Monday, July 27, 2015

Day #2

Essential Question: How does proficiency & research affect our practice? 
OWLers left today's session with more questions than we entered with! This is because, as Caleb metaphorically put it, we "drank from the fire hose." The team split into two groups based on previous OWL experience. The first group spent both the morning and afternoon sessions learning about ACTFL proficiency training with Arnold Bleicher. The sessions's main goals included understanding OPI, identifying levels of proficiency according to ACTFL, and exploring the role of questioning in the classroom. 

Breakdown: ACTFL Levels
Novice speaker  = parrot
Intermediate speaker = survivor
Advanced speaker = reporter 
Major take-away: Through teaching language, we teach children how to see themselves, others, and the world through the filter of someone else's eyes (Bleicher). 

The second group got a crash course in Second Language Acquisition (SLA) theory from Caleb and a sneak peek at a student scoring rubric with Darcy. The group concluded the afternoon with some practice developing level-specific prompts.
Breakdown: Four Sociocultural Approaches
Behavioralist = based on drill + repetition
Innatist = affective filter, acquisition, comprehensible input
Cognitivist = procedural v. declarative knowledge, noticeability theory, stages
Sociocultural = ZPD, modified interactions, negotiation of meaning
(OWL draws on everything!)
Major take-away: We can use implicit and explicit knowledge of language for meaningful conversation in different contexts. While oral narratives elicit primarily implicit knowledge, writing assessments often allow for more explicit thought. 

To wrap up, we came back together for a panel with Arnold, Darcy, and Caleb where participants shared lingering questions. Though many of us left St. Mary's only beginning to realize what we don't know, we are all feeling energized and excited for the rest of the week!

Buzzwords & phrases of the Day
*Be present*
*Effective questioning*

Recommended Resource
"How Languages are Learned" ~ Lightbown and Spada (2013)

Break-out Groups

Continuing the Conversation: Food for Thought

"It has been known for a long time that attention to grammar while speaking gets in the way of successful linguistic performance and perhaps interlanguage growth. The place of unconscious knowledge in processing second language acquisition is still unresolved" (Selinker, 2014, p. 228).