Lab Report 3: SIOP Paper Progress

Mr. Danoff's Teaching Laboratory
Lab Report
: Three
Topic: SIOP Paper Progress
Date: 16 April 2011
Below is a slightly revised draft of a paper I wrote for a class at Indiana last summer, analyzing these 4 videos.
I am building off this work in a new paper I am writing for my current class. It will be interpreting those same videos with a SIOP (Sheltered Instruction Observation Protocol) lens, based mostly off this PDF (from Macomb Intermediate School District).
After this paper I’ll include an outline of my next paper. Please share your thoughts on either in the comments, e-mail,, twitter, facebook or LinkedIn.

Analyzing a Japanese TEFL Web Celebrity’s

Phonics Classes

Charles Jeffrey Danoff

This paper will analyze two classes on phonics done by a famous web personality within the Japanese TEFL community to learn what he does well and how he can improve, so that I and other teachers can learn from him.

Researcher’s Linguistic Identity

I have two year’s experience Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL) in Asian countries. First in Japan as an Assistant Language Teacher (ALT), helping a Japanese Teacher of English (JTE) with lesson-planning, activities, pronunciation and more. The ALT program is typical in Japanese public schools and is the situation of the teacher I will be researching for this paper. My second year I taught oral and aural English in China.

I have recently come to researching and writing seriously within the TEFL community. It came, because I have started taking classes on the subject as student at Indiana University. I have published one paper related to TEFL in Japan on a critical incident (Flanagan, 1954) I had with a JTE and different ways we could have worked together to solve the problem as part of a wikibook for one of my classes (Danoff, 2010a).

Classroom, School and Community Context

The two lessons I will analyze took place in a Junior High School in the greater Fujiyoshida city area of Yamanashi, Japan (P. Bickford, personal communication, September 1, 2010). The school has 242 students and they can be defined as “the average Japanese JHS class. Meaning, they have no previous knowledge of English.” according to the instructor, noting “However, the students are better behaved than most schools” (personal communication, September 1, 2010).

The two lessons were videotaped and published online to YouTube by the ALT. There are roughly thirty students in the classroom, and it has both an ALT and JTE. His name is Pat Bickford, and he is famous with the Japanese ALT community for creating the website Englipedia1, which has hundreds of resources for ALTs to use in their classrooms.

The instructor describes his teaching style as,

one where I have the students teach me the point of the lesson. For example, if I was teaching a phonics lesson on the “Magic E”, I would start the lesson by showing the students a ‘Magic E’ word and then ask them why they think the phonics lesson’s name is called ‘Magic E’. (personal communication, September 1, 2010)

The two lessons are on phonics start and finish sounds , 2009b, 2009c, & 2009d). I will make references to the point in the video time, with Start Sounds Part 1 (Bickford, 2009a) being SS1, Part 2 SS2 (2009b), Finish Sounds Part 1 FS1 (2009c) and Part 2 FS2 (2009d), as well as web documents (2009e & 2009f) he published explaining what is going on in the videos.

I will analyze Pat and the students in the context of Sinclair and Coulthard’s (1975) Initiation-Response-Feedback pattern, where they “propose that it is the quintessential teaching exchange: (teacher’s) initiation, (student’s) response and (teacher’s) feedback” (as cited in Hillman, 1997, Recitation section, para. 4). This exchange method is essentially what the instructor has stated as his style2:

I frequently go back and review what I’m teaching, for example:

Teach Point A.

Teach Point B.

Review Point A&B.

Teach Point C.

Review Point A,B,C.

Etc. (personal communication, September 1, 2010)

The students have a high affective filter (Krashen, 2004) as they afraid to make mistakes in front of their teachers and peers. That said, once one student demonstrates they can complete the task, many other students are willing to try.

Start Sounds Lesson

The first lesson on the start sound letters of “B, C, D, J, K, P, T, V, Z” breaks down into a series of micro IRF cycles surrounding the phonetic pronunciation of each letter within a macro IRF pattern on the pronunciation of all the letters and distinguishing which are voiceless. The first micro initiation comes as the teacher introduces the concept of phonetics “To start off the lesson, I write a simple English word on the chalkboard and have the students read it. Then, I launch into a “looks like/sounds like” dialog” (Bickford, 2009e).

He uses the word “bad” as the example and then to further explain the concept, he writes a Japanese character on the board which looks different than it sounds, the same as “b” looks different than it sounds (SS1, 1:00). The students give their response by non-verbally acknowledging their understanding and he feeds-back that they are correct by moving on to the next topic. I think this is an example of a high quality interaction, because the phonetic pronunciation of a word is a difficult topic to explain, and he does a wonderful job ensuring they understand with his Japanese language example.

The next micro IRF cycle begins as he initiates a focus on the pronunciation of individual letters. The students have quietly been listening attentively, but when he asks for a volunteer, he gets no one, so he calls on one whose name initially he mispronounces. The mispronunciation is funny for his students (SS1 2:14). Bickford (2009e) brings up the volunteer to:

demonstrate this part of the lesson because it keeps the class engaged and because they always get a kick out of this section of the lesson for some reason. I have the volunteer student hold both their hands in a vertical position at shoulder-length distance apart. … The area in between the student’s hands represent a horizontal timeline from start to finish of saying an alphabet letter. By using my hand and sliding it along the imaginary timeline, I show the letter B being spoken at regular speed. I do this a couple times and finally isolate the B-sound in the timeline and show the students exactly where the sound of B is located. I repeat the exact same process for the letter C.

As he goes through this initiation and modeling the students respond positively, by repeating what he is saying and he checks to make sure they are understanding by asking them in Japanese and they say they do (SS1 3:33). Again he gives his feedback by moving on to the next micro cycle about voiceless sounds and then repeating similar cycles for other letters. After getting through all of them, he begins the macro cycle response portion by asking for an individual volunteer to come up and choose one of the voiceless letters (SS2 0:15). All three students who come to the front respond to everything they have learned by making the correct choices, which he confirms by encouraging them.

To finish the other part of the macro cycle about the pronunciation with a flourish, Bickford races “through each of the sounds quickly and then slow the process down and race through the sounds together with the students. However, as fate turned out, my show-off time was a complete flop with constant mistakes.” (2009e) He did not get any feedback from them at the end at all. It was beyond them to use the skills they learned during his lesson that quickly. He does not push nor criticize them, but confirms they were wrong, and lets them leave for the day (SS2 2:29).

Finish Sounds Lesson

The finish sounds lesson is a little different from the start sounds lesson, as the video published online is of the second time he covers finish sounds. Bickford is not introducing new material, he is reviewing two old lessons and drawing connections between them. He begins with micro IRF cycles similar to the first lesson with him initiating the pronunciation, the class responding through imitation and him feeding back positively by moving on.

He then asks for volunteers in two ways that make the class a little more fun (FS1 1:24), by asking for a “Challangah!” which sounds like something that might come from a Japanese video game. He gets a few hands raised and asks the student to choose one of the voiceless letters, which he does correctly and Bickford gives him positive feedback with “Thank you.” in a sincere tone. As he looks for the next student he tosses out the chalk to them (FS1, 1:52) which is again, an excellent way again to make the lesson a little more fun.

The key part of the lesson for this analysis comes with a volunteer who makes a mistake (FS1, 6:55). Bickford feeds-back indirectly the boy is wrong, which leads to the student’s peers laughing at him. When he makes the same mistake again, he puts his head on his hands at the front of the room in embarrassment as they are all giggling.

Bickford tries (FS1 7:28) sincerely to help the student by directly placing the student’s hand on his own neck and pronouncing the letter, but this is still too much for the student who refuses to answer. Not wanting to leave him up there too long, Bickford has him sit back down without answering.

Later on in the lesson, (FS1 1:10) Bickford asks his most difficult question yet by having volunteers to match voiced or voiceless letters between start and finish sounds. The final volunteer is the boy who earlier was unable to answer the question, Bickford calls on him and allows him to redeem himself in front of his peers (FS1 2:30).

Suggestions for Improving Classroom Interaction

Overall I think Bickford does an incredible job, but I have two suggestions. First would be to use slightly less Japanese. I realize the students do have the high filter as I mentioned earlier, but things like asking “Do you understand?” or giving positive verbal feedback in Japanese may make the students feel comfortable, but they are not at all necessary. I believe the students can handle being pushed out of their comfort zone within this context far more, than he allows them to in these videos. Even if initially they resisted over time they would become more comfortable and it would help their English and their filter.

The second suggestion comes my own experience (Danoff 2010b) and Arnold and Fonseca (2007, p. 114) who suggest that learning student’s names can make them more empathetic to the teacher. In the first video the first time he asks for a volunteer he makes a mistake in the student’s name and then throughout the rest of both videos he does not once try again to say a student’s name when he finds a volunteer. Student’s names are the key to trust, they will make the lessons easier for both parties and make it less likely he will see zero hands raised when he asks for volunteers.


Arnold, J. & Fonseca, C. (2007). Affect in teacher talk. Language acquisition and development: Studies of learners of first and other languages. (pp. 107 – 121) New York: Continuum

Bickford, P. (2009). (Producer). Phonics StartSounds Lesson01 Part1of2. YouTube – Englipedia’s Channel. Retireved from

Bickford, P. (2009). (Producer). Phonics_StartSounds_Lesson01_Part2of2. YouTube – Englipedia’s Channel. Retireved from

Bickford, P. (2009). (Producer). Phonics_FinishSounds_Lesson02_Part1of2. YouTube – Englipedia’s Channel. Retireved from

Bickford, P. (2009). (Producer). Phonics_FinishSounds_Lesson02_Part2of2. YouTube – Englipedia’s Channel. Retireved from

Bickford, P. (2009, April 17). BubbleBoy phonics (2009): Start sounds (lesson 01). Retrieved from


Bickford, P. (2009, May 9). BubbleBoy phonics (2009): Finish sounds (lesson 02). Retrieved from


Danoff, C.J.. (2010). Let’s not get started with the he said she said: Effective ALT and JTE collaboration. In Teaching english in global contexts: A wikibook published by the students of L530 class (section 6). Retrieved from


Danoff, C. J. (2010). Finding new writers and nurturing old ones: A teacher-researching quest. Unpublished typescript.

Flanagan, 1954

Krashen, D. (2004). Applying the comprehension hypothesis: Some suggestions. International Journal of Language Teaching, 1, 21-29.

Hillman, D. C. A. (1997). Improved coding and data management for discourse analysis: A case study in face-to-face and computer-mediated classroom interaction. Doctoral dissertation, University of Cambridge, Cambridge.

Sinclair & Couthard.


This is the outline for the paper I’m currently working on. Words in italics are from the paper above. As a SIOP reminder, this outline is  for my current class. It will be interpreting the same videos with a SIOP lens, based mostly off this PDF (from Macomb Intermediate School District).

Please share your thoughts on either work in the comments, via e-mail,, twitter, facebook or LinkedIn.

Ideas for Organization of Paper:

  • BUllet point the SIOP stuff and explain how Pat fits in?

  • Do the SIOP stuff in paragraph form?

  • Narrate the lesson and comment on all the SIOP elements as they arise. Have it printed out next 2 me.


  1. Introduction

    1. The two lessons I will analyze …”

  2. Body

    1. Lesson Preparation pp. 2

      1. Demonstrations: Model step-by-step completion of tasks, or model language to use with presentations. This scaffolds and enhances learning

    2. Building Background pp. 3

      1. * Contextualizing Key Vocabulary (improve?)

    3. 3. Comprehensible Input pp. 4

      1. * Appropriate Speech: Use speech that is appropriate to students’ proficiency level slow down and enunciate where applicable

      2. * scaffolding

      3. ** pawan p. 1451 Vygotsky (1978) defines ‘‘scaffolding’’ as the social interaction between experts and novices during which the former engage in supportive behaviors and create supportive environments for novices to acquire skills and knowledge at a higher competency level. Nevertheless, the concept of ‘‘scaffolding’’ has evolved from learning support and assistance at the interpersonal level to one that includes the use of a multitude of tools, guides and resources (Brush & Saye, 2001).

    4. 4. Strategies

      1. Discussing and doing make abstract concepts concrete

          1. I have the volunteer student hold both their hands in a vertical position at shoulder-length distance apart

    5. 5. Interaction

      1. * Clarify Key Concepts in L1

        • he writes a Japanese character on the board

    1. 6. Practice and Application

      1. Students have a greater chance of mastering content concepts and skills when :

        • ? given multiple opportunities to practice

          1. repeating what he is saying

        • ? practice is in relevant, meaningful ways

        • ? practice includes “hands-on “ experiences

          1. I have the volunteer student hold both their hands in a vertical position at shoulder-length distance apart.

    2. 7. Lesson Delivery

      1. Content objectives must be clearly supported by lesson delivery:

        • ? Should be stated orally

        • ? Should be written on board for all to see— preferably in a designated space every time

          1. To start off the lesson, I write a simple English word on the chalkboard

    3. 8. Review and Assessment

      1. Review key concepts during and at the end of a lesson:

          1. This exchange method is essentially what the instructor has stated as his style

Lab Report 2 ~ Notebooks

Mr. Danoff's Teaching Laboratory
Lab Report
#: Two
Topic: Notebooks
Date: 09 April 2011

freehand-bookA few years ago I came across Edward Tufte’s notebooks. Recently as I’ve been spending a lot of time at his site I found them more and more useful. Tufte starts a notebook on a subject he is working on or merely curious about, and people contribute to the notebooks with relevant ideas and resources. They’re essentially just glorified forums, but done in a far more tasteful way than forums are usually and far easier to use for people stumbling onto them.

Drawing inspiration from him I started my first notebook today. Its on “Video Editing Software” and I catalog my efforts trying to find free video software and ask the internet to help. I don’t know how to make a form in html yet, so I just took one from Google docs, which works well enough for now.

Hopefully some folks will contribute and I’ll get some more ideas. The notebooks will also be useful for me as a reference for various things I’m studying. I’ve been keeping notes on different topics on Wikiversity (my accounting class, how to build an NBA dynasty) and perhaps down the line I’ll move those over to the Laboratory.

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image: Freehand Book by aungkarns. 2010. The Open Clipart Gallery.Creative Commons Zero.

Lab Report 1 ~ Exploring how to release something into the public domain

Mr. Danoff's Teaching Laboratory
Lab Report
#: One
Topic: Exploring how to release something into the public domain
Date: 01 April 2011

Cf. = an abbreviation for the Latin word confer (the imperative singular form of “conferre”), literally meaning “bring together”, is used to refer to other material or ideas which may provide similar or different information or arguments. via Wikipedia


“I am wondering what the policy is on developing public domain resources here. That is, if I created a resource (e.g. lesson plan) and as the creator dedicated it to the public domain, then brought it into Wikiversity. Afterwards, could it still be a public domain resource? Given images that are edited by the community can remain public domain, I don’t see why not. I did a rough draft of a license for this, built off one from another Wikimedia project where this goes on. –Charles Jeffrey Danoff 21:16, 21 February 2011 (UTC)”

sparked a long discussion in the Wikiversity colloquium.

Led me to this from the a U.S. Copyright Office – Regulations webpage.

§ 201.26   Recordation of documents pertaining to computer shareware and donation of public domain computer software.

(a) General. This section prescribes the procedures for submission of legal documents pertaining to computer shareware and the deposit of public domain computer software under section 805 of Public Law 101–650, 104 Stat. 5089 (1990). … (b) Definitions … (1) The term computer shareware is accorded its customary meaning within the software industry.  … (2) A document designated as pertaining to computer shareware means licenses or other legal documents governing the relationship between copyright owners of computer shareware and persons associated with the dissemination or other use of computer shareware.  … (3) Public domain computer software means software which has been publicly distributed with an explicit disclaimer of copyright protection by the copyright owner.

Examples I’ve seen of people putting their work out into the public domain include the Mediawiki Wiki Template:PD Help Page (Cf. Project:PD help). And a similar template on the Microformats Wiki (Cf. Category:public domain license: 1.1 Why Public Domain?).

micro-formats-wiki-public-domain-templateFigure 0.1
Microformats Wiki Template

Then there’s this from The United States Army | FAQ

I have a site on the Internet, and was wondering if I could post some of your pictures on my site?

Images, pictures, and other media depicting Army personnel carrying out their official duties may be used by non-Federal entities in communication venues which are solely informational in nature, such as newspapers, news magazines, or other media that focus on reporting social or industry news, and are not directly or indirectly associated with a marketing, advertising, or a self-promoting activity (including company annual reports).

Photographs and imagery on the Army’s website at, unless otherwise noted, are in the public domain. Attribution of the source is always appreciated by the military photographer.

Army imagery is provided without talent releases on any individual portrayed. Imagery is provided with the understanding that the Army has no authority to waive the privacy rights of any individual depicted in government media. And no exclusive rights to official records may be claimed by any organization or individual.

OVO‘s dedication is slightly different:

The person or persons who have associated their work with these documents (the “Dedicators”) hereby dedicate the entire copyright in the works of authorship identified below (the “Work”) to the public domain. Dedicators make this dedication for the benefit of the public at large and to the detriment of the Dedicators’ heirs and successors. Dedicators intend this dedication to be an overt act of relinquishment in perpetuity of all present and future rights under copyright law, whether vested or contingent, in the Work. Dedicators understand that such relinquishment of all rights includes the relinquishment of all rights to enforce (by lawsuit or otherwise) those copyrights in the Work. Dedicators recognize that, once placed in the public domain, the Work may be freely reproduced, distributed, transmitted, used, modified, built upon, or otherwise exploited by anyone for any purpose, commercial or non-commercial, and in any way, including by methods that have not yet been invented or conceived.

I’ve made some efforts of my own

wikiversity-public-domain-template-attemptFigure 0.2
Wikiversity User:Charles Jeffrey Danoff/PD Sandbox 6. Template Attempt
oercisian-article-public-domain-licensing-screenshotFigure 0.3
Finding Concerts for OERcisians: Independent Academics & Scratch (Money) Copyright Information

Although advice from the Duke Center for the Study of the Public Domain, which eventually led me to some reading from the Free Software Foundation by rms. After considering the idea of copyleft I did a draft of something that might be more appropriate:

metapad-screenshotFigure 0.4
Screenshot of Metapad on my computer.


Probably helpful also to read the Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works and/or Robert A. Baron’s Making the Public Domain Public.

Acknowledgment: I’d like to thank Rebecca Blood’sThe Weblog Handbook” for inspiring me to explore new ways to use my weblog with this post.

Amplifications & Corrections

  1. I re-did the link to the USA Army FAQ, it was broken. 01 April 2011
  2. The Oxford English Dictionary’s second definition of public domain is “The state or condition of belonging or being generally available to all, esp. through not being subject to copyright. Chiefly in in the public domain.” [sic] Their second example of usage is “1938 Lowell (Mass.) Sun 20 Apr. 20/1 First published in 1904, ‘Pinocchio’ is in the public domain for America.” 07 April 2011.
  3. I sent this post to the Public Domain discuss list. A kind reader sent me an e-mail suggesting “I think that the metapad screenshot should say ‘It has been given <license list> licenses.’, not ‘It has been give a <license list>’.” I agree. 10 April 2011.
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