Friday, 17 February 2012

Speak up - Building confidence.

Please not this is not quite finished yet. I need to add your comments from the session.

Why do students lack confidence?

peer pressure
fear of mistakes
don’t see the point
don’t know what
don’t know how

So what can we do?

Listen to your students not your student’s mistakes.

4 reasons not to over-correct your students

· students will become demotivated and fear making a mistake

· communicative accuracy is as important as linguistic accuracy.

· being listened to and getting a message across is motivating

· errors can be learning steps, we don’t want to make students think making mistakes is wrong.

4 Reasons to correct your students.

  • if mistakes are learning steps then error correction and coaching is important to help students see the problem and improve.
  • students perceive the teacher’s job is to correct, they will feel like they are learning if they correct.
  • students are passed the natural age for learning language so coaching and correction are important to help the students develop.
  • it is a way to deal with language the students would like to be able to use but can’t. (emerging language)

Golden Rules of Error Correction

  • Don’t correct all the time.
  • Remember what is being said is as important as how.
  • Echo rather than overtly correct.
  • Don’t interrupt… go back to correct.
  • If error causes breakdown in communication negotiate meaning don’t correct.
  • Use errors to help you plan
  • Think about the needs of your students, are they confident, can they handle correction.

This will make the students more confident so they speak more. So they will make more mistakes.

Helping our students make better mistakes.

My tips for helping students make better mistakes

  • The more they speak … the more mistakes they make.
  • Give time to prepare and plan.
  • Encourage a friendly, supportive environment.
  • Allow for lots of variety.
  • Allow chance to repeat the activity.
  • Favour pair and group work rather than whole class.
  • Pick topics that will interest and won’t embarrass.
  • Don’t make them do what they don’t want to.

Making Speaking Fun

Some principles for making speaking fun

  • Make sure there is a task.
  • Make sure the students know what they are doing.
  • Give students freedom to express themselves.
  • Make sure there is a reason to speak and to listen.

The activities I demonstrated in the sessions were

Ask your students to write 3 sentences 2 true 1 false.
They then ask each other questions about the sentences and have to work out which one is the lie.
Remind them they have to keep lying in their responses.

None of us
The simplest way to add a task is to create a ‘me too or me neither’ feeling. So students have to find things in common or differences with colleagues. The example we saw in the session was getting students in groups of four and ask them to find things that was true only about 1 person in that group, true about 2 people, true about 3 or true about all of them.

Hot Seat
After a reading where there has been a main character ask students to write questions for the character from the reading.
Then nominate one student from each group to be the character.
The students interview them and they have to answer 'in character'.

Answer as
Give students some questions to talk about but tell them they, shouldn't answer as themselves but should answer as a famous person.
They shouldn't tell their partner(s) who the famous person is.
After they have completed the task ask them to guess who their partner(s) famous person was.

Hope these activities inspire your students and build their confidence and get them to speak up.

I finished with the Video of Jean Burcow Gleesen
This is a very brief summary of what she said.
Correcting and Coaching is irrelevant.
Exposure to Language
Listen to the Children (in our case students)

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