Monday, April 12, 2010

New Approach for Teaching Advanced EFL Learners

Over the last six-week session in my Advanced Topics class at the Yokkaichi University Community College, I used videos that I found online as a jumping off point for class discussions. I would ask learners to watch a speech that I had found that covered a topic that I thought would be interesting for my students, and then made a class activity around it.

They found that the videos were too difficult to understand, and took too much time outside of class to prepare, so I changed my approach this time. I asked them to give me some ideas for topics that they would like to discuss, and I would make build some activities around them. They chose Food and Health, Energy, Travel, Population: The future of Japan, and Superstitions and Folk Beliefs.

My approach for class is to take each one of these topics and make a list of questions around each one. Then at the beginning of class, I will ask them to choose one of the questions that interests them and ask three other class members, recording their answers on a 3X5 card. Then, when all of them have talked to three people, I will ask each of them to discuss the responses they got with the rest of the class.

My goal with this approach is to ensure that each person gets talking time and at the same time provide adequate time for discussion as a group.

A description of the results will come at the end of the session.

1 comment:

Alex Case said...

How did it go? My main question would be how much useful listening practice they are getting when everyone else is the same level.

I'm surprised they had such problems with the videos. How Advanced are they? More like Upper Int?