First Class Idea

Posted on September 6, 2010

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First Class Idea

Getting your students talking about pedagogy!

Over the last couple of weeks there have been some great posts on first lesson activities doing the rounds of the TEFL blogosphere, so I thought it only fair to chip in with one of my own.

First classes typically include opportunities for students to get to know both each other and the teacher. However, they can – and maybe should – be an opportunity for students to get to know the pedagogy too. Transparency and clarity are always positive in learning environments, so helping your students understand why they will be doing things in a certain way will both make things run more smoothly and avoid potential misunderstandings at a later date. Here’s an idea for Day One!

As many students think pedagogy has something to do with bicycles, I normally introduce the activity like this …

“Over the years I’ve made a collection of the most frequent comments that students of mine have made about learning English. I’m going to show them to you one by one and I’d like you to discuss to what extent you agree or disagree in groups of three.”

Some statements will provoke more conversation than others, so click through them at the pace you feel best (click on Menu > Full screen when projecting). The activity works best with upper-intermediate and advanced students.

Note : Whether you decide to explain what is pedagogically “correct” after the activity (“OK, now I’ll tell you the right answers!”) or take part in the debate and negotiate the pedagogical ground rules for your course is your decision. I personal do a bit of both!

One more thing before signing off!

If you are not Welsh and do not live in Spain, this will probably not be of interest to you. In fact, doing a quick finger count this may only interest Ceri (@cerirhiannon / Welsh exile in Cádiz) and Guido (@europeaantje / Adopted Welshman of Belgian origin) … Never mind!

Here’s a quick Where-I’m-from Prezi! So, if you are Ceri or Guido, fulfil the above two conditions or planning a class on The Land of Song, please feel free to use it!

Presenting Myself Prezi

Hope you find the activity useful!

Posted in: App Lessons