(1) Finding What It Takes: Eliciting Answers In University English Classes; (2) Creating Individual Feedback Printouts Using Spreadsheet Software
(1) Finding What It Takes: Eliciting Answers In University English Classes
Trainees on the Cambridge CELTA course are taught to elicit answers and responses from students throughout lessons. Doing so is part of an effective, communicative, student-centered class style in which prior knowledge and collaboratively-arrived at answers are integral... but what if your students routinely shut down or panic when you call upon them? Simple, routine requests for verbal responses can often be met with interminable silences which derail the communicative pedagogy and frustrate and confuse both teachers and learners (Seiko, 2011).
Intercultural communication literature confirms that there are significant cultural expectations and propensities that need to be respectfully understood and overcome before our classrooms can become authentically communicative spaces (Banks, 2016; Hofstede, Hofstede, and Minkov, 2010). Among the factors at play are culture-based understandings of 'power-distance' between teachers and learners, the value placed on the collective versus rather than the individual, and the motivation towards 'uncertainty avoidance'.
I'll go over some effective strategies I have developed to help students come to feel comfortable enough interacting in the classroom that they can begin to avail themselves of the benefits of communicative language teaching. These include strategically raising students' consciousness regarding impediments to classroom communication, carrying out a carefully-programmed 'practice and disarming' stage early in a semester, and judiciously applying impactful negative feedback if unwillingness to communicate remains a problem.
(2) Creating Individual Feedback Printouts Using Spreadsheet Software
Teachers doing continuing assessment (CA) collect scores, data, and quantified impressions of students each class, and provide feedback to students regularly. However, increasing concerns at the institutional level about student privacy has led to strict policies being enacted at many institutions. Regardless, students in CA-driven courses need to be kept informed. Since posting student identification alongside performance information is now ill-advised, one viable option is to hand out personalized reports to each student about their ongoing assessment. This daunting task is actually easy if your continued assessment is being recorded into a spreadsheet (like Excel). Come learn how to do this.
About the presenters:
Steve Paton (M.Ed, Apple Distinguished Educator) taught English for several years in Sydney, Australia before coming to Fukuoka in 2008.
William Pellowe (MA TEFL) is an Associate Professor at Kindai University’s campus in Iizuka City, Fukuoka. He has been teaching English in Japan since 1990.