How is it possible that each week seems to be going faster and faster? I feel as though it must only be week two, but I have only one more week of teaching to go until I have to leave!
This week is Easter week here in Italy, so the schools are finishing for Easter holidays. To celebrate, the school is arranging English baking classes and craft sessions. This weeks diary will be more brief because most of the lessons are very similar in structure due to this.
Monday 15th April
Eagles – Easter bunny crafts – the children were focussed on learning their Easter vocab and trying to create their easter bunny crafts.
Starters – Easter baking with the starters tonight. Before beginning, we discussed kitchen vocabulary such as: recipe, spoon, bowl, cooker. When we moved into the kitchen, the children were extremely excited to read out the recipe and collect the ingrediants. The cooking session went successfully and I feel that even though the children were really excited and speaking in Italian to one another to discuss what to do, my behaviour management of the lesson was good.
Tuesday 16th April
Review of units 1-6. Tonight we worked on a review lesson of what the children have been covering over the past six weeks. I really enjoyed the lesson because I had taught them through majority of the lessons we were reviewing. It was good to see that they could remember key points on each of the units and how to use the information that had learned throughout the past weeks.
Wednesday 17th April
Eric – (Business)
This morning with Eric we were working on arranging business travel. We discussed the many reasons why business’ need to arrange travel. I feel that my one to one lessons with Eric are really developing my skills in thinking analytically about how I try to explain lessons.
Tonight we were making Easter Rice Krispie Nests. We joined classes with the boys for the cooking and I felt that even though the behaviour of the children was excitable, having Lisa as well in the kitchen, helped us both to manage the health and safety and the teaching of the lesson well.
Tonight, we made our easter crafts together and worked on our easter vocabulary and activities. The ability of the children in this class is very high and so they grasped a good understanding immediately. The children were interested in Easter in Scotland and asked numerous questions about what the traditions in Scotland are for easter. I do not usually teach theis class, although i have covered for their teacher in the past a few times. Everytime I have the pleasure of teaching these girls I remember why I want to be a teacher. Their attentiveness and enthusiasm to learning in general is inspriring to me and it really encourages me to push myself to be even more happy and enthusiastic to teach!
Thursday 18th April
Pet 3 –
Tonight with the class we were looking at Text Language. We explored the different ways and phrases used in text talk, including abbreviations. One of the activities that we did as a class was an IM (instant messaging) round robin with paper. I gave out pieces of paper for the children to write their own IM group conversations using what we had been looking at throughout the lesson. This was a good opportunity for me to assess which children were able to understand the lesson and those we were struggling to understand. I found that most the children had a really good grasp of the topic although one of the students struggled throughout the lesson. This activity gave me the opportunity to work with them one to one as the other children engaged with the activity.
At the end of the lesson I prepared another fill in the blanks to a song. We have done this before in this class and the children enjoyed the activity again which was nice to see. The children worked together to work out the missing words from listening to the song.
There was no listening activities during tonights lesson so it was good for them to get some practice in a different way by listening to a popular song.
Saturday 20th April
Which one is different? – looking at comparing items and dicussing differences.
Guess who lives here?
Seeing differences – recognising differences
Todays lesson was based around different topics relating to finding comparisions and differences. These topics allowed the children to explore and discuss differences in objects and the world around them. The children were able to relate well to todays lesson.
I find that over the past few weeks this class has been challenging to work with because of the lack of enthusiasm. Over the past five weeks I have been planning ways into each lesson related to each topic to draw on their excitment, for example: I have searched prior to lessons for youtube videos that are related to the lesson that will get them more interested and engaged in the topic.
I feel that I am learning from this experience deeply in ways I would never get to experience at home in Scotland. This opportunity to teach in Italy has opened my eyes to the experiences of ESL/EFL students in many ways. I can see first hand as well how exhausting it is to learn in an emmersive environment. When students enter the school everything is in English as much as possible, even down to asking to borrow a chair from another classroom or asking to go to the toilet. From the Italian lessons I have been so fortunate to have recieved here I know how hard your brain has to work all the time just to keep up!
When I (eventually) graduate and have my own class, I will never forget the experience I am having here if I ever have an ESL pupil, it is making me more aware of the way I speak and how fast I speak as well. It is also making me aware of the importance of using guestures to support understanding.
Tuesday 16th April
Italian Cooking Lesson with Ida
Today we made Pastiera di Grano. A typical easter cake made around this area of Italy. I feel that I am really starting to understand the language that Ida uses during our cooking lessons now and that I am able to answer questions more confidently without confirming in English if what I think she asked or said is right.