Lesson Diary for Mon Sept 19

Today we had our first lesson, and it was exciting. Everybody spoke a bit about themselves, and we tried to learn everybody’s names!

I gave some information on the School and this course, particularly the C1 page on TP and this blog. I presented about half of the points I have on a list we teachers were given, about the School, and mentioned a few things about our learning approach. Next day I’ll finish with all this.

Handouts. I gave out two. If you missed the lesson, please, check out the Page above and print the first two. You can read about the rest, and start printing some of the docs we’ll be using, too (script, workshop).

I asked students to send me an email to get the pdf file of the C1 Resource Pack we’ll be publishing in due time (soon). And explained I would send them an invitation so that they can become Authors in this blog. Next day they will tell us how it all went.

In every lesson you’ll have to tell us about how you used your English since we last met. So print out the listening log or diary to keep a record of your listening work (priority). This is always connected to re-telling (speaking). Think of a story you’d like to tell us, because we’re starting our work with story-telling (actual or fictional).

The other task I suggested is for you to get acquainted with the contents on this blog. Just browse all the sections, to know where you can find what. And then read bits of it this week. You can also browse the C1 Pack, so that when I start explaining methodology next week it’s easier for you to follow.

If you are an author now, post your hellos and first impressions here, if you like! And remember to dig the posts if they’re useful or you enjoyed them! 😉

Enjoy your use of English! ❤

PS: two people bought the book we’ll read in class in October, and one borrowed one of the books I have in class (two weeks) — this was jotted down in my classroom notebook so we don’t forget!

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4 comments

  1. The new C1 course set off yesterday evening and I am part of it!!!
    This is something that makes me really happy. First of all because I had the opportunity and help of peers to join in (with my two little kids, my partner working all day and no family around I had my doubts I could make it) and also because the teacher has caught my attention as soon as she mention a continuous evaluation methodology. I am curious to see how she will carry this out as it is a theory on which I trully believe but find hard to implement in our educational system.
    I must also admit I was the one that borrowed the book. Its title is “Dont bet on the Prince” and the first story was good. I told my six years old daughter and partner about it and they also liked it.
    The new challenge has just started and I have the feeling its going to be a lot of work and effort but a great improvement!!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Language feedback: Well done! Good English! And… room for improvement, too! 😀 😛

    … the teacher HAS CAUGHT my attention AS SOON AS she MENTION…
    The “as soon as S +V” implies there is a specific point in time in the past, so the PRESENT perfect is not an option. You need to use the past simple. I understand the “mention” here is a typo or something, and you do know you need a past simple here too.
    Spelling: truly
    Contractions: you need a couple of apostrophes, right?
    Word-formation: compound modifiers: six-YEAR-old. So you remember, the moment you turn the phrase into a modifier, the plural goes singular! My daughter is six YEARS old – My six-YEAR-old daughter.

    Reading: The story Hablemos… mentions is here, in case people want to read it. Enjoy!
    https://englishspeakingwomenwriters.wordpress.com/2016/05/24/feminist-story-telling-jeanne-desy-the-princess-who-stood-on-her-own-two-feet/

    Evaluación continua (everyday assessment): this concept in the public education system in Spain involves teachers being able to gather varied information on students’ skills and knowledge, which will enable them to offer feedback and also give them a pass or fail mark. The LOGSE law introduced the notion, and it was amazing, but education policies did not support those progressist ideas, and teachers paid the price for this. Before we had Evaluación continua (well, in the last years of the dictatorship) exams were every three months, usually in one sitting, and the exam result was everything: the feedback, the pass or fail mark. There were also “positivos” for everyday learning in lessons, of course, but they rarely mattered.
    Teachers, in any case, gave the usual feedback classroom learning offers, but in that we have dramatically improved today, because the syllabi/syllabuses have also changed a great deal (but this is a very complex matter to analyze here!). Today, although we use memory, because knowledge can be accessed everywhere, not only by the few and in libraries, it’s more important to develop criteria, and how-to skills. In Madrid, Evaluación continua in secondary education meant, at least from 1996 to 2003 (when I worked there), that we could use information on students’ progress to give them their pass or fail marks, not only the so-called “written exam”. I used to grade three areas: their notebook, their orals, and the written test, but also included projects with group work, for extra points (positivos). The written tests included a listening exercise, a “grammar” exercise and translation or questions to answer. At that time teachers had 5 groups. Still, “evaluación continua” implied working so hard that I got ill, and had to quit the job and prepare a different Oposición (public teachers’ exam). Most teachers did not do the orals, because it was simply impossible. But most teachers did give students marks for some oral work, and for their notebooks. Today teachers have 8, 9 groups, so I suppose “Evaluación continua” has disappeared. This situation of a teacher having 8, 9 groups is absolutely outrageous, makes everything extremely hard and I can’t understand why people are not out on/in the streets demanding an end to this abuse! 🙂

    A helpful idea for dealing with the problems in “evaluación” is this: teachers tend to think that “giving a mark” is the only way to assess students. That’s totally wrong. “Evaluación continua” involves teacher’s feedback, self-assessment on the part of each student (in communication with teacher, if useful), peer assessment in all kinds of ways and tasks, e.g. a group discussion offers info on all kinds of things, for teachers and students, if we learn to pay attention to those sources of information. “Exams”, the Exam Culture, is a primitive method teachers are continuously pushed to undertake to get by in extremely hostile conditions teaching and learning. What “exams” teach is far from being what we are meant to be learning.

    For the case of language learning in adult non-compulsory public education, “Evaluación continua” is natural and easy-going. Just by working well at home and then sharing in class, it happens. It’s the natural outcome of interactive learning. So, I mean, here, it is very easy. I would be able to tell people following this course if they have a C1 level at the end of the course, actually, for most cases. But because the State issues certificates, then you all have the option of taking the Certificate Exam to have a document proving you achieved the level. But this document has no expiry date, like language certificates should have, so you might have your certificate and in one or two years, go back to an intermediate level if you have not developed the habits and skills a lifelong learner needs. With this, I mean, the info you get about your English during this course is more valuable for you to know about your level, than the certificate. If you use your language in the ways a communicative advanced course teaches, you are bound to keep your level and improve it, like I do every year. If you reduce your learning to training for exam questions, you are bound to risk failing and won’t have learned to learn at the advanced level. “Exams” evaluate very primitively, and not very accurately. Fortunately, although we have certificate exams, these are designed from the communicative approach, and they do test your ability to use the language in oral and written communication. These tests are not hard for people who speak the language. They are hard for people who don’t learn the language in communicative ways, and who think learning equals passing exams. Evaluation for them ends in the certificate. Evaluation for a lifelong learning is an ongoing process! ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  3. It seems to me Im going to enjoy a lot coming for the new c1 course this year 👍😊. Im feeling very lucky 🍀 after trying very hard last year to assist but unfortunately not place for me after Cal students got all the vacancies and I was the first on the list but thank God 🙏 I got it! So Im ready for the hard job becouse I love English 😍 And Michelle is a good teacher Im sure I will improve it with her help 👍 Thanks

    Liked by 1 person

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