#ELTchat February Blog challenge response…sort of :/

I have to admit I could not locate any written lesson plans for the current #ELTblog challenge because I did. not. do. any! Well, not the sort that my CELTA training told me to. So this post is really about my first lesson.

My first student was a total beginner, in his late forties, who ran a classical musical instrument shop. So it seemed natural to ask him the names of the various instruments that were displayed on the premises. That seemed to be a good start since a lot of instrument names are very similar in the two languages.

Then he started to say ‘le cors anglais’ (English horn). My ears picked up ‘les cours d’anglais’ (English class). The following 10 mins or so ended up quite confusing and my student must have thought I was very dense. I kept thinking he wanted to study something in particular. Note there was no English horn on display, I think the ones he had were in the back getting cleaned.

To get out of the impasse I decided to ask him about his personal life and family and even though he had some trouble understanding my questions the rest of the lesson proceeded a bit more fruitfully after I remembered to re-write my questions on paper which boosted his comprehension.

I had not heard of the Dogme approach at that time and so for the following classes I brought a beginner’s coursebook and played safe. I don’t think I ever managed to capture the not-knowing-what-would-happen-next excitement of that first lesson by following the book but naturally I did feel less stressed. So my lesson plans essentially became following relevant units in coursebooks!

So is there any morale to be drawn from my deficit in writing lesson plans? Yes more interesting-unexpected-unresolved lesssons follow but  a novice teacher may not be able to handle this so lessons plans and/or coursebooks are needed!

Final note – during my search through old files I did come across my CELTA training evaluations and I may do a separate post of those if I am feeling brave!


9 thoughts on “#ELTchat February Blog challenge response…sort of :/

    1. hi james

      have updated my post with link to blog challenge for feb, had previously not bookmarked that, thx.

      also i was referring to my CELTA evaluations and they are not a pretty sight! however,i have been mulling over the idea of a separate ‘fail’ blog where teachers would be able to write about lessons that went wrong somewhat inspired by the engineers without borders ‘failure report’ (http://legacy.ewb.ca/en/whoweare/accountable/failure.html).

      i think this is an important area to think about, what do you think?


  1. That’s a great idea Mura. I’m not sure, however, that many teachers would be prepared to offer up their disasters for all to read. I would, but I’m not sure how many others would. I could be wrong though!

    1. of course teachers could comment anon; some way to easily enter data and easily discern patterns would be v useful; will look into more when i get time!

  2. You stood up to the (blog) challenge, Mura! And if your idea of a failures and disasters blog materialises – or perhaps a blog challenge? – I am up for it!

    1. hi leo

      thx for dropping by, is there some sort of eltchat promotion going on?

      re the fail blog not thought about it since wrote this post but good to know there is some interest in showing our dirty laundry in public!

      when i get time will try to develop idea.


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