Just a quick post to let you know that I’ve added Quizlet flashcards to give the students a chance to practice some of the prepositions that were highlighted in my “Romance in Rome” activity.
You are welcome to use my flaschcards. It is important to note that Quizlet is full of ready made sets on the topic of prepositions so there are lots of options. I tailored mine to be closely related to the specific video lesson. It is easy to make your own as Quizlet offers the picture bank as well.
The iTDi blogis known for the wide range of topics and varied perspectives it offers its audience of EFL teachers around the world. Yet it can hardly be taken for granted that the latest batch of posts included one on teaching a deaf learner in Japan. The topic of teaching students with special needs (SEN) has long been neglected in many international forums and training centers so I’m moved to see issues related to mainstreaming highlighted.
In his post, EFL teacher Mathew Turnerdescribes the challenges he was faced with when integrating a deaf student in his English discussion class, “a class that required the ability to actively listen and respond to other people’s ideas and express opinions”. Turner also writes the following:
“In all my years of teaching, I’ve never had a learner with any kind of hearing impairment, nor by extension have I really experienced teaching a student with a recognised or self-identified disability. In in-service courses, such as my MA program, my DipTESOL, and even my pre-service CertTESOL, there was never a module, workshop, or focus on teaching English as a foreign or second language to learners with disabilities”.
First of all, I would like to say how much I admire Turner for tackling the formidable problem of involving a student who doesn’t speak and can’t hear in a discussion class. With no precedent to work from he found ways to both involve the student academically and as a contributing group member of the class. Turner clearly put a lot of time and effort in it. It is also heart-warming to hear how the entire staff and administration collaborated.
As a national counselor for teaching EFL to deaf and hard of hearing learners , it seems to me that the experience could have been a bit easier.
Turner writes: “Firstly, I had to script my teacher talk. Before the lesson, I wrote down all of my planned teacher talk on separate sheets of paper that reflected the stages of the lesson.”
I’m sure that helped the student (who had two student notetakers). However, not only is that incredibly hard work and not always feasible, but good notetakers using a laptop or a tablet should be able to keep up with a reasonably paced lesson without getting a script in advance and at a much quicker pace than writing. This allows the student to read as the text is being typed and the teacher to go with the flow of the lesson, responding accordingly (and to have some free time now and then…). Perhaps some things need to be done by professionals.
There are text-to-speech programs available today. Again, if a computer was being used, the student would not need an additional intermediary to speak for her – her computer would be her voice and the others could get used to that voice. It would be a more direct way to communicate (and again, faster).
I’d like to end with a special note of thanks to Turner for emphasizing this very important fact, with which I agree wholeheartedly:
Talk with the student about how best to help her/him!
My deaf and hard of hearing EFL students tend to completely ignore prepositions. I don’t take it as personal affront since they demonstrate an equal lack of interest in using them in their mother tongue as well.
You don’t need prepositions when you use sign language. It’s all clear without them.
When they do use them there is language interference because many prepositions are used differently in different languages (this year I have students who speak or sign Hebrew, Arabic, Russian, Amharic and French at home!). For example, in English you live “on” a street but in Hebrew you live “in” a street.
I know the lovely video below could be used for many many other things (feelings, wishes for the future) but I use videos for what I need and it does a good job of highlighting the direction of movement.
Especially as I’ve never had the opportunity to teach “bump into” before!
All this doesn’t mean that we can’t discuss the other issues as they come up. I’m just not going to include them on the video lesson.
One more thing.
My teenage students love romantic videos…
*** Many thanks to the amazing Regina Shraybman for finding this video for me!