CELTA Course: Week 8

[Need to catch up? Week 1, Week 2, Week 3, Week 4, Week 5, Week 6, and Week 7]

Monday: S., D., and I each taught 30 minutes to our new class, the pre-intermediate group. We’ll now be evaluated by the other course tutor, Ben. The lesson theme was training, education, and jobs. S. opened with a really nicely staged reading activity. D.’s lesson consisted of lots of pronunciation and sentence stress work, which he led well. I taught the last section; my only guidelines for lesson planning were to prepare a free practice activity. I decided to have the students do a role play with job interviews. To begin, they matched pictures of people with jobs (biologist, musician, electrician, chef, etc) to the education/training they might have: culinary school, conservatory of music, Ph.D., apprenticeship, etc. Then I assigned each student a role — either a professional seeking a job or someone from an organization that wants to hire such professionals. They had some time to prepare questions/answers and then they interviewed each other. Overall it went smoothly and I focused a lot on all of my action points from the last lesson.

That said, I was sitting in feedback groaning to myself with every small “mistake” that Ben pointed out from my lesson and thinking, “This couldn’t have been above standard.” But when Ben handed back his feedback sheet, he had indeed given me an above standard mark for my lesson — probably because I fixed all of my previous action points. I was not completely satisfied with my lesson — my board work and feedback felt a bit messy and I felt like the role play was too big of a task for a 30-minute lesson — but I’ll take the good mark! Lots to work on for next week’s lesson. Ben’s action points for me are:

  • board language feedback as it comes up during a free practice activity
  • move the bulk of the lesson balance (timing) toward the stage that helps me achieve my lesson’s main aims
  • elicit and board useful language before a speaking task
  • model useful functional language before a role play
  • stage freer practice to encourage rehearsal and recycling of new language/lexis

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Tuesday: Two useful input sessions with Bobby: evaluating coursebooks and getting some tips on planning our final 60-minute lessons. Our last two lessons will be one hour each; one lesson is a grammar lesson and the other is a skills lesson (focusing on two of the four skills: reading, speaking, writing, listening). Bobby led us through a general procedure for each lesson and then we had some time to plan with our teaching practice groups. We divvied up grammar and some of us chose topics for our skills lessons.

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Thursday: Observing A., Ir., and G. teach 30 minutes each to the pre-intermediates. Their context was money and millionaires, which A. did a great job engaging the class about. Ir. taught the best lesson I’ve seen him teach so far. He bungled a couple simple things, but his elicitation, boarding collocations, and drilling were impeccable. G. also taught a smooth lesson and staged a really nice “speed debate” activity at the end, which got all the students engaged and chatting away with each other. The pre-intermediate group is tricky. We haven’t had a full 12 people yet — 6 on Monday, 7 today — so that can make it tough to get discussion going. There are also a couple of difficult personalities; that certainly keeps us on our toes!

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Read on for Week 9

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