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segunda-feira, 3 de março de 2014

SIXTH CLASS REPORT (THE CHALLENGING AND PRODUCTIVE DAY)


 

As the teacher Leli called me to ask me if I could go to class earlier than usual since students were there without class, just waiting for the English class, we started the class at about 10:00 o’clock. There were four girls in the classroom, the ones that almost never come to class. They were all sitting in front of me but I should have asked them to get closer in a circle. As I started the class, the two professors entered the room and sat behind the class and as expected, it shook all my nerves. Then I greeted all the students and willing to apply the constructivist and communicative approaches, I tried my best to lead them through the construction of knowledge as I started the warm-up inviting them to play the game "guess what is inside the box".

With aspirations to keep the class learner-centered, I showed the box to them and explained how to play the game as I wrote on the board the question with the answers available for them to infer how to use the indefinite pronoun "Some, any and no/none" by notifying that they needed to ask me using that sentence in English. With the inductive teaching method in mind, I attempted to make them infer how we use this pronoun by asking: is this sentence affirmative, negative or interrogative? As they answered me properly; and then I elicited them to understand how and in which occasions the indefinite pronoun should be used but at first in general rules.

With the perspective of the approach Task-based language teaching, I started the game encouraging them to ask me using the written sentences by helping them with the correct pronunciation, which I handled to make them use the target language in a meaningful task. I began to give clues about some of the objects I had in the box speaking in the target language as I tried to make them infer the clues by using mimics, giving clues like relating words to the object, just speaking in English, drawing the object on the board or even giving clues sentences in Portuguese, as I avoided to the maximum any direct translation, and thanks to God they were all very successful since the students were really able to understand very fast all of them.

Following the constructivism principle about contextualization and situational topics, whenever they got the idea, I conducted them to ask me using the written interrogative sentence on the board as it was a great way to keep them using the indefinite pronoun. When they asked me, I answered with the affirmative or negative sentences by eliciting them to understand the sentences: for positive answers I answered positively showing the object to them and with negative responses I answered with one of the three written possible negative answers to apply the indefinite pronoun.

This experiment task in associating the language to a simulating real situation was really meaningful and I got success in all my attempts. As I finished with the general rules to apply the indefinite pronoun, I started to elicit them to understand that those rules had some exceptions, when I handed out the slips of paper illustrating all those details. Then I asked someone to read, and as nobody took initiative, I started to read the paper illustrating all the exceptions, and at each new exception, I elicited them to understand through examples that were in the paper and also through examples that I gave spontaneously.


When it finished, I started to write some vocabulary for the following task to enable students to understand it better. I did my best to enable them to understand the vocabulary and the result was very successful but the only problem is that there was just one or two participative students, while the other two kept more silent and I forgot to engage these others. As I finished with the vocabulary display, with behaviorism and communicative aspirations, I asked them to do another task which was to perform a role-play through a contextual dialog where all those taught rules were applied. As there were three characters in the dialog and since there were just four students in the class I had the insight to call the teacher Leli to perform the "waiter" character with one group while I performed it in the other group. 

They did it very well with my guidance helping them to pronounce properly and understand the text. In the wrap-up, I asked them about the rules they have learned and I got really satisfied when I realized they understood all I had taught. For homework, I handed out the activity for them to apply the indefinite pronouns with all the rules they had seen. I really enjoyed this class for I conducted them to understand, not just showing rules but rather eliciting them toward the construction of knowledge as I struggled to apply many teaching useful approaches and methods. The class was indeed a success, I just needed to foster everyone’s participation, for I tended to interact with the most responsive students.