Evening 21, Tuesday 2012-03-27
1. Teaching Future Tense (75 mins)
This was fairly straightforward since we touched on Future tense (I will, I’m going to, I’m meeting next week) in our recent Written Assignments. This tutor has a tendency to get us to work in pairs/groups and express ideas on big pieces of paper. These then get held up and pointed to at the end of the lesson but I’m not entirely convinced of their value. No one can read them at a distance and surely the ideas could be expressed just as easily in a notebook. But I guess this is to demonstrate a technique which would work with students – the expressing of ideas in a big way means they have to be pretty confident, and the pointing to and talking about would be ways of getting them talking etc. It’s the usual story – many of these lessons may not be perfect fits for CELTA trainees but they model lesson schemes which would work well with English learners.
2. Preparation for TP + Break (45 mins)
The day after tomorrow I’ll be teaching a one-hour lesson involving reading, listening and speaking, with a spot of grammar. I’ve been pointed to four pages in the text book (OUP New English File) and told to produce a lesson from them. The materials are good and there’s lots to choose from – I could just photocopy a few bits out of them, job done. Except that it’s not. I need a lead-in. I want to personalise the sections. I want to invent extra bits for prediction. And the parts as they are don’t quite flow together. I could get it to work but the lesson would last four-hours and if there’s one major problem I have with my lessons it’s timing. So I had a chat with the tutor and came up with a couple of ideas which, on the face of it, seem to have complicated things even further! But it’s food for thought and gives me more to play with. It’s very easy to get carried away with fantastic materials but I need to keep a perspective on this – some of the nice materials I’ve found and created are going to have to be dumped and some exercises simplified. That seems to be the essence – keeping it simple.
3. Pronunciation, Stress (60 mins)
This was the third of the series of pronunciation lessons we’ve had recently. The main take-away was that we should teach authentic language. In real speech certain words are stressed, others are weak and some merge together. You’re doing no favours teaching isolated word pronunciation.
Now, back to preparing for the final teaching practice for the Upper Intermediates…