Sunday, October 25, 2009

Much ado about homework

I am only getting around to posting Friday's notes today because Friday and Saturday I was away.


I think this may have been one of those weeks when things don't go according to plan because I have not been satisfied with my teaching this week. I think it may be due to formatting my computer as this interrupted my week schedule considerably; I know now that I should have waited until the weekend, but alas that is my personality.

Today I started by having them change seats. I did this in order to allow them to meet new people. I then asked them about the homework, but I realize now that I should have been clearer because only 4 (although to be honest, walking around, it seemed that many more had finished) had finished it, so I didn’t take it in as planned. Instead I handed out the quiz and then we reviewed the word stress (refer to the previous post for explanation). After explaining the rules and telling them to start, I noticed that some were still unsure as to what to do, so I explained it to them; other students asked their neighbors, which I don’t mind at all, and soon everyone was on their way. I told them that the fastest group to finish would get candy, so I must not forget that next week.

After that, I told them to take out last week’s pair work, which was supposed to have been done for homework, and after explaining what they had to do one more time, I asked them to do it then. I think this time things went well, so I know that it was due to lack of time that they did not understand the activity. On Monday I will be doing this activity so I have to make sure to give myself enough time to explain and them enough time to complete within the class because it was originally meant to be an in-class activity and not homework.

By the time we finished, it was around 10, so I had to skip some of the chapter. I first dictated some questions for the short introductory dialogue and then played the CD twice. I then asked them to quickly practice the conversation. After that, I had them close their books and repeat the key expressions after me. Next, I had them do the vocabulary activity – they had to match English to Japanese. This did not take them too much time and I just asked them individually how to say the English dishes in Japanese. This activity was a pre-task for the final task of the day – in pairs they had to make conversations based on a model dialogue using a menu where one person acted as a foreigner who did not understand Japanese, and the other the Japanese friend. I was a little surprised to see that many of them finished so quickly, so I asked some pairs to stand up and practice in front of class.

I think I may have chosen the wrong textbook or rather, a textbook that does not suit my teaching style because I prefer longer introductory conversations and more listening exercises as are found in yesterday's class. I did not have time to finish the chapter due to last week's homework, but if it weren't for that, I probably would have finished much earlier. Furthermore, the teacher's guide has no extra activities, only the answer key, which I think is not good for a textbook. Surely, I can make up materials on my own, and perhaps that is what the authors want, but a teacher's guide should definitely have more than this. However, maybe that is the problem – I am thinking that the textbook is enough, but it isn't, and I probably should have noticed that earlier, but as they say, better late than never.

No comments:

Post a Comment