Teach English in Wanshuiquan Zhen - Baotou Shi

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Based on my personal teaching experience in a secondary school, I have summarized some useful classroom activities that I either have applied in my own lessons or learned from my colleagues. I. BACKGROUND I have worked in a foreign language school for 5 years and my main work area is to teach IELTS listening and reading or EAL to students aged from 15 to 17. My students are required to get an overall 6.5 in IELTS or study score of 30 in EAL. During my teaching, I constantly need to teach scientific passages, arguments of contentious topics, or long narratives. In my teaching time, I have spotted various difficulties my students need to overcome to meet satisfactory results. To begin with, the biggest problem they have is their limited acquisition of vocabulary, which prevents them from grasping the complete meaning of the given text. At the same time, complex sentence structures set big barriers to full comprehension. Last but not least, lack of cross-cultural awareness makes the context ambiguous and unattainable to students. II. STRATEGY In my attempt to solve the listed problems, I give priorities to logical teaching procedures and apply effective and engaging classroom activities to check on students’ knowledge of the text and offer chances for language output. 1.Activities to enhance the acquisition of vocabulary - Eye Spy: Ask students to find certain words from the text that meet the standard the teacher instructs, like the words with two Bs or the word that has the longest consonants. - Matching Meaning: Given the English explanations of the words or pictures that can hint the specific word, students need to find out the wanted words out of the text. -Words Pairs: Give students the words in pairs and ask them whether these two words are the same, opposite, go together or unrelated. -Charades: Ask one student to place a card with one word written on it above their head and the other student describe the word in English without using the word. The more words one group can figure out in a limited time, the more credits the teacher should award to this group. All these activities are beneficial to improve students’ understanding of vocabulary before they embark on their reading tasks. 2.Activities to comprehend complex sentences -Sentence Breaker: Break the given complex sentence into several parts, main clause and dependent clauses. Ask students to find the words that stick these clauses to one big sentence. Through understanding parts of the sentence and the transitional words, they have a full comprehension of the long sentence. -Sorting Parts of Speech: Sort out all the action verbs in the complex sentence and ask students to sort out the subject who conducts these actions. 3.Activities to instill cross-cultural awareness It is vital for students to get familiar with the possible cultural differences that are shown in the context. What’s more, building the cross-cultural awareness is an extremely interesting and challenging process for teachers. For me, before students start to read the text, I will ask them to do a contextualize game. Given a certain situation, students are asked what is the proper manner to take in their culture. After collecting the answers from students, teacher needs to demonstrate the appropriate manner from English-speaking countries. Through comparison, students would view “ the appropriate manner” in a cross-cultural background and better process the information presented in the text. III. CONCLUSION In conclusion, teaching reading is a procedure when students explore the literal and implied meaning of a text under a teacher’s guide. Through vocabulary acquisition, comprehension of complex sentence and cultivation of cross-cultural awareness, students can enjoy reading the text with more their own thoughts.