Reflection on ELT Classroom
During this semester, our group have a microteaching about writing in 10th grade. We spent much time preparing our presentation basing on what we have learnt about teaching methodology. After the microteaching, we received many useful comments from both the teacher and my classmates. We ourselves realize our strong points, weak points as well as how to make improvement.
First of all, it is said that planning is one of the most important parts in the project. Therefore, when conducting microteaching assignment, we have put a great deal of time and attention on planning for the lesson. At first, general details about the coming lesson were specified in terms of class description that clearly identifies the number of students attending the lesson and the objectives. Also, the students’ assumed knowledge and anticipated problems were clarified. In the writing lesson with the focused skill on writing descriptive paragraphs about a film, we have contextualized the lesson by making up a nearly real situation. This is far beyond the students’ acquisition of writing skills but their application of such skills for real-life purpose activities, which may enhance their motivations and learning efficiency. In accordance with three stages of teaching “writing”, the lesson was organized into three parts. The first part focused on model analysis to raise the students’ knowledge on how to write a descriptive paragraph about a film. More specifically, a writing framework with some guided questions was designed to help them analyse the model text more easily and effectively. Some linguistic patterns including structures and vocabulary that may be useful in describing a film were prepared. The second part was while-writing activity in which the students actually wrote. To save a considerable time and encourage the cooperation among students, this activity was conducted in groups. The final activity was feedback from both the peers and teacher. Some guided questions were prepared to help students to give comments on their peers’ writing in terms of grammar and vocabulary, content and coherence and cohesion.
About teacher presentation, we were considered making a good point when we tried to make the lesson as much comfortable and authentic for students to perceive as possible. Once students have no pressure, they will be more interested in the lesson. However, there existed some shortcomings. Firstly, we were sometimes not very confident because we were a bit embarrassed and nervous. The other reason for this problem is that our knowledge about the theory and the lesson was not enough. The only way to deal with it is preparing more carefully. We should reread the theory to understand all the techniques, activities thoroughly in order that we can apply them to real lessons the most effectively. Moreover, before class we should read to know the lesson fully. Despite this weak point, we have designed some useful activities for students to achieve the main points of the lesson. Secondly, due to the lack of confidence in our microteaching, some members made wrong pronunciation. This is an important problem because once you know how to use your voice your students will be attracted more. Therefore, we think that the best solution is practising to improve our pronunciation. We can learn from some videos of foreigners and try to repeat after them. It is not easy for us to make improvement in short- term, so we should talk more and more practise every day even making mistakes. Being patient, we will gain the best effectiveness.
Furthermore, choosing and adapting materials also plays an important role. With the aim to create an exciting atmosphere as a way to lead in the lesson, such authentic materials as film soundtracks are used. Besides, the main teaching material is the textbook – students’ English 10, more specifically unit 13 (Films and cinema). Most of the contents and activities in the lesson are designed on the basics of the book. However, due to several drawbacks of textbooks in terms of authenticity and students’ interest, some adaptations have been made. Instead of using the text model in the book for pre-writing activities, we have chosen another model which is more linguistically authentic and of students’ interest. Also, almost all of the activities in the textbook were rewritten to be able to achieve the objectives of the lesson and be more suitable for the students. For the main part of the lesson (while-writing), film posters about films of four different genres were carefully designed and delivered to the students as prompts for writing activities. We chose some real film posters in the internet and added more details about each film as useful information for students’ writing of film description. Nevertheless, the film posters should be given more specific details about the content or plot of the film because of the fact that some students have not seen the films mentioned in the lesson.
Another factor that makes the microteaching successful is managing the classroom well. We got students involved in the activities in writing lesson effectively. In warm- up activity, students worked in their group as the teacher had divided. It was easy and convenient for us to form groups. Each side of class was a group. That helped students to avoid making too much noise. This game made students very excited to take part in. The teacher let them be free to discuss with their group’s members, but not allowed to be out- of- topic. When one group had their answer, they would raise their hand but not raising their voice freely. In pre- writing, we also divided the class into four small groups to analyse the model text. However, when grouping, the teacher was a bit confused and made a mistake. Students were asked to move a lot; as a result, there was not a balance between two sides of the class. One had too many students whereas the other had a few. That caused students a little bit difficult to carry out their work. Therefore, in the next part, the teacher had to ask students to come back their former seats, which accounts some more time. When students worked in their groups, the teacher went around giving students help if necessary and encouraging them to work. In the last part, students were motivated to join in presenting their writing in front of the class. Every student had chances to give the idea to complete the writing. Students seemed to be attracted to this activity.
In the lesson, several teaching methods and techniques were applied. In terms of giving and checking instructions, we have integrated two techniques including “step by step” and “say do check”. The long instructions were broken into smaller steps and there were the teacher’s checking after each step was done by the students. However, there emerged an important problem in checking instructions that we as the teachers sometimes paid much attention on checking the understanding of one specific side/group of the class but neglected others. In addition, we sometimes called students by their group’s name, e.g. 1st group rather than their actual name, which made them confused. As regards corrective feedback, we also applied some theories of giving feedback on written work in class. The teacher collected the typical errors of all the writing, gave general comments and made some suggestions to help improve the students’ written work.
Generally, if we had avoided some shortcomings, our microteaching would have been better. However, we have learnt something from mistakes. We hope that with comments of others we will do it well in the next time.