Tell Me More - Teacher's Notes
"Study Skills"This lesson is done between chapter 1 and chapter 2.
- Teaching aims:
- Class information Sheet
- Learning Styles
- Needs Analysis
- Learning Goals
- Self-assessment sheet
- It is important that students are involved in every stage of the learning process, so this Information Section contains important materials for self-assessing current oral proficiency, self-analysing language needs, identifying learning goals, and making study plans, as well as providing valuable information about the 'class rules' and the ideas behind the language program.
- It can take time for classes to settle into their final shape (students register in the second week of the course, others have time conflicts and have to change classes, etc.), so this Section comes after the first chapter, and gives time for the students to introduce each other, to get to know the teacher, and to generally settle in. Once this process has finished, this is a good time to raise these issues (needs analysis, goals, plans, etc.) and to look at what needs to be done, rather than bombarding the students with such materials at the very beginning.
- In order to find meaning in learning (an acknowledged factor of great importance for adult learners), students need to know what they are taking on, and the thinking behind the Program, so these activities focus on the learner as agent of his/her own change. It is the students who perform the Needs Analysis on each other, who identify their own learning goals, who assess their own proficiency, and who interview each other about learning plans, thus providing a personal involvement in the Course. They also perform a pair-work activity in which they discover the lesson parameters that the teacher will be using (attendance, participation, continuous assessment). The aim here is complete open-ness of information about the Program, its aims and its methods.
- The self-analysis involved in this section, and the idea of taking on responsibility for learning will be very new to most students, so teachers will need to counsel, monitor and assist students more than might be the case later on. However, given the overall aim of helping students 'learn how to learn', this section provides an introduction to the process of self-directed learning, and should therefore be well worth the investment of time and effort for students and teachers alike.
- Having begun to think about their learning and the whys and wherefores, students can be encouraged to continue in this vein as the Course progresses, identifying learning problems and the type of activities that will help them, as well as taking time at the end of lessons to reflect on what they have done and on how it helps them in achieving their learning goals.
1) "Class Information" Pairs (15 minutes)Pages 18 & 19
Students are introduced to the ideas behind the English Program, and to the 'rules' of the language classes. The information is 'discovered' (rather than 'taught') through a pair-work 'information gap' technique, in which students dictate to their partners, and ask questions about that information.
- Introduction: Purpose of the Program.
- Participation: Breakdown of what needs to happen in lessons. Percentages are suggested, but teachers might want to change these according to their own preferences.
- Assessment: Categories (in Korean) that the teacher will be using for continuous assessment.
- Attendance: 10% attendance rule.
- Absence: Definitions of lateness and absence
- Final Test: Notification of the test. Students should be informed of the test format and allowed to start preparing as soon as they wish.
2) "How Do I Like to Learn?" Everyone (20 minutes)Page 20
In this questionnaire, the topics of learning styles and strategies are introduced, to be further explored in the next activity ("What Can I Do?"). The most important consideration at this point is interaction - students need to talk to each other and simply pose the questions to each other, asking as many members of the class as they can, and obtaining some sort of consensus.
As a follow-up, students can get into groups and find the relative popularity of the various learning preferences. This can be done in a jigsaw manner, students changing groups and reporting to each other.
The final aim of this activity is to encourage individual students to think about their own learning preferences, and to be aware of alternatives, prior to identifying learning problems and goals, and making plans for dealing with these.
3) "What Can I Do?" Groups (15 minutes)Page 22
This is another 'learning strategies" activity, in which once again the topic is introduced rather than exhaustively investigated.
- Materials: Dice, counters, Strategy cards
- Step 1: The teacher gives a pack of Strategy Cards (Teachers' Resource) to each group, and the students share these between themselves, holding the cards in their hands, as in a game of Bridge.
- Step 2: Student 1 rolls the dice, and moves his/her marker along the squares on the board. Upon landing on the designated square, the student (or another student) asks "How can I (you) improve my (your)........(words) on the square)?
- Step 3: Student 1 chooses a strategy card from his/her hand, and puts it on the table, saying "I can ..........(words on the card)". If this strategy is acceptable to the group, Student 2 has a turn. If not, Student 1 keeps the card in his/her hand, and moves his/her marker back to the original position.
4) Homework: "What do I need to do?" EveryonePage 23
Students will interview each other later about their learning goals, problems and plans, so this homework introduces the topics, and asks students to think about their expectations.
Students who do not do the this activity for homework will be handicapped in the lesson in which the interview takes place, so it is to be recommended that everyone does take the time to complete it before the lesson.
5) "My English Ability" 20 Questions Individuals (15 minutes)Page 21
Students are asked to think about their current Spoken English skills. Many will underestimate these at first, but it is important that they take a look at the topic of how they feel about their ability to communicate in English. This activity occurs again at the end of the course, by which time students will hopefully be more confident in using the language, and will give themselves higher scores. If perceptions can change, then the approach to learning (and speaking) will also change.
6) "Interview" Pairs (20 minutes)Page 24
Students interview each other about the topics of the Homework activity ("What do I need to do?", p. 23, students' book). Having spent some time on thinking about learning, students should have some idea by now of their long and short term goals, and their learning problems (as they see them). This will help them to start formulating plans for dealing with those problems, and also to start thinking about study skills and learning strategies.
Teachers will need to monitor students closely at this stage, since it can happen that some students will not be able to identify means of dealing with their learning problems, and can therefore become depressed and lose motivation. This is a good opportunity for the teacher to counsel such students and to help them to think more positively about their learning skills. One reason for this is to actively help the students to consider their options, but another reason is that such semi-individual attention at the start of the course can be productive in establishing an atmosphere of trust in the classroom.
Next Chapter of the Teacher's Notes
Links to the Students's Book
Contents | 1 | Skills | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | Extra
Tell Me More - Task-based Conversation Activities
By Andrew Finch and Hyun Tae-duck