A day with a difference 2

Published on 10th June, 2010 in Teaching Tips by Frances Watkins

Last week we looked at some ways in which you can incorporate change into your teaching. Here are some more suggestions.

• Use an approach or technique which is new for you, such as a dictogloss, a transformation exercise, a mumble drill (where students just repeat the target items repeatedly ‘under their breath’).

• Put students in radically different groupings, eg in larger groups or with (a) different partner(s), so that students are out of their comfort zone.

• Employ a different approach to clarifying language, eg student-lead, where students research the language and then teach one another; using a mini power-point presentation (facilities allowing); using a ‘situational’ presentation, perhaps with visuals; using translation.

• Avoid the coursebook / any handouts (select the one here which you usually rely on most!).

• Exploit something which is very current either locally or (inter)nationally, eg something which you have done or seen recently, even on the way in to work; a hot-off-the-press local or international news item.

• Focus on a (sub)skill in your lesson which is typically neglected in your teaching, eg intensive listening; oral fluency; scan reading.

• Surprise students by doing something unusual. If my students seem a little tired, I sometimes get them to do some exercises in class, eg walk twice around the room or turn around three times.

• Connect with the students in a personal way. If you generally tell little about yourself to your students, why not try bringing a little of yourself in for a change? You could try doing this at specific points, eg when you are chatting to students at the start of the lesson or perhaps when clarifying lexis: Personally, I find it very frustrating when the buses don’t come on time.