The ABC of ELT

DELTA Diary Week 3: Getting Ready for the First Lesson

I didn’t think I’d end up doing a “DELTA diary” this week, but I got a little push from a colleague who noticed that I had started blogging the DELTA, and that made me decided to continue. So this week I’m posting a little update on my progress, my lack of progress and what my plans are for this week.
The main theme of my week is the continuation of flipping between feeling complete out of control and then completely in control in the space of an hour or so (Pro tip, doing some “work” really helps to develop the second point. As does talking through things with your RDT.)

Collecting Needs Analysis

One of the best things I realised early on, was that I should do some needs analysis and lesson feedback from my students. By collecting their views on lessons, their perceived strengths, weaknesses and needs, it will really help with some of my justifications for the lesson.
I adapted a couple of needs analysis resources that I’ve found in the past including one from Knowing me, knowing you (a ha) by Jim Wingate and from Reward Business Upper intermediate. I found them useful for getting me thinking but I had to rephrase a few things for my Pre-Intermediate students.
Also I sent out my first needs analysis without some details like age, which apparently need to be included. So I made a second follow up that I’m handing out this week.

[I might share this needs analysis if there is enough interest/you ask me nicely]

PDA Stage 2

After finding a sample PDA I quickly polished up my PDA, cut down the words and got a first draft out the door.
There’s more to work on with it (references for example) and I need some more feedback on my action points but I’m pretty happy with it.

Background Essay

This has caused me a bit of trouble this week as I haven’t been able to find too many resources based on my chosen topic. Some of my schools book library is hidden away (behind a IWB in a classroom) so I’m planning on sneaking in during a lesson and grabbing it.

Pomodoro technique

One of the tricks I’ve been using on myself is the Pomodoro technique (work for 25 mins, take a 5 min break, repeat). I use this as I find it a great way to get me to start (I’ll just do one Pomodoro) and from there I can keep going. It also builds up little tomatoes in my app which are pretty motivating.

Experimental practice

I’m wondering about touching on translation for my experimental practice class. It’s something I don’t really do a lot but seeing as I’m a fan of the lexical approach, it seems to be something which can fit in and provide useful benefits for students. Overall, that seems like the type of thing that ticks the boxes of what should be chosen for Experimental practice, but I’m not sure my Polish is really up to scratch.
As an alternative, I’m wondering about a process writing. I’ve tried a process writing perhaps once in the past and it wasn’t the most successful ever to put it mildly. So learning a bit more about the theory and then planning a well planned lesson would be a nice alternative.

This week

This week I really need/want to shake a leg. I’ve been writing down the stages in my notebook and drafted some next steps for my other observed lessons. My main goal is to get this lesson plan draft and background essay ready for Friday. Unfortunately there are some steps I need to do before I can really do that (like finding some books). Regardless, I’m going to keep working, even if it’s not on the ideal things.
Apart from that, I need to get some special activities ready for our schools first board games club, signing papers for a mortgage and heading to my in-laws for a visit and more. So another quiet week.

About Chris Wilson

I'm an English Language teacher based in Krakow, Poland. I enjoy writing, using technology and playing the Ukulele.

3 Replies

  1. I think translation is a great idea for experimental practice (though obviously your tutor may not agree!), and you don’t need to be able to speak Polish at all to use it. I’ve got quite a few bookmarks connected to translation which might give you some ideas of activities: There’s also the Delta Publishing book ‘Using the Mother Tongue’ and the Cambridge ‘Translation and Own-language Activities’, neither of which I’ve used, but both of which come from series I’ve previously found really useful. Also, if you buy them with these links, I’ll get a few pennies 🙂
    Good luck!

    1. Very useful! Thanks Sandy (You’re almost being my third tutor!) Are you still using Diigo? I remember you writing about it a while ago. I always wanted to give it more of a go but just kept using Evernote.

      1. I use diigo all the time. I tried Evernote for about 10 minutes around 5 years ago, and it didn’t click for me, and now I’ve got so much stuff on diigo it would be hard to change!
        Happy to help with the extra links etc 🙂

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