Thoughts on Class #2

I taught my second class today, and I feel like it went well! At the beginning of the class, my counterpart teacher gave a review of the material (in Spanish). After that, I gave a tiny bit more review (in English) and wrote the basic info about the future tense, and wrote some sample sentences for reference.

Then we did a relay race!

I taped sentences to the board, and a person from each team had to go get one, read the question on the paper, and write their answer and show it to me. Then the next person from the team repeated the process.

My kids were awesome, and (I think) they all answered at least one question. They’d help each other, and I know in at least one case, one girl from the team was writing everyone’s sentences. Honestly though, I am counting it as a win, because the class was engaged and mostly participating, and there’s only so much you can do with 45 students.

The objective that my coteacher gave me was for the students to write the future tense, and I thought my activity was perfect, but afterwards, he asked, “what do you think is more important: writing or speaking?” and later he said, “next time, have each student speak the sentences aloud. They have trouble with pronunciation. Sometimes they say ‘school’ like ‘eh-scool’ and this is not okay.” 

My thoughts were as follows: 

  1. The objective for today was to write, so I focused on student writing.
  2. I don’t have time to nitpick pronunciation. If I can understand the words they’re saying, that is what matters. I don’t expect them to speak like they were raised in the Midwest U.S.

I understand the value of having a native English speaker in a TEFL classroom, but I still don’t think I need to put so much emphasis on pronunciation. I want to make sure they actually understand what they’re reading, writing, and saying. 

I have to teach at least 3 more classes with this teacher, but I’m sure I’ll end up teaching more. He is very by-the-book, and I try to bring some spice to class, but there’s only so much I can do.

Here’s a photo of the dialogue that I’m to teach on Thursday. I think it’s hilarious.

3 thoughts on “Thoughts on Class #2

  1. Anna August 30, 2016 / 9:00 am

    I love how you’re learning how to co-teach with someone who has a different emphasis on what is important. I run into this all of the time in libraries… that is, folks who are more by-the-book and think certain aspects are more important than what I think is important. It can be frustrating, but ultimately it’s a valuable aspect of working with others that is great to master.

    That said, I also agree it’s way more important that the students understand what they’re reading/writing/saying. If they pronounce it perfectly yet don’t understand the tense or the vocab, what’s the point?

    You’re awesome.

    Also, that dialogue on that exercise is beautiful. That dude gets SHUT DOWN.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jade August 30, 2016 / 12:50 pm

      It’s definitely interesting. The way I see it, there is no “perfect pronunciation” because English has so many dialects and accents. I want to be able to understand what they’re saying, but even the most fluent English speakers (whose first language isn’t English) don’t pronounce things like I do, and they never will, and that’s fine! I keep thinking about my linguistics classes, but I can’t remember any of the technical terms and it drives me crazy.

      Like

  2. Grandpa September 2, 2016 / 4:02 pm

    Find a way to compliment this teacher. He/she needs som tlc.

    Like

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