Today we had the luxury of a later start, 11.45am. I did not get to sleep in though as it takes me a good hour and a half to get to the school from home what with the train journey and all the tourist dodging in Florence to deal with.
Our session at the school today was interesting and really helpful, we went over the various teaching methodologies and this knowledge will be very useful in the future….
After I arrived at the school, pastry in hand from a local café, Mary, Nikoletta and I spent a little time talking about our weekends and what we got up to. We talked about the reading we had done and how we had found our Student Profiles.
We agreed it was interesting to sit and spend time with a non-native speaker and try to work out their level of English and where they would fit in terms of ability.
Kristin was our tutor for today’s session and we talked about the different teaching methodologies – Grammar Translation Method, which focuses on translating language, Audio Lingual Method, which is very colloquial and focuses on pronunciation with lots of oral drills and repetition and finally the Communicative Approaches to Language Learning and Teaching. This is the method that is more commonly used to teach ESL and enables to students to focus on reading, writing, speaking and listening through communicative activities. This method is good as it focuses on the purpose of the context and so it is always functional and there are plenty of chances for the students to use the grammar and vocabulary they have learnt.
I feel like my brain was definitely working a little more during this session and I enjoyed it. It was interesting to go over the methods and talk about everything with Mary, Nikoletta and Kristin.
The afternoon was free for us to lesson plan and I did stay behind to complete some planning. I got back to Florence later in the afternoon and I felt comfortable that my first grammar lesson would be ok.
We shall see!