Factors to Consider While Designing the Activate Phase
Even though most contemporary teaching approaches and lesson planning methods agree on the importance of language generation or activation opportunities during and at the end of every lesson, it is still controversial to decide on when and how this is supposed to be aimfully and practically applied. There are various factors to take into account when it comes to lesson planning and designing the phases, especially the activation that seems to be the culmination of every lesson and requires more meticulousness and creativity. The following features that are briefly discussed in this article can directly affect the quality of the lesson and facilitate generating a more desired outcome.
Generally speaking, one of the primary aims of language appears to be communicating and interacting with other individuals, so it is definitely of great importance not only to the teachers but also the learners to nurture this crucial skill. Although communication is a dynamic element all through every lesson and a variety of interaction patterns are significantly observed in every educational setting, gradually shifting from a dominant conventional teacher-student interaction to a more student-centered approach increases students' opportunities to impart the content to their counterparts and exchange the information through language which is a typical example of purposeful communication.
A real-life situation can be simulated in a pedagogical environment so that students have the opportunity to apply and assess their language acquisition in real-life-like circumstances. This is possible through a wide variety of activities, including roleplay or hypothetical role cards associated with students in order to imagine experiencing authentic situations out of the classroom and suppose themselves in someone's shoes in order to act from their characters' point of view and utilize the language in a more spontaneous context.
The term personalization is technically perused in two different aspects of pedagogy. It sometimes refers to analyzing the performance of every student and scrutinizing their achievements individually in order to provide them with further personal feedback. But when it comes to activation, it is the chance offered to students to represent their personal experience and link their real life to a pedagogical purpose in a classroom environment. To put it in other words, students need the chance to use the language to express their opinions, emotions, and experiences. This makes the language transfer from the learning subject to its real aim and function.
Decision-making is a skill that helps people estimate and choose one option out of some more alternatives. Encountering situations where individuals have to decide which course of action is the right one to take appears to be a characteristic of everyday life that inevitably emerges in a classroom on a regular basis. From basically choosing the correct answer in a multiple-choice question to deciding on future plans or coming up with a list of pros and cons for a given situation and so on are simple examples of decision making, which is probably happening all through every lesson. It is also paramount to provide a justifying reason for a final decision that enhances students' language and negotiation abilities in addition to their teamwork and reasoning skills.
The ability to identify and analyze a problem in order to brainstorm ideas and come up with some possible solutions so as to finally decide and select the best solution is called problem-solving. This skill can be stimulated by preplanning and including hypothetical hurdles such as social and personal problems or moral dilemmas in the lesson plan. This appears to make a lesson much more attractive and engaging when students unconsciously immerse themselves in the problem-solving process and indulge in the eureka moment.
The ability to logically assess and analyze an issue in order to make a qualitative judgment based on conclusive evidence is called critical thinking. Improving this particular skill increases students' opportunities to actively participate in open-class discussions as well as pair work and group work activities. Moreover, taking advantage of more accomplished critical thinking skills makes students try to reason, justify their viewpoints and support their evidence.
HOTS is an acronym for high order thinking skills which opposes LOTS or low order thinking skills. These skills start structuring when the information or knowledge is gathered and comprehended by the learners, who may use their low-order thinking skills to confirm the information by memorizing. Then the memorized information Can be used and analyzed, so gradually high order thinking skills begin to stand out by evaluating and judging the production in order to generate a high-quality outcome while learners are actively engaged with the language and can freely apply it to convey the message they have in mind.
To sum up, it is obviously easier said than done to consider and include all of these factors in a single phase or lesson, specifically in primary levels when students' command of English and language generation is limited to low order thinking skills. However, considering these factors and combining them increase student-centeredness and result in more effective and balanced TTT and less teacher-centered and teacher-fronted lessons.
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