Working with Modal Verbs: Degrees of certainty 


To sum up, I believe I was pretty successful in the very beginning when starting working with building a model. Students were working and doing everything I asked. But since I had no clear vision of where to go and was inventiing steps on the way, I failed to build a clear pattern of how to work with the first draft of the model and make students introduce changes. As a result, students got a lot of exercises and got lost in their rules. I also lost their motivation. In any way, I made some conclusions which helped me to improve when working on the next ‘group’ of modal verbs.

You can see some of the models of my students here.

Since my students have e-portfolios, you can also check their e-portfolios here to find out more details about our lessons.


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# Alexander Sokol 2013-01-03 12:16
It's still not clear to me why you didn't know where you were going. What was the reason for it? The Creative Grammar Technology gives a very clear answer re the sequence of steps. I agree with you that the HOW behind this or that step may not be explicit enough but what the teacher is expected to do is described rather clearly, isn't it? So, what was the reason for the problem and why did you have to invent the steps on the way?

I am truly interested in this as perhaps things on the site have to be presented in a different way to make them clearer to the teachers.
# Renata Jonina 2013-01-03 17:44
That's really very interesting. I believe that I have heard it so many times that teachers who work with the TA get stuck with managing the procedures that I am surprised you are still surprised:)

I'd say that the System gives very generalised steps but the key point is to sub-divide this general huge step into something small, meaningful and measurable. For instance, Part 2 of the system says - sort the following utterances into groups. But it doesn't give any idea on why should we sort, how to 'sell' it to students, should we give all 24 sentences at once, should we organise (or think of) that students understand the meaning of every sentence, how to check sorting better, what is the result we expect, how we connect it to the next part, etc., etc. And this happens with every part of the System. The system shows the tip of the iceberg and without clear procedures understandable for an average teacher it is difficult to make it work. You really invent every step. Maybe I am just a young and too inexperienced teacher and this is not a problem for others. But then the question is why TA teachers do not find it easy just to use the ready system.
To give you another example, think of the PASS materials. Phase 1 looks great but to make it function with parents you have to subdivide it into Phase 0.5 and even maybe smaller chunks.
# Alexander Sokol 2013-01-04 23:27
I think there are quite a few reasons why many teachers don't use the TA and they go far beyond the fragmented description you're speaking about. However, I AM interested in improving the description, so let's try to take it further. May I ask you to look once again at the description of the Creative Grammar Technology at the TA site -
If we refer to these texts as the available description, can you let me know which parts there are more helpful and useful in your opinion and which ones are not useful at all?
# Renata Jonina 2013-01-12 16:26
Alexander, I do not say that something was unhelpful from the description you are referring to. Everything is useful. The system is just so huge and there are new elements which I have never experienced in my life (including some believes about teaching-learning) so of course some of them are not obvious to me, how to manage them.
I try to add to whatever exists by describing my experience here (especially with sub-dividing the system into the sub-steps). That's all I can contribute with at this point.
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