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9822 Views 32 Replies Latest reply: 02-Sep-2011 04:17 by nostromo RSS 1 2 3 Previous Next
Jamie Keddie Guest Contributor 118 posts since
31-Mar-2010
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21-Apr-2010 17:04

One thing of which I am sure

I don't remember where or when this happened. I remember that there were a lot of teachers and it was late at night. So that would indicate that it was probably during a conference. Where else!?

 

Anyway, someone asked the following question:

 

"After all your years of experience as a teacher and after all the training you have done and given, if you had to say just one thing about teaching methodology of which you are absolutely 100% sure, what would that thing be?"

 

This was quite a dilemma for a lot of us and we got into some interesting discussions/arguments! Anyway, I thought I would ask the same question here.

 

One thing of which you are sure of .... What would it be?

  • carol Pearson ELT 108 posts since
    10-Mar-2009
    Currently Being Moderated
    2. 23-Apr-2010 16:31 (in response to Jamie Keddie)
    Re: One thing of which I am sure

    What an interesting question, Jamie! I'd have to agree with you about your drilling comment - I found that quite useful in language learning situations myself.

     

    I don't know that I'm 100% sure about ANYTHING, but ... I'd go so far as to say that I'm 99.9% sure that

     

    if you don't use it, you'll lose it (or in my worsening chinese, shiyong ta huo diu shi ta).

     

    I'm looking forward to hearing what the rest of you think. Thoughts?

  • fvilliers-stuart Novice 42 posts since
    24-Mar-2010
    Currently Being Moderated
    4. 29-Apr-2010 17:17 (in response to Jamie Keddie)
    Re: One thing of which I am sure

    I'd say about 90% of classes full of teenages smell quite bad.

     

    But on a serious note ...

     

    Talking raw grammar explantions at students is rarely fruitful.

  • fvilliers-stuart Novice 42 posts since
    24-Mar-2010
    Currently Being Moderated
    5. 29-Apr-2010 17:26 (in response to fvilliers-stuart)
    Re: One thing of which I am sure

    ... and they don't make coursebooks like they used to.

     

    Here's an extract from C.E. Eckersley's 1947 Essential English for Foreign Students. I found it in a London fleamarket a few months back.

     

    HOB: "I say Pedro, you are a judge of cigarettes, aren't you?"

    OLAF: "Why do you want to know? I didn't know that you were interested in cigarettes good or bad."

    HOB: "Oh, no! It's not for me. You see, it's my Uncle Albert's birthday next week and as he likes good cigarettes i am going to send him a hundred of these. What better present is there than a hundred cigarettes like these?

    PEDRO (having smoked one of them): "Fifty!"

    HOB: What do you mean - aren't they any good?

    PEDRO: "Hob, they're terrible. Honestly they are the worst cigarettes that I've ever smoked. Where did you get them?" 

  • Andrea Paschoal Newbie 9 posts since
    09-Apr-2010
    Currently Being Moderated
    7. 09-May-2010 12:00 (in response to Jamie Keddie)
    Re: One thing of which I am sure

    "Let the students do most of the work"

     

    As novice teacher I use to spend ages planning a lesson and I use to take lots of resources to the classroom.Later I've learnt that all I need to do was to make the lesson student centred! It's great for the students it makes it more dynamic and fruitful. I am not talking about going 100% DOGME but some elements of it go a long way towards collaborative and productive lessons. :-)

  • Miriam Corral Newbie 5 posts since
    12-May-2010
    Currently Being Moderated
    8. 12-May-2010 02:01 (in response to fvilliers-stuart)
    Re: One thing of which I am sure

    I just loved this text! It is not only really funny, but very creative too! Full of irony in just a few lines... I wish I had access to that book!

     

    Thanks for sharing!

  • Miriam Corral Newbie 5 posts since
    12-May-2010
    Currently Being Moderated
    9. 12-May-2010 02:08 (in response to Jamie Keddie)
    Re: One thing of which I am sure

    I would say that I'm 100% sure of that, if it didn't sound arrogant... hehe! Buuut...

     

    I'm 99 (,9!)% sure that it is not possible to help students improving their pronunciation if you don't teach Phonetics and Phonology.

     

    The fact is that it is natural for any learner to replace "weird", unknown sounds by others that are "normal", familiar. If they are not taught about phonemes which don't exist in their mother tongue, they will not only be incapable of producing them, but even of hearing them!

     

    Is there anyone who agrees with me?

  • Novice 25 posts since
    23-Apr-2010
    Currently Being Moderated
    12. 22-May-2010 13:23 (in response to Jamie Keddie)
    Re: One thing of which I am sure

    Great thread!

    Here’s my 100% sure line: Plan before your lessons!  Then you know, and I agree with some ideas mentioned here, when to drill, when to explain grammar (especially when teaching adults), how to make classes more student-centered, and many more things.

    Now, in spite of planning you can’t really know how things are going to develop in class, they might change because something went wrong (technical issues are my latest fears!) or because something you have planned is so interesting that you decide to keep on going and drop the rest or a part of the plan.

    I think that the teaching process starts here and this is why having a backup plan is part of the bigger plan!

    Carolina

  • Novice 25 posts since
    23-Apr-2010
    Currently Being Moderated
    14. 25-May-2010 17:02 (in response to Jamie Keddie)
    Re: One thing of which I am sure

    Hi Jamie,

     

    Thanks for the link. I started reading some messages but then I couldn’t stop and have taken note of some ideas I’d like to use in class.  I think that a very resourceful and knowledgeable teacher could come to class and just by asking a question create a lesson and even send happy students home!!

     

    I love the idea of consulting with learners what it is it that they want to do in class. Give students a chance to use or to discover their own resources, instead of the teacher providing lots of material. Well, I work in mines, and students are invited to suggest topics or bring materials they would like to work with in class but I hardly ever get any suggestions from them. It’s probably a cultural thing, in my context we are used to teacher-centred environments, where the teacher´s word is never questioned and is expected to decide what is best for the students. I have yet to discover how to get students involved in content organization.

     

    About how opinions differ, I was thinking after I had posted the previous message how I claim to be 100% sure about lesson planning but at the same time I said I was not 100% sure that my plan would carry out!  Yeah, that’s the beauty of this profession, different points of view, different ways of doing things, different outcomes…so, look at that, nothing is 100% sure!

     

    Carolina

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