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среда, 7 декабря 2011 г.

English teacher's portfolio introduction (for A. Noonan to check)

I started working at the KSU in october 2010, and now it’s the time to summarize the results of the first year here. My first groups were the two of intermediate level, and I actually replaced their previous teacher who suddenly left her job. It’s always a bit difficult to wedge a stable learning process the way I did, moreover I hadn’t had enough experience with the “total English” set. Still, the students were eager to speak and to study (as usual on the first course), and all I had to do is to insert some grammar structures into their reports and skits. I also checked the sufficient vocabulary the students inherited after school.

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The first challenge I had to face was to stop presenting the active grammar wimply, how to make it really vivid, and on the elementary through the intermediate levels the grammar presenting skills that I had got at the Alibra school (it had been called Runov’s school back then) really helped me out. This systems suggests the so-called cognitively-motivated approach for a student, meaning that first of all the exterior of this or that grammar material should be attractive, simple, applicable, and if you let me put it that way, sexy for the learner. It is achieved by wide usage of pictures, metaphorical descriptions and throw-backs to the history of british English.

Alibra methodics mostly imply a lot of mind-breaking tasks when it deals with vocabulary and grammar input like, say, explaining a new word without saying it but only using some basic vocabulary and relative adverbs (which, who, that, where); or communicative practice when one student makes a statement about themselves in passive voice and the other one is to retell the statement in the third person and using active voice to the third student, who in their turn ask question with a question tag to the first student, and that one is supposed to give a short answer.

Now, by the end of the first year, I can say I have learnt to make use of worksheets which I tended to ignore in the very beginning, relying only on the persuasive power of my lectures followed by some rock-paintings on the blackboard and also, more importantly, I can feel the result expressed in my students’ speaking freely due to the tangible amount of time spent in the first part of each lesson to create the linguistic situation and to immerse them deeply into the problem they are to discuss. In other words, good speaking requires both a profound introduction and teacher's constant feedback.

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