that may be culturally offensive.
-          Make explicit to your students what you may take for granted in your own culture.
A second aspect of the Language-Culture Connection is the extent to which your students will themselves be affected by the process of acculturation, which will vary with the context and goals of learning.
This aspect of the principle may be summed up in this way:

Especially in “second language learning context, the success with which learners adapt to a new cultural milieu will affect their language acquisition success, and vice versa, in some possibly significant ways.
From the perspective of the classroom teacher, this principle is similar to the Language Ego and Self-Esteem Principles and all the concomitant classroom implications apply here as well. An added dimension, however, lies in the interaction between culture learning and language learning. In the classroom, you can:
-          Help students to be aware of acculturation and its stages.
-          Stress the importance of the second language as a powerful tool for adjustment in the new culture.
-          Be especially sensitive to any students who appear to be discouraged, then do what you can assist them.