Thursday, September 29, 2011

Why a Pub in a Classroom

Why a Pub in the Classroom?

  • It can be both fun and pedagogically effective;
  • It should create an informal atmosphere since the decoration recalls free time and entertainment;
  • A teacher's desk and a bar's stool can stand for perfect backgrounds to illustrate a wide range of linguistic registers, from slang to formal, which is one of the main objectives of advanced FL courses;
  • It provides a permanent work-station with board games, crosswords, etc... to stimulate not only communication skills but also kinesthetic, artistic and musical activities with further word-production potential;
  • A bar counter could be used as a setting to recreate quite a number of possible conversations between, say, two friends, or barman/waiter/assistant and customers...
  • Eternal love has been declared in pubs, bars, dives, discos... for decades;
  • Rock bands have equally inmortalized those joints where they first performed;
  • Some of the best novels and works of art have been inspired and written in gargle factories;
  • Not only honest business deals have been closed in barrelhouses, but also bank robberies and crimes have been perpetrated in these hideaways; and British brokers used cafes in London two centuries ago before the existence of stock exchange buildings;
  • Besides, it brings back personal memories: - Where's dad? - Where's he gonna be?! At his second home!

    The real purpose behind this scheme is to provoke emotional responses linked to academic contents because that way, SS will assimilate and use them faster and longer.

    Educators are always looking for ways to increase educational outcomes for their students. One often-overlooked area that can assist in this quest is to consider the impact of interior design in classrooms. Kathleen Karlsen, Improving Education Outcomes Through Better Classroom Interior Desige 
    As a matter of fact, classroom decoration can be very motivating and inspiring for the students and the teacher as well. Make a learning environment which is very inviting for the learners so that they feel motivated to get involved in their learning process. Blaine Johnston, Some Ideas for Classroom Decoration for Teachers.
    Finally, lighting considerations can be crucial in classroom interiors. Ideally, light levels should be varied cyclically (i.e. with the rhythms of the day) to relieve monotony, activate cortical responses and avoid emotional rejection of the environment. Moderate variations versus strong variations within a single field of view will provide the greatest level of comfort. This can be accomplished by placing lamps around the room that are on for part, but not all of the day. Kathleen Karlsen, Improving Education Outcomes Through Better Classroom Interior Design. 

Sept 26th and 27th

  • Why a pub in the classroom as an ice-breaker,
  • Presentation on School Regulations and Course book materials,
  • Phonetics chart on vowels,
  • UNIT 1  Lead in activity.

Sept 28th and 29th
  • We went through the Phonetics chart on vowels, first me as an example, then you all together repeating after me, and leaving ten minutes for pair practice.
  • Interesting questions came up: words like hot and hand allow for different vowel allophones, that is, variations within the same phoneme,  of course, we won't mark them as mistakes, but you are expected to discriminate and produce different phonemes like in sin and seen.

  • We turned the Lead-in activity of UNIT 1 into a speaking practice,

  • Then, we made sure everybody heard the pronunciation of difficult words and understood new vocabulary, as to turn the reading of pgs. 10 and 11 into another speaking activity:  In groups, SS were required to summarize a paragraph with one main idea and a couple of secondary ideas, share it with the small group and then with the class group, with trainer and SS assessing their performance.
Feedback from the classroom on these activities was mostly positive.
Homework: workbook pg. 6 ex. 1, 2 & 3.

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