The Free Stage, the Semi-Close Control Stage and the Consolidation Stage.

The Free Stage, the Semi-Close Control Stage and the Consolidation Stage.

Different structures have different grades of difficulty and we apply the Semi Close Control Stage (or semi free stage!) when it's a structure which gives the students problems. This stage is basically a half way house between the close control stage and the free stage. A good example of when it would be appropriate would be the following structural error which students find difficult to master:

  1. We don't know why does he like that programme. (incorrect)
  2. We don't know why he likes that programme. (correct)
The poor student, after years of training in the affirmative/question form syntax, is suddenly asked to say a sentence which apparently has a question word in it, leading them to use question syntax, but they must refrain from the temptation to use the question form (the mistake we see in sentence 1). At the TEFL centre, we believe that this, as well as with drilling, normally requires several semi close control stage activities to give them time to assimilate the new language because we are asking them to interfere with learnt langauge patterns in order to accommodate new stuctures.

Finally, the consolidation stage simply refers to an amount of classroom time devoted to activities with no target language focus. It should be considered as a time when the students simply practise their language by the fact they need to communicate to get a task done, such as balloon debates, project work, board games, craft work, video making etc.

It's possible that the TEFL teacher doesn't think it's necessary to do this stage (i.e. the free stage has been sufficiently effective to leave the students with a good control of the language), or that time constraints (e.g. due to exam dates looming etc.) mean that we have to get on with the syllabus. Generally speaking, the younger the learner, the slower the pace of structural input and greater the emphasis on vocabulary items, making the consolidation stage more relevant.


Tags: tefl course, tefl teacher malaga, free stage, semi close control stage, consolidation
Posted on August 30th, 2017


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