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Improvisation in Teaching

Improvisation in Teaching

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Published by English Banana.com

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Published by: English Banana.com on Jul 31, 2012
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09/07/2013

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Improvisation in Teaching (WizIQ class, Matt Purland – 31.07.12)Improvising = making the most of what you have gotWhy Improvise?1.Its fun!
2.
You can react to live problems that your students have.3.You can improve your skills – you learn where the hidden notes are.4.You will grow in confidence and develop as a teacher.5.Students love to see you enthused – and they become inspired in their turn.
6.
If you know the route and every turn in the road your journey will be routine – run-of-the-mill.
7.
Nothing would have been invented or achieved if people hadn’t wondered: “What if...?”8.Students are not predictable; they are not fixed points on a graph; you can’t treat themlike known quantities.9.Life is not scripted – it’s natural for there to be mistakes and rough edges.10.If we lose the element of surprise/chance, we lose the vital spark.11.Seeing the list of activities in the course book that must be covered in the lesson time isdemotivating for learner and teacher, who tick them off one by one. Learning should bean adventure.How can I improvise?
 Aim for “planned spontaneity”!
Form and content: form is fixed, content is free.
Know the destination but not the exact route, yet have the skills to get there.
Be less target-driven.
Be less time-driven. Allow time for smelling the roses; for messing about.
Focus on core skills.
Don’t be afraid of repetition – it’s powerful.
Cover topics and material that is interesting and relevant to you and the group.
Prepare your own material – reduce dependency on other people’s ideas.
Have the courage to try something new... and fail.
Improvise to muted film or create your own DVD commentary.
Follow
You Are The Course Book 
method – Mode 1.Lesson Analogies:
Swimming lanes, or splashing about and having fun – or both?
Drive straight there, or go the scenic route with detours and a picnic.
Lecture or workshop?
Do a crossword puzzle or Sudoku (fixed answer) or sketch a picture – or both. (Weneed to cater for different learner styles.)
Receptive/passive skills (reading and listening) vs. productive/active skills (speakingand writing).
Shopping: go straight for the item or go window shopping.
Follow a recipe to the letter, or throw away the recipe book and
experiment
?FORMCONTENTfixedfreesafetyscaryexperimental
 
spontaneity – being in the momentscripted dramasport (thrilling because the ending is unknown, but theform/framework – is fixed)The “Too Helpful” Course Book:The course book and teacher’s book create a disturbing tension in the teacher between whatthey want to do and what they feel they “should” do.Imagine if there was a course book to help us get efficiently through every moment of everyday:Exercise 1: Waking Upa) Wake up at 7.10 am and switch off your alarm clock. You may have a maximum of twosnoozes.b) Have a warm shower (5 mins). Use 10ml shampoo.c) Make a cup of tea (mug not cup) and drink it fairly quickly (5 mins).Exercise 42: At the train stationa) Wait for the train. (15 mins)b) When the train arrives, get on (after others have got off) and sit towards the middle of thecarriage.c) Listen to music on your headphones (Beethoven). (20 mins)d) Look at the weather. What is it like today? Discuss with a partner. (5 mins)Exercise 534: In the canteen – lunch queuea) Have the sausage and onion casserole with a bread roll and butter.b) Sit in the centre of the room (under the window) with a partner.c) Eat your lunch while glancing at this morning’s paper. (15 mins)d) Go for a brisk walk. (10 mins)The Alien Game: Aim: to practise fluency, thinking on your feet, and improvisation.3 roles:
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alien
understands English, but doesn’t know anything about this planet; could be forgetfultoo – as in forgets straightaway what has already been explained; speaks little; asksquestions like, Why, How, What, etc. and says “I don’t understand”, “What is...?” and“Can you explain that to me please?” etc. Their role is facilitator to the actor.
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normal person (actor)
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writer 
Whole Group Version:SS suggest topics, then watch as alien and normal person chat; writer writes keywords on theboard, and SS write the keywords in their notebooks in alphabetical order – while correctingwrong spellings.

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