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Category Archives: MODULE 1

A little grammar before your first TKT exam!

Even though most of the people speak and write and read and understand English, the problem becomes when we have to identify words by their names, call them by their correct root, and categorise them!

The most difficult for me since the beginning of the course it was the grammar!

However, as we want to become teachers we need to know how to identify them in order to explain them to students, so I decided to make a brief review about these words and their categories.

In the next exercise you will find questions and some answers, but in case that you cannot identify or choose an answer because you don’t know what it refers to, you can click on the link of the word and find the meaning out.

So, have fun and go beyond just reading!

YOU WILL FIND THE NEXT VOCABULARY ON THE EXERCISE BELOW:

  • DETERMINER
  • COMPOUND NOUN
  • CONJUNCTION OF CONTRAST
  • COLLECTIVE NOUN
  • LEXICAL SET
  • TRANSITIVE VERB
  • CHUNK
  • POSSESSIVE PRONOUN
  • ADVERB
  • WORD FAMILY

GRAMMAR

 
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Posted by on 07/07/2012 in A FEW GRAMMAR BEFORE...

 

Unit 17: Practice activities and tasks for language and skills development.

HELLO THERE!

While studying this course we learned that there are more than one way to teach through different activities and tasks, such as:

  • new vocabulary
  • functional structures
  • grammatical structures
  • subskills
But, in this unit we focused on three different types of activities:
  1. Controlled activities
  2. Free activities
  3. Freer activities
Is there any difference between the two last ones? you will look for the answer in the Hot potatoes‘ exercise.
However, we should know that is not always possible try to categorize each activity into only one among the three ones below.
Keep on mind that: “Using several kinds of activities in our lessons adds variety. This helps to keep lessons more interesting and motivating(TKT tips).
Now, just review some of the vocabulary from the Unit 17.
YOU WILL FIND THE NEXT VOCABULARY ON THE FOLLOW EXERCISE:
Freer activities Controlled activities Filler
Rank ordering Drills Jigsaw listening/reading
Free activities Open-ended (tasks, questions) Freer, free, less controlled practice

PRACTICE ACTIVITIES AND TASKS…

 
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Posted by on 18/05/2012 in UNIT 17

 

Unit 18: How you were tested while you were learning?


This part of our learning process has been one of the most difficult for me!

During my entire life I have been tested in some few ways, some of them were with these kind of tests:

  • an achievement tests: is used to see how ell learners have learned the language and skills taught in class, are often at the end of the term or year and test the main points.
  • an objective test : is marked without using the examiner’s opinion, e.g. tru/false questions, multiple-choice questions. There is a clear answer.
  • a summative test: are designed in such a way that the questions, conditions for administering, scoring procedures, and interpretations are consistent and are administered and scored in a predetermined, standard manner.
Even though there are more than these tests, I just had the chance to practice these ones, let me show you some pictures about these different kinds of tests:
  • PROFICIENCY TEST: is used to see how good learners are at using the target language.
  • PROGRESS TEST: is use during a course in order to assess the learning up to a particular point in the course.

  • STANDARIZED TEST:are designed in such a way that the questions, conditions for administering, scoring procedures, and interpretations are consistent and are administered and scored in a predetermined, standard manner.
  •  PLACEMENT TEST: is often used at the beginning of a course in a language school in order to identify a learner’s level of language and find the best class for them.
  •  SUBJECTIVE TEST: is marked using the examiner’s opinion about the quality of the answer. The answer is not simply right or wrong, e.g. marking written stories, compositions, conversation, story-telling. 
*Some of the pictures are illegibly, so click on the image and you will see it in a full size,moreover I’m so sorry because I couldn’t paste the URL below some images .

During this period of time I used to get a lot of stress because most of these test are graded, so I wanted to pass not to fail. There are some disadvantages about these kind of test:

  • in order to get a great grade, students can feel forced to cheat
  • some students can just memorize what they were taught during that time
  • students are graded only on superficial knowledge
  • teachers can’t notice their students’ needs

So, instead to feel excited about being tested most of the students feel exasperated because of it and the fear to fail the exam.

But, the main question, why most of our teachers test students through this way? Probably because in this way they have some advantages besides they have a period of time to grade more than forty students in only a few months, that’s why our teachers could be in a rush while testing students. Let’s see some opinions about why teachers use these methods of graded test:

  • Convenient
  • Can be adopted and implemented quickly
  • Are scored objectively
  • Can test large numbers of students
  • Curriculum needs to be fulfilled
  • Most of the teachers test in the same way

Even though there are plenty of these opinions, students got bored with the same test’s way. On the other hand, I learned that there are some other ways to assess students during their learning, let me show you some of them:

  • Continuous assessment
  • Diagnostic assessment
  • Formal assessment
  • Formative assessment
  • Informal assessment
  • Peer assessment
  • Performance assessment
  • Portfolio assessment
  • Self-assessment
  • Summative assessment

The ones that are highlighted are the most I would have liked to be tested. These are aimed to grade students through a course, involves feedback and peer feedback, moreover these ways to assess students let the teachers to notice their learners’ needs and if they are progressing well or not. Nevertheless, some of these assessments have disadvantages that could be like the next ones:

  • Time consuming and challenging to evaluate
  • Space and ownership challenges make evaluation difficult
  • Content may vary widely among students
  • Costly in terms of evaluator time and effort

While learning about these assessments I understood why it’s very difficult for some teachers try to achieve their goals while teaching. I understood why most of the teachers use the same techniques while grade.  It’s difficult when teachers have to follow a curriculum and time it is not enough to teach. However, I have had great teachers, even though time’s up, they got a new idea to leave an interesting way to do homework, to practice at home, and to review items on school. Our work as teachers depends on what and how much we what our learners keep on mind instead of learning items by heart before the tests. Unfortunately, some teachers forget to feedback learners through their course or once they have been graded, and this is so important for students that it could change the way they expect their tests.

If I were a teacher I would like to test students along the way, while using different kinds of exercises or activities, practicing by a speaking activity or writing an essay, using rubrics or test them the Informal assessment. Well, it’s the way I would like to test students instead of pressure them to get a good grade because if they not they would fail the course. I really know how much uncomfortable or worried students could feel before the exams and after them, until they receive their grades.

In my opinion, if it’s necessary to apply an exam or a grade in a Summative assessment, because of the curriculum, so go on, but don’t forget the progress during the course that your students have been doing, well or not, you have been part of it!

Now, let’s practice about these assessments’ definitions, click on the next icons!

YOU WILL FIND THE NEXT VOCABULARY ON THE FOLLOW EXERCISE:

Assesmentes tasks: Subjective Assesmentes tasks: Objective Self-assessment Summative assessment
Performance assessment Diagnostic assessment Assessment criteria Peer assessment
Portfolio assessment Continuous assessment Formative assessment Formal assessment
Informal assessment Assessments Subjective test Placement test
Objective test Diagnostic test Progress test Proficiency test
Summative test Achievement test

ASSESSMENTS DEFINITIONS

TESTS DEFINITIONS

 
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Posted by on 17/05/2012 in TKT HOMEWORK, UNIT 18

 

Unit 16: Presentation techniques and Introductory activities.

Hello folks!

In this unit we saw:

1.Two common ways of presenting new language items. But we also found several differences between these ones.

2. And, we saw some important introductory activities during class before introduce a new topic or lesson.

While viewing this unit we were given an example (between two lessons for elementary-level secondary school) between the PPP and TBL presentation techniques where there were several differences, according to it let’s organize the steps in which each one was presented:

ORGANIZING THE PPP STEPS

ORGANIZING THE TBL STEPS

Challenge: even though this one (the TBL) has only five steps, make sure don’t make mistakes in your first try!

After that let’s review the new vocabulary from this unit on the next two exercises:

YOU WILL FIND THE NEXT VOCABULARY ON THE FOLLOW EXERCISE:

ELICIT CONTEXTUALISING DEFINE
WARMER MODEL COMPREHENSION
MIME CONFIDENCE REALIA
REALIA TTT CONSOLIDATE

PRESENTATION TECHNIQUES AND INTRODUCTORY ACTIVITIES

YOU WILL FIND THE NEXT VOCABULARY ON THE FOLLOW EXERCISE:

Mingle Ice-breaker Lead-ins Warmers
TBL PPP Contextualizing Test-teach-test
Guided discovery Introductory activities Presentation techniques

PRESENTATION TECHNIQUES AND INTRODUCTORY ACTIVITIES



 
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Posted by on 16/05/2012 in UNIT 16

 

Unit 15: Approaches to language teaching!

Hi buddies!

During this unit we learned what an approach to language refers to.

There are two meanings for it:

1.It may refer to our view of language and our view of how language learning takes place.

2.Approaches also refer to the ways or methods of teaching that we use in the classroom and that are based on these views.

During this unit we had as homework, to work on a Matrix on which we had the opportunity to identify the differences among all of these approaches techniques. So, I wanted to add my own Matrix on this page, in order to understand a little bit more about these techniques and check out more about what these approaches’ aim.

Now, let’s see some of the most typical characteristics:

YOU WILL FIND THE NEXT VOCABULARY ON THE FOLLOW EXERCISE:

TASK BASED LEARNING
CONTENT LANGUAGE INTEGRATED LEARNING
TEST TEACH TEST
TRANSLATION
APPROACH
PRESENT,PRACTICE AND PRODUCE
TOTAL PHYSICAL RESPONSE
DISCOVERY

APPROACHES TO TEACHING

(This information was compiled from the TKT book and anthology, plus further information from Ellen’s TKT course)

As you have seen at the end of each unit there is a list of some tips, some of them are interesting. Let’s see if you agree with me about these ones:

– The best approach to use depends on who your learners are and what your teaching conditions are.Consider learner’s age, level of English, motivation to learn, expectations of learning, previous learning experience. Think about the aims of the course your learners are on, what resources are available to the classroom, class size and number of hours of english in the course.

-Some people believe in an eclectic approach which uses classroom practices from a variety of approaches/methods. This can be a succesful approach,but it needs to be used carefully. If you are constantly changing your methods and approaches, your learners may become confused and begin to think that you are not very sure of your teaching style. It is important to mix techniques in a way which is coherent, so that all activities develop well out of the one another and work towards the lesson’s aims.

 
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Posted by on 16/05/2012 in UNIT 15

 

UNIT 2: LEXIS

HELLO BUDDIES!

Here I post an exercise about the unit 2: lexis, in which we identify a little bit more about words and their sets.

Now, let’s practice the new vocabulary and identify the differences among all of these ones.

Probably, most of us have been confused with these words during our learning process.

YOU WILL FIND THE NEXT VOCABULARY ON THE FOLLOW EXERCISE:

Multi-word verb Phrasal verb Homonyms Homophones False friends Lexical set Idioms
Collocations Affixes Compound nouns Suffixes Prefixes Lexis

LEXIS: UNIT 2

 
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Posted by on 15/05/2012 in UNIT 2

 

UNIT 14: Learner needs

Hello everybody!

Let’s see three stages where we’ll find three kinds of different learners needs. These are summarise in the next Prezi and you can find out some vocabulary from the same unit.

Now, click on the next exercise to practice your vocabulary learned in this unit!

YOU WILL FIND THE NEXT VOCABULARY ON THE FOLLOW EXERCISE:

Goals Pace Interaction Patterns Learning centre Contribute
Energy levels Involvement Learning contract Raise awareness

LEARNER NEEDS

(The information was taken from the TKT Book and the Glossary)
 
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Posted by on 08/05/2012 in TKT EXERCISES, UNIT 14