Running Head: LEARNING IN THE ENGLISH CLASS THROUGH TRANSMEDIATION Universidad de Antioquia School of Languages Licenciatura en Lenguas Extranjeras María Fernanda Bonilla Quiroz Building up Meaningful Learning in the English Class through Transmediation Action research report Thesis, Research and Practicum Advisor: ZORAIDA RODRÍGUEZ VÁSQUEZ Master in Education November 2016 Medellín 1 LEARNING IN THE ENGLISH CLASS THROUGH TRANSMEDIATION 2 Abstract This action research project was carried out at Institución Educativa Juan María Cespedes, in a 2nd grade classroom in Medellín, Colombia. The main purpose was to explore how Transmediation could be implemented during the English classes to promote meaningful learning. Disruptive behavior, school’s calendar activities and class size were features that influenced the implementation of this project. Nonetheless, adaptation of activities based on Transmediation to the particular context proved to be effective to aid the English literacy process and manage discipline issues. Key words: Transmediation, Meaningful learning, Classroom management, Elementary students LEARNING IN THE ENGLISH CLASS THROUGH TRANSMEDIATION Degree Requirement This action research project is submitted as a requirement for the Bachelor of Education in Foreign Language Teaching (English-French) at the Escuela de Idiomas, Universidad de Antioquia, in Medellín, Colombia. 3 LEARNING IN THE ENGLISH CLASS THROUGH TRANSMEDIATION 4 Acknowledgements I dedicate this project to my late grandmother Fabiola Tobón de Quiroz who stood beside me for so many years through the journey of life and supported me in every possible way, guiding me and teaching me how to become the woman that I am today. I would like to thank my friends Juan David Castaño, María Angélica Restrepo, Sara Taborda, Andrés Arredondo and my Japanese teacher Kinuyo Kaneko for helping me grow as a person. For many years you gave me a shoulder to cry on, and a loving push to climb up and reach my dreams. Likewise, I thank all the teachers that I met along my studies in the university. Special acknowledgements go to Zoraida Rodríguez, Maria McNulty, Gloria Hincapié, Cristina Cadavid and Juan Carlos Guerra, who taught me not only the academic knowledge required to get my teaching license, but the wisdom to understand my students and myself as a human being, dear teachers, I salute you. Last, I thank my family for their unconditional love and strength. LEARNING IN THE ENGLISH CLASS THROUGH TRANSMEDIATION 5 Table of Contents Preface 6 Context Description 7 Statement of the Problem 9 Theoretical Framework 12 Research Question 15 Research Objectives 15 General Objective 15 Specific Objectives 15 Action Plan 16 Development of Actions 16 Findings and Interpretations 18 Classroom Management 19 Literacy Development 21 Transmediation 22 Conclusions and Suggestions 22 Reflection 24 References 25 LEARNING IN THE ENGLISH CLASS THROUGH TRANSMEDIATION 6 Preface As a practicum student and pre-service teacher of elementary students in a public setting, I found that children are taught English in a traditional way, given only isolated sets of vocabulary, with no connections to their context and are presented only with opportunities to transcribe from the board. In this project, through data collection from different sources and its respective analysis and the design of classes based on Transmediation, we will see a progression in the acquisition of the English language with positive outcomes, addressing issues of class management as well. The process lasted an academic school year, from February to November 2016. Hopefully, this project may become useful to readers interested in fostering literacy in elementary students through new literacies, or readers interested in approaching a more constructive way to promote classroom rules and deal with discipline issues in classes of a big size. LEARNING IN THE ENGLISH CLASS THROUGH TRANSMEDIATION 7 Context Description Juan María Céspedes is a public school located in Medellín, in Belen neighborhood. The institution covers all sectors supported by the Colombian educational system, that is, from Kindergarten to 11th grade. The mission is stated as follows: “The Institución Educativa Juan María Céspedes educates boys, girls and the youth integrally, promoting a healthy coexistence, satisfying the expectations of community and society; qualifying permanently the institution’s educational processes1” (Institutional Educational Project. 2015, p. 6). As we can see, they emphasize on qualification, trying to constantly fulfill the requirements for the Sistema de Gestión de Calidad (SGC). Furthermore, it is stated in their vision as an “Educational institution of competent citizens, committed to their life project, and to building a fairer and more educated society, that can confront the demands of globalization and contributes to the development of the country2” (Institutional Educational Project. 2015, p. 7). 1 Misión. La institución Educativa Juan María Céspedes forma integralmente a niños, niñas y jóvenes en un ambiente de sana convivencia, satisfaciendo las expectativas de la comunidad y de la sociedad; cualificando permanentemente los procesos educativos de la institución. 2 Visión. La Institución Educativa Juan María Céspedes se proyecta al 2015 como una institución formadora de ciudadanos competentes, comprometidos con su proyecto de vida y la construcción de una sociedad más educada y justa; que responda a las exigencias de la globalización y contribuya al desarrollo del país. LEARNING IN THE ENGLISH CLASS THROUGH TRANSMEDIATION 8 In addition, the institution offers a holistic education3, based on a social pedagogical model, which emphasizes on a transcendent conceptual experimental meaningful learning for life. (Institutional Educational Project. 2015, p. 32). My project is implemented in an English as a foreign language (EFL) class in a 2nd grade. The class has 50 students, aged between 6-7 years old. 9 of them have been diagnosed with learning disabilities, to which some are not being treated or referred by the school to a support classroom. The classroom has a computer with internet access and a video beam which the former CT used to occasionally play some videos. The decorations are scarce, having only a calendar, a set of class rules and an inspirational religious message on the wall. As material aids, they have a set of wooden flashcards with some vocabulary and they can access six textbooks provided by the school, which the teacher uses to get copies from. The institution has a computers’ room which is sometimes used as an English laboratory, but access is limited to secondary students. The English syllabus introduces content in Vocabulary Units, in addition to the objectives, competences and theoretical framework, designed by the English teaching staff. In accordance to the Institutional project (p.28) it should be introduced in Thematic Units. The current English teacher holds a Bachelor Degree in Physical Education Teaching from Universidad de Antioquia, and has been teaching in the public and private sector for 12 years. Previously, they had another English teacher who serves as their homeroom teacher as well, and has a degree in Elementary Education from Centro Formativo de Antioquia (CEFA). She has been teaching in the public sector for 20 years. My decision on the research topic came out from the observations that I did while she was in charge of the English class. 3 Johnson A. (2005). A short guide to Action Research. Holistic education is based on theories of holism. It is constructed around the principle of interconnectedness and seeks to integrate multiple levels of meaning and experience. LEARNING IN THE ENGLISH CLASS THROUGH TRANSMEDIATION 9 The English lessons should follow a Class model that encompasses four moments: 1. Reviewing previous knowledge: Questions about previous topics will be asked; 2. interpreting new information: The new topic will be introduced. Students will expand it and make a synthesis implemented as a worksheet or any other class activity; 3. Valuing current information, where students will critically analyze it; and 4. Evaluation, where assessment tools accepted by the 1290 decree will be applied. (Institutional Educational Project. 2015, p. 34). They must be student centered and promote critical thinking. Nevertheless, according to the observed, all stages are not implemented in the EFL class and it is teacher centered. Some of the activities fostered are: repetition of the vocabulary, transcription, songs and filling in the blanks worksheets, always resorting to translation as means of explanation of meaning. The teacher believes grading their written work is important, otherwise students will not be concerned about fulfilling the activities. Concerning the affective component, the former English teacher whose classes I observed, creates a comfortable learning environment where she takes into account their physical, emotional and cognitive characteristics according to their age to deal with situations and conduct the class. She claims children enjoy it. Statement of the Problem The group in which I implemented my research project has been exposed to sets of isolated vocabulary which the school refers to as thematic units (Institutional Educational Project. 2015), and it has been taught in a space lacking of environmental print, which seemed to me of big importance therefore mentioned in my journal (February 1st): LEARNING IN THE ENGLISH CLASS THROUGH TRANSMEDIATION 10 “On the front wall, there is a poster with the classroom rules. On the back, a calendar hangs on the wall. There is no more decoration.” Taking into account Hudelson’s definition of literacy as the construction of meaning, and not only the ability to read and write, but reading as a language process in which an individual constructs meaning through a transaction with written text, and writing as language process in which an individual creates meaning by using symbols to construct a written text, it has been accounted in previous class observations that there is not a balance in the reinforcement of the skills needed to foster literacy in the classroom. The majority of the activities developed in this EFL class are based on transcription and translation provided by the teacher, as registered in the following extract from February 8th: “We can see the following written on the board: What is your name? Cual es tu nombre?,What is your favorite pet? ¿Cuál es tu mascot favorita? […] The teacher instructs them to answer the questions. She uses translation for every question the students have.” Students do not seem to be able to recall or use any of the vocabulary worked on the lessons, constantly asking for translation and input from the teacher, as registered in my journal entry from February 5th about the behavior of one of the children: “As I sit writing down my observations, a girl comes and asks me the meaning of every word in the worksheet.” Examining my journals, I have no records of any reading and writing activities that have been done by the pupils, taking into account Shin and Crandall’s (2014) definition of reading and writing done by students as when they should be able to read independently and begin learning to LEARNING IN THE ENGLISH CLASS THROUGH TRANSMEDIATION 11 read for pleasure and for the purpose of getting information. How far could this be promoted in our specific context? In the process of integrating my beliefs, theory explored during my courses and previous practices in teaching children, I have come to the conclusion that the young learners will acquire the language at faster rate if learning has been supported by visual aids and contextualization. Furthermore, Curtain & Dahlberg (2010) stated that the brain is always searching for meaning and meaningfulness always occurs within a context. Children must be in tune with the environmental print, which Hudelson defines as the print in the world around them. According to the depicted problematic situation, and citing Shin and Crandall (2014), teachers should work on a constructivist approach to reading and writing (which I believe can be applied to the other skills as well) where students and teachers together create through a proper modeling. Also, 2nd graders are entering the stage of concrete operations according to Piaget (1963) as cited by Curtain & Dahlberg, where using language to exchange information becomes more important, so it is possible to interact and convey meaning from these interactions. For my first classes, I decided to start working with an introductory greetings song and tasks based on reading images alone and some text and images from big books related to the topics in the Syllabus for the 1st term, and most important related to their context. I used code switching as well to refrain from using translation directly. During the implementations, I got positive results and had the urge to think about Transmediation as the base for my project. It is why I decided to work on designing lessons based on Transmediation, defined by Hadjiouannou & Hutchinson citing Siegel (1995) as the process of translating meanings from one sign system (such as language) into another (such as pictorial representation). Taking into LEARNING IN THE ENGLISH CLASS THROUGH TRANSMEDIATION 12 account their surrounding context, children can be exposed to language through the use of visual aids (storytelling, videos, games and drawings) that will serve as print, filling the classroom with opportunities to grasp English meaningfully. Nevertheless, my initial focus changed from addressing the meaningful learning through the linguistic aspects of the class. As time went by, discipline issues that interfered in my teaching arose: “While I set up the computer, they were screaming and running around the classroom […] I tried to continue the class as planned, but all of them were talking, yelling, running, throwing their school supplies, leaving the classroom without permission.” (Journal excerpt, May 5, 2016) In many occasions I experienced such events as the latter. Following the advice of my advisor teacher from her observation on that day, and after reflecting on it, I decided to divert my primary goal to work on classroom management with the aid of Transmediation, taking into account I would have to appeal to some behavioristic measures as well, considering it is what the pupils have been exposed to during their scholar years. Plus, I would need to work on my own approach to the students because during this observation my advisor teacher advised me to work on my authority. Theoretical Framework This literature review presents the theory that supports the concepts I explored during my project, which served me as basis for carrying on its implementation. The concepts are LEARNING IN THE ENGLISH CLASS THROUGH TRANSMEDIATION 13 intertwined, serving the same purpose which is fostering literacy in 2nd graders through Transmediation. Nevertheless, the most important issue that needed to be addressed before focusing on the linguistic aspect of the classes was discipline, as it was hard to implement lessons due to the lack of adherence of students to norms thus resorting to misconduct. As means for organizing the classroom through social constructivist teaching, Brophy (2010) talks about a community in which teachers and students share responsibility for initiating and guiding learning efforts. “Students are given opportunities, with teacher assistance, to form goals and plans to guide their behavior” (Evertson & Neal, 2006, p.1). In this approach of classroom management, where there is “emphasis on what students will be expected to do and helping them learn to do it is likely more effective than management that focuses on misbehavior and places more emphasis on after-the-fact discipline than on before-the-fact prevention” (Brophy, 2010) Brophy (2010) addresses a process of establishing and maintaining effective learning environments which tends to be more successful than teachers who emphasize their roles as authority figures and disciplinarians. Taking into account my classroom’s situation, it was worth recalling Brophy’s statement about the implementation of these new rules “Ensuring that students learn to participate optimally will still require the familiar management strategies of articulating clear expectations, modeling or providing instruction in desired procedures, cueing students when these procedures are needed, and applying sufficient pressure to compel changes in behavior when students have failed to respond to more positive methods.” LEARNING IN THE ENGLISH CLASS THROUGH TRANSMEDIATION 14 Transmediation could be used as well when planning how to achieve classroom management. We live in a society filled with sign systems. “Humans, by nature, read the world around them, and this requires an unconscious use of reading signs” (Batchelor, 2014) Semiotics is the study of signs. A semiotic framework includes a focus on the social nature of learning and specifically includes multiple sign systems, as stated by Batchelor (2014). “The learner is an active participant in the culture that surrounds him/her in order to reconstruct knowledge within his/her own framework of understanding” as cited from Danesi, 2007 and Halliday, 1978 by Batchelor (2014). Supporting the previous citation, according to Ausubel (1963), “meaningful learning subsumes new information into existing structures and memory systems, and the resulting associated links create stronger retention” (as cited in J. Richards, 1990, p 56-57). Which is why according to Krashen and colleagues (1982) “language acquisition takes place most effectively when the input is meaningful and interesting to the learner, when it is comprehensible, and when it is not grammatically sequenced” (as cited by Curtain & Dahlberg). Transmediation, defined by Charles Suhor (1984) as the “translation of content from one sign system into another” (as cited in Batchelor, 2014), allowed me to serve my goal of integrating other sign systems into the English class, and aid the development of literacy. Taking into account the developmental characteristics of the learner described by Curtain & Dahlberg (2010), citing Piaget (1963), the 2nd graders I worked with are in the Stage of concrete operations, where using language to exchange information becomes much more important than in earlier stages, as children become more social. In this society filled with signs is where they interact, engaging their senses to all kinds of texts. Hagood (2000) states “In new literacies, text can be considered both print and nonprint […] New literacies integrate, “print, LEARNING IN THE ENGLISH CLASS THROUGH TRANSMEDIATION 15 visual, and audio texts of cultural and linguistic diversity and includes communicative skills of speaking, listening, writing and reading” (as cited in Batchelor, 2014). Through transmediation, tasks design focused on using different kind of texts to provide one medium through which students can learn the English language, emphasizing the processes of reading and writing, as they learned about the world. Research Question How to foster the literacy process through transmediation to achieve a meaningful learning in the English class with 2nd graders? Research Objectives General Objective: To foster the literacy process in the English class through the use of Transmediation. Specific Objectives: To identify what kind of texts students engage to and serve them to acquire the language. To develop activities that will strengthen the reading and writing skills through the interaction with different kinds of texts. To decrease the use of translation as a means of understanding meaning. To foster understanding of the world and the English language through the interaction with symbols and contextualizing. LEARNING IN THE ENGLISH CLASS THROUGH TRANSMEDIATION 16 Action Plan The chore of my lessons design was Transmediation and the use of visuals as the main aid to achieve a meaningful learning, trying to cover as much as possible the contents of the school’s English syllabus for the second grade. Furthermore, there was formal assessment on all students’ workshops as it was my duty as the English teacher. After the mandatory observations and the situations described in my context, I had originally designed a route of action that involved using the following data collection tools: 1. Journal entries, in which I registered in detail the development of my classes, students’ performance and reflections, 2. an interests’ survey aimed to portray the means through which students would prefer learning; i.e., big books, and 3. the collection of students’ work samples three times from a focus group to analyze if the objectives of my research were being achieved. The survey was not carried out as the data that needed to be gathered through it was obtained throughout the last classes of the second term and the first classes of the third term from the journal, where I reflected on students reactions towards the use of videos and songs and found them to be the preferred mean to learn. Moreover, due to the school’s calendar of activities, many of the classes were missed and the third planned collection of students’ work samples could not be done. Development of Actions Since the main objective of this project was to foster the literacy process through Transmediation in second graders, I carried out some teaching and research actions. LEARNING IN THE ENGLISH CLASS THROUGH TRANSMEDIATION 17 As mentioned formerly in my problem statement, since the first day of classes’ implementation during the first term (from the second week of March to the last week of May), I designed lessons which included working with songs and tasks based on reading images alone and some text and images from big books related to the topics in the Syllabus and most important related to the students’ their context. During the third term (from the second week of July to the first week of September) classes aimed to establish rules and create a sense of responsibility. Visual aids such as slides, a video and a poster with the classroom rules were brought up constantly and reflected on whole group talks. Even so, on August 22, another day in which my advisor teacher observed my class, students went back to the disruptive behavior after few classes infringing the rules, leading me to keep working on them constantly even for some minutes of the class and establishing the ground for the negative consequences of their misconduct. On September 5, I did the application of my first data collection instrument, other than the journal, through the appliance of a checklist to a focus group of ten students for their performance during a class activity. I chose this sample because there are 50 students in the class, hence the difficulty of doing individual assessment to each one. I selected the ten students with the help of my former cooperative teacher based on their school performance classifying it as: Outstanding, average and low. The activity was designed to assess reading and writing, taking into account the standards for the second grade and progress up until that day. LEARNING IN THE ENGLISH CLASS THROUGH TRANSMEDIATION 18 The second data collection was carried out on October 24, using the same focus group from the first application and the participation of the cooperative teacher through filling a checklist which included items related to the students’ and teacher’s performance. Findings and Interpretations In order to analyze the data collected throughout the research from my data collection tools, I did the triangulation process, as explained by Johnson (2005) as “looking at something from more than one perspective” so I created links among the information gathered by the three tools applied. Furthermore, I followed an inductive analysis proposal by Parsons and Brown (2002, as cited by Mertler, 2006, p.125) which consisted in a three-step process: organization, description and interpretation. In the organizational step, I applied a system of categorization known as coding-scheme (citation needed), which aided me to group data through a series of categories. In my journals, which is where I described in detail the events and reflections of each day pertaining my research, I searched recurrent themes and patterns and gave them code names. Some code names prevailed and others disappeared through this process. Then I grouped the code names under three main categories. The categories I came upon were Classroom management, Transmediation and Literacy Development. In the descriptive step, I described the main features or characteristics of the categories emerging from coding the data. I tried to look for connections among the three categories and asked myself “How does this information help me to understand my research topic and answer my research question?” (2002, as cited by Mertler, 2006, p.128). LEARNING IN THE ENGLISH CLASS THROUGH TRANSMEDIATION 19 Finally, in the last step, I interpreted that which I had previously organized, trying to come up with similarities, contradictions or relationships in the data and key aspects that might have answered my research question. In the following paragraphs, the three categories and their respective analysis are presented. Classroom Management Instructions. Concerning this category, I found that for a better classroom management, it is important to give clear instructions, what the expectations are and check for understanding. In many of my classes I tried to do this and found it effective as we can see in the following extract: “I instructed them they should repeat the word after it was said/shown in the video, I asked them to pay attention to both the images and the letters. We did a little practice before the real deal with three of the places, they understood and we began.” (Journal excerpt, July 25, 2016.) Moreover, repetition is necessary to make it work in some occasions. I found myself repeating the instructions to the students: “It took me about 3 times repeating the instructions until they got it, although some just started cutting at once.” (Journal excerpt, August 8, 2016). Young children do relatively have short attention spans, and if you add the classroom environmental factors that I had such as a big size classroom, students can get distracted easily. Additionally, if to the instructions provided you add a proper modelling of the result you expect to get, students will engage easier and feel they are able to perform the tasks. “Then I told them that to practice and remember easily, we would sing a new song, they should try to read along and represent the transport (e.g. hands on the wheel if it’s a car). Most of LEARNING IN THE ENGLISH CLASS THROUGH TRANSMEDIATION 20 them seemed really captured by the song, and seemed to be mumbling something as the song was repetitive and easy to follow.” (Journal excerpt, July 22, 2016.) Establishing the rules. I selected this category because I found that in order to be able to implement lessons efficiently there must be a harmonious classroom atmosphere, so after developing the actions that I planned, I found that sharing the responsibility with the students to create and establish the rules worked out better. After reflecting many times through whole group talks: “We reviewed the presentation and stopped at each rule, and tried to analyze it to see what other things we could do to achieve it” (Journal excerpt, August 26, 2016), I proved Brophy’s statement on management (1998) to be true, if there is “emphasis on what students will be expected to do and helping them learn to do it is likely more effective”. The children’s awareness about how their behavior was affecting the English class arose. As expressed in the following journal extract, I could see how occasionally the kids would collaborate to establish order: “In the middle of the activity, some children were encouraging Juan José Moreno to stay in is seat and work or else they’d get negative points” (September 16, 2016). I also found that, in spite of reinforcing the rules and seeing a steady progress, there will be days when the class dynamics can shift back to being disruptive, “It was impossible to even attempt to continue as planned due to the noise and everyone constantly coming to the board. They also came to tell on their classmates and complain about their behavior. The situation got out of hand and I couldn’t make them go back to their seats.” (Journal excerpt, August 22, 2016) Plus, I also need to work on improving strategies to deal with these circumstances. LEARNING IN THE ENGLISH CLASS THROUGH TRANSMEDIATION 21 Class size. Teaching a class of 50 children was extremely difficult. It is not the ideal setting for meeting each of their needs and discipline issues can easily arise. Literacy Development Translation. I found two elements that helped decrease the use of Spanish: 1. the transition from using their mother tongue to code switching and eventually trying to say some phrases in English during the class, as evidenced in my journal: “then I said: How are you? I was surprised this time the majority actually answered: “Fine, thank you!” After so many times that I couldn’t get a response they did it.” (October 3, 2016). 2. Teaching through Transmediation, as after collecting the data from the implementation of two activities based on it, I got that more than half of my focus group (6 out 10) did not require translation to convey meaning (Checklist, September 5, 2016). Nevertheless, in the second collection, the number decreased to 4 out of 10 (Checklist, October 24, 2016). I think the number dropped due to the many missed classes we had. Reading and writing. Concerning this aspect, I found there was an improvement mostly in reading. During my classes, a significant percentage of students dared to read from the board and after a proper modelling they read with a correct pronunciation, as evidenced here: “I asked them to read from the poster, repeating after me. I heard most of the classroom following except for few, then I asked who thought they could read the rules, as many of them raised their hands […] I can see improvement in Sofía and Juan Manuel relating sounds to letters in english.” (Journal excerpt, July 25, 2016) Plus, since I took the concept of reading farther than just decoding the written code, I could see children managed to associate words to images in almost every activity implemented to LEARNING IN THE ENGLISH CLASS THROUGH TRANSMEDIATION 22 collect data. In writing, Transmediation served students to acquire more vocabulary and some structures. I found that they could write in letters the required information accurately or in close approximations to the correct spelling, related to their sound. Transmediation This category was closely related to Literacy Development, since it was the main element that helped me to achieve my goals to an extent. I found that Transmediation serves as a very important tool when trying to foster literacy, taking into account Hudelson’s definition of literacy previously explained. The translation from one sign system into the other allowed them to explore new literacies (Hagood, 2000), as during my classes the children showed to be more receptive to the language when taught through activities done with videos, songs and images, for instance as it can be evidenced here: “They only watched but in the second minute I heard Yeison mumbling “Good morning, good morning” […] As I’ve mentioned before, it is obvious that this is one of the favorite transmedia tools to work with them.” (Journal excerpt, August 8, 2016) It fostered understanding of the world as they got engaged and explored the Colombian and the American culture, and through contextualization they were able to associate new information into existing structures, as we can see: “As expected, they knew all the heroes, but I tried to work on them building the sentences with the verb To Be in a meaningful way, even if it’s not part of the syllabus.” (Journal excerpt, August 5, 2016) Conclusions and Suggestions LEARNING IN THE ENGLISH CLASS THROUGH TRANSMEDIATION 23 The main conclusion that I got after implementing and analyzing this project is that Transmediation served as a tool for fostering the development of literacy in my particular context of a second grade at a public institution. As far as my specific objectives were concerned, I reached the following conclusions: 1. In second grade, students are required to fulfill certain requirements to achieve the standards set for the course regarding literacy in their mother language and English as a foreign language. Nonetheless, the literacy development can gradually progress in a more meaningful way if other sign systems, other than the written code, are used to mediate the acquisition of the language. It is necessary to indulge into their interests and implement activities that will go hand to hand with their preferences. 2. The use of visual and hearing aids such as videos, songs and images can be used to design reading and writing activities that will serve the students to grasp the language in a more contextualized way, given the proper guidance from the teacher. This goes along with the concept of New Literacies brought by Hagood (2000). Transmediation can be implemented even if the resources provided are scarce, adaptations can be done to work with them. 3. Translation as means of instructing an English as a foreign language class can decrease, even if it’s not in a big percentage. The use of vocabulary and structures repeatedly aided by images and gestures helps children internalize the meaning and respond to it accurately. 4. Understanding of the world can go farther than the extents of the classroom. Exploring other cultures and contrasting them to the children’s’ native culture during the class can help them to give a critical eye to what happens around them. LEARNING IN THE ENGLISH CLASS THROUGH TRANSMEDIATION 24 5. Classroom management must be obtained first before trying to achieve specific academic goals for a class. It will be necessary to address discipline issues throughout many moments to give the opportunity for a meaningful learning to happen. 6. Constructing rules with the students and trying to prevent the disruptive behavior is better than imposing the rules. Even so, situations will arise when corrective measures will be needed and many times it will require to apply behavioristic ones, considering the children are not used to have an active role in the establishment of rules or selfregulating. Additionally, I would like to manifest it is important that the Cooperative teacher works actively along the researcher. “Action research can be defined as the process of studying a real school or classroom situation to understand and improve the quality of actions or instruction” as cited by Hensen, 1996; McTaggart, 1997; Schmuck, 1997 (Johnson, 2005). The guidance and support of the Cooperative teacher can support the researcher in the development of his/her project, as he is constantly working with the class and can assess particular situations, driving the research towards solutions or better reflections on the recurrence of facts. It is also important to mention the fact that the school calendar interrupted the implementation of the English classes many times, and the constant change in the schedule affected the progress of this project. Reflection Carrying out this project took me through a rollercoaster of emotions towards the educational system in Colombia, public education, the Bachelor program of foreign language teaching and working with children. I went from feeling intense waves of excitement for helping LEARNING IN THE ENGLISH CLASS THROUGH TRANSMEDIATION 25 educate the children, to feeling anger, frustration and despair during the times I encountered difficulties. I reflected on what is having to teach a class of 50 students, with little resources and time constrictions. The issues that I faced in this challenge showed me I there is still a lot of room for improvement in my professional practice and that I must learn to be more flexible. Going from the theory I learned during my years in the university to the field was a constructivist experience that led me to widen my perspectives on teaching. “You can only do so much”, one of my former teachers told me once, something which can be applied to this process. Perhaps I cannot change education the way I want it to be, but I can touch individual minds and be certain I did my best to present the English class as something meaningful. I can say my time in Juan María Céspedes institution made a difference in the lives of some. References Batchelor, K. (2014). Investigating Transmediation in the Revision Process of Seventh Grade Writers. Kent, OH: Kent State University. Brophy, J. (2010) Classroom Management as Socializing Students into Clearly Articulated Roles. Journal of Classroom Interaction, 45, 41-45. Evertson, C. & Neal, K. (2006) Looking into Learning-Centered Classrooms: Implications for Classroom Management. Best Practices, Nea Research. Hudelson, S. (1994). Literacy Development of Second Language Children. In F. Genesee (Ed). Educating Second Language Children (pp. 133-153). New York: Cambridge University Press. LEARNING IN THE ENGLISH CLASS THROUGH TRANSMEDIATION 26 Johnson, A. (2005). A short Guide to Action Research. Minnesota State University, Mankato, United States Of America. Mertler, C.A. (2006). Action Research: Teachers as Researches in the Classroom. Thousand Oaks, California, United States of America: Sage Publications, Inc. PEI. I.E Juan María Céspedes (2015) Richards, J. C. (1990). The language teaching matrix. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press. Sanchez, D. (2011). Exploring Visual Literacies in the Classroom. Graduation Project. School of Languages, Universidad de Antioquia. Shin, J. (2014). Literacy instruction for young EFL learners: A Balanced Approach. University of Maryland, Maryland, United States of America.
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