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This unit utilized two videos to compare the two class sessions on the teaching strategies and the resulted learning outcomes. First session was about 25 minutes long and the second about 42 minutes. The two sessions were completed in the opposite styles.
In the first class session the instructor ignored many other important elements that would ensure a success of the class session. He did not introduce his name at the beginning but started talking immediately on the contents without effectively doing the Engage phase to let students freely talk. He asked the students randomly what should be done and what should not be done, what is acceptable and what is not acceptable. He started with no specific area for students to say the answers on. Students immediately became lost and were not able to provide answers. Then the instructor quickly jumped topic to the work area and then to the traffic regulations. He expected to hear answers from students but was not able to use students’ names. He remained dominant in talking although he did show some traffic sign pictures and asked corresponding questions. When students were unable to provide answers, he asked more questions which caused more confusions among the students. When having the students do the activities, he offered no explanation on the instructions to students, rather just had students read the instruction on the sheet by themselves and complete the activity within 2 -3 minutes. Students seemed to have trouble understanding the instruction on the sheet and could not come up with answers. The instructor appeared very tense in his face throughout the session and frequently became upset such as when a few students were late and when he saw that students did not do the work he assigned. He did not attempt to help students but often put his hands behind his back indicating that he was upset or disappointed on students’ inability to do the works. Throughout the session, he talked fast and did not seem to care if students understood the assignments. Students appeared frustrated and intimidated. From time to time, the instructor kept looking through the window and checking his phone. He did not know students’ names but kept using “you, you, you” when asking individual student questions. When students repeated with him a word correctly on word drilling, he did not praise students in the very caring way, but just raised the hands along with a quickly said word “right” and his face facing the desk at the window rather than facing the students with a smile. For the card game playing, he did not explain what type of game it is and how the game should be played. He did not even know how many students were in the class. When the game cards were accidentally dropped to the floor by a student he appeared very impatient and angry, then immediately and rigidly terminated the game. The classroom was tense in atmosphere throughout the session and the students did not seem to have learned much from this session.
To the contrary, the class session in the second video demonstrated many positive features which led the class to a very successful session. As soon as the instructor entered the classroom, he greeted the class and introduced himself by saying his name and also writing on the board. Then with smiles he asked students one by one on their names. After ensuring that he can correctly pronounce students’ names, he smoothly transited to the Engage phase by showing various interesting pictures and having students talk in a free style based on what the pictures presented. He appeared relaxed, friendly and dedicated. When a student was late, he kindly helped the student find a seat without criticizing. He did multiple times of Engage phase and allowed students sufficient time to talk each time. Students appeared consistently engaged and curious in what is to be the next. When it was the Activate phase, he brought up a bingo game and explained well before he let the students start doing the game. Students quickly became clear on how to do the game and began doing it without any frustration. While he was assigning the group project, he effectively distributed the work sheets and remained near to the students for offering help at any moment. He used students’ names well and asked the students questions equally. He talked slowly and clearly and praised the students in a warm manner. He presented himself easy to approach and very focused on his teaching without ever checking the phone or looking through the window. He appeared very patient in helping the students. Students appeared relaxed, happy and clear on assignments. They were able to answer questions correctly and present to class confidently. Their notebooks were filled with many well organized notes on vocabularies, sentences and grammar structures. Intermittently the pleasant laughter can be heard from the instructor and the students throughout the session. When the class session was done, the instructor said a “thank-you-very-much” politely and then tried to erase the board. He ended the session with a delightful “see-you-next-time” to the students.
As compared above, the two class sessions were run so differently in teaching strategies and their learning outcomes were resulted so differently too. There is no doubt that every instructor and every learner would want to see the class session a successful event, rather than a failure. Yet, every instructor should be aware that the English teaching is not a mechanical sequencing. Instead, it is a skillfully nourished academic transformation process which requires not only the instructor’s solid academic strengths in English language, teaching methodologies, but also many other soft skills that the instructor would need to possess and be able to apply into the teaching to maximize the productivity of a class session.