Keeping the context in your grammar lessons.!!

Teaching ESL to adults

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Joined: 18 Apr 2020, 09:08
Status: Teacher

Keeping the context in your grammar lessons.!!

Unread post by ironmathyu5 »

Hi everybody,
I'm a new teacher and having just graduated from CELTA a month ago, I'm currently trying to find ways to be able to teach my classes without spending a good chunk of my days planning for my classes. When I finished CELTA, I was more than used to spending 6+ hours on my lessons (they were very detailed, and still are). I'm finding, however, that this isn't a realistic thing to do when you're teaching 12 hours a week in the "real world".
Some of the things that take the biggest amount of time for me are the exercises that I have. My process in the past would be to skim through various course books, pick out exercises that I liked and then create new exercises based on the form found in the course books (all the while giving credit where due). I did this because often the context of the exercises in these course books didn't reflect the context that I was presenting in class. Sometimes they would, but often they didn't.
I'm faced with a situation now where the course book that I am forced to use has little to no context whatsoever. They just have massive amounts of gap fill exercises/conjugating activities that have no relation to each other at all (ie: The dog is wagging its tail, Don is ordering a pizza etc).
How can I provide my students good practice that preserves the context in my lessons and my sanity? Will I forever be forced to create all of my exercises and materials, or are there little tricks that I am unaware of? Should I first try and find exercises in a course book that have a context and then see if that is a context that my students would enjoy? Your feedback and experience would be appreciated :) vshare
Posts: 1
Joined: 18 May 2020, 13:01
Status: Teacher

Re: Keeping the context in your grammar lessons.!!

Unread post by ruben_123 »

Hi, it's been almost a month. Maybe you've already found ways to deal with this yourself.

I'd still like to share some of the things I do that might work for you as well:

1. If you can decide which content topics to combine with which grammar topics, then you can look at the materials so that you can use the content (reading, listening, etc.) from a book along with the grammar exercises. That way, you can save a lot of time. Now, if your DoS gives you a syllabus to teach by where that is already decided, then perhaps you might approach him/her and ask for some tips on materials.
2. You might try to get access to a book called 700 Classroom Activities (David Seymour & Maria Popova, MacMillan). It contains very useful ideas for activities, many of which do not require a lot of preparation (but are very useful). The advantage here is that you can adapt them to the topic.
3. As a general principle, lesson planning (like everything else in teaching and learning, in my opinion) is full of trade-offs: Sometimes, you'll have an activity that is great for clarity, but perhaps the content is not very engaging. Then there are situation where you have found a very interesting text with just the right level of difficulty, but it doesn't contain a lot of the structures that you want to teach.
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