Last week I wrote about my decision to eliminate worksheets from 2 of the courses I teach. One of them, my Intermediate class, will be pretty easy. The other instructor of that level and I have been modifying the stated curriculum to make it more meaningful for our students, and I don’t use many worksheets with them anyway. The other class, though, is proving to be a little harder.
I am the only teacher of the Beginning II class. As a result, I have a lot of autonomy, but I miss having someone to discuss the changes with. I need to stick pretty much to the curriculum, I think, until we make changes this summer. I teach two classes of this level, and each will have 24 hours of instruction before the term ends. I am supposed to cover workplace safety, finding a job, future tenses with “going to” and “will” and prepositions. The worksheets that have been prepared for this term are a hodge podge of things, with no apparent attempt to connect the topical content and the grammar content. We have no textbook for the course; those worksheets are all I have to build the course on.
That is, of course, a blessing. It opens the door for me to do basically whatever I want — as long as it touches on those topics. I have decided that I am going to modify the test I give students at the end of the term to reflect the more communicative nature of my class, so I am not strictly bound to the test. I do, however, feel I need to cover those topics.
I think what I want to do is have students work in groups of three. They will choose a job that interests them. I want that to be the basis of the work they do all six weeks. I want the culminating project to be a sharing of what they have learned about that job. If I had access to technology, I would have students do this on a wiki. Since I don’t, they will have to work on paper and then make an oral presentation, too.
I have to include grammar instruction in here somewhere and somehow. I think that the topics we have to cover are going to be familiar enough to them that it won’t require instruction as much as reminding them of what they already know.
Anyway, I am working on this. Today is Tuesday. I have to be pretty much ready to go with it on Monday evening. Fortunately, I love this kind of work. I am looking forward to seeing what I can do with it.