Presentation on theme: "English Opportunity By Ron Rogge. Problem - Solution 1.The initial impetus for this idea came from my observation that students lost English ability over."— Presentation transcript:
Problem - Solution 1.The initial impetus for this idea came from my observation that students lost English ability over a longer vacation. I don’t know about you, but the blank look I get first thing on Monday morning is bad enough. I designed a plan for them to use English in the different skill areas every day for the duration. 2.At the benchmark level that I instruct (3c-4b), it is particularly bad because students haven’t generally made the transition to using English outside of the classroom too much yet. I wanted the student to be able to use the program independently as much as possible.
3.Students generally need someone to hold them accountable. The purpose of a checklist is to help student’s hold themselves accountable. Additionally though, an instructor can observe how a student did by looking at the checklist. When I use the full-semester version, one copy of everyone’s list is on a bulletin board in the classroom. Students encourage each other by checking off their progress every morning. It makes a decent addition to a portfolio as well. 4.Students need direction as to what is helpful for them to do. I chose tasks that helped students in the areas that I perceived their need to be. 5.Students at my level still have difficulty correctly ordering the parts of a simple sentence or a complex sentence involving one subordinate clause. Sentence order was a specific need that I wanted to address.
6.Women especially often don’t know much about using a computer (not overly scientific – just an observation). Over 75 % of the students in my class have been women over the past few years. Using the computer for English empowers women. Sometimes they have access simply because the teacher says they should. In our society, using the computer is a pre- requisite to finding decent work (esp. email). 7.Students don’t sufficiently own their learning. The name of checklist has been specifically chosen to emphasize that the student has to choose how much or how little English work he or she will do. In my opinion, any use of the checklist should begin with a discussion and establishment of each student’s personal English-learning goals.
8.Students have difficulty identifying the best websites to help them further their learning. Over the past years, I have spent a gazillion hours researching websites for learning/teaching English on the internet. There are definitely other good websites on the internet, some of which I am beta-testing right now, but the ones that I use right now for this checklist are five star. Note: This is by no means perfect. My challenge to you is – take it and make it better (and then send it to me – I want to use it).
Before you begin... Help students to be specific in their description of their English-learning goals. Have them enter their goals on the goal thermometer.
How do you start your class using it? As much as possible, do everything in class first. 1.www.esl-lab.comwww.esl-lab.com 2.Read ABE (Adult Basic English) books (first three weeks of a semester – half hour a day/four days a week). If your organisation doesn’t have them, go to the library to get them. 3.www.rong-chang.comwww.rong-chang.com 4.Do scaffolded small talk (asking and answering questions for fluency). I do it just over half an hour every morning. 5.Give dictations to cover “The Best Thing in the World” vocabulary learning.
My experience is that as you devote class time to making certain ways of learning English accessible or habitual, you are multiplying class time. Students will end up doing much more of the same outside of class.
If possible, take students into a computer lab and let them try everything out to work out the kinks. Get every student an email address if they don’t have one yet. Students will also need a headset (incl. a mic). The next step: Assign a couple of sample exercises for homework. Make sure that students can do the work if they want to. Every step of the way, explain what you are doing and why you are doing it. Students should know that you are equipping them to accelerate their learning as much as they choose to or are able to. Then:
Finally: Tweak the digital copy of “English Opportunity” to reflect the beginning, duration and individual dates of your program, put in your email address (whatever you do, don’t use mine) and turn your students loose. By the way, I created a separate email address for these exercises and am I ever glad that I did!
Make sure students know that you understand that there are circumstances that make extra work outside of class extremely difficult. They should understand that you will in no way penalize them for not doing the exercises nor reward them simply because they do them. The only reward is the improvement that they (and others) will see in their language ability. The work that they do should be determined by their own personal goals. Absolutely Essential:
Don’t... promise to mark more than one set of three sentences per student per week. The aim of the written assignment is written fluency, not accuracy. The sentence structure exercises, reading and dictation are working writing accuracy. Keep your promise!