jueves, 17 de marzo de 2011

Some Suggestions on Using LTs for Whole Class Activities

All English teachers should know about the advantages and disadvantages of using whole class activities. For instance, the teacher has more control and can be more aware of students' performance. In the same way, low level students can learn from more advanced students. On the other hand, whole class activities are more teacher-oriented and less communicative. To my mind, a good class should have moments where learners work all together as a whole class and some others where they can work in groups. In my experience, I think whole class activities are good in order to provide students with explanations on grammar points, doing guided reading, etc., while having them work in groups is better to promote and foster communication in the classroom.

Whatever the case may be, including learning technologies in your lessons is something that has to be carried out carefully. To begin with, before using Office Applications with your pupils, make sure you know how to use them appropriately, since you will have to provide them with explanations in case they have doubts when doing a task using PowerPoint, Word, etc. So if your case is that of a teacher with no or almost no experience working with computers, consider taking a course or having someone else to teach you how to use them. Also, it is a good idea to give students clear and easy-to-follow instructions before doing any activity; make sure you use language suitable for their level and content that is appropriate to their age, needs, interests, etc. In addition, remember that LTs serve the purpose of helping to achieve the objectives of your class, so they should complement it and not lead it. Bearing this in mind, it is important to be careful with the time learners are allowed to work on the computers as well as with the time the teacher spends on using them.    Finally, remember to always have a plan B in case you have unexpected technical problems in the last minute.

Do you have any other words of advice regarding using LTs in the classroom? If so, just leave your comments.

2 comentarios:

  1. As I wrote about this in Moodle, a whole class approach fits in well with large classes. I believe in ecleptic teaching. So using a teacher oriented approach at times (instead of a student-centered one) would not harm the learning process. Au contraire, it may enhance it a bit.

  2. I couldn't agree more, Profe. I think part of being a good teacher (and this is something that you are not taught about at college) has to do with knowing when to use specific approaches depending on your needs and goals.