Ooh, Marc. Your classes always look like you give your students loads of freedom.
Yes, it does look that way but sometimes I still feel like I’m spoonfeeding. So today, I ditched my plan and tried an experiment.
To prepare for a discussion on health. I set stations that the learners would practice at.
- Vocabulary brainstorming at the board.
- Discussion planning.
- Fluency practice.
- Mini-discussion practice.
Or functional language planning. What can you say to open a discussion, control a discussion, agree, disagree politely, change the subject and end the discussion. Not amazing.
Teacher led choral, response drills, function drills. Popular with the learners but not my bag. Useful to an extent.
Read the handout then discuss it. Response task on the back. Reading has a gloss and few if any ‘hard’ words.
Set a task (actually part of the exit task). The post-task was to report to me three best balances of nutrition and taste for the discussion.
How did it go?
Well, I’d be lying if I said everything was amazing. The vocabulary was very successful with my morning classes, and OK with the afternoon class. The reading was basically spot on and the mini discussions went well. The discussion planning kind of sucked a bit. Some learners took over and derailed the activity and it took a while to get back on track.
All in all, not bad, though. I’ll probably try something similar again but I definitely want to tweak the language planning, perhaps with a handout. But that takes the autonomy away.