Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Student Reflection

by Andy Kraus

These last few weeks have been full of teaching challenges. First, we’ve been teaching past tense verbs, and these are somewhat difficult for the students. Second, we have to find a way to deal with Thanksgiving and winter breaks.

There are so many irregular past tense verbs! It’s so easy to forget that since I already know English, but being a teacher has reminded me that there are exceptions to just about every grammar and pronunciation rule. For the most part the students are picking up on it, but they’re still at the state where they’re not familiar with the irregular forms and many of them are getting tripped up. But I’m confident that once we spend enough time on it they’ll be speaking like pros.

Our other problem is timing. Since all the teachers are university students we leave for Thanksgiving and winter break – leaving our students without new instruction for long periods of time. We already missed a week of class for Thanksgiving. I was sure to give my students homework over break, though, so hopefully that kept them engaged in the learning process. However, I am worried about the length of the winter break.

To make sure this time isn’t lost we will probably assign an ample amount of homework to the students, so they’ll become experts at what they already learned instead of starting on new material. That’s not ideal in my mind, but its’ the best we can do. I’m thinking of assigning various homework, such as: keeping a journal in English, speaking in English with someone for a certain period of time, watching TV shows in English, reading the paper and summarizing the articles, and learning 3 new vocabulary words a day. I hope this will keep the students excited about learning!

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