In a land prone to so many earthquakes, the phrase `moving house` has more than one meaning. However, I am indeed referring to packing up my possessions and starting a new life… twenty minutes down the road. You may remember in a previous blog I told you about the scenic delights of Biwa-ko. Well, I like it so much I’m moving there.
Otsu City, the town adjacent to Biwa-ko, is only 10 minutes from my much-loved Kyoto, so I don’t need to say any tearful farewells. In fact, work goes on as normal, and in the midst of finding an apartment, filling in the endless forms and reference checks that are part and parcel of relocating in Japan (or England, for that matter), and moving my belongings (if a La-Z-Boy armchair, a mini fridge, and a newspaper I once borrowed from someone count as “belongings”), I’ve been trying to keep up my teaching routine too.
Preparing for lessons when you are tight for time can be hazardous – a poorly prepared lesson can be a drag both for the students and the teacher. So what do you do?
1. Lesson revision – now could be a convenient time to review what your students have learnt over the past term. A short test based on recent material can help students consolidate what they have already learnt, and fill in any gaps in knowledge
2. Textbook lessons – one from the book. If you’re tight on time perhaps you can open up one of your favourite textbooks (the Oxford Basics series is a lifesaver in this situation) and work straight from that. Preparation is minimal and the change in pace can be refreshing for your students
3. Internet worksheets – if you aren’t using the Internet to help you prepare for lessons already, then start now. A quick Google search for EFL worksheets will bring back a myriad of websites. Failing that, just try esl.about.com, or http://www.bbc.co.uk/worldservice/learningenglish/
4. Conversation – well-directed English conversation is a great way for students to attain fluency. Bring in some source material for your class to discuss, or converse on a shared interest such as travel or language
5. Listening practice – watching a film is never going to be the most educational resource available, but getting your class to watch a film or television program – preferably with regular intervals to check comprehension or to discuss the material – is fun for everyone.
Do you have any tips on preparing lessons? Share them with the TEFL community here! Next week: photos from my new apartment, and dealing with complaints about poorly prepared lessons from students!