Monday, November 2, 2009

So, where do you wanna go?

Due to my students’ aid in arranging the chairs, I was able to start the class on time. As with all classes that week, I started off by reminding them all about the absentee slip, and then passed back their work. Next, we did the review test, which did not take that long. I then introduced the two stress patterns that we would learn that day. However, this time I tried something different. I asked them to get into groups to play a game. I then placed chairs in rows of two in the middle of the room. I had them choose a leader and then the first person to start. I had this person stand facing the front with the chairs behind each person. I then explained that I would be saying words with either type 1 or type 2 stress pattern. I said I would give them five seconds to sit down on the chair corresponding to that stress pattern. The members of each team who got the right answer would receive a point. After playing for a while, I reduced the time to three seconds, and even had them close their eyes so as not to see what the others were doing. However, in the end, I realized that most all had a good grasp of word stress. The idea for the game was interesting and the students seemed to like it, but it was not as challenging as I had hoped since almost every time everyone got the correct pattern. Once we stopped the game, I had them help me put the desks back and then I gave them the list of words so that they could write in the patterns before moving on. I also said that next week (this week now) we would move on to sentence stress.

Next, we began the unit on places around town and in your neighborhood. I dictated several questions and then had them listen to the CD. Once finished, I decided to move on to the next page and the exchange activity. Here, I did something different as well because instead of asking them to simply practice the conversations, I asked them to memorize a conversation of their choice and afterward they would present it before the class. I gave them about 10 minutes to do this, but I probably could have given them less to make it more challenging.

I finished the class with a modified version of the speaking section. I increased the questions and adapted them to the students’ lives in the city. I had them work on the questions together and then asked them individually for answers.

I think that this class was one of the better ones so far this semester because I felt more confident in what I was doing, I felt prepared and also the students seemed to enjoy themselves and we did not completely focus on the book. I think that in the future classes, I should try to maintain this style of lesson and not worry so much if I cannot do most of the book.

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