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Rafael Fran├ža's Portfolio for "Abordagem Comunicativa"    

Portfolio for the subject "Abordagem Comunicativa"




    This portfolio is a gathering of the work done in the subject "Abordagem Comunicativa" offered by the professor Deise Dutra in the first semester in Faculdade de Letras, UFMG, Brazil.

    The main objective of this portfolio is to present what I considered to be of greater importance for my learning about the Communicative Approach for Second Language Teaching.

       "Abordagem Comunicativa" is an online subject in which we, the students, had theoretical review provided by different texts related to the Communicative Approach.

    Weekly, the students and the teacher met on the online forum to discuss the theory and to give our opinions about what we read, relating it to our lives as learners and teachers.

    Also, there were group and individual works that we had to send to the teacher.



Course Program



The Forum Discussions

    The forum discussions were very helpful since they were our way to communicate with our classmates and the teacher. We could not only express ourselves in relation to what we read and learned but we could also have the opportunity to know about our classmates' ideas on the subjects.

    We discussed in the forum themes related to the Communicative Approach, such as aspects in language use (first text), which was important for us to notice hor there is much more in learning a second language than learning its grammar.

    Also, we discussed the tenets of communicative teaching and could compare it to the audiolingual approach (text 3), relating it to our experience of teachers and students. It was interesting to see how our experience is based on theories, and how sometimes different theories mix so that we cannot relate our experience directly to one theory only. It was a very important discussion in my opinion, and it helped in our understanding for the following texts.

    Knowing more about integrated skill helped us notice how a real communicative situation depends on more than speaking well or just understanding well; the integration is necessary for meaningful communication (fifth week).

    There were also specific discussions on determined skills which could lead us to think about preparing a class focusing on communication.

    In general, I can say that all the dicussions we had helped us develop our understanding of the Communicative Approach, and that the online interaction was successful since everyone, including myself, was eager to talking about the theories and our experiences.



First textbook analysis

    The first textbook analysis  was done in groups of three students, so that myself, Augusto and Samia analyzed the textbook "American Headway 2".  We analyzed unit 10, in which the main focus is on 'used to' and verb patterns. It was a great chance for use to apply what we had learned until then. Also, we could see what our classmates did and discussed our differences of point of  view concerning our analysis.



Second textbook analysis

    In the second textbook analysis , we looked at the book "American Headway 3", more precisely analyzing unit 12. It was the same group as before, myself, Augusto and Samia. Again, we could have the chance to observe what we had learned in the textbook, having a critical view of how it was built in the light of communicative theories.




    In the essay, we discussed Krashen and Terrel's input hypohtesis relating it to the Communicative Approach theory. It was important because we could compare two important views on second language learning which prevailed in different times.



First Individual Task

    The first individual task was a text I wrote about my experience as a learner and as a teacher, and I also presented some suggestions based on what I knew so far about second language teaching theory. It is always good to think back on what we went through as teachers and learners so that we can think of ourselves an improving everlastinlgy, which gives us motivation to keep going. Also, it is a chance for us to pay attention to what needs to be changed and what is rewarding in our experience. Giving teaching suggestions is a good opportunity for us to show what we know, and what we can see as helpful to others.



Second Individual Task

The second individual task was a class plan based on what I learned on the course. I see it as a way of putting together all I learned and really aplying it to the classroom reality, and it was a rewarding experience. Teaching is not only knowing the language or the theory; it is about your students, their needs and expectations; it is about the other, it is about achieving communication, and activities should be created taking all those factors into account.




    As I looked at what was done in this course, highlighting some important tasks and discussions in this portfolio, I could see how I could actually learn about the Communicative Approach. It even helped me develop activities not related to this subject (Working with vocabulary and Video Activity), for other subjects and as a an English teacher. I would like to thank the professor for this opportunity, and my classmates, for the cooperative work.




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