October 11, 2009

What do we listen to in an ELT classroom?

Using authentic material in an ELT classroom is always a controversial issue. It's easy to find as many teachers in favor as against this policy. Some of the items suggested by Hedge in which they may disagree are: the level of students, the grading of language, the unfamiliarity of accents, and the amount of repetition and the speed of delivery.

Personally, I believe that introducing authentic material can be carried out at all levels. The important thing is not to grade the audio recording or video segment, but grading the task according to our student's schematic knowledge. Making use of an appropriate pre-listening task, we are able to activate formal and content schemata and give our students a good purpose for listening. Most of our students are already familiar with different accents heard in movies and TV series, so, to me, it's just a matter of adapting the level of activities to the level of our students; the activities may vary from a simple checkpoint of words mentioned to more complex activities in which inference strategies are required. Finally, amount of repetition and speed of delivery are items that could be indirectly graded by selecting appropriate material, which does not mean risking authenticity.

I invite you all to go over the following article I've found on the BBC website*. It is related to the use of all kinds of authentic material in ELT classroom and it gives great ideas!!!

Based on Tricia Hedge, Teaching and Learning in Language Classroom, Oxford, 2000
(Chapter 7)


Why don't we have a look at Grammar in action???

"Grammar is an important element of my teaching, however, it cannot be considered predominant over other language systems in my teaching. I strongly believe in balancing all aspects of language in order to achieve my ultimate goal of teaching English for COMMUNICATION. As I always say to my students “you may get to put your message across even with grammar mistakes, but isn’t it rewarding if besides conveying meaning you do it properly?”"

Observation 5 - 1st year - Colegio P - Methods2 - 2009