• Analysing a Text

    During the second year of my participation in the TA project I was trying to integrate the TA approach to a text with our university requirements to the subject. Most of the time I felt a failure because I did not have a clear idea of what a linguistic text analysis should be like and I felt the same inexperienced about the TA.

    I felt I could not apply the steps of the thinking task framework (TTF) to text analysis tasks. However, I think I and my students have gained something from this experience.

    1)      They have tried to elaborate on their ENV text (system of linguistic text analysis: got their parameters into some order, added certain values).

    2)      We have deepened our understanding of a text as an open system; therefore, we have practised selecting specific parameters of ENV at a time and considering them more profoundly, rather than speaking superficially about all of them. Our gain: Focus on ONE aspect/specific skill at a time.

    3) I have given my students an opportunity to try their hand at teaching others: they had to choose a text according to the parameters set, work out a system of Text analysis and linguistic tasks, teaching their lessons and reflecting on them. Judging by their reflections, all the students have appreciated their experience and most of them would like to repeat it. One of them has set a challenge: to conduct a lesson for an unknown audience.  In spite of numerous reservations, I also consider this experience very valuable for them and myself. It has revealed our weak points in setting a specific aim and task achievement.

  • Creating a Text

    The TA influence in this aspect has revealed itself in our setting a specific writing task. We have discovered that introducing limitations really does result in a better organised and more original task. We have also practised preparing for writing a text and noticed:  the more specific the preparation part, the easier is the process of creating a text, the more effective result.

  • ESP Course - Background Information

    October 2014

    Having made various observations of TA Teachers, I discovered three main differences that make expert TA Teachers different from non-expert ones (follow this link if you are curious to read my article where the issue is discussed in more details). These are

    • (a) involving students in formulating learning aims;
    • (b) holding qualitative dialogues with students;
    • (c) building spiral-shaped (loop-like) instructions.

    Starting my teaching at the University of Strasbourg with my new students, I decided that I will be trying to construct my lessons having in mind these three steps. I am clearly aware that I do not implement TA at all. My main task for the first semester is to learn to make pre-steps for bringing thinking into my lessons. Moreover, my previous teaching experience showed me that I have poor classroom management skills. So this semester I will be focusing on developing these skills as well.
    I work with 9 groups of students: four groups of first year management students, three groups of third year law students and two groups of first year master students.

    This is a series of my reflections on my new teaching experience.

    1. WEEK 1: October 06-10, 2014 - First Data
    2. WEEK 2: October 13-17, 2014 - Some Notes on Aims and Classroom Management
    3. WEEK 3: October 20-24, 2014 - General Notes
    4. WEEK 3: October 20-24, 2014 - Vocabulary Trap
    5. WEEK 3: October 20-24, 2014 - English Sound System
  • Evaluation Criteria and Rubrics Elaboration

    Here I may say that under the TA influence I have started to elaborate on my written tasks and student-teachers’ lesson plans and other assignments evaluation rubrics by making them clearer to students (trying to reduce the parameters and specify their values). This is another very difficult task for me but I feel motivated to go on.

  • Presentation based on Research Technology

    At the lesson of Russian for Lawyers my German students and I worked on the text "The Main Features of the State". One of the main features of the state, specifically the system of taxation and revenue, caused a "hot" discussion.

    One of the students was eager to prove that the system of taxation and revenue is not essential for the existence of the state. We asked him to prove his point of view. As a result, I suggested him conducting a mini-research project and making a presentation to prove his idea effective. At the next lesson we enjoyed the results of the project, watching and listening to the presentation and commenting on it.


    As we know, the main aim of the Research Technology is to provide learners with possibilities of transfer of knowledge and skills to new context.

    A mini-research project the student conducted in the framework of the technology was partially connected with the theme of the Russian language. At the same time, when working on the project, the student continued dealing with language (source materials as well as presentation were in the target language - Russian) and problem-solving. Only this time he was testing his skills and knowledge in a new context, thus having a possibility to see where transfer actually occurs.

    Apart from that, the student acquired skills of research work which is the second aim of the Research Technology.

  • Re: May 27: Reviewing the ENV of a fiction text - draft

    Reading the text for the first time. On this level (after the first impression is gotten)  it is possible to define such parameters as:
    1.1.    Is it a whole text or an extract
    1.2.    The general idea, theme (what is this text about)
    1.3.    The functional style;
    1.4.    The problems which are raised in the text
    1.5.    The genre
    1.6.    the cultural and historical background
    1.7.    the form (layout)


  • Reflections on My Attempts to Integrate the TA into My Teaching

    I feel like sharing my II year TA application experience. I have realised that TA is a well-built system. However, I have not succeeded in understanding and applying it as a system yet, so I will only describe my experience of applying its certain elements and their effect on my teaching style and my learners.

    I will focus on my re-thinking of the following aspects under the TA influence.

    Aim Setting

    I have realised that setting a SMART aim is crucial for effective planning and implementing a plan. I am trying now to get my students to set a specific aim for their microteaching lessons. I realised that aims like: e.g. ‘develop pupils’ speaking skills in the use of specific vocabulary and structure’ is not measurable and not connected with life as it focuses on the tools. When thinking over my own aims for my lessons I feel I am getting a deeper understanding of the meaning of my lessons and I am trying to get my students to go through the same process. So I may say that setting an aim has acquired its real meaning for me.

    In my attempts to explain it to my methodology students I have come up with the following metaphor. Supposing we want to learn shooting a certain aim. Shall we achieve it if we just shoot a wall? Setting an aim like developing speaking skills is shooting a wall.

    I cannot say I have become good at setting a specific aim myself. The most difficult thing for me remains setting a specific thinking aim and identifying the respective TTF step.

    Analysing  a Text

    Evaluation Criteria and Rubrics Elaboration

    Creating a Text

    Response to Students’ Answers

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