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View Poll Results: Are you going to improve on last year's performance?
It's impossible to improve on perfection 0 0%
I intend to, and probably will. 3 100.00%
I intend to, but will probably lapse back into my old ways. 0 0%
I'm in freefall. Call the teaching police and have me arrested. 0 0%
Voters: 3. This poll is closed

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  #1 (permalink)  
Unread Sep 10th, 2007, 09:45 am
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Clive Hawkins
 
Join Date: Aug 1st, 2006
Location: Italy
Posts: 454
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Default A new year (for many) is upon us . . .

So it's time to dust off the text books, put all the class cds back in the right cases and generally get ready for the ugly mass of sweaty students descending on the school like a plague of language-hungry locusts. OK, I exaggerate, but my question is this:

What will you try to do differently this year? ie what did you learn from last year \ how will you improve on your lessons?

I for one will try to vary the pace of the lessons a little more. I got a bit stuck in a rut last year and ended up the year by literally dragging myself over the finishing line.
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Unread Sep 12th, 2007, 11:14 am
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Join Date: Mar 28th, 2007
Location: Hunan, China
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Default Re: A new year (for many) is upon us . . .

Well, last semester was my first semester teaching at a Chinese college. I'd taught at language schools in Taiwan and Hawaii before that. Basically, I was MUCH too ambitious. Students here have no concept of critical thinking, projects, doing homework, etc. So, I've really scaled things back to basics for this semester.

One thing that I've done so far that's really working well is doing a bunch of related tasks to cover the same (or similar) content in a variety of ways. I just recorded a podcast about that, actually. For example, I have students read something for HW and write a response. Then, they share their responses, first in pairs and then as a class. I next came up with listening activity that dealt with the same type of content, followed by a discussion, followed by a roleplay. Finally, I took questions on their textbook. All of this was based around the idea of introducing China to a foreign tourist.

I'm going to keep tweaking this approach over the course of the semester (with different content, of course) and I think it will work better than the more ambitious projects I had students do last time.
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