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  1. #11
    Abstract Idea is offline Key Member
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    Default Re: The Ideal English Class and English Course

    Quote Originally Posted by PROESL View Post
    While I strongly advocate learner-centered or student-centered classes, I should mention that on a few occasions students have told me that they do not like this approach, and that they don't want to talk to their classmates. They said they wanted to listen to the teacher, take notes, ask the teacher questions, do classwork, and talk to the teacher. So it's a balancing act sometimes, and sometimes the challenge to please everyone can be taken to a higher level depending on who is in the class.
    Quote Originally Posted by sauveterre View Post
    However I, too have found they don't like "pair work" at all. They would much rather listen to me and the class CD and then have a group effort.
    It seems to me that informality, flexibility and a touch of humour are the key in my type of class.
    I am currently studying and teaching English with the same method (I mean with the same series - I am the teacher at an intermediate class while I am a student at an advanced level). This method relies strongly on pair work, and it is highly lerner-centered. As I student I don't like this method, I don't like to talk about myself or about things concerning my own problems or real situations. And I see there are students who think the very same way I do. However, I must admit, the majority of the students seem to like it. So I conclude it is a matter of personal choice. But a good ESL book/course (and definitelly the ideal English class/course) should take this into account, balance the pros and cons and find a way to please both audiences.
    Last edited by Abstract Idea; 30-Sep-2009 at 12:24.

  2. #12
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    Default Re: The Ideal English Class and English Course

    Quote Originally Posted by ymnisky View Post
    I am currently studying and teaching English with the same method (I mean with the same series - I am the teacher at an intermediate class while I am a student at an advanced level). This method relies strongly in pair work, and it is highly lerner-centered. As I student I don't like this method, I don't like to talk about myself or about things concerning my own problems or real situations. And I see there are students who think the very same way I do. However, I must admit, the majority of the students seem to like it. So I conclude it is a matter of personal choice. But a good ESL book/course (and definitelly the ideal English class/course) should take this into account, balance the pros and cons and find a way to please both audiences.
    Yes, it's true that not all students like classroom methodology that relies on pair work and group work, and many people don't like to talk about their own lives or personal information. It is possible, however, to find a topic and a text that many people can relate to and use that as a topic of conversation.

    I think group work or pair work that focuses on a grammar target structure is useful. The best thing to do is wait until you get there, and figure out the best thing to do. Every situation is different. I've learned to not listen to anyone regarding this. Find out for yourself. A few mistakes I've made have come from taking into account what someone told me before the start of a course or lessons. It's not very fashionable to admit to making mistakes thought, is it?

  3. #13
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    konungursvia is offline Key Member
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    Default Re: The Ideal English Class and English Course

    Nowadays -- the TV + Internet generation -- or the post-Matrix generation -- they often seem to hope you as the teacher will "do something to them" as passive passengers, so that they don't have to do anything to learn. Funny, eh? It wasn't like that even 15 years ago when I started.

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    Default Re: The Ideal English Class and English Course

    Quote Originally Posted by konungursvia View Post
    Nowadays -- the TV + Internet generation -- or the post-Matrix generation -- they often seem to hope you as the teacher will "do something to them" as passive passengers, so that they don't have to do anything to learn. Funny, eh? It wasn't like that even 15 years ago when I started.
    That's true. Sometimes some people don't understand that you've got to put something into it; you've got to participate, think, ask questions, try - work. The best classes and lessons have a strong atmosphere of give and take. Learning and teaching is a dialog.

    On the other hand, I once witnessed a class at one of those very expensive places in Cambridge MA in which the teacher was going over a homework assignment with students. The homework was to write examples of the second conditional. That's it. Just write examples. Some of the students did not respond very well to this assignment. When some of them could not produce original examples of the second conditional - without context and nothing to really "go on" - out of thin air, the teacher chided them in a friendly sort of way. The teacher thought it was clearly the students' fault that the assignment didn't seem to go very well. eh eehmmm

    At this "school", they covered four or five chapters a month from Betty's blue book. Grammar classes were 1.5 hours four or five days a week. There was nothing communicative about these classes. The teacher had to follow the script. Talk about speeding through material. In the first place, the students were mostly familiar with the grammar in the chapters that the class was covering. It was all a big "feel-good" thing. They had a test that, for the most part, they were sure to do well on, and Mom and Dad never suspected for a moment that their money was wasted. The serious ones, who spent their own money, seemed to never know the difference either.

    Buyer beware.
    Last edited by PROESL; 30-Sep-2009 at 04:27.

  5. #15
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    Default Re: The Ideal English Class and English Course

    Maybe I can be a reporter on Sixty Minutes? Or maybe produce a few shows?

  6. #16
    Abstract Idea is offline Key Member
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    Default Re: The Ideal English Class and English Course

    Quote Originally Posted by konungursvia View Post
    Nowadays -- the TV + Internet generation -- or the post-Matrix generation -- they often seem to hope you as the teacher will "do something to them" as passive passengers, so that they don't have to do anything to learn. Funny, eh? It wasn't like that even 15 years ago when I started.
    Okay konungursvia, I agree with you. But it is not their fault, rather ours - we have constructed the world they live in. And (almost) all their previous teachers have been always doing that "something for them". It is up to us try to change it if we think there is something wrong with it.


    Quote Originally Posted by PROESL View Post
    I think group work or pair work that focuses on a grammar target structure is useful.
    Absolutely !

    I believe that the methods/classes should focus more on "role playing situations", that is, learner-centered but not realworld-learner-centered.
    If the students are free to create and talk about hypothetical situations,
    rather then about examples from their own personal lives, the classes can
    please more some of them.

    In my opinion, exercises like for example: (i) Write your own resumè, (ii) write a formal letter applying for a position where you state your skills and experiences, (iii) tell the other students how is your family like and so on are not good. But they can be changed if previously the students are asked to construct a fictitious character, with a definite name, age, personal traits, etc. And then they "role play" with their character the situations (i-iii) above as well as similar other ones.

  7. #17
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    Default Re: The Ideal English Class and English Course

    I've thought of fictitious character before. List facts about them on the board, and then create a task centered around using verbs or practicing interrogatives. You could also predict their future, or write a story about about their future. There are all kinds of things to do. I often improvise ideas. These improvised ideas could form the basis for a book for those that aren't very creative in the classroom or during grammar lessons.


  8. #18
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    Smile Re: The Ideal English Class and English Course

    Quote Originally Posted by PROESL View Post
    What is the ideal English class?

    What is the ideal English course?

    Tell what you think?
    I think, that is induvidual lessons...with a private teacher.

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