Recently, a colleague and I have been trying out an activity called speed-chat. One challenge we face in our context is giving our learners ample opportunities to practice the target language. This can be especially difficult because we have large classes, and many of our learners have had little experience in using English in unplanned situations.
The inspiration to believe that inserting VR in my EFL classes was feasible came from watching this video: https://youtu.be/mlYJdZeA9w4
Cardboard + lenses = accessible VR
This is possible because of Google Cardboard Box. More info here http://goo.gl/ZbX5kM
I got fascinated by the possibilities shown :
THE BEST TEACHING AID EVER!
Nina MK, Ph. D
Nina MK, Ph.D.
What type of lessons would this include
The following types of lessons would use minimal or no resources, and the students would have to produce most of it using their creative minds and using the teacher as a go-between. The only problem is whether or not you can maximise their potential.
One key issue is the purpose and its relation to the age, level and interests of the students. From my experience the ultimate goal is to have a smooth transition from coursebook material to real life situations where words and phrases have a more functional role.
To begin with, brainstorming through activating schemata in class can generate a great variety of ideas. I always gather valuable information based on my students’ spontaneous reaction to our discussions as active involvement stimulates creative thinking.
We've all been there.
I was therefore very excited about the fact to discover that I could conduct a lesson purely by using the students as my resource. I was even more excited when I realized that without a prescribed coursebook, we were better able to focus on our students’ needs, interests and motivations and quickly became a convert to what I saw as a cutting edge method of teaching.
But when I started speaking to my Business English teaching colleagues, many of them simply said, “There’s nothing new about this. We’ve been doing this in our Business English classes for decades.”
I have keenly observed the fumbling and trembling of the people who ventured to speak English. In most of the cases, the faltering occurs only due to lack of confidence and fear of ridicule by others. This is an inevitable inhibition inhabiting the minds of initial learners. As a devoted teacher/trainer of Spoken English to people from all walks of life, with my experience in the field for more than a decade, I have dwelt at the systematic analysis on teaching spoken English in basic, secondary and tertiary modules.
As I've developed as a teacher, my relationship with supplementary materials has also evolved. I no longer view supplementary materials as being mandatory for a 'good' lesson, but rather they are something I choose carefully, selectively, and, I think, when I need to. Here are some of the questions I ask myself when deciding how to supplement for a particular class.
1. What do my students need/will supplementing be useful?