Teaching large multilevel classes

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Teaching large multilevel classes

  1. 1. US EMBASSY MOLDOVA AMERICAN COUNCILS MOLDOVA ACCESS MICROSHOLARSHIP PROGRAM TEACHER TRAINING “SHARING BEST PRACTICES IN ACCESS” DECEMBER 21, 2013 TOPIC: TEACHING LARGE MULTILEVEL CLASSES Presenter: Olga Morozan, Access Microscholarship Program Coordinator Multileveled classes are the classes that have been roughly arranged according to ability, or simply by age-group with no thought to language ability. These are classes in which students vary considerably in their language and literacy skills and are in need of a great deal of personal attention and encouragement to make progress. Teaching in such classes is more exhausting, more demanding, more challenging and more interesting, thus requiring from the teacher’s part the skillfulness of a good manager, psychologist and good specialist as well. For this reason, the following article offers current approaches to teaching large, multilevel classes; helpful classroom management tips; suggestions for assessing student needs, appreciating student preferences, and designing lessons to meet a variety of learning styles; information about planning and implementing a content-based, and descriptions of whole-class, paired, small-group, and individual study activities. Benefits of the large multilevel class (from 20): • There are always enough students for interaction; • We get a rich variety of human resources.: many opinions, many points of reference, many cultural backgrounds, many temperaments, many world-views and values, many different experiences and many styles of learning. • The teacher is not the only pedagogue: since there are so many levels of language ability, it is only natural that the more able students quickly assume the role of teacher-assistants. Cooperation works better that competition in the large class: cross-ability grouping allows the more able learners to improve their language skills by honing their ability to explain, to state clearly, and to give effective examples, while it provides the less able with considerable support. • We are never bored • Professional development occurs naturally: work in the large class truly forces us to invent and develop new ways of organizing material, compelling us to find better ways of setting up routine tasks. The challenges: • We often feel out of control, often feel that we have lost authority. Good organization helps students to know what is expected of them and to get on task quickly and efficiently. Having a special place on the blackboard where homework assignments are always placed or where all the scheduled activities for the lesson are listed, help in establishing good control. • We sometimes feel trapped in the problems of management: a variety of managerial tasks is demanded of us. How to solve it? A good example is establishing routines for the collection of homework, and the checking of homework, and presentation of certain activities on assigned days, such as dictation every Monday, and /or conversation groups every Tuesday, are helpful. It is possible to post a sign-in sheet by the door of the class on arrival. • We are frustrated by the huge amount of written work. It is possible to solve it using the principle of collaboration: when properly trained, students can become excellent peer reviewers and editors and learn great deal about their own work writing in the process. Also, it is possible to create forums through which students can display and share written work. • It is difficult to provide for individual learning styles. • Activating the quiet students is difficult. 10 principles of coping in large multilevel classes: 1. Principle One: Scarlett O’Hara: when it is difficult to work and very frustrating Scarlet’s quotation :”I will think about it tomorrow” may be very useful 2. Principle two: variety. Varieties of tasks can accommodate different levels and learning styles in class. 3. Principle Three: Pace. Doing an activity too fast or too slowly can run it.
  2. 2. 4. Principle four: interest. Topics for their interest: management of time, family relations, management of money, friendships, food and eating habits, animals, latest news, home, travel. 5. Principle five: collaboration. Through collaborative learning students learn how to compromise, they negotiate meaning, , and they become better risk-takers and more efficient self-monitors and self-evaluators. Everyone in the room is sometimes a student and sometimes a teacher, and students learn to carry a large slice of responsibility. More able students come to understand that they will learn a great deal themselves by explaining something to a less able students and by listening patiently while other students make their contributions. Strategies: -Group work in which students complete a task together, -Pair work in which students share ideas or quiz and drill each other. -Peer review in which students analyze and comment on one another’s written work, -Brainstorming in which students contribute idea on a single topic, -Jigsaw activities – to contribute different aspects of knowledge to create a whole, - Collaborative writing: a group of students collaborate to create a piece of writing like a letter of advice, -Collaborative community projects : a group of students investigates an aspect of the community and later reports on it. -Group poster presentation, -Buddy journals through which students write on possibly assigned topics to a classmate or a student in another class or school and periodically exchange and react to each other’s journals. 6. Principle six: individualization: finding the person in the crowd. It is particularly important to provide opportunities for students to work at their own pace, in their own style , and on topics of their own choosing. Ways: -portfolio projects, -poster reports, -Self-access centers: a simple box of special projects, such as individualized selected readings, specialized vocabulary lists, listening tapes, , and the pictures that a teacher or a group of teacher have collected and that they take with them to class to have on hand for students who need extra work or specialized attention. -Individual writing such as book reviews, article reviews, advertisements or diaries, -Personalized dictionaries, -Student-created web-pages on which students present themselves to the world. 7. Principle seven: personalization. In large classes students quickly begin to feel that they don’t count and that there is really no pint in expressing their opinion, since their point of view is of no interest to anyone. Almost, any reading text, listening passage, and speaking activity can be adapted in such a way that it allows personalization. Some suggestions: -After reading about a controversial topic, students can write letters to the editor, -Students can give mini-presentations about their hopes or dreams for the future, -Students can investigate the professional requirements of their hoped-for profession, - Students can create posters of a place they have visited or would like to visit, etc. 8. Principle eight: Choice and open-ended: Some ways: -Giving students beginnings of sentences and allowing them to finish these in an appropriate way, -Giving students a set of questions and allowing them to answer a specific number of their choice, -Brainstorming, -Writing their own definitions of the words, -Matching answers in which several of the matches provide the “right ” answer. -Questions that can be answered in many different ways. 9. Principle nine: setting up routines: -the way attendance is checked and tardiness is handled, - the way students sign up for special projects, -the way students are notified of test dates, deadlines, and special events, -the way students check their own progress, -The way students move from a group or pair work strategy to a teacher-fronted framework or ice-versa. 10. Principle ten: enlarging the circle of active attention in our classes Approaches: 1. Getting to know our students: Learning their names quickly in large classes isn’t easy, but it is essential because: -it promotes good basic human relationships; -it is helpful in monitoring students’ records (test results, attendance, assignments); - calling people by their names is basic recognition that they are individuals and are being respected as such, and also helps us to call for order; -we begin to feel more comfortable with a class as soon as we know our students’ names, and the students themselves as well.
  3. 3. Below are some activities that can help teacher to learn students’ names. 1.1. Picture It Aim: learning names, fluency practice, creating supportive environment Level: intermediate-advanced Time: 15-20 minutes Procedure: 1. Students use large pieces of note paper or stick several pieces of paper together. The paper serves as each student’s individual poster. If you have large poster paper available, use it. (see box 1 for examples.) 2. Students write their name in large letters on their poster and add a picture or mnemonic that will help the class remember his/her name in the target language. 3. In pairs, students explain their posters to each other. 4. Each pair joins another pair, and partners explain each other’s posters to the group of four. 5. Circulate and listen to name explanations, learning as many names as possible. 6. Students post their presentation posters around the room, where they stay posted for a period of time. Optional follow-up: -Each day 5-6 students explain their poster to the entire class. -Each day 2-3 students explain the poster of a classmate whose mnemonic they remember well. Box 1 Examples of explanations My name is Won Ho. Please remember there is just One Ho. There are not two Ho’s. My name is Natalie. I have written it in three syllables Na ta lie. That is because I have three sisters I love much. My name is Saif. My name means “sword”. I have drawn a picture of a sword. The last part of my name is “if”. Remember that if I want to, I can cut things with the sword. 1.2. Names as Crosswords Aim: learning names, practicing letter formation Level: intermediate-advanced Time: 10-15 minutes Procedure: 1. Several students print their names in large clear letters on the board. 2. Other students write thier names as a crossword formation starting with a letter that appears in any name on the board, or they write their names across any of the names using any letter that already appears. 3. As more names appear, more and more letters will be available until all names appear on the board. 4. Students volunteer to read all the names in the name cluster where their own names appear. As they read, they identify the students who are called by those names. Variation: Start with only one name: ineviutably sooner or later all students will be able to add their name, producing one big cluster. The activity thus promotes class solidarity as students will identify with those classmates whose names cross their own. 1.3. The story of my name Aim: learning names, learning students’ lives, talking, reading. Level: intermediate-avanced Time: 20-30 minutes Procedure: 1. On the board, write a number of questions relating to the students’names. (see Box 2 for exampes.) 2. Students stand up and mingle, sharing their name stories with as many classmates as possible until you stop the phase. While they talk, circulate t hear as many stories as possible. 3. From their seats, students talk about as many facts as they can remember from any classmate’s name story. 4. Classmates whose name stories are recalled verify or correct the facts. Box 2 Questions that elicit name stories Does your name have a meaning? Why did your parents call you by your name? Do you know what name you would have been given if you had been born the opposite sex? Do you like your name? Would you prefer another name? Have you ever wanted to change your name? Do you get angry when people mispronounce or misspell your name? Do you think that your name is a part of your identity? Notes: - In class where moving around is impossible, students exchange information with those sitting next to them, in back of them, and in front of them.
  4. 4. - The story about names by Sandra Cisneros in her book The House on Mango Street (Houston: Artepublico Press, 1985) makes a good complementary reading for the names story exercise. Plot Summary Esperanza Cordero recollects her life living on Mango Street and all the people she meets while there. Although her family has not always lived there, it is perhaps the most important place she has lived, for it represents her heritage and upbringing. In small vignettes, Esperanza tells the tales of all the people and experiences she has with her little sister, Nenny. She meets Cathy, a wealthier girl who makes Esperanza feels negatively about her home and moves away when the neighborhood gets bad. She meets Sally, a girl with painted makeup like the Egyptian Queens, who comes from a strict religious family who beats her. Sally later becomes a loose woman, lies to Esperanza, and moves away to get married before the end of eighth grade. Esperanza and Nenny become friends with two sisters named Lucy and Rachel (from Texas), with whom they ride bikes and have many adventures. Esperanza is also friends with a girl named Alicia, who is terrified of the rats in her apartment, and later shares her poetry with Esperanza. Esperanza also discovers boys through several women and men who live on the street. Marin, the girlfriend of Louie, tells her about makeup and nylons, before she is sent away because of bad behavior. Elenita, the fortune teller, informs Esperanza that she desires a large house and has many wishes to fulfill. Rafaela and Ruthie passively instruct Esperanza on how not to marry too young, while her own mother expresses her deep wishes and desires for her to live a better life. As Esperanza meets people, tries to fit in, feels like an ugly duckling, and craves the touch of a man, she realizes that the neighborhood she hates and the house of which she is ashamed is not terrible. After the three sisters advise her to remember her family and remember where she came from, Esperanza realizes that she will leave Mango Street. However, despite the impending travels and stories she will create and tell, Mango Street will never leave her. Short passages from the book: My Name In English my name means hope. In Spanish it means too many letters. It means sadness, it means waiting. It is like the number nine. A muddy color. It is the Mexican records my father plays on Sunday mornings when he is shaving, songs like sobbing. It was my great-grandmother's name and now it is mine. She was a horse woman too, born like me in the Chinese year of the horse-which is supposed to be bad luck if you're born female-but I think this is a Chinese lie because the Chinese, like the Mexicans, don't like their women strong. My great-grandmother. I would've liked to have known her, a wild, horse of a woman, so wild she wouldn't marry. Until my greatgrandfather threw a sack over her head and carried her off. Just like that, as if she were a fancy chandelier. That's the way he did it. And the story goes she never forgave him. She looked out the window her whole life, the way so many women sit their sadness on an elbow. I wonder if she made the best with what she got or was she sorry because she couldn't be all the things she wanted to be. Esperanza. I have inherited her name, but I don't want to inherit her place by the window. At school they say my name funny as if the syllables were made out of tin and hurt the roof of your mouth. But in Spanish my name is made out of a softer something, like silver, not quite as thick as sister's name Magdalena--which is uglier than mine. Magdalena who at least- -can come home and become Nenny. But I am always Esperanza. would like to baptize myself under a new name, a name more like the real me, the one nobody sees. Esperanza as Lisandra or Maritza or Zeze the X. Yes. Something like Zeze the X will do. Hairs from The House on Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros Everybody in our family has different hair. My Papa’s hair is like a broom, all up in the air. And me, my hair is lazy. It never obeys barrettes or bands. Carlos’ hair is thick and straight. He doesn’t need to comb it. Nenny’s hair is slippery—slides out of your hand. And Kiki, who is the youngest, has hair like fur. But my mother’s hair, my mother’s hair, like little rosettes, like candy circles all curly and pretty because she pinned it in pincurls all day, sweet to put your nose into when she is holding you and you feel safe, is the warm smell of bread before you bake it, is the smell when she makes room for you on her side of the bed still warm with her skin, and you sleep near her, the rain outside falling and Papa snoring. The snoring, the rain, and Mama’s hair that smells like bread. Learning about our students’ lives: 1.4. The letter Aim: getting acquainted, reading, writing Level: intermediate-advanced Time: 20-30 minutes Preparation: Write a letter about yourself to your students. Reveal as much about yourself as you feel comfortable doing. Write about the same things that you would like your students to tell you about. Make enough copies of the letter for the students in the class. (see Box 3 for an example of a letter.) Procedure: 1. Hand out copies of your letter and read it out loud; make sure that it’s understood. 2. Ask students to write you a letter about themselves. It can be written on the back of your letter. Explain that these letters will not be graded and not be returned. The purpose of the letter is to know each other better. 3. Collect the letters and later prepare a “guess who” activity for the next class, or write a brief answer to each letter. Box 3 Example of letter to students Dear Student, My name is Natalie Hess, and I have taught ESOL (English to speakers of other languages) for many years and in many countries. I really love my work because through it I get a chance to do two of my favorite things: talking o people and reading books. My work takes up most of my time, but when I don’t work I love to cook, to ride my bicycle, to swim, and to read. I feel very close to my family. I am afraid of mice and I love eating chocolate. I hate tests! For me, spelling has always been the hardest part of learning a language. That’s because I am not a visual learner. I think that a classroom is an exciting place because there is always a
  5. 5. great exchange of ideas going on. I am glad that you are in this class. Please write me a bit about yourself. Sincerely, Mrs. Natalie Hess. Sample of student answer Dear Mrs. Natalie Hess, Thank you for your nice letter. My name is Kumiko and I am from Osaka, Japan. Have you ever been to Japan? I have a little sister and a dog. The dog’s name is Puppy and she is very cute. My sister and I fight a lot, but now that I am in America I miss her. I am glad to be in your class. I hope to learn a lot! Sincerely, Kumiko 1.5. The missing person announcement Aim: getting acquainted, fluency practice, speaking, listening, writing Level: beginners-advanced Time: 20-30 minutes Preparation: If you have English language newspapers available, look for missing person announcements and bring some to class. Procedure: 1. Talk with your class about when and why missing person announcements are needed, and what goes into the making of a missing person announcement (including usually a physical description: height, weight, color of hair, age if known, color of eyes, identifying marks as typical mannerism, typical pastimes, dress when last seen.) 2. In pairs students create a missing person announcement of each other. (See Box 4 for example.) They may if they wish draw a picture of their missing person, but they are not to write the missing person’s name. They may refer to the missing person as X. Make it very clear that only positive terminology is allowed in the descriptions. Tell your students not to use words and/or expressions that would make anyone feel bad. 3. Students post their missing announcements on the walls of the class. 4. Students walk about reading the announcements and guessing who the missing persons are. 5. From their seats students call out their guesses and other students either verify or negate them. 6. Posters are taken down and volunteers call out descriptions they remember, while students guess who the descriptions refer to. Note: For beginner classes pre-teach vocabulary on parts of the body and clothes. Also it could be of use while speaking with more intermediate and advanced students about different types of characters from a literary piece of work. Box 4 Example of missing person announcement Have you seen my good friend? She was last seen reading studiously in the library. She is about six feet tall (183 cm) and looks like a model. She has long brown hair and a little brown mark on top of her left eyebrow. Her eyes are green and very lovely. When I saw her last she was wearing a brown skirt and a plaid shirt and she had her hair tied back in a pony tail. She likes to laugh a lot and she can often be seen eating ice-cream. Here is a picture of my friend. I hope you can help me find her. 2. Motivation and Activation. -to help students gain competence in language and to provide the support and encouragement that will raise their confidence and motivation. We must assure students that what they think really matters to us more than the way they express themselves. If we really want to convince our students that their ideas are worthwhile, we should structure activities that promote a genuine exchange of ideas and good thinking. As a rule, students are interested in sharing what is on their minds and are waiting for a chance to do so. If our large multilevel class becomes a community, where students feel safe and where their opinions are valued, they will be willing and able to produce relevant language and to exchange opinions with classmates. To do so, try to keep the following in mind: • It is not necessary for the teacher to hear everything that is being said or see everything that is being written.
  6. 6. • Students should be allowed to talk about issues of real interest to them. • The activity should offer many choices of expression. The following activities will help to give students the push towards self-expression and interactions with fellow students. 2.1. The preference line – explaining yourself Aim: fluency practice, expressing opinions, a cohesive classroom atmosphere Level: intermediate-advanced Time: 20-30 minutes Preparation: Choose any topic on which students can express a preference and draw a line on the board to represent the scale of preference. At both ends of the line write two preference possibilities. For example, in a discussion about loyalty, family is at one end , society at the other end. See Box 5 for suggested topics to create your own. Procedure: 1. Students from one row or section of the class come to the board and write their ,names along the line where they feel they belong. 2. Students take turns standing in front of their names and explaining why they put their names in a certain position. 3. Volunteer from the class may ask questions. 4. A new row or group of students comes to the board to write their names. 5. The procedure is repeated and can be repeated as long as the class is interested and involved. Variations: -You can use this line for the placement of characters students meet in literature or historical figures. -Each row of students can function as a line in which students stand where they think they belong, and explain their position. Extension: Students write a short composition called Where I stand, that are posted on the walls of the class and student circulate writing positive comments or questions on the work of classmates. Box 5 Suggested topics -Borrow money whenever you need it, never borrow money ; -Living in a big city, living in a country; -Governments should provide health care, health care is the individual’s responsibility; -Having a large family, not having children; -Parents supporting children until they grow up, children becoming independent as soon as possible; -Extended families living together, generations living apart; -Parents helping with homework, students doing homework without help; -For corporal punishment, against corporal punishment; -Teacher correcting mistakes, teacher avoiding mistake correction; 2.2. The quick-write Aim: fluency practice, writing, expressing opinions, a cohesive and cooperative classroom community Level: intermediate-advanced Time: 20-30 minutes Preparation: Think of a topic that your class has dealt with, or a topic that needs review, or any topic that you want to introduce. Start a sentence on any aspect of that topic and have this partial sentence ready for dictation. Example: When I think about my home town, I remember… Procedure: 1. Dictate the sentence. 2. Students continue writing. 3. They are not to lift pen from paper. If they can’t think of what to say they may continue writing loops or they may write I don’t know what to write… I don’t know what to write until the next idea strikes them. 4. Students write until you stop them. 5. In small groups, they read what they have written to one another and choose the most interesting piece of writing. A student other than the writer should read the chosen piece to the class. 2.3. Special places from my country Aim: fluency practice, class cohesion Level: intermediate-advanced Time: 20-30 minutes Procedure: 1. Dictate the following list: Pride, Happiness, Loneliness, Self fulfillment , Envy, Anger, Discovery, Fear.
  7. 7. 2. Make sure that all students understand the meanings of the words. 3. Next to each word students write a place from their native country where they experienced the feeling. The place may be a geographic entity like village, city or district. They have to stand up and arrange themselves in such way as to represent the map of the country, placing themselves according the place they wrote. As a guide should be a map of the country. 4. Being arranged in form of the map they have to share the emotions they experienced in this place. 5. In plenary, volunteers tell the class about something interesting that was reported to them by a conversation partner. 2.4. Circle talk Aim: fluency practice, class cohesion Level: all levels Time: 20 minutes Procedure: 1. Brainstorm the list of interesting topics for the students to discuss. 2. Students form inner and outer circles of about eight students in each inner and each outer circle. Students facing outward form the inner circle and students facing inward form the outer circle, so that each student from the inner circle has the partner in the outer circle. 3. The inner circle students will not talk, but show their partners they are good listeners. 4. Give the students a topic. 5. Students in the outer circle have one minute to talk about the topic, then they move one step to the right and face a new partner to talk with them on the same topic but during 2 minutes. 6. Students in the outer circle again move one step to the right and face the other new partner to discuss with him the same topic but in 3 minutes now. 7. Repeat the entire procedure with the inner circle. Extension: Students write about the topic. 3. Reviewing while maintaining interest and momentum: meaning a set of daily practiced exercises and strategies to keep contextual continuum, by reviewing the information they already studies. A good example is Word Wall (a blackboard with currently studied words on it), Venn Diagram (comparing two concepts to distinguish different and common points between), Running Dictation. 4. Dealing with written work. 4.1. Assess the Assessors Levels: Intermediate+ Option A: Peer Review Form Students are assessed while they are assessing their classmates. The whole class is involved in the activity, and students have in chance to practice evaluating other’s performance, which reinforces their self-esteem Procedure: 1. After having written a short paragraph on a certain topic, the students have to swap their works with their neighbors who become reviewers and editors of this work. For this reason, the class is divided into pairs: editors and reviews who, working in pairs, should check the other colleague’s paper, filling the peer review form (see Box 6) with their commentaries. So, the responsibility of a reviewer is to check the meaning of the paragraph, and of the editor the spelling and grammar mistakes. To do this they will need teacher’s help and dictionaries. 2. Students receive their peer review/edit forms and read the comments of classmates. They may wish to ask questions for clarification. 3. Students re-write compositions making appropriate additions and changes. Box 6 Peer Review Form Today’s date…………………………… Writer’s name………………………………………………….. Reviewer’s /editor’s name ……………………………………………… The reviewer One thing hat I liked in ……...............................’s paper was …………….......................................................... …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… I also liked ……………………………………………………………………………………………………… My questions about the paper are: ………………………………………………………………………………. I didn’t understand ……………………………………………………………………………………………… I would like more………………………………………………………………………………………………...
  8. 8. ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. . The editor I think that the writer should correct …………………………………………………………………………… ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. Option B: Procedure: 1. Have the students each write a short essay, either in class or as homework, on a different topic that can be presented orally or in poster form. Assign half the group to prepare their essays at 3-to5-minute oral presentations, and the other half, as small posters. 2. Hand out the essay Checklist to each student. Have the oral presentation students each exchange essays with a poster student and read and evaluate each others’ essays, using the criteria in the checklist. Tell the students that you will be evaluating their evaluations. Essay Checklist Excellent ~ Poor 1 Is the topic clearly identified? 5 4 3 2 1 0 Comment: 2 Is there a unity of ideas? Comment: 5 4 3 2 1 0 3 Is there coherence? Are the ideas presented in a logical way? Comment: 5 4 3 2 1 0 4 Is the style of writing interesting and attractive? Comment: 5 4 3 2 1 0 5 Is language used correctly? Comment: 5 4 3 2 1 0 6 What did you like about the essay? 7 What did you dislike about essay? 3. Collect the essays and the filled-in checklists. Read the essays, and fill in your own checklist for each. 4. On the oral presentation day,  Remind the evaluators that they are free to ask questions.  Hand out one Oral presentation Checklist to each of the poster students. Oral Presentation Checklist Circle a number for each item, and write your comments in the places provided. Excellent ~ Poor 1 Was the topic clearly identified? 5 4 3 2 1 0 Comment: 2 Was there a unity of ideas and coherence? Were the ideas presented in a logical and convincing way? Comment: 5 4 3 2 1 0 3 Were the speaker’s movements, gestures, intonation, and use of visual aids (if any) appropriate? Was the speaker self-confident? Comment: 5 4 3 2 1 0 4 Did the speaker involve the audience in the presentation? Comment: 5 4 3 2 1 0 5 Was language used correctly? Comment:
  9. 9. 6 What did you like about this presentation? 7 What did you dislike about these presentation? 8 Did the presentation help you understand the information given in the essay? Why or why not?  Have the oral presentation students give their presentations. Tell the poster students to fill in the checklist for the presentation of the student whose essay they read. During the presentations , fill in your own checklist for each speaker.  Hand out the essays, and have the evaluators once again read the essay they previously evaluated. At the end of the activity, collect the filled-in checklists and essays. On the poster presentation day, give out once Poster Presentation Checklist to each of the oral presentation students to evaluate the posters and fill in the checklist for the poster prepared by the student whose essay they read. Go around and fill in your own check list for each poster. Have the presenters stand by their posters and answer questions from the evaluators. At the end of the activity, collect the fill-in checklists. Poster Presentation Checklist Circle a number for each item, and write your comments in the places provided. Excellent ~ Poor 5 4 3 2 1 0 1 Is the topic clearly identified? Comment: 2 Is there a unity of ideas and coherence? Are the ideas presented in a logical and convincing way? Comment: 5 4 3 2 1 0 3 Are the graphical representations appropriate? Comment: 5 4 3 2 1 0 4 Is the design visually attractive? Comment: 5 4 3 2 1 0 5 Is the poster self-explanatory (or did you have to ask questions?) Comment: 5 4 3 2 1 0 6 What did you like about this poster? 7 What did you dislike about this poster? 8 Did the presentation help you understand the information given in the essay? Why or why not? 5. Using the teachers’ Checklist evaluate the filled-in essay, oral, and poster presentation checklists. In all, you will evaluate 2 checklists for each student (1 for essay and 1 for presentation). Hand them all back o the evaluators in the next class meeting. 6. Lead the class in a discussion of the evaluation process, the differences between assessing written and spoken work, the importance of being able to question the presenter, and other relevant issues. Variation: 1. In small classes, have each student evaluate 2 or more presentations. 2. If you wish, cooperate with the students in preparing the checklists before you start the activity. 3. Use this activity to grade the performance of the students as writers and as presenters. 4.2. Using chat rooms Aim: writing, exchanging ideas Level: intermediate-advanced Time: 30-45 minutes Preparation: The chat room is an activity that allows students to comment in writing on topics of interest to them, and to read about and expand on the ideas of classmates. Prepare at least as many folders as there are students in your
  10. 10. class. It is always better to have a few extra folders for the students who finish early. Inside each folder insert a paper with a thought-provoking topic, controversial statement, or interesting problem. (See Box 7 for topic suggestions.) Procedure: 1. Each student chooses a folder from the “pool” of folders, and begin to write his/her comments and reactions to the topic. As soon as students have finished what they want to say they return the folder so that it can be picked up by another student. 2. As they continue, the reactions accumulate so that each incoming student has more and more to respond to and the process becomes a written discussion. Note: the teacher participates in the same manner as the students. Extension: 1. Students sit in small groups. When the chat room discussion is over, each group chooses a folder to read and comment on. 2. In their groups, students take turns reading out loud from the discussion and deciding which comments they find most interesting and most relevant. 3. A spokesperson from each group reports to the whole class. Box 7 Suggestions for chat room discussion • What is the best kind of government? • Why adopting children is a blessing? • Why it is better to marry later? • Education is more important than I.Q. • We must strive toward multi-cultural societies. • Family is more important than society. • Everyone thinks that their own culture is the best. • How can we lower the accident rate? • What can be done to eliminate the drug problem? • Everybody cheats on tests. • There will always be a generation gap. 4.3. Writing about pictures of people Aim: writing, sharing ideas Level: beginners Time: 20-30 minutes Preparation: Have a set of pictures of people – at least one picture for each of your students – the more better. Procedure: 1. Each student selects a picture and receives a blank piece of paper. They are placed in groups of five. 2. Give students some time to study their picture and to think of a name for their person. 3. Dictate the following: This is… Students have to write and fill the name they have chosen, and after that to pass the picture and the paper on to the person sitting next to them. 4. Dictate : He /She lives in … Students write on the paper they have received, basing the information on their impression of the second picture and pass the picture with the paper on to the person sitting next to them. 5. The procedure is repeated as above until the papers and pictures by now should have returned to the original writers. 6. In their groups, the students read their stories out loud to the group, that chooses the most interesting one. A spokesperson for the group goes to the front of the class and reads the group’s story to the whole class, while another student holds up the picture. Box 8 Additional stem sentences He/she lives in/ with… Yesterday was …….’s birthday …….is …….years old All ….. really wants for his/her birthday is …. . ……hates …..loves …admires …..wants to spend his/her vacation at … … dreams about…. …. knows a lot about….
  11. 11. …. is afraid of …. …. loves to eat… ….is interested in …... 4.4. A bio-poem class book Aim : personal writing, getting to know fellow students Level: all levels Time: 45-60 minutes Preparation: Write your own bio-poem and be ready to share it with the class. Procedure: 1. Together with the class, compose and write on the board a bio-poem of a famous person. Here is the formula for a bio-poem: Line one : First name of person Line two: 3 adjectives that describe this person Line three: 3 ing verbs that suit the person Line four: Relative of … Line five: Who loves …… Line six: Who needs….. Line seven: Who wants…. Line eight: Who dislikes….. Line nine: Who used to… Line ten: But above all, who… Line eleven: Resident of…. Line twelve: One complete sentence describing person. Line thirteen: Last name of person (See Box 9 for an example of a bio-poem). 2. Read your own bio-poem to the class. 3. In pairs, students interview partners and write bio-poems about them. 4. Post the bio-poems on the walls of your class. 5. Make a class book of bio-poems. 6. If possible, provide a book of bio-poems for each student and let students write messages to one another on the page where their bio-poem appears. Note: This activity works very well as a capstone project for a writing class. Box 10 Example of bio-poem Snow White Beautiful, beloved, lost Cleaning, running, singing Relative of a wicked queen Who loves to eat apples Who needs a prince to save her Who wants to take care of dwarves Who dislikes dirt Who used to live in a castle But above all, who is very good. Resident of the dwarves’ cottage She is such a good girl. The Princess. 5. Making students responsible for their own learning (recommendations how to learn the material better, techniques to memorize better, individual style of learning(visual, audio, writing, associating, repetition, etc.)Examples of activities: What kind of learner am I?, How can the teacher help me?, How I can help myself, What kind of a listener am I?, What kind of a reader am I? How do I catch and correct my mistake? Specimens of the lessons for multileveled classes: Lesson 1: Reading an information text
  12. 12. Pre-reading activities: Level 1 group: § Think of a place you will ask for help when you need to apply for a job Level 2 group: § Name 2 companies that can help you with job vacancy information and job search skills in Sydney (or in Australia) Level 3 group: § From the cover page of this brochure, what do you think could be the different services that Job Network offers?
  13. 13. While-reading activities Read the following brochure and answer the following questions: Level 1 group: § What is this brochure about? § Which organization does this brochure advertise for? Level 2 group: § What should you do if you are not happy with the service you have received? § What is the Customer Service Line? Level 3 group: § How can you find the copies of this brochure? § What website should you visit if you want to find out more changes to Job Network? § What can a Job Network member help you if you have been unemployed for more than 3 months? Is this brochure only published in English? Post-reading activities Speaking: Level 1 group: § A student from Level 3 will interview you. You should answer all his questions about your name, age, nationality, gender, education, skill. Level 2 group: 1. Ring Job Network at its Customer Service Line. 2. Ask the customer service all the information that you need to know about this service. Level 3 group: § You will play the role of a case manager working at Job Network. One student from Group 2 will ring you to ask for information. You will answer his questions. § You then will ring a student from Group 1, who was an unemployed referred to you by Centrelink, to offer help and ask her some information about herself before you can start the case with her. LESSON PLAN 2 Reading a bus timetable
  14. 14. Pre-reading activities: Level 1 group: 1. What is this? When can you find this? 2. Where can you find this? 3. Do you have to pay to get this? Level 2 group: § What information can you get from this? Level 3 group: 1. Imagine three situations where you need to ask the bus driver for this timetable. While-reading activities Read the timetable and answer these questions 1. What is the operating time of the bus 922 on Sunday? 2. What time does the 922 arrive at Bankstown Station if it starts at 6.00am from East Hills Station? 3. Where is the last stop of this bus if it starts at 6.32 pm from East Hills station? 4. I want to arrive at Bankstown Station at 5.30 pm. What time I should catch the bus from East Hills? 5. I want to arrive at East Hills station between 10.10 and 11.30 am. What time I should catch the bus at the corner of Canterbury and Chapel Road? 6. How many stops are there from East Hills Station to Bankstown Station on the 7.30 bus on weekdays? 7. If I want to be at East Hills Station at 12am on Sunday, what time should I catch the bus from Bankstown Station? 8. Does bus route 922 operate 365 days per year? Post-reading activities: Speaking: Level 1 group: ▪ Asking a bus driver what is the time the bus will start or stop at East Hills Station or Bankstown Station Level 2 group:
  15. 15. ▪ Discussing with your friend the best time to catch the bus 922 if you have to reach Bankstown Shopping Centre at 12 pm on Sunday Level 3 group: ▪ Discussing the advantages and disadvantages of the operating timetables of this bus route with a classmate. Writing: Level 1 group: ▪ Writing down at least 5 words that you can remember from the timetable. Level 2 group: ▪ Designing a timetable for the bus route you often take to go to English class. Level 3 group: ▪ Designing advertisement material for this bus route using the information provided in the above timetable. LESSON PLAN 3 Reading an advertisement Pre-reading: Level 1 group: ▪ Who is in the picture? Write down her name. Level 2 group: ▪ Name at least 1 of her songs that you know. If you cannot remember the title, you can sing it to the class Level 3 group: ▪ Describe the singer in the picture. While-reading activities Level 1 group: ▪ What is the venue of the concert? ▪ What date is the concert? Level 2 group: ▪ When will the ticket be on sale? ▪ Which telephone should you ring to buy the ticket? ▪ Who is the special guest of the concert? Level 3 group: ▪ Is telephone the only way to book or buy the ticket?
  16. 16. ▪ ▪ Which websites should you visit to have information about the concert? Who are the three sponsors of the concert? Post-reading activities: Level 1 group: ▪ Can you collect some of the famous songs of this singer. Level 2 group: ▪ Write a biography of this singer Level 3 group: ▪ Write a letter to your friend explaining why you are very interested in a show of Beyonce.

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