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Re: A difficult IELTS class.

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  • Mat
    Hi All, Thanks Rob, and others. I m rather humbled by the amount of responses and how positive they all were. Today was an interesting mix of practice tests
    Message 1 of 10 , May 1, 2012
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      Hi All,

      Thanks Rob, and others.

      I'm rather humbled by the amount of responses and how positive they all were. Today was an interesting mix of practice tests (full recorded speaking with feedback) and an open Q&A session with those who have already taken the test. Followed by a great chat about results day at secondary school in your country. (In speaking part 2 style). I learnt that in China results are posted on the wall from best to worst. Ouch! People are finding their own texts for homework, as per suggestions.

      Mat.

      --- In dogme@yahoogroups.com, Robert Haines <hainesrm@...> wrote:
      >
      > Hi Mat,
      >
      > You've gotten some good advice here so far - there may be more to
      > come. As a fellow teacher, I only want to add my respect and
      > admiration for your concern with helping students with the artifice
      > and performance inherent in exams while keeping it real, natural, and
      > human.
      >
      > May you find the right mix and keep sharing your queries and
      > experiences with us.
      >
      > Best,
      > Rob
      >
      > On Apr 28, 2012, at 5:09 PM, Mat wrote:
      >
      > > Dennis,
      > >
      > > Working with simpler texts makes sense since they will achieve
      > > something as opposed to little or nothing.
      > >
      > > Well put. Just what I was thinking really.
      > >
      > > And thanks for your encouraging comments.
      > >
      > > It's annoying though as I know an unplugged approach, sitting
      > > around, chatting about interesting stuff, and working with the
      > > language that emerges would quite possibly be more helpful for all
      > > of them. Exams and testing seem to make this stuff difficult. In
      > > teaching unplugged a dogme approach to exam classes is hinted at,
      > > but has anyone done it? My students seem to like the free flowing
      > > moments that happen, but I'm not sure if I'd be cutting them short
      > > by just doing this.
      > >
      > > Difficult.
      > >
      > > Mat.
      > >
      > > --- In dogme@yahoogroups.com, Dennis Newson <djn@> wrote:
      > > >
      > > > Mat, from what you write, you are helping your learners to perform
      > > well for
      > > > a particular test, which must be legitimate under the
      > > circujmstances.
      > > >
      > > > Working with simpler texts makes sense since they will achieve
      > > something as
      > > > opposed to little or nothing.
      > > >
      > > > The chances are that they will have smart phones, iphones etc. I
      > > would try
      > > > to get them to innundate themselves with appropriate recorded
      > > texts in the
      > > > form of downloads from the BBC's "Your Own Correspondent"
      > > "Business World"
      > > > etc. etc. to support the detailed work you are able to do.
      > > >
      > > > On 28 April 2012 06:06, Mat <mattymatmatsimp@> wrote:
      > > >
      > > > > Hello All,
      > > > >
      > > > > I'm teaching a tricky intermediate level IELTS class in London
      > > at the
      > > > > moment.
      > > > > They're mostly Arabic speakers, and are all about 2 bands below
      > > where they
      > > > > want to be.
      > > > > With help and lots of feedback, they can produce really good
      > > work. When
      > > > > they write an essay, we discuss the task achievement, layout,
      > > and ideas,
      > > > > then they re-write it. I correct and reformulate, and they do a
      > > final
      > > > > draft. These essays are just about where they need to be, but
      > > under exam
      > > > > conditions, they're so far off.
      > > > > The same goes for the other parts of the test. With the
      > > listening for
      > > > > example, when we pause, rewind and listen lots of times they get
      > > there in
      > > > > the end. But with just one chance to listen, they pretty much
      > > catch nothing.
      > > > > All of the stuff we do I'm sure is useful, their English is slowly
      > > > > improving, and with lots of time, I'm certain they'd get there.
      > > But we
      > > > > don't have lots of time. They're all in a rush.
      > > > > I guess I have two questions. Firstly, most genuine IELTS
      > > material is way
      > > > > above their level. I know that for students to learn new
      > > language items,
      > > > > they should be JUST above their current level (I+1). So would
      > > you use
      > > > > easier listening and reading texts, and discussion topics, even
      > > though they
      > > > > wouldn't really represent what will be in the exam? And
      > > secondly, they find
      > > > > some of the topics difficult to talk about and the texts on
      > > those topics
      > > > > difficult to comprehend, or boring. So would you discuss, read
      > > about,
      > > > > listen to, and study lexis on topics only that they're
      > > interested in or can
      > > > > understand, knowing that they may not come up in the exam, and
      > > that other
      > > > > topics certainly will?
      > > > >
      > > > > Any ideas or suggestions would be really useful.
      > > > >
      > > > > Mat.
      > > > >
      > > > >
      > > > >
      > > > > ------------------------------------
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      > > > >
      > > >
      > > >
      > > > --
      > > >
      > > > --
      > > > *
      > > >
      > > > *Dennis Newson*
      > > > Formerly : University of Osnabrueck, GERMANY
      > > > Committee member | Discussion List Manager, YLTSIG Online | IATEFL
      > > YLT SIG
      > > > Creator: YLTSIG NING <http://ylandtsig.ning.com/>
      > > >
      > > > Committee member IATEFL GISIG: Members & Promotion
      > > >
      > > > Winner British Council ELT 05 Innovation Award
      > > > Unrepentant grammarophobe
      > > > YLTSIG Website <http://www.yltsig.org/>
      > > >
      > > >
      > > > Yahoogroups YLTSIG: Subscribe: <:younglearners-subscribe@yahoogroups.com
      > > >
      > > >
      > > > YLTSIG Wiki resources:<http://yltsigwikiresource.pbworks.com/w/page/33485130/FrontPage
      > > >
      > > >
      > > > #YLTSIG Daily <http://paper.li/tag/yltsig>:
      > > > Personal homepage <http://www.dennisnewson.de/>:
      > > >
      > > > Skype: *Osnacantab*
      > > > Second Life: *Osnacantab Nesterov*
      > > >
      > > >
      > > > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      > > >
      > >
      > >
      >
      >
      >
      > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      >
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