November 06, 2009

Help with Emergent Grammar

Writing about web page Emergent Grammar

I agree with you, but I'm too new to  teaching therefore a bit nervous, of doing it any other way. Can you guide me,how I could change this?

October 21, 2009

Emergent Grammar

Teaching Grammar as a part of the  lesson, in small fragments and then having some practise I feel is my way of doing grammar . However sometimes I do revisit a grammar point if I feel the students are struggling with understanding, and usage. I do agree with the author and have experienced the frustration when students continue to make the same mistakes even after having had instructions on how to use a particular tense or form, it is definitely  a case of taking one step forward and two steps backward. 

Teaching Grammar Mc Nuggets style is  not exactly how I would say the process of grammar teaching is  with my colleagues. It's  mostly a PPP model, with a little warm up or introduction, using a text or discussion which is geared to lead to the grammar point. This followed by some expalnation, then may be answering any doubts or questions. Then some practise.With this methods I feel more in control, and at ease. But there are many times when I'm trying to teach a particular Grammar point, another one crops up, and I realise the follies of teaching grammar points in isolation. 

I think it is the linearity and complexity of acquiring grammar  that may be responsible for younger students making far more progress than older ones. This may be because of motivation, need or just a case of being able to adapt easily at a younger age. It is in the  end a process of acquiring  language with all it's different  rules and variations.

October 08, 2009

Inclusive learning Resources

I have decided to use a resource for Entry 1 learners, It is  a speaking activity.The activity has been adapted from

The resource is very cluttered with a lot of information on a single A4 sheet and  uses text boxes to display information. It also underlines some phrases. I feel this resources would not be accessible to all learners because it uses a small font, has a white background,which I don't think is the best contrast to use.

I have got rid of the phrases "Caller A and Caller B" instead, I've  used a photo of two different people talking over the phone to ease understanding.

I have also used a pale  yellow background to increase  the contrast.

I have split the information over two different sheets,used Arial font 14 - 16, and have removed text boxes. I have also got rid of the image of the note pad, and got rid of all text boxes. However, I have retained the table because I think that is a essential part of the activity.

Although this activity includes a role play, there are no role play cards included. I've therefore designed some role play cards to complete the activity.

October 05, 2009

Formative Assessment

I gather that formative assessment should include medals, missions and goals. Medals are important  to show the learner what they have done well; missions tell them what they should aim for; goals inform them how they should achieve it.

Praise sandwich =praise + constructive criticism + praise.

Assessment can be self assessment,peer assessment or teacher assessment. Peer assessment teaches leaner's how they can avoid mistakes.

Assessment should be ongoing an ongoing process.

September 24, 2009

Norm Referenced Testing

Norm referenced testing is used to compare a examinee's performance in comparison to other examinees.This method of assessment is popular, when comparisons have to be drawn between a large number of candidates,the results  separate the high achievers from the low achievers and  rank them in accordance of their ability.The results can be used to accept or refuse candidates into certain academic programmes.

Critereon–referenced assessments

Criterion-referenced assessments measure how well a student performs against an objective or criterion rather than another student. Criterion-referenced classrooms are skills-oriented, and inform all students of the expected standard and teach them to succeed on a related outcome.This method of assessment is used to ascertain the success of an academic programme.

September 18, 2009

Reflections on first taught day– reflecting on myself

Writing about web page Refletions on first taught day.

Reading my own blog, just made me realise that I am one of those learners who learn by seeing and doing things. I remember about: the experiment with the stick, the water lily and the exercise with  the bananas. Fun ny, I thought I learnt by reading and understanding from a book. Surprise, Surprise!

September 13, 2009

Lenses of Critically reflective Teaching

Having read the article by Stephen Brookfield, confirms some of my views, that to succeed in anything you have to be able to analyse yourself and your situation over and over again.

Although, I do agree with  the writer to a certain extent, in some aspects I don't, because of the time gap between my learning and today. Technology is different today, the computer and the web are such powerful tools, that even if tried teaching the I was taught,I'll fail. I'll just appear outdated. Besides, if I've  an advanced learner or a learner who is well educated in his country of origin, he  might question my knowledge, and I must be prepared for that. I do agree that some negative experiences that may have influenced my  learning , I'll definitely try and avoid.

I liked the bit on our Colleagues experience and Theoretical literature, while speaking to colleagues is reassuring and insightful, theoretical knowledge just gives it a stamp of approval. But, aren't we supposed to communicate our fears and anxieties with other friends and colleagues? Isn't that the most normal thing to do, to share a good experience to voice feelings over negative experiences? I would most definitely speak to somebody if I had a bad feeling after a class. Shouldn't we be thinking about all experiences in life in general and teaching in particular and try to justify them, and find answers to our mistakes? Also, be able to pat ourselves on the back and say well done, if we do a good job!

Teaching, while seeing through the learner's eyes is again, I think the sign of a sensitive teacher, and a teacher who is in tune with her students, and their needs.

Reflections on my first taught day

TIRING and INTERSTING are the words that first come to my mind, when describing my first day. Tiring because my brain was so tired trying to listen to each and every word, assimilate the information and store it somewhere, anywhere really.
Interesting because there was so much I enjoyed and learnt, for e.g. Elaine’s experiment with the 17 times table. I realized that when it comes to learning we all learn things the way we are used to, or as we were first taught. When people in the class had different ways and means of doing the 17 times table, I kept going back to my own way, in my head. Does that mean our learners acquire knowledge using different tools? But, what I don’t understand is what about when the learner who hasn’t been in formal education, before they came to an ESOL class? How do they cope? Do they pretend to understand things when everyone else seems to be getting on with their work? I think in my practice I need to be more aware of my learner, their previous learning strategies, if they have any.
Another interesting experiment was the one with serviette and water lilies; again the point that struck as most fascinating was how some of us couldn’t do it despite having the same instructions. Does that mean we have to simplify or change instructions for certain learners? But, I also believe that sometimes you just don’t get things right the first time, it doesn’t mean anything. How do we differentiate that it was just one of those things that you didn’t get the first time? I think experience is the answer to all these questions.
Be aware of your learner, their learning style, their background both academic and personal is going to be my mantra.
Feedback,I in my opinion is just being able to see what another person thinks about your work. It may be good, in that case there is really nothing to worry about, but if there are things to work on, then it only depends how positively it is put forward.

September 10, 2009

Induction day

I'm a bit nervous about the amount of work involved, I hope I'm organised enough to do it well.The teachers seem really friendly and approachable.

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