REPORT ON MICRO-TEACHING CLASS 11
Reporton Micro-Teaching Class
Universityof South Florida
Reporton Micro-Teaching Class
Spokenlanguage is of paramount importance to the second and foreignlanguage learners. As such, the learners put enormous effort in theirmastery of English language speaking skills. Students who are in aposition to speak the English language fluently are considered ashaving succeeded in their English courses. There is great emphasis onthe oral skills in a majority of the EFL and ESL courses. This iscoupled with the presence of numerous speaking and conversation textsin both the libraries and the markets. However, one of the greatestaspects under debate is the methodology that should be applied inteaching the oral skills. There are two major strategies which areproposed by both the teachers and the text books where a direct orindirect method can be used. The direct method involves the variousaspects of oral interaction such as turn taking. On the other hand,indirect strategies would employ features such as group work whichencourage oral interaction.
Thisspeaking lesson plan is addressed to students studying in an ESLinstitution in the United States. The students are from differentnationalities and they are in the US to increase their Englishlanguage proficiency. This ESL Intensive English Language Program isformed for the non-native English speakers planning to pursue aneducation at an American university or wish to better their Englishfor an individual or professional reason.
TheESL program provides a speaking and conversational course. The levelof the students in which the lesson is planned, is advanced, so thenthey can show a higher level of mastery of the spoken Englishlanguage. The general purpose or goal of this particular course is toenhance the students’ overall speaking abilities, as well asfluency. This lesson’s aim is to ensure that the students willexpress feelings using different tenses, as well give a short,informal presentation on the different phases of cultural shock inclass. A cultural shock regarded as the individual disorientationthat a person may feel in the course of experiencing an uncommonlifestyle due to immigration or a visit to a new country. It isperceived as travelling to a second type of life or moving betweenthe social surroundings. As in our case, the different nationalitiesof students make this operation important (Engber, 1995). Thisparticular topic was carefully chosen to touch on the students’sense of feelings and integrate the cultural aspect into the languageclass. It is genuinely essential to embed culture into the teachingof second languages especially when it comes to speaking classes.Thanasoulas, 2001 suggests that culture and communication areinseparable because “culture not only dictates who talks to whom,about what, and how the communication proceeds, it also helps todetermine how people encode messages, the meanings they have formessages, and the conditions and circumstances under which variousmessages may or may not be sent, noticed, or interpreted.”
Thelesson plan is organized in such a way that a day’s lessonintegrate all the different language skills all together, elicitinglanguage from the students, giving them the chances to practice andproduce the language as possible, creating an interactive learningatmosphere among the students. As Hinkel, 2006 noted that in theglobalization era, pragmatic goals of language learning and teachingpoint at the significance of integrating the different skills,dynamics and instructional models with an emphasis on meaningfulcommunication and the development of learners` communicativecompetence.
Thelesson plan starts with an activity that includes a warm up where thestudents’ background knowledge is activated. The warm up brings tothe students an understanding of the culture shock concept, where aYouTube video on culture shock from a language other than theirtarget language is presented on board using a projector, a topic theylater guess and understand in the class to get a deeperunderstanding.
Ageneral introduction is briefly explained in order to activate thestudent’s schemata about culture shock and to introduce the conceptto those students who have no background information about thistopic. Students should show an understanding of the topic so thenthey would participate and be involved in the class dynamics. Theywould never be able to do so unless they have a general knowledgeabout the topic, theories of contribution of schemata in the processof comprehension and being able then to produce the language arekept in mind. Carrell, 1988 highlights the importance of Schematheory and activating schemata in ESL teaching contexts. He alsolists numerous ways in which relevant schemata may be constructed,including introductions, visual aids, demonstrations, real-lifeexperiences, discussions, role-play, text previewing, introductionand discussion of key vocabulary, and key-word/key-conceptassociation activities.
Thevocabulary list and “Hangman” activity is used to prepare thestudents for their lesson on the expression of feelings as they usethe various vocabularies for testing. The students will also have thecapacity to apply the vocabulary associated with the concept ofcultures into their language practice. The students then in the“Rolling class” activity are asked to present what they learnedto each other by asking each other questions related to theirfeelings about different aspects of cultural changes. This activityis aimed at enhancing the physical dynamics of the class andencouraging students to express their feelings with a limited timewith topics that touches on their own personal experiences. Tomlinson& Masuhara, 2009 emphasize that dynamic activities that involvephysical movement are essential in facilitating the acquisition of asecond or foreign language. They also argue that such activities canpromote educational development and can be successful in providingmotivated and meaningful experience of language in use. The questionswere well chosen, introducing the class into the topic and givingthem a general overview about the culture shock sights. Thepronunciation part then makes sure that the tenses and vocabulariesare spoken eloquently and correctly. This involves making sure thatstudents can differentiate between the different sounds of –ed andthey should be able by the end of class to recognize thesedifferences and pronounce it accurately. Then, the “Culture shockphases” activity is aimed at giving the students a general overviewof the five phases of culture shock.
Studentsare then expected to give a small presentation to their classmatesabout those different phases. The students are divided into fivegroups and each group is given a plastic bag that contains a smallsheet that contains a general overview about one of the five phasesalong with the roles of the students in each group. Student groupshave positions such as the leader, speaker, time keeper, and notetaker. It is essential to state that the bag also contains a stickypaper that has the name of the phase. Each group is asked to read thesmall sheet, discuss it, and then write a short summary about it. Thegroups are then asked to post each group’s has in the timelinedrawn in the whiteboard. Each group speaker will present a smallpresentation about the group’s phase. This activity is aimed atenhancing the students’ interaction and discussions within thegroups. Each student in the group is assigned a specific rolerandomly. This ensures that all students have equal opportunities toparticipate and to be involved in the activity. Brown & Lee, 2015emphasize the importance of giving all students equal opportunitiesto practice the language in the class. By the end of the activity,students are expected to gather all the information, discuss it,write a general summary, and then give a short informal presentation.This activity was carefully designed to integrate all the differentskills: reading the phase, listening and speaking within the group,writing a short summary, and giving a short presentation. Later, aquick evaluation of their understanding of the points, as well as aquick overview of what was taught, is done. The day then ends bygiving the students homework as further evaluation of theirunderstanding (Long & Porter, 1985).
Thislesson plan is intended to engage the students into language practiceand the sequence makes each part equally important. The students, asa result, keep maximum attention during every part of the lessonthrough writing short notes that are probably necessary for thelessons that follow.
Inthis class, the role of the teacher is that of a facilitator and aninstructor more than a lecturer. Faten and I co-taught this speakingclass. We introduced the theme of the class by showing a video onculture shock and our job from that point on was just to instruct thestudents on the next steps in the class. We provided exercises thatprompted students to take control of their language learning, as wellas participating. In addition, we moved around the classroom toensure that students are on the right track and see whether theyneeded any assistance. We also provided the vocabulary beforehandthat students might need in speaking activities.
Inthis micro-teaching speaking lesson, the role of the learners was tobe active participants. At the beginning of the class, they wereactive listeners and observers while watching the culture shockvideo. Upon that, students were using their prior knowledge andschema to guess and suggest what the video was about. In addition,this speaking lesson required them to spontaneously share their ownpersonal experiences with different types of culture shock in theactivity ‘Rolling Class’. This activity aimed at increasingstudents’ fluency and willingness to share their answers on thespot without prior planning on what to include in the answers.Students spoke freely and passionately about their culture shockexperiences. Moreover, the group work on ‘Culture Shock Stages’task, students were active as they chose the group roles, read thestage description, and then summarized it in their own words topresent it to the rest of the class. The group speaker took theresponsibility of giving a small summary to the class as well asdeciding where their stage fits on the culture shock timeline.
Nonetheless,the interaction between us and the students was more welcoming toshare their experiences, opinions, and thoughts during the wholeclass. When they were asked to share their stories in the ‘RollingClass’ activity, we encouraged them to express themselves freely byasking them to kindly sit in the middle seat and show them that theirclassmates and us are interested to hear them. Not only that, but wealso made comments on their good work and valuable experiences afterthey were done sharing. We gave feedback on their bravery to speakfluently/spontaneously and thanked them too.
Asfor the students’ interaction among themselves, they were veryinterested to hear about their classmates’ stories. In group work,they co-worked to summarize the culture shock stage given to them.They cooperated throughout the whole lesson, as well as in thegroups.
Theobjectives of this lesson were accomplished successfully. Overall,students fulfilled the objectives of learning about concepts ofculture shock and /ed/ endings pronunciation, sharing storiesnaturally, and responsibly working in their groups. In addition tothe objectives’ success, the lesson and the tasks were successfullycompleted. First, the video was guessed right. It presented the classtheme effectively. Secondly, the rolling class game was up to thestudents’ level. They were able to play and speak freely. Theyreached the aim of the task as they enthusiastically and naturallyshared their stories. This class task not only helped with naturalproduction of the language, but also helped them to know each otherbetter and relate to their classmates. The next activity was theculture shock timeline activity. The students engaged in group workwhere they had to decide group members’ roles. The group summaryhelped the speaker earn enough confidence to present a small summaryof their group culture shock stage. As for the overall groups gain,they learned to guess the sequence of culture shock.
Altogether,we consider the lesson was delivered thoroughly. If we were to teachthe lesson again, we would consider some changes in the depth ofaddressing some lesson/task sections. First, we could grab students’attention to the explanation of the class activities by asking themto observe the teacher role modeling the activity for betterunderstanding of the procedure. By doing so, we can make sureeveryone heard and understood the steps of the task before giving itto them. Second, group roles could be randomized for the purpose ofgiving shy students a chance to shine. Students could pick a randompaper out of the group role bag and find out their role and beresponsible for completing the work related. Third, it might havebeen better if we gave the whole class the chance to look at thenames of culture shock stages and decide as a whole class thesequence. This way, everyone had a fair chance to participate in thispart of the timeline game. The final possible change would be in theteaching of /ed/ endings of English. If we teach this lesson again,we would give more attention to /ed/ ending explanation. We can planmore time to teach it with more detail and examples from the cultureshock vocabulary. After explaining the concept, we can ask them towrite down at least one example for each and voluntarily share itwith the rest of the class.
Thismicro-teaching experience was very rewarding. We were fortunate totaste fun of language teaching for once again. Not only that, butalso intrigued us to imply what we learned in this course onorganizing our thoughts in a meaningful and logical sequence. Hence,we, as teachers, considered ourselves as learners when planning alesson by studying the objectives closely and including as muchdetails in the lesson as possible. We believed that students shouldwalk out of class with enough knowledge gain of the lesson concept.Moreover, we had the chance to anticipate learners’ difficulties inlearning a certain language aspect like fluency. For this reason, wechose a lesson theme that relates to every student and that is easyto participate in. In the course book, “Teaching by Principles”,there was a detailed section on how to lesson plan appropriately. Wefollowed very accurately to create a lesson plan that includedauthentic language, language skills, gave a chance to all students toparticipate, and emphasized the main aspect of the class over andover through different multi skills tasks. Besides, Faten and Igained some more knowledge on how to design tasks that fit studentslearning styles. We included visual aid like the video, the timeline,and realia. Last but not least, we learned to be ready to improvisein class teaching and that practice makes perfect. Students need topractice the language as much as possible in the classroom in orderto learn better.
Inconclusion, speaking in a second language is not an easy skill toacquire as it includes very sensitive aspects to it like thelearner’s proficiency and confidence. Therefore, planning andteaching such a skill requires some careful planning and smoothteaching. Students need to be encouraged to speak regardless of theamount of the possibility of making mistakes in the target language.That is why we paid attention to appropriately addressing all thenecessary skills to learn how to speak about culture shock, as wellas developingbasic interactive skills necessary for life outside the classroomlike fluency.In addition, we aimed at providing a class that encouraged meaningfulcommunication through the activities listed above in the lesson plan.Theseactivities made students more active in the learning process and atthe same time made their learning more meaningful and fun for them.
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