2010/09/17 Reflection

1. What does what I learned today mean to me as a language TEACHER?

First, I am impressed by the two activities which the teacher applied at the very beginning of the class.
It is important for students to know each other on the first day of the course thus create a sense of security.
So, as a language teacher, I have learned that teachers should design certain small activities that can let students talk to each other
and make the class more active.
Secondly, a few questions were asked by the teacher followed by the activity. For example, "What sould you do as a language teacher?"or "What is your desired teaching position?" These kind of questions can make students start to reflect on themselves as well as motivate students' interests in learning something new.
Thirdly, the teacher started to lecture on the several teaching methods. In addition to explaining the meterial, the teacher made a demonstration.
Therefore, as a teacher, I have also learned that a teacher should put the knowledge he/she teaches into practice in order to help students learn better.

2. What does what I learned today mean to me as a language LEARNER?

As a language learner, I assume that being more active in class can help to learn better.
In class, whenever teachers offer opportunities for learners to engage in, learners should always seize any chance.
Based on my own learning experiences, the more one engages in the class, the more one can learn from the teacher.
For instance, the teacher made Wendy do the Series Method practice in class. I believe that Wendy could remember the Series Method much longer and better than anyone else among the students.
My point is a language learner should participate more in class. As a matter of fact, a language learner should try to use the language as much as possible when it is available in class.

2010/09/24 Reflection
To begin with, the first activity was quite interesting. It divided the students into several groups, then we students told each other how we think and feel about the game. I personally liked the activity not only it was fun but it made us awake at the beginning of the class.
Today, we learned several things including psychology, history of language and some teaching methods. What impressed me the most was the Au dio-Lingual Method. It had a deep impression on me because I had a teaching demonstration which applied this method in another course last semester. The method includes different kinds of drill, for it emphasizes speaking the most.
I remembered that I once had a visit to a senior high school. I have noticed that most of the teachers use the Audio-Lingual Method to teach students dialogue. Instead of saying the words themselves, the teachers there all use CD to demonstrate the pattern.
In short, I think a good language teacher can try their best to make good use of every teaching method to help students learn better.
2010/10/01 Reflection

On Friday's class, we first reviewed the things which were taught last Friday. I remembered we talked about socio-cultural theory, post-methods language teaching and the basic principles for teaching a language. Then, we moved on to the first chapter in our new textbook. What impressed me the most was learners' different level. According to what I had learned before, teachers usually make three distinctions to categorise the language knoeledge of the students: beginners, intermediate and advanced. However, the book talked about the distinctions in a more specific way. It divided students' level into seven categories.
Besides, I also found it very interesting to learn about the differences between a 5-year-old child and a 10-year-old child's logic and world views. Based on the knoeledge, a teacher would know what to do or what was not to do in class to make his/her teaching more effective. For instance, there must be variety in the classroom in order to make students concentrate on their learning.

2010/10/08 Reflection

At the beginning of the class, as usual, we had a small actvity which was to write something good about the people sitting around you. The activity was not only interesting but surprising. On one hand, I felt shy telling my classmates' strengths. On the other hand, I was really happy to receive small pieces of compliment. Like what other classmate just said, I was looking forward to the warm-up activity next class.

After that, every group in the class demonstrated the story "Goldilocks and the Three Bears." I intially thought everyone did a good job. However, after the teacher's short demo, I found out the differences between the teacher's version and our own version. First, the teacher told the story at a rather slow pace. Contrary to the students' demonstration, we tended to tell the story in a more traditional way. Secondly, Michael wanted to make every detail clear to the listeners. Thus, the whole demo involved more explanations as well as exaggerated physical interactions. In my point of view, proper physical interaction worked well among young beginners.

Then, we discussed about the question,"What makes a good teacher?" My point was that a good teacher should be professional in his/her teaching and be passionate about his/her job. In the second chapter of the textbook, the writer also mentioned about the personality and adaptability of a teacher. As a result, there are still many things for we to think about being a "good" teacher.

2010/10/22 Reflection

Today's class began with the teaching demonstrations. It was surprised for me to see that there were many ways to explain the meaning of a word. However, the teachers needed to make sure whether students catch the meaning or not. I have learned that we should always use the target language first to explain the word. Then, we give examples. If students still can not understand the meaning, we may eventually translate the word into Chinese. To be honest, I was impressed by Sam's "ordinal number" teaching demonstration, I thought he did a good job. With the help of powerpoint, students can learn the concept more easily and quickly. As for the disadvantages, it was time-consuming to make a well-designed powerpoint. Besides, the use of timeline was important. Nevertheless, we should focus on the main point and avoid telling students something which was unnecessary for them. And it was essential for we to know that we should not talk to the whiteboard. In my point of view, we all need time to practice writing on the whiteboard and looking around the classroom at the same time.

Secondly, I felt a little pressure for the quiz for the fact that it involved lots of teaching history, methods as well as so many things we had discussed in the previous classes. However, the quiz did really force me to review the lessons and learn better.

2010/10/29 Reflection

What impressed me the most was Alice's teaching demonstration. As soon as Alice got on the stage, she became so energetic and confident. On that day, she was teaching us past tense. Apart from lecturing, she also designed an activity which let us use certain patterns to find out "the thief." After the demonstration, Michael also conducted the same activity but in different ways. Instead, we talked to each other standing in two rows. Thus, this enabled each student to have more opportunities to practice the patterns.

The demonstration made me think of Communicative Language Teaching, for the reason that CLT must involve lots of dialogs and role plays. Besides, Alice's teaching also included a task-based learning. This could arise students' interest easily and make the class much more interesting.

In short, I have learned a lot from today's experience. First, be confident when being on the stage. Second, maximize students' talk as much as possible. Last but not least, make the learning environment fun and interesting in order to enhance learning.

2010/11/05 Reflection

On Novemeber fifth, we learned several things about teaching students how to read. First, we made a distinction between extensive and intensive reading. Extensive reading involves something which we read outside the classroom. For example, there were newspapaers, novels, magzines and so on. Usually, this kind of reading could easily arise syudents' interest. Students could read as much as possible. Thus, their reading ability may progress fast.

Then, we have learned about the reading skills, scan and skim. Besides, Michael also explained the differences between the "top-down process" and the "bottom-up process." Top-down process means that a person uses his/her background knowledge when reading something while bottom-up process suggests that a person tends to decode the language when reading. Although there seemed to be a little difference between what I had learned before, I could understand the distinction between the two.

As a teacher, I think a teacher must provide enough authentic material for students to read. As a student, one could make good use of any reading strategies like what the textbook provided on page 101~102.

2010/11/12 Reflection

Today, the class was divided into four groups discussing the reading passages each person brought in. As for me, I discussed the reading with Teresa, Angel and Mandy. Originally, I brought in a copy of a poem which was written by Robert Frost. However, we decided to teach Angel's short story which was called Star Girl. After the discussion, our target student were seior-high school students. As for the objective, we wanted to teach students about writing a narration. Here was our curriculum:

1. ask S several opening questions
2. jigsaw reading
3. check Q
4. ask S to act out each paragraph
5. have S predict the following story

After the whole activity, I have learned that building schema was important in teaching reading. For the reason that it was much more easy for students to have some background knowledge before they read a passage. Secondly, scaffolding was also important. After students had certain input, it was teacher's job to elicit students' output. Last but not least, I strongly agreed with Michael saying that the teacher should help students to see the language come to life.

2010/11/19 Reflection
Today, we have learned about how to teach writing. First, there is a distinction between writing-for-learning and writing-for-writing. Secondly, what we discussed the most was the writing activities that teachers can apply in the classroom. According to Michael's category, there were controlled, guided and creative writing activities. Controlled activities mainly includes copying and other hand-write work. Although copying was not the best way to learn to write, it still benefited students who were beginners. Copying, on a certain degree, helped students to memorize the new words or sentence patterns. As for advanced learners, we mainly conducted creative wrtiting activities as our teaching plan. The very first step was planning. Then, there were drafting, reviewing and editing. And at last, we strived to write the best version. In my opinion, it was important for learners to think before they write. I think a teacher should help students to get into the habit of organizing their thoughts before writing.

2010/11/26 Reflection
Here is my revised teaching plan:
Book: More Grammar Games(written by Mario Rinvolucri and Paul Davis)
Target Audience: Junior High School Students (about 30 students)
Goal: Ss are able to use the "second conditional" pattern in their daily lives.
Procedure: First, the teacher would ask the students to move away the desks and the chairs and divide the class into 4 groups.
Secondly, the teacher get the students sit in a circle. So now there are four circles set in the classroom. Then, the teacher can give the students the model," Anyone who would go bungee-jumping, move two to the right." The direction indicates that a student who would do the action should stand up and sit on the chair which is two to his right. After making sure that every student understand the activity, the teacher now hand out 2 handcards to every student with phrases written on it. For example, swim with the sharks or run around naked, etc. Thus, each student can take turns to practice speaking the second conditional pattern. As the game proceeds, students may end up sitting on top of each other. At last, after everyone in the circle have practiced saying the direction twice, the teacher comes to the students and asks the students who still sit on the others' legs what they would do if they had the chance to wrap up the whole activity.
Reasons: The reason why I would choose this activity is that the teenage students always sit in class with lots of physical energy that needs an outlet. So, I think the activity involves a more physical interaction that could benefit the students. However, I should notice that the students around the teenage age may feel embarrassed to sit on the others' lags. As a result, the teacher can separate the boys and the girls in different groups. In short, I think this is an interesting activity that can be conducted in class.

2010/12/03 Reflection
In today's class discussion, our group chose to adapt example 2 on page149. First of all, we all thought the "personal engagement" part was really interesting and was quite different from our learning experiences in Taiwan. What impressed me most was the word auction. According to the textbook, I personally liked the activity because the activity was not only fun but meaningful. Students had to make a sentence in order to bid for the words they wanted the most. This could make students practice speaking and memorize the new words at the same time.

HW: textbook p221 Holiday routines revision
1. Students' Level: Intermediate
2. Students' Number: 30 person
3. Teaching Precedure:
(a) Divide the students into 6 groups.
(b) Provide each group with one tourist spot picture, and each of the group is responsible for introducing the famous spot to the class.
At the same time, rest of the students have to guess where the place is.

2010/12/10 Reflection
1. ch12 outline
2. p221 teaching plan revision