However, it is important to allow students to do it on their own, otherwise they grow very dependent on the teacher and never learn how capable they are by themselves. While illustrated books are one option and work well with students from a reading background, card games are a wonderful way to incorporate reading practice into Literacy lessons, especially for Secondary level learners. They may work well for some Primary groups, provided the students are patient enough to watch a long demonstration.
My first two-hour lessons with them were divided into 4 parts of 20 – 30 minutes, in which students wrote words on whiteboards, read together as a group, made words with cards and did some written dictation.
However, when I began to isolate the skills I wanted to teach and adapt activities I used with other levels, I found there was a variety of different games that could be used with Literacy learners, that made classes fun and learning successful.
In the context in which I teach, A0 primary and A0 secondary learners are rarely ever learner trained, as they come from school systems that place little emphasis on pro-activity and creativity. They also come to class with little or no Literacy skills (i.e. phonics recognition, reading and writing, etc.), although some of their spoken English might be fantastic.
Both adults and children develop their communicative competence at different paces. How can we help them to accomplish their communication goals, regardless of their level of proficiency?
I will focus on two strategies that not only help low level students, but all language learners:
1. Building rapport
ICT is perhaps the fastest-growing phenomenon, the inherent characteristic of the third millennium. For today’s children and now even for their parents, the internet has “always existed”. They are truly a new dot-com generation, and as such they cannot even begin to imagine life without instant communication and access to information tools. Thus the question of whether to allow the use of phones and any other mobile devices in the classroom seems to have become rather academic. As with all the more traditional and simpler teaching aids some strict guidelines are usually in place.
I would like to start this post by saying that when I hear some people say that mobile phones are dangerous devices for humankind, I cannot help smiling while recalling that I had to hear something similar about the dangers of TV not so many years ago. In fact, TV was called “the idiot box” and you had to be very careful because spending some hours watching it could kill your creativity forever. Fortunately, it seems that did not happen to many of us who learnt how to benefit from watching TV.
Unfortunately, teachers may only be given the textbook without any professional development or additional curriculum resources. It can be challenging, especially for newer teachers, to figure out how to use the textbook to meet the needs of culturally and linguistically diverse students who may be at different levels of English proficiency. It can also be difficult if the textbook is outdated or not well-designed in terms of instructional practice.
There are several new trends in ELT which are developing right in front of our eyes today.
Teaching is a timeless profession; the Greeks were doing it, Jesus was apt, and even Einstein wanted a piece of the action, and it’s difficult to see at first what has fundamentally changed in the way we teach since Plato was expounding his theory of Forms.
But Plato didn’t have an iPad. Or Twitter. And he didn’t have access to an online language corpora with millions examples of language to compare. So what advantage do we really have now compared to our sandaled friends?
There are four aspects to this: the school, the methods, the teacher, and the student.
The advent of digital technology has dramatically changed routines and practices in our society. Advocates of technology in education often envisage similar dramatic changes in the process of teaching and learning. It has become clear, however, that technology is changing our ways of communicating and we, teachers of English, must deal with this relevant issue which influences English language teaching overwhelmingly.