CELTA Week 19, evening 37

Evening 37, Thurs 2012-06-14

Leaving home (source)

I was the second of the trainees teaching tonight. I couldn’t tell you what the first person taught – I spent that hour reading and re-reading through my lesson plan. These things can get very stressful and all the words and procedure just become a blur. You want to do your very best but worrying about it makes you into a blind automaton. You almost end up on autopilot, unable to react to students’ feedback and unaware of things going wrong. Almost.

Without asking permission, I set up my digital camera to record the lesson. It only captured me so I don’t feel too bad about not asking and anyway, had I asked, the students might have behaved unnaturally. However, although I’m the only one who will ever see it, I think that out of respect I would ask next time. After the first few seconds I wasn’t aware of it at all and perhaps the students wouldn’t be either. It turned out to be very useful and I regret not having done it earlier in the course. I identified a number of unhelpful behaviours which I can now attempt to eliminate. It also meant I was able to see the slowness in pace and could compare the tutor’s feedback with what I was doing at that time. Something to remember for the future.

I intentionally didn’t pre-teach lexis. I had prepared it but removed it after reading my tutor’s feedback on a previous lesson. I interpreted that she thought it better to teach unknown lexis as it arises in a natural situation but I must have misunderstood because this was her main criticism of my lesson.

The focus of this lesson was listening and speaking around the situation of leaving home. The most successful thing I did was to re-arrange the students into pairs and teams of balanced ability. The new pairing stimulated a lot of speaking. Towards the end I had a team of “worried parents” and “unworried daughters” expressing their concerns and replies about the daughter leaving home at the age of eighteen to live in the big bad city. It culminated in a roleplay which they all enjoyed immensely – that equals success in my book!

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