Effortless English Archives

Automatic English For The People

Friday, December 30, 2005


by AJ

One of my big lessons from last year was the importance of transparency in the classroom. By this I mean sharing as much information with students as possible. In the past, I came to class with my book and lesson plan.. then dutifully worked through it. And the students dutifully followed my lead.

But this year I was more transparent. I talked to students about my teaching philosophy and methods. I shared language acquisition research with them and discussed it. I explained not only what I was doing in class, but why. Just as importantly, I asked questions and I listened..... about their needs, their experiences, their frustrations.

Its important for students to know this information and to communicate with the teacher/tutor. To become autonomous, they must understand the process of learning... and should have at least a basic understanding of the research.

Also, I found that when they understood my methods... the methods worked better.

Unfortunately, I have not been so transparent with my new class.... as real life concerns (ie. imminent homelessness:) overwhelmed and distracted me last month.

But next month I plan to correct this mistake. Ill explain in more detail the process of TPR Storytelling.... what the steps are, why I will ask so many questions, how the students can maximize the effectiveness of the lesson, what research supports the technique, what my goals are for the lessons... and what their goals are. Ill share TPRS articles... and excerpts from books and research. Ill discuss the students ideas about the technique... what works for them... what doesnt.

In doing so I hope to move from a leader-follower relationship to a more collaborative one..... in which we work together to build the students' English proficiency.