CELTA Week 16, evening 30

Evening 30, Tuesday 2012-05-17

Last Thursday was a day of industrial action by public sector workers,  hence no lesson or blog post for that day. But today we were back to normal, so here you go!

1. Video Observation – Differentiation (75 mins)

Aaaaarrrrggghhhhh! Bad, Bad, Bad Start!

I guess the idea was to show us mini whiteboards and how useful they are, and to introduce the theme – an ESOL video. Each trainee was given a dinky piece of slippery white plastic, a pen, and were told to write the meaning of an ELT abbreviation, hold it up and shout out when they’d done. So the same fast-thinking/writing people, people in the business, people teaching English, got there first every bloody time! Oh come on! What a great example of how NOT to do it. Not with big ugly learners, not with little learners. Do NOT make it a race where the only winners are the quickest!

We ended up discussing English for Speakers of Other Languages which then led us to watch a video of a model ESOL lesson. The focus of which was differentiation – now there’s irony for you!

It was a great video. A well executed demonstration. How to take a core subject (“family”) and differentiate both up and down. Nice work by Vanessa Kent, College of North West London.

2. Planning for future Teaching Practice (~30 mins)

I’m not teaching next Thurs so this was spent just chatting.

But not entirely: we have a new assignment! We all have plenty of stuff to produce before the end of the course, and here’s another being slipped in 😦 It was presumably a mistake by the college or Cambridge – a misunderstanding of what was required. It’s not a negligible thing – we’ll all still want to spend time on it and do it well.

3. Conditionals (~75mins)

…but I’ll let you off, because what followed was a very nice, polished lesson. A good example of how to ‘exploit your materials’. I wish I’d been given a lesson plan for this though, but I wasn’t, so, my memory being what it is, it’s all just faded away. I don’t particularly care about the grammar of conditionals – (If + subj + subjunctive + subj + would + base form : Strewth! Give me strength!) – I can look that up in a book. It’s the way it was taught that’s more valuable to me – the methods and tricks. I’ll see if I can get a copy of the plan.

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