Teach English in XiashuAng Zhen - Wuwei Shi

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These videos were very helpful in highlighting many of the concepts learnt in previous units, such as establishing teacher-learner rapport and the concept of the Engage, Study and Activate phases in lessons. The videos made very clear the difference between effective teaching and ineffective teaching. The first lesson was clearly much less effective than the second. The students seemed intimidated and unwilling to participate. This was clearly a result of the teacher being very unenthusiastic and not explaining clearly what he was talking about or what the lesson was about. He also emphasised many times how easy the exercise was, and because the students did not understand they felt very intimidated as he told them it should be easy. This limited their participation. Additionally the teacher used sentences that were long and contained words that were far above the English level of the students, thus they did not understand instructions limiting again their participation and ability to get the correct answers. The teacher also spoke too quickly and softly. He seemed uninterested and unavailable to help the students when they were in the study phase. The teacher also did not make effective use of the engage phase but merely jumped straight into the lesson, not allowing the students to become involved or relax into the atmosphere of the lesson. I found the lesson difficult to watch and could clearly see why the students may have felt demotivated or bored. The teacher also corrected the students in a manner that I found too harsh and did not praise them to attempting to get the right answer, nor did he congratulate those who did very nicely, thus they were not encouraged to participate further. The second lesson marked a great contrast, and I found myself becoming much more involved and could easily see why the students seemed to be enjoying the lesson much more. The teacher seemed friendly and enthusiastic as if he really wanted to be there to help them, unlike in the first lesson. His smile and introduction of himself and learning the names of the students made a more relaxed atmosphere. The teacher additionally speaks more slowly, clearly and loudly which makes it easier for the students to understand him. To supplement this he also uses gestures to help explain what he is talking about, such as pointing to his head when asking the students to think. He also effectively makes use of the engage phase by asking the students to get into pairs and think of as many animals as possible, which is effective in getting them to use knowledge they have learnt previously and get them involved in the lesson. His use of the board is also effective, as he does not spend too long writing or with his back to the students, but turns around intermittently to check that the students are following. This use of the board also helps students see how things are written out, therefore making what is expected of them clearer and helping them to understand what the lesson is about. The teacher gives a set amount of time for the students in the study phase, and allows enough time for them to work through things without his help, but at the same time remains avaialble for questions, and we can see this is effective when he answers one question and helps the student along with their work, unlike in the first lesson where he merely sits down and reads a book while the students struggle through the activity. When correcting the teacher uses nearly, or a puzzled look and asks the questions again rather than just saying no, which is much less harsh and encourages participation in the future rather than embarrassing or shutting the student down. He also gives the chance for other students to correct the student rather than just giving the answer right away, which is an effective learning technique. Thus we can see in these videos some of the more obvious and simple ways a teacher can make learning more enjoyable, fun and effective for the leaners.