Progress Report – Teaching English in Europe
So the time has come for the last class session for some of my students. It’s important to provide students with an overview of the course as a means to recap on the topics covered in particular: grammar points, vocabulary, common themes and structures. The best way to do this is by keeping a progress report on each student throughout the duration of the course and then give a final mark at the end based on the following points: attendance, class progress, test grades, writing skills, speaking skills, pronunciation, presentation skills, creative thinking and involvement. With regards to the latter it’s important for each student to be told what their level of English as a foreign language is, for example, if they should continue on the same course structure or move to a more communicative class because their grammar is efficient or simply if they need to move up or down a level.
Another way to evaluate my students has been through giving them homework, extra material, stimulating interest for the next lesson, and self-study. In particular, writing tasks allow me to grade their writings and spelling skills and then students read aloud. The other way I do this is by making notes during oral communication and then explaining any errors on the whiteboard during class discussion. Also, I am not a fan of incorporating writing assignments in class because it creates an atmosphere of silence. Finally, classes usually consist of two lessons per week, therefore, it would be recommended to give homework nearer the weekend to enable students more time to complete it.
I’ve learnt a few things from the courses here in Vilnius, by exploring different teaching methods: Helen Doron Method, Communicative Method and Direct English using books and other materials: Language Leader, Clockwise, Next Move and Kids English on top of Cambridge Collection Primary Reading, Grammar and Vocabulary, New Friends 1, Gold Experience A1 and MacMillan Voices. Overall, I would say that I work primarily using a communicative approach. The essential ESL skills that are built during lessons include reading, communication, listening, informative discussion, vocabulary and developing questions and answers that address practical conversation, including dictation of vocabulary relating to the exercises.
Don’t worry it’s not all hard work, last weekend I visited an interesting city in Lithuania called Elektrenai where I came across an abandoned amusement park and an interesting modernist architectural building being used for ice hockey. Check out the photos!
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