English Department

What they say. . .

"What works. . ."


Fabrice Aubert
Christian Broye
Anne Buffle
Gisele Comte
Isabelle Connolly
Raphael Daniel
Nicolas Fleury
Heide Hofbauer
Lilliam Hurst
Joy Kundig
Regula Locher
Claire-Anne Meinich
Peter Meinich
Alain Sigg
Christiane Stahel
 Monique Tournaire

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Fabrice Aubert
                     Another?
The problem with the long and tedious vocabulary lists which we usually give to our students is well known: they learn loads of new words by heart only to get a good grade in tests and then forget them.  Why? Because these words don't mean much to them apart from the (painful) job of short-term memorization. 

With (pre-)intermediate up to advanced students, I believe there is another way. Students take turns as scribes and write down some of the new words that the teacher (or the students) use during the courses.  When you discuss literature, a picture, or any given topic, the only thing you have to do is save a fraction of the blackboard (or OHP) for the words you want to see on the scribes' lists (I actually advise you to have two scribes at a time and to provide them with a diskette). 

After correcting the list(s), hand it (them) out to the rest of the class.  They're more likely to learn and remember these new words in this way because they are a testimony of their share in the life of the class.


Christian Broye
                     Another?

Anne Buffle
                     Another?

Gisele Comte
                     Another?

Isabelle Connolly
                     Another?

Raphael Daniel
                     Another?

Nicolas Fleury
                     Another?

Heide Hofbauer
                     Another?
Some activities which seem to work well in my classes are the following: 

1) pairwork 

2) oral interrogations in class (among the students) using structures such as: "Find out if. . ." 

3)brain maps - leading to oral and written work.
   For more information on brain maps (also known as mind maps), visit this How To MindMap)


Lilliam Hurst
                     Another?
I think my students appreciate. . .

The use of worksheets making use of lateral thinking to help them approach a literary text.

Writing activities with multiple feedback sessions from the teacher, leading to progressively finer tuning of their texts.

They also seem to appreciate being able to use the computer lab for the following activities:

  • exploring new areas of grammar after having checked their grammar books.
  • studying and reinforcing vocabulary.
  • reading activities with the online dictionary as a "first-contact" with a literary text.
  • corresponding with partners in other areas of the world via pedagogical e-mail projects.
For more information on what I use in class, please click here. You will need to follow the third link on the welcome page, then the link for colleagues to see the corresponding descriptions.

Joy Kundig
                     Another?
For some books I prepare question lists that cover the major aspects of plot, character and theme. 

These lists can vary in detail according to the level of reading being handled and/or the language skills of the class. 
For example, for a Shakespeare play we listen to the audiocassette, I explain difficults bits of plot, etc., and then we handle other aspects (language use, vocabulary, imagery, etc.) through the question sheets that I have prepared. 

Students write directly on the sheets, this way they also have a written record (in English!) that they can refer to in order to revise before tests, exams, etc. 

Students seem to like this method. It gives a structure and order to the material and they feel that they have done something useful (created something that might be relevant in the future) during classroom time.


Regula Locher
                     Another?
Homereading of novels in 4th year linked to sessions of tutoring before the presentation of some aspects of the chosen novels in class. 

This allows a choice of texts taking into account the language skills and personal interests of the students and the inclusion of works from all over the English-speaking world. 

The teaching of literature in 3rd and 4th year is bound to be restricted to the study of only a few texts that should reflect diffirent cultural backgrounds and different eras.  Seeing that some of the most fascinating recent writing has been done by authors in the former British colonies or by immigrants or descendants of immigrants in Great Britain, one term (sometimes two) out of six are spent on texts that may be labelled as "New Literatures in English" or "Emergent Literatures".


Claire-Anne Meinich
                     Another?

Peter Meinich
                     Another?
What works for me are the exercises I make up according to the needs of the students as they go along and learn new structures. I enjoy inventing them.

Alain Sigg
                     Another?

Christiane Stahel
                     Another?

Monique Tournaire
                     Another?


 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

© Lilliam Hurst, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001





Last updated on December 18, 2005