MA month - presentations

Here we are sharing the PPTs and abstracts of some of the presentations on our MA Month events.
Please note that all PPTs have been uploaded to Slideshare
We thank all the presenters for having shared their presentations and, most importantly, disseminating their work.

Cinthya Bravo Rivera - Reshaping the second language learning classroom

This presentation’s objective is to examine Chilean Public Policies related to English as a school subject, especially SIMCE English Test used as the unique instrument to evaluate English Learning in a country with an interesting mixture of educational systems as well as socio cultural backgrounds. Four teachers and sixty eight students from two technical high schools from two neighbor districts participated in the study, their perceptions of the examination were gathered under a mixed-method approach to analyze what factors affects English learning experiences in public technical high schools, which in relation to centralized and standardized testing influence negatively in students’ second language acquisition process. Two different procedures were used to analyze data collected, according to the nature of the instruments applied to the different group of participants, a content analysis was applied for the information coming from the semi-structured interviews with the school teachers and a survey analysis was adopted to examine the instrument applied to students.

Main findings were associated to the ideas that although English is socially accepted as a mean for international communication and it is translated as better opportunities for students’ future job and educational prospects, national standardized evaluation does not represent what students learn at school and the relation of that learning with the knowledge they need to acquire and the abilities they need to develop to make use of English as the key that really opens doors to social mobility.

Ignacio Araya Moscoso - The impact of using karaoke on students' motivation while learning English lexical items

Motivation has been identified as one of the key components in English Language Learning. This study aims to find out the effect of using Karaoke on students’ motivation while they are learning different lexical items. A total of 67 participants from a subsidized school from Santiago, Chile, were part of the investigation. A modified motivational survey composed of 16 items and adapted from Gardner and Lambert’s (1972) ‘extrinsic and intrinsic motivation’ theoretical framework was used in order to elicit the most revealing results from the data. The main findings show that the students are relatively “strongly” motivated to learn English by using this methodological tool, but also it reveals that Karaoke may be a good complement of motivational characteristics that are already integrated in each student. Based on the findings, some relevant and useful motivational learning and pedagogical implications are indicated for enhancement and improvement of the students’ motivation in further research.

Keywords: Motivation, music, Karaoke, authentic materials.

Margarita Irarrazabal: Phonological awareness and phonics instruction in English as a foreign language classrooms in Chile

The purpose of the current study is to explore Chilean teachers’ of English as a foreign language use of phonological awareness (PA) tasks and phonics during reading instruction in the early grades (kinder to third grade). The topic was in part selected, due to the fact that English, as a foreign language, will become a mandatory subject matter beginning in kindergarten 2015. The method used to collect data was a survey given to teachers. Data gathered showed that half of participants worked at English immersion schools and the other half at regular schools with English as a subject matter. Findings suggest that instruction on PA tasks and decoding strategies is similar in both kinds of institutions. Preschool teachers are the ones that instruct the most in phonological awareness tasks.  Elementary teachers appear to focus more on phonics strategies such as consonant clusters, consonant digraphs, and long and short vowel sounds.  Contrary to what was expected, elementary teachers specialized in English as foreign language teach less phonics than elementary teachers without that background. 

A small amount of all the teachers participating in the survey said they instruct on the use of long vowel sounds, silent e and vowel digraphs. Another outcome from this study is that half of the teachers currently teaching EFL do not have formal training in EFL instruction. 

 Key words: English as a Foreign language, English Reading Process, Phonological Awareness, Phonics.

Manuel Herrera - Investigating the Dialogic Feedback process using Kaizena

This paper describes a correlational study about the effects of using a Wiki to foster students’ abilities associated with the correct use of five inflectional morphemes in English. Thirty three Chilean learners of English as a foreign language from a higher education program completed four different handouts working individually, in pairs, in a classroom and on an online platform based on Wikis using synchronous communication at all times. The handouts were analyzed using a quantitative approach according to the performance of the subjects, in different types of exercise. Additionally, following a qualitative methodology, a satisfaction survey was administered in a 50­minute session to gather information regarding their opinions about the development of the four handouts. The questions were related to the methodology of working in the classroom and on an online platform to complete the exercises. Besides, this instrument was used to establish the effectiveness of working individually or in pairs. The results prove the effectiveness of using an online collaborative platform and describe the students' attitude towards online and offline work. Finally, after an analysis of the data obtained from the instruments, a number of different topics are presented in order to provide a discussion to reflect on the issues exposed in this investigation.

Key words: Collaboration, Wikis, Educational Technology, Morphemes. 

Rocio Reyes - The role of Reflective Thinking on the Practicum Experience of Preservice Teachers of English as a Second Language 

It can be argued that teacher learning not only relies on knowledge of curricula, but also on knowledge of Self, bringing past experience to a level of consciousness. The latter will influence how the pedagogical and professional elements of teacher training come together. Preservice teachers’ practicum play an important role in order to explore the relationship between knowledge and practice in Second Language Teacher Education (SLTE) in Chile, and the effect reflective thinking (RT) could bear on this process. RT can be characterized as a systematic revision of personal experience prompted by a questioning of a given situation. This research will be structured around two questions which synthesize the role of RT within the SLTE process and the practicum experience: What kind of role does RT play on preservice teachers before and during their practicum?  How does RT affect preservice teachers in a practicum context? The specific objectives are: To examine the reflections made by five third year English pedagogy students of Universidad ViƱa del Mar (UVM), during a practicum experience. To explore the effect of RT on the teaching practicum of the same UVM students. It is a Case Study with five third year students of English pedagogy from UVM. All students are undergoing a practicum at Elementary School level, all have had previous practicum experience.

The data will be gathered through Elicited Narratives, Discussion Groups and Retrospective report via a stimulated recall protocol. Analysis will include pattern matching and linking data to propositions. 

Keywords: Reflective Thinking; Preservice Teachers: Practicum Experience; Reflective Teaching. 
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