Evaluating and supplementing material

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EVALUATING AND SUPPLEMENTING MATERIALS
“When we decide to use a course book lesson we can, of course, do so without making any substantial changes to the way it is presented. However, we might decide to use a lesson, but to change it to make it more appropriate for our students” (Harmer, 2001:305) In this essay I am going to analyze some course material for a beginners’ class, select someappropriate material to include in a lesson as a supplement and evaluate its effectiveness.
After having taught a lesson to a group of 18 students at a University level, in which the auxiliary verb “can” was taught for describing talents and abilities (see appendix 1) with the use of Channel Direct textbook and supplementary material I can say that, because the main objective, which was for the studentsto talk about their talents and abilities using the auxiliary verb can, was accomplished, the additional material that I used for the class was very effective.
The course book suggests covering five activities per day (see appendix 2). A conversation to present the new structure, a vocabulary exercise, the grammar point, a pronunciation and an oral practice exercise. For my lesson I decided toskip the pronunciation exercise and to change the oral practice for another one that I adapted and I considered more effective. As Harmer said (2001:305) “when we think the language or topic area in question is important, we will have to replace the course book lesson with our own preferred alternative”
I decided to use some flashcards (see appendix 1.2) to present the new vocabulary related totalents and abilities, in order to get the students’ attention, this group is quite active, they like to have different activities otherwise they get bored. And with the flashcards I could give them the vocabulary they would use and present the new structure, because as they were practicing the new words, they were using the grammar before I got into the grammar point. According to Harmer (2001:134)“flashcards are particularly useful for drilling grammar items, for cueing different sentences, or practicing vocabulary” So, the objective which was to introduce vocabulary related to talents and abilities was achieved. I was able to detect that because they were talking about what they could do using the vocabulary taught.
After that I presented the grammar structure, I decided that the students dothe grammar exercise included in the textbook because it was clear, related to the topic, which was talents and abilities, and it gave the students the opportunity to practice the auxiliary verb can in a written way. As Scrivener said “written exercises are a common and useful way of giving students concentrated practice of language items” (1994:121)
I did not want to do the pronunciation exercisebecause it took the students out of the context and also because it would not give me enough time to do the last activity which I consider more important. But now that I am reflecting on what happened in the lesson, I think I should have done this exercise because when they were doing the communicative activity they did not stress the word “can’t” enough, so it was confusing when they said “yes,I can” or “no, I can’t” because the sound was the same. Harmer said (2001:183) that “pronunciation teaching not only makes students aware if different sounds and sound features, but can also improve their speaking immeasurably” And by doing the pronunciation exercise the students would have been aware of the difference in sounds.
Instead of the oral practice I chose to do a communicative activity(see appendix 1.4) where the students had to find someone with different abilities. I considered doing that because it would be more effective to do this exercise as oral practice than the one that the book suggested. Also, it would be easy to do and instead of interviewing only a person, students could ask the questions to all their classmates, and consequently providing a fluency based...
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