CELTA Week 8, evening 16

Evening 16 (Thurs 2012-03-08)

I was teaching this evening and I’d spent the day preparing.

In the morning I went in to my office just so I had a decent environment to work in, and worked away at producing the teaching materials using LibreOffice’s Presentation software (like PowerPoint but free). It took ages, unfortunately. Not because of the software, because of me. I should really perfect the content before trying to use a tool like this because repeated editing adds massively to the production time.

I’d already roughed-out the lesson plan but spent another couple of hours refining it, and then it was time to catch my lift to Oxford. I got to the college early, tested out the hardware, had a cuppa and ate my sandwiches.

Normally I like to be ready at least a day early. Enough to rehearse things, refine and then feel more confident. Today there was no time to refine which made me anxious.

The students dribbled in and by five past six there were only five of them. I had to start though. The first parts took longer than I’d anticipated and, with the late start, I had to rush the end. I was not at all relaxed and was relieved when it was over. In her appraisal my tutor said I’d done OK and gave me a few pointers for improvement but I was unhappy with my performance.

As had been directed by the tutor, the lesson was based on pp 60-61 “New English File,” Upper Int Student’s Book, OUP ISBN 978-0-19-451842-0 – “Let Your Body Do The Talking.” It was grammar-focused, around verbs of sense acting as link verbs. So we had looks, looks like and looks as if. Similarly sounds, sounds like, sounds as if. And the same with feel, smell and taste.

The lesson involved the students describing photos of actors – he looks sad, he looks like a monkey, he looks as if he’s going to cry, and so on. To provide a lead-in to my lesson I used the photo above – the daughter of a Sri Lankan friend, feigning photo-shyness. It allowed a discussion of whether the students liked having their photo taken.

Then there was analysis of Raymond Schatz’s photo of Christopher Lloyd (above, 2nd from right) which was followed by a couple of gap-fill exercises, and rounded off with the students interpreting  the expressions of actors Alan Cumming and Michael Cumpsty (below). As I mentioned, I put the whole lot on a PowerPoint-like presentation, even including the answers to the gap-fill exercises, so when it somehow got out of sequence there was an unnerving period of clicking to get back to the right place! I don’t intend doing that again!



  1. whatedsaid

    I thought this sounded like a super lesson. Very engaging and an authentic, fun context for teaching the content you had to. You tend to be somewhat self critical. With a bit more experience you’ll become more relaxed. You have a huge background in how teaching and learning works from your PLN!

    • clivesir

      I’m really lucky to have such a great PLN – where would I be without _you_ Edna ?!
      I love working a few personal photos into my lessons – the students seem to enjoy the personalisation and I certainly do!
      Yep, I suppose you’re right, in that I’ll become more relaxed with experience – can’t wait!
      Thanks for dropping by Edna – I really value your comments 🙂

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