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Third class. Present: 9 again, but not the same 9! One was new. Now, some people believe that 9 is a magical number, and 3 x 9 = 27, and 2 + 7 = 9. Mmm…

In the last reflection, I pondered over the pace and the dynamics of the second lesson, so I must confess to a certain sense of relief upon leaving the third class. Did they feel the same way though, I wondered…

ELT ESL EFL CLIL Dogme Scaffolding rapport to achieve dynamics

Smoothing the rocks by Chiew Pang

The rocks are piling, the water’s flowing around and in between them, and I have good reason to believe that rapport is increasing and this, in turn, leads to a higher level of interaction albeit impeded by lack of fluency and/or confidence.

As usual, I started by reviewing the previous lesson. I asked one of the students to summarise what we did the previous week. I then asked another, “Pedro, how was your weekend? What did you do?” We had a couple of minutes’ worth of conversation where I encouraged him to tell us more by using questions and interjections.

When we finished, I told them to work in pairs, using the conversation that they’d just listened to as a model, and find out what their partner did at the weekend. Unfortunately, I couldn’t go around to monitor the emergent language as, at that moment, I was summoned to help the new student with setting up a Google account.

When that was done, I got a couple of students to report on their partner’s activities. It would have been too much to have them all do it, so I asked them to write an account of each other’s weekend in our class “notebook” for homework.

Language that emerged:

  • washing machine
  • tumble dryer
  • to be in bed: She was in bed all weekend/the whole weekend.
  • What was wrong with her?
  • sore throat
  • to lose one’s voice
  • cutthroat /ˈkʌtˌθrəʊt/ (Macmillan: a cutthroat activity or situation is one in which people behave in an unfair or immoral way in order to get an advantage over other people)
  • ache /eɪk/ (headache /ˈhedeɪk/, toothache, stomach ache, backache, earache /’ɪəreɪk/
  • ride a horse
  • go + -ing for sport & recreational activities (go horse-riding, go swimming, go shopping, go dancing, go clubbing, etc.)
  • take turns

I had prepared a PowerPoint of the answers they had written to the questions I’d asked the previous week in our class notebook; these came next – I beamed them up, one by one, and we analysed them as a class. These went rather well, I thought. Here are some of the more common problems we encountered.

  • Negatives: There is anything I didn’t like today
  • Spelling: topycs, diferent, pronuntation
  • Countable/Uncountable nouns: many vocabulary
  • Incorrect translation of the relative pronoun ‘that’: We learned words what I didn’t know
  • Adjectives in the plural form: differents expressions, news links
  • Position of adjectives: activities diferents
  • Capitalisation: english

They had been repeatedly asking for listening and a lesson on prepositions for the past two weeks, so I thought I’d killed two birds with one stone and showed them this video.

When they’d watched the video lesson, I removed it so they couldn’t see the notes, and asked the new student to explain to the class what she’d learned. With my help, we recapped the explanation.

For practice, I directed them to some online exercises (which included the use of these prepositions for more than just time). This brought us to the end of the 2-hour period.

Apart from the writing homework, I also encouraged them to read my reflections on the first two lessons (Paperless dogme {lesson 1} and What’s in your handbag? {lesson 2} and also more preposition exercises, the links of which I put in our Google Doc.

What I liked:

I felt they were a little bit more talkative or was it just my imagination? As usual, they were attentive and receptive.

What I didn’t like:

I wasted time in helping the new student get to grips with the use of our “class notebook”. “Waste” is too harsh a word perhaps, but I would have preferred to solve these problems before class began.

I wasted even more time when the PC didn’t have the codecs necessary to play a simple mp4 or an flv.

All in all, I was quite happy with this lesson. They still have to work much harder than what they’ve been doing so far. As I told them from the beginning, I can only do so much; the rest is in their hands.

ELT ESL EFL CLIL Dogme Lesson reflection interaction

Scaffolding by Chiew Pang