Guest Lecturer, Fulbright Scholar, Professor Donald Rubin

will be visiting the David Yellin Academic College of Education on

Wednesday, Dec. 23, 2009

Dr. Rubin


14:00-15:30 - “Integrating Speaking and Writing Instruction for English Language Learners” -

Speaking and writing draw upon some shared language skills, but they are also distinct codes that require distinct teaching practices.  Yet at every point in language development, speaking supports writing, just as writing supports speaking.  For example, oral activities can instill a sense of audience, which can then transfer to sense of audience in writing.  At the same time, writing allows us to visualize larger units of organization, which in turn can build organizational skills in speaking.  This presentation illustrates how teachers can structure speaking and writing exercises to push learners to higher levels of proficiency in both modalities.

 15:45-17:15 -  “How Tutor Discourse Supports (or Undermines) Student Motivation to Learn Foreign Language.” powerpoint

Student motivation is a complex construct.  It includes one’s achievement motivation—the will to succeed and even excel.  It also includes one’s sense of self-efficacy for learning.  According to research conducted by Paul Matthews, students with low expectations for success in foreign language learning are often the most reluctant to seek tutoring.  Once a student does choose to accept tutoring, however, certain discourse patterns during the tutoring session can actually diminish measured motivation for learning.  To avoid undermining student motivation, the tutor must,  for example, learn to control the scope and difficulty of the topics chosen for tutoring at any given session.  These findings are applied to  tutoring sessions to improve speaking comprehensibility.

To Professor Rubin's resume