Monthly Archives: October 2011

WHY TO USE ACTIVITIES IN ESL CLASSROOMS.

taken from:wccsonline.net

Activities are an important part of ESL classrooms because elicit students to use the target language without realizing that they are speaking in another language. Activities and games are a funny and enjoyable way to practice and learn, that’s why they have to be present all the time in our classes.

When to use them…

Activities can be used as an additional practice for the language points taught.  They allow students to practice what they have learnt. Also, activities can be used at the beginning of a new topic to reinforce previous learned language points or even later on when learners are working in the next topic. Activities also bring to the classroom a fun way to closure a lesson when there is enough class time. Activities can be a useful diagnostic tool to realize how well learners have learned the language and what are their weaknesses.

How to use them….

The secret of the activities depends on appropriate classroom management. And something very important is that all the material you invest in the activities can be recycled for further versions of the same activity or topic. The format of the activity is better to show it than explain it, because learners will understand better from seeing the teacher or other students modeling the activity. Set the time to be done and the teacher should be monitoring the students’ performance, also helping with vocabulary. During the activity the teacher can notice common errors to be reviewed later.

Here there is a web page where you can find many games and activities:

http://eslclassroomgames.com/

what to do with large classes.

   I have been thinking on how I can do with a large group that I have, because of the number of students, it is very difficult to work with them; they get distracted easily or the ones that are at the very back of the classroom can not hear. So it is a very hard to teach in this classroom. I was looking for advices with my colleagues, some of them work but others don`t. Finally after a difficult time with it I found some useful suggestions  for large classes in a book called world link that is the book I am using with my students in the school I work at; here  I am going to share with you these great tips that I hope them to work for you:

First of all, you have to set-cut routines for as many activities as possible (for example, beginning a lesson, dividing into groups, distributing papers. Students should be said the importance of pair and group work in building communication skills And that this activities requires active participation and listening to others.  Each student has to be assigned a role, for example, students who don’t want to speak can be the facilitators and their role is to make sure that all members participate or report the ideas or decisions of the group. Even if it is impossible to change places or move chairs they can speak with the person to the left, right, front, back of them. Students should know that you are helping whenever they need it for them not to feel lost. Also a very useful technique you can use is the “jigsaw” where each group is responsible for learning a specific part of the topic. And finally, students exchange their written works for peer editing and rewriting before you collect it.

Well I hope these tips help you to improve your job with large classes, I have been applying them few time ago and they work very well, sometimes I don’t have time to follow them step by step but it is matter of practice and effort.