Thursday, December 5, 2013

The Affective Filter Hypothesis in Second Language Acquisition



For my other class (Second Language Acquisition) I decided to do my final report on the Affective Filter Hypothesis. I'll be giving my presentation today, so I'm feeling a little nervous. But maybe putting up this post will help keep me in line. 

The above is what I made in an iPad app called Flowboard. I've never used an app to make a presentation before, but I wanted to go outside the usual PowerPoint box and do something different this time. I can access the presentation online using the classroom's computer. 

The gist of the affective filter hypothesis is that language learners (and pretty much all people) have filters that inhibit their ability to acquire the language at a desirable rate or proficiency. In my presentation I'll go into the theoretical background, variables and what teaching methods might be useful when wanting to lower student's filters. 

Keep in mind this is just going to be a 10 minuter presentation highlighting the 16 page paper I wrote. 

But I think what was interesting from my research, and what I will highlight in my presentation, is that student's have particular language related anxieties. For example communication and listening. I particularly found that listening anxiety is interesting because it shows that if we give our students a variety of listening samples (real-life talk vs. scripted) that it could help lower their anxiety but also give them a well-rounded lesson. 

Overall, I think that it is pretty obvious students come to class feeling something either anxiety or some other emotion. I also recognise that it is really difficult to judge how student's feel. But by seeing that there are specific language related tasks that cause anxiety I can then go forward with my lesson planning knowing that perhaps there are ways to mitigate it. 

I've already started to observe more how emotions work out while I teach and what I can do as an instructor. So it's been interesting and already having an affect on my real life.

Here's hoping I don't rush through my presentation or flub something up!

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