Lightening vs Lightning vs Lighting - English Grammar - Teaching Tips
The three words lightening, lightning and lighting are easily confused by English learners and even native speakers. Let's take a look at the differences. Lightening is the present participle of the verb to lighten describing the action of making something less heavy. A good example would be "I was lightening the load on my horse because it was exhausted." Lightning refers to a streak of static electricity through the sky usually accompanied by thunder, as here "I was struck by lightning while playing golf in a storm." Lighting is the arrangement of light especially in photography. A suitable example for this would be "The photo was dull because the lighting wasn't good enough".
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.
Most common methods/techniques:
Grammar ?Translation: The backbone of language teaching/learning for many years. Basic principle of this structure is finding equivalents in native language/foreign language being taught i.e. translation. It requires teachers to be capable of speaking learner?s native tongue.
Audio-Lingualism: Teaching/learning centred on behaviourist theories of learning i.e. Learning is a result of habit formation through conditioning i.e. concentrating on repetition drills.
Presentation, Practice, Production (PPP): Context is presented first as well as explaining/demonstrating meaning and form. Learners practice making sentences in controlled way and then be more creative with language. PPP - effective teaching lower levels but less effective higher level because students already know a lot. Beware of lessons being too ?teacher centred?.
Task-Based Learning: Emphasis is more on a given task than the language i.e. Students receive a task using English language after which teacher may provide language study- if needed.
Communicative Language Teaching (CLT): Emphasises significance of language purposes i.e. agreeing, suggesting etc. as opposed to dependence on grammar/vocabulary only. If students have sufficient exposure to the language as well as the chance to use it then language studying would take care of itself. Role-play/simulation is common with this method. CLT places more emphasis on completion than accuracy of language.
Community Language Learning (CLL): Students sit in circle and decide what they want to talk about. Teacher stands outside circle helps when necessary. CLL helps teachers concentrate to make lessons more ?student centred? i.e. students choose topic and language.
Silent Way: Teacher says as little as possible while learners ?discover? the language i.e. Learning is simplified. Coloured rods are used (Cuisenaire rods). Each colour signifies a feature of English language i.e. can indicate grammar points/represent sounds/tone etc.
Suggestopaedia: Concentrates on the essential needs for learners to be relaxed, positive, stress free so that learning can be more efficient. This features a more ?parent ? child? relationship i.e. They are provided new names and painful subjects are avoided.
This lesson has three central parts i.e.
This lesson has three central parts i.e.
1>Oral revision of earlier lesson,
2>Demonstration/talk of new language,
3>Learners listen to soothing music while teacher recites new dialogue
The Lexical approach: Words/phrases are far more suitable building blocks than grammatical structure.
Which methodology is best?
This is debateable and depends on different conditions i.e. personality, culture, needs. All methods have good and bad but assumptions can be made i.e.
1>Learners need abundant contact to language as possible
2>Learners require participation from teachers
3>Communicative assignments are not enough
4>Anxiety and tension must be low for effective language learning
5>Learners should be urged to learn language for themselves
ENGAGE, STUDY and ACTIVATE
*NOTE*ALL lessons and sequences must start with ENGAGE and end in ACTIVATE
Learners must be exposed to the language and have the chance to use it in a classroom environment i.e. Engage, Study, Activate (ESA)
This permits all former conditions cited to be applied and teachers have more flexibility in the classroom. ESA is suitable for trainee as well as new teachers.
Elicitation: Most significant feature of EFL. To involve learners as much as possible, elicitation (asking thought provoking questions)
Elicitation techniques ? techniques used by teachers during a lesson to get information about what learners already know/need to know?.
Gives learners opportunity to speak ? increases learners talk time - reduce teacher talk time.
4.Ask for the question
Points to bear in mind:
1.All techniques are useful & effective.
2.Appropriate techniques for student language level.
3.Pictures ? show specific picture for specific answer. Draw for less specific answer i.e. furniture. Draw line for line, allowing them to guess.
4.Be aware of culture/local language. Cannot mime a food word to Thai class e.g. ?moo, moo, moo? because in Thai it is a pig not a cow.
5.When eliciting, the language produced is often not be what you?re looking for, but remain positive when replying to suggestions using ?nearly? or ?you?re close? rather than ?no? or ?tats not it?.
All ESA lessons should consist of the following sections:
1.Engage: Considered a ?warmer? i.e. to get learners thinking and speaking in English before the next stage of lesson. Where the teacher arouses the interest of students and involves them i.e. games, music, stories, pictures etc.
2.Study: Any stage where the learner will be attentive on the construction of the language. Usually starts with elicitation. i.e. Gain facts from learners first ? the basis of your board work. Followed by presentation and drilling to guarantee correct pronunciation. Learners focus on language/information and structure i.e. practice /study of a single sound to the analysis/practice of a verb. Students use worksheets/exercises to test their understanding of information.
3.Activate: Learners are urged to use any of the language they know as freely/communicatively as possible. Focus is more on fluency than accuracy. Activities include role-play, communication games, debates, story writing etc.
These three ESA elements must be present in a majority of lessons to provide equilibrium. They do not have to be in the same order and lessons may be in multiple stages i.e. EASASA.
Straight Arrow lesson i.e. the teacher teaches the lesson in ESA order i.e.
1.Teacher Engages the students - shows learner a picture/video or mimes an animal. Students state which animals they see, if they like them or not and why etc.
2.They then Study the language - teacher shows example and elicits sentences from student by asking ?what can it do?? Learners respond with example sentences i.e. ?It can/can?t fly/swim/run? etc. teacher checks sentences for correct grammar. Brief explanation of ?cant? and further activities would follow.
3.Finally they Activate the language ? Learners work in groups ? design their own ?super animal?. A presentation is made to the class.
Sometimes such lessons may not be the best way to deal with more problematic language. Lessons may become obvious/boring. Therefore we may use a altered sequence for our lessons i.e.
1.Engage ? teacher students discuss issues about jobs/interviews/ideas of ?perfect? jobs.
2.Activate 1 ? Role play a job interview. Planning is necessary. Teachers make notes of mistakes/difficulties they have.
3.Study ? after role-play teacher works with learners on language that caused difficulties. Controlled practise would follow.
4.Activate 2 ? Students role-play another job interview, incorporating some of the new language from study section.
This change on the ?Straight Arrow? technique guarantees that the teacher is only providing the students with language when they have already proved that they do not know it or need it.
The difficulty here is that the teacher has to foresee any problems the students might have in the first ?Activate? stage in order to have resources/outlines to help students in the ?Study? phase. This lesson may be more useful for higher level students as quite a lot of language will be needed for the ?activate? stages.
Straight Arrow - beneficial - teacher recognises what students need and takes them to the point where they can use that language,
Boomerang - useful - teacher sees what students need before teaching the language. Not all lessons are as direct as this and will involve a lot of ?mini? sequences building to a whole i.e.
Patchwork Sequencing - greater flexibility, balance e.g.:
1.Engage ? look at holiday photos ? discuss which they prefer & why
2.Activate ? look through extracts from travel brochure ? comment how they feel about each & why
3.Activate ? act out role-play between travel agent & customer
4.Study ? teacher goes through useful vocabulary regarding holidays from brochure & other language not in brochure
5.Activate ? design their own hotel/tour to add to brochure
6.Engage ? teacher & students discuss favourite advertisements on radio/TV
7.Study ? analyse structure of typical language for advertisements
8.Activate ? write radio commercial for hotel/tour ? then record it for rest of class
Patchwork sequencing allows for more flexibility/balance between study and activation.
Once again a lesson must start with Engage and finish with Activate, between these two phases a patchwork lesson can have as many Engage, Study, Activate phases as the teacher needs.
IDEAS FOR ENGAGE PHASE: includes discussion/prompting based on pictures, drawings, mime, videos, reading, headlines, objects brought to class etc. Most important element is teacher stage planning.
?Partner information Share
?I?m going on holiday and?
?An Adaption of Scattegories
?My Marvellous Machine
?The Box Game
IDEAS FOR STUDY PHASE
IDEAS FOR ACTIVATE STAGE
Feedback i.e. correcting/setting tests/group discussions/individual tutorials must be given to learners to aid progress. It encourages self-awareness/improvement. Helps students evaluate success/progress.
CORRECTION TECHNIQUES: Too little ? too much correction not beneficial. Praising just as important as correcting. Must distinguish between mistakes and errors.
Mistakes ? Slip of the tongue or pen
Errors ? More deeply grained e.g.
?Student believes he/she is correct
?Student does not know correct form
?Student knows correct form but can?t get it right
The Positive Side of Errors i.e.
?Student is trying
?By making errors learners are experimenting with language/part of learning progress
?Teachers can see what needs focusing on in future lessons.
Self-Correction: First option as student can reflect and try again. Before learners can correct themselves they must be aware of:
1.Something is not accurate
2.Where the error is
3.What kind of error it is
Student-Student Correction: Other students may help correct each other but not if it is uncomfortable for student being corrected.
Teacher-Student Correction: Last resort. Other two methods allow students to identify problems and self-correct Correction is more vital for accuracy than fluency.
WHAT SHOULD THE TEACHER CORRECT?
Occasions relevant to correct:
1.Mistake is with language point we are teaching?
2.Mistake is being repeated by student/class and risks becoming ingrained.
3.Mistakes completely impede perception.
Teacher can indicate something needs correcting by repeating with a questioning tone/having a puzzled expression or by putting it up on the board which allows the student to focus on the, mistake/think about it. Teacher can also highlight on the board the type of mistake/where it is.
Corrections must reflect stage of lesson. During engage and activate stage we must encourage communication. Never jump into students speech to correct-wait until finished-do not interrupt flow of activity.
Use codes in margin/body of writing.-makes corrections tidier, less intimidating.
Typical codes are:
?s - spelling
?wo - word order
?t - wrong tense
?s/p - wrong usage of singular/plural form
?^ - something is missing
?[ ] - something is not necessary
?m - meaning is not clear
?na - usage is not appropriate
?p - punctuation is wrong
Can use own codes as long as meaning is clear.
Lower level ? write code above mistake.
Higher levels ? write code in margin on corresponding line. Teachers should allow students to correct own work before dealing with mistakes.
LESSON PLANNING GENERAL GUIDANCE NOTES:
All Stages of a Lesson:
?Teacher only to use English in class ? not L1
?Learner?s use of English must be maximised.
?Ensure all students speak some English
?Do not correct in this stage. Note mistakes to deal with later.
?Main aim is to have high student talk time.
?When wanting a student to speak use open hand gesture not ?finger pointing??
?In this stage students should be learning new English language concepts.
?Elicit as much as possible from students ? don?t tell them things i.e. to teach a question form, write answer to question and ask what question is.
?Drilling to be 3x3 i.e. 3 x chorally followed by 3 x individually.
?Before handing out material always do example on board eliciting correct answer from students.
?Do not disrupt students after exercise is given out. Rather observe to make sure work is being done. Allow a 1minute warning prior to end of exercise. At end of lesson everyone should be listening not finishing work.
?Whilst giving feedback, if a mistake is made, give all students opportunity to to correct before you do.
?Remember you may decrease exercise time short to continue the activate stage period.
?Throughout this stage you are encouraging students to be imaginative with English language information they already have and join it with what they have learnt.
?Clear display is vital as is the elicitation of target language needed to conclude the activity.
?In briefing stage, involve students-get them to show/tell you what they are going to do. Do not hand out material until everyone knows what to do.
?Monitor activity without interruption.
?Feedback helps you as a teacher to know if the lesson has been understood and if further explaining is needed in future lessons.