Resume As we are preparing our „skype peer-teaching“ Ingolstadt/Bergen at 16. and 18. december, I’m summing up some thoughts about our sessions.
1. What foreing-language teachers often focuse on
Foreign language-teachers often are very interested in language (grammar, vocabulary, textstructure). This is comprehensible, but the most of people – including sudents – are not. This is comprehensible too. If we have to deal with texts about history, of course it’s unavoidable to introduce the new grammar and vocabulary. In the context of „learning by teaching“ the students often prefers to introduce new words or new grammar, because the task is comparatively easy. They can write the words on a overhead transparency and explain the signification. Following, they can ask a couple of questions or let their classmate build some sentences with the new vocabulary or the new grammar-structures, and that’s it. It’s easy, but not very challenging for the presenting-students. So they are not really motivated and the audience don’t reward them with big applause.
2. Focuse on contents
Often foreign-language teachers neglect to exploit the contents from texts, because they think, that the most important thing is to understand the sentences and to be able to reuse the structures. They think that when the students language-level is not advanced, they are not interested in deepening the knowledge regarding the contents. But it’s not the case. Even if the students level is low, they can understand the meanings of complexe texts and begin to think about them. The more they deal with the contents and build knowledge about, the more they are motivated to learn more. In the context of „learning by teaching“ the students who presents the historical facts and persons have to be exactly informed and think about a good strategy to teach their classmate. And during the presentations they have to ask questions, not just easy to answer, but very accurate and difficult. So they can step by step be motivated, they can motivate their classmate and construct together relevant knowledge.
Fazit Not the language-form is interesting for students, but the contents if they are relevant.