CELTA Diaries-Day 14

Day 14 of the CELTA course was exceptionally good because we witnessed how a teacher could set a fantastic context to teach perfect modals, one of the hardest structures to deal with in English, and how we could make writing lessons more learner-centered.

Chia, the tutor, showed us a photo of Princess Diana and asked us to discuss all that we knew about her. That done and answers elicited, she told us to try to make connections between Lady Diana and a list of places, institutions and other names on the board. The list included a large variety of input from Queen Elizabeth and Mohamed El-Fayed to Paris and MI5.

That also done, she asked us what we could say regarding Lady Diana and MI5, which prompted a lot of speculation from the class. Then she asked us if she could consider such speculation as certain or uncertain. After we answered, she had us discuss which of subject + might have + verb past participle and s + must have + verb past participle forms would be better to express low and high possibilities.

Next, Chia, having done the same elicitation for the other perfect modals, began to teach special pronunciation points regarding sentences with perfect modals. Afterwards, she continued with controlled and free practice sessions really efficiently.

The session assured me once more that anything was possible to teach in an interesting, interactive, and effective way as long as teacher could think outside the box, thus creating the best opportunities for learners to understand and practice even the most complicated aspects of English.

The other session of the day was with Ri, and she modeled a writing lesson. The model lesson was so learner-centered that even the correctional feedback was dealt with by the students. Needless to say, there was a lot of elicitation and guided discovery involved throughout the lesson. It was also very well-staged, and transitions between the stages were really smooth. For all the reasons why it was a perfect writing lesson, I want to share it in every detail in a separate post.

In summary, it is not wrong to claim that day 14 of the CELTA course was one of the most beneficial of all because we saw how it was easy to design wonderful lessons with the right approach to teaching any one skill and I would like thank Chia and Ri for that.

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