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Getting there


Thursday, May 20, 2004

Rain and more rain as the typhoon comes closer, chatting with one of my students about the way clothes don't dry and it all gets smelly....I have an ice-hockey player and a rock guitarist and a biker in my class, cool!

As usual I set things up a little differently, handing out a print of the course structure which I discussed after the vocab, to indicate where the course is going and show how we will navigate the textbook, and with the main vocab goals from the three lessons we're doing so far on the back for students who may want a bit more structure and advice in their vocab choices.

Then moved on to the homework, and deftly presented only half the class with coupons, and the other half with the envelope to collect them, so there was no confusion about who was to sit and who to stand and move around. Did a quick sample run with a student, to illustrate that you present your graph, twice if necessary, and then the visitor does the quiz and gives an opinion, and off they went.

This class has ten fewer students, and I feel they worked harder at speaking English, perhaps because there is less place to hide?, I'm always moving around and asking them to present to me, or listening in.

After the break, reversed roles. Spoke a little to some of the ladies about how they liked the activity, and how inspiring some of the good work is to see, the guys tend to take the opportunity to move and leave the room. One of the students had forgotten the graph, but otherwise everyone had their stuff.

Following that we either opened the textbook or referred to the worksheet and practiced the key word pronunciation and checked the meanings in the graph. For the mix and match sentences, they took a little time to try it, since about a third or more had neglected to do the work at home, and then I matched them up, giving my examples and opinion for each one, to suggest that what is written in the book is not always the law, but merely a starting point for a personal analysis.

Lastly explaining with an example on the board how I wanted them to do the three parts agreement/disagreement, repetition of the hypothesis and then add some real concrete examples for next week, and explained that the nine sentences would be handed in and graded in lieu of a test next week. Reiterated how important this type of skill is in a working situation, where to simply say "I disagree" may cause bad feelings. Linking things to the real world out there.

One of the students said he had no newspaper, so I suggested he try the uni computers and go online to check out the net. He didn't realize you can get the news online for free. Hope he manages...

Lean and mean, when you have more of an idea what can go wrong and what is confusing in your set-up.

Roll on next year! I'll have their lovely graphs to hand out as peer examples and everything, if I just pop off to the 7-11 and make some photocopies of them (the uni doesn't provide free photo-copying to part-time staff, sniff, wail...)