There’s no gainsaying the fact that good teaching is all about practice and good teachers are those who use less TTT to give their students the chance to discover, negotiate and reflect on their own learning. As a matter of fact, the twelve aspects of teaching are already enough to make it a good one and that’s what teachers during a brainstorming session about this topic would come up with. Below are activities I would suggest for every aspect :
Focus on the students, not you: In teaching the present simple and present continuous, for example, I would suggest a small dialogue containing both forms with time expressions that go with each tense.I would ask open pairs and closed pairs to read the dialogue and answer questions about it. Of course I would use both tenses in my questions and then I would ask them to work in pairs to come up with a similar dialogue asking and answering each other about things they do and things they are doing. They would discover the use of both tenses and use them without my explanation. At the end, I would elicit from them the rules and ask them to write them on the board. They would conduct a whole class correction and then copy their lesson on their notebooks.
Focus on who your students are: Here I would design an English Language Passport that contains details and information about the student’s current level of English and The Language Biography that shows in more details the student’s personal language learning experiences, qualifications and a list her personal language objectives. I would also ask her to have a dossier collecting her personal work. In addition, I would ask her to answer some questions regarding which learning strategies are most effective for her when she learns a new language.
Make it safe: Here I would do activities that would lower the affective filter and lead to a completely anxiety-free atmosphere. I would design activities that should boost the student’s sel-confidence and motivation, be it intrinsic or extrinsic.This would happen through establishing the classroom as an informal environment where each student speak and take part in a given conversation.
Show, Don’t Tell:Here I would teach by showing, walking the talk and not just telling. This could be a word represented by a picture as a picture is worth a thousand words. Instead of, for example, telling the students what global warming is, I would bring pictures of every stage of the phenonmenon and let them talk about it and discover what causes it.
Break it down, but don’t break it apart: To better handle this, for a reading class to be fully understood, I would plan on doing it on three levels: a pre-reading level, a while-reading level and a post-reading level. I would generate the students’ interest by asking them about the themes the passage might tackle or elicit their guesses about what it would be about. After that, I would ask them to read the whole passage to check their guesses .Then,I would divide the passage into three or four parts with questions about each part. After answering all the questions, the students would be asked to discuss the text themes and I would devise activities that relate the text to their own experiences.
Tell the truth: This happens to me most of the times. Some students do it because they don’t know the meanings of the words they ask about, but some others do it only to catch me out. In either case, I tell them that I don’t know the meaning of the word but will find out later and get back to them.I also ask their peers to help out if necessary.
Make it human: I really find this hard when it comes to teaching English, but I think to make it human, I would design authentic activities that would invlove students in meaningful contexts. The students would roleplay or at best come up with dialogues that might be used in real-life encounters.
Emphasize what you want students to remember: In a language class, it would take me a long text with a meaningful conext to present a grammar rule. We would read and answer questions about the text using the target structure, but only the target structure that should be remembered.Sometimes, it takes me a whole hour to get my students understand the use of the present simple. They would not be asked or required to remember the whole class, but only the taught structure.
Questions are as good as answers:I always do this with my students. Whenever we happen to have a reading class,a song or a listening class, they are led to ask questions about them. I get some of the students to write their “best” questions on the board so they can set the example as good questioners.
Less is more:Most teachers have learned that teacher talking time should be reduced. If, for example, I asked a question and got a correct answer, I would not “ratify” the answer, but rather give the floor to other students to agree or disagree giving their reasons. A true/false or mutiple choice questions require such negotiations. I should intervene only when the discussion takes a different path that would waste the class time.
Give students an opportunity to teach: I have always used this with my students. In my class I call it the “five-minute teacher” where a pair or a group of students take 5 minutes to teach something, be it colors, food, clothes or the like. Whenever I have a vocabulary class, I choose names from the list to play the teacher!
Think about how athletic coaches and artists work: That’s one of the most challenging aspects to be implemented in my region because there’s a terrible lack of teaching materials. My class is more or less unauthentic given the way it is conducted. Just imagine playing the clown where you have no clown costume! I also flinch from doing drama with my students for the acute shortages in props!
By El. Mohamed