The TEFL Centre Malaga. TEFL course classroom tips. Drilling 4: Individual drilling.
One of the problems that choral drilling presents (see previous articles 22-24) is that it can be very hard for the teacher to correctly identify minor errors by individual students. The remedy is to follow up a session of choral drilling with one to one drilling. One approach is to have the students standing and simply give each student the opportunity to repeat while others wait. Although this produces redundancy among the others while you work with students individually, this can be avoided if a displacement activity is done simultaneously. A displacement activity means something that the students do usefully while the teacher works with a single student, e.g. a written exercise or a computer software exercise etc.
Note that when working with students on a one to one basis, it is important to be sensitive to their level of self-awareness and sense of ease and that they do not feel unduly stressed being the only person to be speaking. If this is the feeling you get, pair drilling is an option. Also remember that excessive drilling can cause tiredness and that not everybody gets it the first time! Good examples of utterances that Spanish speakers struggle with are ‘would’, which tends to be pronounced as ‘good’ and the /-d/ sound that comes after regular past tense verbs such as ‘called’. Be prepared to run regular pronunciation drilling sessions in order to get the students proficient in these types of challenges.
Posted on June 9th, 2017