Thursday, October 22, 2009

Diving into the SA SEA

I am only getting around to writing this today because yesterday I formatted my computer, a very pleasant experience that I am sure that all of you have probably experienced at some time in your lives.

Before I start, I have to say that for this class, there really isn't a lot to say in terms of a lesson plan because the students choose what they do, how they do it and the pace at which they do it. My purpose is simply as guide, and I spend most of my time answering questions, giving advice as to how to go about doing certain things and making sure that students are focused on the task. Last week's class focused on typing the text out on the computer. Not everyone was able to finish, but the majority who did continued this week with vocabulary. The ones who did not finish the text last week, simply finished up what they were doing and then moved on. As was expected, some students were able to finish earlier than others, but I told them to continue with the activities. Next week, they will continue to work on their vocabulary if they are not finished or the activities.

I think that overall the class has gone well so far; the students are doing the work, and even helping each other with any problems they may have. In this class and the previous one, students were really only able to complete one task, but I have to say that the pace is good; students are focusing on what they are doing, and although there may be some talking, it is not really affecting their work. What I am noticing is that there is a growing sense of community among certain students (I say certain because due to the seating arrangements it is hard for all the students to be close, although I do have them sit closer to the front of the class, so there is no one isolated from the group). I also have to say that the number (17) of students does help a lot because this type of class may be a little harder if there were say 50 or 60 in the class. Finally, having an exchange student assist me in the class has also been very helpful and it would definitely be nice if I could have someone to help me out in future classes as well because I think that this may be the way I conduct this class from now on – of course, like any new style, it's important to test it, but if things continue the way they are, I think it will be a viable option.

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