Guidelines for Preparing Multiple Choice Questions

MCQs

1. Select the words to be tested.

2. Get the right kind of sentence (called the stem) to put each word in.

3. Choose several wrong words (called distractors) to put the right word with.

4. Finally prepare clear and simple instructions.

Distractors choice:

1. Make sure the distractors are the same form of the word tested.

2. Be sure you don’t give away the right answer through grammatical cues.

3. Multiple choice items should be about the same level of difficulty.

4. Be sure not to include more than one correct answer.

Identify the weakness in each of the following multiple choice question:

* Vocabulary choice:

1. Do you need some …………….. to write on.

a. paper

b. pen

c. table

d. material

2- The mouse ……………………. quickly away.

 a. little

b. very

c. baby

d. ran

3. I think he will be here in an …………………….

a. hour

b. soon

c. weekend

d. day after

4. They ………………….  me to get up right away.

a. asked

b. needed

c. wanted

d. told

* Grammar choice :

1. If I had a new coat, …………………………

 a. I’d show it to every one

 c. I’ve shown it to every one

 b. I showed it to every one

 d. I’ll show it to every one

2. They just bought …………………….. furniture.

a. several

b. a few

c. some

d. with

Waiting for Your Answer & Feedback

Practical steps to teach & practice a conversation

conversation

Present the conversation:

1. set the scene telling students what the conversation is about and the names of participants.

2. present the new & key vocabulary. ( words/phrases ) using effective techniques.

3. ask students to listen to the whole conversation by playing the recording or reading the whole conversation for students and check understanding by eliciting the meaning of key words/phrases.

3. model the conversation with one or two brilliant students, then model it using two brilliant students.

4. focus on language functions in the conversation dividing it into mini dialogues and writing each one on the board to refer to the function included and how to express it.

Practice the conversation:

*Listen and repeat:

play the recording, students listen, focus on correct pronunciation, repeat correctly after the recording or after You.

*Role-play the conversation:

ask students to come to the front to produce the conversation using body language, gestures, … ( dramatize it ) & it’s preferable to do so without books.

*Free production:

create situations that resemble real-life communication & encourage students to use the phrases taught in the conversation.

19 Tips to develop your students’ creativity

grow creativity

1. Model creativity:

Don’t tell students to be creative but show them how to be so.

2. Build the feeling of achievement:

Help students believe in their own ability to be creative. Give them the opportunity to experience making something new. Don’t put limits on their potential accomplishments.

3. Encourage questioning:

Make questioning a part of the daily classroom exchange. It is more important for students to learn what questions to ask and how to ask them than to learn the answers. Discourage the idea that only you ask questions and simply get the answers from them. We need to encourage students to ask first and then teach them how to ask the right questions (good, thought-provoking and interesting ones)

4. Encourage defining and solving problems:

Promote creative performance by encouraging your students to define and redefine problems and projects. Encourage creative thinking by having students choose their own topics for papers or presentations. Choose their own ways of solving problems.

5. Encourage generating ideas:

Once the problem is defined or redefined, it is time for students to generate ideas and solutions. The environment for generating ideas must be relatively free of criticism. Praise your students for generating many ideas, regardless of whether some are silly or unrelated, while encouraging them to identify and develop their best ideas into high-quality projects. Teaching students the value of generating numerous ideas enhances their creative-thinking ability.

6. Encourage integrating subjects:

Stimulate creativity by helping students to think across subjects and disciplines. Creative ideas and insights often result from integrating material across subject areas not from memorizing and reciting material.

7. Allow time for creative thinking:

Most creative insights do not happen in a rush. We need time to understand a problem and to toss it around. If we are asked to think creatively, we need time to do it well. If you stuff questions into your tests or give your students more homework than they can complete, then you are not allowing them time to think creatively.

8. Assess creativity:

If you want to encourage creativity, you need to include at least one task or exercise for creative thought in assignments and tests. Ask questions that require factual recall, analytic thinking, and creative thinking.

9. Reward creative ideas and products:

Reward creative efforts. For example, assign a project and remind students that you are looking for them to demonstrate their knowledge, analytical and writing skills, and creativity. Let them know that creativity does not depend on your agreement with what they write, only that they express ideas that represent a synthesis between existing ideas and their own thoughts. Some teachers complain that they cannot grade creative responses with as much objectivity as they can apply to multiple-choice or short-answer responses. However, research shows that evaluators are remarkably consistent in their assessments of’ creativity.

10. Tolerate unusual ideas:

A creative idea tends to come in bits and pieces and develops over time. But the period in which the idea is developing tends to be uncomfortable. When a student has almost the right topic for a paper or almost the right science project, it’s tempting to accept the near miss. To help students become creative, encourage them to accept and extend the period in which their ideas do not quite converge. Ultimately, they may come up with better ideas.

11. Allow mistakes:

Great thinkers made contributions because they allowed themselves and their collaborators to take risks and make mistakes. Schools are often unforgiving of mistakes. Errors on schoolwork are often marked with a large and pronounced X. When your students make mistakes, ask them to analyze and discuss these mistakes. Often, mistakes or weak ideas contain the germ of correct answers or good ideas. For the teacher who wants to make a difference, exploring mistakes can be learning and growing opportunity.

12. Encourage identifying and confronting obstacles:

When a student attempts to surmount an obstacle, praise the effort, whether or not the student is entirely successful. Point out aspects of the student’s attack that were successful and why, and then suggest other ways to confront similar obstacles. You can also tactfully critique counterproductive approaches by describing a better approach, as long as you praise the attempt. Ask the class to brainstorm about ways to confront a given obstacle to get them think about the many strategies we can use to confront problems; a procedure which develops problem- solving skills.

13. Teach Self-Responsibility

Part of teaching students to be creative is teaching them to take responsibility for both success and failure. Teaching students how to take responsibility means teaching students to (1) understand their creative process, (2) criticize themselves, and (3) take pride in their best creative work.

14. Delay Gratification

Part of being creative means being able to work on a project or task for a long time without immediate or interim rewards. Students must learn rewards are not always immediate and that there are benefits to delaying gratification. Many people believe that they should reward children immediately for good performance, and that children should expect rewards. This style of teaching and parenting emphasizes the here and now and often comes at the expense of what is best in the long term. Projects are clearly superior in meeting this goal.

15. Encourage Creative Collaboration

Collaboration can spur creativity. Encourage your students to collaborate with creative people because we all learn by example. Students benefit from seeing the techniques, strategies, and approaches that others use in the creative process. So, it is worthwhile to give students the chance to work collaboratively and to make the process of collaboration more creative.

16. Imagine Other Viewpoints

An essential aspect of working with other people and getting the most out of collaborative creative activity is to imagine ourselves in other people’s shoes. We broaden our perspective by learning to see the world from a different point of view, and that experience enhances our creative thinking and contributions. Encourage your students to see the importance of understanding, respecting, and responding to other people’s points of view.

17. Find Excitement

To unleash your students’ best creative performances, you must help them find what excites them. Remember that it may not be what really excites you. People who truly excel in a pursuit,  almost always genuinely love what they do. Certainly the most creative people are intrinsically motivated in their work.

18. Seek Stimulating Environments

Help your students develop the ability to choose environments that stimulate their creativity. Choose some environments for the class to explore and help your students connect the environments with the experiences, creative growth, and accomplishment. Plan a field trip to a nearby museum, historical building, town hall, or other location with interesting displays and ask your students to generate and examine creative ideas for reports. Get students involved in role-playing.

19. Play to Strengths

Show students how to play to their strengths. Describe your strengths to your students and ask them to declare their strengths. Any teacher can help students play to their strengths. All you need is flexibility in assignments and a willingness to help reluctant students determine the nature of their interests and strengths.

11 things to do before teaching a lesson

things to do

A Successful Teacher of English should do the Following before getting into the class to teach a lesson:

  1. Be aware of the aims of teaching English in his country and in the educational stage he works in.
  2. Read the lesson on SB and answer the exercises on it on WB
  3. Prepare the lesson in writing knowing what to do exactly and how to do that.
  4. Prepare at least one teaching aid (e.g. word & picture cards) to facilitate learning and activate students.
  5. Read the learning outcomes of the whole unit.
  6. Set two or three behavioral objectives for students to achieve at the end of the lesson.
  7. Listen to and prepare the audio files beforehand checking the pronunciation of each word in the lesson.
  8. Be aware of the specifications for the exams and prepare related questions to train students.
  9. Be aware of the monthly distribution of the syllabus and cover it.
  10.  Get a look at the teacher’s book to know the guidelines for teaching the lesson.
  11.  Have an assessment sheet to assess students by marks in each lesson.

What else should the teacher do before going ahead to the class to teach a lesson? Waiting for More Suggestions from YOU.

Teaching Language Functions

functions

Language functions define what the person should say or write in communicative situations. The best way to present these functions is in context, in a conversation.

A conversation lesson plan:

1. Start with reading the whole conversation while students listen.

2. Then divide it into mini dialogues; a stimulus and its response.

3. Draw students’ attention to the choice of particular words or expressions to express a meaning and talk about the speaker‘s intention; i.e. presenting the function.

4. Then ask students to generate sentences of their own to practice this function.

* This keeps the learning process simple and gives students tools to build on.

5. Next Students are given a situation or task with individual roles allotted. They extend practice by asking one another or engaging in role-play.

* The focus here is on a certain function and that function is taken as the cue for the grammar taught in the lesson. Such practice provides opportunities for students to practice a range of real-life spoken language in the classroom.

Most typical language functions are:

1- Inviting

2- Suggesting

3- Promising

4- Apologizing

5- Requesting information

6- Agreeing

7- Disagreeing

8- Offering

Two basic ways of presenting a language function:

1. Inductively: give the learners different examples of the function and ask students to identify it:

What is the speaker’s intention here?

What language or expressions did he use to express his intention?

2. Deductively: present a situation in which the function is needed and ask students to respond to it. You may ask comprehension questions to check understanding.

Two basic ways of practicing language functions:

Receptive practice.

It aims at familiarizing students with a range of examples of the functions. Possible activities for receptive practice include:

– Finding a function in a dialogue or text.

– Classifying a list of functional language. ( which would you use to say  ……..? )

– Classifying a list of sentences according to their precise meaning.

Productive practice.

It may be relatively controlled practice. Possible activities for it include:

– Transformations between different examples of a function

– Question and answer work.

– Situational cues (what would you say in these situations?)

Tips for teaching language functions:

– Create a situation and direct students in a certain activity progressively.

– Learners should conduct the activity to its conclusion

– Make sure that learners understand what they are required to do in an activity.

– Demonstrate the activity with learners.

– Select activities which need comparatively light demands on the learners’ linguistic and creative abilities

– Equip learners with expressions and language forms they need for their activities.

Teach Pronouncing English Individual Sounds

teach phonetics

General Overview:

Individual sounds include mainly the following:

1. Consonant sounds ( voiced or unvoiced )

2. Consonant clusters or blends.

3. Vowels ( short or long )

Presentation:

1. name the letter(s) and write it(them) on the board in uppercase & lowercase form.

2. say the sound of the letter(s) showing students clearly how to pronounce it with your mouth.

3. say some words that include the sound clearly.

4. use word and picture cards to point to the letter(s), say the sound and show the meaning.

Practice:

1. ask students to repeat after you: the letter(s) and the corresponding sound.

2. ask students to repeat the words that include the sound.

3. write words that include different sounds on the board, say a sound and students circle the word(s) that contain that sound.

4. students match the similar sounds.

5. students give more words that contain a certain sound.

6. ask students to write a word that contain a certain sound.

Teaching Intonation

General Overview:

* Phonology is the whole sound system of a particular language. It deals mainly with the pronunciation of individual sounds, intonation and stress.

* These aspects should be taught in context to encourage students to communicate and understand what is being said.

* A teacher can indicate to those features to highlight them when students examine other aspects like form and meaning.

Intonation:

* It is the variation in volume and pitch in a whole sentence. It is important in language functions and expressing emotions or feelings.

* There are three patterns of it:

1. rise/fall intonation:

* the pitch rises first then fall right down at the end of the sentence.

* it indicates that the speaker finished what he wants to say and nothing more to be said.

2. fall/rise intonation:

* the pitch is low at first then it rises at the end of the sentence.

* it indicates one of the following:

a. surprise or disagreement.

b. the speaker wants the person to whom he speaks to respond or confirm.

c. the speaker hasn’t finished yet what he has to say.

3. flat intonation:

* the pitch is in the same level along the whole sentence.

* it indicates one of the following:

a. the speaker doesn’t really have much to say.

b. the speaker doesn’t want to communicate.

Techniques for indicating to intonation:

1. Using nonsense words:

Ask students to utter nonsense sentence to convey a certain attitude or feeling ( e.g. pride, indifference, anger, boredom, ….. etc ) and get them speak with expressions.

Then repeat the exercise with real sentence.

At last show them how to utter the sentence with the suitable intonation according to each attitude or feeling. Talk about different patterns.

2. Using gestures

Use your hand either up or down in order to indicate the general direction whether the sentence starts with a high or low pitch. Ask students to imitate you when saying the same sentences and other ones of their own. Talk about different patterns while using your hand.

3. Using songs:

By singing some sentences or verses you can refer to intonation without the need of producing every single word.

4. Using the board:

Make marks on the board using arrows up or down on sentences to show the direction of the intonation.

13 Tips you should consider in listening & speaking lessons

listen and speak

1. plan & organize your talk clearly and use vocabulary precisely.

2. use gestures, tone and facial expressions so that your talk becomes interesting.

3. organize your ideas and give them in a logical order.

4. express your thoughts clearly.

5. talk confidently and fluently.

6. simplify your language to suit your students’ level.

7. make regular comments and ask questions.

8. listen carefully to other views, accept all suitable and relevant ideas even if they are opposite with yours.

9. concentrate on the main points of the lesson.

10. make notes of common errors.

11. involve as many students as possible.

12. check students’ comprehension all the time.

13. care for giving and receiving authentic language.

Ten Skills a Primary Language Teacher Must have.

primary teacher

A Primary Language Teacher Must have the ability to:

1. understand well the characteristics of young learners whom he works with.

2. link his understanding of young learners with the teaching method and assessment procedures that he uses in the classroom.

3. adapt or create the most suitable learning environment for young learners.

4. use, adapt or create the most suitable resources and materials for young learners.

5. encourage children all the time and give them support and a feeling of achievement.

6. give them a good model for everything that happen in the classroom.

7. create a friendly classroom atmosphere in which children are encouraged to interact and express themselves freely without fear of making errors.

8. act, tell stories, sing, dramatize conversations, correct errors, praise high achievers and encourage lower ones.

9. use, adapt or create meaningful and purposeful language activities in which most children are involved.

10. manage the classroom well following a specific system.

Now it’s your turn, tell me one more ability that you consider it’s a must for primary language teacher.   

Teaching a listening activity

Presenting a listening activity goes in three stages . In each stage there are some steps that should be followed:

#1. Pre-listening stage: 

 * Prepare pupils for the listening activity by:

1- Introduce the topic of listening; say the title of the topic.

2- Activate pupils’ existing knowledge; lead discussion around the topic to elicit what pupils already know about the topic and what they need to know or what information they anticipate to listen to.

3- Build prior knowledge; provide appropriate background information about the speakers, the topic, concepts and vocabulary embedded in the text and motivate pupils’ interest to listen.

4- Define a purpose for the listening activity; ask a pre-question pupils think of its answer while listening or identify a task for pupils to complete during listening.

#2. During listening stage:

* Pupils listen to the text at least twice:

1- The first time allows pupils to answer the pre-question, get a general idea about the topic and verify the accuracy of their predictions.

2- The second time and subsequent times help pupils to derive the information they need to complete the tasks identified in pre-listening stage.

* Examples for some tasks to be done during listening:

1- Answering some questions on specific information in the listening text.

2- A map chart/graph pupils complete as they listen.

#3. Post-listening stage:

* Pupils act upon what they have heard to give evidence that they understood the text.

* Examples for some post-listening tasks:

1- Summarize the main ideas of the listening text either orally or in writing.

2- Write a composition based on the material acquired during listening.

3- Outline the material they listened to in writing using charts, diagrams, etc

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