The series of “teaching journal” writings reflects what I, as an English teacher in a private senior high school, do in the classroom concerning seeking for the most effective method in teaching English. I think this kind of writing is very important as the part of Continuous Professional Development program. Through this writing I can take some lessons from what’s good and bad in my teaching, so the quality of my teaching will evolve day to day.
11th September 2013
Today, I taught speaking material. It was about “Making Suggestions” expressions. Students’ are hoped to be able to make a suggestion or reply to it. The syllabus seems to use the functional one, as the students are taught the functional expressions that they can practice in the real life.
Here are some examples of the teaching material:
I suggest renting a house near the school.
I suggest you / we take all the factors into consideration before we rent or buy the house.
Shall we have a bite to eat after window shopping?
Why don’t you / we go to the movies tonight?
You / we could visit Ubud while you’re / we’re in Bali.
Let’s go to the travel agent this afternoon to book our ticket.
What about asking your brother for help?
How about buying a new air conditioner?
In the beginning of my teaching, I gave apperception by presenting an imaginary situation.
“Supposed you took part in “Tak-tik Boom” quiz and won it. Then, you deserved the prize worth five billion rupiahs, the amount of money that you never had in your life. What will you do regarding spending the money?”, I started the lesson by presenting a trigerring question.
“I will buy a car,” one student answered.
“You may give it to me,” another student joked.
“You have to treat me,” another student replied.
None of the students gave me the answer that I expected, so I said, “As you never had this amount of money before, I think you will be confused of how to spend that money, right?”
“Yes, right,” the students finally answered in chorus.
“So, what will you do if you feel confused?” I asked a question again.
“We will ask for our friends’ suggestion”, some students answered.
“That’s right. When we don’t have any idea about how to do something, we may ask for our friends’ suggestion, and they could make a good suggestion for you. So this morning, we’re going to learn some expressions of “making suggestions”, I ended the apperception.
In the next step of my teaching, I explained the examples of “making suggestion” expressions by presenting contextual imaginary situations. During explanation, I sometimes asked some students make a suggestion based on the situation I gave. It made them think and focus on my explanations.
After explaining the material using the mixture of lecture and question & answer techniques, I asked the students to make five problems that they had no idea how to solve them. The problems might be contextual and exist in their daily lives in the classroom or dormitory. I gave them twenty minutes to do this assignment.
In the next part, I invited four of the students to come forward the classroom randomly. I asked one student to share his problem and I pointed out another student to make a suggestion relating to the problem. Surprisingly, they not only asked questions each other but turned to a broader discussion. I let them discuss wildly to make them enjoy the conversation. When I thought that they had enjoyed the discussion, I stopped them and asked the to go back to their seats. This step continued till all students have their chance to discuss.
It is the end of my today’s teaching.
I had a problem in conducting the apperception part. The students could not give the answer that I expected. It seemed that I was wrong in presenting the appropriate questions to the students. Instead of asking “wh-questions”, I’d better use “yes-no” question to drive them to the answers that I expected.
In my today’s teaching I employed the lecture technique to present the material about the expressions of making suggestions. As we’ve known that the weakest point from lecture method is that it plunges the students into the uncertain situation if the teacher is not able to manage the class well. To cope with this problem, during explaining the material, I asked questions to some students to make them keep focusing on my explanation. On this way, the students focused on what I explained.
The last but not the least, the assessment technique that I employed triggered the students to speak communicatively with such unplanned speech. I think this technique can be considered a communicative one as the students are free to respond the questions.