CELTA Week 7, evening 13

Evening 13 (Tues 2012-02-28)

It is simply staggering how time flies! This is a two-evenings a week course and, what with work and family matters, there seems no spare time to sit down and reflect! I’m writing this four days after the class, with another in between, and I can barely remember what we covered. Oh well, let’s try to put the pieces together…

1. Planning a grammar-based lesson (1.25 hr)

The tutor ran through the activities of a grammar-focused lesson with us, and then showed us the theory and plan behind the lesson. As it turns out, I’ll be teaching a similar topic next week so this will be directly relevant. I won’t give all the details now but the core stages are these:

  1. create interest in topic
  2. set context
  3. elicit/give model sentence on whiteboard or overhead
  4. establish meaning by asking concept questions
  5. elicit form + mark on model sentence
  6. highlight phonology issues + mark on model sentence
  7. drill chorally and individually
  8. elicit other forms. e.g. negative and question forms
  9. controlled practice
  10. freer practice

2. Preparation for TP (45min)

On Thursday there’ll be teaching practice for three of us and fortunately I’m not one of them. The tutor spent about 45mins talking with the three, discussing formats, topics, techniques and durations, and ironing out details. I tried to listen in on the conversation but, because of my bad hearing and lots of background noise I got little from this period.

3. Vocab (1 hr)

This started off by going over a homework which demonstrated the problems when choosing words to teach in a vocabulary-focused lesson. Problems such as

  • multiple meanings for the same word
  • collocation /ˌkɒləˈkeɪʃ(ə)n/ (some words go together more frequently than others)
  • phrasal lexis – eg: to take a shower, to tell a lie, to make progress etc
  • the antonym of a word depends on context: dry weather > wet weather ; dry wine > sweet wine
  • some words have negative connotations – eg a ‘backward’ person.
  • point of view – one person’s terrorist is another’s freedom fighter
  • ‘false friends’ – eg the word idiom in English does not mean the same as the Spanish word idioma (language)

Best to provide a clear example to demonstrate a meaning and then elict (or give) the corresponding word.

Then followed discussion of how we might demonstrate meaning for vocab ideas.  Eg:

  • situations
  • mime/gesture
  • drawing on WB
  • flashcards
  • objects
  • examples
  • contrasts/opposites
  • definitions
  • dictionaries
  • translation

Then given a couple of handouts – tips with planning a language-focussed lesson and vocab ideas for practice and recycling. Will I ever get around to reading them?!

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