Thursday, April 15, 2010

Reading, Writing, Listening! Oh my!

Hello everyone!

Well, I just had my second class of the semester. This class focuses primarily on reading and writing, but this year I’ve decided to include some listening as well. Unlike yesterday’s class which has only eight students, this one has thirty-eight, but for this class in particular, it’s common. Something I think I forgot to mention yesterday is that both of these classes are open to first and second-year students, although first-year students are predominant. Also, like yesterday’s class, I am conducting this one in a computer room. Actually, with the exception of textbook and primary focus, TOEIC vs Reading/Writiing, this class will be fairly similar in structure.


Independent Listening with MLH

Students will go online and register to be able to listen to the class audio files independently. Macmillan Language House has a great service called My School; all you have to do is request it and you have access to your own personal page that students can access, too. I wanted to have students do the listening activities independently because it allows them to focus more on the task than if I had them do it as a group where some students would be at a distance from the stereo. Furthermore, this allows me to check their ability, give feedback and evaluate their performance more easily as they will be expected to hand in the work they do.

Once they have registered for the page, they will have to listen independently to a short paragraph, which will also act as a model paragraph for the writing task later. They will listen and repeat after the audio; they will have headphones or earphones, so the amount of embarrassment experienced will be reduced somewhat (I say reduced because I think some will still be shy even if no one can hear them.).


What I refer to is the feeling some students have when they have to read or speak in front of others. I have had some students speak more quietly than usual, and I’ve even had one who turned red. Of course, I tried as much as possible to encourage a relaxed atmosphere, but for some students it is still difficult to perform such tasks, hence I decided to try such a task this year.


Textbook focus

After practicing the paragraph alone, they will then practice with a partner, changing the highlighted words in the paragraph with ones provided in the book. Next, they have about two writing activities that will be written out in their notebooks. These activities mainly consist of comprehension and grammar or vocabulary questions. Once they finish that, there may be one or two listening questions, depending on the chapter, that will have to do on their own. Again they will write the answers in the notebook. Finally, they will have to write a short paragraph based on the theme of the chapter, and that too will be written in their notebooks. Finally, these notebooks will be submitted to me for review at the end of class.

Internet Focus

Honestly, I am not sure if they will be able to complete all of what I am planning to have them do since I have not done this before, but once they finish the textbook tasks, they will have to go on-line again to the academic word list practice site where they will have to work through the list and some of the questions for that list. I will also expect them to email me this work as this will be included in their grade.


I won’t go into very much detail about what I did because today’s class followed the same pattern as yesterday’s class with the exception of having them write down their information in Excel. However, I was able to get this information (name and student number) via a questionnaire I distributed to find out which units they would like to do this semester. I did this because there will only be 12 classes this semester (two classes will be tests, and today’s class was orientation) and one of those 12 will focus on introductions. Therefore, that only leaves 11 classes, but there are fourteen units, so I had them choose them, which I think is better than me choosing them. It also allows me to get an idea of their interests, which is important, too. Next week will be the real start and I’ll be able to get a better idea of who my students are and what they can do. I will also be able to see how my plan will work, but of course, like all tentative plans, I’m sure that some things will probably have to be altered, but that’s one of the ways we learn how to teach, isn’t it? Trial and Error?




Classroom: ********************************
Time: 10:40 – 12:10 Thursday
Instructor: ******************************
E-mail: ********************************
OFFICE: ***************************


New Easy Writing (MLH)
Earphones or headphones

NOTE: Students who do not bring these items will lose points.


Academic Word List (
New Easy Writing (


By the end of the course, you should:
-be able to write a short paragraph on various topics
-have a larger vocabulary
-have a better listening ability


22 Unit 1 Introductions


10 TEST 1

29 TEST 2


Grades will be based upon the following criteria:

Weekly Quizzes
Vocabulary Exercises
Midterm Test
Final Test

*If you come at 10:55 or later, you will be marked absent.
*If you are absent 3 times, you will receive an F.
*If you are absent for a valid reason, you must give me that reason in writing by 1:00 PM Friday. If you fail to give me this notice of absence, you will be marked absent.

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