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Using Techniques That Are Intrinsically Motivating
Posted: Tue Jun 19, 2012 6:31 pm
I was just wondering what listening techniques native English-speaking teachers (who are teaching ELLs in an English-speaking country) are using to motivate their students intrinsically. I realize that it would be great for teachers to take into account the personal interest and goals of their ELLs, but how does one utilize their students’ background knowledge? How do teachers get this information from students who are at a low level of English speaking ability? What if the classroom is full of people from many different cultural backgrounds? How do you incorporate everyone’s experiences, goals, and abilities into the lesson plans?
Posted: Tue Jun 26, 2012 6:01 pm
In the beginning of the year I use many different ice-breaker activities to get to know my students. You can modify the activities for the different levels of ELL students by adding pictures or simplifying the directions or wording. You can also use physical actions for responses so the beginners can reply without speaking. When you get to know your students over the first month, you will learn more than their favorite color or ice-cream flavor. You will start to see what each student is interested in and what the students' abilities are. Through ice-breakers, you can also learn about the various cultures in your classroom and what a student's background knowledge is like. At the beginning of each lesson you will also have a motivation activity which can help you see if the students have background knowledge for the upcoming lesson. There have been many lessons that I needed to change after I completed the motivation activity and learned that my students did not have the background knowledge for the lesson. If that is the case, you use the time to help build the background knowledge for the students and save the lesson for the next day.
Posted: Tue Jun 26, 2012 7:32 pm
In the begining of the school year, I usually use interactive activities to encourage more reading, listening, and speaking in the classroom. For example, I use the "Interviewing Your Friend" activity where my students pair up and ask each other interviewing/conversation questions that I hand out. After they gather enough information about their friends, they then "introduce" their partners to the class so that everyone can learn more about that friend.
I also like to use the "Snowball" game, in which the students write 3 things that other people don't know about them on a small piece of paper. Then, each student crumbles his/her paper into a snowball. When everyone is sitting in a circle, on the count of 3, everyone throws the snowballs to someone else. Then, everyone picks up a snowball and takes turn reading what's written on it aloud and guess who that person is. It's a fun way of engaging all of the students in practicing their reading, writing, listening, and speaking skills.