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Getting there


Thursday, April 22, 2004

Somehow feel more relaxed on a Thursday, in spite of the drizzle. Students here, time to wander round and check as they work on the vocab, explaining again, notice when i set up the handouts table near the door none of the early students offer to help..., ok, i'm strong, i can do it, but writing this a mental note to ask for help next time. I want them to help each other, so I have to ask for help myself when I need it...Be a living example.

One of my wee good students quite agitated that I didn't mention Japanese translation, came up to me after class too, so I reassured him I would check how many students had not realized, and give them all the benefit of the doubt...I guess they're a bit worried about the test results, something to take note of, not necessarily a good way to go into Golden Week. It also turns out the textbook is not available, so I told them not to worry. Forgot to praise in class the ones who contacted me!!! To set an example...If you have a problem contact me chance missed???
At any rate after they handed in the vocab sheets i had the homework and the film written up on the board, with some questions to consider when viewing. This makes the economic issues in Little Dancer more clear and prepares them better for discussing the same questions in small groups after Golden Week...Just spoke this morning to a veteran colleague in the staffroom this morning, MA from Hawaii, really friendly :) who suggested a) I should give them more choice of film to watch as long as it has an economic angle and b) I'd soon know if they didn't do the homework and c) not to worry too much but to have confidence in what i'm doing and d) yes, always give scaffolding little questions with a reading or viewing task. So used his suggestions on the spur of the moment. Copying down my inspirational questions ( one of my students murmurs appreciatively how interesting the questions are ...ooooooh happy happy, inspiration is amazing) I realize that I have to wait longer to let students copy, good for me to copy too, slows down my pace.
Anyway, so off I go into a quick review of networking, a quick explanation of the jigsaw and an early break before they get into groups. They didn't actually seem to like the jigsawing so much as my Tuesday lot, who really seemed to get into the idea of learning about groupwork while actually doing groupwork and relying on each other for different info.
One group member hadn't got his delegated info...kind of scolded him, not so good...and another had a load of info copied: your informant didn't understand their info, I said, you should have ditched them and found somebody else.
Actually i've read and provisionally marked the Tuesday tests, and two of the students mentioned that they want more English only in class, which I had used on the first day, but kind of got a little insecure about on the second Tuesday, so for this class I used English only again. This may have meant less students understood the jigsaw task (it's not a common method of group study here in Japan), so underperformed. Hard to strike a balance between explaining for everyone and maintaining the language mode. Need to see how the test comments go for this class.
Students seemed happy with the twenty minute test time, and all in all handed in their tests and vocab sheets no prob. Only one student had come to class too late to test the vocab, so I told them they would lose that percentage of the marks for that day. Reminded them that three working days of the course (excluding the first:no testing) with the lowest score can be ditched, so they can still get a high overall grade. I aplogized but said, that's the rule, and they seemed to understand, not take it badly. I guess I made it clear from the first day that part of the vocab test thing is to have them come on time and for me to check absences.
Reading the comments on the train home, notice one of the few female students mentioned:
"Our teacher is so cute! I have never took the class which teacher is woman. The classroom is brighter than ever. " Feels really nice to know.
Good class, good students, I am blessed :)

Creating the Basic Motivational Conditions
1 Demonstrate and talk about your own enthusiasm for the course material and how it affects you personally.
2 Take the students learning very seriously. x
3 Develop a personal realationship with your students. x
4 Develop a collaborative relationship with the students'parents.
5 Create a pleasant and supportive atmosphere in the classroom. x
6 Promote the development of group cohesiveness. x
7 Formulate the norms explicitly, and have them discussed and accepted by the learners.
8 Have the group norms consistently observed. x
Total Strategies Used in Quadrant 1 5
Percentage of total strategies used in Quadrant 1 62.50%
Generating Initial Motivation
9 Promote the learners' language related valuse by presenting peer role models. x
10 Raise the learners' intrinsic interest in the L2 learning process x
11 Promote 'integrative values by encouraging a positive and open-minded disposition towards the L2 and its speakers x
12 Promote the students' awareness of the instrumental values associated with the knowledge of an L2 x
13 Increase the students' expectancy of success in particular tasks and learning in general. x
14 Increase the students' goal-orientedness by formulating explicit class goals accepted by them. x
15 Make the curriculum and the teaching materials relevant to the students. x
16 Help to create realistic learner beliefs. x
Total Strategies Used in Quadrant 2 8
Percentage of total strategies used in Quadrant2 100%
Maintaining and Protecting Motivation
17 Make learning more stimulating and enjoyable by breaking the monotony of classroom events. x
18 Make learning stimulating and enjoyable for the learners by increasing the attractiveness of the task. x
19 Make learning stimulating and enjoyable for the learners by enlisting them as active task participants. x
20 Present and administer tasks in a motivating way. x
21 Use goal-setting methods in your classroom. x
22 Use contracting methods with your students to formalise their goal commitment.
23 Provide learners with regular experience of success.
24 Build your learners confidence by porviding regular encouragement.
25 Help dimish language anxiety by removing or reducing the anxiety-provoking elements in the learning environment. x
26 Build your learners confidence in their learning abilities by teaching them various learner strategies.
27 Allow learners to maintain a positive social image while engaged in the learning tasks.
28 Increase student motivation by promoting cooperation among the learners.
29 Increase student motivation by actively promoting learner autonomy. x
30 Increase the student' self-motivating capacity.
Total Strategies Used in Quadrant3 7
Percentage of total strategies used in Quadrant 3 50%
Encouraging Positive Self-Evaluation
31 Promote effort attributions in your students. x
32 Provide students with positive information feedback.
33 Increase learner satisfaction.(celebrate achievements, display work)
34 Offer rewards in a motivational manner.
35 Use grades in a motivating manner, reducing as much as possible theier demotivating impact. x
Total Strategies Used in Quadrant 4 2
Percentage of total strategies used in Quadrant 4 40%
Taken from Doernyei, Z. Motivational Strategies in the Classroom. Cambridge University Press 2001