Category Archives: A+ Links

Learning Trends

Week 1 Discussion Output – Introduction and Short Commentary

Hi, everyone.  My name is JellSoL.  I have been teaching and learning with students (from preschool to graduate studies) for 18 years now.  I share my love of reading and doing research with learners from different cultures.  I taught in an accredited international school for 15 years.  I am currently connected with a government educational agency here in the Philippines.  I teach American Literature and Oral Communication to young government scholars of Philippine Science High School, also fondly called as Pisay.  This is my fourth EdX course, but my first class in the Micromaster program.  I am excited to know more about designing an effective and efficient online learning platform.  This audio-video file is a short commentary on learning trends.

The Objectivist Model.  This is the philosophy behind face-to-face classroom lectures –commonly referred to as a traditional teaching strategy and the most common teaching and learning presentation where the teacher, dubbed as the expert, transfers knowledge to students (Janicki, 2013).  This model is synonymous to lectures that define what the general population points as “the school.”  Several years of my life as a student saw me in these lecture halls.  Concepts loaded with technical terms are easily shared through this setup.  For having spelled what teacher-student relationship means, now and then, I see myself giving lectures, being the expert in the classroom transmitting knowledge to the younger generation.  These instances though, are becoming less frequent through the years, as I continue to adapt new teaching and learning approaches.

The Constructivist Model.  Students learn better when they are made more accountable of the learning process.  This model upholds that it is crucial that learners, by themselves, are given opportunities to discover answers and formulate questions; as opposed to be waiting for the experts to impart their knowledge (Janicki, 2013).  This approach marked a paradigm shift from a teacher-centered objectivist perspective to being student-centered constructivist.  A shout-out to my favorite and most beloved mentor, Dr Angel O. Pesirla, thank you very much for being a dynamic expert.  You have always been ahead of your time.  Even before I was bound to learn about teaching and learning trends, before I could learn their names, before such varied and differentiated approaches became the norm, you have already modeled a combination of these objectivist and constructivist outlook in our classes from undergrad to graduate years.

Learning Theory.  The bigger umbrella has the words Objectivist and Constructivist engraved on it.  One of their sub models are the learning theories.  Behaviorism capitalizes on modeling the task through direct instructions (the stimulus), providing feedback and allowing students to practice (the behavioral response or result) (IDC, 2018).  Thus, when given from a different angle, students may miss recognizing the stimulus and so they could not respond.  The example given was on teaching students how to send email messages.  When a teacher solely focuses on the parts of an email message (one stimulus-response scenario), not on why it should be written using a formal register, then students may fail to recognize the same concept at work when made to publish blogs or public posts in social media.

Cognitivism, on the other hand, highlights mental processes in learning (IDC, 2018).  It focuses on how students make meaning out of the given task, how they process information.  It keeps an eye on cognitive load to check if students are really focused on the given material or their attention has been divided for different reasons.  Students are shown models of the required output and are made to pay attention on the process to understand how they are going to go through it themselves to complete the task.  The example given can be taken as an interpretation of the objectivist model (when the teacher shared sample output and discussed required components) and a tap on the constructivist model (when students were made to analyze the process in order to identify then later retrace the steps to come up with the same results).

Learning Design.  The most striking point in Mor and Craftʼs (2012) paper is their opening statement when they shared, “we are also witnessing a shift of emphasis: from distributors of knowledge to designers of learning experiences.”  It is exciting to read an acknowledgement of this new demand in education, but a tad depressing that not everyone in the teaching world can support it as fast as it is evolving.  In summing up definitions shared to make the scope of learning designs (LD) more tangible, it is discouraging to note that both factors highlighted are doubly (or even triply) challenging in a developing country like the Philippines.  When they stressed the need to look into “how” computer systems should be constructed to orchestrate learning resources, local schools in the Philippines have intermittent Internet connection or not connected at all.  When they (Mor & Craft, 2012) pointed out the need “to find effective ways of sharing innovation in technology-enhanced learning (TEL),” teachers who are computer or information technology illiterate still exist in classrooms here and there are educators who are still debating the use of technology in the classroom when the rest of the world has moved on talking about guiding students how to become responsible and mindful digital citizens.  Learning Design as a field may still need to establish its scope, its overall grounding philosophy, and/or its platform.  Yet, does it have to? Is it not enough to take it as a pedagogical framework or as a point of reference when teachers and students acknowledge the need to mold a clear and meaningful learning path?

There are tons of names of approaches, strategies, theories, and models to remember.  At the end of the day, these terms turn into one crucial mass of considerations behind a teacher’s mindset with only one concrete question as he/she writes the lesson plan: how well will students learn?

You might want to check my audio presentation playlist.

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A taste of World Literature

To access some of the reading selections I gave my World Literature college students (once upon a time), please check these links. Please feel free to send me a quick comment if an address does NOT work.  [Last link review was completed on 2018-11-08.]

African Literature

1. “Black Woman” by Leopold Sedhar Senghor

2. “Telephone Conversation” by Wole Soyinka

3. “The Moment Before the Gun Went Off” by Nadine Gordimer

4. “The Ring” by Isak Dinesen

Asian Literature

1. “August River” by Pak Tu-Jin

2. “The Taximan’s Story” by Catherine Lim

3. Basho’s Haikus

4. “The Moon and the Fortified Pass” by Li Po

5. “My Old Home” by Lu Xun

6. “The Origin of All Things” (Book 10, Hymn 129) from the Rig Veda

7. “Thoughts of Hanoi” by Nguyen Thi Vinh

Australian Literature

1. “A Dill Pickle” by Katherine Mansfield

2. “Gallipoli Peninsula” by Alistair Te Ariki Campbell

3. “We are Going” by Oodgeroo Noonuccal

European Literature

1. “Araby” by James Joyce

2. “Les Miserables” by Victor Hugo

3. “Wuthering Heights” by Emily Bronte

4. Sonnet 43 – “How do I love thee” by Elizabeth Barrett Browning

5. “Do Not Go Gentle into that Good Night” by Dylan Thomas

6. “The Erl-King” by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

7. “Oedipus the King” by Sophocles

8. “Troilus and Cressida” by William Shakespeare

9. Sonnet 116 – “Let me not to te marriage of true minds” by William Shakespeare

Latin American Literature

1. “A Letter to God” by Gregorio Lopez y Fuentes

2. “I Have” by Nicolas Guillen

3. “The United Fruit Company” by Pablo Neruda

Middle Eastern Literature

1.  “The Prophet” by Kahlil Gibran

2. “The Passover Guest” by Sholom Aleichem

3. “Rubaiyat” by Omar Khayyam

North American Literature

1. “Boys and Girls” by Alice Munro

2. Audio-Visual of “The Scarlet Letter” by Nathaniel Hawthorne

3. “Song of Myself” by Walt Whitman

4. “The Black Cat” by Edgar Allan Poe

5. J. 435 by Emily Dickinson (may have been written in 1862, published in 1890)

Much madness is divinest Sense–
To a discerning Eye—
Much Sense–the starkest Madness—
‘Tis the Majority—
In this, as All, prevail—
Assent–and you are sane—
Demur–you’re straightway dangerous—
And handled with a Chain–

GRAMMAR HELP – Links from Towson University

I find these pages easy to read and very straightforward. The general layout used and the examples and diagrams given simplify the scope of grammar rules.

To review agreement between pronouns and their antecedents

To review the use of quotation marks

To avoid writing in fragments

To avoid shifts

To review other grammar rules

We extend our thanks to Margaret L. Benner for making these pages available.

BBC’s Reading List

Have you read more than SIX of these books? The BBC believes most people will have read only SIX of the 100 books listed here. Do you belong to BBC’s expectation? Or are YOU as special as the readers behind ThruPages who have read a lot more than six books out of this list?

1 Pride and Prejudice – Jane Austen

2 The Lord of the Rings – JRR Tolkien

3 Jane Eyre – Charlotte Bronte

4  Harry Potter series – JK Rowling

5 To Kill a Mockingbird – Harper Lee

6 The Bible

7 Wuthering Heights – Emily Bronte

8 Nineteen Eighty Four – George Orwell

9 His Dark Materials – Philip Pullman

10 Great Expectations – Charles Dickens

11 Little Women – Louisa M Alcott

12 Tess of the D’Urbervilles – Thomas Hardy

13 Catch 22 – Joseph Heller

14 Complete Works of Shakespeare

15 Rebecca – Daphne Du Maurier

16 The Hobbit – JRR Tolkien

17 Birdsong – Sebastian Faulk

18 Catcher in the Rye – JD Salinger

19 The Time Traveler’s Wife – Audrey Niffenegger

20 Middlemarch – George Eliot

21 Gone With The Wind – Margaret Mitchell

22 The Great Gatsby – F Scott Fitzgerald

24 War and Peace – Leo Tolstoy

25 The Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy – Douglas Adams

27 Crime and Punishment – Fyodor Dostoyevsky

28 Grapes of Wrath – John Steinbeck

29 Alice in Wonderland – Lewis Carroll

30 The Wind in the Willows – Kenneth Grahame

31 Anna Karenina – Leo Tolstoy

32 David Copperfield – Charles Dickens

33 Chronicles of Narnia – CS Lewis

34 Emma – Jane Austen

35 Persuasion – Jane Austen

36 The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe – CS Lewis

37 The Kite Runner – Khaled Hosseini

38 Captain Corelli’s Mandolin – Louis De Bernieres

39 Memoirs of a Geisha – Arthur Golden

40 Winnie the Pooh – A.A. Milne

41 Animal Farm – George Orwell

42 The Da Vinci Code – Dan Brown

43 One Hundred Years of Solitude – Gabriel Garcia Marquez

44 A Prayer for Owen Meaney – John Irving

45 The Woman in White – Wilkie Collins

46 Anne of Green Gables – LM Montgomery

47 Far From The Madding Crowd – Thomas Hardy

48 The Handmaid’s Tale – Margaret Atwood

49 Lord of the Flies – William Golding

50 Atonement – Ian McEwan

51 Life of Pi – Yann Martel

52 Dune – Frank Herbert

53 Cold Comfort Farm – Stella Gibbons

54 Sense and Sensibility – Jane Austen

55 A Suitable Boy – Vikram Seth

56 The Shadow of the Wind – Carlos Ruiz Zafon

57 A Tale Of Two Cities – Charles Dickens

58 Brave New World – Aldous Huxley

59 The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time – Mark Haddon

60 Love In The Time Of Cholera – Gabriel Garcia Marquez

61 Of Mice and Men – John Steinbeck

62 Lolita – Vladimir Nabokov

63 The Secret History – Donna Tartt

64 The Lovely Bones – Alice Sebold

65 Count of Monte Cristo – Alexandre Dumas

66 On The Road – Jack Kerouac

67 Jude the Obscure – Thomas Hardy

68 Bridget Jones’s Diary – Helen Fielding

69 Midnight’s Children – Salman Rushdie

70 Moby Dick – Herman Melville

71 Oliver Twist – Charles Dickens

72 Dracula – Bram Stoker

73 The Secret Garden – Frances Hodgson Burnett

74 Notes From A Small Island – Bill Bryson

75 Ulysses – James Joyce

76 The Inferno – Dante

77 Swallows and Amazons – Arthur Ransome

78 Germinal – Emile Zola

79 Vanity Fair – William Makepeace Thackeray

80 Possession – AS Byatt

81 A Christmas Carol – Charles Dickens

82 Cloud Atlas – David Mitchell

83 The Color Purple – Alice Walker

84 The Remains of the Day – Kazuo Ishiguro

85 Madame Bovary – Gustave Flaubert

86 A Fine Balance – Rohinton Mistry

87 Charlotte’s Web – E.B. White

88 The Five People You Meet In Heaven – Mitch Albom

89 Adventures of Sherlock Holmes – Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

90 The Faraway Tree Collection – Enid Blyton

91 Heart of Darkness – Joseph Conrad

92 The Little Prince – Antoine De Saint-Exupery

93 The Wasp Factory – Iain Banks

94 Watership Down – Richard Adams

95 A Confederacy of Dunces – John Kennedy Toole

96 A Town Like Alice – Nevil Shute

97 The Three Musketeers – Alexandre Dumas

98 Hamlet – William Shakespeare

99 Charlie and the Chocolate Factory – Roald Dahl

100 Les Miserables – Victor Hugo

Different Articles on Linguistics and Language Learning

Here are links to articles about this topic.  Please inform ThruPages if any does not work. [Last link review was 2018-11-08]

History of Events in Linguistic Theory

Theoretical Bases of Communicative Approaches to Second Language and Testing

Constructions: A new theoretical approach to language

Linguistic Theory

Contrastive Linguistics: Theories and Methods

Optimality Theory in Linguistics

The Role of Theory in Applied Linguistics Research: A study of vocabulary learning strategies

Theories of Syntax

Linguistic Theory and Cultural Conceptualizations

Applications of Game Theory in Linguistics

Contemporary Linguistic Theories of Humour

I hope these files will be of use to your future research reports.