We had our last ESL English Pronunciation class yesterday. I have been thinking about what worked well this year, and what could be improved. I love to survey the students at the end of the year. Their responses help me to get a better idea of what they liked and didn’t like. Here’s a free printable of my class “end-of-the-year” class survey.
They all wanted more talking time. That shouldn’t surprise me since teachers talking too much is the No. 1 complaint of ESL learners everywhere! So next year I’m going to use my student teachers to break into small groups more often.
The homework I gave was really effective. Developed after 5 years of teaching, I’m pleased with the homework portion of class. I give students a listening assignment – using web sources, they pick one audio clip (about 1 minute), listen to it, then write a brief summary of what the audio clip was about. In class they read their paragraph outloud. This homework targets listening, writing, grammar, vocabulary and speaking. So the words they use to recall the paragraph are the words they read out in class. This is different from reading a random paragraph the teacher chooses. Because it actually targets the real vocabulary and grammar the students use! See my previous post on listening homework with a free printable of my Pronunciation Class Homework.
They wanted grammar correction. Since I focus on helping them pronounce English I usually stick to sounds, linking, reductions and intonation in sentences and conversation. I have not been correcting grammar very much, or very explicitly. Since the class is only 1 hour, 40 minutes (and a few of them arrive late) they really isn’t much time to correct grammar. I might be able to improve this if I use my student teachers in small groups more.
Lastly, I want to try using more movement in class next year. Mostly I just taught at the front of the class and wrote on the board. I’d like to do more picture description too. I think this may stretch the students even more.