Monday, January 17, 2011

Skills-based Approach

Skills-based Approach

I am in agreement with the structure presented here as a skills-based lesson approach. However some of the realities of a large classroom necessitate some adjustments to form as you may see below.

• Set the scene: While I do use the openers in my course books I find a simple review question such as, “What did you learn last lesson?” for lesson splits helps as well as an opener.

• Break down the different stages: Related to any topic I find the more progressive stages require a closer or short evaluation exercise which I require students to perform at the end of each lesson to gauge their grasp of the previously taught topic before we move on to the next one.

• Elicit and/or present phrases and vocabulary: In theory this works well but in practice in large classroom I sometimes prefer to set the question to the group provide some time to prepare an answer and them randomly select. Otherwise in nearly all cases it would almost always be the same people giving responses.

• Set students one or more activities which allow them to practice the phrases in a controlled setting: This is something I routinely practice but I like to put time pressure on it for example I’ll tell them you have five minutes to do this, etc.

• Set students a task which allows them to practice the language in a freer manner: Oh yes, this is quite engaging and students love being the center of satisfying attention when they are well prepared to do this. Smiles and laughter all around.

• Peer- and teacher-feedback on their performances: On occasion I have peer feed-back but could probably use more of it. However outside class group activities probably sustain a lot more peer feedback. Students get my feedback on end of class evaluation activities something like Caesar; a thumbs up or thumbs down approach. In a class of forty my last real question to wrap up is, “Do you want to go home?” I then set up their exit evaluation. If their performance is unsatisfactory they must simply sit down and wait to do it again.

No comments: