Вы находитесь на странице: 1из 30



Factors influencing learner

1. Past learning experience.
2. Success and reward.
3. The content of the lesson.
4. Self-confidence.
5. Length of time studying English.
6. Lack of challenge.
7. A sense of difficulty.

Using English in the classroom

Some of your students will not be used to an English-only classroom. It is
advisable for them to make the most of your mother-tongue status but it
can sometimes be difficult to insist on English-only. In some school
systems translation is used, particularly in a contrastive way, to highlight
differences between the native language tense system or use of
prepositions, etc. and the relative usage in English. These uses can be
constructive but assistants are generally not called upon to present
language, just to reinforce and practice it. Therefore your lessons should
be in English, except in exceptional circumstances, like a student falling ill
or major misunderstanding that can only be cleared up in the native

Tips for encouraging the

use of English in the

1. Always reply in English

2. Try not to be too dogmatic

3. Artificial motivators like the

swear box for use of the students mother tongue can
be introduced in a light-hearted way, or a list of forfeits
which anyone not speaking in English must carry out.
Use dice and a list of six forfeits (which you can vary
throughout the year), e.g.
Count from twenty backwards very quickly, Sing a
song you know in English, etc.

4. Points can be deducted

5. Make it clear to the students

that you do not welcome the use of the
mother tongue in your classes. If this
proves to be a problem, report it
to the teacher in charge.

6. Simplify the English you use

7. Help students to make

an effort to understand

Types Of Learner

Interference from the mother tongue

All languages are different and it is natural to assume that other
languages might perform in the same way as our own. Our system of
reality, which defines how we view the world, often collapses when we
try to apply it to another. In European languages there may be two forms
to denote the you of English and these forms are used depending on
how well you know someone in your own social hierarchy, such as using
vous or tu in French and Lei or tu in Italian.

When a French or Italian learner says: I am living in Nice with my

parents, rather than I live in ..., it is because their own language does not
have two present tense forms to distinguish between permanent/fixed
time and continuous/temporary fixed time. It is common for learners to
ask What is the future tense in English? as if looking for a direct
translation. These assumptions show up in their errors and are natural.

Sometimes when speaking or writing, students may find
they do not know a suitable expression, so they fall
back on using a direct translation of their own language.
This is a conscious decision, rather than the
unconscious interference.
It is useful to develop communication strategies to get
the message across, and this is more successful in the
long term than staying silent. Experimentation is a vital
part of the process towards fluency.

False friends
Some words may have been borrowed from
other European languages, notably Latin in
origin, and look the same as a word in your
own language.

This false assumption leads us to think they

mean the same and can be used in the same

Sound system
Each language has its own sounds, which are
produced by using the throat, mouth,
tongue, etc. This involves basic motor skills,
which differ from one language to another
and need time and effort to master.


When and How

to correct Errors

Fluency Vs. Accuracy

When To Correct?


Feedback on Errors
1. Verbal praise or encouragement in class
2. Discussing progress with teachers
3. Written praise of their written work
4. Recording students

Visual Correction Technique

Use hand gestures for clarification and for encouraging selfcorrection:
1. Use your index finger and thumb to indicate contractions.
2. Use all the fingers on one hand to represent the words in
a sentence or question.
3. Use your arm or hand to gesture for inversion in question

Encouraging peer or
1. When correcting written work put a line to indicate
where the error is, but dont correct it. It helps if you
indicate in the margin what type of error it is with
symbols, e.g. w/o for word order, sp for spelling, etc.
My father like__ football but I dont! (Third person?) The
learners then have to puzzle over their errors, discuss
with classmates and, if necessary, the teacher, to come
up with a solution.

2. You can use the same approach as above

during oral feedback on the board. Select the
main error types. Write four or five on the
board with an indication of where the problem
lies. Put students in pairs for a few minutes to
correct the problems. This might be
pronunciation, but with higher level groups you
can also focus on appropriate context, e.g. Was
the expression polite enough? Was it too

3. Activities involving group writing will naturally

involve a certain amount of peer correction as
students contribute their knowledge to the group
effort. To take this a step further, students can be
encouraged to pass round their group work to be
marked by another group before handing it in. This
can be very motivating for teenagers who value
the opinion of their peers.

4. To reinforce feelings of progress get students to collect their

most frequent errors weekly. Students copy the uncorrected
phrase, question or word on a piece of card or paper and keep
in an envelope or small box. Put a corrected version in
another envelope or box. Encourage them to look at the
uncorrected version frequently for five minutes every day.
When they are sure that they are not making the mistake
anymore, they remove the uncorrected version from their
envelope and transfer it to the envelope with the corrected
version to form a pair. Students may also like swapping error
envelopes in class once a month and then try to correct
them orally or in writing. This gives teenagers a sense of
control over their own progress.

Clarification techniques
to use during feedback
Diagrams are particularly useful in representing abstract
concepts of time, quantity and degree.
You can use them:

to clarify confusion
to give a board summary which students can refer to
as prompts on the board for learners to use during
controlled oral work or discussions.

Diagrams for degree. Draw on board or take five sheets of

A4 paper and black marker. Stick each on to card and
laminate or cover with self-adhesive plastic film so they can
be re-used. Write the various uses on the back as they come
up in your teaching.

Do you ever see films in English on television?

Yes, sometimes. / No, never.

These are very useful for:
contrasting tenses (past/present)
He was an English teacher but now hes an international
pop star.
contrasting a period with a fixed point in time (future
and past)
It was raining when we arrived at Kates flat.
contrasting continuous with interrupted actions
He left the village that night and has lived in London
ever since.