learning takes place in many locations. Students bear some responsibilty for
reading their textbook and for putting forth effort outside of the classroom.
Time in class is short and precious, and is probably best spent providing
what students can not usually get on their own - group interaction in the
target language, communicative practice and comradery in language learning.
|Yet there is a
tendency for German students to want grammar clarification during classroom
time. German rule-based grammar has the danger of taking up too much of the
class time, leaving little room for more natural approaches to language
|One way to
minimize the time that grammar focus devours is to pinpoint and synthesize
specific aspects of grammar and discover the ways they are best represented.
Synthesizing grammar means to endeavor to find the right words or the right
pictures, or to display the right motions, that can best depict and explain
the concepts to the maximum number of learning preferences in the shortest
amount of time possible.
|The computer has
given teachers new ways to accomplish that. When I use a computer in the
classroom, I really just consider it a “glorified blackboard”. I know it
makes me a better teacher because I don’t have to worry about my poor
handwriting, or that I have my back to the classroom while scribbling. I know
that I won’t forget any important pieces of the puzzle, and I know that it
has been a useful crutch to help me maintain student attention. But most of
the things that I do on a computer, can be printed out onto transparency
sheets and then projected to the class on an OHP. Someone with artistic
skills never needed a computer to do that. One of the things that does
require the computer is animation. I don’t have the artistic skills to
illustrate the grammar to the extent that I think is necessary to reach all
learners. That presents the rationale to weigh the expense of the technology
against the necessecity for its use.
assisted presentation can add fun, efficiency and perhaps cognitive
assistance, but it should not be assumed that there are no detriments to its
use. That presents the rationale to study its effects in closer detail.