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Friday, 9 February 2018

Research and Innovations in English Language Teaching

Innovations in ELT in Dalton Kindergartens

The school and education system require both stabilization and change. Stabilization is needed in a systematic and well thought out implementation of the pupil's education and training, to the extent of his personal capabilities and the needs of the modern world. The change involves optimizing the educational process and seeking answers to the many challenges faced by modern man and society. The changes are institutional, top-down, sometimes referred to as reform. But there are bottom-up changes, formalized and non-formal, initiated by individual teachers or teacher teams, such as Dalton teacher teams. Their didactic and educational activity breaks stereotypes, giving the educational process a creative dimension, inspiring pupils to engage more in their own development and effectiveness. Creative change is an extremely desirable innovation not only in today's economic and social life, but also in school. What's more, it is accessible to any creative teacher implementing innovative methods within Dalton Plan during English lessons. Such methods are based on three basic factors of Dalton Pedagogy, which are: responsibility, self-reliance, cooperation, reflection. These factors are basic in implementing innovative methods of ELT with pupils. Among those methods are definitely the one deriving teaching techniques based on multiple intelligences in English Language Teaching, especially designed exercises and tailored to the linguistic abilities and needs of pupils.  The numerous proposals of those exercises will be published as a rich attachment to the research reports, accompanied by the description of the whole innovative program during extended ELT in Dalton Kindergartens in Poland, Holland and China. Such innovative program called “Let’s Daltonize English” will allow children to acquire English Language in a natural way, harmonizes with their type of intelligence. There will be also presented special materials to help kindergarten students acquire English in an effective and natural way. Such created model supports child’s on going social-emotional, physical, language and cognitive development including their mathematical, verbal linguistic and creative development accompanied by research-based curriculum, which will be published in a Dalton International Website.

Research of innovative ELT in Dalton kindergartens

One of the most modern innovation of today’s pedagogy is undoubtedly Dalton Plan. The laboratory Dalton Plan existing already in 19th century, was refreshed and adjusted to the new school reality. Therefore, there is necessity to make a research of the pedagogy of the Dalton Plan and their functioning in English education in kindergartens. The research will be conducted together with Dalton International with cooperation with China, Holland and Poland.

The subject of this study is the implementation of the Dalton Plan in English Language Education in kindergartens, especially the functioning of the innovative program called “Let’s Daltonize English”. Exemplification of the unit and the environment is Dalton nursery in The Netherlands, China and Poland. The purpose of this study is to identify the organization, course and effectiveness of English language education within Dalton Plan nursery schools, together with application for both theory and practice. The effects of innovative ELT will be measured using such research tools as questionnaire and observation report in a Chinese Dalton Kindergarten.
Presented over one hundred years ago Helen Parkhurst Dalton Laboratory Plan, rediscovered and enriched with new innovative educational methods has a significant chance to develop. Transferred into English classes reality combined with innovative English Language Teaching techniques will definitely make refreshed ELT a new challenge, both for teachers and pupils.

In education in the 21st century, the Dalton Plan is one of the sources of change, reforms in the education system, its organization, program, process, textbooks and teaching resources. Any changes, innovations are meant to improve the quality of the education process. In this context, the Dalton Laboratory Plan together with effective English Language education still stands for innovative education now and then. To sum up,” the Dalton Plan should primarily be regarded as a way of school living. It is a way wherein each young individual soul can find the opportunity for the use and the expression of the best that in him lies. Only so can personality reach its highest development and learning become more pregnant with purpose.”[1]
This article was published in "DALTONVISIE".

[1] H. Parkhurst, An explanation of the Dalton Laboratory Plan, Cornwall Gardens, London 1926)