I decided to make two postings for Thursday; one focusing on Shally's student conferences and another on my spelling review lesson.
While Shally was holding student conferences this afternoon, students reviewed the spelling of some of the more difficult words from their textbook. When I planned the lesson this morning, I thought there would be enough time to have a group "Spelling Bee" - something along the lines of the "Scripps National Spelling Bee" contest in the United States. However, we didn't even get past the first practice activity. My time allotment for each activity was completely way off base for today's lesson. For next semester, this lesson will definitely have to be spread out over two days.
For the first part of the lesson, I had the students scan through the units they had studied over the semester and note down 10 words that they considered difficult to spell. Prior to the lesson, I made up my own list with words that I considered difficult for Cambodian students. Once again, I was quite shocked when I monitored the students while they were noting down their words. I had anticipated about 30-40 percent of the words, but there were many words that I had never considered would be challenging for the students. One of the more surprising words from the basic class was "parents". A student asked me if it was possible to use only "parent". I understood why she asked this question because quite a few of our students live with just one family member, such as a mother, father, grandmother or grandfather. It is not uncommon for fathers to leave and remarry without getting a divorce, or for students to live with their grandmothers because their parents have passed away. Her question has not got me thinking about the term "parents", and how it's difficult to say that it only refers to just a mother or father in Cambodia. Anyways, once we're on our semester break, I'm going to compile the list of words that all the students wrote down so that we can give more emphasis to these words when teaching them in next year's courses.
For the second part of the lesson, students worked in groups where students took turns dictating their words and the others had to write them down in their notebooks. After, students had to check they they had spelled the words correctly. I noticed that this was quite a challenging activity most many of the students. When I first planned this activity, I thought it would be quite "boring" for the students. However, almost all of the students seemed to enjoy it, especially the role of dictating their word lists. I am now considering that we'll have to include spelling tests as a part of our evaluation for next semester.
Back to the books,
The Bayon English Academy (BEA) is an NGO school that provides underprivileged youth with quality English language education in a safe, clean environment in Siem Reap, Cambodia