MEDITATION IN THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE CLASSROOM

Bachelor thesis English OPEN
Pegan, Tjaša (2016)
  • Publisher: [T. Pegan]
  • Subject: meditation | mindfulness | contemplative secular education | humanistic approach to English language teaching and learning | vocabulary learning strategies | visualisation/mental imagery | meditacija | čuječnost | kontemplativna sekularna vzgoja in izobraževanje | humanistični pristop k poučevanju in učenju angleščine | strategije učenja besedišča | vizualizacija/mentalne podobe | 37.091.33:811.111'24(043.2) [udc]

The practical action research study in this diploma thesis, Meditation in the English Language Classroom, was performed as a mini-experiment which was initially set up to explore meditation and assess its potential and use in education. Regarding English as a foreign language, language learning combined visual and auditory information, and it was based on visual and verbal memory. One of the objectives in the theoretical part was to find a ‘universal formula’ which could help bring meditation closer to a classroom setting. Among available techniques, we chose mindfulness meditation for its simplicity. In addition to having this exercise included in the lesson, the participants received the element of visualisation, which is often found in meditation traditions. Guided visualisation or the so called guided mental imagery was presented as a vocabulary learning strategy in the form of multisensory interactive story including multiple intelligences and mindfulness aspects – the pupils had to pay attention to what the teacher was saying. They were supposed to self-generate the pictures in their minds to repeat new vocabulary items or simply listen to the story with their eyes closed. The main purpose of using mindfulness was to create a more harmonious classroom atmosphere and better concentration by helping the participants become more centred by directing their attention inwardly. The main purpose of using visualisation was to remember words by giving them a mental image. We presented lesson plans from the study performed by two volunteering teachers. In total, 8 classes with 114 pupils were included in this mini research. Results are not so clear-cut and promising, mainly due to limitations. Teachers need more training, better school organisation and curriculum for the practices to be seriously implemented in education.
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