Bad Lesson Plans

Trip Start Jul 28, 2009
Trip End Jul 27, 2010

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What I did
A bad lesson

Flag of China  , Guangdong Sheng,
Thursday, October 29, 2009

    One of the greatest feelings in the world is walking out of a class with the kids cheering with pleasure. This is what happens when you make a good lesson plan.
My job is quite easy to say the least, it doesn't require too much thinking, just a lot of creativity. My teaching requires me to make the students interested in learning English. The actual teaching of grammar and all the boring parts to English are left to the teachers. How do you make students of around 13 interested in English? Answer: Games, games, and more games. 
    My lessons consist of me teaching around about 10 new words of vocabulary to them. This is always very boring to them despite my attempts to make it interesting by having funny/amusing/powerful images in my powerpoints. I then usually include a small ‘rouser’ game to wake the class up after the boring vocab intake. This normally gets them motivated enough to go onto the next activity. The next activity can be a drawing exercise (related to the task) or some kind of dialogue to practice their speech. Next, the funniest part of the lesson; the big game at the end which normally leaves the kids screaming. My favourites are a rock, paper scissors type game where 2 students are at the board shouting the new words to each other. When they meet at the same word they have to rock, paper scissors and the loser sits down. Winner stays on until he says all the words. Sounds confusing and boring, but it is actually quite a lot of fun. Another game i like to play is ‘guess the word’. Two students start at the back of the class, i flash a image of a newly learnt word and they have to run to the board and spell the word. First one who wins can sit down, the one that loses I make wear a silly purple scarf. I like it when they cant really spell the word, and the rest of the class join in by shouting out the word. Once I had the head master come in and tell the class to stop being so noisy. (its not my fault if they’re enjoying English that much, its my job!). Basically, if you make the class competitive competitive class, one side against the other is good. Another good game i found is called ‘Typhoon’, imagine battleships where you have a 6x6 grid and have to say ‘B2’ for example to hit a square. I then ask questions and the row that gets it right can choose and square a score the point. Some of the squares are ‘Typhoons’ where it can wipe out another teams points. This makes them go crazy as well, brilliant.
    This week has not been a good teaching week (but to be honest it could have been worse). I decided to focus more on talking exercises and new vocab than playing big games. This change hasn't gone down well. The lesson theme this week may also be a little boring for them too as it is about weather. (Something us English are very interested in, but i suppose in Sanxiang you only get hot and wet which is a little boring) .Half of them already know the words, but i know that some of them don’t. 
    One thing that really pisses me off about Sanxin (the name of my school) is the organisation of classes. The students are taught in the same class everyday and they do not move about. You may also have a top scoring student at English sitting next to someone who has never been taught English before. It doesn't make sense to have mixed ability classes, why not make the students move around class to class like we do in the West? So currently the students are being taught very basic English which is very easy for the more able students. This is why my lessons are a bit hit and miss because some students are capable and others are not. Its hard to strike a balance between too easy and too hard. 
    I think next lesson plan i am only going to play games, that will stop the students from hating me.
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