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ESL forum > Techniques and methods in Language Teaching > A question to my colleagues!     

A question to my colleagues!



EmpireOfEnglish
Russian Federation

A question to my colleagues!
 
Dear colleagues!
 
A bit of help would make a great difference to my next Teacher Training. At the last training one of my colleagues came up with the question which made me a bit confused. I promised to give it a thought and come back to her with my ideas which at the moment I really run out of. 
 
The question: 
 
How can we (English Teachers) avoid saying such phrases as  "look at the exercise ......", "open the book to the page.....", "exercise.......", "task..." and all the similar phrases which are often repeated during the lesson? Demonstration would help to avoid them, but what else? I have never thought of it as a  big problem to say those phrases, but my colleagues mentioned this point as a problematic one. 
 
Would you be so kind to share your ideas on the question? I īll really appreciate it. 
Thank you! 
 
 
Anastasia, 
Empire of English 

19 Feb 2017      



redcamarocruiser
United States

In my opinion, it is normal to say them. If you avoid giving instructions, how will the students know what page to turn to?
 
Hypothetically, the teacher could say, "Now...page 11", "[Moving] on to page 11"  or "OK...page 11" and then begin reading etc.  But this would not be an improvement, in my opinion. 

19 Feb 2017     



EmpireOfEnglish
Russian Federation

Thank you very much for your answer. I absolutely agree with you. Clear instructions are very important for students.

19 Feb 2017     



yanogator
United States

Why do your colleagues say it is problematic? I īm not clear on what the problem is (in their opinion).
 
Bruce 

19 Feb 2017     



Jayho
Australia

Does your colleague mean the discovery approach rather than the textbook approach? Or implicit v explicit?
 
 
For example, I choose not to use a textbook at present and I ask students to to talk in their table groups (of 4-6) about what they already know about ______ (greetings for example) Then, I ask for suggestions of ______ (greeting another person, for example) and write the suggestions on the board, as they say them (mistakes and all).  Then, we analyse the grammar and correct the mistakes.  There are usually a few students who know the correct grammar, so it is actually the peers mostly correcting them, and not the teacher. Them they practice each of the options listed and choose 2 or 3 that they really like, feel comfortable with. What īs great about this is that it is student centred, itīs highly participative, and they usually come up with more examples than what is given in a textbook.  

This approach can be used to substitute some parts of the text book maybe, making it more meaningful to the students, tailoring it their own situation. The relevant section in the text book can then be used for revision, homework or for the students that were absent for that lesson.
 
 
.
 
 
 
 

19 Feb 2017     



cunliffe
United Kingdom

I think Jayho is getting at the issue that your colleague meant to address there, because like the others, I can īt see any problem with using the type of classroom instructions you mention. Moving away from using texts can be a great thing, but not giving clear instructions in target language? Why ever not and I don īt see how you would do it: mime? Write it on the board? Surely using target language is better? Maybe telepathy?
 
For those interested in typical classroom instructions, here īs a handout.  

20 Feb 2017     



Jayho
Australia

Lynn, the Cambridge English Teacher mini online courses follow the discovery approach.  They show videos of actual teachers delivering lessons to young adult classes. It īs very interesting, and I find it works well with my current cohort (25-55) I haven īt used a text book with students for for two years now, but I do use smartphones daily and I use QR codes to direct students to online grammar sites that explain my point.   The students love it as they do everything on their phones these days. I īm not sure how the discovery approach would work with children.  The Cambridge course site is in hiatus at the moment as they are transferring to a new site.
 
 

20 Feb 2017     



cunliffe
United Kingdom

I don īt use text books either, partly because schools can īt afford them. Phones aren īt allowed in many schools and certainly not in the classroom, more īs the pity. Two schools ago, I used īProjectī - CDs, DVDs as well as the text and it was great. I didnīt follow it blindly, but it basically did the work and in such a well structured and colourful way. 

21 Feb 2017     



EmpireOfEnglish
Russian Federation

Guys, thank you all for sharing your experience and ideas. I do not see any problem in giving clear instructions which in fact are a major part of classroom management. As for using books,,,, it īs a rule in my school. We have to use coursebooks, but I do my best to remake some of the tasks from the book in a different way so that students did not have to work ONLY with them. Thank you  a lot, now I have at least some points to tell my colleague about giving instructions. ;)
 
 My best regards to everyone who participated in this discussion. 
 
Anastasia
 

21 Feb 2017