Delta Module 2 Diary

Beyond the reading, the input sessions, the writing and the teaching, there are small sparks that warranted a little mental note. I don’t want to lose them amidst the mess of author names, and book titles so am going to keep a little Delta diary of these flashes.

Week 1

Team teaching creates planning problems – ideas clash. You should plan the lesson first, then allocate teachers to different stages of the lesson.

Actually doing the team teacher, you need one teacher to lead each phase – but you can also do fun team games with each student team having or representing a teacher.

Actually doing the team teacher, you need one teacher to lead each phase – but you can also do fun team games with each student team having or representing a teacher.

Adults just do stuff quicker and without needing so much support as YLs. They figure out the task quickly and set to work and help each other. They don’t need to be so scaffolded and can be thrown in the deep end.

Don’t knock deductive learning until you’ve tried it! It sounds dated, ‘surely, everyone likes to figure things out for themselves,’ well maybe not everyone is the same.

Week 2

Keep. it. simple. when lesson planning. Too much ambition in terms of what you can achieve in the time limit leads to panic, stress and a less productive lesson. You plan too many details and everything is set up for it to crumble to the floor in a pile of sweat, paper, confusion and cursing of Time.

Having to plan detailed lessons in the antithesis of what I’ve been doing for the last 6 months; it’s been a struggle to get into doing lesson plans like this.

Keep. it. simple. No need to overcomplicate. Leave space for maneuver. Space for emergent language to develop.

There is a big tension between materials light / using learners as the main resource and Delta-level teaching assessment requirements. Not easy to reconcile this difference.

—-

‘Lesson shapes‘is an interesting concept: block your lessons into fundamental stages (lead in, fluency task, language input and analysis, practice, fluency task). Within these blocks is where the magic can happen and good teachers can maximise the time students spend in class. How to maximise without over-planning?

New teachers, and more experienced ones (me included!), could really benefit from a lesson-shape approach to lesson planning, rather than a point-by-point plan which can sometimes lack a ‘big-picture’, too bogged down in detail.

_____

Week 3

Things getting hectic. That’s all.

____

Week 4-5

Teaching prepositions, or at least the metaphors present in prepositions is tricky because:

  1. the metaphors are inconsistent
  2. often L1-L2 prepositions do not share the same metaphors

So, why not approach this area from a perspective of the noun. Are there consistencies with the types of nouns we use with certain prepositions? (in love, danger, trouble…?). Is there a lesson there?

_____

Memorable moments from reading input:

When we scan, eyes move in all kinds of directions.

When we skim, eyes more linear direction from start to finish.

TAVI = top-down, text as vehicle for information.

TALO = bottom-up, text as linguistic object.

I’ve been sceptical of teaching reading skills for a while. Teaching listening skills, sure. Reading? Don’t students just transfer from L1? I am only thinking of students with Roman script L1, but it always seemed a bit of a stretch to say I was teaching students how to predict and use their knowledge of a topic when reading. Do they not do this already? Teaching for reading exams – students do need help with this, but this just teaching exam techniques and dealing with time pressure more than anything.

Using inference and reading between the lines. Ok, that’s not easy, but it’s not easy in L1 either. Yeah, maybe this one we can create a meaningful lesson with genuine aims to improve students ability to see inferences and connections within a text and from it to the outside world.

I was glad then to come away from Delta reading input sessions with my mind open to the idea of using genre as a way of engaging students with a text. Instead of ‘gist’ and ‘detailed comprehension’, why not consider questions that ask students to think about layout, organisation, intended audience and writer, purpose, time of writing, attitude, lexical and grammatical patterns and similarities. Maybe everyone does this already. But it was eye-opening for me.

___

Week 6-7

Forget it.

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