How to achieve learning goals in a motivating and supportive way
The iTILT-training handbook offers a set of criteria to be used when designing IWB materials for foreign language lessons. One of the criteria focuses specifically on providing motivating and supportive language learning tasks: ‘Flipchart should support teachers in setting the context for language learning activities, in motivating learners and in providing linguistic and cognitive support for the achievement of clearly defined language learning goals.” (page 14).
Examples of motivating activities mentioned in the iTILT-Training Handbook are life interviews via video-conferencing to practice listening, storytelling activities where students create and adapt story on the board to practices speaking or e-mail projects with native speakers to practice the writing skills. The interactive whiteboard (IWB) can provide cognitive support for language learners by providing visual support for storytelling and role plays, structures for pair work or group work or allow a collaborative analysis of the texts produced by students.
Some example of the iTILT-resources that underpin these criteria are:
1.IWB empowers learners when practicing grammar
English learners in a lower secondary school in Germany are dealing with adjective comparatives and superlatives. The IWB supports the learners by displaying three boys of different size and a box with hidden adjectives. The learners take over the role of the teacher and practise the comparatives and superlatives of the hidden adjectives. The empowerment of the learners is motivating and fosters communication. One learner comes to the front and pulls out a word from the box. The learner then asks the classmates to use the word and compare the three boys on the IWB flipchart.
Both the teacher and the students enjoyed this exercise. In the interview conducted afterwards the teachers states that the roles between teachers and students switch: ”On the one hand it is good for the teacher to just lay back and on the other hand it is good for the learners not only to encourage them, but they also love it, they feel good when they are standing in front of the class. So they got a natural way of using the language.”
Also learners liked the exercise and state that it helped them learning the language: “Well, it is a lot easier for us to learn, because we are children. And children learn a lot better when it is like a game because then it's fun and then you can learn better. […]”
Watch the video here: Comparatives and Superlatives of Adjectives - Grammar - Empowering Learners
2) IWB provides linguistic support in discussion on a poem
Learners of English in a Belgian secondary school discuss the topic friendship. They have listened to a song about the topic and have read discussed the most important quality of a good friend. As a final task they read a poem about friendship. They first have to reconstruct the poem in pair work in the right order. Then, one learner has come to the board to solve the task by drag and drop the different parts of the poem in the right other. The other students follow his steps carefully. Once the solution has been established, the learners read the poem together and discuss the content and the vocabulary. In this tasks the interactive whiteboard supported the learners in finding the right linguistic solution and offered the framework for a collaborative analysis of the text.
In the interviews conducted with the students after the lesson they specifically mentioned that they liked coming to the board and they considered this exercise as motivating: “It is much more interactive than just writing it on a normal board” .
Watch the video here: Friendship: re-arranging a poem with drag and drop
3) IWB supports development of linguistic and pedagogical knowledge of pre-service language teachers
In this lesson pre-service primary and secondary school teachers, students at a German Faculty of Education, are being prepared for the morphology section in an exam on linguistics at university level.
The drag and drop function in combination with an infinite cloner of the affixes encourages the learners to experiment with the options in forming words while this process also stimulates whole-class discussion.
By having them experience and reflect on the IWB affordances to construct and deconstruct text at word level the trainer raises the students’ awareness levels of the methodological potential of IWB use and so also contributes to the realisation of objectives in the professional preparation part of the curriculum.
Watch the video here: Linguistics English - Word Formation - Affixes