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Secondary Vignette for Cognitive Learning Theory

The state department of education requires that all high school teachers in the state receive training in Structured English Immersion methods (SEI). The purpose is to provide teachers with instructional ideas that help their second language learners be more successful at learning the content of their high school classes.

1. Here are some sample SEI recommendations. Connect these recommendations to cognitive learning theory by answering the provided questions for each recommendation.

a. Teachers are encouraged to use examples that are familiar to the students in terms of their life experiences. How would the concept of elaboration help explain this recommendation?

b. Teachers are encouraged to slow down the pace of their lecture and to repeat key ideas more than once. Why would an understanding of working memory help explain this recommendation?

c. When students are reading text, they are encouraged to ask themselves if they understood what they just read? If they do not understand, then they are encouraged to use approaches such as looking up unfamiliar words in a language dictionary (e. g. Spanish-English), or to write down questions to ask the teacher later, etc. How would the concept of metacognition help explain these recommendations for students’ textbook reading?

2. Although these teaching ideas were suggested for second language learners, do you think these are generally good teaching ideas? Why or why not?

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