Use of context approach in the foreign language teaching in the senior grades

Context approach in teaching English language in Senior grades. Definition, characteristics and components of metod. Strategies and principles of context approach. The practical implementation of Context approach in teaching writing in senior grades.

Рубрика Педагогика
Вид дипломная работа
Язык английский
Дата добавления 06.06.2016

Размещено на

Ministry of Education and Science of the Republic of Kazakhstan

L.N. Gumilyov Eurasian National university



major 5В011900 - "Foreign language: two foreign languages"


Astana, 2016


  • Introduction
  • 1. Context approach in teaching English language in Senior grades
  • 1.1 Definition, characteristics and components of Context approach
  • 1.2 Strategies and principles of context approach in teaching English language
  • 1.3 Teaching English productive skills through Context approach
  • 2. The practical implementation of Context approach in teaching writing in senior grades
  • 2.1 The implementation of teaching English productive skills using Context approach
  • 2.3 Analysis of Context approach experiment results and findings
  • Conclusion
  • Biography


Topicality. English nowadays is acknowledged as an international language because many people from different countries use it as a means of communication. That's why English is taught from elementary school level. English has two basic majors, they are skills and component. The basic skills of English learning are listening, reading, speaking, and writing. Our concern as language teachers is not to inform our students about the language, but to develop their ability to use language. Based on the statement above, we can get a point that students should be taught how to use and apply knowledge they got at school.

However, most students do not able to master all four skills and usually they have a lot of problems with writing and speaking [1,65]. Students usually are not able to analyze, do synthesis and summarize the information in writing or oral form. Moreover, they are not interested in doing exercises and find writing tasks too sophisticated and useless.

One of the approaches that emphasizes the process and content of writing and speaking, which was discovered by Dewey [2, 42], is a context approach. The context approach is a learning philosophy that emphasizes students' interests and experiences. The contextual teaching and learning was developed by the Washington State Consortium, which involved 11 universities, 20 schools and some education organizations in the United States [3, 8].

The papers mentioned above state that a learning process today still uses a teacher-oriented approach. Teachers transfer their knowledge to their students actively, meanwhile, their students, like an empty bottle continually get filled with various kinds of knowledge, which sometimes they do not understand. Teachers should discover creative strategies to enhance students' interests to practice writing. Therefore, context approach can be implemented in this present study.

The context approach is considered to be used in teaching English, especially in teaching productive skills. Regarding this, Aysayeva [4, 109] stated that writing with context can make students able to develop analysis when they write a reasonable paragraph and make the readers give their expectation easier. In other words, if the students know what to write, what the reader expects from the text, and which parts of the language system that are relevant to the particular task in a given context, then they will be able to develop their analysis in writing a reasonable paragraph and have a good chance to succeed in it.

The aim of the research work is to establish advantages of context approach implementation in teaching foreign languages.

The given aim determines the following objectives:

- to analyze the theoretical basis of context approach implementation in teaching foreign language;

- to define the main strategies and characteristics of context approach;

- to identify benefits of using of context approach in teaching productive skills in the senior grades.

The object of the research work is context approach in teaching foreign languages in the senior grades.

The subject of the research work is

In our work we have used the following methodological basis: a method of the description, comparison, analysis, method of observation and experiment.

The Scientific novelty. Implementation of Context approach in teaching English productive skills is considered in this research. Advantages of using Context approach was identified and analyzed.

The theoretical significance of the research work lies in the fact that it provides better understanding about theoretical framework for other researchers who are interested in conducting research on advantages of using context approach in teaching English.

The practical significance of the research is determined by the possibility to give contribution in finding more effective methods of teaching writing and speaking in the senior grades.

Theoretical and methodological basis

context approach teaching english

There are a number of works of different authors (Elaine B. Johnson, John Dewey, Verbitsky A.A., Dubovitskaya T.D., Zhusupova R.B., Susan Sears, Robert G. Berns, Patricia M. Erickson, Michael L. Crawford) that are devoted to the research of context approach.

The structure of the work. Diploma work consists of introduction, two parts, conclusion, the bibliography and appendix.

In Introduction there are defined the topicality, the aim, objectives and methods, also the subject, the object and the results of the practical significance of our research work.

In the first part there are defined a base concepts of research work and identified the main strategies of using Context approach.

In the second part there are investigated advantages of Context approach implementation in teaching English productive skills in senior grades.

In conclusion there are given the results of theoretical and practical researches of the Context approach in teaching English productive skills in senior grades.

The bibliography includes names of works of different methodologists, material of which is used during research work.

1. Context approach in teaching English language in Senior grades

1.1 Definition, characteristics and components of Context approach

Context approach rests at the convergence of an established and growing body of research from such diverse fields as developmental psychology, cultural anthropology, linguistics, cognitive psychology, and social psychology. Built on a set of theories and strategies for teaching that can be traced back to the work of John Dewey, John Francis Wood hull, and William Heard Kilpatrick in the early 1900s, context approach is not a "new" idea, but a concept that has continued to evolve over time at all levels of the education system.

Many of the context approach elements are common in classrooms throughout the United States and enjoy a rich history of educational research about their effectiveness [1,7]. Context approach unifies these teaching and learning practices into one approach to instruction. The unified approach has given educators a common language for discussing their beliefs in effective practice and ways to broaden the "pockets of excellence” in their schools. The context approach succeed because it asks young people to act in ways are natural to human being. That is, it conforms to the brain function, to basic human psychology, and to the three principles that modern biology and physics have discovered permeating the entire universe. These principles - independence, differentiation, self-organizing - infuse everything that lives, including human beings [1, 26].

Context approach also requires teachers to change how they teach. In particular, it encompasses instructional approach intended to supplement traditional teaching styles that rely heavily on lecture, students' taking notes, watching teachers conduct experiments, memorizing facts and techniques, and using the written word (through papers and exams) to demonstrate learning. [1,28]

The application of contextual learning to the American classroom has its origins in the experiential learning traditions of John Dewey who in1916 advocated a curriculum and teaching methodology tied to the child's experiences and interests. Our consortium's operational definitions for context approach are rooted in Dewey's progressivism and in research findings which show that students learn best when what they are learning is connected to what they already know and when they are actively engaged in their own learning [2, 36]. In the course of conducting a literature review it became clear that context approach is an integration of many "good teaching practices" and several education reform approaches intended to enhance the relevance and functional utility of education for all students.

Context approach is a system that stimulates the brain to weave pattern that express meaning. It is a brain-compatible system of instruction that generates meaning by linking academic content with the context of a student's daily life.

Taking advantage of the fact that environment stimulates the brain's neuron to form pathways, the system focuses on context, on relationship. The brain's ability to locate meaning by making connection explain why students who are encouraged to connect schoolwork with their present reality, with their individual, social and cultural circumstance today, with the context of their daily live, are able to attach meaning to academic material and therefore to retain what they study [1, 22].

Context approach involves making learning meaningful to students by connecting to the real world. It draws up on students' diverse skills, interests, experiences, and cultures and integrates these into what and how students learn and how they are assessed. In other words, contextual teaching situates learning and learning activities in real-life and vocational contexts to which students can relate, incorporating not only content, the "what," of learning but the reasons why that learning is important.

Some examples of context approach are interdisciplinary activities across content areas, classrooms, and grade levels; or among students, classrooms, and communities. Problem-based learning strategies, for instance, can situate student learning.

In the context of students' communities, many skills learned as parts of contextual learning activities are transferable skills, those that can be used not only for successful completion of a current project, but also in other content areas to prepare a student for success in later vocational endeavours. Contextual learning, then, engages students in meaningful, interactive, and collaborative activities that support them in becoming self-regulated learners [3, 52]. Additionally, these learning experiences foster interdependence among students and their learning groups.complementary outcomes assessments for contextual student learning are authentic assessment strategies.

Context approach is defined as a conception of teaching and learning that helps teachers relate subject matter content to real-world situations; and motivates students to make connections between knowledge and its applications to their lives as family members, citizens, and workers and engage in the hard work that learning require [3,9].

Thus, context approach helps students connect the content they are learning to the life contexts in which that content could be used. Students then find meaning in the learning process. As they strive to attain learning goals, they draw upon their previous experiences and build upon existing knowledge. By learning subjects in an integrated, multi-disciplinary manner and in appropriate contexts, they are able to use the acquired knowledge and skills in applicable contexts [4, 110].

Contextual teaching and learning as a concept that helps the teachers and students relate the meaning through prior and new knowledge to get new understanding. So, it is an expectation that the approach can give benefits for teacher and students in teaching learning process.

According to Verbycskii there are some differences between context approach and traditional instruction. Traditional instruction is an instruction that emphasized in conventional way, it still applies the importance of memorization not construction the materials from the real context based on experience. It still stresses in teacher's role than students [3, 62]. While contextual instruction is in the opposite. There are some comparisons of contextual and traditional instructions (Table 1).

Table 1. Comparison of contextual and traditional instructions

Traditional approach

Context approach

Relies on rote memory

Relies on spatial memory

Typically focused on single subject

Typically integrates multiple subjects

Value of information is determined by teacher

Value of information is based on individual need

Fills students with deposits of information until needed

Relates information with prior knowledge

Assessment of learning is only for formal academic occasions such as exams.

Authentic assessment through practical application or solving of realistic problem

Although context approach is a relatively new concept in the field of education, its principles and practices have been around for centuries [1,8]. The concept of teaching students in a context as close to real life as possible can be dated back to the 16thcentury. Michael of Montaigne, a Renaissance writer, believed that students could learn more from travelling and experiencing the world first hand than they could from studying a textbook [1, 9]. In fact, the school fieldtrips that students take today could be a result of the belief that students learn without the textbook; field-trips give students an opportunity to interact with society and gain valuable experiences. Creating a setting in which students learn as realistically as possible is a goal of teachers who use context approach. Teachers who use context approach practices not only place emphasis on field-trips, but they also emphasize practices.

The implementation of each Context approach components will be explained bellow:

a. Constructivism is building on knowledge known by the is student-centred; students have to construct knowledge themselves. Explanations can use meta-cognition to explain via metaphor. Semiotics, or meanings of words, is important to keep in mind. Constructivism is a theory, a tool, a lens for examining educational practices [5, 9].

Knowledge is constructed by human knowledge is not asset if facts, concept, or laws, waiting to be discovered. It is not something that exists independent of knower. Human create or construct knowledge as they attempt to bring meaning to their experience. Everything that we know, we have made, knowledge grows trough exposure. Understandings become deeper and stronger if one test against new encounters.

The characteristic of constructivism learning is active students, they involve in learning process depend on their ability, knowledge and style of learning. They are guided by teachers as facilitator; teacher will help them if they get learning difficulty [6, 2].

Figure 1. Constructive learning process

The chart above describes the constructive learning process. It explains that the student who was born doesn't have knowledge. He lives and interacts with his environment, then he gets the primary knowledge then he processes it through the learning experiences to get the new knowledge. In the constructivism, the achievement strategy is done earlier than how much knowledge that the student gets and remembers. So the teacher is as a facilitator, he has a role play to make the meaningful knowledge and relevant to the students. He gives the chance to the students to find and apply their ideas themselves. He also asks the students to apply their strategies in the learning.

b. Inquiry means the teachers have to design an activity refer to any material to reach expected competence in all subjects. Learning based on inquiry, students are supported to used scientist strategy. They are supposed observing an object matter, giving question, looking for information that needs to analyse data and taking conclusion [5,15].

The characteristics of inquiry learning are students demanded to responsible with their own learning; teachers are able to know how far student concept or theory does. Inquiry learning gives, actives and concentrate experience to students, they will learn how to solve, make decision, study to observe and give them an opportunity to study forever [6, 4].

Memorizing facts and information is not the most important skill in today's world. Facts change, and information is readily available - what's needed is an understanding of how to get and make sense of the mass of data.

Educators must understand that schools need to go beyond data and information accumulation and move toward the generation of useful and applicable knowledge. a process supported by inquiry learning. In the past, our country's success depended on our supply of natural resources. Today, it depends upon a workforce that "works smarter. "

Through the process of inquiry, individuals construct much of their understanding of the natural and human-designed worlds. Inquiry implies a "need or want to know" premise. Inquiry is not so much seeking the right answer because often there is none but rather seeking appropriate resolutions to questions and issues. For educators, inquiry implies emphasis on the development of inquiry skills and the nurturing of inquiring attitudes or habits of mind that will enable individuals to continue the quest for knowledge throughout life.

Content of disciplines is very important, but as a means to an end, not as an end in itself. The knowledge base for disciplines is constantly expanding and changing. No one can ever learn everything, but everyone can better develop their skills and nurture the inquiring attitudes necessary to continue the generation and examination of knowledge throughout their lives. For modern education, the skills and the ability to continue learning should be the most important outcomes. The rationale for why this is necessary is explained in the following diagrams.

c. Questioning. There is international concern about the extent to which students are excluded from school. Between and within countries there is significant variation in the numbers of students whose behaviour is regarded as problematic, challenging and inappropriate.

Questioning is the main strategy of context approach, because knowledge starts from questioning. In learning process, it considered by teacher's activity to support, guide and evaluate student's ability [5, 17].

The questioning strategy can be applied almost in every activity, between student and student, teacher and student, student and teacher, students and other people who invited in the class. Questioning activity also can be found when student discussed, study in group, find difficulty, observation. These activities will support the student giving questioning.

d. Learning community advocates a holistic approach to language learning, since "true” human learning is both cognitive and affective [2, 52]. This is termed whole-person learning. Concept of learning community suggests the students to cooperate with other people, make communication, help each other and competition between student and another should be avoided [4,16]. One of example of learning community in English subject is making team work, they try to understand English text, share and make conclusion. Cooperative skill is one of learning community purpose.

The principles of learning community consist as follow:

1. Study club, communicate to share ideas and experience each other;

2. Cooperate to solve the problem;

3. Responsible to each group;

4. Construct learning student's motivation; create situation and condition that enable to make students study each other;

5. Teacher is facilitator who guides learning process;

6. Accept and respect another opinion willingly [6, 5].

Learning community has multidimensional meaning, in cooperative learning should be learning community, sharing ideas, discussion, service learning, study club, context approach sources, problem based learning, learning to be, learning to know, learning to do, learning how to live together, task based learning, school based management and collaborative learning.

e. Modelling is one of the components of in CTL approach, in learning skill or specific knowledge. Modelling is offering behaviour for imitation. Modelling assists by giving the students information and a remembered image that can serve as a performance standard [6,7]. Model can be imitated by student such as how to pronounce or spell some words, operate and do something. The teacher is not only a model but students, native speaker, doctor, police etc.

f. Reflection is one of the important parts of contextual approach; it is the way of thinking of everything that has been learned in the past. Reflection evaluates effective program which has been done [6, 8]. The teacher helps the students in connecting the previous and new knowledge. So, the students felt getting new knowledge from what they learned.

g. Authentic assessments show (among other things) that learning has occurred; are blended into the teaching or learning process; and provide students with opportunities and direction for improvement [5, 19].

Authentic assessment is used to monitor student progress and inform teaching practices [5, 19]. Assessment is collecting data that describes learning student development. It is important to know the result as long as the teaching and learning process not only the test (middle and final test) but all of the student process.

Some characteristics of authentic assessment are:

1. Evaluate all of student's learning process;

2. Involves real-world experience;

3. Accessing information;

4. Use opened - ended format;

5. Encourage the use of calculator, computer and human resource;

6. Engages the student by relevance;

7. Include self-assessment and reflection;

8. Warrant effort and practice;

9. Identify strengths to enable student to show what they can do;

10. Make assessment criteria clearer to the student.

Another way that authentic assessment is commonly distinguished from traditional assessment is in terms of its defining attributes. Of course, traditional assessment's as well as authentic assessment's vary considerably in the forms they take. But, typically, along the continuums of attributes listed below, traditional assessment's fall more towards the left end of each continuum and authentic assessment's fall more towards the right end.

Table 2. Differences between traditional and authentic assessment

Traditional assessment

Authentic assessment

Selecting a Response

Performing a Task







Indirect Evidence

Direct Evidence

Selecting a Response to Performing a Task: On traditional assessments, students are typically given several choices (e. g., a,b,c or d; true or false; which of these match with those) and asked to select the right answer. In contrast, authentic assessments ask students to demonstrate understanding by performing a more complex task usually representative of more meaningful application.

Contrived to Real-life. It is not very often in life outside of school that we are asked to select from four alternatives to indicate our proficiency at something. Tests offer these contrived means of assessment to increase the number of times you can be asked to demonstrate proficiency in a short period of time. More commonly in life, as in authentic assessments, we are asked to demonstrate proficiency by doing something.

Recall/Recognition of Knowledge to Construction/Application of Knowledge: Well-designed traditional assessments (i. e., tests and quizzes) can effectively determine whether or not students have acquired a body of knowledge. Thus, as mentioned above, tests can serve as a nice complement to authentic assessments in a teacher's assessment portfolio. Furthermore, we are often asked to recall or recognize facts and ideas and propositions in life, so tests are somewhat authentic in that sense. However, the demonstration of recall and recognition on tests is typically much less revealing about what we really know and can do than when we are asked to construct a product or performance out of facts, ideas and propositions. Authentic assessments often ask students to analyze, synthesize and apply what they have learned in a substantial manner, and students create new meaning in the process as well.

Teacher-structured to Student-structured: When completing a traditional assessment, what a student can and will demonstrate has been carefully structured by the person (s) who developed the test. A student's attention will understandably be focused on and limited to what is on the test. In contrast, authentic assessments allow more student choice and construction in determining what is presented as evidence of proficiency. Even when students cannot choose their own topics or formats, there are usually multiple acceptable routes towards constructing a product or performance. Obviously, assessments more carefully controlled by the teachers offer advantages and disadvantages. Similarly, more student-structured tasks have strengths and weaknesses that must be considered when choosing and designing an assessment.

Indirect Evidence to Direct Evidence: Even if a multiple-choice question asks a student to analyze or apply facts to a new situation rather than just recall the facts, and the student selects the correct answer, what do you now know about that student? Did that student get lucky and pick the right answer? What thinking led the student to pick that answer? We really do not know. At best, we can make some inferences about what that student might know and might be able to do with that knowledge. The evidence is very indirect, particularly for claims of meaningful application in complex, real-world situations. Authentic assessments, on the other hand, offer more direct evidence of application and construction of knowledge. As in the golf example above, putting a golf student on the golf course to play provides much more direct evidence of proficiency than giving the student a written test. Can a student effectively critique the arguments someone else has presented (an important skill often required in the real world)? Asking a student to write a critique should provide more direct evidence of that skill than asking the student a series of multiple-choice, analytical questions about a passage, although both assessments may be useful.

Context approach integrates such strategies into learning activities as: problem solving, self-directed learning, learning from peers, learning in real situations and authentic assessments; the five characteristics to its integration are as follows and can be incorporated into teaching activities

1. Activating knowledge. It means, the material that will be learned is a unity of previous knowledge that has relation each other. Teaching and learning process actives knowledge.

2. Acquiring knowledge. Contextual teaching is a learning to get and add new knowledge deductively; the teaching begins from universal knowledge to detail one.

3. Understanding knowledge. The knowledge acquired is not a memorizing but understanding it such as asking the other respond about the knowledge acquired than improved it based on that respond.

4. Applying knowledge. The knowledge and experience acquired enable to apply in real-world student and appeared a student behaviour change.

5. Reflecting knowledge. This is a completing and evaluating process of acquiring, activating, understanding and applying knowledge [6, 2].

According to Johnson, there are seven characteristics of context approach:

1. Making meaningful connection. Learning is related with real - world life, student actively to develop their interest, study individually or in group. They realize the importance of studying for their future.

2. Doing significant work. Students make correlation between school and several of contexts in real-world life in the house, community and work site.

3. Self-regulated learning. Students do significant work that has purpose, interaction, decision and real life result.

4. Collaborating. Students cooperate with each other, and the teacher helps them how do they understand to communicate with other students.

5. Critical creative thinking. Students use high critical and creative thinking to analyse, make hypothesis, solve the problems, make decision and use logical evidence.

6. Nurturing the individual. Students take care of their personality, giving attention, having high expectation, motivating and strengthen themselves and respecting the other.

7. Reaching high standard. Students know and reach high standard, teachers identify and motivates them to reach the purpose.

8. Using authentic assessment. Students use academic knowledge in real-world contexts for meaningful purpose [1, 24].

1.2 Strategies and principles of context approach in teaching English language

Centre of Occupational Research and Development (CORD) delivers five strategies to implement the Context approach are called as REACT such as [7,5]:

1. Relating is the most powerful element in contextual teaching strategy. It also suggests that students' learning in the context of one's life experiences or pre-existing knowledge [7,5]. In relating, teachers link a new concept to something completely unknown to students. Caine called this reaction "felt meaning. ” That reaction can be momentous, as when a student finds the solution to a problem that he or she has spent significant time and effort in solving.

2. Experiencing. In contextual approach, one strategy relates to another. The previous statement appears to indicate that relating connects new information to life experiences or prior knowledge that students bring to the classroom [7,7]. Teachers are able to overcome this obstacle and help students construct new knowledge with hands-on experiences that occur inside the classroom. This strategy is called experiencing. In experiencing, students are learning by doing through exploration, discovery, and invention [7,8]. It can be seen by looking at students were able to create diagram events independently and organize the drafting of the recount text from their diagram events. In this strategy, students were also able to work in pairs to analyze the text in terms of linguistic features and generic structure. In the class hands-on experiences can include the use of manipulative, problem-solving activities, and laboratories.

3. Applying. Applying strategy can be defined as learning by putting the concepts to use [7,10]. Clearly, students can implement the concepts when they are engaged in hands on problem solving activities. Teachers can also motivate a need for understanding the concepts by assigning realistic and relevant exercises. Relating and experiencing are strategies for developing insight, felt meaning, and understanding. Applying is a context approach strategy that develops a deeper sense of meaning [5,29].

In applying strategies, the tasks are designed to be interesting, different, and varied. The aim is to provide students with a wide variety of tasks to engage in and ensure that the tasks have some engaging, novel, interesting, or surprising, features.

In CTL contexts, applying is a contextual teaching and learning strategy that develops a deeper sense of meaning. Accordingly, students also develop their knowledge through their active participation in the teaching and learning process. Based on the data gained, the teacher's roles to facilitate learning process are: (1) making the knowledge meaningful and relevant to the students; (2) giving chance to the students to find and apply their own ideas; and (3) making students aware to apply their own strategy into learning process.

4. Cooperating. Students are not able to make significant progress in a class when they work individually. On the other hand, students working in small groups can handle that complex problem with little outside help [7,12]. Teachers using student-led groups to complete exercises or hands-on activities are using the strategy of cooperating. This strategy refers to learning in the context of sharing, responding, and communicating with other learners. Most students feel less self-conscious and can ask questions without feeling embarrassed, when they work with peers in a small group discussion [8, 23]. Another fact of cooperative learning is that it can be counterproductive. For example, some students may not participate in the group processes at all, while others may dominate and the group members may refuse to accept or share responsibility for the group's work.

Johnson, who is the leading researcher in cooperative learning, has established guidelines to help teachers avoid those negative conditions and create environments where students may be expected to learn concepts at a deeper level of understanding. The guidelines are divided into five points: structuring positive interdependence within students learning groups; having students interact while completing assignments and ensuring that the interactions are on-task; holding all students individually accountable for completing assignments and not letting them rely overly on the work of others; having students learn to use interpersonal and small group skills; and ensuring that learning groups discuss how well the group functions [1, 123].

5. Transferring. In traditional classroom, students' roles are to memorize the facts and practice the procedures by working skill drill exercises and word problems. In contrast, in a contextual or constructivist classroom, the teachers' role is expanded to include creating a variety of learning experiences with a focus on understanding rather than memorization [7, 15]. Transferring is a teaching strategy that we define as using knowledge in a new context or novel situation-one that has not been covered in class. It suggests that students who learn with understanding can also learn to transfer knowledge [8, 29].

Figure 2. Strategies of context approach

Jonson delivers six strategies of Context approach in teaching English language. They are problem based, using multiple contexts, drawing upon student diversity, supporting self-regulated learning, using interdependent learning groups, employing authentic assessment [1,65].

Problem-based. Context approach is started with a simulated or real problem. Critical thinking skills are used by the students to address the problem or issue. To solve these problems, students may also draw upon multiple content areas. Useful problems that are relevant to students? families, school experiences, workplaces, and communities hold greater personal meaning.

Like any other learning theories, problem based learning too has its advantages and limitations when it is implemented in the curriculum. Since this experiment began in medical education, strong opinions have been expressed and questions raised regarding the effectiveness and educational efficiency of problem based learning approach in teaching sciences basic to medicine. Following are the advantages and limitations of problem based learning.

In problem based learning the students are actively involved and they like this method [1,43] . It fosters active learning, and also retention and development of lifelong learning skills. It encourages self-directed learning by confronting students with problems and stimulates the development of deep learning [1, 44] .

Problem based learning gives emphasis to lifelong learning by developing in students the potential to determine their own goals, locate appropriate resources for learning and assume responsibility for what they need to know [4, 5] . It also greatly helps them better long term knowledge retention [4, 16] .

Problem based learning focuses on engaging students in finding solutions to real life situations and pertinent contextualized problems. In this method discussion forums collaborative research take the place of lecturing.

PBL fosters deep learning by involving students with the interaction of learning materials. They relate the concept they study with everyday activities and enhance their knowledge and understanding. Students also activate their prior knowledge and build on existing conceptual knowledge frameworks [3,57] .

Students themselves resolve the problems that are given to them; they take more interest and responsibility for their learning. They themselves will look for resources like research articles, journals, web materials etc. for their purpose [3, 48] . Thus it equips them with more proficiency in seeking resources in comparison to the students of traditional learning methods.

By giving more significance to the meaning, applicability and relevance to the learning materials it leads to better understanding of the subjects learnt. When students are given more challenging and significant problems are given it makes them more proficient [3, 49] . The real life contexts and problems make their learning more profound, lasting and also enhance the transferability of skills and knowledge from the classroom to work. Since there is more scope for application of knowledge and skills the transferability is increased. It will be also very helpful to them not only to visualise what it will be like applying that knowledge and expertise on their field of work or profession.

Project based learning is more of teamwork and collaborative learning. The teams or groups resolve relevant problems in collaboration and hence it fosters student interaction, teamwork and reinforces interpersonal skills [52] like peer evaluation, working with group dynamic etc. [53] It also fosters in them the leadership qualities, learn to make decision by consensus and give constructive feed back to the team members etc. [54]

Researchers say that students like problem based learning classes rather than the traditional classes. The increase in the percentage of attendance of students and their attitude towards this approach itself makes it very clear that they are self-motivated. In fact it is more fascinating, stimulating and one of the good learning methods because it is more flexible and interesting to students. They enjoy this environment of learning for it is less threatening and they can learn independently. All these aspects make students more self-motivated and they pursue learning even after they leave the school or college.

Since the students are self-motivated, good teamwork, self-directed learning etc. the teachers who have worked in both traditional and project based learning formats prefer project based learning. They also feel that Problem based learning is more nurturing, significant curriculum and beneficial to the cognitive growth of the student.

The students in context approach classes have higher scores than the students in traditional courses because of their learning competencies, problem solving, self-assessment techniques, data gathering, behavioural science etc. It is because they are better at activating prior knowledge, and they learn in a context resembling their future context and elaborate more on the information presented which helps in better understanding and retention of knowledge.

Using multiple contexts. Theories of situated cognition suggest that knowledge cannot be separated from the physical and social context in which it develops. How and where a person acquires and creates knowledge is therefore very important. Context approach experiences are enriched when students learn skills in multiple contexts (i. e. school, community, workplace, family).

Drawing upon student diversity. On the whole, our student population is becoming more and more diverse, and with increased diversity comes differences in values, social mores, and perspectives. These differences can be the impetus for learning and can add complexity to the Context approach experience. Team collaboration and group learning activities respect students' diverse histories, broaden perspectives, and build inter-personal skills.

Supporting self-regulated learning. Ultimately, students must become lifelong learners. Lifelong learners are able to seek out, analyze, and use information with little to no supervision. To do so, students must become more aware of how they process information, employ problem - solving strategies, and use background knowledge. Context approach experiences should allow for trial and error; provide time and structure for reflection; and provide adequate support to assist students to move from dependent to independent learning.

Using interdependent learning groups. Students will be influenced by and will contribute to the knowledge and beliefs of others. Learning groups, or learning communities, are established in workplaces and schools in an effort to share knowledge, focus on goals, and allow all to teach and learn from each other. When learning communities are established in schools, educators act as coaches, facilitators, and mentors.

David Johnson, Roger Johnson, and Karl Smith performed a meta-analysis of 168 studies comparing cooperative learning to competitive learning and individualistic learning in college students [1,75]. They found that cooperative learning produced greater academic achievement than both competitive learning and individualistic learning across the studies, exhibiting a mean weighted effect size of 0.54 when comparing cooperation and competition and 0.51 when comparing cooperation and individualistic learning. In essence, these results indicate that cooperative learning increases student academic performance by approximately one-half of a standard deviation when compared to non-cooperative learning models, an effect that is considered moderate. Importantly, the academic achievement measures were defined in each study, and ranged from lower-level cognitive tasks (e. g., knowledge acquisition and retention) to higher level cognitive activity (e. g., creative problem solving), and from verbal tasks to mathematical tasks to procedural tasks. The meta-analysis also showed substantial effects on other metrics, including self-esteem and positive attitudes about learning. George Kuh and colleagues also conclude that cooperative group learning promotes student engagement and academic performance.

Employing authentic assessment. Context approach is intended to build knowledge and skills in meaningful ways by engaging students in real life, or "authentic" contexts. Assessment of learning should align with the methods and purposes of instruction. Authentic assessments show (among other things) that learning has occurred; are blended into the teaching/learning process; and provide students with opportunities and direction for improvement. Authentic assessment is used to monitor student progress and inform teaching practices.

Today, the teachers use many of these strategies in classrooms. In order to conduct the strategies effectively, all strategies must be present in the teaching/ learning experience. Implementation of Context approach may not require drastic changes in practice for all educators. It may require enhancement of practice in one characteristic and not another. Continual use and reflection on Context approach processes broadens and deepens educators? knowledge and ability to facilitate learning.

Context approach as one of approaches for teaching and learning has scientific principles. According to Johnson [1, 26] there are 3 principles of it. They are principles of interdependence, the principles of differentiation, and the principles of self-regulation.

Principles of Interdependence. Human being could not establish intimacy with one another [1, 28]. It means that although the approach consists of authentic learning activity that is conducted group, there is no one can intimidate the other's to follow the certain students. It is a sharing and discussing section when it is conducting in group, so the principle stresses that all of the learners have the interdependence.

In Context approach the principle of interdependence invites educators to recognize their linkages with other educators, with students, with communities and with the environment. The principle of interdependence invite students to work together, mutual expression, listening to each other to find the problem, designing the plan, and seek solutions to problems. The principle is to unite the experiences of each individual to achieve high academic standards.

Interdependence occurs when no one can be successful without the contributions of others; help is necessary. It is not hard to structure for interdependence. In the example of the team graphic organizer the teacher might assign each student a different part of the task (generating the items, generating the frame, drawing the organizer, reporting on the learning). For the team to do well, each student must do his/her part well.

Learning situations differ in the type of interdependence they create. How much and what type of interdependence there is depends on how we structure the learning task. Let's examine Timed Pair Share as an example. In Timed Pair Share, students are in pairs and each student in turn shares with her partner for a specified amount of time while the other just listens. The structure is designed primarily to allow each student to verbalize her/his thoughts (to exercise and develop Brocca's area of the brain, encoding thoughts into words). In Timed Pair Share there is a positive correlation among outcomes: A good idea from one helps the other learn or think. Students find themselves on the same side, hoping their partner has interesting or useful ideas. There is also interdependence for task completion (the students need each other to get through the steps of the structure). There is not, however, interdependence for developing one's thinking. Students can actually complete a Timed Pair Share without listening to each other at all! We might hope that students are listening to each other and developing their ideas based on their partner's ideas, but we have not structured their interaction to ensure that will happen.

Table 3. Examples of correlation




Grade on a Curve

Negative Correlation

Hoping others do poorly

Call on one student

Negative Correlation

Hoping the called on student misses

Take turns writing answers

Positive Correlation

Hoping partner knows answers

Teams make graphic organizers

Positive Correlation

Hoping teammates are creative

There are a variety of ways to create interdependence. Match Mine creates very strong interdependence by limiting what each student can see, and by creating interdependent roles. Partners have identical game pieces and are seated on opposite sides of a barrier. One partner (The Sender) arranges her game pieces in a specific arrangement on a game board and must communicate the layout to her partner (The Receiver) in order to make a match. The students are completely interdependent; neither can have success without the contributions of the other. To succeed students must cooperate and communicate well.

The ways to create interdependence include:

· Turn taking;

· Assigning different necessary roles to each student;

· Assigning different access to materials to each student (Pair Projects in which one has the scissors and another the glue);

· Providing different essential information to each student (Jigsaw Problem Solving);

· Limiting the time so that no one person can complete the task alone (Brainstorming);

· Increasing the task difficulty so no one person can complete the task alone (Team Project requiring coordination of efforts);

· Designing tasks with cumulative contributions;

· Having students teach each other (Telephone, Partners, Jigsaw);

· Assigning "mini-topics" for a group investigation/presentation.

Principle of Differentiation. When the students are different in their creativity, they could be free to explore their individual talents, cultivate their own learning styles, and progress at their own pace [1, 31]. It means that contextual teaching and learning approach can be conducted to the students with different characters, talents, and ability. The importance of the principle is how the contextual teaching learning helps the students to explore their own talent and can have a big motivation to study based on their life context.

Differentiated instruction is a principle-guided method to approach teaching and learning, and it is implemented in the context of a classroom system that contains four interdependent elements: learning environment, curriculum, assessment, and instruction. In all classrooms, there is a learning environment that is shaped by a teacher's beliefs, experiences, and actions. There is a curriculum, shaped by a teacher's content knowledge, text materials, and local or federal mandates. There is some form of assessment, again shaped by both the teacher and forces external to the teacher. Finally, all classrooms benefit from instruction that individual teachers design (or follow established designs for) and implement. The way in which the teacher envisions and enacts each of these elements shapes each of the other elements. For example, an assessment that feels judgmental to students will negatively impact the learning environment. Likewise, a classroom in which curriculum is highly prescribed, with few or no options for a teacher to make professional decisions on behalf of students, limits that teacher's options for instruction.

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