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I'll make a worksheet... 
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Joined: Mon Jan 02, 2006 10:46 am
Posts: 2130
Location: Nagano, Japan
Post I'll make a worksheet...
I was tossing a project idea off on another teacher. He wanted to do something, and I'd someone to start off my new school project. Anyway, some of the parts require language the students haven't learned yet. (Namely, 'there is../ there are ...)

I told him that's OK. You can let them come to that wall and then teach them how to express that thought. My idea was they would learn the language by actually using and needing it. That's one of the main reasons I do projects with my students.

Anyway, when I told him he'd need to teach the students that language, his response was, 'I'll make a worksheet.' And he was dead serious. (He usually uses a worksheet and translation to introduce everything in his classes. So, it's not a matter of a worksheet after the fact to strengthen understanding and use.)

I'm not against worksheets, but I felt that a cool learning opportunity would be blown. Obviously, a worksheet is fine, but what do you think about that?

Has anyone read anything about language retention via use vs. worksheets?

Build up! Be positive! Teach hard!

Wed Oct 17, 2007 9:26 am
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Joined: Mon Jun 18, 2007 11:33 am
Posts: 289
Location: Niigata
Maybe you should have responded with something like, "'There is' a worksheet already made, but 'there are' students would probably want to try different and new things."

Changing the topics but keeping along the same lines, today I was reviewing the grammar point, 'I want to ~." I don't know why it didn't hit me sooner, but I use my Nano Ipod in my car via a wireless connector I plug into the bottom of the Ipod and feeds into my stereo by way of the radio. This connector is really cool because it runs off the Ipod's battery. Anyways, I had a 'DOH!' moment the other day when I realized I could introduce music to my classroom very simply by using the schools' prehistoric cassette tape/radio systems to pump my Ipod's music through. So, today I used a 'fill-in-the-blank worksheet' to introduce the 'I want to ~' grammar thanks to Lenny Kravitz's Fly Away. The class went off without a hitch.

In other words, simply put, worksheets to introduce new points are fine. However, the worksheet Mark's teacher wants to make is probably more along the lines of....hhhmmm....eeehhhh....a do you say.....boring?

'Sharing a little, gaining a lot'

Wed Oct 17, 2007 1:10 pm

Joined: Fri Sep 21, 2007 4:02 am
Posts: 6
Post worksheet thoughts
If I read you right, I'm with you. Best to learn new language with ears, then the mouth, preferably with some need to use it. A worksheet can be used later, and students can link a visual word to their aural and oral memories.

Sun Oct 21, 2007 10:07 am

Joined: Thu Jun 07, 2007 4:55 am
Posts: 61
Location: Poland
Honestly, I would be happy and qurious to see a 'worksheet' kind of teacher going to basics of teaching and trying to deal with illiterate students (younger children of course :) ). If i do use a worksheet here (a picture worksheet) it's the last step in teaching and an additional activity. The same goes with older students, really. I have the comfort of a non-public shool English teacher, so I can concentrate on the fun stuff of language acquistion (games, speaking, etc. - I bet you all know what the fun suff is ;) ) and it's never the worksheet thing. I force them into worksheets after I'm sure they know and understand everything, and because they are going to need the ability to do worksheets at school . Don't get me wrong: I really put my heart into making worksheets, trying to make them as attractive as possible, still, they never raise that much enthusiasm as i would want them to, LOL

Sun Oct 21, 2007 7:57 pm

Joined: Mon Apr 16, 2007 2:32 pm
Posts: 35
Location: South Korea
As a foreign language learner myself, I know that I retain a lot more information when I learn hands on, and not off a worksheet.

It is the discovery that leads to retention, not the spoon-feeding of grammar. And being given a worksheet is enough to bore even the most diligent of students.

Worksheet-less and happy!

Chocolate makes the world go round in the best possible way!

Thu Nov 01, 2007 4:04 pm

Joined: Mon Sep 04, 2006 5:15 pm
Posts: 19
Location: Germany
Although students learn a language better when it's hands on, often they have to sit exams and then they need the experience of filling in worksheets.

Gap fills and worksheets are, in my humble opinion, a seperate talent that has little to do with learning a language but they are, unfortunately, a necessity in the education system where marks have to be given within an agreed on framework.

Mon Dec 17, 2007 8:32 pm

Joined: Mon Dec 03, 2007 5:36 pm
Posts: 7
Whilst I struggle to see the merit of worksheets in actually acquiring language (and I certainly wouldn't present language in this way), the sad truth is that in many parts of Asia the way that the kids 'prove' their language ability is through regular reading & writing tests.

For the purpose of passing exams, they are very useful indeed...

Thu Dec 20, 2007 2:34 am

Joined: Tue Nov 13, 2007 6:56 am
Posts: 19
It depends on what you'd count as a worksheet. I use plenty of fill-in-the-blank worksheets in my classes, but almost all of them are tied to some kind of game where they have to ask each other questions, if not get up and move around the classroom, bringing their sheets with them. They almost always go over very well.

Sun Jan 27, 2008 10:03 pm
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