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CELTA ASSIGNMENT 4: LESSONS FROM THE CLASSROOM

List a number of things that ou !i! !uring the "esson#


Language input and the methods used to elicit the meaning and context appeared to be
crucial in ensuring a successful lesson. In my 2
nd
observation of a qualified teacher a
variety of ways to elicit vocabulary was employed including physical gestures and
picture stories. When presenting new language it seems that it is important both to be
thoroughly prepared with clear contexts and communicative focus for learners and to
be patient. In my early lessons and in peer lessons I noticed that the meaning of new
language was given to the students too soon due to frustration or possibly impatience.
A peer teaching phrasal verbs would often either tell the class the meaning and use or
immediately go to the strongest student. Patient and well prepared eliciting with
generative situations concept questions and realia as used by the lesson outlined
below is something I have tried to prepare in all lessons. !y most recent lesson
ensured I had pictures as well as clear concept questions and mar"er sentences when
teaching phrasal verbs with loo".
List a number of things that the stu!ents !i! !uring the "esson#
!y second #$ observation students were encouraged to
o %ead individually and then discuss in pairs
o %ead individually for details and compare in groups
o $o interpret pictures and diagrams and loo" to the teacher for feedbac" on
their assumptions
o Listen to a &relaxation tape' and identify follow instructions as a group.
o $o discuss the topics of the lesson
$he above list is a short illustration of stages of a #$ lesson and the level of student
tal" time allocated.
$hat %as the ba"an&e of 'tea&her !oing things( &om)are! %ith stu!ents !oing
things( in the "esson#
!y impulse to get involved or fall into the trap of too much teacher tal" time has been
a feature since my initial teaching practise. !y (rd observation of a #$ illustrated
perfectly that when introducing a new lexical set such as bedroom furniture. )se of
realia in freer practice involved the students and sequential drilling at the end of the
lesson reviewed the language. $he ma*ority of the time teacher too" a bac" seat to the
students once the aim and desired outcome had been clearly informed.
Note se*era" things that ou are )rou! of !uring the "esson#
+ne of the things that sets qualified teachers apart from a trainee is their ability to
acquire signposting s"ills and conviction. I witnessed a qualified teacher doing
emotional ad*ectives in the present progressive and the class seemed to be in tune with
her instructions from the beginning *ust from her intonation and confidence. I feel that
as the course has progressed it is my signposting as well as a good rapport with
learners that has ensured that the students are fully involved in the activities and in the
lesson as whole. $he ma*ority of my positive feedbac" has focused on this and I thin"
it is this that I am most proud.
At %hat )oints &ou"! ou ha*e been &"earer#
,uring my first experience teaching grammatical forms I found myself struggling to
interpret the -
st
and 2
nd
conditional without regurgitating the contents of my grammar
boo". $he lesson was relatively successful pre intermediate with -./-0 students but
any success came from my clear board plan and my concept questions. I overloaded
the students with details that blurred the meaning and clouded my lesson aims. I
witnessed a peer teach the same thing in my third wee" and although the level was the
higher upper intermediate the hand outs and language were much simpler than mine.
$hi&h )arts of the "esson in*o"*e! the stu!ents most &om)"ete"#
!y 1
th
#$ featured a very long but productive exercise which involved every student
spea"ing to each other one by one to discuss past experiences. $he students were
given a handout so that they could gather information and then later in a freer practice
reveal the most interesting stories they had heard. I tried to employ similar tas"s that
get the students spea"ing and trying to express a wide range of things to each other as
an extension of new language.
$here %ere the main &ha""enges for the stu!ents#
2tudents in freer practice exercises such as the one observed in my 1
th
#$ are
constantly under pressure to use all the vocabulary at their disposal. $he exercise
requires lots of listening with a variety of levels and spea"ers interacting this
improves comprehension and I have tried to develop exercises in my own lessons as
an extension of some of my stage aims that encourage these benefits and complement
any drilling.
$hat ha*e ou "earne! about our )"anning#
!y planning has developed a great deal and is now analysed as overly thorough or
too long which whilst accurate seems to be misinterpreted as a long term problem.
%ecent lessons that have not benefited from an in/depth lesson plans such as my 3
th

teaching practice on future forms have suffered due to a lac" of clarity in my mind but
not on the page. 4lear stage aims are invaluable and without them myself and my
peers have lost trac" of their overall lesson goals and time management has also
suffered. Additional materials how they will be utilised and their function is also
something that needs to be planned thoroughly as I have seen materials used by peers
such as cards for collocation and pictures where simple details are overloo"ed.
Purpose such as context and the grammatical structure of words used in collocation
and even simple mista"es li"e definitions and words on the same colour card have all
defeated the purpose of exercises. 5et these problems could be addressed in the
planning stages.
$hat ha*e ou "earne! about tea&hing )ro&e!ures an! te&hni+ues#
Personally I have learned from qualified teachers to reduce my involvement in class. I
learned to write clearly on the board and try to include phonetics for clarification of
pronunciation especially with contractions assimilation etc. ,rilling in forms such as
bac" chaining or syllabic indication are very important and whilst I have only
introduced consistent identification and correcting in my last few lesson I thin" it is a
technique that helps the students a great deal. 4hec"ing progress in group wor"
especially in classes such intermediate where there may be a wide range of abilities.
6inally every single lesson I have seen taught by my peers has in someway been
enhanced through learning aids such as materials and resources. Although I thin" it is
important to rely on your own personal style sourcing things that are relevant and of
interest to both the teachers life and in turn the students ma"e the language simpler to
teach.
#$ observation has also demonstrated the benefit of setting time frames instead of
as"ing the students if they have finished. $his sort of classroom management helps
students to wor" quic"ly and concentrate on the tas" and maintains order throughout
the different levels of ability.
!ost peers seem to have grasped their ability to test7teach and I have interpreted this
as wea"ness. I#'s and I4#'s ensure that the whole class understands the next stage of
the lesson and what a teacher expects of them. Peer feedbac" highlights that mine
could be clearer and I intend to include them in my LP in future.
$hat ha*e ou "earne! about ourse"f#
$he course has provided with me with a clear insight of the type of teacher I am and
how I can develop my strengths and wor" hard on my wea"nesses. As a
communicator I thin" I am very effective and I have enough charisma to set the tone
of a lesson and get students involved. I have a good understanding of the value of
preparation but I put too much pressure on myself when it comes to approaching
lessons with goals unfamiliar to me such as grammar. !y anxiety does have both
advantages and disadvantages though as I am driven to prepare well and I always
want to be the best teacher I can be. I
List some intentions or a&tion )"ans for our future tea&hing#
o I intend to use the free time I have on the course to hopefully study and create
a mastery of grammar for practical usage and implementation in the class
room.
o 8oin a professional association.
o 2ubscribe to an 9nglish $eaching database.
o ,evelop bullet proof well drilled lesson preparation.
o +btain experience possibly in a monolingual environment abroad.
o Investigate further qualifications.
o 6amiliarise myself more with phonemic translation.
o :ain experience teaching young learners
o +bserve colleagues in future and analyse their strengths in order to acquire
them
o ,evelop o portfolio of lesson plans
o 8oin a web group such as $96L.com
o Loo" at studying diploma level
o 4ontribute to teachers publications
o Practise board writing
,ib"iogra)h
Learning $eaching 8im 2crivener !acmillan