As previously mentioned in the blog entitled ‘Montessori teaching method’ I have been observing a Montessori English language school and this blog will discuss the teaching methods of a bilingual programme with English learning as a foreign language.
- 8:30 Elementary students arrive to school
- 9:00 Work time (additional activities)
- 11:00 Clean-up
- 11:30 Free time (outside)
- 12:30 Dinner
- 13:00 Work time (additional activities)
- 15:00 Clean-up/ day reflection
- 15:30 After school care
- 17:30 End of the day
In collaboration with ESL the role of a Native English language teacher is to give 15 minutes conversational English lessons per student each day, by invitation. The material used should discourage traditional ESL worksheets in favour of a more fluid conversational approach which has four different topics per week on the following: chapter vocabulary, reading set text/ writing exercise, topic related to the school curriculum, grammar and project work.
1. Chapter vocabulary – Every Monday the students are introduced to new vocabulary which they have to memorise and incorporate into everyday life situations, for example: family, fruit and vegetables, animals and furniture. Then the following week they do a test which focuses on spelling, grammatical structure and creative writing. For advanced students there are follow ups.
Eg. Photo caption – Write about what you see in the photo (the teacher would print out a few photos of different scenes where the vocabulary can be used and it’s the students task to create captions using grammatical structure and tenses.
Choose the correct sentence (vocabulary word in focus is meat)
- She ate the meat and drank some of the cool water.
- She eat the meat and drank some of the cool water.
- She ate the meat and dranked some of the cool water.
2. Reading/ writing – Every week the students will read out loud during a one-to-one with the teacher. The book will be chosen based on the students’ individual ability and they will be required to read one chapter and then they are invited to write a book report focusing on the following: title, author, illustrator and the type of book, setting: time, place, plot (per chapter): events, main character: name and description of the character.
3. Topic related to the school curriculum – This could include conversations about what they are learning in other subjects and then they are asked deeper questions. Any material used must be based on real life images, in other words: real photos not cartoons.
4. Project work/ grammar mistakes – Grammar can be assessed during conversation which is why its better to leave this until Thursday or Friday in order to create new material which is current that week. Teaching mistakes that have been common throughout the grades, such as: tenses, countable, uncountable, the definite article, punctuation with writing, spelling skills, pronunciation of words, wrong word usage and sentence fragments.
Observational study should also be carried out for at least 30 minutes each day, for example: how does one of the students work of a morning? How the whole classroom works? And how does a student respond to the environment? Overall, each 15 minute conversation should include an analysis of the student.
Finally, it’s important to remember that if a student doesn’t know the answer then the teacher should follow these teaching methods:
- Advice the student to check the material.
- Advice the student to ask x3 students for assistance.
- Lastly, come to the teacher for help/ answer.
As for disciple it’s important to follow these rules:
- Maybe you want to come back and we have our conversation later in the day?
- Can I help you?
- What do you want to do?
- What are you going to do next?