The Thing I Hate About Teaching


After I started teaching I noticed one thing that appeared to be quite unpleasant. I cannot simply watch a movie without chunking it into episodes and thinking of which class to apply them to. Sometimes the topic of a particular episode coincides with the topic the coursebook offers (It was “Notting Hill” with Hugh Grant and Julia Roberts that I used for one of my first classes when we were discussing our life experiences). Often a relevant grammar pattern is observed in a dialogue of the heroes (I will always love “Freaky Friday” and the most emotional episode ever when Lindsay Lohan talks to her mum (Jamie Lee Curtis); their dialogue just makes my day when it comes to discussing emphasis). From time to time the video proves totally hilarious and I attempt to build all of the class around it (“Star” by Guy Ritchie is one of the examples; I liked the commercial so much that decided to make it the core of the class that was supposed to be all about gerunds and infinitives…which it was, but it was not that straightforward).

I guess you can imagine how challenging my movie life has become! 🙂 The last few weeks I have spent watching “Desperate Housewives”. I am not a big fan of either soaps or sitcoms, nevertheless I found myself hopelessly involved. Having spent three hours watching four episodes in a row I finally understood what charmed me away. It was the fact that the “Housewives” offer any story you want for your classroom!  The first episode provided me with at least two ideas: an unconventional example of socializing and getting acquainted (at a funeral) and a fantastic 2 minutes on Past Simple with a few catchy expressions (“…I completed my chores, I ran my errands…”).

Thinking about that I remembered that the day I start watching new series I always come up with a few handouts that students usually enjoy as long as the tasks are well thought trough. Inevitably it brought me to the conclusion that any good soap or sitcom can become a “coursebook”. Basically, what I am saying is that a course where video episodes determine both the topic for conversation and the grammar topic is definitely worth a go. And obviously I am not talking about academic videos here🙂
Although it’s a great deal of work, designing a new programme is always fun. Talking about video we’ve got to bear in mind that it’s not just about watching. It is also about preparation and a follow up that proves the usefulness of the episode.
The basic scheme of a handout is this:
Pre-watch section (which includes exercises preparing students to drown in the topic and tasks that help understand the episode easier in terms of vocabulary)
While-watch section (Answer the questions, True-False statements, Fact-Opinion stipulations, Complete the sentence tasks)
Follow up section (which may include any task to make students understand the purpose of watching the episode; the most common task is obviously a discussion).
An interesting video makes an interesting class. Why not try to kill two birds with one stone!
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Об авторе irinanrial

Привет! Это мой персональный блог, который не преследует никаких творческих или коммерческих целей. Он родился давно - еще в ЖЖ, поэтому в нем вы найдете много нужной (и еще больше ненужной) информации обо мне, о том, что меня волнует и не волнует, а также, куда меня привели мечты, и как они ошиблись государством :)
Запись опубликована в рубрике My English Crib с метками , . Добавьте в закладки постоянную ссылку.

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