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By: Jhen Alejo

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Friday, 5-Nov-2010 00:43 Email | Share | | Bookmark
Learning Spanish Part Twenty: The Silent Way Method

A most bizarre philosophy of education called "Discovery Learning," based partly on the educational ideas of Rousseau, Pestalozzi and Dewey, led to The Silent Way Method of Second Language acquisition. It also enjoyed the support of psycho-babblists (psychologists) Piaget, Bruner, and Papert. Seymour Papert said,

"You can't teach people everything they need to know. The best you can do is position them where they can find what they need to know when they need to know it."

Though it is a nice-sounding axiom, I am reminded of the countries of the world in which this philosophy of education does not reign supreme. The students in these countries overtake our kids in almost every academic subject. The word "they" in the above quote bothers me. Who does the "they" refer to? A bunch of kids who do not want to be in a classroom learning anything? Kids forced to be there because Mom and Dad say so? I know "Discovery Learning" all too well since I received my "secondary non-education" in one of these schools.

In response to what was considered as the "demonic" rote memory of anything having to do with education, The Silent Method of Second Language acquisition arose. In this "affective" approach, " The teacher tries to "facilitate" activities whereby the students discover for themselves the conceptual "rules" governing the language, rather than imitating or memorizing them - Brown (1994:63)." Also, the students had to somehow "develop their own inner criteria for correctness" (Larsen Freeman, 1986:62)."

This touchy-feely method of learning depends on the "good intentions" of learners. It also depends on the learners wanting to be in the educational situation in which they are, of course, forced by the law of the land and the law of home to participate. This approach to American education, in which I was a high school victim, resulted in woefully equipped and inadequately trained high school graduates (no one, of course, was ever failed) trying to get into college (one of our English classes was called, "Sports Illustrated").

Reasons for Failure:

Teacher is too passive. In favor of the student engaging in his own "Discovery Learning," the teacher would not step in to correct or guide the learner. Students would learn incorrect pronunciation in favor of the teacher remaining "silent."

Students miss out on cultural input that could be given within the language from the teacher's active participation.

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Distance Learning Degrees: The Flexible Route To Higher Educatio

More students around the world are taking advantage of distance learning degrees and degree programs, thanks to the Internet and the willingness of educators to recognize the fact that many people can't attend traditional school campuses due to work or family obligations. While such issues used to keep hundreds, if not thousands, out of college, such restrictions of time and location no longer remain the key issue when it comes to higher education.

The transition to such opportunities has been a long time in coming, and is long overdue. Hundreds of thousands of dollars of lost earning wages due to lack of college degrees will no longer hold employees back from obtaining the jobs of their dreams, or from pursuing higher goals within organizations. The benefits of attending online schools are obvious, and detractors have little to say. As little as a decade ago, the idea of attending an online school brought snickers or raised eyebrows. People believed that distance learning education programs were just for those wishing to pursue dental or medical assistant careers, though that was, and still isn't, the case.

Major universities around the world now offer online coursework as well as degrees in just about every field of employment, including medical, education, and law enforcement careers, just to name a few. A well-rounded and accredited online college offers students the same quality and coursework as a traditional brick and mortar college, without having to attend classes on campus. In rural areas, or for people obligated to full time jobs and family responsibilities, online college coursework is a blessing.

Such schools are held to the same high standards as a traditional campus, and must pass an accreditation program just as thorough, if not more so, than those given to campuses around the country and the world. Accreditation experts look at student services, coursework materials, testing methods and financial records to ascertain whether or not any school is able to offer expert and qualified instructors and coursework materials. For those seeking information on online distance learning colleges and coursework opportunities, an Internet search will bring up hundreds of online campuses. When narrowing down your list of possibilities, keep important things at the top of your list. First, are student services available, and are you going to be able to talk to a live person during normal business hours? Will instructors be available online or via email to answer specific questions and issues concerning coursework, testing and lecture schedules?

Of course, financing is also important, and while one may expect to pay a little more to attend an online degree program, the extra cost more than makes up for lost wages or the inconvenience of driving to a physical school campus to complete coursework. Many online degree programs offer student financing, as well as student loans, so always check ahead of time to make sure you get the most from your chosen school.

Online distance learning degrees and programs are the wave of the future, and competition is fierce and continues to rise. Do your research, take your time, and find the online college that offers exactly what you need.

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Illinois Schools Put Money Where It’s Needed Most

Public school student populations are by nature diverse. Any child from any family can attend a public school at no charge. The whole point of public education is to give children access to the education they need in order to be successful in society. Education is no longer a privilege of the wealthy. This does not mean, however, that every single school performs at the same level, nor that they all have access to the same resources. Unfortunately, while it is a public system, there are schools out there that have swimming pools and airplane pilot programs at the same time that there are schools which have a high teacher turn-around and outdated, if any, textbooks.

There are many states throughout the country which reward schools that are doing well; cash bonuses are one of the most popular types of recognition that excellent schools receive. These schools do indeed deserve recognition, and all schools can use a bit of extra money. The problem lies in the fact that schools that are failing are getting no extra financial help to turn their problems around. Perhaps the school is in a poor neighborhood, where there aren’t a lot of homeowners – homeowners mean more property taxes, which are traditionally used to fund the public school system. Maybe the school has a low or declining enrollment. Budgets are decided based upon how many students attend the school; if the student population is low, the school is not going to have the money it needs to function and improve.

Illinois School District leaders are working hard to reverse this trend in their schools that are low-performing. As a matter of fact, the Illinois Schools State Board of Education recently awarded $13 million for after school tutoring and mentoring programs for 35 Illinois Schools as well as some community organizations around Illinois Schools. The grants will primarily serve students from low-income families that attend under-performing Illinois Schools. For the most part, the Illinois Schools students who attend schools that have at least 40% of its families living at a low socioeconomic level are the ones who will be served through this program.

These new learning centers at the 35 Illinois Schools will provide many opportunities to Illinois Schools students and their families to acquire new skills. They can also help them to discover new abilities after the school day has ended. Academic assistance from after-school tutors must focus on reading and mathematics skills that the students are already working on at the Illinois Schools they attend...

In addition, this new Illinois Schools program can provide youth development activities, drug and violence prevention programs, technology education programs, art, music and recreation programs, counseling and character education to enhance the academic component of the program. The different types of Illinois Schools programs beyond tutoring and mentoring that are offered depend on the location of the Illinois Schools. Parental involvement activities and extended Illinois Schools library hours are other possible activities.

As is evident from the above discussion, it is easy to see that Illinois Schools are working hard to help its low-performing schools improve.

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Distance Learning Degree

You might be at a crossroads in your life. You might realize that you need your Associate’s degree or Bachelor’s degree to land that exciting and high-paying job you have always wanted. You might realize that you need your Master’s degree to rise higher in your current profession. You might realize that you are ready to return to work after taking a break to raise your family, and that getting a degree will help you achieve your professional goals. Simply the most convenient and flexible way to achieve any of these ambitions is by getting your degree from a college that offers a distance learning degree program. Distance learning is not “correspondence”. Rather, it utilizes today’s Web technologies to allow anyone from anywhere to attend college via the Internet, and receive a college education.

There are many advantages of choosing to receive your degree via a distance-learning program. Chief among them is convenience. Proximity is no longer a factor in determining where you attend college. Studying for a college education online allows you to achieve your educational and professional goals at your own pace, whether you want to get a 2-year Associate’s degree, a 4-year Bachelor’s degree, or take an accelerated course program to receive a professional certificate. There is no need to live near or commute to a college when all classes can be attended and all work submitted online. Distance learning is a great option for you if you have uncertainties about going to college as an older student or returning after many years. Studying for a college education online can be an easy way to ease into the routine of class work and projects, and can reduce the stress of feeling the need to fit in with younger students. Further, course availability is often convenient for those who work full time or care for a family. Often, colleges offer evening and weekend classes.

There is a distance learning degree program available for just about every professional and academic discipline out there. Fields of study include Business, Social Sciences, Humanities, Library and Information Sciences, Education, Nursing, Liberal Arts, Fine Arts, and various Healthcare programs. These are but a few of the subjects in which you can earn a college education by choosing an online program. While many online programs are delivered through fully accredited online colleges and Universities, more and more traditional colleges and Universities are adding distance learning degree programs to their curricula, which gives you seemingly limitless options.

You might be concerned about affording to attend a distance learning degree program. Often, financial aid is available to students in the form of grants, loans, even scholarships. Also, many employers are willing to pay for part or all of an employee’s tuition and fees. Investing in an employee’s future reaps benefits for everyone involved.

The misconception of receiving your degree via a distance-learning program is that the experience might not be as enriching or legitimate as attending face-to-face classes at a traditional college or University. This just isn’t the case. Programs offered online present the same opportunities for group work, independent study, and interpersonal communications as their traditional counterparts. While it is true that being an online student requires a certain amount of self-discipline and organization, receiving your degree through distance learning will probably help to facilitate the learning process as well as develop your time management and self-motivation skills. With the prevalence of the Internet and advancements such as teleconferencing in both education and the business world today, it is possible to come away from the experience not only with a college education and your dream career, but also with greater knowledge and comfort with technology. Going the route of distance learning to get your degree is a valuable, convenient, and flexible way to broaden your career opportunities, and have the career you have always dreamt about.

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Benefits of Distance Learning

Waking up early, staying at school late and facing traffic on the commute to and from school is a hassle most people deal with when continuing their education. Scheduling babysitters or after hours care for night classes cause some parents to forgo an education because of the hassle it would cause. It would be ideal for busy adults if they could learn from the comfort of their own home, making them available to friends and family at the same time. Distance learning lets people continue their education without fighting traffic, waking early, staying late or rearranging their whole schedule. Many colleges and universities offer courses or degree programs via distance learning for those students who juggle work and family.

The benefits of distance learning are more than just not having to step foot in a classroom. Distance learning allows students to have a flexible schedule so they can arrange school around their work and family life rather than having to arrange everything around school. Many distance learning courses allow you to work at your own pace as long as all tests and papers are submitted on time. This means that night owls can work on assignments at night when they are at their best, and early birds can work in the morning before their day gets busy. Distance learning students can also take advantage of being able to take class on the weekends if they fall behind during the week. Flexible scheduling means that you do not have to miss class for a doctor's appointment or worry about missing lectures to stay home with a sick child. There is no need to have a classmate's phone number so you can copy notes or find out what the professor assigned. With distance learning, you have scheduling freedom while still getting an education.

Self-directed learning is another benefit to distance education. Self-directed learning lets you move on or review without having to wait for other students to catch up. You can also review the same information repeatedly in the privacy of your own home without feeling like the entire class is moving ahead and you are stuck in one spot. If you do struggle, a simple email to your instructor is all it takes for some extra help. Another benefit is being able to earn a degree or certificate online. Working towards a degree online is, for some people, the only chance they have to earn a degree. Without distance learning, many working people would forfeit a degree for a paycheck.

School choice widens for those considering distance learning. Some students dream of attending a large, well-known university, but they live too far for a commute and don't have the resources to relocate. Traditional campus classes restrict students from attending certain universities because of distance. With distance learning, students can research colleges and universities from all over the country that offer distance learning programs. Distance learning provides the opportunity for attending college all over the country without having to move there. The biggest benefit of distance learning is the possibility for all people to continue their education without having to put the rest of their life on hold.

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