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Meaning negotiation

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Joined: 03 Feb 2004
Posts: 4

PostPosted: Sat Mar 20, 2010 1:05 am    Post subject: Meaning negotiation Reply with quote

I do not know where in these fora to put this post.

Hi, everyone,
Ive been trying to strengthen my instruction methodology, and am now focussing on explaining benefits of, and scaffolding and tools for meaning negotiation for university-level EFL classes. Anyone whos tackled the certificate or MA in our industry knows how different reading journal articles and theory are from actual classroom incorporation. After currently brushing up on the subject by reading some of those articles, I wonder how ESLCAFEers in our industry handle meaning negotiation in the classroom?

1. How do you explain it to the Ss?
2. How do you convince them of its benefits?
3. What methods of introduction, expansion, & synthesis do you use?
4. What do you do to help/encourage/cajole/threaten Ss to toe the MN line from start of lesson to its end; from beginning of semester to its end?

Id appreciate feedback of your personal experience.
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Sally Olsen

Joined: 08 Apr 2004
Posts: 1322
Location: Canada,France, Brazil, Japan, Mongolia, Greenland, Canada, Mongolia, Ethiopia next

PostPosted: Sat Mar 20, 2010 1:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Here is one article on how it was used and the results. There are many more articles under the topic of Meaning Negotiation in Google Scholar.

I would recommend a look at Beverly Deriwianka's book, "Exploring How Texts Work". She helps you to see articles and journals in a whole new way and I think her ideas and those of others who examine Text Types help the students break down the reading into manageable sections with an obvious role in helping students to understand the work.

Genre studies might help in this area too.

We used a text book by Janet Giltrow that had good exercises to help you understand this type of writing and reading. "Academic Writing" has a multitude of exercises and ideas. There is one for "Academic Reading" as well.

I can send you my notes on Academic Writing, a course given by Natasha Artemeva which was excellent. She had a chat line for the students and we were able to continue the discussion or negotation for meaning after class. We were required to summarize the papers she gave us for class and put those on a chat line and then we discussed those ideas on line as well. We helped each other with the writing all the time, in twos and threes. We had to have three people read our final paper and sign it with suggestions written in a margin that we left purposely wide or on the computer with changes shown. Our prof demonstrated writing with a colleague through a tape they took during their writing sessions. She constantly negotiated meaning with us through looking through our notes for the session and commenting when we misunderstood, sometimes in writing and sometimes through the online posts and sometimes in the next session or all three. It is like any teaching, you have to model it over and over and over.

We found it valuable because it made our writing and reading better. But she dragged us kicking and screaming the whole semester. We were only grateful at the end when we could see that our products in other classes improved and we weren't so scared of academic writing and in fact, looked forward to new papers.
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