Having recently recorded a lesson, I thought it would be interesting, if excruciating, to go back and re-watch myself teaching from mid-Delta. You can watch too if you want to join in the fun 😉
These are my impressions:
- I’ve lost a lot of weight, and I’m so much happier and healthier for it! (Yep, that’s the first thing that struck me!)
- My lessons flow much more now, with better pacing. There’s a dramatic reduction in the amount of time I spend at the board/doing open-class work.
- I’m more confident when dealing with language now. Much less looking at a piece of paper to check things.
- My God I was talking slowly! Although that may reflect the level of the students – I can’t remember if it was intermediate or upper intermediate, but I think I could have spoken at a more natural speed.
- Everything was at the board here and open class. I’d be much less likely to do that now, unless I’m mopping up. I also appear to be telling the students lots of things, rather than checking if they already know it by getting them to discuss it in pairs.
- My board work was already fairly well-organised, and I was using different colours to differentiate information. I can’t remember what happened in the rest of the lesson, but it looks like I’ve written everything on the board. That must have taken quite some time – time when I wasn’t paying attention to the students…
- There wasn’t much thinking time for the students after some of my questions. The language appears to be appropriately graded.
- The staging of the questions appears to be logical and the questions are all clear.
I wrote the above list while watching the video saved on my computer. I’ve just found the original blog post, and noticed some of my opinions/beliefs have changed too. For example “I think I was speaking at a manageable speed, using appropriate language, with some repetition, as you would get in normal language. I do speak faster to these students at times, but I feel in a grammar lesson it’s better to take your time.” which is not what I thought when watching it this time, especially when I realised they were upper intermediate!
I also realised there’s actually another post about an intermediate class, this time with two videos. Here’s what I thought on watching those:
- My instructions were fine, not as bad as I remembered, but not as good as they could have been. Some chesting of the handout, some instruction checking, instructions before handouts… I think the main problem with them seems to have been a lack of demos/examples.
- The first time I was drilling without visuals, so students were saying, not reading. This is good! I also made everybody join in. Later in the lesson they were reading from the board though – no memorisation here. There were some supporting gestures and a bit of connected speech (‘to’/’from’) too, plus one example of drilling from phonemes. Now I suspect I’d put structures like “lend sth to sb” into a ‘real’ sentence, like “He lent the pen to her.”
- I reminded students that “There’s never idle time in classes. That’s your remembering time.” Didn’t realise I was already doing that before – I thought that was a relatively new thing. There are also other bits of learner training: highlight the things you had problems with, use two colours to copy information and a reminder to use Quizlet, which was obviously a routine with this group as I didn’t have to tell them any more about it. I also must have used Edmodo with them, which I’m out of the habit of using with my students now (just some of my trainees).
- Clear board work again 🙂
- There was an opportunity for some dictionary work with the prepositions and the money words potentially.
- I emphasised that the preposition should be learnt with the word: a bit of lexical chunking (though prompted by the book, and not sure I realised I was doing it)
- Giving students the opportunity to work out the language themselves, although again in open class. Now I’d get students to discuss it in pairs first, then feedback in open class.
- The borrow/lend focus included students’ names, making it a tiny bit more personal.
- I made sure I had their attention during the clarification, and gave them separate writing time afterwards.
- Wait time was better in this clarification than in the first video.
- Nice bit of comparative linguistics about ‘borrow’ and ‘lend’ 🙂
So it turns out another benefit to recording yourself – you can come back to it later and see how much you’ve improved/developed/changed, just as you might by recording a student and saving it for the end of the year 🙂 Oh, and it wasn’t quite as excruciating as I thought it might be!