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вторник, 14 июня 2011 г.

Teacher's tips: Case Study 2.

Today I would like to invite teachers to comment on a new case study that deals with lesson planning and curriculum development. If you are or have been developing classroom materials and/or syllabi, I would like to hear your feedback and comments on this case study! Again, the names have been changed and content slightly modified for privacy issues.

I once encountered a teacher (let's call her "Ms. Jones") who had a hard time achieving her goals in the class room. Her major role was to teach her students some conversational English patterns so they are able to communicate more freely. However, after 6 months her students were still lagging behind and feeling very insecure when forming a short sentence. I discovered after a brief lesson observation that the teacher was immersing the students more into regular Grammar instruction with rules and exercises arguing that people need to know Grammar to be able to speak more fluently. As much as I value Grammar instruction, I could not agree. I suggested her developing a different curriculum. What would you suggest?

5 комментариев:

  1. I completely agree with you.While students practise speaking the teacher's role is to encourage them to say more. Interrupting students and correcting their Grammar mistakes result in embarrasing them. Students begin to be ashamed and stop talking at all.
    I would suggest the teacher just listen silently and support the communication while memorising the most common students' mistakes.As soon as the conversation is finished, it is the right time to analyse the mistakes.
    Do not discuss more than 3-4 mistakes at a time - students will not be able to remember too much!

  2. Svitlana, thank you for your comment. I agree that a teacher should combine grammar with other activities as well. What I did that worked well was writing the mistakes down on small sheets of paper and then passing them on to students. In private lessons you can write them down and then discuss them after the student is done talking.

  3. A comment that came through my inbox:

    "I agree with you and Svitlana. One more thing is to combine new Grammar constructions and making up situations. A teacher gives a list of new vocabulary and/or Grammar patterns and asks students to make up a situation on their own or suggested. This is one way of training new words and expressions. As to comments on mistakes, I agree with you and Svitlana. It's the best way for a teacher to put down mistakes and then discuss them with students."

  4. One of the main goals of a teacher is to stir students' interest in a subject and not only working out one's fixed hours. Ms. Jones reminds an average school teacher of English (at least those whom I know) for whom grammar rules are the most important goal. The structure of all lessons is monotonous – less free communication and more rules and standardised exercises.
    I agree that a teacher should have a syllabus with lesson organisation that will include different exercises on developing grammar, communication, listening, and comprehension skills and use more than just one textbook. In addition, I think, a teacher should be flexible – be able to quickly change the way of providing a lesson if she sees that the previous one is ineffective.

  5. Violetta, thank you for the word "flexibility!" What an important concept! But it has to be balanced by a certain structure, too. Yet the structure should not be boring or monotonous.