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BANGKOK 14 December 2018 03:57
ellisg

Interesting lesson topic

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Hi all, I am just finishing my last assignment for TEFL qualification. Can anyone suggest a lesson plan topic that would be interesting for Thai students (boys and girls) aged 14-16 years old and A2 level (late elementary/ pre-intermediate)?

 

The lesson plan will be teaching past continuous interrupted but I have to make the topic and activities interesting for them (and not contentious).

 

Thanks for any help from teachers out there! :)

 

 

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Nice to see a thread about teaching 🙂

 

The online stuff is really great for teachers on the move.

 

For those who like books, I'd recommend:

 

Teaching English Grammar - Jim Scrivener

Grammar Practice Activities - Penny Ur.

 

These are 2 of the best books for teachers to use for grammar teaching in class, they are not academic texts. I doubt if you'll find them in bookshops in Thailand, even in Bangkok. I order most of our books from Amazon. The service to Thailand is excellent.

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2 hours ago, stubuzz said:

Are TEFL companies still pushing grammar based lessons

Actually TEFL companies do not push a "grammar based" approach - they have been pushing the "communication based" approach for 50 years - since their inception.

 

But anyone who has gone a bit deeper - let's say MA - knows that the "communications based" approach is not relevant in the monolingual EFL environments that the vast majority of students study in worldwide, including Thailand.

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11 hours ago, My Thai Life said:

But anyone who has gone a bit deeper - let's say MA - knows that the "communications based" approach is not relevant in the monolingual EFL environments that the vast majority of students study in worldwide, including Thailand.

That is an interesting claim.

 While i agree that a teacher cannot rely solely on CLT, contemporary research does suggests that it is needs an explicit grammar component to create fully rounded learners. Additionally, i think that limited use of L1 in a monolingual classroom can be beneficial to help clarify meaning when the learner does not have the linguistic ability to complete a given task.

 

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50 minutes ago, stubuzz said:

Additionally, i think that limited use of L1 in a monolingual classroom can be beneficial to help clarify meaning when the learner does not have the linguistic ability to complete a given task.

This is a topic I have done a lot of secondary research into, as it's so important to English education in Thailand and other monolingual EFL environments.

 

I'm currently re-reading Rod Ellis's "Exploring Language Pedagogy through Second Language Acquisition Research". It's one of the very few books that analyses teaching practice in the light of SLA, and has an excellent chapter on L1 in the classroom.

 

For people who are interested in a handbook of L1 activities in the classroom I'd really recommend "Using the Mother Tongue" by Deller and Rinvolucri.

 

Despite these learned references, my attitude to L1 is simple: no-one ever learnt a foreign language without using the L1, so harness it, don't ban it!

 

The tragedy is that the majority of NES EFL teachers never did learn a foreign language, so they have no personal insight into the cognitive and psycho-social processes involved.

 

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2 hours ago, My Thai Life said:

The tragedy is that the majority of NES EFL teachers never did learn a foreign language, so they have no personal insight into the cognitive and psycho-social processes involved.

Agreed. I could never have learned Thai without L1 reinforcement.

 I also find that the average TEFL'er and many schools show a high level of ignorance regarding the use of L1 as a classroom tool. Most take the stance that lessons must use L2 100% of the time even though this is counterproductive to lower ability students who understandably switch off when they cannot understand.

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There's definitely a place for grammar in teaching language. I'm of the opinion after teaching a year of it along with 4R + pronunciation is that it's best handled by Thais especially if you are coworking.

 

If it's an EP environment the school will want the teacher operating in English. If there are Thais co teaching it's best they teach grammar, especially the more complicated levels of it beginning even with B1. 

 

I just don't have that level of Thai. I've taught in some schools with great reputations, grammar was never a requirement. That does not negate a teacher from knowing basic grammar as kids will ask about this and that and if you teach writing, you may encounter grammatical issues.

 

Never step on a Thai teachers lessons. It is though rather awkward when they come to you with a question about grammar from a Thai teacher. This actually happened a few times this year, thank Buddha the teacher was right (for me lol). Interesting questions and an alert student.

 

Anyway, if co teaching, the Thai will need something to teach. Best scenario is if shared, Thais teach inputs + grammar, farang outputs + things like pronunciation, phonics, etc.

 

Another issue is every school I've worked at has had me teaching vastly different things to students with vastly different levels throughout middle and high school, so M1-6. The books, total hours, hours per week, methods, minutes per class, facilities and especially # students per class has upended any continuity in my overall ability to build lessons. So you could build up some excellent grammar lessons to literally never touch them again in your life. Same with subjects like pronunciation. I'm at a point in my age, career I will never teach grammar per se again.

 

Most schools won't require foreigners to teach English. If the farang can show up in on time and in clean clothes he's gold.

 

Finally, the kids dread it. They find the exams tedious and difficult. At the end of the day their problems with English are far greater than deciding whether to use a semicolon or comma. Just use the damn comma. This sort of grade raping crap by Thai teachers drives me crazy.

 

Edited by ozmeldo

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