8th September (3rd blog entry)
Now Simon seems to be "missing in action" but I continue my blog anyway.
Today was my first day in the CELT-course. The course started at 9:30 a.m. which seems a bit late, because I prefer an earlier start.
But anyway "When in Rome, do as the Romans do".
I met a few familiar faces from the day, when we were at the school for the interview. That was nice, because I had someone to chat with, which came handy because when our teacher came in, he asked us to introduce our neighbour instead of ourself!
During the first 90 minutes we got general information about the course, our curriculum and the requirements (especially those concerning the written reports, there are six of them - not three as I said last time).
After coffee break our teacher surprised all of us by talking Spanish to us. Suddenly we found ourself not as teachers but as language students.
He taught us some basic phrases like "S'Quin es?" (Who is he/she?), "De dondees?" (Where is he/she from) or "Me gusta...!" (I like...)
We also listened to the song "La Bamba" and with the help of our teacher we figured out the meaning of the lyrics (it's about a captain - not a sailor - who flirts with a small, but graceful dancer).
After the lunch break we made a kind of brain-storm about the tools of the teacher. By that he didn't just mean the technical tools like blackboard and overhead projector. But also "tools" in a wider sense of the word like: voice, body, personality, questions, classroom, plan, materials, eyes & ears, timing, knowledge, activities, evaluation ,and incentives.
In our last session we had to draw out our own teaching plan. I've to teach an intermediate class, how to ask about and describe things.
I decided to design my lesson like a cooking class; to bring foot items and kitchen utensils into the class. I would pretend I'm an alien from another planet and ask them to describe those objects to me. I plan to draw a grid on the white board. At the right side I'm going to list the answers. At the very left side I'm going to write the categories, like size,shape, material, purpose and origin. Then I would ask them to formulate questions to ask for those category, like: How big is it? What shape is it? etc
In the next stage I would introduce a guessing game: I group the students in pairs and one of them gets a bag with an item inside. The other student has to use those questions she or he has just learned to find out what kind of object is in the bag. I like to introduce a competitive element, like the team who guesses the most items will win!
Most of the fellow students are in their early twenties. A few around thirty and me and another fellow are in their late thirties. I'm not the only non-native speaker in the course. There is one gentleman from India as well. But the rest are Irish.
Well - as a homework I have to write a short paper about the difference between "objective" and "outcome" in a class plan. The technical definitions are pretty straightforward: "objective" is what the TEACHER wants to achieve during the lesson. "Outcome" is what the STUDENT actually learns during the lesson.
But I think in practice those borderlines are getting pretty blurry! At the end of the day, it isn't the teacher's job to present himself as a brilliant teacher, but to help the student to learn. Ideally - what a good teacher should want is what the student learns (effective and in a fun way)!
I'm not sure I get good grates on this paper...
Enough of this "wanna-be teacher" talk - I probably bored everyone to death!?
But that's what on the agenda - folks ("You get what you see!")
Good wishes to all of you!
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