Class 7: Too Young to Marry

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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:

Important ages

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

Transportation

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…

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Class 6: Recycling and a Different Kind of Frustration

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Class 6 was my first actual class with the group, following on from number 4 which more of a half class with the level exam in the second part. Ben and a friend on mine, Steph, were observing and I had 7 learners. The wet season appeared to have started and 3-in-a-row champions Alajuela were just about to be eliminated from the national football league (it seems there is a God..). And with all that in mind, off we went..

Recycling

I started the class with some recycling activities to revise lexis from the cards. These were as follows

  1. Split the cards in half and give each half to the 2 groups. The groups then look at the lexis and put them in two separate piles, 1 “we know these” and 2 “we’re not so sure”. We tried this first with no reference to their lexical notebooks and then I asked them to check what they thought.
  2. Swap the piles and do the same activity again, asking the 2nd group to define the words the first group weren’t sure about, if they can. Otherwise, note down which ones are difficult for both groups.
  3. Feedback with the difficult ones and some of the lexis put in the “we know this” pile. You can then ask the learners which ones to take out of the cards as they’re now “easy” and remove them. Of course, you keep a note of what you’ve removed to focus on again in the future, but this helps give a sense of progress and achievement and puts the focus on the group to make such judgements about their own learning.
  4. A board rush activity. This involves making teams and then having the learners run to the board to write the target word. Whichever team does it first – with correct spelling – gets the point. The way I did it this time was to read a definition or example to the group, who decided on the correct word and then wrote it. Feedback to this involves CCQs, synonyms/antonyms etc, eliciting stress and drilling.

The importance of recycling is well documented in Teaching Unplugged (among other works) with my own belief being that recycling is of absolute paramount importance, especially in contexts like here in Costa Rica where the learners will not use English every day, or even every week, outside of class. Thus, I decided to look at the cards with the group for the first time and found the exercises to be engaging and useful for the group. All of this proved to be very successful, with the learners really enjoying the board race and a lot of drilling of problem words such as “franchise” and “recipe” to help fix the pronunciation.

Searching for Emergent Language

During the first 2 recycling stages, I’d been hoping for some obvious emergent language to become apparent. However, this simply didn’t happen. At one point I thought we could go with relative clauses, but then it became clear that the errors had only been minor slips.  So what to do? I was going to ask them about the rainy season and if they like it, how they deal with it, etc, but at this point the group turned their attention to Ben, wanting to know if he felt any better after his horrendous Monday and subsequently enjoyable Class 5. I got them to ask questions and Ben answered these and developed the conversation. However, I still wasn’t seeing anything in the way of a language focus to really get stuck into.

Following on from the conversation with Ben, I asked the groups to compare their days and discuss who had the best one. This they did and I again listened out for anything to focus on, with no real success. The only thing that did spring to mind was sequencing adverbials such as “first”, “then”, “after that”, etc, as there was a dictinct lack of these as they recounted their days. However, the problem I had here is I simply could not think of a way of working on these at that moment (I’ve blogged before about this and potential solutions on my own blog here).

Post-class, Ben and I discussed this and came up with the idea of getting the group to write about their days and then compare them, take an example to the board and go over how it could be improved by adding these markers. They could then have re-written their original texts with the new language before we put them up round the room for the others to read and compare/comment on. This would have been a good activity, but I would definitely have run out of time trying it as the recycling went on for nearly an hour.

Anyone have any other ideas?

A Useful Class?

Yes, it was. Well, an hour of it certainly was. The second hour highlighted one of the challenging aspects of Dogme teaching: finding emergent language. In my experience, this has been one of the things that less experienced teachers feel uncomfortable with, due to a lack of confidence with their language awareness. For me, it was more of a frustration, as I really wanted to get stuck into something but just couldn’t find it and then when I thought I had it, I couldn’t think of what to do with it. I felt like I was simply setting up conversation after conversation without any real focus, which made the last hour a little activity-driven for my liking. However, that said, I do now have another area in which the learners’ range could be expanded and, having already thought through a structure for practice, know how I could scaffold future conversations to bring out the same area and then focus on it. I will also be a better teacher for this, as I’ve now got another activity in mind for when sequencing adverbials pop up unexpectedly.

Ensuring Continuity

One of the things that Ben and I need to focus on is ensuring there is continuity between classes. This hasn’t been a problem so far as Ben has taught the majority, but on Thursday I realised that I didn’t know enough about his Monday class to follow up on it. There are some reasons for this, including an absolutely ludicrously busy fortnight which has now thankfully passed, but that’s not really an excuse. I mentioned above the importance of recycling and, while I obviously did this with the cards activity, it would have been good to look again at the advice exponents from a different angle and the make/do collocations. This could also have helped with the trouble noticing emergent language as potential emergent language may have come up when looking again at previous worked on areas. Lesson learnt for me and I’d better find out what Ben has done tonight as I type…

Class 4: My First (half) Class With The Group

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Last week, I had the pleasure of teaching the group for the first time. Ben and I had organised the distribution of classes with him teaching the majority at the start as he will be leaving before me. Anyway, that meant that apart from having observed the first class, I’d not been in too involved in the classroom.

This class was also an exam for the group, so we could gauge their level. The exam is based on Cambridge and is a very accurate placement test. It covers all skills, as well as lexis and grammar and the majority of the learners got a score of about a high B1, which is what we’d expected. However, before we did the exam, there was some conversation to be had..

We started with a quick chat about me, reminding the group who I was and sharing some details about my life, etc. Part of this included a discussion of my employment history and current job. Now, I was once a waiter while I was at university and the group found this quite interesting as it doesn’t appear to be the same here. Leading on from their interest in this, I asked them in groups to think of some characteristics that a good waiter would need to have. This they did and then we changed the groups and they compared and justified what they’d written until they had a list of at least 7 things they agreed on. During this, I was buzzing around feeding in lexis as appropriate and joining in the conversations, inputting ideas from my own experience too.

Anyway, once we’d conversed about their ideas, I elicted them to the board and made two lists, one in black for “a good waiter needs to be…” and the other in blue for “a good waiter needs to have”. The learners then read out their lists and the class agreed on which column they should go in. This revealed quite a lot of problems with word formation, particularly with words like “responsible/responsibility”, which is something we’ll be following on with a forthcoming class. We also re-formulated some of their ideas and focused on collocations and pronunciation too. Having done this, I then asked them to find the opposites to each using their existing knowledge, smart phones or dictionaries and we got these up on to the board too. It was at this point that the lesson ended as we had to start the exam.

So, the question is, was the first 45 minutes useful? Well, yes, I believe it was. I knew exactly what emergent language I would focus on – morphology – but didn’t have time to do it. The groups also got some natural phrasing and new lexis out of the activity and we’ll be referring back to it as the course progresses. They also got to know a bit about me and I more about them. The time constraint made it not an ideal class as I had no time to go over word formation tendencies nor include sufficient practice, but I do now know an area of need and will try to structure conversations in that direction in future classes. And I finally got to teach them, which was a real pleasure as they’re an excellent group.

Class 5: Dogme Therapy

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Driving to class I was in a terrible mood.  My gran was having eye surgery, my school careening towards bankruptcy, and it turns out that taking dogs to Morocco isn’t exactly cheap.

Anyways, although I had a few ideas for the class based around people’s phone usage, I just wasn’t in the right state of mind.  Luckily, my students came to the rescue and much to my delight, out of the initial discussion a fully-formed lesson emerged.

Impetus

Chatting with the students who had arrived early, one of them commented that I looked tired.  I quipped that frustrated was probably a better word and from there we were off – the students were interested and I was happy to share.

Brainstorming

To start, the class brainstormed areas of life in which frustrations can arise and we created a mindmap on the board with topics life money, family, girlfriend, traffic, work, etc.  I then checked the boxes that applied to my terrible day.

About me

Next, pairs come up with questions about the checked topics to see if they could find out more.  All kinds of useful lexis arose as they struggled to ask specific questions and the resulting discussion about business, moving, health and credit cards was excellent.

About the students

With everyone engaged in the topic, I gave out slips of paper which I always carry and had them complete a sentence starting I always get frustrated when… I then collected them all, read them out, and the class guessed whose paper each was and why.

Because they were such interesting, personal opinions, I decided to try to exploit them further. I gave out the slips at random and in groups the students came up with advice.  The advice was then read out and commented on while I made copious notes.

Language focus 1

I noticed during the presentation stage of this little task cycle that all the advice was being given either as commands or prefaced with you should, so I decided we would try to expand their range a little bit.  After boarding some of the student utterances, I managed to elicit what they had in common, a few more basic exponents for giving advice, and then I added a couple more of my own.  After the usual drilling, CCQ’s, etc. I thought we were ready for a little practice.  Once more I dealt out the same slips of paper but this time each student took one and held it in front of them for others to see.  They then mingled, giving advice to each other and trying to use the new language.

Language focus 2

Having worked on expanding learners’ range, I moved on to dealing with accuracy.  So while they were still mingling I boarded some of the output from the activity, about half of which contained errors.  The errors all involved either language we had studied previously (ed/ing adjectives) or collocations with make and do.

The class was divided into two teams who chose their own names: The Angels and, a bit awkwardly, The Black Boys (for the colour of their t-shirts!).  Starting with $1000 each, they had to decide whethe sentences were correct or incorrect, and if so, what the correction should be.  They also had to wager their money depending on their level of confidence.  Highly entertaining.

Continuing on from this stage, I drew two columns for make and do on the board.  I would call out phrases like a profit and one member from each team had to run to the board and write it in the correct column.  At the end we clarified a few issues with meaning and discussed alternatives.

For practice, pairs wrote short stories entitled The most frustrating day ever, trying to incorporate as many of the collocations as possible.  The stories were hilarious involving pregnancies, accidents, and affairs.

Wrap up

At this point the class was basically over so we had some reflection on what they had learned/liked and they entered some of the new lexis onto cards and into their notebooks.

As a teacher I’m not sure what I took away from this lesson but it definitely cheered me up!  Next time I’ll have a bit more serious reflection on what I could have done better but for now I’m just glad that my day ended on a high note.

Class 3: Turtle hatcheries and other incredibly useful lexis

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Well after last week’s mini class, I was happy to at least have seven students last night.  As usual, a few things went well and a few things I would definitely do differently.  If someone could just invent a time machine already, I’m sure the quality of ELT in the world would rise dramatically…

Opening Discussion

Nothing fancy here – coming back after Easter break, we had two groups discussing their holidays.  With a few prompts on the board to help them along (Where? With whom? Activities?, etc.), the learners got going.

I was pleasantly surprised to hear the learners who did attend last class trying to use some of the descriptive language we had looked at.  Amazingly gratifying when it happens!

Taboo

Next to recycle some lexis, I passed out the student-made lexical cards (which are quickly adding up).  In groups again they played taboo, describing their words to the group.

Although this was fun and focused on meaning, it didn’t actually provide much real practice.  For next class I’ll need to think of some other use for the lexical cards.  I did like however that the students who had missed the last class were surprised at everything they had missed and eager to catch up, while the other students seemed proud of their new vocab and knowledge.

Article discussion

One of the students who had volunteered last class brought in an article from the local English paper.  To start, I wrote the headline on the board, Residents Divided on Turtle Hatchery Program, and we went over the meaning of to hatch/a hatchery.  Then, pairs wrote up three questions to ask ‘the expert’, while the expert asked me about some of the difficult vocab from the article.  Then we had a Q&A session and everyone seemed genuinely interested in the topic.

Because of this interest and the built-in pro’s and con’s of the topic, I decided to set up mini debates (I had been reading @dalecoulter / @phil3wade ‘s post about debates and it obviously stuck).  First, the two groups, for and against, brainstormed five reasons and boarded them.  Then, after a little clarification and correction (see blurry pic below), the class broke off into pairs to debate.  To build in a bit of task repetition and fluency practice, I gave them 2 minutes for the first round.  Next they switched partners but only had 1 minute to make their case.  Finally, they switched partners again and had 30 seconds.  Not only did they gain confidence with each round, but the increased pressure of the time limits added to the excitement and urgency.  To bring the task to a close, learners gave feedback about the best reason their opponents had presented them with.

This was easily my favourite part of the class as there was lots of engagement, student interaction, and language emerging naturally.  Best of all, it all came from a local article of interest, brought in by a student.  And although there was no prior planning, the activities in no way felt vague or aimless.  This one was a keeper.

Song

Having done a lot of speaking and a little reading and writing so far, I had thought we could do a bit of listening.  To lead in, I put some discussion prompts on the board and in two lines the learners had short discussions.  I don’t like to write full questions as I prefer that the learners grammaticize (sp?) the prompts and form the questions themselves.  The prompts included:

  • Favourite song/band/type of music?
  • Where?
  • When?
  • How you feel?
  • Memories?
  • Same as when you were a child?

So far so good.  Then it was time for some listening – I had brought in a song The fool by The Hepcats as it has been stuck in my head recently.  To begin, they listened to the first verse and tried to determine the type of music, instruments, adjectives to describe it, and theme.  Despite the difficulty level of the listening, with a little repetition and peer checking they handled this well.

Now, time for a dogme confession – I brought in the lyrics.  To be honest, I’ve been trying to stay handout free (other than our research questionnaires), but without the lyrics my list of song activities shrinks considerably.  Any help in this regard would be very welcome.  Worse still, my activity had a pre-planned language focus (contractions).  True it was something that the learners had struggled with last class, but it still didn’t sit right with me.

Basically, the song is full of contractions but I had typed up the lyrics without them.  Students then had to add the contractions as they listened.  After some class feedback, the learners practiced reading the lyrics in pairs.  This worked well as the song has a two part call and answer anyways, much like a jazz chant.

My justification I suppose is that I wanted to provide a model for the first song of the course.  From here on in the learners will be bringing in the songs that interest them.  I’m rationalizing I know, but we all slip sometimes…

Considerations

What went well:

  • conversation arising from student-selected article and engaging speaking tasks
  • emergent lexis related to music (instruments, genres, etc.) and subsequent use
  • task repetition and fluency practice

What could be improved:

  • How I can exploit listening texts in a material-light manner that allows for students’ language needs to emerge naturally
  • Overreliance on discussion questions on the board – try to vary format of discussion questions
  • Ensure that opportunities are provided for more real practice of recycled lexis

Live and learn…

Class 2: Religion and Football

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Well, in my eagerness to get the project rolling, I made a seriously rookie mistake: I scheduled a class at the start of Easter week.  If you’ve ever taught in Costa Rica, you’ll know not to ever expect students during big football matches or Catholic holidays (even if students promise they’re coming).  Still, four people did show up, so it could have been worse…

Opening discussion

Not surprisingly, we started class with a discussion of the lack of attendance, Easter plans, and Costa Ricans’ aversion to ever saying no.  Some useful phrases came up including have to do sth, and be able to do sth.

Lexis review

At the end of last lesson students had created vocab cards from the lexis that had emerged.  We used these cards today to play back-to-the-board.  As new students, the learners had never played the game and thoroughly enjoyed it.  Hopefully it wasn’t just the game-like element, but also the fact that we were using their own created materials and recycling language from last week (I can hope, can’t I?)

Motivations

Last week to help with our research, learners had completed questionnaires about previous learning experiences.  This class we had one more questionnaire to help us out, this time about motivations and preferences.  As a lead-in I set up a ranking speaking activity; to start, the students each wrote down the three most common reasons that Costa Ricans learn English.  Then together they had to discuss and try to narrow their combined lists down to three.  A lot of negotiation and justifying ensued with very little prompting – music to my ears.

After looking at some lexis that came up, the learners completed their questionnaires individually and compared their answers as a group.  Some common points that came up included the importance of being able to use their English outside of the classroom, the need to be confident and not be shy when speaking, and the naturalness of making errors as part of the learning process.  I couldn’t agree more!

Tico Times

Last class one learner had said that he would like it if I could bring in articles on current events to discuss.  While I would prefer that the students bring their own articles, for this first time I thought I would do it, just to get the ball rolling.

By this point we had four learners, so in pairs they answered some simple discussion questions about their reading habits and then gave feedback to the class about their partners.

Reading

  • When?
  • Where?
  • What?
  • Why?

Nothing fancy but all that was needed it seemed.

Next I showed them the Tico Times I had brought with me (the national English language newspaper) and had them predict possible stories for the day.  Then I gave out half the paper to each pair and they had to check their predictions.

Following on from this, each pair chose the article they found most interesting and gave a report to the class.  The rest of the students then asked ‘the experts’ more specific questions.

Emergent language – ed / ing adjectives

By this point I had a wealth of notes as well as a lot of useful lexis on the board.  However, we only had about 30min left so I decided not to delve into any language point that I thought would take too long to deal with effectively.  Instead I chose to look at adjective pairs like bored and boring which the learners had been confusing throughout the lesson.

To be honest, I had no great ideas for how to present the language so I just wrote up the learners’ sentences with blanks and added a couple of my own creation (to expand range as well as deal with accuracy).  Then I elicited the first pair, interesting/interested, and went through the usual CCQ’s, drilling, etc.  Then the learners went through the other sentences and came up with…

  • interested/interesting
  • depressed/depressing*
  • excited/exciting
  • bored/boring
  • embarrassed/embarrassing
  • tired/tiring*

*new words I added

Then to add a little practice, in pairs the learners wrote short summaries of their articles, trying to include at least three of the new adjectives.  Finally, to finish off, the summaries were read out and we did a bit of delayed feedback.

We also set up a rota so that a different student each week will bring in an article to discuss with the class.  I’m not sure yet exactly how this will work, but I do have a week to think about it and to get ideas from my peers/PLN.

Thoughts

Apart from the obvious attendance issue, I was generally pleased with how everything went, especially the skills work and mini task cycle involving the newspaper.  I also liked that the lessons already have a bit of structure including recycling at the start and students bringing in texts.  Without a coursebook or syllabus I find this helps me (and maybe the students too?)

Where the lesson could have been better I feel was in the presentation and practice of the language focus.  How could I have made the practice more challenging and student-centred, especially the controlled element?  Will I run out of practice ideas a few weeks into the course?  A bit of reflection coming up methinks…

Class 1: Here we go!

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Class 1

After a number of delays, changes of students and one change of location, we were finally off!  True, only 6 of the 10 students could make it to the first class, but we thought it was better to just get started and let the others join in next class.

As with any first class, the main aims were just to get a feel for the group and their level, for everyone to get to know each other, and to create a safe and enjoyable learning environment.  Additionally, as this is a research project, there was a bit of extra admin to do that usually doesn’t occur.  Luckily, Chris was there today to meet the students as well, observe the class, and take a few photos and notes.

To be honest, I was feeling a bit nervous as lately I have been doing more teacher training and managing than teaching, much to my dismay.  Also no matter how many years I teach, I always get a few pre-first class jitters, at least until I get into the classroom.

For now, I’ll be giving brief descriptions of the tasks and rationales, and where appropriate, what language emerged and how it was practiced.  If anyone has any suggestions about other aspects to include or omit in future posts, please do let me know.

Getting to know you, a.k.a. ‘The Cloud Game’

After some light discussion while we waited for students to arrive (it is Costa Rica after all), we started with an activity I first observed my friend Cara Warkentin using years ago.  I’m sure there are a million variations, but basically I drew/wrote a word, a number, and a symbol on the board within my ‘cloud’.  Learners then had to ask me questions to try to find out their significance.  You can see my cloud in the picture below if you’d like to guess yourselves…  Learners then repeated the activity in groups of three with their own clouds on pieces of paper.  We finished off by having learners give feedback about their group mates.

I felt the game went well, promoting lots of personalized speaking and student interaction, and generally setting the tone for the class.  I made some notes with language and errors that came up, but decided to save them for later.

Previous learning experiences

Next I tried out an activity for the first time from ‘Teaching Unplugged’ called ‘My English’.  As our questionnaire for the day was about their previous learning experiences, I felt this would be a nice lead in to the topic.

After dictating some sentence stems about their current/past English use, learners completed their sentences individually before comparing answers in pairs.  They then boarded their answers in columns (see photo) and as a class we discussed any reoccurring words or themes.  The class decided that speaking and jobs were the two common factors.  Luckily for all of us, speaking was always going to be a primary focus, and now it seems more job lexis and discussions are probably going to be part of future classes.

After finishing ‘My English’ we moved on to a questionnaire we had created to help us with our research.  This part of the lesson was clearly not very Dogme, but a necessary aberration we felt.  To try to make it as engaging and interactive as possible, once the learners had completed the questionnaire, they then mingled to try to find someone with similar answers to their own.  We finished off with some delayed feedback from the first half of the class, looking at some nice phrases that had been used and some common mistakes with prepositions + gerunds.

I felt this section of the lesson went reasonably well, considering the time needed for the students to finish the questionnaire.  However, when dealing with some of the incidental vocab that came up, I definitely could have exploited it further, looking at more possible collocations, and including more drilling and practice.

Lexical notebooks

Since we will not be using any coursebooks and few, if any, handouts, we decided to buy basic notebooks for all the learners.  In the first half of the notebooks they will be keeping learner diaries and in the second half their lexical notebooks.  To get them in to the swing of things, the students chose one of the incidental words that had come up, ‘to gamble/a gamble’, and I elicited onto the board all the possible information they might include in their own notebooks.  The class did exceptionally well, suggesting meanings, examples, pronunciation, pictures, and translations.  I then also prompted parts of speech, synonyms/antonyms, and collocations.  The class was then divided into two groups who had to perform the same task on their own but with a different word.  They chose ‘proud/pride’ which had come up earlier and off they went.  For feedback, both groups boarded their ‘notebook entry’ and we compared any differences or elements we really liked.

With a bit of luck and some steady encouragement, the learners will hopefully keep up this practice.  We’ve asked them to enter at least three items in detail after every class for homework, so I’ve got my fingers crossed…

Language metaphors

Finally, to finish off the lesson, I borrowed a lovely activity from Jemma Gardner’s blog (bit.ly/oi8eHt), involving metaphors for learning a new language.  I wrote Learning a new language is like playing an instrument on the board and the class came up with ideas as to why I chose this metaphor.  Then, after giving the learners a minute to come up with their own ideas, we had a lively group discussion.  In particular, the relationship between language and culture came up and was pounced on by the students.  Likewise, the metaphor of ‘learning to walk’ provoked some interesting and original ideas.  With the class winding down, I asked the learners to complete for homework a piece of writing describing their metaphors.

Although this was the first time I had tried the task out with English learners, it proved to be an excellent stimulus for conversation, and you could clearly see the learners pushing themselves to find the language to deal with more abstract ideas.  In the future, I would try this activity at the start of the class as there was easily enough output and areas to work on to last an entire lesson.

Overall impressions

In general, I couldn’t have asked for a more ideal class for this project.  Not only did all the students present seem incredibly motivated, eager, and willing to participate, but they all had remarkable parity in their level of spoken English.  The challenge next class will be incorporating the new students as seamlessly as possible.

Since this post has run on much longer than I intended, I’ll just quickly say that what I definitely need to work on for next time is my own language speed.  On a couple of occasions as I was speaking I had an outer-body experience where I was watching myself speak too fast.  Hopefully it was just a bit of teaching rust.  As well, although it wasn’t feasible this first class, in the future I will be making a point of having much more time to deal with emergent language.  But it’s a start!

Pura Vida Dogme

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Hello everyone and thank you for visiting the Pura Vida Dogme action research blog.

Pura Vida Dogme is our humble attempt to capture dogme in action in our specific context – Costa Rican adults in a small group, volunteering their time twice a week for four months.  As a free volunteer project, there are no institutional constraints, coursebooks, necessary evaluations, etc.  Just the students, the teachers, and opportunities for learning.

Below you’ll find posts after every class, describing what happened and our thoughts on what went well or could have been improved.  Hopefully you’ll find this look into Dogme in Latin America interesting, and please feel free to leave any comments or suggestions.

If you’d like to know more about us or the school, please visit the About Us section of the site, and if you’d like to know more about the project, please feel free to send us an email.

Thank you and enjoy!