In previous articles we have talked about the importance of written exercises to follow on from language presentations. There are a few good TEFL teacher activities and points to bear in mind when setting up exercise/writing activities in the TEFL classroom which your students will benefit from and remove the monotony and drudgery that they often associate with this part of the TEFL pyramid (see article 4).
When you set up the activity, show the students what you want them to do by example. This means you do the first question/write the first sentence. This way you will avoid stragglers falling behind.
Always say how much you want them to do and set an overall time limit. Important: stick to this time limitation otherwise they may well get into the bad habit of dawdling (especially teenagers).
Ideally, start them off in pairs and finish up working individually. (The rational behind this was covered in article 20)
Give them a way to measure their success and motivate them. A favourite principle teacher trainers at the TEFL Centre use is ‘up the whiteboard’. This is simply a ladder drawn on the whiteboard with each student assigned a magnet (of different colours). Each exercise is assigned a number of points e.g. an exercise with 10 questions could be worth 5 points (1/2 point for each correct answer). The student completes the exercise, brings it to the teacher for marking, and moves their magnet up the appropriate number of rungs. It can also be used as a race. Another motivator could be ‘the student to get most right is first in the line to leave the class’. It’s astonishing how effective this one can be!
The author of the work gets one point for each correct answer.
The correcting peer gets a. one point for each answer they recognised as correct.
b. minus one point for each answer they incorrectly marked
Race the exercise. The teacher tells the students to start and exercise and they race to finish. They have to bring it to the teacher for correction, and the teacher either underlines any errors or simply doesn’t say what the problem is (if any), but rejects incorrect work. This forces the student to analyse their own work and look more closely at their precision of use of the structure. The first to complete the exercise correctly wins. Note: make it clear that messy work will not be deemed the winner. This avoids frantic scribbling!
Posted on May 25th, 2017