Hello Exam Seekers,
We are about to end a semester and with a semester on the verge to finish, there are lots of courses finishing and lots of exams coming up.
I’ve already given you tips on how to write your Assignment 1: Focus on the Learner, Assignment 2: Language Related Task and Assignment 3: Language Skills-Related Task. Today I’m going to give you tips to write Assignment 4: Lessons from the classroom.
This assignment shouldn’t be hard, it is based on the previous lessons that you taught. Therefore, if you still have some lessons to teach, make sure you are aware of the items from this assignment because it will make it easier for you to do it later.
By now, you must have taught at least 80% of the lessons you are supposed to teach, right? So you have had a good amount of feedback given to you. You should choose three aspects of classroom teaching that have been raised during input and feedback sessions, and reflect on them.
This assignment is assessing your ability to:
- identify your own teaching strengths and development needs;
- reflect on your teaching;
- reflect on the implications for your own teaching from the observation of experienced ELT professionals and colleagues on the course.
According to Cambridge, Candidates can demonstrate their learning by:
- noting their own teaching strengths and weaknesses in different situations in light of feedback from learners, teachers and teacher educators;
- identifying which ELT areas of knowledge and skills they need further development in;
- describing in a specific way how they might develop their ELT knowledge and skills beyond the course;
- using written language that is clear, accurate and appropriate to the task.
Step 1: You have to choose three aspects of your lessons, they can be:
instructions / planning / monitoring / TTT / board work / drilling / conducting feedback / rapport / correction / setting tasks / warmers
Step 2: State what you believe to be the key features of the issue you have chosen:
For example, in my case, I decided to talk about Presentation of the Target Language (ECDB & MPF), then I described what happens in my classes:
Presenting the TL has been a complicated issue for me. Sometimes I feel confident about it, especially when giving a vocabulary lesson, but sometimes it seems that it won’t work and I can’t figure how to do it properly. This problem occurs not only when I’m actually presenting the TL to a class full of students, but it also happens when I am planning the lessons and I see myself taking too much time to do so. This is simply not good in either of the cases.
Step 3: Describe and evaluate how you have dealt with each issue in your own teaching practice and what you have seen your colleagues and experienced teachers do in their lessons. Include specific examples.
It is a piece of good advice for you to try and use your peers and tutors as examples. This is a nice way to show that you are paying attention to the course and that you are observing people around you:
I’ve been paying attention to my peers during the class observations and it seems that PEER1 has been very good in presenting the TL to the students. It seems natural for her to ECDB even in grammar lessons, which earned her positive feedback on her lessons. On the other hand, it seems to me that PEER2 is having some problems with the same situation. While I observe my peers’ classes, I try to write down some notes and compare the way they do it so that I can replicate the good aspects of their lessons, and while PEER2 usually gives the students the target language instead of eliciting, PEER1 tries to make them figure out the rule by themselves. I’ve seen the tutors doing the same procedures: they give us a good context and elicit the TL in a very subtle way, that makes us give them what they want without their handing us the answer.
Step 4: Specify how you plan to develop in this area after the course, including an objective and measurable plan of action. Do not mention what you have already been doing. Write a simple plan of action with three or four suggestions as follow.
At this point, it is a good idea for you to use sentences like: In order to improve in this area after the CELTA course finishes, I will… Be straight to the point:
On the whole, drilling and boarding aren’t real issues for me, but eliciting and clarifying (meaning) are areas that I feel that I have to develop a bit more. I do have a good understanding of the main principles, but I am not completely comfortable putting them into practice. In order to improve in this area after the CELTA course finishes I will:
- Read the chapters “Eliciting” from Jim Scrivener, Learning Teaching and “Presentation, Practice, Production” from Jeremy Harmer, The Practice of English Language Teaching;
- Ask my peers at work and friends in the field some tips;
- Ask some colleagues at work to observe my classes and make notes about this issue then give me feedback.
Remember that you have to hand in a 750-1000 words assignment. So be careful on how you divide the paragraphs. I would divide each part into 300-350 words. This way would make things balanced.
I hope that this text was really helpful for you to write your assignment 4. If you still have questions don’t forget to send us a message or leave a comment in the comment section below. There’s also ExamSeekers social media:
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Have a great weekend,