Teach English in Bayi Zhen - Changzhi Shi

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Many students are being left behind by an educational system that some people believe is in crisis. Improving educational outcomes will require efforts on many fronts, but a central premise of this task is that one part of a solution involves helping students to better regulate their learning through the use of effective learning techniques. Fortunately, the different techniques that could help students achieve their learning goals. There are several learning techniques which can be effective in the EFL classroom; however this discussion will center on distributive practice, practice testing, and self-explanation. Distributed Practice is about spreading practice or study activities over time, rather than cramming near the exam deadline. While cramming is better than not studying at all, 254 studies involving more than 14,000 participants show that spaced study is far better. Other studies show that the beneficial effects persist in the long term. Textbooks tend not to encourage distributed practice because they put all related material and practice activities together and do not review previous material in subsequent units. Frequent, lower stakes testing during a course will encourage distributed practice far more than having only one or two long, high-stakes exams. Students may need convincing of this technique, seeing it as too much extra work and nothing is ever “finished.” However, the high utility effects work across a wide variety of all the materials, learning conditions, student characteristics and learning tasks outlined in the introduction. Looking at practice testing referred to here is formative testing, typically done outside of class and for which students receive at least right-wrong feedback (ideally guided feedback about what they did wrong, but often they are left to figure this out on their own or from peers). It includes any kind of testing students engage in on their own, including (but not limited to) actual or virtual flash cards, practice problems, questions at the end of textbook chapters, and online practice tests and supporting materials provided by textbook publishers . Any format of practice test (e.g., cued recall—student-created flash cards, free recall, short answer, fill-in-the-blank, multiple choice, prediction, procedural practice) improves final test performance, and miss-match between the practice and exam question types doesn’t matter. Research suggests that practice tests requiring more generative responses (e.g., recall or short answer) are more effective than fill-in-the-blank or multiple choice recognition ones. And, the more practice testing the better, although time lapse between practice tests is important. The effects persist for longer periods than many other methods, especially if correct answer feedback is provided in the practice tests. It is however advisable that student receives good coaching on good practice test methods based on the information above. Last but not the least technique to be discussed is self-explanation. Self-explanation involves students communicating in their own words how new information is related to known information, or explaining steps taken during problem solving. It enhances learning by helping integrate new information with pre-existing knowledge. It works best when no explanations are provided before or during the student generation of self-explanation. Also, self-explanation done during problem solving works better than reflective self-explanation after the problem has been solved. Research shows self-explanation works for a wide age range of learners and subjects. Widespread use of this technique is time-consuming.