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Angel's Growth =)
Zhuan Xin's Page
Today, I think it was good to play a game by asking classmates about information to fill in the small note that professor gave us. Interaction is a crucial issue in class between teacher and students and among students. Because of this game, students can get some basic background from their calssmates, which can make benefits for students to chat deeper and know each other. And teacher is also able to take part in this activity, which can shorter the distance between teacher and students very quick. And then, professor asked us to talk about our experience of learning English. By this, I start to think about some questions- whether all my previous teachers created activities on purpose, what are their purposes, or they just make games for fun. These are the issues that I have never thought about before. However, the initiaion of this course open a new door for me.
Ｔｏｄａｙ， ａｔ ｔｈｅ ｖｅｒｙ ｂｅｇｉｎｎｉｎｇ， ｔｅａｃｈｅｒ ａｓｋ ｕｓ ｔｏ ｐｌａｙ ａ ｃｈｏｏｓｉｎｇ ｇａｍｅ。 Ａｃｔｕａｌｌｙ， Ｉ ｄｏ ｎｏｔ ｋｎｏｗ ｗｈａｔ ｔｈｅ ｐｕｒｐｏｓｅ ｉｓ ａｎｄ ｆｅｅｌ ｉｔ ｉｓ ｂｏｒｉｎｇ。 Ｈｏｗｅｖｅｒ， Ｉ ｒｅａｌｉｚｅ ｔｈａｔ ｂｙ ｐｌａｙｉｎｇ ｔｈｉｓ ｇａｍｅ， ｓｔｕｄｅｎｔｓ ｗｉｌｌ ｈａｖｅ ａ ｃｈａｎｃｅ ｔｏ ｍｏｖｅ ａｎｄ ｔａｌｋ ｔｏ ｄｉｆｆｅｒｅｎｔ ｃｌａｓｓｍａｔｅ。 Ｂｅｆｏｒｅ ｔｈｉｓ ｃｌａｓｓ， Ｉ ｎｅｖｅｒ ｔｈｉｎｋ ｏｆ ｗｈｙ ｔｅａｃｈｅｒ ｐｒｅｐａｒｅ ｔｈｅｓｅ ｋｉｎｄ ｏｆ ｇａｍｅｓ。 Ｉ ｊｕｓｔ ｔｈｏｕｇｈｔ ｔｈｅｙ ｗａｓ ｆｕｎ ａｎｄ ｔｈａｔ’ｓ ｉｔ。 Ｎｏｗ Ｉ ｇｒａｄｕａｌｌｙ ｓｔａｒｔ ｔｏ ｃｏｎｓｉｄｅｒ ｔｈｅ ｇａｍｅ Ｉ ｈａｄ ｐｌａｙｅｄ ｂｅｆｏｒｅ ａｎｄ ｔｈｉｎｋ ｗｈａｔ Ｉ ｈａｖｅ ｇｏｔｔｅｎ ｆｒｏｍ ｔｈｅｍ。 Ｔｈｏｕｇｈ Ｉ ｓｔｉｌｌ ｄｏ ｎｏｔ ｕｎｄｅｒｓｔａｎｄ ｃｌｅａｒｌｙ ａｂｏｕｔ ｔｈｅ ｔｅａｃｈｉｎｇ ｍｅｔｈｏｄｓ， Ｉ ｔｈｉｎｋ Ｉ ｃａｎ ｌｅａｒｎ ａ ｌｏｔ ｆｒｏｍ ｔｈｉｓ ｃｏｕｒｓｅ。
I know there must be different teaching methods toward different age of students, but I do not know due to the differences, teachers have to make large changes in class. If teacher cannot make a proper method and environment for students, the teaching efficiency cna be largely affected. In order to fit students interests, it is important to find out what can draw students' attention in general and let them bomp into their own motivations. Except being leader of a class, teacher should also act as the role of listener and recongniser. Talking in front of the black board is definitely lonely. Then, why not turn to listen students talk? Though pointing to a particular student may make huge uncomfort and embrassment, students feel free when discussing with peers. And teacher can just walk around and ask students question like chatting. In my opinion, this way is much better than being asked a hard question, and standing alone with no help.
As a teacher, find the most efficient way to catch childrens' attention then becomes an important issue. This week, the reading tells us that teachers keep moving around classroom is not just loosing their muscles on feet. They create movement and motions, which make childrens' eyes move with teachers' shifts. However, this kind of method can only keep students from sleepy zone, and can not produce strong motive for students to learn. Today, after watching each groups' story made up for children, I find a phenomenon. We seem to tell the stroy directly, no matter by telling or acting, but do not concern whether students get the idea or not. We forget that our audiences just touch this new language, they can only understand few words. As a result, we should make sure students realize new knowledge and make them speak. Teachers in Taiwan give rewards to check whether their students understand. Yet they merely know students can match the questions and answers, cannot find out students know the whole concept. I think when teaching little children, it is important to teach step by step. From vocabulary, grammy, sentence to the whole story. Above teachers are supposed to treat students by putting themselves in the same shoe.
Rapport, which means the relationship between teacher and students, can affect a class a lot. Through our lives, there are many teachers that teach us different kinds of skills. However, only few of them may be sticked on our mind and the memory of some teachers just go away. The reason why we merely remember part of our teachers is those who have good rapports can let students keep them in memory better. In the class, we had discussed some important distinguishing characterics that a good teacher may have. For example, a good teacher should concern about his/her students, has sense of humor, or has professional ability in his/her teaching field. And some classmates also said having a memory of students is a vital ability that fine teachers should have. Take me for example, I once met a professor on the street and she called my name immediately as if it is very nature to remember and call my name. I was really shocked and appreciated her because I only took her course once two years before. And I did not speak much in class.
The bias of teachers can sometimes them unforgettable. The students that be loved by teacher will always remember and adore their teacher. On the contrary, the students that be cold-shouldered may also remember their teacher, but in loathsome way. Thus, it is extremely essential for a teacher to behave and to detect students' feelings and thoughts. Teachers can then tweak their methods to fit in with students' studying situation.
The assignment last week was to design a small grammar lecture and present to the class. I thought it not very difficult because the grammar I was going to teach is past contunious, which is not a tough concept. However, as I presents to the class, teacher tells me that there are some problems about my lecture. My method is to explain the grammar first, and give some example sentences, and then ask students to make up their own sentences with my help of vocabulary cards. I forget the point that I should not talk to much at the first time since students have totally no idea about what I am doing. I am supposed to speed down and use time line to express more clearly about the movement of past contunious. The reason why I should use chart or time line is many students, or we can say most of us, are visual-driven, so the memory or concept will store and seal stricker on their mind. And it is also a good method to make students into groups. By peer work, students can practice more and help each other by finding mistakes.
I did not know it before that seeing and designing lecture at students' point of view can be this hard. And what even harder is each student's situation and intelligence can be great different. Considering any possible situation and react properly, then students can really learn things and feel concerned by teacher.
Today, we have seen two well organized teaching performed by Renee and Alice. For Renee's presentation, she told an story about her sister's diary, which can draw students attention very quick since human beings are always curious about other's secret. Check whether studnets can keep on by asking simple questions is also a fine conduct. Besides, she teach in slow and clear way to prounce the grammars and roles. And for Alice's verbal report, she created an acitvity that the whole class can practice speaking with classmates. Provide note cards for role-play and let students ask other classmates questions about their work and rest last night to find out the thief. I think it is good to make students stand up and walk around because kids cannot sit for long. They may see activities very interesting and learn the concept unconsciously. However, this kind of designs may not be used frequently on teenagers or inter-mediate learners. I really appreciate their works because I thick I can never act so activate to fit the teaching style. Perhaps these need plenty of practice and have real passion in teaching, it can be torture if a person do not like to teach but just fall in.
I remember teacher also once said that the personality differs from work to home. Teachers can act differently in class just like another person from their normal behaviors. Though I do not know whether it is true, I kind of believe it. Anyway, I do not want to be another kind of person if I really become a teacher in the future.
Except for the textbooks, what should students read or what should teachers provide students to read? Take teaching English for example, it is difficult to choose proper reading for students since abilities and levels differ from one another. I remember when I was a senior high school student, school asked the whole grade to read an English novel for the home work of winter vacation. The novel was The Chocolate Factory. I thought it was not too hard and found a lot of fun reading it while many of my classmates did not read it all but just one or two pages. They considered it too hard for them and this assignment even made the learning worse because they became more rejective about English input. This is the situation that all teacher must try to avoid. Thus, choosing right readings can decide whether students may be interested and want to learn more or just destroy their tiny confidence.
There are also another two ways to encourage students to read that had been done by my shool and English teacher. My school praise the students that borrow books from library at most each month.This conduct can urge students to borrow outside readings. And my English teacher give students novels as presents if they do well on big exam or make a big advancement. Of course the novels have been chosen to suit students' level. Though i did not get any novel, I got a useful Macmillian Dictionary. This deed really encouraged me to study harder, I even choose to study in English Department. In conclusion, a good teacher and nice design on outside reading can change students a lot because they won't aware this associate to formal class and studying. The fact is that they absorb their teachers' gifts unconsciously.
Today, each of us brings an outside reading article for the level we set for students. No one of us chooses the article for young children but for junior and senior high students. Actually, I think it is quite difficult for us to choose appropriate outside reading for young children nowadays. It is because that many parents send their children to biligual cram school since kindergarten or elementry school. Thus, maybe the informations that given by English teachers in elementry are too easy for the kids that have learned English out of school. However, still many students do not learn English outside, and then it becomes a dilemma for teachers. When it comes to junior high, since the ability gap between students may be closer, teachers can decide outside articles easier.
For our group, our target students are junior of high school. Lily brings an article of Martin Luther King's speech, Alice brings a story form her text book, and I bring an article from studio classroom. Finally, we decide to use my article to design an one hour course. The article is about Flora Expo in Taipei, which is very popular these days because it just start last week. We decide to play a 5 to 10 minutes trailer to catch students' attentions and create schema. And then let students have 10 minutes to read the whole article. After they finish, we will give a lecture to discuss the meanings, grammar, and vocabularies. Eventually, we may make up a activity. First, make a 40 students class into five groups. Next, ask them to summarize this article by using future tense or use the tone that we are going to intorduce our Expo to foreign friends. And then ask them to write their answers on the black board or read out loud for sharing. Find out and check mistakes and end this class.
Note: make sure every students in group all have their jobs.
The topic of this week is mainly about teaching writing and speaking. For the part of writing, there are two different types of writing, which are writing for learning and writing for writing. In junior high school and senior high school, teachers let us practice grammar, structure, and vocabularies in class by using the exercises in text books. I think each student can catch up since there may be only one grammar pattern per lesson. However, most teachers do not teach how to improve writing skills. Most students forget the patterns that they have learned before and thus their compositions are usually full of mistakes. I remember maybe half year before taking the entrance exam did the English teacher make us practice writing articles very frequently, which was cattered to the test but not for real exercise. In my opinion, this kind of practice can just make students get better gardes on examination, yet many students may want to throw all the skills they learned away immediately because those skills are only tools to make better grades, and they are force to learn them. Then how to make students think what they will be very useful in their whole life and consider it interesting may be crucial. I think it's not only the way that teachers teach students is important, but also the attitude that teachers present toward the language he or her is teaching.
About the speaking part, it is really difficult to conduct in big class. When I was a junior high student, the English teacher make the whole class into groups (two students per group). It is because that the content of text book were all conversations. Thus, each group has to memorize the content and present in front of the teacher. Some thinked it torturing and some thinked it interesting. However, this method is to time consuming. Perhaps, ask school to hold little dramma contest may evoke students' interests in speaking.
11/26 Activity Design
: Point Counterpoint - Discussion and Persuasion Techniques
: This course book is designed to teach students how to make argument and discuss with other people. And the opening of each lesson will first give an article of daily dilemma or argument. The one I chosed (A Good Future)is about a grocery owner who wants his little daughter to focus on study and get a job from government or commercial firm. However, his daughter just like to stay with him to keep the store and she usually asks him whether she can inherit the store in the future. The father is very worried about the situation but just have no idea how to do.
: The activity provided are dividing students into groups to discuss how will them do in different situation, For example, change the daughter into son or the father want his daughter to inherit his store but his daughter wants to study art. Discussing various conditions and arguing with classmates are quite interesting and can let students practice speaking. Yet my target audiences are third grade of senior high school students. Of course they may face some conflicts with their parents and they may have a lot to say, but this activity just cannot work in a big class of 40 students. And it is hard to ask students speak all in English and also difficult to contorol the class after students start to talk.
: As a result, i change the activity into some other ways.
Make 4 students per group and ask them to discuss 3 possible thoughts from daughter and 3 from grocery owner. And then write on the black board and correct answers. Homework: write an article about their own situations with parents.
Make 2 students per group and write a dialog of following situation. (It's three months later and your daughter's grade is still bad) Ask students to pretend each sides(father&daughter) and practice dialog. And then choose 4~6 groups that I find them do well to present in front of the class.
3. Make little role cards with various characters with some basic backgroungs written in the back. Ask each row
of class to draw two cards out from a box and all the students in the row have to make up a proper dialog and
let two students to present. (each row) (Students should turn in the working sheet to make sure that every do
The group work today is to make adaption of the lesson on text book. The example we choose is the one that teaches students animals.
: Junior High School (30~40 students per class)
: two hours
1. We decide to give lectures on introducing different kinds of animal. And then divide them into groups(ten groups,
three to four students a group).
2. Make ten animal cards and ask each group to pick one. Each card provides the basic information about the
3. Students need to think up some other information and practice asking animal information with group members.
4. The competition begins. We'll give students a blank animal sheet for them to fill in the animal and information of
other groups. We have to make sure that they move in order.
5. We may tell them it is all right to let group members copy the answer, but they have to write down answer
6. Recoup answer sheet and ends the class.
I think when doing this kind of activity, divide students in small groups is very important. The English level starts to polarize when students are in junior high school. Once students fall behind at this period, it may be very hard for them to keep on in the future. They may feel frustrated and be sticked to this level for the rest of his life. Then how to help them can be a big problem. Due to rebellion thought, they are likely to refuse the help from teachers. Thus, we have to make classmates help each other. By peer work, the higher level can help lower level and the lower level may feel English not that difficult as they though by classmates' assists.
Today, we mainly discuss about planning lessons. What are the materials going to be given to students, and in what kinds of way. These procedures should be well considered, thinked around and practiced before a teacher give a lecture. At my senior high period, I could expect no surprise except for English classes. For example, HIstory and Chinese classes always go on without any change. Teachers just keep talking and students keep taking notes, underlining, or sleeping. I could merely find teachers' effort on their lectures. Of course they know the content very well, but they can just have this ability and use it for the rest of their career. In my opinion, they can bring up some current events to fit the text book and create activities, or these kind of class may easily falls into boredom. And I have noticed a problem, which is that many teachers do not do well on time controls. Chapter 12 mentions a word " magic moment," which relates to teachers' failure on time contorls. Whenever student ask a question or teacher suddenly think of something that is interesting, teachers may transform their lectures on this thing and totally forget what they planned to say. Thus, the result is they try to catch up the schedule for whole semester.
Lessons should be well planned so that students can get information and aborb it much faster. Though it is impossible for teachers to predict that all things will under control, teachers can still do their best to decide how to make students learn more. I believe many teachers have their own creative ways to teach, but they are not able to conduct since they are under the great stress from students' parents and school governer. Therefore, what they consider is not about whether students actually learn knowledge and can use the knowledge, but consider about the score and how to make students do well on the entrance exam, which is a real pity for students in Taiwan. Too standardized to make classes more creative and more different.
Today we discussed a question that I am quite interested in, which is - Does it really matters that if the English teacher is not a native speaker? I have noticed that English cram schools for children always like to use foreign teachers, but they do not care about the educated level of teachers. I had once studied in an English cram school when I was at elementary school. The foreign teacher was from Australia and he had a very strong accent. Students can merely understand what he says and I did not think he was a good English at all due to his lack of teaching method. And I did not think he actually understand the level of us. I think it is better to use Taiwan teacher to teach children English because they will know much better about the situation or level of students. It hard for foreign to think about students' levels in Taiwan since they did not experience the period in Taiwan or they should have abundant experiences and are very sensitive about students' conditions. Though the accent of Taiwan teachers may not be as good as native speakers, I think the most important way to cultivate nature accent is to put students in the right environment. Some of the highly well-educated professors still have accent, so that's not about whether their teachers are native speakers or not. Once being put in the proper place such as America, England or New Zealand for couples of year and then a naturer accent can be brought up automatically.
Description of class:
: Junior high Ss in cram school
: intermediate (Ss are familiar with all forms of tense)
Length of class
: 50 min.
: (what the T intends to do)
1. T will first use text extract to provide grammar for the Ss to read and study.
2. T will increase Ss’ input by having a grammatical lesson and rereading the text extract.
3. T will try to make sure that Ss comprehend by assessing how they work on the activities and homework as well.
: (what the Ss are expected to do)
1. Ss will learn new vocabulary and grammar.
2. Ss will learn how to use what have they just learned in the writing activity in class (Ss will practice writing using the same grammar patterns).
Taboos and Superstitions of Chinese New Year
1. (Engage) Ss and teacher have a discussion on the Chinese New Year. What do people do on this day? What do people not do on this day? And it will be better for the T that Ss are interested in it. (5 min)
2. (Study) T does vocabulary words and then let Ss read one paragraph in the text extract. (7 min)
3. After they finish reading, T firstly gives brief introduction to passive voice and then asks them to look at the text extract, find and analyse any sentences which use passive voice. (5 min)
4. (Study) T explicitly explains how and when to use passive voice; T and Ss read the text extract again, and the T has to make sure that Ss have understood correctly. (15 min)
5. (Study) T delivers pictures to Ss, and explains what will be going on next.
6. (Activate) Ss work in groups to practice using the same grammar pattern, and
try to write a letter to introduce the festival based on the pictures and then
hand in the script after the class. (15 min)
: Ss share with other groups.
Actually Mandy and I have discussed for many times and then finally decided to insert Chinese in our lecture. It is very
difficult for students to understand a new grammar term by using all English. And I think Mandy did a great job on this part.
For my part, I think I should improve on drawing students' attentions. Since students during junior high are very talkative and
rebel. They can even fight back if they hate the teacher and lecture, or they may just ignore the teacher and do whatever they
want under tables. Thus, it becomes very important to make students feel interested in the class and content. Of course we
can design some game, but we need to ensure they really learn what we want them to learn at the same time. Furthermore, I realized how to encourage students by using some appreciation like “It’s very good for you to share your experience with us" after teacher's suggestion. And doing some fun movements to explain vocabularies is more effective and interesting. Students may feel impressed and can figure it out directly. Above all, being teacher is not an easy job, design and practice again and again and then teachers can make sure whether students get the idea without feeling bored and do not want to attend. However, the most important thing is that teachers should also enjoy teaching, or it might become very meaningless and boring also to teachers, doesn’t it?
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