Czech EFL

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Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Classroom techniques

I started this blog with an outline of my approach to teaching English as a foreign language and now I'm getting to explore how it could be best translated into real classroom experience for my elementary BE students:


No textbooks

Other Material:

Supply large amounts of authentic comprehensible input (Natural Approach): student – teacher interaction (Dogme), short interactive stories and movies (Focal Skills Approach) and graded readers (Free Voluntary Reading) for homework. The student is responsible for the choice of movies and graded readers.


Focus on functional language in chunks (Lexical Approach): fixed phrases, sentence heads, semi-fixed frames, collocations, phrasal verbs (around 10-15 of such introduced and practised every lesson)


Cover only necessary amount of grammar, especially tenses and questions


No writing


Main goal of the course is to dramatically improve listening comprehension skills (Focal Skills Approach) so the student is ready for English as both target and medium of instruction delivered in a native speaker's fashion.


Observe the silent period for as long as necessary so the student doesn't feel pushed for production too early. Production takes place during student – teacher interaction mainly in the form of repeating personally meaningful prefabricated language and short answers during interactive stories and movies.

At the end of the course the student should be able to talk about themselves (cover the functions as outlined in Inventory of Functions, Notions and
Communicative Tasks of Cambridge KET exam
) and ask simple question.

Pronunciation is treated as an integral part of all lessons and is dealt with as and when needed, ie. in case it gets in the way of effective communication.


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