~ General guidelines for interactive classroom study ~


1) As a class, examine the material: texts, dialogs, biographies, movies, lectures, and other.

2) As a class, talk about the material as a warm-up. Just speak what comes to mind (5 minutes).

3) Make pairs, groups (use number cards to ensure randomness), or study as a class.

4) Position your groups/pairs physically in the room. Introduce yourselves and make small talk.

5) If in groups, chose one person as question-maker and one as note-taker.

6) If in pairs, choose a note-taker. Note-takers provide info for the final classroom discussion.

7) Choose the questions you would like to talk about¡¦ at least one question per student.

8) Discuss, converse, debate, argue, give reasons, make examples, use anecdotes, and improvise.

9) Return to the classroom setting. Present your discussions group by group (pair by pair).

10) As each group presents, students in other groups interact with questions and comments.


~ Etiquette for debating or engaging in informal discussions and/or friendly arguments ~


Courtesy of Persephone Magazine


1) Assume that no one¡¯s position is 100% right. Including your own. Everyone¡¯s viewpoint is colored by personal background, religious belief, and facts that you don¡¯t know or can¡¯t understand.


2) You don¡¯t get to tell anyone they¡¯re wrong. Unless you can tell them why. If your response isn¡¯t at least two sentences long, don¡¯t write it down or yell it from the rooftops. Gut reactions are important, but only if they¡¯re backed by logic.


3) Remember where you are. This is friendly, intelligent discourse. It should never be taken as a personal attack, but rather an opportunity to learn something you didn¡¯t know. Give points to your classmate(s) where they are due and take issue with them when and where you have issue with them. Above all request clarification if you¡¯re unsure of the other¡¯s views... and calm down...


4) No swearing or finger-pointing. Well, no swearing in a hostile way. I have a mouth like a sailor sometimes (I am a sailor¡¯s daughter), and I fully support the use of adjectival expletives, but don¡¯t use them to demean anyone. Also, no name-calling. Because if you need to resort to name-calling, it makes your own argument look faulty. And you don¡¯t want that.


5) Learn. Pay attention to what other people are talking about. You may not agree with anyone else by the end, but you may gain a new perspective on the situation as a whole, which will allow you to defeat those same arguments when you have this discussion with someone else.


~ Learner-centered curriculum: Rubin and Thompson¡¯s Characteristics of a Good Learner ~


1. Good learners find their own way


2. Good learners organize information about language


3. Good learners are creative and experiment with language


4. Good learners make their own opportunities, and find strategies for getting

practice in using the language inside and outside the classroom


5. Good learners learn to live with uncertainty and develop strategies for making

sense of the target language without wanting to understand every word


6. Good learners use mnemonics (rhymes, word associations, etc. to recall what has

been learned)


7. Good learners make errors work


8. Good learners use linguistic knowledge, including knowledge of their first

language in mastering a second language


9. Good learners let the context (extra-linguistic knowledge and knowledge of the

world) help them in comprehension


10. Good learners learn to make intelligent guesses


11. Good learners learn chunks of language as wholes and formalized routines to help

them perform ¡®beyond their competence¡¯


12. Good learners learn production techniques (e.g. techniques for keeping a

conversation going)


13. Good learners learn different styles of speech and writing and learn to vary their

language according to the formality of the situation


Nunan, David (2000) Language Teaching Methodology, Harlow, Pearson Education Ltd. Page 171





Recommended Procedures for TLW Classrooms


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