Productive and Receptive Skills in the ESL Classroom - Writing Skills - Engage Phase

 

So let's have a look now what might take place in a typical writing lesson and, again, we're going to use the format of a straight arrow ESA lesson. Our first stage is to the go to the engage stage and, if we think back to what we said before, what we need to do is try to generate interest. So, an example here could be we show a picture first of all taken from a newspaper or magazine and then we can ask the students some questions. From looking at the picture we can ask them if they can tell us what is actually happening now as shown by the picture. Then, we can generate a bit more interest by asking them to give us ideas about what they thought was happening before this picture took place and what happened after. So, here we're just trying to build up the idea of a sequence of events taking place. They can see the picture and that's the middle event but they've also got a picture in their mind now of what happened before or could have happened before, what happened in the picture and then what happened afterwards. So ,what we can then do is to move on to our study phase.


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.

I found the order of the last several questions to be a bit difficult. I hope I got them right! Hardly any of us chose TEFL for the salaries offered. I've been in T've been in TEFL all these years based upon my interest in linguistics and because I am a language student myself (Japanese and Mandarin). My study of Japanese 'paid off' in certain ways (but not like I thought), while my study of Mandarin will hopefully land me in the field I want to be in- translation and editing of papers related to green technology. I have a point to make here- it's fine that salaries are very low for university teaching in China (just over 1000 USD per month including accommodation), and it is true that classroom hours are low. But my time is also prioritized to the study of Chinese and that is no mean feat. As instructors we must keep in mind that we do not get paid for any of our prep work, and you can only copy and cut papers for so many years before it becomes a quiet tedious task. It is particularly burdensome when you have classes of up to 40 students, and are usually assigned texts that are written by non-native speaking Chinese professors and researchers, replete with material that is simply unusable to any normal native speaking teacher, experienced or not. Then there is the reality that we are sometimes observed by our colleagues who judge us by Chinese pedagogical standards and perhaps ask why we do not use the text more. In my environment, it makes implementation of a lot of the material presented here almost impossible; I have to retreat to texts and pdf's that I judge appropriate, use computers and overhead projectors, and rely on a lot of choral practice. Pair work usually works with good cooperation, but role plays? Forget it! Creative methods are a sure fire ticket to chaos in my classes. Presentation can be accomplished- however it is extremely limited. Sometimes I 'rush the crowd' so to speak and get everyone in the room to answer one question. To get everyone in the class to ask one question would be much harder, but possible. Finally, although technically I can choose the text there is always some reason why the school cannot purchase it, and making copies for several hundred students is a nightmare. Although I don't think such difficult circumstances such as mine need elucidation, I think this unit should at least mention the facts that teachers are not financially motivated to create their own lessons on the one hand, and that teachers with very large classes have a whole set of constraints on them on the other. Despite that, there are other solutions to these problems (there's always a way), and I think my students and I have done well considering the less than ideal circumstances.


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