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Angel's Growth =)
Zhuan Xin's Page
1. What does what I learned today mean to me as a language TEACHER?
What i have learned from today's class is that being a teacher is not that easy in some ways for sure. As teachers, not to mention language teachers, they all try so hard to come up with any sort of method to arouse students' interests so that students will not get bored in the process of learning. By creating some special and entertaining activities that students can participate in and have fun when learning, teachers are more likely to achieve their goal, that is, teaching.
2. What does what I learned today mean to me as a language LEARNER?
I think in order to be good at any kind of language, one should get enough exposure to certain kind of language environment. That is to say, in class, students should try to speak that language as often as possible. Moreover, it will be far more better that students can think and understand everything without translating it in Chinese. And this is for the surrounding part. Another pivotal point for language learners to acquire the language lies in their interest in and motivation for learning the language. If students like the learning of English, for example, they are more likely to pink up on the main points during their learning of English. Also, if students have a strong desire to learn in order to achieve some goals, then their learning will definitely make progress in a short period of time.
In today's class, we have talked about ZDP, scaffolding, EFL, ESL, students motivation and multiple intelligences. During the children's process of learning, for instance, teaching them is just like scaffolding. Learning step by step, children are able to catch the essentials of their learning, and are able to form a strong learning base. As for the students motivation, it is said that the base of motivation for learning is the desire to obtain some goal. In here, there are a wide variety of ways that can foster students motivation for learning such as teachers' methods, the classroom activities or students' ability to the subjects. And plus, if the teachers arouse students curiosity or interest, the students might be able to learn more efficient to some extent. By learning some methods of teaching, teachers may know exactly how and what to teach in class, which is beneficial for both teachers and students.
For this week's reading, it introduces some skills and knowledge that a good teacher should have. The most impressive part will be the "teacher skills" part.
Today, Prof. Cheng warmed up the class by creating a activity that asks each student to write down some "compliment" of our classmates and tell the classmate why do we like them. After the activity was finished, as usual, we talked about why we had such activity in the class. Some said that the student being praised will become more confident; some said they would be more likely to be in a good mood during the process of learning if such thing happens at the beginning of the class. The, what does this event have to do with my reading of the textbook? Well, i read the "teacher skills" part saying that the teachers should let their students know the "destinations" of having activities in class. Thus, when Prof. Cheng began asking us the purposes of the activity, i immediately thought about it and soon got the idea of letting the students know the reasons and what they're going to learn. Moreover, i think we students did not know what we really should do, and
thus missed the main idea in today's demonstration. We were not teaching actually, or we set the wrong targets, we were "acting" to the students instead. Anyway, after what Prof. instructed, i think we all will get to know more about teaching, in this case, teaching English.
Originally, i had to do my teaching presentation, but after learning that i might be a a bit stray from the "real teaching" thing, just like the story teaching thing, i preferred to do it next time. Well, think it's quite hard for us to catch the main point especially when we first have this kinda course. Some classmate were somehow ignorant of the same mistakes they made, such as talking to the blackboard. Undoubtedly, it is a "huge flaw" that might make the teaching imperfect. However, we are more likely to make this kinda mistake carelessly. Another difficult part of our practicing teaching is that we tend to forget what exactly the target group we are aiming at. Perhaps, it would become better if we practice more later on... say "practice makes perfect!!"
Ha, got to say that the quiz seems a tremendously exciting challenge..... have to work on it so hard then...
must say that i performed so poorly on today's demo.... Actually, i was confused with the goal of the course and the way in teaching English...
I "found out" afterwards that we should teach by using L1 and L2 at the same time. Also, many details i should remember when doing the teaching for i did not have this kind of course before. I should use the methods taught in the class and apply it to my teaching such as ESA, MI, interaction with the students, etc.
I like Renee's demo today. She spokes softly, and the using of ESA made her teaching effective and orderly. Alice did well as well for she designed an activity to arouse students' interests and engage them in the class.
I always learned a lesson from a bad experience, but it's not easy to keep in mind though.. ha... i mean the test. i should have answered the part that has more points. i didn't finish the test last week for i thought it might be unfair to the other students if i don't turn in the test, or it might be that i didn't prepare for the test well. Anyway, I will never make the same mistake (i wish). As for today's lesson, it was about teaching reading. Usually, teacher always teaches us how to read, write, atc; however, the situation reversed. Actually, i have a tutoring job. When teaching my student, i sometimes have a hard time teaching him the most efficient way of reading. In this, it might be easier for me to do so for my student in the junior high. Moreover, I wish to learn a lot from this course even though i don't want to be a teacher so far...
Today, we had an activity that enables us to learn how to do and what to do when teaching reading, writing, etc. In discussing how we are going to teach, we still applied some methods we learned before, that is, Engage, Study and Activate, scaffolding, MI, the use of building schema. Because every classmates' target students were a bit different, we got four groups. After learning their ideas of teaching, I think it's all quite familiar with each other. In effect, when teaching, teachers are always encouraged to let students participate in the activities if possible. We design the course in order to let every students learn something, and they know exactly what they themselves have learned from the class as well. It will be extremely satisfactory if students learn how to use and apply what they have learned to other kinda subjects extensively. Well, it is surely not easy for a teacher to come up with so many ideas in his or her teaching career. However, by basing the principles and trying one's best to attract students' attention, it might produce a better result.
Ha, i was impressed with the reading Angle shared today. It is a prologue of a novel called "Stargirl." Angle said that the novel has a profound impact on her life. After learning that, I suggested her share that if she really teaches in the class. Oh, I'm gonna read that novel too.
What we learned from today's class is how to teach writing. In class, we are explained the difference between writing-for-learning and writing -for writing. The former one serves as a tool to "help students practice and work with language they have been studying." On the contrary, writing-for-writing aims at developing students' skills at writing. By this, we see how it might go far far away from one teacher's purpose of teaching writing if he or she doesn't notice this crucial difference. Learning writing-for-writing in college, i think it surely helps one to write better. However, i think choosing which one to aim in the class depends on the students' age, level, etc. For beginners, it might be more suitable to teach writing-for-learning. Another other thing I "suddenly" realized again is that if one really want to be good at writing in a second language, then one should build a writing habit. Still remember the first year when i entered NCCU, I had the good habit of keeping a diary written in English. Though i didn't write as formally as writing an essay, i used to the language i have been learning. Well..... i should now write one regularly....
1. Coursebook: Conversation by Rob Nolasco & Lois Arthur
2. Target students: Intermediate and above
3: Teaching goal: Students are given descriptions and information about other students and they have to tell kinda like a story according to the information, and other students have to guess who the person is.
4. Preparation: Prepare some pieces of paper for the class.
Step1: Let each students write at least four things about themselves such as their own descriptions, personalities, habits, etc. These might include statements
I am tall, I like to play basketball, I am not good at math
Step2: Tell the students not to write down their names on their pieces of paper.
Step3: Collect the pieces of paper and then redistribute them, let each student has personal description of another student.
Step4: As soon as the distribution thing is done, tell the students what we're going to do next, that is, they have to come up to the front of the classroom to tell a story basing on what was written on the piece of paper they got. Then, the other students have to find out who has been chosen.
Step5: This activity will end up when each student has been engaged to it, and at the end the students will be more likely to speak in front of the class.
At first, when it comes to teaching listening, as teachers, we should encourage students to build up the habit of listening in their daily life, the same with building up writing habit. Then, we also need to "help students prepare to listen." Take the course of Journal English Listening i take this semester for instance, students might be more engaged or comprehensible in the class if they are introduced to the background of the news. On the other hand, if the students have no idea about what's going on around us, it is not that easy for them to catch the main point of the news especially some international news that are unfamiliar to most students. Also, in the listening class, the teacher always repeatedly play the audio text more than once for the purpose to let students focus on not only the specific content but also the language, pronunciation, and so forth. Last but not least, teachers should try to make use of the materials, that is, after letting students finish listening to one piece of news, teachers can include some related news so that students can learn more in the class. I think using some particular materials aiming at various teaching goal is good for both teachers and students. Well, students are expected to learn something from the class undoubtedly.
Also, we had an "adapting activity" today. By using coursebooks, teachers can come up with different ides or activity for any teaching goal. Like the " guess who" one i suggested and modified by the teacher, in such kind of activity, students have many chances of practicing writing and speaking. However, teachers should be cautious about the kind of the coursebook they chose, that is to say, what they choose should be suitable for the target they aim at.
Today, we were reminded of some pivotal points of teaching: increase output, increase student talk time, scaffolding from teacher or peers, multiple intelligence, mediators/tools, and private talk(students' thinking in their minds). These aspects are important for the teachers to teach well. As far as i am concerned, i think, for instance, increasing students' output in class is the best way for to assure that students have been able to apply what they have have learnt. Besides, it equally important for teachers to support and promote students' learning, that is, the idea of scaffolding from the teachers. In this, when concepts and skills are being introduced to students, then it is students' turn to show whether they understand or not. In the process of scaffolding, it is suggested that teachers help students to reach further by not directly telling the answers, telling it obliquely. (All these points are surely important, so i just randomly chose two of them to talk about.)
The last class, we talked about how to plan and hoe to adapt an activity from courseboks. It is creative of a teacher if he or she adapts an learning activity, instead of dully following the way the couresbooks instruct. At last, our group had a discussion on how to adapt the activity on the textbook, and we didn't finish it yet!!
Must say that engaging students in class is undoubtedly a strenuous task for teachers!! We today evaluated the lesson plan on page 224 first and then discussed how we are going to adapt it. At first glance the lesson plan, our group pointed out that the way to engage the students on the textbook by talking about the teacher's grandmother sounds not interesting at all, not to mention it will engage the students. Well, in this, i seriously thought about the situation which i were the teacher, what would i do, and how would i plan the lesson to arouse students' interests. The first thing coming to my mind is that it all depends!! We, as teachers, don't know, or say we are unable to know, what each students like to hear. So, it is possible to talk about things that students are not interested. But, it seems that it is inevitable to meet this kind of obstacle, that is to say, teachers still have to get used to such "deadlock"!!! Or, the teacher must have to be extremely creative when coming up with the teaching activities, since nowadays students are so hard and arduous to engage and "please."
Oh, i like professor's imitation of Indian!! It was awfully funny!!!
Discussion about the demo with Paulus!!!
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