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  1. #1
    Steven D's Avatar
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    A Bottom-up Approach to ESL Learning and Teaching

    bottom-up: Language learning that proceeds from the most basic blocks of language, such as words, and then proceeding to more complex structures, and finally to meaning. This can be contrasted to top-down learning where students try to understand the general message without understanding all of the constituent parts. Listening for exact phrases and words would be considered a bottom-up listening activity, whereas listening for the gist would be considered a top-down activity. Also, studying individual grammatical structures or sentence structures would be bottom-up.

    top-down: Studying language as a whole. Trying to understand the meaning of a reading or listening selection without worrying about the individual components of language. Listening for the gist and reading for the gist are two types of top-down activities. The learner is trying to understand using cues such as intonation, tone of voice or body language without focusing on specific words and structures. Top-down learning is thought to be important for producing automatic processing. Top-down techniques can be contrasted with bottom-up techniques.

    http://bogglesworld.com/glossary.htm

    Does anyone have any comments?

  2. #2
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Re: A Bottom-up Approach to ESL Learning and Teaching

    Many courses seem to talk top-down, but act bottom-up.

  3. #3
    Steven D's Avatar
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    Re: A Bottom-up Approach to ESL Learning and Teaching

    Quote Originally Posted by tdol
    Many courses seem to talk top-down, but act bottom-up.

    I would say that different teachers have different ideas of what bottom-up is.

    Sometimes students insist on bottom-up. They're not satisfied unless they know precisely what each item means be it a grammar form or a lexical item. Some really analyze things. I was told Russian speakers are quite like that, and now I've been finding out just how true that is.

    There are many different things to consider when speaking of bottom-up.

    My last listening comprehension class involved quite a bit of bottom-up explaining. Sometimes top-down is entirely impossible without understanding all the details. The details are big, and many students, though not all, understand this. Sometimes it's impossible to grasp certain things. There's nothing wrong with placing the English language under a microscope if that's what it takes.

    I think everyone has their own ideas about what bottom-up is.
    Last edited by Steven D; 14-Nov-2005 at 06:07.

  4. #4
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    Re: A Bottom-up Approach to ESL Learning and Teaching

    Quote Originally Posted by tdol
    Many courses seem to talk top-down, but act bottom-up.

    It seems that the verb tense system gets just about all the attention in some cases with, perhaps, too much attention placed on form and not enough on meaning.

  5. #5
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Re: A Bottom-up Approach to ESL Learning and Teaching

    Maybe we should use a middle-outwards approach.

  6. #6
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    Re: A Bottom-up Approach to ESL Learning and Teaching

    Quote Originally Posted by tdol
    Maybe we should use a middle-outwards approach.
    I do that too. I go from concrete to abstract.


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    Re: A Bottom-up Approach to ESL Learning and Teaching

    U should try the interactive approach

  8. #8
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Re: A Bottom-up Approach to ESL Learning and Teaching

    Aren't all approaches interactive?

  9. #9
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    Re: A Bottom-up Approach to ESL Learning and Teaching

    Quote Originally Posted by Steven D
    bottom-up: Language learning that proceeds from the most basic blocks of language, such as words, and then proceeding to more complex structures, and finally to meaning. This can be contrasted to top-down learning where students try to understand the general message without understanding all of the constituent parts. Listening for exact phrases and words would be considered a bottom-up listening activity, whereas listening for the gist would be considered a top-down activity. Also, studying individual grammatical structures or sentence structures would be bottom-up.

    top-down: Studying language as a whole. Trying to understand the meaning of a reading or listening selection without worrying about the individual components of language. Listening for the gist and reading for the gist are two types of top-down activities. The learner is trying to understand using cues such as intonation, tone of voice or body language without focusing on specific words and structures. Top-down learning is thought to be important for producing automatic processing. Top-down techniques can be contrasted with bottom-up techniques.

    http://bogglesworld.com/glossary.htm

    Does anyone have any comments?
    I'm really sorry to say that I was not used to this .And another reason is that Iwas puzzled about English teaching in a very common high school ,where my students my showed little interest in their AEnglish.Of course, now I have been getting on a little better with them . So I'm glad to find I can enable them to stick to their English learning.

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