- What if I don’t recognise the emergent language?
- What if I can’t explain the language?
- What if I can’t design an activity for it?
Which happen to coninside with the model of retrive, repeat, and recast language.
So what can a teacher do to become better at these skills?
1. Recognising the emergent language.
Firstly a teacher can start studying English using formal methods. Looking at grammar books, style guides, language awareness courses or a whole range of other resources. In fact here are a list of some.
- Grammar for English language teachers by Marion Swan
- About language by Scott Thornbury
- International House Language Awareness course
Secondly spending time looking at authentic material with a specific task such as
- Identifying phrases
- Same meaning different words
- Stylistic elements
2. Explaining the language.
Again resources such as style guides, grammar books, even the internet search engine can be great for coming up with explanations for certain language elements that a teacher comes across. In fact it is even okay to take some of these resources in to the classroom! After all we take dictionaries into the classroom, why not other resources?
However, one of the greatest resources is other teachers. Their experience in teaching grammar points before [often in the same mono/multilingual context] is even better than a grammar books!
3. Designing activities
Reading suggested activities in books and thinking about how they can be adapted for other language items. The internet again is a great resource here as well as such books as 700 classroom activities [many need little setting up and could again be glanced through mid lesson] Teaching unplugged which has some set formulas, How to teach speaking, or other reading resources.
Again teachers are a great source of activities and in fact having brainstorming sessions where you take a text/language item and the brainstorm as many variations as possible as you could do from it. This is great fun and exposes you to what other teachers ways of thinking.
4: Bringing it all together?
Finally a great resource that combines all of these is Infinite Ideas by Sandy Miller. This blog uses a prompts and asks “How would you use it in the class room?” The great thing Is that it exposes you to a wealth of resources that could potentially be pulled out for any on topic moment, challenges you to think of activities based of the resource in front of you AND perhaps best of all, shows you how other people look at a resource and their ideas.
What are your language training tips?