IF I WAS vs IF I WERE - English Grammar - Teaching Tips


This video covers the difference between 'If I were' and 'If I was' as their usage is often confused. 'If I was' is used for things that could have happened in the past or now, for example: If I was rude, I apologize. 'If I were', however, is used when we speak about imaginary situations or things that are contrary to fact, such as here: If I were a dog, I would sleep all day.

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A teacher must use eye contact, gestures and their voice in the classroom. These will develop a positive relationship between the teacher and the student. Eye contact can be used for multiple reasons in the classroom. You can use it to address the students indicating that they are all involved in the activity or instruction. It encourages student?s contributions and to be sure that everyone is participating. Also, it maintains discipline and can keep the attention of the students when they are not being addressed. Remembering in group activities direct eye contact should be avoided. Gestures are useful to manage the class, for visuals (mimes), reduces verbal explanation (lessons TTT) and adds interest. Your voice should have clarity and the proper tone for what is being instructed at the time. Example, if it is a large noisy class, one on one training, or the level and ability of the students. Note: the teachers voice and volume usually leads the class and the students will usually follow suit. When acknowledging a student by their name be sure to use it at the end of a question. A student?s name can be used to organize an activity, acknowledgement, indication to who is to answer, or to get their attention. There are pros and cons to grouping students into whole class groups, working on their own, pair work or group work. Whole class groups - allow student to interact with others, suitable for the teacher to be in control and have the whole class attention, it lessons STT (student talk time), can be difficult for shy students who do not want to participate in front of the whole class. Individual work ? allows teachers to assist with individual differences in levels and abilities, the student doesn?t depend on others. Working in pairs increases STT, more one on one with the teacher, the students feel comfortable sharing their ideas before presenting in front of the class, stronger students can support the weaker students, sometimes the student may end up working with a partner they are not fond of, can be noisy and the teacher must monitor that their L1 language is not being used. Group work ? is like pair work. It increases STT and interaction, noisy, some students may take the lead and passive students don?t get equal opportunity to participate, personal conflicts are less likely to arise. Classroom arrangement is key to space, types of equipment such as chairs and tables, Age, Nationality and personalities. It can be a positive thing for a weak student to be with a stronger student. For groups, you want to be sure to mix it up with different people and personalities. For each lesson or activity, the teacher should evaluate a few of the questions and considerations when it comes to grouping. How are the teacher/relationships, what will the affect of classroom be, arrangements for the teacher to have control and dominate? There are three types of seating: 1. Rows which is traditional. The teacher has a clear view of all students and easy for lecturing and eye contact to all the students. The teacher can move freely around the room and effective for whole class activities. 2. Circles and horseshoes ? used in smaller classes and the teacher?s position is less dominating. This allows students to interact with other classmates and makes pair work easier. 3. Separate tables are used for small group settings which are informal. The teacher can move freely between the tables. The teachers position in the classroom is important as to whether you are sitting or standing depending on what kind of activity it is, what the role is and what the students are expected to do. Standing gives the opportunity for you to control the class and for students to be able to see you. Sitting gives the vibe of a relaxing class. The teacher should stand during language presentations and giving instructions. The sitting or more relaxing should be during reading activities, activation stage, controlled practice or checking work in progress. While writing on the board limit the time with your back to the class. You can you use techniques such as an overhead projector, notes wrote during activities or beforehand and covered up, flash cards, or engage the students. Individual attention is important in the class but be sure to know when it?s too much. Making sure you know all the names in the class, spend extra time with students who are having difficulties but making sure that you manage your time and even it out amongst the others as well. The teacher talk time (TTT) student talk time (STT) can vary depending on the lesson or activity. Effective instructions are by using simple language, consistency, visual clues, and checking the instructions. Once you have the student?s full attention use lower levels of the language and use the same words over for instructions. Once again use mimes, gestures, cue cards and short instructions and possibly using a demonstration. Also, ask questions and be sure to add their name to the end of the question. Such as ?Do you understand, Katie?? Making sure there is a positive relationship between the teacher and the student is key. Students will want to learn more and want to be involved. The teacher should be aware of which students get along with each other and that they know each others names. Materials that involve individual, pair work or group activities can increase STT. The teacher must give clear instructions, be positive and must love their job. Discipline in the class can come about for all sorts of reasons. Such as, personal life matters, class size, age, nationality, motivation, boredom, etc. Some resources to diffuse some behavior problems are being punctual, prepared, consistent and fair, never losing your temper or yelling, respecting everyone equally, making classroom activities interesting and fun and most of all if you love your job! Responding to such problems make sure you take control so it?s not ongoing, talk to a co-worker, relocate students, keep calm and keep to the school?s disciplinary code.

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