Effortless English Archives

Automatic English For The People

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Midcourse Corrections

by AJ

Midterms are almost here and this is a good time to reasses the semester and make some changes. Things Ive learned or will change:

*TPRS: TPR Storytelling has been the most consistently successful technique Ive used this semester. But I have used it sporadically. Why? Because it takes a lot of time to create a new mini-story for every new lesson- Time I dont have.

So Ive thought of a possible solution. I will put the guide vocab words (or grammar) on the board and let students co-create a mini-story using the words. I'll then use their story (with appropriate corrections) to teach the TPRS lesson. This approach will increase interactivity (more involvement from the students) while eliminating the need for me to pre-plan the stories.

*Seating Arrangements: Rows suck! The shy or weaker students hide in the back, tune out, or chat (in Thai). Also, this arrangement sends the message that I am the boss and all they have to do is sit passively. So Im gonna play with other arrangements... maybe a double U shape.... or half circles.

* Background Music: I keep meaning to bring classical music to play in the background and have forgotten. So I plan to do this for the second half of the semester.

* Movies: Research on the movie technique was done in Intensive English Programs... students were in class 5 or more hours a day for five days a week. With that schedule, its easy to finish an entire movie.

But my students come only two days a week for an hour and a half at a time. And I can usually devote only 20-30 minutes per class to a video. So its nearly impossible to get through a movie. However, I did use a news story in one class and it worked great. So in the coming weeks Ill try to use more video... but will use short segments such as commercials and news stories and short TV shows.