Part of a series of summaries of the talks I’m attending at IATEFL Liverpool 2013. Please feel free to add things or correct me if I’ve misinterpreted anything!
These are the main points from Anne Crappsley’s (AC) talk, taken from my tweets.
AC teaches at private language school in Edinburgh with 5-12 students in their classes
GTKU activity: find three things you have in common with the person next to you, excluding that fact you’re learning English!
AC talks about Class Dynamics by Jill Hadfield – problem is, JH focuses on classes that stay together, not rolling intake.
AC decided that she would think back to classes with great dynamics and try to learn from them. Sounds like a great lecture: lecturer played video clip every 20 minutes to get attention back.
She decided to start thinking about lessons as a series of short objectives, breaking the lesson down. It’s not fixed – you can expand/contract things. Here’s an example of how you could break down the lesson.
To bring students back to the room, try adding short activities into the class. Play Just a Minute. Ask students to remember 10 words they’ve learnt recently, and 6 favourite topics. Must use 4 words minimum.
Benefits of Just a Minute activity:
[note to self: these might be very interesting to ask our classes at IH Newcastle]
When asked if they were more motivated to come to class when they knew new students were joining, about half said ‘yes’. That means that a rolling intake can be very positive for students – a change of atmosphere.
Play ‘Distraction’: face another student, put something on hand (eg coin), talk about it. Then maintain eye contact and try to steal partner’s coin. Can only close hand when protecting coin! Benefits are:
Students highlighted that it’s difficult to translate and think about vocabulary and the coin. Challenging, but possible.
Ultimately, the most important thing is being flexible and adapting to your students’ needs.