This long English class could be divided into three parts, and each part lasted 45 minutes, so in this report one part of the class will be called a small class. This report is based on the observation of three small classes.
The first small class
The main task of this small class was to correct the answer of the sentence translation from Chinese into English, which was the homework of last class. The teacher had already checked the assignment without leaving any correction. The teacher left the task of correcting the wrong answers to students themselves. However, students were not supposed to get his or her own answer sheet, but to exchange with one another. After the distribution of the answer sheets, each student had got some other students translation assignment. They were given ten minutes to check the sentence translation and to prepare for presentation, which was followed by the class discussion. Each volunteer presenter was supposed to read out the original English translation he had got, whether he thought the translation was good or not. Then the whole class discussed whether it was good or not and graded it or corrected it. When the discussion was over, the teacher spoke out the recommended answer and its explanation. During the explanation the teacher taught some new English words and grammar. Altogether ten Chinese sentences were discussed and translated into English.
The second small class
In this small class, a new unit (unit 4) was learned. The title for text one is A Man from Stratford: William Shakespeare. At the very beginning, some students presented in Chinese some background information about William Shakespeare to the whole class, which was the assignment from last class of collecting as much information about William Shakespeare as you can. Then the whole class discussed and answered the pre-reading questions, and practiced exercise one and two attached to the text. Exercise one was to use some words or sentences to summarize the content of each paragraph. Exercise two was about the vocabulary. After that, the teacher asked a question: what is the most difficult part in the text during your reading? The answers to this question were going to be the emphasis of the explanation when the teacher began to interpret the text. The explanation went slow because almost every word, every sentence and the implication behind the words were interpreted. When this small class was over, the first paragraph had not finished reading yet.
The third small class
This small class continued with the explanation of the text. During the interpretation students were permitted to ask any questions freely based on the understanding of the text, and the whole class discussed about it till the teacher spoke out an answer. The teacher spent a lot of time in leading the students to appreciate the careful choice of the words in the text. The complex long sentences were supposed to be paraphrased by the students, and after discussion the reference answer was presented by the teacher. Four paragraphs of the text had been read at the end of this class.
1. Find the background information about the “grammar school” which appeared in the text.
2. Finish the task of reading comprehension in the exercise book from page48 to page50.
More than one teaching method is used in this English class. The oldest Grammar-Translation method was used in the first small class. The whole class was involved in the learning activity of translation exercise and grammar explanation and drill was practiced. Meanwhile, the communicative way is also practiced throughout all three small classes because class discussion runs through all the three small classes. We also find that this English class is a learner-oriented one. A lot of chances are provided for the students to speak out in the class and they can learn all that they want to know. The assignment is also a challenge to students because they need to consult many reference books to get the answer. Generally speaking, the English class is very interesting and instructive, and the interaction and communication between the teacher and the students are smooth and successful.
【Textbook】A New English Course(3) Li Guanyi ed., Shanghai Foreign Language Education Press,1999.
Students 40 English major students