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Observation Journal: English Class - Personal Statement Example

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"Observation Journal: English Class " paper discusses one’s experience while observing an ESOL student, Mark conversing with Leo, another ESOL student. Mark is a Chinese national while Leo is an Indian national. One would like to observe the use of BICS or CALP in their conversation…
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Observation Journal: English Class
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BICS stands for Basic Interpersonal Communication Skills which are the day-to-day language skills needed to interact socially with other people (Haynes, n.d.). On the other hand, CALP stands for Cognitive Academic Language Proficiency which “refers to formal academic learning” (Haynes, n.d.).

The first situation that was observed was the conversation they were having before English class starts. They were at the canteen to have breakfast.
Mark greets Leo, “Hi Leo! How you today?”
Leo responds by saying, “No good. No much sleep last night.”
Mark: “What’s matter Leo?”
Leo: “Have to do lot study for our class. I prepare for the hearing test.”
Mark: “I study also but little only.”
Leo: “No matter. Let’s eat breakfast. What you like?”
Mark: “Like bread with ham and hot tea.”
Leo: “Me no cold drink. Me like hotdog sandwich and the hottest coffee around to wake up me.”
Mark: “OK. Let’s eat faster cause soon class start. The teacher might mad if we come later.”

The conversation that one just described is a perfect example of BICS. The two ESOL students were speaking in English. Although there were many grammatical errors, they were able to understand each other. There were minimal pronunciation errors. They were quite familiar with the English vocabulary and they were able to express their thoughts well using the English language. Mark and Leo have already developed their basic interpersonal communication skills through one still notice a slight struggle in finding the right words.

The next incident one observed was the English class where Mark and Leo were both enrolled. The topic for the day was a movie review of “The Hunger Games”. The teacher asked the students their reaction to the movie.

Teacher: “Good morning class.”
Students: “ Good morning Ms. Holly.”
Teacher: “Last week, I required you to watch the movie “The Hunger Games”. Did you like the movie, Mark?”
Mark: “No, I do not like the movie because it is showing violet.”
Teacher: “Mark, what you mean is “violent”. Violet is a color. You should say, “I did not like the movie because I think that there is so much violence portrayed in the movie.” “Would you like to repeat that Mark?”
Mark apologizes to Ms. Holly and repeats the sentence Ms. Holly uttered.
Teacher: “How about you Leo? What can you say about the movie?”
Leo: “Me like the movie. It was suspending for me.”
Teacher: “Leo, do you mean you liked the movie because it was suspenseful?” Leo nods. “Oh, you should have said, “I liked the movie because I find it suspenseful.” Would you like to repeat that Leo?” Leo smiled and repeated Ms. Holly’s statement. Read More
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