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EMI (English Mediated Instruction) 6- Managing the Large Lecture


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In a large-scale, anonymous class, a student with difficulty understanding the language will be easily distracted and frustrated. Faced with an hour-plus lecture delivered in a language, not their own, students are almost certain to simply refer to their textbook and ignore the professor. Their behavior may seem unconscionable, but recall that listening alone is a very limited medium of student learning whether you are introducing, explaining, demonstrating, or elaborating.

Techniques for large-lecture engagement

1. Vary interaction modes

One very simple way to change your class interaction style is to rephrase the learning objective of the class as a question. Begin your class with this question and propose that you and the students explore it in class time. This lays the foundation for active learning.

I) Target interaction changes every 10 mins

Different interaction options

  • Student to student, individual work transitioning to pair sharing

  • Student to student, small group discussion to consensus

  • Student to students, one teaches many

  • Student versus student, group, rows, or sides of the classroom

  • Student versus student, one on one

II) Begin class with a question and start the student-to-student discussion

iii) Facilitate instead of lecture

Use formative assessment early and often

  1. Can be used for any subject

  2. Can be used every class

  3. Can be low or high tech

Five formative assessment techniques

  1. One minute summary

  2. Muddiest point

  3. Focused listing

  4. In-class poll

  5. Ungraded quiz

Encourage student cooperation

  1. Use peer instruction

  2. Plan cooperative learning and assessment

  3. Incentivize cooperation

Peer instruction methods

  1. Think, pair, share

  2. Answer exchange

  3. Brainstorm and debate

Cooperative learning Cooperative learning and assessment can be easily built on formative assessment activities as well. Here is an example. Cooperative activities lead to team teaching, projects, and presentations. Team competition provides an incentive.

iv) Plan accordingly

One hour per lesson planning time

  1. Develop lessons over time

  2. Refine based on experience

  3. Always teach to the class, adapt the plan

2. Organize and monitor teams

I) Balance for language level

II) Allow for mixed-language discussion

iii) Evaluate participation

IV) How to create balanced team

  • Conduct a self-survey on the first day of class

  • After changing period, create teams of 4-8 students with varied English abilities

  • Communicate teams with fixed seating chart

  • Ask students to create a unique team name

  • Mark attendance and participation on a team-based sheet

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