CELTA Week 7, evening 14

Evening 14 (Thurs 2012-03-01)

This was an evening of teaching practice. Fortunately I wasn’t one of the performers and so didn’t have to prepare anything – allowing me to spend 5 days last weekend with my Internet-less father (91) while my mother had a break. So…

Three CELTA trainees, each teaching for 40 minutes on the theme of crime, criminals and punishment. It’s instructive to watch these practices and to make observations, although the tutor always seems to be more critical, observant and accurate than I ever am! There were some good bits and some not-so-good bits in everyone’s practice. Here are some of my general observations:

  • Instructions need to be clear and concise
  • Understanding of instructions needs to be checked before giving out handouts
  • If it’s a controlled practice, run through an example before giving out handouts
  • If you’re giving a timed activity then tell the students how much time they have
  • Give a 1 minute warning before the end if necessary
  • Differentiate the students’ needs. Less confident ss need more time
  • When students are to stop an activity then don’t be vague about it
  • Try to exploit your resources as much as time allows (an investment in a video or audio resource must be justified by the value you get from analysing it)

The main focus of this lesson was on grammar – the passive form. There was a lot of student talking time (good) but it was only when the third trainee came on after 80 minutes that I really understood where the lesson was going. I wonder whether the students realised the direction earlier than I did and, if not, whether it mattered to them. I think that if I were a student it would matter to me.

The lesson was based on material taken from “New English File” Oxenden, Latham-Koenig, OUP ISBN 978-0-19-451842-0

Here are some of the overheads that went with the third part: OHT hypnotic robberOHT Britain’s most polite robberOHT Match these passive sentencesWhen English people give an opinionOHT We use the passive when we want


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