by Didem Uluergüven
I am a senior student at FLE Department and unfortunately I will graduate soon 😦 I wish with my whole heart that I could go back to my freshmen years and ‘live’ METU again and again. My first suggestion to you would be: “Make good use of each and every opportunity as you still have, not to lament later on.” Time pass too fast and at the end of four year, you may end up with emptiness or lots of regrets. I know that you have many question marks in your head. I can hear them 🙂 But, don’t worry, it is quite normal. As a third or second year student, I also had many doubts about my profession. I was thinking about one thing days and nights: What should I do after graduation? Get a master degree? Be an instructor? Work as a translator? Should I be a teacher at all? I think this comes from the fact that we have tons of options we can choose. Believe me, it is a good thing 🙂 We should be happy about it.I can’t give you a formula that can answer all this questions and calm down your thoughts. I also still have some. However, I can say that after meeting your very first students, teaching them something and seeing the glimmer of hope, gratitude, happiness or light in the eyes of them, it will be easier to decide what to do. If you ask me, I would never ever change it with anything else in the world. It gives you such a great feeling of success, satisfaction and pleasure that you love your profession much more.
Okay, after this long lecture (!), I would like to state why I am writing here. I just wanted to share a lesson with you. I experienced it in my teaching task for Practice Teaching course this year and it worked very well! Maybe, it also helps you in some contexts 🙂 I was supposed to teach Reported Speech to 10th graders in Atatürk High School. Since my students were Gen Y, I tried to relate my lesson to their ‘technological’ lives. Here you are, my lesson plan step by step:
1. Think about some famous funny videos among young people. For example, I chose one of Cem Yılmaz’s performances, ‘Olum bak git’, ‘UçanadamSabri’, very famous scene of Erol Büyükburç and ‘Artist amca’ 🙂
2. Translate their most famous quotations. I used “Men cannot lie but women are born to persuade people.” by Cem Yılmaz; “You cannot ignore me! I am not a pot here!” by Erol Büyükburç; “There are not any artists in our bazaars.” by Artist Amca; “You should immediately go away or I will beat you!” by the dustman in ‘Olum bak git’ video and lastly “People saw me flying. I have many witnesses!” by Uçan Adam Sabri. Write these quotations on a sheet with the pictures of their owners. Ask the students to match them.
3. After matching, ask the students: “What did Cem Yılmaz argue? or What did Uçan Adam Sabri claim? etc.” and write the students’ utterances in Reported Speech form on the board. Try to use a different verb each time.
4. It is time for the students to discover the rule themselves. Ask them what the difference is between their sentences and your sentences on the board.
5. As a practice, you can prepare lots of Direct Speech sentences in all tenses and ask the students to turn them into Reported Speech form.
6. Actually, production part is up to your creativity. I asked the students to write a quotation on a piece of paper from anybody (their friends, their teachers, a famous person etc.). After they wrote down, I collected the quotations. Each time, a student came to the board, picked one quote and reported it to the whole class. We tried to guess who said it.
We had a lot of fun in this lesson. I hope I could give you an idea about touching the students’ lives genuinely and considering their interests while designing the lesson. I didn’t know before that it would make such a difference, but it definitely does. I am sure that all of you were taught English grammar with such a horrible way (which was far from being inductive, noticing-based, implicit or anything related to teaching grammar effectively), and I know that it is really difficult for us to teach differently in a real classroom. That a person has the tendency to teach the same way with s/he is taught is a scientifically proven issue. However, there is always a solution waiting for us to go for it and find it. We can be a creative and effective teacher just adding a very simple detail to our lesson. Lastly, you should always believe your potential. Believe me; you will feel the difference as a METU graduate teacher.
Here is the handout I used in this lesson:
Please match the quotations with the pictures.
“Men cannot lie but women are born to persuade people.” …
“You cannot ignore me! I am not a pot here!” …
“There are not any artists in our bazaars.” …
“You should immediately go away or I will beat you!” …
“People saw me flying. I have many witnesses!” …