Revision

I had to do some revision classes for the first time last week.  I’ve never spent a whole lesson revising everything.  I don’t know how I did.  There was a lot to think about and, in fairness, I don’t think I gave justice to any on language area.  However, a few things worked out okay.

I decided to focus a lot o error-spotting, since I didn’t really know how else to go about it.  This happens to me, sometimes.  My ideas just freeze.  My school has a strong focus on communication, pronunciation and listening, so the director is enthusiastic that our lessons involve lots of participation and games.  Sometimes, I have a hard time juggling the trying to provide entertaining, engaging activities with the right grammar/ linguistic input as well as trying to get through the book.  I’m sure this, lke all other things, is a matter of time.  As the director of another local academy put it,in no other job are you expect to be experts in so many areas.  We deal with students of all ages and sometimes all backgrounds, too.  We have to know all about grammar, pronunciation, language skills, games, we are actors, entertainers, motivators, educators and academics.  This is all part of the beauty of this job, but getting to be so expert at everything takes time.

This blog, as well as a good means for receiving feedback from experienced teachers, is also my record of what I did.  With my amateurish results in full view of the readers of this blog, I’m warning you in advance that, in no way do I claim to be anything other than a work in progress.  Here, I document that progress.  You are all at liberty to comment.

1.  Grammar and collocation casinos for topics we’ve been studying.  Ceri takes the credit for giving me this idea at her workshop at a TEFL del Sur conference.  This worked particularly well with an adult pre-int group ait provoked discussion and inter-student correction.

2.  Drawing shapes and filling the words of the lexical area in different shapes and then discussing those choices.  This had mixed results.  Apart from the classes looking at me like I was mad, it depended on the talkativeness of the group.  One of my 10-year-old classes loved it.  This idea came from my CELTA course.

3.  Drawing giant numbers and filling them with words from a chosen topic.  This is a variation on number two.  I asked the students to draw numbers one to five and fill in the more difficult ones in number one and the easiest ones in number five.  I used this with past simple irregular forms with one group, as a test.  I read out the infinitive form and they had to fill in the numbers with the past simple form.

4.  Race to the board.  I gave groups of three or four some cards with “in”, “on” and “at”.  I then read out time words like “Monday”, “December 6th” or “2010”.  They would have to bring me the correct card before the other group and writing the time phrase in the column on the board.  I also did this with “a little” and “a few” and other quantity expressions.  It added a kinaesthetic element as well as a competitive one.

5.  Although I never got round to using them, I had some phrasal verb bingo grids ready.  Bingo is a wonderful game and deserves a post all on its own.

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