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Practice Activities CMTRP

SUBJECT PRACTICE ACTIVITIES:


CLASSROOM MANAGEMENT TECHNIQUES AND REFLECTIONS ON PRACTICE

Name and surname(s): Rosmery Ribera Ferrier


Group: FP_TEFL_2016-06
Date: September 2016

Practice Activities CMTRP

GENERAL INFORMATION:
The subject practice activities consist of doing individually five short exercises. The
document must fulfil the following conditions:
-

Length: between 4 pages (without including cover, index or appendices if there


are any-).
Type of font: Arial or Times New Roman.
Size: 11.
Line height: 1.5.
Alignment: Justified.

Besides, the activities have to be done in this Word document: leave the activities
statements where they are and just answer below them. In order to make the correction
process easier, please, do not write the answers in bold, and it will then be easier to
distinguish between them and the activities statements. On the other hand, the
document must still fulfil the rules of presentation and edition, and follow the rubric for
quoting and making bibliographical references as detailed in the Study Guide.
Also, it has to be submitted following the procedure specified in the Subject
Evaluation document. Sending it to the teachers e-mail is not permitted.
In addition to this, it is very important to read the assessment criteria, which can be
found in the Subject Evaluation document.

Practice Activities CMTRP

Name and surname(s): Rosmery Ribera Ferrier


Group: FP_TEFL_2016-06
Date: September 2016

Introduction
I am a proud CBA Santa Cruz teacher. (CBA, Centro Boliviano Americano, a binational center) I teach adult students who are at an advanced level. Classes run for
three hours Classes run for three hours every evening, so I will have enough time to
perform the complete lesson plan I am presenting here. There are 20 to 25 students
per class. My job is to prepare them for the TOEFL ITP test. (ITP, Institutional Test of
Proficiency).
I strongly believe that if students trust you, they are motivated to learn. Creating
rapport in my classroom is something I value. I feel flattered when the bell rings and
my kids say: Already? I did not feel the time passing. I guess they were
entertained, focused, and acquiring English as a second language without noticing it.
Classroom management techniques are crucial to any educators successful
practice. That is why we need to consider carefully: the way we communicate with
students, the collaborative activities we plan, how we manage discipline, giving timely
and appropriate corrective feedback, and understand that every learner is unique.

Practice Activities CMTRP

Practice Activities
Do the following exercises and justify or explain your answers where
appropriate.

Task 1
Categorise each of the following errors under one of these headings: grammar;
pronunciation; meaning; appropriacy. Justify your answers.
- How you come to school? Grammar
It is an information question sentence structure mistake. There is a missing auxiliary.
- I go always to France for my holidays. Grammar
It is a mistake related to the positioning of frequency adverbs.
- I dont like travelling by sheep. Pronunciation
It is a common case of a mistake made due to the existence of minimal pairs in spoken
English.
- (Mike speaking to his boss) Thats a load of rubbish, mate. Appropriacy
This is a pragmatic mistake. Mike should be aware of the formal context of this
conversation.
- She suggested us to go home. Grammar
This mistake derives from the misuse of the subjunctive mode. Us must be replaced
by we. The subjunctive mode: A grammar structure that mandates we use the base
form of a verb when we find noun clauses that are preceded by verbs or adjectives that
denote: Urgency, Obligation or Advisability. (Rosmery Ribera: 2015, p. 176)
- Oh, of course! - youre Peter, arent you? (rising intonation on arent you).
Pronunciation
When using a question tag, a rising intonation means that the speaker is asking a real
question and expecting and answer. In this case a falling intonation must be used since
the speaker clearly recognizes Peter. This is a rhetorical question, it does not require
an answer. (Rosmery Ribera: 2015, p. 63)

- (student in pub) Give me a beer. Appropriacy


Even though he is at a bar, a student should know how to ask questions politely.
- She went to the library to buy a book. Meaning

Practice Activities CMTRP

This is a common mistake involving false cognates. False cognates are words that are
spelled or pronounced similarly in two languages, but do not have the same meaning.
Embarazada/Embarrassed in Spanish and English are examples of false cognates.
(Lory Wolfe: 2013)

Task 2
Below is a list of classroom procedures (activity types) which will, in theory,
allow for individualisation in the language classroom. To what extent does each
cater for individualised learning? What advantages and what drawbacks can you
identify with each procedure if you were to use them with your own classes?
(Ur, 1996:236) Explain your answers.
1. Readers. Students choose individual simplified readers, of varied level and
topic, from a school library, and read quietly in class.
Allows for individualisation. Graded readings are a great way to reach
students of different levels. Penny Ur mentions that the use of more difficult or
easier versions of the same task could be provided to deal with this factor (Ur
1996: p. 235)
Advantages: Readers give learner the freedom to choose a topic they like.
This will enhance engagement in the task and the activitys output.
Disadvantages: Some students might settle for a reading level they find easy,
therefore, the task will be not be challenging enough. This could hinder their
interlanguage development.
2. Response to listening. The teacher plays a recorded text on a topical issue,
and asks the class to note down points they understood.
Allows for individualisation. Even though the teacher is using the same topic
for all students, students will note down what they individually understood.
Advantages: These notes will contain different language levels, and they will
be done at a different speed by each learner. These results could become an
assessment tool.
Disadvantages: Some lower level students might feel that they did not
understand as much as their peer did. As a result, the affective filter might get
high.

3. Workcards. A pile of workcards prepared by the teacher is put in the centre of


the class, all practising the material the class has recently learned, but each
different. Each student chooses one, completes it and then takes another.
Allows for some individualisation. These workcards only get students to
work on their writing skills. Therefore, auditory and visual learners are left
behind.
Advantages: All learners are familiar with the material covered.

Practice Activities CMTRP

Disadvantages: One of Urs factors is that of Language skill or teaching point.


Students do not have the opportunity of choosing to work on a quite different
aspect of language Individualization will be achieved only if the educator
carefully designed workcards containing different language levels.
4. Textbook questions in class. The class has been given a set of questions
from the textbook to answer in writing; each student does them on his or her
own.
Does not allow for individualisation. All students have the same set of
questions.
Advantages: Textbook questions are designed by English teaching experts.
Disadvantages: Lets agree on something: most of the textbooks we use were
not designed taking into account our local cultures. This results in content topics
that are either not interesting or not familiar for our students.

5. Worksheets. The teacher distributes worksheets which all practise the same
grammar point, but containing various sections with different kinds of practice
tasks and topics. The students choose which sections they want to do, and do
as much as they can in the time allotted.
Allows for individualisation. Students are free to choose among various
worksheets and are able to work at their own pace.
Advantages: Worksheets are quite easy to find and download. The teacher
could modify them to suit the material covered in a few minutes.
Disadvantages: The teacher will need to invest a lot of time to give effective
individual feedback.
6. Textbook exercises for homework. The teacher gives three sets of
comprehension questions from the textbook, of varying difficulty, on a passage
that has been read in class; each student is asked to select and do one set.
Allows for individualisation. The teacher acknowledged the fact that his or
her students are at different levels.
Advantages: All learners will have an appropriate level of challenge when
completing this task.
Disadvantages: I find no disadvantages.
7. Varied tasks. The teacher has prepared a number of work-cards based on
different language skills and content. There is a cassette recorder in one corner
with headsets for listening tasks, and another corner available for quiet talk.
Students select, work on and exchange cards freely.
Allows for individualisation. This activity is a clear example of what our
material mentions: Individualization in the language classroom is concerned
with giving learners a certain degree of freedom to choose how and what they
learn (p. 44)
Advantages: It caters to all the learning styles.

Practice Activities CMTRP

Disadvantages: I find no disadvantages.


8. Research. The teacher asks the students to form groups of four in order to
carry out a web-quest, based on an environmental issue. Each student is given
a specific role and asked to find out particular aspects of the topic from internet
sources, to later share with the other group members. The group will then arrive
at a consensus, formulate a collective report, and present their findings to the
class.
Allows for individualisation. Allowing students to have different roles
according to their most developed skill is a strong way to individualize learning.
Also, this activity develops their HOTS (Higher Order Thinking Skills).
Advantages: Environmental issues are considered by students as interesting
and trending topics. Penny Ur mentions that the topic must be interesting and
relevant. (Ur 1996: p. 235)
Disadvantages: Not all pupils are good at working in groups.

Task 3
a) To what extent do you agree with each of Urs statements in your
materials? What are your own views on the issue of mixed-ability? Do you
think that mixed- ability groups always result in more successful SLA for
learners? Or can the opposite seem to be true? Why? Draw on your own
experience as a teacher or learner in order to prove or disprove each of
her statements,
providing concrete examples of classroom
experiences/activities. Can you add any other advantages to her list?
Some teachers would rather have homogeneous classes that have learners with
similar cultural backgrounds, ages, and learning styles. They are comfortable with that
kind of classroom environment maybe because they find it easier to prepare materials
and deliver instruction. Nonetheless, educators rarely encounter such environments in
real life, and that is a good thing. Teaching and learning a new language, in particular,
benefits from having mixed abilities or heterogeneous classes- term coined by Penny
Ur- since the process becomes rich and interesting.
Therefore, I agree with each of Urs four statements cited in our course material. (p.
52) Educators could apply several techniques to make sure that his or her instruction
suits his or her students way of learning. Even though it is challenging to include
activities for all the types of intelligences in my lesson plan, I am rewarded when I see
that almost all my students are able to use new vocabulary or grammar structures
confidently at the end of a successful session.

Practice Activities CMTRP

I could add one advantage to Urs list: teachers learn a lot from what she calls a
richer pool of human resources by observing their learning process.
b) What other considerations have now come into play regarding this issue,
especially those which have made the phrase mixed-ability seem almost
old-fashioned or unnecessary?
The term mixed ability could be considered old fashioned in ESL classroom
environments that:
-involve young or very young learners, as our material mentions on page 49.
-use Task-based learning
-follow the Key Competencies for Lifelong Learning framework proposed and
implemented by the European Commission in 2006.

Task 4
Say whether you agree or disagree with each of the following statements. Justify
your answers.
1. If you give instructions for activities in the mother tongue, you deprive
students of an important opportunity to be exposed to natural L2 use. I
partially agree. The use of the L1 could apply to the first time you give
instructions for a new activity or classroom procedure. Why? Because
otherwise low ability students would feel that they cant fully participate since
they do not understand the rules of a game, for example.
2. Students should be allowed to ask the teacher (in English) if they may say
something or ask something in their own language, and all other use of
their mother tongue should be prohibited. I will have to agree on this one.
There is a strict administrative rule in my workplace: avoid using Spanish as
much as possible. Therefore, learners are made aware of the rule since day
one. If they want to communicate with the teacher, they should try their best to
do it in English.
3. Teachers could sometimes use mother tongue texts with students, but
comprehension tasks should always require students to produce English.
I disagree on the use of L1 texts. That would be like going back to the basic
aspects of the Grammar Translation method.
4. If students translate the meaning of new vocabulary they will develop the
mistaken idea that there is a one-to-one correspondence between words
in English and in their own language. I partially agree. Most of the time,
translation helps learners lower the affective filter. Nonetheless, when it comes
to phrasal verbs, idioms, and proverbs, understanding meaning from context is
the best way to go.

Practice Activities CMTRP

5. Instructions should always be given in both languages - but in English


first. Please refer to my answer on number one. Thanks.
6. Translation should never be used with young learners. I partially agree.
Sometimes, translation helps young learners to understand rules, and this
results in a better discipline climate.

Task 5
Are the following statements true or false? Justify each of your answers.
1. Teacher thinking refers not just to the way we think as teachers, but also
to what effect the way we think has on our teaching. True. An educator will
most likely act according to his or her beliefs, knowledge, and past experiences.
2. Our beliefs as teachers affects our classroom management more than any
other factor in the classroom. True. Our subject material mentions this point
as central to the way in which teachers behave in the language classroom (p.
84)
3. Examining our pre-, inter- and post-active decisions as teachers is the
best way to investigate our thinking as teachers. True. Reflective teaching is
the best way to improve our practice.
4. As teachers we are doomed to repeat teaching behaviour that we learnt
through our apprenticeship of observation. False. Even though this is
mentioned as being true in our material, I believe that some teachers change
what they learned from their teachers because they notice that we live in a
different era. For instance, most of our students are digital natives, so we need
to become digital immigrants.
5. There is always a mismatch between a teachers espoused theories and
his/her real classroom behaviour. False. As I mentioned before, reflective
teachers rarely face this problem.
6. Teachers beliefs, which are formed early in life, are very difficult to
change. True. There is some fossilization when it comes to beliefs formed
early in life. It takes a lot of effort to change something so deeply rooted.
7. A teacher will usually have a deeply-rooted (possibly unconscious) view
about who his/her learners are, and this view is related to how the teacher
believes languages are learned. False. In my humble opinion, judging
learners using our beliefs system is wrong. We need to make the effort get to
know and understand them first.

Practice Activities CMTRP

8. Taking into account the affective climate in a classroom is likely to affect


a teachers classroom management decisions. True. Trying to build a safe
and positive learning environment is key to help students learn.

Thanks for reading,


Rosmery Ribera Ferrier

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