The task was opinion-giving and the theme was jobs. Since the same task will be covered in the class two more times in the near future, we brought somewhat familiar topics into the class this time. Due to the nature of the task, students were supposed to speak and give opinions, and our smart and intelligent big siblings usually took the role of discussion-initiator. Basically, there is no right or wrong answer in giving opinions, and, maybe, that could help them to speak in a no-pressure way.
Since there was some gap of time between the last class we were in charge, (March 31st ), and this time (May 12th ), it was certain that haewon and I felt a little nervous. To be more exact, I felt a little out of touch and realized the importance of consistent teaching.
Brainstorming activity was to encourage students to speak about three jobs they like with one reason in a light way. In the second activity, job advertising, students were given a sheet of paper including a list of job applicants and job positions available, eight each. Then, they discussed over who seemed to suit which job position and why. Since age is an easy indicator, we tried not to reveal the applicants’ exact ages, instead, we hinted, for instance, by saying he or she graduated from college two years ago. Then, they matched applicants and positions with a good reason.
While they were working on this activity, I couldn’t help feeling that the activity seemed to be a little dragging on. Maybe, eight was too many. Or they seemed to be focusing on reading more than speaking itself considering the time they spent on reading. After that, several photos, males and females, were shown on a ppt slide, and students were asked to match the applicants with some of the photos with reasons. To be honest, this part was added as a fun factor, but it wasn’t fun at all. It actually dulled the mood. So, we cut it short and moved onto the next activity.
The third one was hiring a many. It started with watching a movie clip. The clip itself was about two and a half minutes long. While watching it, I realized that there were a few inappropriate words in the dialogue, I hope that was okay since that’s what natives often use in their everyday life. I was somewhat impressed to hear the students coming up with a few decent reasons from a single mom’s viewpoint. Some ideas were funny and brilliant. I came to think of the important role of big siblings here; they are like a map and a compass to GEP students. They count on big siblings so that they know they are not going to go astray and get lost. I saw big siblings feeding students with good materials to talk about. After discussion in small groups, they were asked to make an ad looking for a nanny (either male or female) with two good reasons and wished qualifications. Then, they shared with the whole class. Students seem to have been used to presenting to the class by now since few hesitated to speak out.
After a break, students were provided with another sheet of paper from the reading assignment, job motivators. They were asked to choose four out of ten, then, we counted the votes to narrow them down to top four, money, interest, challenge, and relationship. Instead of assigning each motivator to each group in a random way, we brought in a pop quiz about big siblings’ undergraduate majors. It turned out that one of the answers was wrong, which should been more carefully selected and confirmed ahead of time. Nonetheless, each group came up with good reasons why each motivator would be important in choosing a job.
The very last activity was job interview. Students were grouped based on their proficiency and closeness with each other. The original plan was to divide them into four different groups and four big siblings would be interviewers in four separate rooms. However, only 13 students showed up and one of them left before the interview, so we placed students into three rooms, four each, and three big siblings were interviews and the rest of us, soohyun, haewon, and Mr. Lee, were job applicants. Those big siblings, as interviewees, were asked to act in a bit bizarre and funny way. Even though I didn’t get to see what other groups were doing, the group I was assigned to (under the supervision of so-yeon as an interviewer) gave their opinions over topics quite decently. It was a good idea to give them a group discussion question. That way, they could see their opinions in a more objective way.
Overall, in terms of achieving the class objective, students gave their opinions over several topics in a decent way. However, more well thought-out and fun activities could’ve facilitated better discussion in quality.
Week 11 lesson focused on opinion-giving tasks dealing with jobs as a theme.
The warm up activity gave students a smooth intro by sharing their own dream jobs with a good reason. The instruction asked for three jobs but students seemed to have one definite dream job in their mind. Thus, our group members came up with one desirable job with enough explanation of job description and motivation of how they came to have such a dream. It was a good chance to get to know the little siblings a bit better.
The second activity was to match job ads and suitable job applicants. Not likely what Mr.Lee said, I thought it was effective in giving comprehensible input such as useful lexical chunks that they might need for further activities, (Sejung actually tried to use some expressions from those reading for making job ads for ‘many’) and in that students could naturally get used to giving idea (even though it’s not an opinion) with supporting points. The later photo matching activity was designed to play a role as a low affective filter, as the teaching team had explained earlier. However, I think students took it very seriously and created a bit awkward atmosphere, finding no point of doing it. Also, it would be better if numbers or person’s names were given to each picture so that students could easily point out.
After a break, students were asked to make a job ad for either nanny or ‘many’. Students looked so ready to discuss the topic of ‘many’ since it’s already familiar to them through reading assignment. It taught me how importantly reading can play as a means of either language source or conceptual input. One little sibling told our group that ‘many’ could give a child a wide range of positive role models, which was taken from the reading passage and it sounded very supportive for her opinion, although we ended up with ‘gay many’, which didn’t sound perfectly matching with father figure.
In the activity 4, students were asked to explain why particular job motivator is important with three reasons. Since students were sharing while being seated I could barely hear what other groups said. Despite its good point of having a presentation while seated, students who are not presenting can be easily distracted and focus more on preparing their own presentation. I thought in this case, using microphone or asking comprehension questions to other group of how they understood what the other group said might be helpful. Moreover, it was really a shame that I misled my little siblings so they focused on importance of relationship itself not making connection with job choosing situation. It strangely bothered me for so long even after the class ended since I thought I might be seen as a bad model of guidance.
The last job interview allowed students to experience real-like job interview setting. However the topics that were dealt in the interview didn’t directly relate to jobs or work. I thought maybe using information of their dream job from activity 1 possibly could have given some more realistic questions in their job interview.
Overall, the lesson was well organized and productive in spite of its somewhat formal theme. It made each activity become demanding little by little by adding one more supporting idea in each step. By the end of the lesson, I could feel that students learned the importance of supporting idea to become more assertive or persuasive for their opinion. I’m sure they will become a lot more confident of giving opinions fully supported through forthcoming class of same task with Jungeun and Jooyeon.
Our lesson was about Jobs and Work. The language function was about giving opinions on familiar topics. The class started by asking students to relate their current knowledge to the class topic. Students were asked to give opinions on the question “Choose three jobs you would like to have in the near future.” They were to discuss in small groups and share their ideas with others around them. I think this made students to lightly step into the topic and also share their own life history (although briefly) but not in a too serious way. After that our first activity was about a job advertisement. Students were given a newspaper-like classified section where several jobs were found and they needed to match those jobs with the applicants with brief description. Here students were given with 8 job openings with 8 applicants and maybe students had to spend too much time reading the ad itself before they got to discuss with other group members. I thought by handing out enough job advertising sheets to the group, they would have more time discussing about it but actually students ended up reading and trying to figure out alone by themselves and not discussing with others actively as Mr. Lee and I thought originally. Maybe I should have handed only one sheet per group to boost students’ participation in reading and discussing about the topic. Next, after the discussion was finished, students were to match some of the job applicants with the random photos on the overhead slide and this short activity was supposed to be fun and draw students’ interest to actively discussing about the features of the job applicants and their description given on the sheet. However this actually dragged a class a little and was not really interesting to draw students’ attention. Next activity was about a topic manny. Watching a video clip from a sitcom “friends” was supposed to introduce the idea about a manny but few students seemed to be bored and the ones who laughed during the clip were big siblings and some students only. Then they were to discuss about the topic whether it would be okay to hire a male nanny for their daughters and after they actually needed to make an advertisement looking for a nanny for their own children. Discussion went smooth I thought, and students made awesome posters about hiring a nanny. but when students needed to prepare for the presentation, I did not explain fully about what to say during the presentation so there were some confusion I thought. In some groups, students at first thought they just needed to point out what the qualifications were for the nanny that they wanted, but what I meant for them to present was whether they prefer a male nanny or a female nanny and the reason why. After a brief break time, students had some time ranking work motivators which they already studied in their reading assignment. They needed to select 4 work motivators and discuss why those motivators were selected out of 10 others and come up with three supporting ideas. Our original plan was to make one of the students from each group a secretary and designate that person to write down opinions from their group members and later that can be used to present to the whole class. However we omitted that role and let students freely discuss about the work motivator that they chose. The last activity was a job interview. We tried to group students based on their proficiency and allowed them to choose their own identity and qualifications that they want. The interview was done with 3 big siblings in separate rooms. I felt bad about making big siblings read too much before hand and I thought I gave too much responsibility on big siblings to run the interview smoothly. Mr. Lee, Soohyun and I were interviewees as our students and I only got to stay with Jungeun’s room. Jungeun did a fantastic job in making students feel comfortable to talk about themselves and discuss about the questions given to them. Mr. Lee and I could not have done it without our big siblings’ big help. Thank you. And sorry Soohyun for our big mistake about changing your major to something that’s completely not true.
In general, the class went okay according to the plan, but maybe more interesting topic could have been better for the task 8.
Group 2’s function was giving opinion and theme was job. I found three beauties of their lesson plan: well-developed, fresh sub-topics, and meaningful context. First, Group 2’s lesson was well organized by providing less demanding task to more challenging task. For example, students came up with one reason in the beginning and later on they supported their main idea with three reasons. Finally, interview was the most productive. In the interview, I observed that students eagerly expressed their opinion in the end of the interview when I asked their opinion on a husband as a home maker. It was a good idea to change their role from CEO to weird interviewees to lower students’ affective filter. Hawon who was Lizzie at that time, encouraged the students to talk more on each question. Next, teaching group approached the common theme, ‘job’, in a fresh perspective. Their sub-topics such as work motivator and manny were even new to me. The teaching group showed how to change a theme in an interesting way using sub-topics. Lastly, the context was meaningful and authentic. Job applicants who seek a job and prepare for an interview were authentic for the students who will get a job in the future, especially for senior students. According to SLA theory, second language learners learn more by connecting the new information and a real purpose when the meaningful context is provided. On the other hand, the weakness of lesson plan was matching job applicants and specific jobs. As Mr. Lee mentioned, the student spend their time on reading more than speaking. The last thing that I want to mention is requirements of effective video clip. For me, I enjoyed the video clip a lot. However, one student in my group didn’t pay attention to the video clip, even though the video was really funny and just right for the topic, manny. Maybe the speech was so fast that she could understand. I think it difficult to choose a right video clip appropriate for students’ linguistic, cultural, and cognitive level. In conclusion, the lesson was well planned based on intriguing sub-topics. In addition, the flow of the lesson was smooth, and time management was great
This week was the start of task 8, and group2 got off on the right foot, by providing enough motivation and opportunities to practice giving their own opinion. Even though the task itself is the most challenging of all the mate tasks, I realized that it could strongly prompt the students to actually speak and interact with each other, because it is natural that everybody has his or her own opinion about something and express it. The topic was a wise choice, in that the foremost concern of most of the GEP students is their career.
The second activity was to match the applicants with certain job offerings. Though Mr. Lee criticized their activity for providing too much reading, I think it was effective to provide them with enough reading (especially in the early stage of the lesson), because students could easily say the reasons for their choices gotten from the reading. If the students were asked to say the reason without anything, they would be more reluctant to speak. But matching them with picture was a little bit dragging. I felt that the same process was being done twice. And the pictures were not so distinctive.
Personally, I liked the work motivator activity and making posters for hiring manny. These two subtopics were easy to approach even for the low level students and interesting at the same time. The video clip for hiring manny was the most appropriate introduction to the topic. The scene showed a couple who had different opinions about hiring a manny, and they asked each other ”why” they should or should not hire a manny. Through watching it, the students were interested in the topic, and got a sense what they have to do to give an opinion, which is to give a plausible reason. The activity could have ended up after exchanging each other’s opinion, but it got far more effective and fun by making an advertisement. The students came up with more concrete reasons while enlisting their nanny or manny’s qualifications and requisites. But one problem was that the majority of the students were the same opinion and chose nanny over manny. The teaching group controlled it well, but I wonder if there’s any way more natural to balance the opinions, not telling the students that there are too many of an opinion.
In the next activity, Everybody showed a strong interest in selecting their preferences among the 10 work motivators. The students seemed to be having fun, thinking of the reasons why the given motivator is important to them.
The final activity was job interview. Grouping the students according to their proficiency level was a good idea. I heard from other big siblings that they had a lot of fun, but in my group everybody looked uncomfortable and they were less willing to speak unless I address their names. (What Pr. Nam had worried about happened in my group TT) I think I need more skills to make the students more comfortable. So, in this activity, the personality of the students and the skills of the leader is a key factor to success.
One more thing, the pop quiz was a brilliant idea in spite of some confusion. Both the big siblings and the students had fun.
The theme for week 11 GEP class was about jobs and the objective was for the students to be able to give opinions. I could feel that students were motivated to speak out since the topic was very closely related to them. Students were eager to share what job they would like to have and they especially enjoyed the job interview in which they could experience some kind of authentic situation of real life. Group 2 did a marvelous job in organizing the activities into steps that led to a more demanding tasks one after another. I could feel that students definitely learned how important it is to give supporting ideas to give opinions.
The first activity was for the students to brainstorm on the topic and talking about the jobs they would like to have in near future. My little siblings were eager to share what jobs they’d like to have in the near future and the reasons behind it. I think it was a nice brief warm-up activity.
The second activity was matching job advertisements with job applicants. I liked that the activity was very authentic since the ads in real life were used. It was also a good practice for the students to give reasons for their choices based on factual information provided in the reading. However, like Mr. Lee has pointed out, I thought that the reading were too long for the students to concentrate on their speaking. I wonder how it would have been if we used ads with more pictures and chunks of language instead of paragraphs.
The third activity was making a poster of hiring a manny/nanny and giving a presentation. I thought it was a good idea to show a video clip and help students’ understanding with what manny was. But in poster making, it would have been nicer if the direction was given out more clearly. Like Haewon has pointed out, it was a little bit confusing whether they had to talk about the qualification of a manny/nanny or the supporting idea of choosing either of them.
The next activity was about motivators. Students gave presentation on why their groups’ motivator would be important in choosing a job. In these two activities I could witness how eager students were in giving their opinions. They enjoyed giving out their opinions and some of their opinions were brilliant.
The last activity was the job interview. This was my favorite activity and I think it was the students’ best one as well. Students especially liked how Mr. Lee acted as a job applicant. 은정 was eager to accuse Mr. Lee for being late to the interview and still not feeling sorry for it. It was amazing how she related the interview question to the situation right on spot.
The major reflection is that students tend to feel more enthusiastic when the topics and the tasks are more formal and more challenging. I have witnessed this from the week after the midterm when our topics got more formal. I could experience myself about how meeting students’ cognitive level is as much important as meeting their linguistic level.
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