Recently on my MA course we have been looking at the issue of reticence in the classroom, and whether this is caused by the communicative environment that the teachers create in their interactions with their students. Previously, I didn’t think it mattered what the nationality of the students were, I thought that the environment and perhaps the student-teacher relationship would be the key issues. However, I am not widely traveled, certainly not outside of Europe so I have no worldly experiences to draw upon, unlike some of the others on the course.
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Nina MK, Ph.D.
Love Goes Towards Love
Nina MK, Ph.D.
Topic 1 for April, Identifying and developing the skills and knowledge a teacher needs, gives one furiously to think, as Hercule Poirot would say. It is a great topic for discussion!
If we talk exhaustively about how the teacher can adapt the coursebook materials to satisfy the needs of their students, I will tackle another strange issue related to the coursebooks as well.
The issue of "error correction," particularly focused on grammar, can be a controversial topic in ESL/ELL circles. A number of studies suggest that correction - either through prompts that point out the error to a student and require an immediate attempt at a "repair" or through "recasts" when teachers rephrase correctly what the student said - can be a useful tool to assist language acquisition.
Looking at a coursebook and not knowing what to do with it is one of the most frustrating things in teaching. Very often, this happens because what is on the page doesn’t match what the learners want or need, or because what is on the page doesn’t fit with our beliefs as teachers.
There are a number of areas that can cause us problems:
Thank you to everyone who wrote blog posts in February - we enjoyed reading your entries. If you missed any, you can read them all by clicking here.
And now here are the topics for March. We hope you find something to write about. Happy blogging!
Topic 1: Error correction and feedback
- If we continue to live the way we do now, we will need at least two planets worth of resources by 2050 to survive!
- Based on known sources and current production levels, oil will finish in 45 years, gas in 60 years and coal in 120 years!
- If global temperatures rise more than 1.5-2.5 C, up to 30% of plant and animal species could become extinct.
"If we don't adapt we will die," were the stark words that jumped out from an otherwise mundane BBC article about changes in format and time to the Radio 1 UK Chart Show.
The Gaussian Curve is a very useful tool in teacher and student assessment.
Let us begin by assessing our own success. What is the usual procedure? We explain a new topic, have students do exercises, perform consolidation and then give them a test. If the grades fall into the celebrated mathematician’s curve shape, say five top marks, five lowest ones, and fifteen good and satisfactory, it means that we have done a good job.