Preparing a Media-Based Teaching Sequence
The following post is a suggestion how to prepare a teaching unit for foreign language classes involving various online tools. Actually a rather universal plan and applicable to all sorts of subjects, this concept is meant to give food for thought. However, I will provide a concrete example for EFL teaching and refer to a possible lesson dealing with literature. WIth respect to the actual topic, students are actively involved and granted a say to submit proposals to their teacher.
Preparations and Realization
- The teacher introduces the general topic of the coming lessons to the students (e.g. American Novels of the 21st century) and suggests several related works with short summaries and reasons why these particular novels are worth dealing with.
- The summaries are accessible as PDF files on Dropbox and the URL for the respective folder needs to be sent to each student's Gmail account.
- The students are granted a certain period of time (e.g. one week) to concern themselves with the proposals and to look for additional works that would match with the topic. They may create a list of works with short summaries and reasons using Excel or Google Docs and upload the PDF file to the Dropbox folder.
- Having evaluated the students' proposals in terms eligibility, the teacher starts an online survey using Doodle and sends the URL to his pupils. Each student can give one vote only. Before voting, though, they are required to read through the list of proposals on Dropbox.
Aims and Advantages
- The goal is to choose a work or novel in consultation with all students. This democratic approach considers both the teacher's and the students' suggestions and facilitates their social competences as well as their argumentative abilities.
- The students are encouraged to deal with a theme more thoroughly as they are given a voice with regard to novel they want to read.
- Since the anonymity of each student is preserved (no need to mention their names), this approach guarantees them freedom of opinion.