Cognitive Approach and Motivation essay

Language education is an integral part of knowledge of a cognitive and creative personality that has a high level of communicative competence. It helps to accept and transfer miscellaneous information. Nowadays, much attention is paid to the enhancement of students’ metacognitive activity. The essay will highlight avenues and precursors for the improvement of students’ cognitive and metacognitive awareness during the learning process.

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Part 1. Learners are Cognitive

Information Processing Model includes some main components: sensory memory, short-term memory, and long-term memory. Sensory input catalyses sensory memory, attention and pattern recognition deal with the short-term memory, while all the processes end with the long-term memory, encoding, and retrieval. Thus, efficient teaching should include linear steps to help students acquire thorough knowledge. My sequence of instruction will be based on the principles such as J. Bruner’s three stages approach, information processing model, and practical training orientation.

The same system of instructions can be used at each lesson of English as a foreign language. A teacher can change theme, content, and aids. However, the sequence should remain the same. It will give an opportunity to educate learners on how to create a structural approach to the information provided. Moreover, it enables students to learn extra material by themselves. The system of instruction is elaborated for one lesson.

Step 1. Presentation of the theme.

The main points to follow are:

  1. Teacher presents the theme to the class orally. It activates sensory and sort-term memory.
  2.  It is necessary to use visual aids such as a board, a poster, a picture, and a motion video. It activates sensory and sort-term memory.
  3. Teacher can ask a student to repeat the topic.
  4. Teacher shows some pictures/questions/diagrams connected to the theme.
  5. Teacher asks questions connected with the theme so that learners get involved in the discussion.
  6. Students answer /discuss the theme on the basis of the previously acquired knowledge. It helps them to be active and teaches to express their personal opinion. It also gives hints what other people think about the issue. All types of memory are used.

Step 2. Introduction of new vocabulary.

  1. New words are shown with the help of visual aids. Teacher can write them on the board to draw attention to them.
  2. Learners have to repeat the words after the teacher or a record.
  3. Vocabulary exercises implementation. The sequence should be: word – expression – short sentence exercise.
  4. Now, it is necessary to answer simple questions that contain new words (explicit, declarative, and episodic memory will be used).
  5. Learners can make mini-dialogues to remember previous questions. They can use their experience and knowledge of facts and events (which is long-memory use).
  6. Creative exercises or games with new vocabulary.

Step 3. Reading.

  1. Students are given a text. Its topic has to be connected with the theme and contain the new vocabulary. Nevertheless, it should not be difficult for reading and comprehension.
  2. Learners can read it individually or one by one. An important moment is oral reproduction. This step involves a sequence of memory types. It uses cognitive approach as students have to understand the sequence of ideas.
  3. True/False exercises help to look over the text one more time and better memorize the content.
  4. Question exercises help to accomplish the task of the communicative approach. They teach to speak orally.
  5. It is very important to give learners a possibility to express their opinion about information in the text. It can be fulfilled through independent answers or dialogues (Bruning, Schraw, & Ronning, 2010).

Step 4. Grammar.

  1. Teacher briefly repeats the previous material. This is a must for consolidation of knowledge in long-term memory.
  2. The next step is to explain the new material. Different aids can be used (scheme, map, or video).
  3. It is important to have clear examples that would be easy for translation.
  4. It is necessary to complete exercises with sentences of the same type with the same grammar construction. This helps students remember the new grammatical structure.
  5. Then, students can create their own sentences and present them to the class since the main goal is to teach to speak and use grammatical structures actively.

Step 5. Team Work.

  1. Learners are involved in the project that is practically or professionally oriented. They are given a problem and time to find a solution.
  2. It is important to give some hints or helpful ideas.
  3. Teacher should explain the structure of the final answer.
  4. Teacher has to explain the method of how to present the results.
  5. Learners make a plan and present their solution.

Implementation of such sequence of tasks gives right information processing and corresponds with the scheme: sensory memory – short-term memory – long-term memory. It is necessary to underline that such sequence of information provides realization of Jerome Bruner’s cognitive approach. It also creates a favourable environment for the development of communication skills. I have designed the scheme on the basis of research on the cognitive-communicative approach to teaching. History of emergence and basic ideas of this approach can explain the sequence of information and tasks.

First, the beginning of directional communication school in language education can be considered as the most significant achievement of linguistics of the last decades of the 20th century. Nowadays, with account for the process of working with information, it involves advances of communicative, textual, and cognitive pragmatic linguistics. Therefore, in the process of language education special attention should be paid to the cognitive-communicative language teaching method due to primarily social needs. Without a proper development of effective communication skills, a person cannot function fully in the human society. Moreover, language is not only a means of communication, formation, registration, and existence of thought, but also the main tool of socialization and education. It is also a means of recess in culture, identity comprehension, and attitude to various aspects of life. Thus, for quite a long time scientists throughout the world have been involved in theoretical and practical experiments to solve problems that arise in relation to the cognitive-communicative methods of teaching foreign languages. Modern teaching methods are related to mental characteristics of students and their cognitive advantages.

Second, the teacher’s task is to develop an adequate understanding of the studied language system. Nevertheless, the main purpose of education is the student's ability to communicate in the real society. Linguists also believe that this technique should include learning the rules of phonetics, grammar, and word usage. Students must learn to consciously design statements. The main purpose of the teacher is to provide logical and clear tasks to be accomplished. The learning process should be consistent and help get thorough knowledge. The cognitive approach develops comprehensive skills and helps to use a synergistic approach to solving problems.

Moreover, the cognitive-communicative method is used to implement professionally oriented education that takes into account modern trends in the society. It is applicable to the idea of conscious perception of information and practical professional orientation. The communicative component during classes emphasizes the organization of knowledge and skills and allows students to form a number of competences. There are linguistic, socio-cultural, and civic competences. Third, the founder of the cognitive learning theory is an American psychologist named Jerome Bruner. J. Bruner was an experienced psychologist. He influenced the curriculum reform projects in the 1960s in the USA. The scholar believed that students should actively participate in the learning process. He emphasized that a teacher had to educate how to structure and restructure knowledge. The psychologist considered passive and mechanical study to be ineffective. Bruner believed that each person perceived not all, but certain aspects of the environment. These aspects form the individual’s inner world. Then, a person acts according to these internal beliefs. Everyone has their own inclinations and gradually develops three modes of presentation (iconic, symbolic, and enactive). To gain success, the teacher has to use the mode of instruction that correlates with and catalyses the learner’s mode of information interpretation and presentation. The scientist stressed that learned material should be repeated to better use it. Thus, the learning process has to be highly individual.

The scientist has developed three levels of learning for any subject. The first stage  is getting new information; the second stage involves consolidation and expansion of acquired knowledge and their application in solving new problems. The third stage is to test the adequacy of skills and the ability to use the generated knowledge.

Fourth, the sequence of tasks is extremely important. It gives a possibility to perform linear steps, understand and record important information or changes, and comprehend the ability of various things or situations that change over time. While studying, people have to understand the sequence of actions. For example, comprehension and connection depend on the reader's ability to evaluate how much events are interconnected. The sequence of events helps to evaluate the content of the text. Activities’ sequence gives sense of what is explained and obviously helps to recall information later. However, most learners remember better some bright parts of explanation or interesting moments.

Part 2. Learners are Metacognitive

Metacognitive processes (metacognition, metacognition goal, metacognitive experience, and metacognitive abilities) define knowledge of the subject of the cognitive system and the ability to manage it. The basic idea of the concept of metacognition was introduced by John H. Flavell in 1976. He described it as a collection of human knowledge about the main features of the cognitive sphere and how to control it. J. Flavell identified four components of metaknowledge: metacognitive knowledge, metacognitive experience, goals, and strategies. Moreover, Brown defines metacognition as personal knowledge. She has divided knowledge into two broad categories: a set of activities that include conscious reflection on actions and cognitive abilities; regulation of cognition that is a set of activities that require self-regulation mechanisms for learning or problem solving. Brown also points out that metacognitive processes are necessary to regulate and control the learning process. They consist of a number of processes: planning activities (formation plan, prediction results, and analysis of possible errors); process of control and validation of cognitive activity. Metacognitive strategies help to monitor cognitive activities and check the results.

My teaching actions can help learners to elaborate the structural approach to learning. They will be able to choose important and necessary information. They will be able to understand the mechanisms of information storage. It will increase their motivation to learn. Students will learn to control their own activities and make sustained and thought-out efforts. This knowledge helps to choose right steps in all spheres of life and to be sociable.

The activities involve the elements of a metacognitive analysis which is helpful for the person while solving many-sided and complicated issues. It gives profound understanding of the interdependence of various spheres of life. Thus, it helps to easily comprehend and analyse various problems to find efficient solutions. Moreover, the knowledge about metacognition helps a person to control personal process of education better. Apart from academic learning, students gain the ability to understand their mental states. The exercises teach to be tolerant to other people and their point of view. Therefore, learners are to be taught how to form goals, strategies, and control their results.

To conclude, cognitive and metacognitive processes have a huge impact on the formation of human knowledge. Understanding of cognitive processes can help to generate profound knowledge. It encourages students to be successful and realize individual traits to use them for their own growth. Teachers need to understand these processes and be able to use the correct sequence of information presentation. It will help to achieve significant and positive educational goals.


Cognitive Approach and Motivation essay

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