the nikku

reflecting on ESL/EFL and its relation to faith

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Classroom inertia

So the worst part of my freshman classes (other than the fact that I have of 30 students crammed into one room) is keeping them talking. I've been starting each class with pronunciation practice on a certain sound. For instance, the "v as in video" sound is very hard for Japanese students. They can do it, but they really have to concentrate.

The problem with this exercise is that it is boring. But this exercise is BADLY needed. The other thing I've been learning about is review. Students need review badly. I've been reading that it takes at least six different exposures to a word to remember it. And I read about an opening review game of matching cards with questions and answers. Students have to find someone with a matching card.

This would be a great idea, it would get students talking - inertia is great! But if I do the pronunciation practice, my students are back to boring. I thought about moving the practice to the end of the lesson, but then the students cannot use what they have learned during the lesson. So my dilemma is: which do I want more, students speaking a lot or speaking well?

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EDIT -> Actually, maybe I can do the pronunciation practice, and then the opening mixer. But two openers is a lot of time. I'll think about it somemore.
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Also, check out the blog When in Tokyo. She is a student who is infatuated with her first experiences in Japan - in a good way. And she is an involved writer.

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