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Summary of the TESOL Advanced Course

作者:TESOL in China来源:TESOL总部官微网址:http://TESOLinChina.com

During this holiday, I had a training program for TESOL Advanced certificate. It is delivered by the instructor Alex. And thanks to him, I learned a lot about teaching English to students of other language. Here is a summary of what I've learned during the course.

  First, greetings and warm up

There are five steps to do the greeting and warm up of a class.

ü   Step one, welcoming.

ü   Step two, use name tax.

ü   Step three, do greetings.

ü   Step four, warm up.

ü   Step five, begin your class.

  This is a typical beginning of a class, however, to be a great teacher to deliver a successful class. You also need to think these questions:

1.      What makes a good teacher?

2.      Who should talk in class?

3.      How should teacher talk to students?

4.      How important is the students motivation?

5.      How should teachers give instructions?

6.      How to manage a classroom?

  A good teacher should have knowledge of both the subject he or she is going to teach and knowledge of other related subjects or even the whole world.

  A good teacher is also an entertainer who can make the class not only efficient, but also interesting. It is always important for a teacher to remember his or her goal is to bring the best out of the students.

  As for the second question, who should talk in class, the answer includes both the teacher and the students. There are two terms to describe this. TTT and STT. TTT means teacher's talking time while STT shorts for students' talking time. And the third term is interaction. During teacher's talking time, the teacher give the comprehensible input. Then, the students' talking time is used to check their output. The interaction includes the time both students and teachers spend together during the class. A successful class should consists of more STT and interaction than TTT.

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  As for motivation, there are generally two types: intrinsic motivation and intergative motivation. The first one means the motivation comes from the students themselves. And the second one means students may be motivated to learn a language by their interests of the culture behind the language. To motivate students to learn a language, the teacher should always make the class interesting, practical and suitable for the students. For example, you can use a KWL chart before you give students the comprehensible input to make sure that you do not spend too much time on the things they've already know, only to decrease their interests for the class

  Giving instructions helps the class flow. And the two principle of giving instruction are to keep your instructions simple and logic. Meanwhile, a teacher makes lots of eye contact with the students during the class and ahould always remember to check students' comprehension.

  There are usually two ways to help a teacher manage the clads: punishment and rewarding.

  In the third part of the class, we learned the eight learning styles. They are visual learners, musical learners, logical learners, physical learners, social learners, solitary learners, verbal learners and a combination of all seven types mentioned above. Therefore, it is important for a teacher to try to figure out the learning styles of each students in the class and prepare various materials and activities for learners of different styles.

  For visual and logical learners, for example, thinking maps are especially efficient in learning a language. The eight most commonly used thinking maps includes: Double map, double-bubble map, flow map, multi-flow map, bridge map, brace map, circle map and tree map. The bubble map is for describing someone or something. Tthe double-bubble map shows comparison and contrast of two things. The flow map is a problem-solving tool. And multi-flow maps show the causes and effects of a sitiation. Circle map is especially useful for brainstorming. And you may put the references or key information in the four corners. A tree map includes categories and sub-categories while a brace map shows the major and minor factors of something. A bridge map is to show a certain relation. For example, synonyms and antonyms.

  Then the training is divided into four parts, focusing on the four main skillls in language teaching: How to teach vocabulary, how to teach speaking, how to teach reading and how to teach listening.   

  First, how to teach vocabulary. Here are five questions to be asked to solve this problem.   

1.      First, how to teach vocabulary?

2.      Second, what do students need to know about new vocabulary?

3.      Third, how do teacher present vocabulary?

4.      Fourth, how to use the vocabulary?

5.      Fifth, what are the easy ways to improve and expand one's vocabulary?

  The answer for the first question is simple. Always teach vocabulary in context. Also, students need to know the pronunciation, the meaning spelling usage, and the writing of new vocabulary.

  To present new words, a teacher may use visual tools such as pictures, drawing activities, word repetition, or the game "Act It Out". Other useful ways to present new words include putting the words in context, teaching students to guess and predict the meaning of new words and showing the lexical relations of new words.

  For gestures and actions, a teacher can use his or her facial expressions, gestures and actions, or do a mining game. Common lexical relations include synonyms vs antonyms, word collocations, prefixes and suffixes.

  To expand your vocabulary. One should not only know the mentioned lexical relations of words, but also the 8 ways of word formation: compounding, blending, clipping, acronyms, conversion, backformation, onomatopoeia and eponyms. Besides, there are also some useful activities to teach vocabulary, such as using word categories, word association, connecting words, word networks and using a thyme.

  Talking about teaching speaking. It is common to find students who are reluctant to speak a foreign language. This could be caused by psychological or affective factors. Therefore, rule number one to teach speaking: let the students open their mouth and talk. Overall methods to teach speaking are: CLT(communicative language teaching), TBL( Task based learning), collaborative learning, using real life situations, asking students to work in pairs or groups.

  There are generally two types of speaking activities. Number one, controlled accuracy work, number two free fluency work. Some common free fluency speaking activities includes unscripted role-play, problem-solving or decision-taking activities, discussion and debate (four coeners debate) and project-based learning. Then here are more activities for controlled accuracy work: matching expressions in two columns to make a dialogue, discussion, role-play, make up a dialogue in a given situation, interviews using a questionnaire, scramble dialogue, information gap, read and act, three talk, use pictures to make up stories, who is telling the truth, lie to me, 6 thinking hats, what do you have in common and picture difference.

  There are mainly 5 steps to teach writing: Pre-writing, drafting, revising, proofreading and publishing.

  The pre writing is to decide what to write about, who is gonna read it, how to write and the basic idea. The teacher may do a brainstorming or let students ask themselves questions from a Six Thinking Hats Chart and write down key words for the answers.

  The drafting focuses on the writing structure. It mainly includes the introduction, the body and the conclusion. The introduction is the purpose statement or a review. In the body, one should write the main points. And the conclusion is a closure or proof of concept information.

  Then, there are two parts in revising: revising and editing. During revising, students add some necessary words or sentences, remove or delete the unnecessary ones, move or change a sentence or an idea or a word, and substitute them with the proper ones.   While in the process of editing, the students focus more on the grammatical mistakes of their writing, such as the capitalisation, the usage of words, punctuation and spelling.

  In the process of proofreading, students will be taught to use proofreading marks to update their writing.  

  Then comes the last step: publishing. Students should share their writing with others or get published online or on the magazine, etc.

  Here are four efficient writing activities: writing template, jeopardy(write a question and the answer, say the answer, guess the question) and chain fair table.

  Then we learned how to teach reading. Just as what we did in how to teach writing,   a reading class also has three parts: pre-reading, while-reading and post reading.   Teacher can use pictures to let students develop guessing and predicting skills before reading. We can also use one missing sentence maps in pre-reading. In this process,   good readers are good guessers. As for while-reading teachers can use skimming, which is to read for the general idea or skimming which is to read and get specific information.   Sharing reading is also a useful way to be used in while-waiting. Here is an explanation of how to skim.

ü   First, students read a few part of a passage. For example, they can read the first or last sentences of each paragraph.

ü   Then they try to get the main idea.

ü   Still, teachers may lead in with a question to help the students to scare me.

ü   Last, don't forget to set a time limit.

  As for how to scan, here are the four steps.

ü   Firstly, students read quickly without stopping.

ü   Tell them they don't need to worry about the understanding of each word.

ü   Then they should look for some specific details in the passage.

ü   A time limit should be set here, too.

  Sharing reading is a task in which each student only read one part of the passage and then share with each other. They discuss and talk to find out the who, what when, where why, likes and dislikes of the passage.

  One will always find difficult words during reading. And here are some tips to deal with these words.

  First, just skip the word or circle them during the first reading. And students are encouraged to guess the word's meaning.

  Other methods to be used while reading include shadow reading and echo reading.

There are five steps in shadow reading.

a)      Listen.

b)      Listen and follow the text with the eyes. One may also use their finger to point to the words.

c)      Listen and speak.

d)      Read silently.

e)      Read orally.  

  Echo reading is simpler. It is to listen, copy the sounds you heard and say.

  After the students have got the main idea and all the important information, they should do some activities in post-reading to give their output. For example, they need to make associations such as to do a classroom survey or play "Find Someone Who" or "Find Someone What". Or they can summarize the reading material by paraphrasing. The third activity to do in post-reading is to draw some graphic organizers such as a double-bubble map or KWL charts. The teacher may also ask the students to do a jigsaw reading, which is to cut the reading material in to several pieces and ask students to put them in order. A text recap is also very helpful. We can ask the students to read and close books. The teacher will read and pauses before a word. Students should call out the word. And then the teacher continues. The last skill is to ask students personalized the reading content into their own real life experiences and give an output such as a one-minute presentation or a great discussion.

  The last part is for teaching listening. Listening also can be divided into three parts, pre -listening, while-listening and post-reading. The most important two principles of teaching listening comprehension is to make it relevant to the students and provide background knowledge. The bottom-up and top-down listening strategies can be used in your teaching.

  For bottom-up listening, you can count syllables such as "Baseball, Basketball, Golf" or practice the stress of a word, stress of a sentence, or pay attention to the pronunciation of some specific words such as some word pairs like pin and pen or verbs in different tenses such as eat and ate. In bottom-up listening, we also teach students to pay attention to the intonation. Besides, line by line dictation helps a lot in bottom up listening.       

  To do top-town listening practice. To do top-down listening practice, we get students to determine the setting, the relationships, the main idea of the reading and we encourage them to do prediction and guessing. We ask open ended questions to help them to do so. Interesting activities can be used here are "Listen and Draw", report, summary, information gap, information hunting.

The last part of the whole course is to learn how to write a lesson plan. There are generally two kinds of lesson plans. The short term lesson plan and long term lesson plan. In a short term the lesson plan for one lessson, the teacher should write down answers for some background Information, such as how old are the students? What is the topic? What teaching materials are they going to use? What teaching method will be used in the class? The most important part of the lesson plan is the teaching   procedures, which usually include greetings and warm-up, presentation, production practice, performing, summarizing, other optional activities and homework.   

  The purpose of greeting and warm up is to grab students' attention. We can use music, games, free talks, videos or magic, etc.

  Presentation is when the teacher give input. You can use pictures or show students some real objects.

  While the production is to check students' output. In this process, we may to ask students to do a role play, to perform their diet dialogues, to do an Information gap activity, or to do some group works etc.

  Practice is mainly based on some worksheet. We can also use matching activity, filling the blanks, drills, reading and acting or other games.   

  Performing is also to check students' output. And this time it's mainly the students talking time. The teacher may ask student volunteers to act the dialogue and or to pretend like a teacher and ask each other questions.

  Next step is to do a summarizing. This helps to recall what has been taught in this lesson and the teachers also highlight some key points.

  When you're writing a lesson plan, always remember to prepare some more optional activities as a plan B. Last but not least, suitable homework helps students to study after class.

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