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ESL forum > Techniques and methods in Language Teaching > PICKING YOUR COLLECTIVE BRANS :-)     



Hi, All --- 
I �ve been invited to present a 3-hour "demo" session (!!!) to people who are studying to be ESL teachers.  I �ve been given almost no guidance on what they want this to be on.
So, I asked if I could do it on lesson/activity design & implementation. They said yes. 
I �m looking for best practices ---  what �s your top bit of advice for new teachers? What bit of wisdom to you wish had been shared with you when you started?  What, with the 20 /20 of hindsight, was something your teachers in school did (or didn �t do) that was specially memorable and useful?
Thanks in advance for any contributions. I �m to give this on the 6th of January, and I have very limited prep time, as I also have a full-time job. 
Merry Christmas to all, and best very best New Year ---
Cheers from China....

24 Dec 2016      

manonski (f)



25 Dec 2016     

United Kingdom

Wow, that is a tall order, Dee! But exciting! Are you going to �lecture � or demonstrate the activities, or a bit of both? I �ve given training but my focus is different - I do �how to include EAL students in mainstream lessons �. Anyway, just a few ideas.

You could look at how best to use visuals- give out some pictures and ask them to mind map how they could be exploited; teaching vocabulary explicitly - show various grids; using DARTs activities - cloze/sequencing/T and F etc... show different examples, some focused and some ad hoc and look for best examples; questioning techniques - good techniques for beginners and how to extend advanced learners - include Blooms and a few techniques, maybe �Pose.pause, pounce and bounce; modelling - building up a sentence from a one-word answer (I did this with the help of �plants � in the audience)... 

As a starter, you could ask: what makes a  good ESL department? (Or teacher.) Have some flipcharts and get them to write down their ideas in brief. I attended a session once that started like this. The trainer put us into two teams and had 2 flipcharts at the front. We queued up to list our ideas. At the end (five or six minutes) she grouped the ideas into categories. Commitment/subject knowledge/enthusiasm/team work/knowing your students/ etc... It was a really good, upbeat start to the session. 

During the session, you could interrupt the flow 2 or 3 times for a little language game. You are demonstrating the game, but it �s a bit of fun. I broke up a training course with a categories game. The delegates were on tables, about 6 per table. They all had 6 alphabet cards. I would then say � A politician � �A capital city � and the first person to shout out the answer (word beginning with one of their letters) was the winner and collected a letter from the others on their table. Or, use an alphabet wheel...

As for that one thing I wish I �d known - I�ve thought about this. It�s just this: know your students. Take the time to assess their abilities and preferred learning styles. 

I �ve got resources for everything I �ve mentioned, most of it is on this site,,, I �ll just include this grid with activities graded in order of difficulty... I �ve got it formatted a bit better on a ppt if you want that.
Anyway, hope some of this might give you some ideas. Three hours is a long time but if you get the delegates involved, it will fly by! 

26 Dec 2016     


Thanks, Lynne!!    Yeah, much of my initial thought process was going in the same direction you went in -- to, basically, use many of the same tools on them that they could effectively use in a classroom. 
I was thinking of doing the first half as ideas and methods of "how to", and then put them in teams for the 2nd half to design, then practice using them on each other.    I have since found out that I �ll have about 15 people there, so this should be quite the adventure.  
Thanks, Lynne and Manonski, for the input.   I �m sure it will come in quite handy.
Cheers from China!  

27 Dec 2016     


HAHAHAHAHAHA!!!! I just now noticed my typo in the title.�
Apparently, in addition to brains, I �m also in need of roughage.
Oh, dear. I definitely HAVE been spread a bit thin lately, haven �t it?

27 Dec 2016