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    • #28557
      Nicholas Northall
      Moderator
        @nick-northall

        Now you have seen the delivery of the session, consider the following: 

        • Was the session what you expected? Why/Why not? 
        • What questions would you like to ask the trainer? Post these, plus any other questions you have about delivering (or planning) input sessions in the forum.
      • #34623
        John Rustage
        Participant
          @johnrustage

          I have been thinking that ‘always providing a good model’ as a trainer seemed a bit forbidding and po-faced. In fact, Nick’s in-class persona was much like my own – purposeful, but not humourless or unspontaneous; and given to a quick – but justified and EXPLAINED –  change of plan re. Break Out Groups sizes (pairs = more practice!)….a relief to find that this kind of spontaneity counts as ‘providing a good model’.

          The willingness of the trainees to analyse how their beliefs re. error correction had changed was a pleasant surprise….the difference between unreflective post-grads and insightful adults! Ditto the ‘cline’ questionnaire activity.

          Is it out of fashion now to include an ‘anticipated difficulties’ section in the lesson plan? It used to be an integral part of  lesson planning (and still is for me).Suzanne (not Priestley) found ‘finger correction’ a bit confusing in more than one way and I wonder if this had been anticipated.

          • #34984
            Nicholas Northall
            Moderator
              @nick-northall

              Hi John,

              Thanks for your positive comments about the lesson. They were a solid group of trainees, who took to the course (despite it being moved to 100% online) whole-heartily. In the initial session at the beginning of the course, where I introduced the basic theory behind error – i.e. the types of errors, why they are made, when to correct, etc – they were a little confused, but certainly took to the input and were prepared to change their minds a couple of months later:).

              In terms of your question, we always provide this section on our teachers’ lesson plans: i.e. on CELTA, trainees are encouraged to think about anticipated difficulties behind classroom management, resources and understanding language. Essentially, this is included because of their lack of teaching experience and skill and as you know really makes them think about their lesson from the learners point of view.  I guess with this session, the plan I provided, as an experienced teacher/trainer didn’t include this section, as I hope I have the skills and experience to usually deal with such issues! But good point, as perhaps considering potential difficulties is something we get out of the habit of doing, due to our ‘experience’. Obviously the lesson plan/ training session plan pro-forma depends on a number of issues which we will explain in the next unit:).

              Cheers,

              Nick

               

               

            • #35157
              Angharad Vernon-Hunt
              Participant
                @angharad

                Couldn’t agree more with your comments re spontaneity John – and it certainly looked to be providing a students with a good model here in Nick’s session.

              • #35236
                Nosheen Asghar Mirza
                Participant
                  @noshin

                  Talking about “Spontaneity”, it was re-assuring to know that I’m not alone, plans change, things don’t always work out, technical issues can pop up in any lesson.

              • #34653
                Jane McKinney
                Participant
                  @erinaceus

                  I’ve been teaching online since 2014 and I felt encouraged by some of the classroom management techniques observed.   It has helped my confidence as I realise that some of the points that cropped up (eg making sure they could see you on video etc) are just part of the territory for online teaching .  (Did you make my mistake of removing someone from Zoom and then realising that they won’t be able to get in again? :unsure: I’ve done that a few times but thankfully I’ve found the solution now :yes: ).

                  I felt the session reflected a good range of activities that are possible online and how our teaching skills will transfer to this environment.  I enjoyed seeing how everyone had the chance to contribute, not just by doing the set activities, but by sharing experiences and so learning from one another, not just the teacher.  I liked how you managed the question about the example of “I will …” as those are the sorts of challenges that I get and it reminds me that we can’t really plan for everything.  I’ve learnt when I’ve been in these situations with students just to be honest and be open to what is being said so I know this approach will need to be adopted with trainees too.

                  I don’t think I have any question apart from whether there was any difference in the dynamic in the earlier part of the course.  The group seems to be working well together and I got the impression they maybe know each other outside of the course.  Getting the group members to bond and work well together so they support each other is something I hope will be a product of my courses (but I know it’s not always possible!).

                  Thank you for sharing.

                   

                  • #34990
                    Nicholas Northall
                    Moderator
                      @nick-northall

                      Hi Jane,

                      Thanks for your kind words about the session, and I’m glad that you liked it:).

                      I think during that session one of the trainees had some connectivity issues and so was ‘forced’ out. I also think (if I remember) that after the recording had ended, she appeared in her flat mate’s room!

                      Only two of the group knew each other – the two Chinese trainees mentioned above who had studied on an MA in linguistics together – whereas the other trainees ‘met’ each other virtually a few months before this video was made. Although this was a 100% online course with most of the content delivered asynchrony (similar to this BaTT course actually!), the trainees had weekly input sessions and/or supervised lesson planning sessions with their TP tutor. They also delivered a lesson almost every week, so had to work closely together to plan their lessons. Following TP, they mainly had group feedback from their TP tutor. So essentially, they ‘saw’ each other most of Thursday and Friday afternoons.

                      And yes, I 100% agree that rapport between trainees is really important when delivering effective teacher training (and language) courses. Giving the trainees collaborative tasks (again similar to BaTT) as well as input sessions and planning support and feedback really helped to create this. Also on CELTA, we insist that trainees peer observe each other – this is also essential to building rapport – more on this in Unit 5!

                      Cheers,

                      Nick

                       

                  • #34711
                    Marusya Price
                    Participant
                      @marusya

                      Thank you, Nick, for this recording. It was very interesting for me even though I’ve been a teacher for over 20 years. I have to say I’ve never used “the finger” technique so I’ll try to apply it straight away even a student makes a mistake in any of my lessons today. 😊

                      The session did meet my expectations as it was very well planned, organised and monitored. There were different activities which encouraged the trainees to learn, practise, share, reflect and even troubleshoot.

                      The question I would like to ask is how you would encourage a less reluctant trainee to participate in pair/group activities. I know that especially with non-native speakers and/or less experienced teachers this could be an issue.

                      Cheers,

                      Marusya

                    • #34991
                      Nicholas Northall
                      Moderator
                        @nick-northall

                        Hi Marusya,

                        Thanks for your question and your positive comments about the lesson.

                        Actually in that cohort half of the trainees were non-native English speakers: of the eight, two were Uyghur Chinese, one Iranian and one Somali speakers; the other four were all English first language speakers. With this cohort the Chinese and Iranian trainees were very vocal and not reluctant to speak at all: but all three held MAs in TESOL!

                        In terms of how to encourage participation, I believe that this is very similar to encouraging less reluctant learners to participate in group work:

                        • Giving them a role to complete: e.g. time keeping, summarising, prompter etc;
                        • Nominating them in feedback – and / or telling them beforehand that you’re going to do this!;
                        • Giving them thinking / reflection time in the lesson to prepare their answers;
                        • Staging tasks to ensure understanding about what to do;
                        • Scaffolding tasks so more difficult tasks are easier to complete;
                        • Mixed up pair and groups;
                        • Including a flipped approach to give them time to prepare what they are going to say;
                        • Perhaps having tutorials with them to find out if there are any reasons for not engaging.

                        I hope this answers your question:)

                        Cheers,

                        Nick

                      • #35159
                        Angharad Vernon-Hunt
                        Participant
                          @angharad

                          Hi everyone and thanks for sharing that with us Nick – I really enjoyed watching and learning. You created a lovely supportive learning environment (exactly as I expected!) and it was clear that the trainees were very engaged. There was a great deal of variety involved and you made the tech look effortless – which I know it sometimes isn’t!!

                          Something I noticed whilst watching the first breakout group task was that one of the trainees did the vast majority of speaking (a challenge when working with any learners I know) but do you have any tips of how to model good practice in this regard with trainee teachers?

                          Thanks!

                          • #35161
                            Jane McKinney
                            Participant
                              @erinaceus

                              I agree Angharad about the challenge of managing a student who talks too much.  It’s hard in breakout rooms but  a colleague of mine told me that one of the advantages of working online was having a mute button.  Not very professional maybe, but I suppose if you’ve tried other tactics.  I’m interested in any suggestions that are  made to deal with this.

                            • #35264
                              Nicholas Northall
                              Moderator
                                @nick-northall

                                Hi Angharad,

                                Thanks for your comments about the learning atmosphere: I think this is key to an effective input session (or language lesson). Even when a trainer makes a few mistakes, if rapport is solid, learning will take place.

                                In answer to your question, I think controlling domineering trainees is the opposite to what Maruysa asked regarding reluctant trainees. Some ideas:

                                • Give them a time limit for the BOR task (say five minutes) and give each trainee a time limit (one minute) to speak.
                                • Ask the listeners to time the speaker. Make it clear that they should all contribute.
                                • Give them roles to complete perhaps including giving a less-reluctant speaker the role of chair.
                                • Give them all thinking time before the task to prepare their ideas.
                                • While monitoring, try to bring in the less reluctant speakers by nominating.
                                • Mix up the groups.

                                I guess a lot of these tips are similar to the techniques we would use in a language classroom. Often engagement in group tasks is down to personality type or even how someone is feeling that day!

                                I hope this answer helps.

                                Cheers,

                                Nick

                                 

                                PS: Jane, I love the idea of the mute button… I’ve actually used it before…

                              • #35397
                                Angharad Vernon-Hunt
                                Participant
                                  @angharad

                                  Thanks Nick. I certainly agree that the techniques you list are also applicable in the language classroom too but it was very useful to have the reminder! Thanks :)

                              • #35190
                                Aurelia Cristiana Serban
                                Participant
                                  @cris

                                  Thank you for this extremely useful input session!

                                  I enjoyed the easiness of the conversation, the desire to contribute (noticed by Jane as well),  the promptness of the trainer’s comments/reiterations and many other aspects of the session.

                                  It is obvious that the trainees had been doing the course together for some time, as they feel/look comfortable throughout. My fav part was the error correction demonstration, including the way in which the trainer corrected the trainees regarding  the techniques used.

                                  NB. Hope you haven’t changed mistake no 5; it’s a very useful example, a frequent mistake with the students and  an important tense for exams.  Also, it generates fruitful discussions among the trainees, apparently.

                                  I did not expect the trainees to have so much time to comment/share experience/bring their contribution. That’s really useful.

                                  Q1 (very similar to Marusya’s): How can I, as a trainer, encourage a trainee to participate in the live group discussions without making them feel uncomfortable? (Sometimes nodding in approval of the others’ inputs may not suffice; any contribution can aid the better comprehension of the trainer’s session). The q is general, not necessarily related to your session.

                                  Q 3. Same as Angharad’s! I do have lots of more talkative ss… Which is great for them, but they may tend to dominate the discussion.

                                  Looking fw to the lessons on peer observation in U5 – had volunteered for plenty last year. No spoilers yet :) )

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                                  • #35268
                                    Nicholas Northall
                                    Moderator
                                      @nick-northall

                                      Hi Cris,

                                      Thanks for your kind words about the session.

                                      In terms of your questions, I guess my suggestions are similar to those I gave Maryusa. That is to nominate (or get trainees to nominate each other!), give them thinking time, give trainees roles (such as summariser) and praise them for (genulinely) good responses.

                                      Again, my suggestions here are similar to Angharads. I would also suggest being firm in a polite way with them – they are adults after all. For example, ‘Hold on a minute Jake, I want to know what Claudia thinks.’ Or joke with them. For example, when I nominate a less talkative trainee and a more talkative one responds for them, I would say ‘I see you have changed your voice Sarah!’ Or ‘How do you make your answer come from the other side of the room?’.

                                      Cheers,

                                      Nick

                                    • #35291
                                      Aurelia Cristiana Serban
                                      Participant
                                        @cris

                                        Thanks, Nick very useful!

                                    • #35193
                                      NANEES ASGHAR
                                      Participant
                                        @nanees

                                        Hi everyone and thankyou Nick for giving us this opportunity, it really had me deep think a number of structural and delivery strategies which I normally would have just browsed over. It was admirable how you sustained a genuinely friendly and nurturing environment in spite of the technical and content issues. As a result , I found  the trainees relaxed, interested and eager to share and respond. I quite enjoyed the Cline activity and would agree with John that it was refreshing to see the trainees discuss the change in their beliefs so naturally and spontaneously. The format of the session was linear and lucid with a variety of engagement techniques. I also enjoyed the advantages/disadvantages group task and thought again about the ‘apprenticeship of observation’ and how collaboration can help.

                                        A bit of afterthought: Trainees initially were encouraged to think about all kinds of error corrections, the session  however was mainly targeting grammar correction (just touching pronunciation here and there). It left me a bit uneasy, I kept anticipating more.

                                        Very early on in my career a student met me after I had finished a course, and over a casual cup of tea laughed and said about one of the components “but ma’am , you should never say that its a bit dull and keep repeating it”. Its an advice that stuck with me and one that I took to heart.  Students respond to genuineness and spontaneity but they also observe and crave command. Sometimes we forget how much of ourselves we bring to the class and how important it is to live up to our role. The video really made me want to go back and look at the recordings of my own sessions. It also brought home to me the sheer importance of trial and check. And it made me an everlasting fan of micro teaching!

                                        Question: What differentiation techniques can be used to engage non responding/shy students in an online session?

                                        How can we implement 21 century skills in a culturally diverse class, especially with content (finger correction/denial) that might be perceived differently by different students but must be taught?

                                        • #35270
                                          Nicholas Northall
                                          Moderator
                                            @nick-northall

                                            Hi Nanees,

                                            Thanks for your thoughtful comments on the input session.

                                            In answer to your afterthough, I think I focused more on corrected grammatical errors, due to it being quite difficult – I feel – to replicate pronunciation mistakes: e.g. notice how I tried to mis-pronounce ‘photographer’ – quite a challenge! BUT, I think you have a point here, I  personally believe that one of the main barriers to communication, can be poor pronunciation. This is especially true to my context (I work in the UK) where local, ‘native’ English speakers when communicating with learners often ignore grammatical mistakes but can genuinely come unstuck with pronunciation difficulties. When observing, I often tell my trainees to focus on pronunciation errors and introduce more pron work into their lessons…

                                            I guess in terms of your question, I have answered this above quite a bit, but in terms of online teaching you could use the various tools available through online platforms: e.g. consider using chat, polls, mute/unmute, annotating slides, google docs etc. It is not always necessary to ask the trainees to speak in order to get a response from them.

                                            Here are links (one, two and three) to a session Beth and I delivered as part of our summer school about increasing engagement in the main room. However, I’m not sure if you will be able to access them.

                                            I think in terms of culturally diverse classes, then I use my common sense and knowledge of the local context. As I work in the UK, I feel that it is perfectly acceptable for me to share with trainees a variety of techniques that enhance learning. However, it is up to them to decide whether they would be appropriate in their own contexts. Having previously worked in other contexts, then I would ensure that – as far as resaonsly possible! – I stuck to the cultural norms and expectations.

                                            I hope these answers help.

                                            Cheers,

                                            Nick

                                          • #35396
                                            NANEES ASGHAR
                                            Participant
                                              @nanees

                                              Thanks Nick for your detailed response, it helped clear a lot of questions, thanks.

                                              Nanees

                                          • #35229
                                            Marcia Clarke
                                            Participant
                                              @marcia

                                              Hi everyone,

                                              Thank you Nick for giving us this opportunity to view your lesson. The session was highly interactive and relaxed, giving the participants a certain amount of comfort sharing in an online session. The aims of the session was evident in the delivery and content material. I will certainly be applying the finger correction technique in my classes, with the caution given in mind. ;-)

                                              I am always trying to get the non-participating learners to become more active. The use of the break out rooms was very effective in getting everyone to take an active role. It was evident that giving learners multiple opportunities to volunteer and assigning questions to specific individuals, supported participation. I am always interested in methods to get participants involved throughout a lesson delivery.

                                              I think that the experience of the trainer was very useful in handling Q5 discussion and also the technical issue of having to rearrange the breakout room changes. My question about how to increase involvement in the online class, has already been addressed. I will be using some of the tips given.

                                              Thanks,

                                              Marcia

                                              • #35286
                                                Nicholas Northall
                                                Moderator
                                                  @nick-northall

                                                  Hi Marcia,

                                                  Thanks for your comments on the lesson.

                                                  Break out rooms can certainly be a great way to engage trainees in the lesson – obviously the task needs to be clear and achievable:) .

                                                  I hope you find my answers about how to increase involvement helpful.

                                                  Cheers,

                                                  Nick

                                                   

                                              • #35230
                                                Lawrence Easterbrook
                                                Participant
                                                  @lozfinch

                                                  Hi Nic,

                                                  it was good to see the finger technique used – I remember using it a lot in EFL and will try to use it for EAP as well.
                                                  For delayed correction I quite often write down what I hear when listening to pair/group discussion, writing on the board later and working with the students to identify error, recorrect and find why the mistake was wrong. As the session says, it’s finding the balance between correcting and not demotivating students.For me, the delayed correction is quite good as it doesn’t focus on one single student and their mistake at that moment.

                                                  • #35287
                                                    Nicholas Northall
                                                    Moderator
                                                      @nick-northall

                                                      Hi Lawrence,

                                                      I completely agreed with you about delayed or deferred error correction. This is something which newer teachers find easier to carry out as it gives them thinking time, does force them to stop learners mid-sentence and avoids potentially embarrassing learners. It’s also a great technique to help build speaking fluency: i.e. the learners focus on their conversation and get feedback afterwards.

                                                      We tend to focus on this form of feedback during lesson planning, as new teachers can build in an ‘error correction’ stage into their plans quite easily.

                                                      Cheers,

                                                      Nick

                                                  • #35237
                                                    Nosheen Asghar Mirza
                                                    Participant
                                                      @noshin

                                                      Hi,

                                                      It was an interesting lesson; my very first in house presentation (a very long time ago) was on error correction. It was refreshing to see some new ideas and some old ones still hanging in there. Sharing a cultural experience and bringing in the cultural aspect to error correction was something that got my attention.

                                                      1) How do you address the disadvantage a student faces if they are grouped or paired with a person who doesn’t really participate or respond?

                                                      2) how much importance do you give to the cultural backgrounds of the learners while planning a lesson?

                                                      • #35289
                                                        Nicholas Northall
                                                        Moderator
                                                          @nick-northall

                                                          Hi Nosheen,

                                                          Thanks for comments. I think a lot of what we can in language teaching has been around for a while – it’s just often we forget what we know!

                                                          In answer to your questions:

                                                          1) I think I have focused a lot on students/trainees not responding or being engaged in groups. I guess in terms of your specific question, I would ensure that groups are often changed so that trainees are able to work with different trainees. While monitoring I would try to engage the group via questions and comments to ensure all respond. It might be worth including a task in which all group members are encouraged to contribute.

                                                          2) As I mentioned above, I tend to think that the context in which we are working and needs of the trainees should take precedence. The difficulty is that qualifications such as CELTA are internationally recognised: that is someone who passed the course in the UK should have a very similar experience to someone taking the course in Turkey, Colombia or South Africa. That is, a graduate of such as course should be able to teach anywhere. However, I think that on such courses, we raise awareness of learners differences (including cultural) and that it is (I feel!) the teacher’s responsibility to find these out and,  as such, apply them as appropriate. I often wonder though that by sometimes focusing too much on cultural differences, we focus on students as being a heterogeneous group (i.e. you are from culture X and therefore I should treat you this way) and not as individuals… I guess in summary, I think that we should be aware of cultural differences and certainly the context in which we are working but also treat our trainees as individuals.  Overall, a healthy dose of common sense tends to be enough.

                                                          I hope my answers help.

                                                          Cheers,

                                                          Nick

                                                      • #35290
                                                        Nicholas Northall
                                                        Moderator
                                                          @nick-northall

                                                          Hi Everyone,

                                                          Thanks for sharing your comments and questions about this lesson. I have tried to answer your questions individually. Please do continue to comment on each other’s posts.

                                                          Here’s a brief summary of some of the points that came up.

                                                          It seems that most of you were keen to know about engaging more reticent trainees as well as muting (!) more vocal ones. If you want to find out more, there is a wealth of ideas available online. I put in ‘how to get quiet students to participate in TEFL’ and got a lot of hits!

                                                          It seems that most of you thought the session was well-planned, well delivered and engaging (thanks!!!). You mentioned the change to the plan (i.e. teaching the trainees and not the plan), the use of BORs and modelling good practice. A couple of you were impressed with the trainees admitting to a change in their beliefs around error correction. Clines are certainly a good way to capture beliefs and perhaps how these change over time.

                                                          Creating an engaging and inclusive learning environment ensures that, where possible, all the trainees are given the opportunity to contribute. Being able to adapt to changing needs and not over-plan are also essential qualities of an effective input session. Having a variety of tasks and interactions maintains engagement and involvement.

                                                          Another point, which was hinted at, is making the use of tech look effortless. I guess the key here is practice! I must admit that I hadn’t had much experience of using zoom as a trainer before this session. I had been using Blackboard a lot, which was initially confusing!

                                                          Including time for trainees to practise aspects of teaching is also essential, especially for new and inexperienced teachers who may only get to practise when they are actually teaching. Leaving space for trainees to volunteer their answers is essential, as is nominating where necessary.

                                                          Finally, sharing something of yourself (be it a personal – but not too personal – or cultural) also allows the teachers you are working with to see you as a human being and not just as their ‘trainer’!

                                                          Thanks again for your contributions. Please do continue to add any comments you may have.

                                                          Best,
                                                          Nick

                                                          • #35398
                                                            Angharad Vernon-Hunt
                                                            Participant
                                                              @angharad

                                                              I think your final point (sharing something of yourself) is so true Nick – I’ve found it to work well with students and it’s interesting to hear you feel the same re trainees. Something I’ll try to remember for the future!

                                                          • #37085
                                                            Fardin KARAMI QEBCHAQ
                                                            Participant
                                                              @fardin-turk

                                                              Well It was the first time that I saw finger technique, about other techniques I’ve seen them before.
                                                              And about correction techniques I think correcting by another student during a public activity is not good. In pair or small group works it can be useful but about public tasks, specially about Teenager students, it is not good.

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                                                            • #37087
                                                              Fardin KARAMI QEBCHAQ
                                                              Participant
                                                                @fardin-turk

                                                                .

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