This blog started as a log of my attempts to introduce my students to the joys of autonomous i.e. self-directed language-learning. Basically, it’s the story of one failure after another since I started in 2005.
This blog ground to a halt in October 2007: I’d run out of steam, of ideas. I’d run into a wall.
I resurrected it in October 2009, mainly to learn how to import a Blogger blog into WordPress and to give autonblogger it’s own domain.
I’ll blog about new directions I’m taking in teaching English, which may take me away from “autonomy” or self-directed learning, but I’m keeping the “Autonoblogger” name ‘cos I like it.
A couple of years ago, I began exploring something called The Immediate Method. Not a quick way to get pregnant, but an EFL approach developed by French teachers in Japan to have their students start using new structures and vocab as soon as possible by “testing” them almost immediately, i.e. by having conversations with students on themes or topics that involve using the structures and vocab that were introduced earlier in that lesson.
Having conversations with students is fun: I get to know them a little more personally. Students also enjoy talking to me personally – it’s one reason why they take an “Oral English” class (the other reason is because the class is compulsory!).
But. My students weren’t improving. They were not becoming more fluent. They were not developing confidence in their speaking. Some of them were not practising the structures and vocab enough (or at all). While I was having conversations with students, I was not “teaching” them or monitoring them. Although I did assign them work to do (“Write your own conversation based on the model in the textbook, and practice it”; “If you’ve finished your conversation test, do the grammar exercises on page….”), some did not do it.
Then I discovered TPRS.
(to be continued)