Lesson Planning - Part 8 - Process For Study Activities

 

Just to finish off this particular section on lesson planning, we're going to go through a couple of procedures that should take place during the study phase periods, particularly when we're doing the activities. It is quite important that before we actually go into a study activity that we go through a process of showing how that activity is going to work and one acronym that is often used for this is D-E-GO. The D part of this stands for a demonstration of the activity. Now, it's very important that you don't try to explain how the activity is going to work but rather you actually demonstrate the process. An example of the demonstration of the process of the activity could be something as simple as taking the first question and using it and writing it on the board. This will show the students what it is that they're actually going to do. Having demonstrated the process of the activity, you need to make sure that the students can answer that question and so we elicit a correct answer for that particular question. Having done that, we can then give out the material. If we've gone through this D-E-GO process correctly, there shouldn't be any reason for the teacher to actually say anything else whilst the activity is taking place. The students should be working through the activity talking to each other and that then frees the teacher up to actually do some other things. Whilst the activity is taking place, you as the teacher can actually monitor what is going on. Well, what do we actually do whilst this monitoring is taking place. You can actually go around the class. Whilst you're doing this, however, it's very important that you don't stop the students from working. So, monitor from a distance so that you're not actually interrupting anyone and some of the things that you can be noting down whilst you're monitoring is their progress. It's useful to monitor their progress because once the activity has been stopped you're then going to feedback their answers and it's important that you know who has done what. You don't want to be asking a particular group for their answers to question seven if they haven't completed it. So, check to see what their progress is ready for when you get to the feedback. As you go around you should be able to pick up on some common errors either in what is being said or in what is being written down and again leave that until the feedback stage in order to be able to cover it. So, you need to monitor the students. Before you get to the process of feedback, it's very important that you actually close the activity to make sure that nobody is still working whilst these answers are being given back. So, settle everyone down, make sure that they're all paying attention and you can then start to feedback the answers. As you feedback, hopefully, most of our answers, or all of our answers, will be correct but we are going to get some errors and mistakes. If those errors and mistakes take place, then they need to be corrected.


Below you can read feedback from an ITTT graduate regarding one section of their online TEFL certification course. Each of our online courses is broken down into concise units that focus on specific areas of English language teaching. This convenient, highly structured design means that you can quickly get to grips with each section before moving onto the next.

This unit was about a few of the 'problems' teachers will most likely face when they begin their teaching experience. The first lesson is always a conundrum, but experienced teachers have leaned toward fun, interactive introductions rather than a lesson planned around the course book straight off the bat. Teaching students that are also new to the class can be challenging, as very few or none of the students know each other, so rapport and relationships have to be but between students and their peers as well as the teacher. Teaching a first lesson to a group that is already familiar with each other can be slightly less challenging in some areas, for example the students are most likely already familiar with the EFL teaching style, as well as the fact that the students are comfortable with each other. In those situations, though, the teacher may have to try a little harder to establish rapport with the class. Warmers are very effective in the classroom, and are able to stimulate students who may be tired, bored, or otherwise drained previous to coming to the class. They should be fun, simple, and inclusive, and can introduce or revise vocabulary as a bonus. When teaching students who are at different language levels, a teacher should be careful not to neglect neither the weaker nor stronger students. Different materials can be given out to students, the same material can be given out with longer or more challenging tasks given to the stronger students, etc. It may be a good idea to pair stronger students with weaker students, so that the stronger students can help the weaker ones and keep everyone on roughly the same pace.Large classes can also be a difficult obstacle. Using worksheets can give each student the benefit of participating; none of the students have to fight for attention or for their opinion to be heard. Speaking clearly and concisely will not only help all students in the classroom to be able to hear the teacher, the students will be able to understand the task given to them, and in a monolingual class, won't need to resort to speaking their native language to ask their peers for help. Appointing group leaders can also help the flow and pace of a large class, and lift some of the burden off the teacher, especially in an extremely large class. Using the native language of the students can be a problem for both students and teachers. If the teacher uses the students' native language, the students can see that as their cue to speak their own language rather than English (most likely because it is easier, and the teacher will respond). Teachers, if they know the language, should make sure they don't react or respond when students speak it, to encourage them to try to use the English they know and are learning to express themselves. To make it easier on students, teachers can make sure the activities they use are at appropriate language levels for the class. Students who are reluctant to learn or speak up should be treated with encouragement and not pressured to speak or participate orally when they don't feel comfortable. They can sometimes be made more comfortable by putting the students in pairs, so reluctant students aren't required to speak in front of the whole group. Controlled practice also ensures they can produce and practice the language in a controlled environment before they are expected to produce it fluently. Some students also enjoy pretending to be someone else in role-play situations. Listening texts can cause a bit of trouble sometimes, as it can be difficult for a lot of students to decipher them. Sometimes, it is a mechanical error, such as the volume being too low, the tape skipping or not working properly, etc. No matter the trouble, a teacher should not give up.


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