We went to the English village for the first time yesterday. Kids were excited and so did I. The activities they offered there are generally interesting, but still, there’s always room to improve. And for that, I meant both sides from the teachers and the English village.
- It is better to have mixed-leveled students within a group. I can’t imagine one particular group with all poor academic-leveled students would be like in those scenarios. It would not only frustrate the teachers but also the students themselves. If the kids are new for you, try acquiring their English grades from prior English teacher. It would probably put one more work on your to-do-list but the effort is worthwhile. I arrange at least 4 able kids with other average to poor ability ones within a group of 12. Kids generally communicate faster between themselves. They can be excellent coaches of each other.
- Keywords/ target sentence pre-teaching helps. Due to very limited time to do any warm-up lessons before visiting the English village, I covered only 2 topics (bus ticket buying and ordering a meal) with the kids. I showed them the pictures from the English village websites and generate basic conversations about location, occupation and related vocabularies.
- Repeat after me can be toxic! This happens in the classroom, too. Kids tend to start reciting without even listen to the language material first. This is especially obvious when there are different levels of kids. It is very important for them to start listening and observing before any speaking activity. They can’t produce meaningful feedback without paying attention to what is said first.
- Step in when things get a little bit fuzzy…. Well, I don’t mean to be the translator whenever they give you that "puppy" look. You can, however, give those confused kids a little help by giving them some examples that are easy to relate. This is the part where those native English teachers can’t do much help.
Take pictures for future reference…Whether it is for future in-class activity or just for memory, it is always recommended to take the shots yourself. They do have free photographing service there, though.