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CELTA St Giles Highgate 01/2016

talo Coutinho

Assignment 2

PART A: Class Profile


My current teaching practice class contains about 12 students and is rather
multicultural, including Japanese, Turkish, Brazilians, Italians, Spanish, French, Iranians,
Swiss and Thai. The student body is fairly heterogeneous in skill; most of which fit into an
A2 level of competence according to the CEFR guideline, in spite of some learners
displaying A1 level speaking skills. Not surprisingly, the ones who fall behind have been in
London the shortest time. Coupled with that, teenagers and young adults comprise 75% of
the student body whereas middle-aged students are outnumbered.
Concerning their motivation and engagement, all students are highly committed to
the classes and have proved to be cooperative and eager to learn.
PART B: Suitability
I have decided to base my reading tasks on different job advertisements I came
across while browsing Reed.co.uk, the first UK-based online recruitment site. What really
held sway over me picking such a source was the fact that some of my fellow trainees and
I taught lessons whose aims included introducing employment-related vocabulary. Indeed,
such lessons proved to be enticing and engendered enthusiasm and interest in the students.
In that sense, Jeremy Harmers words, uttered nearly two decades ago, remain timeless:
reading texts in an ESL environment should not only provoke personal engagement with
them but also with the language.
Another reason for me to have picked such a genre lies in the power of authentic
materials, i.e texts that were not contrived for teaching purposes. Such resources were
written by native speakers and published in contexts designed specifically for nativespeaker consumption. Since they do not make allowances for non-natives, they bridge the
gap between classroom language use and real life language use, bringing familiar linguistic
situations and materials right into the classroom.
Furthermore, the topic chosen provides learners with the chance to enhance their
speaking kills by conversing about a familiar topic.

PART C: Reading Skills


Reading skills are the cognitive processes through which a reader is able to make
sense of a text. By and large, fluent readers employ reading skills unconsciously and
automatically. However, when confronted with a challenging text, a proficient user of the
language applies these skills consciously and strategically so as to comprehend a certain
piece of writing.
Following this further, raising students awareness about their own reasoning when
approaching a text proves highly beneficial. As Brown very eloquently pointed out, learning
a new thinking process is best accomplished when the learner is consciously aware of the
process, and teachers should take that into account when designing their tasks.
In light of that, I think a previewing and predicting activity would be a suitable starter
once it would help set the mood, create a stress-free atmosphere and evoke ideas and
vocabulary which might be useful for the completion of the tasks, something we, proficient
English speakers, just go through the motions of doing. I would begin by brainstorming job
hunting related words, eliciting them from students and then have them think of different
ways people seek employment.
After that, students would have to match the jobs whose vacancies are being
advertised to their appropriate description, which can be understood as a skimming activity.
According to Brown (2000, p.308):
skimming consists of quickly running ones eyes across a whole text
(such as an essay, article or chapter) for its gist. Skimming gives
readers

the advantage of being able to predict the purpose of the

passage, the main topic, or message, and possibly some of the dev
eloping or supporting ideas.
Being a straightforward and not so time-consuming task, it makes learners feel
confident enough to tackle more difficult questions later. Especially since it is lower level
class, it needs to be stressed that students are not expected to understand everything.
Teaching them this skill, and developing their confidence at coping with unknown words

they might come across is an important element in their development as independent


learners.
The following task requires a bit of scrutiny. Students are given a chart with missing
information on the openings advertised on Reed and are supposed to tick the boxes or fill
them in with one-word responses. Such an activity can be looked at as a scanning, i.e. a
quick search for some particular piece or pieces of information in a text.
PART D: Productive Skills
As far as productive skills are concerned, speaking is one of the most daunting
experiences for learners at an A2 level. They are beginning to be able to function in social
situations and having students speak using specific language constructions helps increase
their confidence. In that sense. A role-play seems suitable, once it stimulates students to act
as if they were in a real-life situation, not to mention that it allows us, teachers, to feed useful
words and phrases into the discussion while, at the same time, assessing various examples
of student language.
The follow-up task consists of a written prompt for a job interview for a position of
the students choice. One of the students would play the role of the applicant whereas his or
her pair would be the interviewer. The make-believe interview would include questions
about the duties and benefits described in the ad. So as to provide all students with the
chance to practice both affirmative and interrogative sentences, I would instruct them to
swap roles.
Word count: 940
References:
L-JAWI, Fadwa D. Teaching the receptive skills. Listening&Reading skills. Available at:
https://uqu.edu.sa/files2/tiny_mce/plugins/filemanager/files/4281126/lectures_of_Method
ology_2/receptive_skills.pdf . Access on Jan. 2016
BROWN, D. Teaching by principles. Pearson: New York, 200
HARMER, J. How to Teach English. Pearson: Harlow, 2007