Effortless English Archives

Automatic English For The People

Monday, December 19, 2005

New Years Resolutions

by AJ

Break time.... we've got about two weeks till school starts again.. and thats great news for me!

Job number one... finding an apartment that won't bankrupt me!

Job two.... plan classes for next year. Ive played around with a few things and plan to incorporate the following into my teaching mix once class resumes:

TPRS: My favorite technique... its worked well with the class, though I have not executed it well. I simply have not asked enough questions during the stories. According to Blaine Ray, a good teacher will get 50-100 repetitions of key vocabulary/grammar out of one 30 minute story! Yikes, thats a lot... Im lucky to get 10. And whats the key to getting those repetitions? Lots and lots of questions... each one containing one of the target vocab words.

Done properly, I should be able to guarantee that my students learn 12 new words per day (or about 200 per month) just from the TPR Storytelling lessons. I resolve to get those 50 repetitions of each word out of every mini-story.

IR: Interactive Reading... which is just a fancy way of saying "reading real materials". We've been using the newspaper. Its quite difficult for my students.. but we usually get 10+ new words out of a couple of paragraphs.

But thats OK... because journalists usually put all the essentials in those paragraphs. So we usually stop after the second or third paragraph and then shift to a discussion of the issues raised by the article.

Then we use (TPR) stories to reinforce the new vocabulary and practice its use in different contexts. I resolve to continue reading authentic materials with my students.

FVR: Ill dedicate 10-15 minutes to free voluntary reading... followed by a short "book club" discussion of what we read. My super-student (Jinny) has already bought an English-version manga and is reading it. She's also doing some free voluntary listening.... she bought a children's book that came with a CD... and is listening to it. What a great student!

I resolve to become a pleasure-reading and pleasure-listening evangelist... by bombarding my students with research on its effectiveness.

Movie Technique: Id love to use this but I dont have a TV & DVD player in my room. Boo hoo... gotta stay low tech!

Social: Ill plan the social group during the break... hopefully I can help my students meet Americans and make friends. I resolve to create a vibrant volunteer social program for students.

Energy: This has always been my insurance policy. A high energy level helps me to make boring material more interesting... and fun activities more fun. Since Ive been so distracted by getting settled in a new city, my energy level in class has not been great. Im hoping to change that in January. I resolve to whip my butt in shape, start training for 10ks again (and maybe another marathon), eat healthy, meditate,..... and go into class fully charged. Banzai! (In other words, to give my students the maximum effort they deserve)!

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