SEPTEMBER 21,199X (DAY 1)
The class that I am beginning my practicum with is Level 1 Reading. Miss X is the teacher. There are only five students in the class: Ines (Argentina), Flor (Mexican), Yue Ling (Chinese), Chin Wan (Korean) and Leonardo (Mexican). They use a textbook entitled, Expeditions Into English Level 1.
Today they began by sharing pictures of family members which they brought from home. (They have been working on a unit about family members.) It was interesting. The sentences they used were very short; sometimes the students would just point and say who the people in the picture were. Several showed pictures of cousins, nephews, nieces, aunts, etc., but not their immediate family. Other countries think of family in a broader sense than we do as Americans. Next they reviewed the homework. They completed a family tree in their workbooks.
When reading aloud, I felt that the students revealed themselves to be a very different levels of proficiency. None of the students ever volunteered answers or asked questions. They were quiet unless called upon to read or answer a question. After class I asked Miss X about their level. She said that they are very different from each other...a couple are progressing pretty well, quickly, and the Chinese girl, Yue Ling, is really struggling. She said it is difficult to give Yue Ling the individual attention that she really needs. Also their individual effort levels differ.
After correcting the homework, they moved onto a reading about roommates. They first discussed vocabulary. Then the students skimmed the text for these vocabulary words and highlighted them. Next, they read the text aloud together.. one sentence per student. They followed by doing the questions about the text. They grouped qualities with the different kinds of roommates (clean, messy, shy, friendly, etc.) The teacher had to define many words. I thought she did this well; she used simple explanations--even those were sometimes difficult for the students because they were beginners. The teacher seemed to have a hard time bringing them out of themselves and navigating them. They were shy.
SEPTEMBER 23,199X (DAY 2)
The main topic for reading today was "senior citizens and retirement." The students re-read to themselves the homework passage on this subject. Then the teacher read (modelling good reading speed, intonation, pitch, etc.) while the students followed along. After, they reviewed the homework questions in the form of a discussion. They shared with each other what their grandparents did. Their responses varied a bit culturally. A few of the students' grandparents have already died. Others have grandparents who are very active and like to travel. I like how Miss X calls on the students by name. I think that is really important for a teacher to do.
The rest of class time was spent at the Media Lab. Miss X had the students work on vocabulary/dictionary cards and/or read short stories with cassettes. The short stories were the popular choice. Many were Walt Disney stories that the students were already familiar with.
The trip to the Media Lab was a good activity to familiarize the students with the extras that are available to them at the ELC. It was my first time in there as well. The media lab has a great variety of materials that the students can work with. Everything is laid out nicely according to the different skill areas and difficulty levels.
SEPTEMBER 28, 199X (DAY 3)
Today the class read descriptions they wrote about the likes and dislikes of the other students in the class. This was yesterday's homework assignment. They are hard to understand for me. A lot of the reason for this is that they don't speak very loudly. The teacher has a quiet voice as well. I think if she were to speak more loudly the class might follow her example.
Miss X assigned the homework and then passed out a lab form that the students needed to fill out. She is going to require them to work individual on readings in the LRC (Media Lab) for 2 hours/week. This will really benefit the students if they do the required time I think. In the LRC, there is always a teacher on duty that can help the students select readings, etc., so they still can get some help if they need it.
The rest of class was spent reading some reading cards that the teacher brought in. They could pick the ones that interested them. Each card had questions and an answer key on the back. The teacher and I were able to give individual help to the students who needed it. Miss X helped Yue Ling, who has the most difficulty reading.
After class, we discussed what I would be teaching on Thursday. Miss X asked me if I could teach a lesson on the phone book to the students. It is something that she feels is important for them to know how to read. She asked me to make up my own lesson for the next day. I said that would be fine. She showed me the phone bobks that are available for dass use in the ELC library. I checked one out.
SEPTEMBER 30, 199X (DAY 4)
Today I taught the students a lesson on the phone book. I had forty minutes after the students corrected their homework to teach my lesson.
1. Introduction. Find out if the students have phone books at home in their countries. Do they use them? What do they use them for? What information can they find in them?
2. Have students open up to the inside cover of the phone book. Point out some bf the important Emergency numbers. Help students to define new vocabulary words: emergency, fire, sheriff, poison, etc.
Who/what number do you call if your baby swallowed some strong medicine/pills?
Who/what number do you call if you see a car accident by your house?
Who/what number do you call if you are bleeding and it won't stop?
3. Have class turn to white pages. Point out that the page headings show:
b. Last Name of People listed on page.
4. Talk about alphabetical order. Tell them that the white pages work much like the dictionary. Write students names on the board and have the class help put them in alphabetical order. First, last names; Second, first names.
5. Have students find their names in the white pages. If their name is not included, ask them to find where it would be if it were included.
6. Move on to the Yellow Pages. Let the students thumb through it and see what is listed. Ask them what things they see. (Goods and Services--Things you would like to buy, etc.)
7. Tell students that sometimes what we are looking for has a different name. Practice a few synonyms:
8. Give students this situation. Your friends are coming Friday to visit you. You want to take them out to dinner. What subject do you look at? (Restaurants.) What kind of food do you want to eat? (Mexican, Chinese, Korean, Italian, American, etc.) Have students choose a restaurant and share it with the class.
Practical Application: Student worksheet on looking up information in phone book--to be worked on during class and completed as homework.
Self Evaluation: The lesson went well. The students really participated and seemed to enjoy the lesson and activities. I think that we covered a lot of information, but they digested and understood it nicely. I was surprised, actually, to see that they could all find their last names in the white pages. That was fun for them. Then they only had to decide where their first names fit in. I was pleased that they worked well on their individual worksheets. Most did not need very much help--just a prod here and there.
I felt I could have asked a few more comprehension questions. The teacher would speak up a few times..."Does everyone understand?" I guess they are used to her asking that more often. I was a little bit nervous. But it was nice to have a small class. I could remember their names and call on them.
Miss X said she really liked how the lesson went. She didn't give me much feedback.
Ling. 577 Syllabus Ling. 572 Syllabus