Author Topic: Low Level Oral Communication  (Read 2195 times)

Offline fred

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Low Level Oral Communication
« on: September 19, 2008, 03:25:33 AM »
No ! I did not get lost. Having taught at JHS and Elementary for so long, I find myself at High School and I'm lost. I need some advice and help and hopefully those of you out there can help me. A little background.....

I am currently working at the Japanese Aviation High School and it is a bit of a special case. I have some classes that are extremely high level but the majority of my classes are very low level, which is where I have the issue.
I teach by myself and set the curriculum and tests myself too. My lessons are Oral communciation and over half of the students come from outside Yamanashi. Some aspire to be car mechanics, Plane mechanics, Airport baggage handlers etc etc. Some aspire to very little as far as I can ascertain but live for the sports activities.

How do you motivate these students? What piques their interest? How do you keep them all awake and interested?
I am really lost as I have no experience with these kids. I also have no JTE to help me translate or maintain discipline/order. So how do you lot achieve this? However, I do have a blank slate and can set the boundries as long as there is testable content and progression. Games are fine but they are a means to an end.

Help me out please and I will be eternally grateful. I may even tell you that I love you when I am drunk.  :-*
« Last Edit: September 19, 2008, 12:26:44 PM by fred »

Offline Avacado

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Re: Low Level Oral Communication
« Reply #1 on: September 19, 2008, 09:52:28 AM »
What kinds of stuff have you been trying out, Fred?  How do you format the class period?
There.  Now everything goes together.

Offline Khaleesi

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Re: Low Level Oral Communication
« Reply #2 on: September 19, 2008, 11:02:23 AM »
gosh...I think I can talk your ear off about this one...

How do you motivate these students?

 
Do you feel motivated?  It:s important to realize that whatever mood you are in, the frustrations or anger are very easily passed on to your students.  It can pay to be a Pollyanna. 
With low level students maybe the goal should be learning to enjoy class, rather to learn english.  Teach simple target phrases.  A taste-test lesson would cover the I prefer /This is better, this is worse ...AND THAT would be enough to teach them for one lesson.  You could easily repeat it and expand simple vocab in the things you tasted
(this lesson requires some petty cash)

What piques their interest?
Would you be thrilled if you walked into class and the teacher passed out a crossword puzzle?  I wouldn't.  So I never have.  I believe each time my students walk into the OC Classroom I should be there to great them and there shuld be some realia, something on the board--ready to go that visually piques their interest before the lesson starts.  Every week.

Kindergarden teachers are used to this--but if you teach little Kids you can be super genki and jump around.  I have found that with HS students, with low interest being TOO genki encourages a kind of wild reaction...and then they go crazy and become hard to control.  Be /act excited about what you teach but keep the voice even and low.

Try a demerit system to encourage classes/students to behave.

Most important is structure

Enter the room pick up a new print by the door , put up your namecard and wait for the chime.   The greeting the bow shoudl, I believe , be included--you are after all their teacher and not to greet you is disrespectful--do so in English though!

How do you keep them all awake and interested?

Follow a pattern, use visuals, keep them focus on you in the front, and change it up
example
1. Greeting
2. what's the handout title, meaning?
3. Explain target
4. 3-4 min game
5. print exercise 5 minutes write answers 5-8 questions
6.  Go over answers offer alternatives 3 minutes
7.  2nd half, similar expanded target 3 minutes
8. main activity 10-13 minutes
9. answers
10 lesson close

this kind of pattern can be repeated within the class...

Discipline

Never lose your cool.  Never show anger.  Be the epitome of serenity.  Seriously, never lose your cool.  It's not rocket science.



attached Handout :


When I review the vocab, the first part with the symptoms,  I act it out--in order-- they answer, give me the japanese too and they get a point pretty simple...fast and the gestures are pretty funny.
then I have them stand up go back with their prints and THEY have to act it out.  First team finished gets hanko points.

Then I introduce all the medicines and I have real meds lined up at the front and we go over them--the students are given 1 dollar for each correct answer (see pXr:s idea about giving hanko points in the form of dollar bills) that they collect and cash in for test points or prizes at the semester end...
then independently the complete the matching.

Then the answers together.

Each team then has a doctor and nurse
I even have some lab coats that I assign to one member of each team.
and the 3-4 patients from each team must come in, sit down, explain their symptoms and then the doctor prescribes medicine, which the nurse gets from the pharmacist (that:s me!) and delivers to the patient--who returns it after they receive it...

Is this making sense?  Well, you get the idea...

This lesson is ideal for really low levels...I would usually teach this at JHS 1 year in Eiwa, but it works at the HS level too.

Their regular English classes can challenge them, I say OC should work on making learning Enlgish and coming to class fun.

HINT:  Try not to speak too much Japanese.

Search for permission to have class outside--have an english PE class, an English Science class (which is awesome) an Englsih art class, Math class(which is also really fun)...English doesn't just mean English class--apply it elsewhere in the school and in their lives...

does this help?

« Last Edit: September 19, 2008, 11:04:54 AM by Plum Cake »
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Offline fred

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Re: Low Level Oral Communication
« Reply #3 on: September 19, 2008, 12:45:57 PM »
Thanks a lot for that Kelly. I will read it in detail when my brain is awake.

Jamie. I have only really had one lesson with each class. School started on Septemeber 11th. I gave them a sheet to write a self intro as I don't know them/their level. It was a shock to see them soooooooo low. As yet, I haven't got a format to use or tried other subjects yet. I do need to teach them something and show it's usefulness to their education too.

I think help with the warmup would be great too.

Offline NickyB

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Re: Low Level Oral Communication
« Reply #4 on: September 19, 2008, 03:01:51 PM »
I feel the handout level Kelly gave is probably perfect. Full sentences are tough for these students and it becomes troublesome for them. So instead piecing together sentences or fill in the blanks get things moving faster so that they can stay interested. Personalized is also a great way to keep them caring. I always like to do a few minutes at the beginning of class using the last classes material. It gets their confidence up and shows that they can do it. Usually extremely easy and sometimes identical to previous class work.
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Offline Avacado

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Re: Low Level Oral Communication
« Reply #5 on: September 19, 2008, 04:21:54 PM »
I think Kelly's advice was great.  I have to second her on having a steady structure to follow in class.  It keeps them controlled, as long as they know what to anticipate each class, they're more likely to do it without a fuss.  It could help to explain the class goals and structure so they don't feeled whammied every morning in class and don't know what's going on.

I can't think of much solid advice now.  They're doing introductions?  Must be fun.  They could make a OC class scrapbook if you give them printouts and worksheets that help them talk about themselves, let them decorate and then put it all together at the end.  Anything artistic gets a thumbs up from the kids from what I've seen.

Whatever, I don't know anything about teaching English anyway.  Just ask my supervisor.

There.  Now everything goes together.

Offline spaciegracie

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Re: Low Level Oral Communication
« Reply #6 on: September 20, 2008, 03:51:23 PM »
Have you thought about contacting Lisa and asking her what she did with those kids?

I could always share with you some lesson ideas I use when we work together the Thursday after next (this Thursday I have no classes as the students are having tests).

Give it time. You will gradually get your bearings as you get to know your classes better.
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