Exercises are usually done individually. How can we create more interaction with the exercises in class?
[RELO] Classroom Interaction: Getting More out of Course Books
Classroom Interaction:Getting More out of Course Booksgalapagoselt@gmail.comKevin HajovskySenior English Language FellowGalápagos, Ecuador
Webinar Objectives“Course books are proposals for action, not instructions for use.”(Harmer, 2001) Build our awareness of positive and negative aspects Learn & share strategies and techniques for effective usePLEASE SHARE YOUR IDEAS!
Focus Question #1 In your opinion, what are theadvantages and disadvantages ofusing course books?
Potential Advantages Provide structure to class or semester(vocabulary, grammar, and content) Guide class with sense of accomplishment Work as a starting point for extension activities Save a lot of preparation time Often expected by learners in schools(Dalby, 2009)
Potential Disadvantages Creativity can be limited Quality, design, or organization can be poor Topics can be boring or irrelevant Contexts or content may not be culturally relevant Language is often inauthentic(Dalby, 2009)
Focus Question #2What general kinds of techniques do you use to createmore learner-centered interaction with course books?
Key Techniques for Creating Interaction How students are seated immediately affects howthey interact.versus
Key Techniques for Creating Interaction Using your whiteboard effectively:clarify how to use the language, provide support in thetasksSentence StartersModels of languageLanguage to guide or for students to exploitKey words of instructions Focus questionsSentence patternsBrainstormed lists of words
Focus Question #3: The Big Question!What are some of your specific strategies, ideas andtechniques for using course books more effectively?…difficulties arise when we try to use textbooks exactly as theyare, without thinking about the needs, skills and circumstances ofthe particular set of students sitting in front of us.” (Elliott, 2010)
Major Ideas Considered Here Use of books’: pictures (+other pictures) texts exercises+ Key Techniques for Creating Interaction
Building Interaction: PicturesFocus Question #4:How do you use course book pictures in your classes?“A picture is worth a thousand words.”~Unknown
Building Interaction: Pictures With the picture(s) in front of them, contextualizelesson by having students: make predictions about text ask and answer questions describe talk and/or speculate about (meaningful to students) share their own (personalize) knowledge of opinions of likes/dislikes preferences cultural comparisons role play (as if in the picture)(Dalby, 2009; Tanner & Green, 1998; Witherspoon, 2012)
Building Interaction: Pictures Use pictures of students’ own country/city(meaningful, relevant, and personal) Can adapt to course book settings and improvise.E c u a d o r(Baumgardener & Kennedy, 1995)
Building Interaction: PicturesUse Tasks + Pictures Topics of Interest and/orRelated to Learners’ Actual Lives• People• Places• Things• Contexts• Actions• History• Music• Food• Clothes• Holidays• Special events• Customs andtraditions• Culture• Sports• Sterotypes• Commonoccurences• Climate• Religion• Politics(Baumgardener & Kennedy, 1995)
Building Interaction: Texts(Conversation or Reading)Focus Question #5:How do you utilize conversations or reading textsin your classes?
Building Interaction: Texts(Conversation or Reading) Predict/connect what’s in the text (with pictures) Copy and cut up the texts, students order them Running or shouting dictations, or dictoglosses Students add/change words in conversations for ownsocial contexts (adjectives, adverbs, localvocabulary, etc.) Students draw and fill out graphic organizers together(Dalby, 2009; Scionis, 1990; Tanner & Green, 1998; Witherspoon, 2012)
Building Interaction: Texts(Conversation or Reading) Students imagine before or after a story or conversation Students compare and discuss answers tocomprehension questions Students personalize by giving advice and point ofviews, or stating similarities/differences, preferences, etc. Vary setting, mood, or characters of conversation to addcreativity Role play or act out in pairs or small groups (with picturesas settings?)(Dalby, 2009; Scionis, 1990; Tanner & Green, 1998; Witherspoon, 2012)
Building Interaction: ExercisesFocus Question #6:How can we use the exercises in course booksmore effectively in classes?
Building Interaction: Exercises Students do and/or check answers in pairs/groups (before and/orafter practice or drills) Students ask class for clarification as needed (teacher overseesonly) Teams make questions to elicit answers from other teams Make a quiz game for checking answers (multiple-choice, right/wrong) Copy and cut up exercises to make a team race game Students act out or draw answers (Charades/ Pictionary) while otherGeneral Goal: Give students more interaction time& transfer responsibility for learning to them.(Dalby, 2009; Sionis, 1990; Tanner & Green, 1998; Witherspoon, 2012)
In SummaryLearner-centeredInteractionBook’sPicturesBook’sTextsBook’sExercises Pair work & Group Work Whiteboard techniques Pictures of local context
Bibliography*Baumgardner, R.J. and Kennedy, A.E. (1995) The use of local contexts in the design of EST materials. In Creative ClassroomActivities: English Teaching Forum 1989-1993, ed. T. Kral, Office of English Language Programs, Washington, D.C.Dalby, T. (2009). Adapting your course book: Becoming skilled in the art of manipulation. TESOL Review, 1, 145-166.Elliott, David (2010) The coursebook challenge. English Teaching Professional, 69, July 2010Harmer, J. (2001) Coursebooks: A human, cultural and linguistic disaster? Modern English Teacher, 10(3), 5-10.Harmer, J. (2010) How to teach english. Pearson Education Limited, Essex, England.*Sionis, C. (1995) Let them do our job! Towards autonomy via peer-teaching and task-based instruction. In Creative ClassroomActivities: English Teaching Forum 1989-1993, ed. T. Kral, Office of English Language Programs, Washington, D.C.Tanner, R. and Green, K. (1998) Tasks for teacher education: A reflective approach. Pearson Education Limited, Essex, England.Witherspoon, J. (2012) English comes alive! Dynamic, brain-building ways to teach ESL and EFL. SynapseBooks, Bryan, Texas, USA.*Free Downloadable Book and other materials on the American English website!http://americanenglish.state.gov/resources/creative-classroom-activities
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