Brown's 12 Principles
Teaching by Principles: An Interactive Approach to Learning Pedagogy, 3rd Edition
H. Douglas Brown
The 12 Principles
Part of every language lesson
Foundation for good, strong pedagogy
Preliminary guides to inform your observations
#1 – Automaticity
- Efficient 2nd language learning involves a timely movement of the control of a few language forms into the automatic processing of a relatively unlimited number of language forms.
- Automaticity – the road to fluency
#2 – Meaningful Learning
- Meaningful learning will lead toward better long-term retention than rote learning.
- Appeals to student interests
- Connects new info to old info (good schemata building)
Meaningful Learning – Don’ts
- Too much grammar explanation
- Abstract principles and theories
- Too many drills and memories
- Activities with unclear purposes
- Extraneous activities
- Distractions that take the focus off of meaning
#3 – The Anticipation of Reward
- Human beings are universally driven to act, or “behave,” by the anticipation of some sort of reward – tangible or intangible, short term or long term – that will ensue as a result of the behavior
- Anticipation of Reward
- Encourage for confidence, not an Oscar
- Encourage students to encourage students
- Be excited and enthusiastic!!
- It’s a long and winding road – keep an eye on the end rewards – get your students to look there, too
#4 – Intrinsic Motivation Principle
- The most powerful rewards are those that are intrinsically motivated within the learner.
- What is motivation?
- It is the extent to which you make choices about (a) goals to pursue and (b) the effort you will devote to that pursuit
- Intrinsic vs. Extrinsic
- Intrinsic brings feeling of competence and self-determination
- Extrinsic is all about gaining an award or avoiding punishment
#5 – Strategic Investment
- Successful mastery of the 2nd language will be due to a large extent to a learner’s own personal “investment” of time, effort, and attention to the 2nd language.
- Strategic Investment
- Strategic Investment
- Multiplicity of learning styles and strategies = multiplicity of techniques
- Group and individual; oral, written, bubbles, maps, graphics, etc
- Not everyone has to comfortable at every single moment of every lesson, so push people!
#6 – Language Ego
- As human beings learn to use a 2nd language, they also develop a new mode of thinking, feeling, and acting – a 2 nd identity.
- Language Ego – Student TLC
- Be supportive because adult learners often feel stupid!
- Be challenging but kind in activities
- Think about LEs in planning class logistics (who to call on, correct, “volunteer”, how to pair or group etc)
#7 – Self-Confidence
- The eventual success that learners attain in a task is at least partially a factor of their belief that they indeed are fully capable of accomplishing the task.
- Self- Confidence
- Build/sequence activities to build confidence.
- Encourage students – let them know that you know they can do the work
- You should have it, too!
#8 -- Risk-Taking
- Successful language learners, in their realistic appraisal of themselves as vulnerable beings yet capable of accomplishing tasks, must be willing to gamble.
- Create an atmosphere in the classroom that encourages students to try out language, venture a response
- Provide reasonable challenges
- Return students’ risky attempts with positive affirmation
#9 -- The Language-Culture Connection
- Whenever you teach a language, you also teach a complex system of cultural customs, values, and ways of thinking, feeling, and acting.
- Discuss cultural differences without being judgmental
- Consciously connect culture and language
- Don’t be culturally offensive in the class – that’s so easy!
- Be ready to discuss your cultural blind spots and assumptions
- Pay attention to possible culture shock
#10 – The Native Language Effect
- The NL of learners will be a highly significant system on which learners will rely to predict the target language system.
- Errors are windows to interlanguage; is it the native language?!?!
- Help students to hold onto the helpful aspects of their NL
- Stop translation in its tracks! Think in the target language!!!
#11 -- Interlanguage
- 2nd language learners tend to go through a systematic or quasi-systematic developmental process as they progress to full competence in the TL.
- Distinguish between interlanguage errors and all others
- Tolerate interlanguage forms that make sense and show learning
- Don’t make the Ss feel stupid
- Treat mistakes like an oil dipstick
- Encourage self-correction
- Don’t let your corrections make students afraid of speaking
#12 -- Communicative Competence
- Since CC is the goal of a language class, instruction needs to point toward all of its components: organizational, pragmatic, and psychomotor.
- Communicative goals are best achieved by giving due attention to:
- language use and not just usage
- fluency and not just accuracy
- authentic language and contexts
- students’ eventual need to apply classroom learning to unrehearsed contexts in the real world
- Communicative Competence is:
- A combo plate of:
- Organizational competence = grammatical and discourse
- Pragmatic competence = functional and sociolinguistic
- Psychomotor skills (pronunciation, intonation
- Grammar is just one part of a lesson
- Functional & sociolinguistic aspects of language are fun, but don’t forget the psychomotor skills
- Allow students to become fluent
- Be real – in your materials
- Help students become independent learners and users of language
Why the 12?
- Keep your lessons honest
- Keep your lessons about student learning and not teacher entertainment
- Provide a form of evaluation that allows you to assess a lesson, adapt it and be ready for a better next-go-round