CELTA Diaries-Day 9

T-T-T, test-teach-test, is another way of structuring lessons. Teachers can start a lesson by introducing a kind of exercise to check students’ background knowledge about a subject matter that is related to the actual topic of the day. It can be something lexical or grammatical.

Next thing to do is to elicit the answers from students and to start presenting the new language point while the students are giving the answers. This way it is possible to have a seamless transition into the ‘teach’ stage, especially if it is a grammar topic on the menu.

The point to remember while teaching is that it should be done following the principles of M-F-P, meaning-form-pronunciation. This means that everything needs to be elicited from students even if the topic may be totally new to them. Use of CCQs, visuals, realia etc. is most welcome for elicitation. All that suggested here is for the sake of guiding learners to discovery, thus letting them play an active role in the learning process. It is also a good message for students that they should learn how to be autonomous and co-operative at the same time.

For the second test stage, teachers are required to provide practice for students to experiment with the target language. It should be kept in mind that one of the tasks for practice needs to be of a freer nature. The ultimate aim in language teaching is having learners use the new knowledge in interaction and for communication, so productive tasks can never be ignored.

Finally, it is always a good idea to give students feedback on their language use. Teachers can easily collect the data to be focused on for this stage while monitoring the class during the tasks. This feedback session can take about five minutes, but its effect will certainly be long-lasting.

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