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Setting objectives

 
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pengyou



Joined: 14 Oct 2007
Posts: 24

PostPosted: Wed Jan 13, 2010 7:15 am    Post subject: Setting objectives Reply with quote

I have taught these students for one semester and have discovered that they are all over the place in terms of abilities, strengths and weaknesses, etc. I am preparing for the next semester now. Can someone give me some ideas about how to set objectives? I have been teaching for almost 20 years in total, and still find this part of teaching to be difficult
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dave-b



Joined: 19 Dec 2009
Posts: 14

PostPosted: Sat Jan 16, 2010 5:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Why not use something concrete and measurable like tests, assessments, etc?

Setting an objective like having a detailed conversation about the future just never seems to be that measurable.

However, if you have some assessment tests, or practice TOEIC/TOEFL tests, you could set objectives with reading, writing, listening, speaking, and grammar scores.

Not sure if this is the idea you wanted, but good luck with the course.
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fluffyhamster



Joined: 26 Oct 2004
Posts: 3005
Location: UK > China > Japan > UK again

PostPosted: Sun Jan 17, 2010 5:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Take a really good look at the set textbook (if you have one), any progress tests that it contains (or previous ones that may be available), and decide what you will highlight, prioritize, expand upon, add completely new items or material to, or completely overhaul, even cut etc. Then try to design a syllabus outline if not pre-course test, that will really give the students an indication of what you'll be teaching, and what therefire they'll have to be learning for any progress or end-of-course tests or assessments. That being said, I wouldn't get too het-up about test design or validity, or set too many external (random?) tests - the road travelled versus the destination and all that (try not to lose sight or procedural "aims"/processes, and don't shy away from explicitly teaching them in explicit "product"-item terms if need be...anticipate exactly what these might be rather than leaving it to the students to muddle through somehow in "interlanguage", "escaping"/breaking into L1 etc). And you'll probably need to go at the speed of the slower ships rather than the faster, but the faster shouldn't mind playing tugboat too much if you give everyone sufficient route guidance and fuel (who knows, the faster may then also learn a thing or two about the language, or at least a little about teaching it).
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creativemark



Joined: 08 Jan 2010
Posts: 9
Location: Canada

PostPosted: Tue Jan 19, 2010 2:15 am    Post subject: setting objectives Reply with quote

I think that is a good comment to relate objectives to textbook used. At the end of the course, students might be tested and assessed in relation to the textbook so that is what you should teach.

I think another comment that is a good idea is that you test the students to see what their levels are. If you know where their levels are, you can set objectives for them.

I have volunteered teaching multi-level classes and designed my own lessons. I think the trick is to make the main objective meet the needs of the majority of the class, take the time to present the language step by step so that the beginners understand it, and have extra material for the more advanced students for when they finish ahead of time.

The more advanced students will gain something by going over material they already know. They are probably in your class because they aren't using the language studied at a good enough level.

My point is to set objectives for the majority of the class. You will guide the lower levels to achieve that goal or a couple of the steps needed to achieve that goal. Once the more advanced students haved perfected what you are teaching, they should move into another class.

Hope this helps in some way.
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Heath



Joined: 18 Aug 2009
Posts: 108

PostPosted: Wed Feb 24, 2010 8:46 am    Post subject: Same question I asked. Reply with quote

I asked about the same kind of thing on the BBC/Brit Council Teaching English site. (Although, 'objective' seems to be quite open to interpretation, so I'm not quite sure how close this is to what you're thinking of). And one great suggestion someone gave me there was to start from the Council of Europe Common European Framework (CEFR) and turn the can-do statements into goals.

For example, early in the level A1.1 in relation to Listening is:
"When people speak slowly and clearly, I can understand simple and very common expressions such as «yes», «no» «hi»,«good morning», «goodbye», «sorry»." (CEFR)
This could become: "By ...[date/time]... I will be able to understand 'yes', 'no', 'hi', 'good morning', 'goodbye', 'sorry' and 'How are you?' when people speak slowly and clearly."

Other can-do statements would be fine, and students could be encouraged to develop their own objectives using a school or course-book syllabus in a similar way too.


For practice, anyone want to write an objective based on this one, from level B1.2 in relation to Speaking?
"I can interview someone if I have prepared a questionnaire; I can sometimes ask a further question without having to think for too long." (CEFR)

Exclamation By the end of this Unit I will be able to...


.
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