Just a short summary today so that I don’t forget what happened…
I thought I would try something different before class and instead of chatting with the early students in the classroom, I waited until the last moment to enter. As hoped, they were already in a group and talking together in English (like I’ve said, this is an ideal class!). As I sat down with them, one of the learners asked me when I had gotten married and from there we were off.
Basically the class was divided into two halves:
This part came as a continuation of the discussion about the best age to get married (lots of differences of opinion).
- elicited different important milestones onto board (drinking age, voting age, etc.)
- pairs discussed legal ages and whether or not they agreed then class feedback
- put some of the student output on the board and we reformulated it using different modals and phrases for prohibition and permission
- pairs wrote down ‘new laws’ on slips of paper using the language we’d looked at
- open class discussion about the new laws
As students were talking about the legal driving age, I used the opportunity to segue into the topic of transportation as last class a student had brought me an article about the new train line being built. I’ll admit, I was glad to have something to use as a stimulus for the second half of the class as I wasn’t feeling very inspired.
- quick discussion about the horrendous San José traffic and what the government should do about it
- elicited onto board other types of transportation in Costa Rica
- two groups (advantages and disadvantages) discussed and then boarded in note form their strongest reasons
- as a class looked at collocations to do with each mode of transportation get in a car / get on a bus, etc.
- Gist task – dictogloss with the first paragraph of the article (which was basically a summary)
- Specific info – chose numbers from the text and students tried to find the meaning
- Specific info – pairs wrote comprehension questions for other pairs and then checked their answers
- Inferring meaning – class looked at other new words and tried to work out meanings
- Class discussion of merits of this new train line
Overall, I was happy with the lesson and the students seemed satisfied. However, I couldn’t help noticing that all the language points I’ve chosen to work on have either been lexical or functional – there has yet to be a present perfect continuous kind of language focus. I wonder, is this such a bad thing? Is it just what I’m most comfortable noticing? Should I be making a greater effort to deal with specific tenses? Next time I might make an effort to deal with ‘serious’ grammar and see what happens…