It’s the next-to-last week of the course! Start catching up here.
Monday: A. and S.’s last lessons. I hate to say it, but A.’s grammar lesson was not good. He had very little grasp of both the meaning and form of the narrative tenses that he was teaching — it was tough to watch. Luckily, S. turned my mood around with one of her best lessons of the course. Her lesson was so creatively designed: she opened with a song and used a video for her listening tasks. Her pace and timing were also much better than they have been. It was an engaging lesson that the students clearly enjoyed.
Tuesday: Two interesting input sessions with Ben. The first one was on assessment and teaching exam classes. First we talked about forms of assessment, such as placement tests, progress tests, self-assessments, peer assessment, tutorials, homework, “test your partner,” etc. Ben advocates for a process approach rather than a product approach when assessing students’ progress and helping them prepare for an exam. That is, the teacher should help the students understand what the exams/examiners are looking for and then go through detailed examples in controlled practice tasks.
Our second session was on teaching with technology. Ben basically gave us — and had us brainstorm — myriad ways we could use technology (if you’re lucky enough to have access to that and can hold a class in a computer room) to teach grammar or another part of language. Some examples from the session: use Wikipedia to practice narrative tenses by looking up and reading about a famous person, then imagining a different past for that person; use eBay or Amazon to practice comparisons; use pictures on Facebook to practice describing people or talking about interests; use smartphones to do a trivia race and then have students write their own questions. The list goes on, and I got some great ideas. Ben also gave us three useful websites where we can find full lesson plans:
And one site for concordance and linguistics research and much more:
Thursday: Ir. and G.’s last lessons. Ir. taught grammar — “used to” for repeated actions or states in the past — and it was one of his best lessons. He was calm, collected, and in control. He was slightly shaky on a couple grammar points, but overall I was impressed and he really showed how much he’s learnt from the course. G.’s lesson, as usual, was excellent: smooth, well-paced, clear, and interesting. The students responded enthusiastically to both lessons, and it was a really nice group of mostly “regulars.” I’ll miss them!
One week to go — can’t believe the course is almost finished!