Easing into the first few lessons
- You may have your supplies ready, have selected a good approach to conduct a needs assessment, and feel confident that you can make students feel comfortable in your class and with you. Yet you still may not be sure what to cover in the first few lessons. In some countries teachers begin by teaching the alphabet (phonics), while in others instruction begins with whole words (whole language). The first method is considered bottom-up (small to larger elements) and the second is referred to top-down (large to small elements). One way to help students realise how difficult it can be to read and write in another language is by asking a volunteer student to write a short phrase in their native language on the board (It should be in a language that you do not know). Then, the class watches as you copy that phrase. This brief but enlightening activity could help break the ice in your class.