Thursday, December 3, 2009

Learner Autonomy? Well, sort of.

Today was the start of the more autonomous classes. Until today, I would select the order and I would control how much time would be spent, when to start, when to finish etc. However, today, I had them come up and get all the worksheets for the class. I then told them that they could choose the order of the activities and how long to work on them, but that they had to show me what they did, and that they had to finish everything before the end of class.

Today’s class was the start of the paragraph writing, too. I had taught the different parts of the paragraph and brainstorming, so they should have all the tools to write a paragraph. Today’s theme was ‘My Saturday’, but I noticed that for some reason some students had chosen other themes. However, I did not ask them to start over, but instead, told them to do the theme another class. Honestly, perhaps it may be a good idea to let them choose the theme to work on, too. I also explained that they had to write a first draft, check it and then show it to me before going on to write the final draft. I think though that this may need clarifying because many students seemed not to check it for I could see no markings on some papers.

In the end, I think the class went well. Some students took the full class to finish, but those who finished early, I let go. I think the main reason why some students took a long time is that they need to organize their time more, something perhaps that I could discuss in the next class. From now until the final class, I will conduct the class in this manner, having them write a paragraph each week, and for the last three classes, a paragraph based on something in which they are interested. How I intend to do this is by giving them a list of ideas based on the survey I conducted in the beginning of the semester, and students will be able to choose three topics that interest them the most and write about that.

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