Some thoughts and the 2nd week
I’d like to start this week’s entry with the notion, which regularly pops up in dogme group discussions: distinction between being prepared and being planned for the lesson. Checking other stuff in Edge (2002), I encountered things that somehow linked for me the above with tenseness and its debilitating effect vs creative tension respectfully, i.e. to paraphrase Edge (2002:143), a planned lesson without personal preparation (anticipating, alerting, thinking of ways of doing remedial teaching if necessary, giving feedback) may not be efficient at all, whereas if I’m prepared in myself for the lesson, then I’m likely to facilitate learning of those particular students as have that creative tension that helps me to cope with all emergent things. Teacher’s tenseness (-) or tension (+) influences the students, I state, and they feel the same.
Just one example from Monday’s lessons to pre-int and proficiency groups. I’ve chosen the similar frame for both lessons: I’ve brought 2 U-tube videos:
1st played a role of a good example (pre-task in ELT jargon) and the second one acted as a task
as I said that the video had arrived without the sound and it is them who had to comment what was going on in the screen. I know, I know, pretty demanding, especially for my pre-ints. However, bearing in mind our last week playing with this news language, my enthusiasm, and my learners’ dedication (not to mention there was one real journalist among them), I tried to prepared myself the way I said above.
The outcome of the pre-int group was impressive: a lot of emergent language to work on+ a student’s comment that the task had a psychological effect on her (her words). I think she said so because it was the 1st time when she fluently spoke for about 2 minutes without interruption and her speech was so emotional (she managed to criticize most of russian authorities for their ignorance), that she didn’t bother about mistakes. That creative tension helped her to find appropriate words, it also signaled when she needed help from me (scaffolding) and it all ran so smoothly, without stress or that tenseness that students usually experience when they’re asked to make a sentence, using Past Simple+Past Continuous :).
The proficiency level group approached the task professionally and one girl incorporated most of the language from this lesson and did it so skillfully that I asked her to repeat (hehe, teacher’s trick) so she did it twice for everyone’ sake, hers including.
Edge, J. 2002. Continuing Cooperative Development: A Discourse Framework for Individuals as Colleagues. Ann Arbor: Michigan University Press.