Thursday, October 1, 2009

Here we go!

I had 16 students today, but again I am not sure if that will increase or not. I hope it doesn't increase too much though because I think that this is a good number for a conversation based class such as this. Another thing I like is that I had all the students except for one last semester, so I have a good idea of what to expect, but then again I should not assume anything so soon.

This semester I am using a textbook, Breakthrough 1 by Macmillan. I have never used it before, but it seemed to be the most appropriate for this type of class out of all the books I looked at. Interestingly enough though, just thinking about it, if you asked me why I chose this book, I couldn't really give you a good explanation except that I liked the abundance of listening. Perhaps it was more of a feeling that I got from this particular book that made me choose it, something that appealed to me more than the others. It would be interesting to hear how many of you choose your textbooks.

Moving on to today's class, I think it went OK, but due to the fact I did not know how many students there would be I was unable to arrange the desks to give everyone space. Arranging desks is one of the most important things to do to help create a positive environment in my opinion, and something I try to do in every class if the classroom allows it. I usually start the semester arranging them before class myself and then over time asking students who show up early to help me. It is also important to get them involved, and this is a very simple way to do that. I also have my students help me put back the desks the way they were at the end of the class; not everyone helps out, honestly it is not really necessary, but many of them do and I always thank them for it afterward.

As with this morning's class, I started with the photos, then classroom English, followed by having students interview themselves. I will continue this plan actually, for almost all of my first classes because it helps me meet the students in a more relaxing atmosphere since it does not put too much stress on them and their abilities. It also helps me collect some important information regarding their interests and abilities that can help me in future classes, a sort of informal needs analysis if you will.

Today's class finished early because I did not have them write a paragraph as I had done this morning. I tend not to focus so much on writing in my communication classes, and actually I am even considering reducing the amount of writing in this morning's reading and writing course and increase the speaking component, as I did very little last semester. Of course, as I wrote this in my previous post, half of the class were in my class last semester, so this may be one way of alleviating the potential problem of repetition.

I haven't written much about today's class because the lesson plan was almost the same as this morning's class. However, next week we will start unit 1 of the book, and after we finish this unit, I intend to have the students choose which chapter they would like to do next, because although a textbook in itself is fixed, the order is often not, and I believe that giving the students some choice in the classroom even if it is only choosing the next chapter is another good way to get students involved in the classroom and help foster a more positive student-teacher relationship.

Well, I think that is it for this post. If you'd like to leave a comment, by all means please do!


No comments:

Post a Comment