Friday, December 4, 2009

Thank you Friday! You shouldn't have.

Today we started right away with the pronunciation – linking sounds. I followed the same plan as Thursday's class.

Once we finished we began unit 7. I dictated first some questions for a listening, and then I had them practice in pairs. Next, I had them repeat some key expressions in the book after me while asking some students where the linking sounds were. After that, I gave them five minutes to practice and memorize a conversation. I only gave them 5 minutes because the conversation was only short. After their time was up, I called upon several pairs to present.

After we finished, I decided to go with the pairwork dictee activity, instead of doing task 2 and 3 in the book, task 2 was a dictation and task 3 was a matching exercise. As they completed the task, I told them to look for linked sounds, and finally had students come up to the board again writing out the words with the linking sound.

Today was only the first part of what is normally called connected speech. I will also look at deletion and coalescent assimilation or blending of sounds. After I finish these, I will move on to intonation to end the semester.

Although I have not decided about whether to change books or not in my general English course, I think I will not be using this textbook next year. I do like the Japanese support and the themes are useful, perhaps not so interesting, but I won’t know that until I ask my students, but I’ve had to make a lot of extra materials to go with the book, and the conversations are too short, and there really should be more listening. Of course, this is my opinion, and since I prefer listening, I tend to dislike a book lacking in such activities. Honestly, I was thinking of going with the textbook I am currently using in my general English class in this class next year; what I am considering is going with book 1 and 2 for the communication classes both semesters and books 3 and 4 in the general English class each semester because the class is intended for second years and up. However, as I have already discussed earlier, the topics aren’t so relevant at times, and it does lack the conversation strategies, although I could add them myself, but if I have to do that it leads me back to the question – Should I really use a book if I am going to make the activities myself and end up only using a small percentage of it? Of course the answer I am getting is leaning to no. On the bright side, I am happy to be thinking of this now and not in February because the earlier I start, the more time I have to consider the advantages and disadvantages of each book, and thus be able to better choose a textbook that will work well for my class.

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