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Spec Top Teach Cur & Schooling

by: Margie Swaniawski I

Spec Top Teach Cur & Schooling TE 891

Margie Swaniawski I
GPA 3.59


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This 5 page Class Notes was uploaded by Margie Swaniawski I on Saturday September 19, 2015. The Class Notes belongs to TE 891 at Michigan State University taught by Staff in Fall. Since its upload, it has received 24 views. For similar materials see /class/207522/te-891-michigan-state-university in Education and Teacher Studies at Michigan State University.

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Date Created: 09/19/15
Jason McKnight TE 891 Fall 2005 Final Research Project December 3 2005 Abstract The purpose of this study is to determine the strategies Latin students use to translate and comprehend sight passages Students were asked to read Latin passages and answer comprehension questions in English All student volunteers chose to translate the story in order to answer the comprehension questions Then they did not receive explicit instruction to translate a new passage before they answer the questions in order to force the students to rely on their existing knowledge of grammar and vocabulary This study then turns to a discussion on the importance of strategy training in foreign language classrooms Write up Script Notes the intended audience is secondary Latin teachers at a professional convention and has a PowerPoint presentation accompanying it Introduction and Purpose of Study Slide 1 The translation process is a complex combination of grammatical guidelines English and Latin vocabulary and sentence structure in English employed in perfect balance and harmony The translator s task in Latin class is to offer their interpretation of the thoughts of the author in English Comprehension is a natural extension of the translation process but translation and comprehension are not the same In Latin instruction we tend to use fabricated Latin to teach early learners first 3 years the principles of translation which differ greatly from authentic Roman authors such as Caesar Vergil and Cicero but I argue that students will greatly benefit from a healthy dose of comprehension strategy training Often we as teachers do not differentiate between these two facets of reading I realized there was a difference when I asked my primary research question Slide 2 What strategies do students employ when asked to read with comprehension a passage of sigh Latin I also wanted to see if there was a connection between the strategies students used in comprehending English and those they use to construct meaning in Latin Are they the same and if not could the strategies in English cross over into Latin Pang et al 2003 say that reading is composed of two factors word recognition written symbols correspond to one s spoken language and comprehension making sense of words sentences and connected text In teaching a foreign language we recognized that students have an extra step in word recognition and that is to find a familiar English word that both corresponds with the Latin word and makes sense in the context of the passage The comprehension aspect of reading includes knowledge of grammatical knowledge of the language but more importantly prior knowledge and experiences for each student In preparation for this project I read many journal articles on strategy training In the past strategy training had primarily been reserved for students designated LD Learning Disabled as a way to systematize certain skills to increase academic success Beckman 2002 Little research has been done up to this point on the bene ts of strategy training for all students One thing became clear during these readings there is an overwhelming call for strategy training in foreign language classrooms to validate its usefulness Cohen 2003 Swaffer 2001 and Beckman 2002 all claim that foreign language students will benefit from strategy training both for translation and comprehension as a way for them to increase success and understanding in the target language Description of Research My students meet on the block schedule 95 minutes twice a week and 55 minutes on Friday Our weeks are divided into 4 units translation grammar instruction mythology derivativevocabulary and history culture All units are supported by fabricated and authentic Latin Passages and vocabulary instruction as well as readings and discussions in English For this study volunteers from Latin 2 and Latin 3 were asked to read sight passages in Latin and answer comprehension questions in English Then they completed a survey asking them about their processes App 1 The passages were level appropriate as determined by myself and taken from Dunlop s Short Latin Stories After the collection of baseline data students received instruction in new reading strategies I modeled reading without translating making guesses with familiar vocabulary using common sense to express grammatical constructions subject vs direct object and recalling historical facts Students were then asked to read another Latin passage and answer comprehension questions about it Upon completing these tasks they then completed the same reading survey as before App 1 Data results During the first phase of data collection all 5 students assumed the directions were to translate the passage in order to comprehend it Translation accuracy rates varied from 60 to 100 accuracy while comprehension rates were consistently much higher 90100 accuracy This was the first indication that correct translation was not essential to understanding the passage However from this data I was able to identify 3 primary translation strategies used by students without instruction or teacher prompting Slide 3 Word Replacement This strategy was used primarily by Latin 2 students with less translation experience and yielded the least accurate translations approximately 60 80 accuracy rate This strategy involves writing English definitions of Latin words above the text Students spent most of the time looking words up in a dictionary and very little time on the structure of sentences Slide 4 Kernel Chart Placing Latin words in a kernel chart which is organized into English word order subject verb direct obj ect subject complement prepositional phrases etc according to in ectional rules was seen in both groups of students but used with more con dence and accuracy by the 3rd year students Once students had organized the clauses they turned to their dictionaries to look up unfamiliar vocabulary These translations were the most accurate SO100 accuracy and yielded the highest accuracy rates in comprehension 100 Slide 5 Verb Centered Approach This approach is an efficient hybrid of the 2 above mentioned strategies where students identify the verb of each clause and structure the remaining words of the clause around it Students looked unfamiliar words up at the moment they needed to translate them as opposed to waiting until the structure of the clause was determined As you can probably predict this strategy was less accurate than kernel charting but more accurate than wordreplacement approximately 8090 accuracy rate During the second phase of data collection students were told that the primary focus for this exercise was to demonstrate comprehension by answering the questions at the end of the passage and that a translation was not required Three of the five students still chose to translate the passage to ensure optimal accuracy in comprehension The remaining two chose to implement the reading strategies they had been taught The results were similar comprehension accuracy rates in both groups 90100 The students who chose to use the reading strategies however reported more efficient use of their time since they spent much less time looking words up in the dictionary and less time worrying about perfect English structure An interesting and unforeseen outcome from this group was that they both expressed a deep interest in returning to this passage for a second deeper and more informed reading to fully explore the grammatical concepts in the story Another positive outcome was that students who had previously employed the inefficient Word Replacement strategy did not rely on it this time and saw their accuracy improve slightly approximately 7580 Growth and improvement had occurred in all students Reading Strategy Instruction Students were instructed to draw from prior knowledge history culture vocabulary grammar when reading Latin This approach all but eliminates the use of a dictionary except in cases where too many words are unfamiliar to make sense of the passage Students recorded higher understanding rates and spent less unproductive time looking up unfamiliar vocabulary Students asked to be allowed to read the passage again with a greater focus on grammatical constructions after this study was completed Limitations I realize that there are many limitations to this study but I have learned a great deal about language instruction and the findings will have a profound impact on future instruction The greatest limitation to this study is that it was not originally designed to test the usefulness of strategy training in my Latin classes I had planned to merely describe the strategies used by students without teacher prompting in order to better improve my instruction by teaching those strategies most often used by efficient translators However I discovered many suggestions and proposed bene ts for teaching strategytraining in foreign language classrooms In addition three months was simply not enough time to fully explore the bene ts of strategytraining in my classroom Due to these time constraints only one reading strategy was taught to the students I believe that students would bene t from a more thorough training in reading strategies such as the SQ3R strategy Robinson 1961 among others This research was done with such a small population I believe that an entire class should be taught these strategies and followed for 23 years to track the improvements Unfortunately this project was not designed to account for such an immense amount of information or to be completed in such a time frame I did not account for the fact that translation and comprehension were different tasks and that students would take different approaches for each Ideally I should have designed two separate activities one to test translation strategies and another for comprehension Once data had been collected for each activity I could then begin to sift through the data in search of overlapping strategies From there I could begin to design lessons that allowed students to preread passages and gather information that might help them in their translation then allow them to use and evaluate different translation strategies in order to reach a smooth idiomatic English translation Finally I am sad to announce that little research has been done on strategytraining in nonLD classrooms It is a relatively new idea that all students would bene t from this type of instruction Research has determined that the best students employ numerous strategies to achieve success Beckman 2002 but few studies have been done on which strategies those are and to what degree they are used Summag This project has taught me many things First of all I realize the importance of having clearly defined concepts Part of the way through I realized I was operating under the assumption that translation and comprehension were the same when in fact they are not I have discovered that students can understand a story without translating every word This will have great implications on my teaching Students will be able to draw from a group of translation and comprehension strategies in order to achieve a fully integrated interaction with the text When this happens student will see improved con dence in their translation skills but also in their grasp of English These are some of the bene ts to strategyinstruction listed by Beckman Slides 6 amp 7 students trust their minds students know there is more than one right way to do things they acknowledge their mistakes and try to rectify them they evaluate their products and behavior memories are enhanced leaming increases selfesteem increases students feel a sense of power they know how to try Beckman 2002 In listing these reasons it has become clear to me that teaching students to become strategic thinkers should become a goal of every teacher Works Cited Beckman Pat quotStrategy Instructionquot ERIC Firstsearch article 2002 Cohen Andrew Strategy Training for Second Language Learners ERIC Firstsearch article 2003 Dunlop Philip 1987 Short Latin Stories Cambridge University Press New York NY Pang Elizabeth et al Teaching Reading Educational Practice Series ERIC Firstsearch article 2003 Robinson Francis Pleasant 1961 Effective study 4th ed Harper amp Row New York NY Swaifar Janet Reading the Patterns of Literacy Works Strategies and Teaching Techniques ERIC Firstsearch article 2001 Appendix 1 Comprehension Survey How much of this passage did you understand 0100 Did you make any notes to yourself when you were readingtranslating this passage If so can you give an example Did you have to make any guesses about any of the Latin words in the passage How do you begin to translate a passage What is your first step Is that different from how you approach each individual sentence


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