Saturday, October 2, 2010

Teaching English to Teachers (Lesson Plan: Teaching Classroom English)...sorta

A video sample of my Powerpoint presentation (I did this a while back)

I love learning languages and nothing is more painful to me than watching a language teacher, who has no facial expression, speaks with flat delivery and no vocal intonation. Painful.

 Learning a language is learning about cultural expressions, intonation, vocal pitch, gestures, facial
expression and body language. A lot of this information gets forgotten when you're holding a textbook, but these are important audio-visual tools for effective communication. Communication isn't only about memorizing words on a page. How do I know this...

 I was born to Love... language!

... I just suck at grammar is all (something you'll occasionally discover reading my blogs)!... I've been a television producer and artist/performer for years, enough to know that selling concepts or conveying an emotions through visual and multimedia platforms is my strongest suit.

As a child I was shy, introverted and making, drawing or performing things were my only vocal assets. I could dance, perform on stage or compete in a sports arena in front of an audience of hundreds; I just couldn't speak! I didn't feel confident of my creativity or survival in that realm. The more I second guessed my speaking abilities; the worse my confidence got. I suffered from a typical case of "Asian Perfectionist illness". Today, while I've come out of my vocal shell, language in any medium- but mostly non-verbal-  is what I enjoy most!

Communicating in a foreign country

As a traveler, I don't always know the language of the country I'm in. Likewise, some foreign locals I meet on my adventure path don't always speak English. Sometimes I get my idea across with charades or broken phrases; sometimes, I fail. Often times however, I feel like the bridge of understanding works out pretty well if I put effort into my non-verbal performance.

Here in Korea, there is much stress on learning through memorization, such that people often forget effective communication is much more. Language is dynamic and when we listen to people, do a lot more than listen to words. We read their body, face, etc...  Learning English and correct grammar and pronunciation is important, but getting your idea across is so much more.

In my Classroom English lesson to my teachers, the point I wanted to stress was that communicating your idea is much crucial than getting it correct or perfect. It's survival! So get your idea across anyway you can before your mind and self-doubt roadblocks you.

Teaching Classroom English Lesson plan:

Simple Warmer Game:

Before showing my powerpoint, I make them play a game of charades. I write english classroom commands on pieces of paper and have each choose one.  They have to act it out.


Classroom English Presentation.ppt

(I talk thru most of this powerpoint presentation as if I were giving a lecture so there's few words but I elaborate on the subject)

Classroom English Phrases Handout.doc

No comments:

Post a Comment