Patrick Casler (Universität Bayreuth, Deutschland)

The Effects of Student Self-Direction and Creativity on Second Language for Specific Purposes Acquisition

The work of Maurice Gibbons (2002) stresses the importance of educators to inspire self-directed learning in their students. Language teaching is not simply bombarding students with grammar structures and vocabulary and then testing them on their rote memorization of the material. Instead educators should focus on creating the environment in which students can build the competence and confidence to achieve course goals and by extension learn the skills necessary to engage with authentic sources to improve their second language abilities according to their own needs.

The Internet brings a plethora of authentic resources into the classroom. This practitioner led enquiry looks into the effectiveness of student language acquisition through a simulated creation of a business. Students will work in a self-directed manner with professionally developed support webpages for entrepreneurs and business blogs in order to develop a product, write a convincing business plan and present their enterprise to possible investors. Additional teacher supported activities will focus on key vocabulary and writing structures. A particular focus will be how greater student creativity is related to language acquisition.

Gibbons, M. (2002) The Self Directed Learning Handbook. San Francisco: John Wiley and Sons, Inc.

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