I talked about learner coaching at the ACEIA conference in Seville, Spain last weekend. Thanks to everyone who attended for contributing, especially for your coaching work to help me achieve my goal of a date with Kate Winslet!
One question which arose was this: How responsible should teachers be for what students do outside class to practise their English? “For teachers looking at learning once the class is over” is the strap line for this blog. Are we just looking or do we need to go a step or two further? Consider this scenario which describes two contrasting weeks with a class you teach:
Week one: you have two very successful classes; students come up after class and tell you how useful and enjoyable the lessons are, you too are pleased with their engagement in the class, their commitment to speaking in English and practising new language. The material this week was perfectly pitched for the class and the role play activity on Tuesday was a lot of fun for them. Even Jordi, who has been struggling with the level, was participating…etc. At the end of class on Thursday you asked the students how much time they had spent practising English outside class that week. Your 10 students had done a total of 8 hours between them.
Week two: classes were not so successful this week you felt. Students spoke very little in the conversation activity on Tuesday and the listening task you chose turned out to be too difficult and a few students looked a bit lost…etc. At the end of class on Thursday you asked the students how much time they had spent practising English outside class that week. Your 10 students had done a total of 16 hours between them
So which week was the most successful, week one or week two?