Monday, November 9, 2009

AWL or a textbook? Which way to go?

I am still debating whether or not I should continue writing this class’s blog because every week it is almost the same thing. We start with their homework, move on to the vocabulary and finally with the time left over, we work on the textbook. The only thing we did differently today, and something which I will probably continue to do, was pronunciation practice. After we finished one page of corrections, I had them repeat each sentence after me, pointing out the stressed words and intonation of each sentence. Honestly, I would like to try this out in my other TOEIC class, and perhaps all classes, but the biggest challenge is class size. My Friday class has only 6 students, so it is a little easier to do, and observing them is no problem either. Furthermore, if I want to hear them individually, there are few enough students that this is possible. Imagine trying to do that with 30 or 40 students – I don’t think so.

However, one concern I am having with this class is that I think I should focus a little more on the book. Of course vocabulary is important, but since I got them to buy the book, I feel that not using it is a waste of money. That said though, this is the advanced class, so they have taken the test at least once, and I think most of them have taken it more than that, so perhaps giving them test practice as what the book does may be redundant because they already know pretty much how the test works. What they may need more after all is in fact vocabulary. I am thinking more and more now that next year, I may not use a textbook in this course. I will, however, give them mock tests because I think practicing the whole test is important as it can show me what they need to focus on. Actually, (sorry for my rambling) I may need a textbook after all because part five can be practiced with the AWL, but part 7 especially really needs focused practice, something that may be easier done with a textbook. Am I back to square one then? Hmm…maybe.

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