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Being realistic

Susan Halliwell

1) Acording to the title: What does it stand for?

There are so many good language teaching ideas in circulation that it is very easy to get carriedaway. It is not unknown for language teachers to be found cutting up little pieces of paper, or drawing flashcards at one o’clock in the morning. It may be worthwhile. Occasionally it is absolutelynecessary but basically it is not a realistic or sane way to do our job.

2) Can we reasonably expect children to be “angels” in a language classroom?

We cannot reasonalbly expect children to beangel. If we are encouraging them to interact, to joke, to be creative and independent, then there will be time when they become silly.

3) Are language classrooms potentially noisy and demandingplaces? If so, how can we in a realistic or sane way do our jobs?

Language classroom are potentially noisy and demanding places. We need to be realistic in our expectations of ourselves andthe learners. However, this not mean that we should cynically expected and accept the second rate.

4) What does “being realistic” mean?

Being realistic should mean taking realities intoaccount in such a way that good things can still happen. To see how this works, let us look first at how this approach of constructive realism relates to the matter of children’s behaviour in languageclasses.

5) Can we be sure that the interaction and communication do not simply lead to unproductive fragmentation and restlessness?

6) What can we do when our classrooms are large and verycramped?

When our classes are large or our classrooms very cramped. We can start by investigating two particular aspects of our lessons:

• The stir/settle factor;

• Theinvolvement factor.

Define the following terms:

1) Which is the effect of using “stir activities” when we plan the lesson? Give the positive and negative sense.

Stir means that the activities...