Teaching Tip: Say it the same way!

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In November, my colleagues and I attended the 2013 New York State TESOL Conference. At the conference we attended a lot of great sessions and I will continue to share the tips we gathered over the next few months :).

This teaching tip is short but sweet and was taken from a session by Marnie Reed on teaching listening skills to build metacognition. The title is quite a mouthful, but the idea behind this teaching tip is simple: make the language you use to introduce a new language concept or rule the same as what you would use to correct the student.

For example, if your rule is when to pronounce the extra syllable for the past tense ending of a regular verb, you might introduce the rule with the following elicitation: 

T: What is the final sound of the word: is it /t/ or /d/?

T: Can you add the extra syllable? Yes or no?

The idea is now to use these same 2 questions to elicit self-correction from the student when/if they make an error:

S: I watch-ed a movie last night.

T: What questions do you ask yourself about this rule?

S: What is the final sound of the word: is it /t/ or /d/?

S: Can I add the extra syllable? Yes or no?

(After this, hopefully the student will self-correct!)

What you hope happens next is that the language of instruction becomes the language that the student uses to automatically question him/herself while speaking English. These questions are then used by the student to internalize the rule and self-monitor.

Try it out and see how it works for you! Consistency is the key!

image: theemotionmachine.com

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