It is a shame to say that none of my students have been given the opportunity to take English classes at school for the past two years because they did not have an English teacher for any of the grades. This week I learned that a few years back the government decided learning English in public school wasn’t necessary. They changed the language requirement from English to Quechua. A few years passed where only Quechua was being taught, but this past years the requirement has changed once again. Now both English and Quechua must be taught in public schools.
It makes it difficult for the teachers because not only are the students struggling to make sense of three languages, but we have to fit another class in their short school day (7:30 am- 12:50 pm). With the short school days, the core classes, Quechua, and Physical Education classes many of the students only receive one or two hours of English a week.
This has been a struggle for me as an educator. What types of lessons can I do with these students that I only see for an hour a week? How is it possible for them to remember any of information when there is 7 days between each class? How can I teach anything when each class I have to review the same information?
Luckily, the majority of the classes I teach are 8th– 10th grade and I am given 3-4 hours each week with them. Personally, I still do not believe this is nearly enough to learn a language, but it is all they can give me so I will take it.
Because my students haven’t had English class in two years I am starting from scratch. I’ve notice I have to review phrases like “what is your name?” and “good afternoon” each week along with teaching vocabulary and grammar. It is difficult to explain grammar in English when they struggle to even answer the question “How are you?”
This past week I decided we were going to practice speaking skills in each of my classes. From what I can tell, these students have never been given the opportunity to speak in English. They have been lectured at and told to do book work out of their government issued English textbook. The look on their faces when I told them this week was speaking skill was complete and utter fear. But I can say that after all of their practice, each student went up to the front of the class and presented a mini project to their peers. They did wonderfully and their confidence with speaking grew exponentially.
Here is our mini project.
|Let’s Chat: Mini- Skit
|Teacher: Emily Drew|
|School: Unidad Educativa Ulpiano de la Torre|
Grade 8-10Time: 90 minutes
|Equipment Used: Textbook for reference, paper, pencil|
– I can greet others in English using the phrases “Hello”, “Hi”, “Good morning”, and “Good afternoon”.
– I can ask “What is your name?” and I can tell others my name using the “my name is…” format.
– I can ask and respond to the question “how are you?”
– I can write at least three sentence about myself.
|3 minutes||Description: Today we will focus on speaking activities. You have the opportunity to practice talking with a partner using all of the vocabulary and phrases we have practiced so far this year. First we will begin by reviewing common greetings in English and writing three sentences out ourselves. When we have finished you will have ten to fifteen minutes to review you sentence and practice speaking with a partner before presenting to the class.|
3. “How are you?”
4. Facts about yourself
5. “Thank you, Good Bye”
– Students will copy the five bullet points into their notebooks to have with them while they present.
– As a class, we will review the proper “greetings”. They will write down as many different greeting into their notebooks as they can come up with.
– As a class, we will review the proper way to ask someone their name and the proper response to the question.
– As a class, we will review the proper way to ask someone how they are and all of the possible responses. For example “I am fine”, “I am great”, “Excellent, thank you?”
– As a class, we will discuss the format of the three sentence they will write about themselves. For this section, each class will use a different format or topics depending on their level and what we have discussed in the classes prior.
– As a class, we review the phrases “thank you” and “goodbye”
*** Student will practice pronunciation of all of these phrases in a call and repeat format before working on writing their sentences.
– 1 sentence about their favorite holiday.
– 1 sentence about their favorite movie.
– 1 sentence about their favorite hobby.
My favorite holiday is __________.
My favorite movie is ___________.
I like to _____________________.
– 1 superlative sentence
– 1 comparative sentence
– 1 sentence about a hobby.
I am taller than Jim.
I am the tallest in the class.
I enjoying running after school.
– 1 sentence using “should”
– 1 sentence using “must”
– 1 sentence using “have to”
I have to cook dinner tonight.
I should cook chicken.
I must wash the dishes when I am finished.
– Students will review their partner’s sentences to check for any errors. If there is a grammar or spelling error they will work together to figure out the proper English format of the sentence.
– Students will practice all five steps of the mini-skit.
– “Hi. What is your name?”
– “My name is Jim. What is your name?”
– “My name is Bill. How are you?”
– “I am excellent. How are you?”
– “Fine, thank you. Tell me about yourself.”
– Reads sentences… “Tell me about yourself.”
– Reads sentences… “Thank you.”
– “Thank you. Good bye.”
– Pairs of students will present their skits in front of the class.
*** Students may bring up their notebook to read their sentences (step 4), but may not read directly from steps 1, 2, 3, and 5 in their notebooks.
– As a class, review the pronunciation of greetings and phrases used in steps 1, 2, 3, and 5 in the call and repeat format.
(If time allows)
– Students form a large circle around the class.
– Teacher whispers one of the sentence from part 4 to the student to his/her left. Students continue by whispering the same sentence. Last student stands and repeats the phrase to the class to see if the pronunciation is still correct after it went through all of the students.