Homework is a complex issue with many factors affecting its success or failure. To begin with, homework is usually loaded with negative connotations. How can we turn homework into an effective language learning opportunity?
It is important to consider the teaching and learning context when we examine the homework issue:
Homework… should we or shouldn’t we? What are the benefits and what are the drawbacks? Are we really helping our learners develop their language skills or are we merely complicating their lives? Here are my favourite four arguments for and against giving learners homework:
The case for #1: Class time isn’t enough and learners need extra practice
What is the role of homework in teaching a language? Most of us would claim that homework activities help to reinforce the already-learnt knowledge. Students get a chance to practice the items one more time with the help of homework activities. However, having taught people of different professions, I may say that not all students have the chance to spend time on homework activities.
Homework accompanies students in the process of learning and it is often perceived as not a very pleasant obligation. Can this part of learning be more fascinating and useful at the same time?One of the solutions is to think about the form of the task. Students are used to doing exercises or tests so we should expand the varieties of tasks.Sometimes I use “Homework diary” in order to practice grammar and vocabulary topics in the context of their daily life.
According to the new Russian higher education standards work done by students outside classroom should take the same amount of time or preferably even more as inside.Such work is called independent but it should not be confused with homework,because independent work includes everything except homework and is given in addition to the latter.What can it be?
My previous post concluded with the assertion that homework assignments must now be designed in light of the fact that they will be done using Google Translate. In addition, these tasks must also abide by the three rules in which I firmly believe: 1) Homework should not be busy-work. Its purpose must be clear. 2) Students must be able to do it independently. 3) The tasks won't take the teacher hours to check! Google translate is very useful when an assignment is used as a preparation for what will be taught in class. Some call it "flipping your classroom".
These days it seems as if my students have had their cell phones attached directly to their bodies. They can easily go online anytime. If they aren't surfing on their cell phones then you will find them doing so at home on their computers. When students have access to Google they also have access to "Google Translate". And once they've started pasting or typing their homework into that magical box which spews out translations in L1 instantly, there is no turning back.
I am sure you also have students who do not do their homework. This must be one of the most common problems of us as the teachers. And I am one of those teachers.
The students who don’t do their homework.
What I always do
I have decided to set up a scheme for my teenage (FCE and CAE) students that I have called "Email in English". Basically, I want to have the students open a new email account, separate from their normal email, in which they will use only English. The idea is for me to send them homework assignments by email and for them to be able to share things they like with each other.Homework is something that all teenagers hate, they get far too much of it from school, and they don't really have much time to spend on doing English homework from their language academy.