ARRANGEMENTS FOR THE LAST YEAR OF HIGH SCHOOL

ARRANGEMENTS FOR THE LAST YEAR OF HIGH SCHOOL

 

BOOK THREE (AUGUST 1, 2009 – NOVEMBER 30, 2009)

 

Judging from the English paper of the National Matriculation Test Hubei 2009, we teachers came to a conclusion that Book Three should play a bigger role in our teaching and learning. We have decided to spend about four months on the book. The most important purpose of doing the book is to expand your vocabulary through meaningful contexts.

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Student’s Book

 

We do not cover everything of the Student’s Book the way we did in the first two years. We leave out Warming Up, Listening, Speaking, and Writing. The focus is on the following.

 

  • Vocabulary List

 

Each unit has a vocabulary list, which is found at the very end of the book. We use the list to practise the pronunciation, spelling and meaning of the words. The truth is that only a small portion of the words will be required in the Exam Syllabus 2010 but we do not know which words will be included, so try to learn as many as possible. We are preparing a booklet of Basic English Vocabulary for you. It will be ready and handed out to you in autumn, 2009. We hope you use the booklet to check which words in our book are important and which are not.

 

  • Text A + Text B

 

We process the two texts in the Student’s Book. Text A is found in the Reading section and Text B in the Integrating Skills section.

 

We use them for reading comprehension and for expanding your vocabulary by means of the meaningful contexts. Usually you are given a few minutes (4 – 8) to read the text carefully and silently for comprehension. Then we discuss the comprehension questions in the Post Reading. Last we highlight the key words and expressions that occur in the text.

 

  • Language Study

 

The first part of Language Study is Word Study and the second part Grammar. The key words are processed in Word Study through various exercises—matching, blanking filling, cloze and translation. In Book Three, all the basic grammar items of the English language are reviewed, with one unit focused on one aspect of English grammar.

 

Companion

 

The companion is indispensable to our study of Book Three. We use it in the same way as before. Every day after class, you are asked to read the part corresponding to what we processed in the Student’s Book in class and to do the exercises. You are supposed to check your own answers. Please make a mark where you have any questions or you cannot solve a problem on your own. Before we close a unit, we will spend a period discussing the exercises.

 

Reading the explanatory notes in the Companion is absolutely necessary. Many grammar points are not easy for the teacher to explain verbally. But the written notes in the Companion are set down logically and easy to follow.

 

The Student Times

 

In this last year of high school, we switch from English Weekly to The Student Times. We used to use the tests in EW and EW was good. We have adopted The Student Times on the basis of the changes that have occurred in the Hubei National College Entrance Exam. Also the paper is printed in larger print and is easier and more pleasant on the eye. Last semester, Ms. He Changjun in Class Two complained about the small size of the print in English Weekly, saying that she suffered from double vision while reading the paper.

 

REVISION (DECEMBER 1, 2009 – MAY 30, 2010)

 

We do revision of Book One and Book Two from December 1, 2009 to May 30, 2010. Revision is not a mechanical repetition of the learned contents and in this process we have to put in various exercises that are aimed to deal with your deficiency in certain areas of the language, both in knowledge and in skills.

 

Since we have not started the revision, the details will be explained later on in November.

 

PMP

 

Our PMP programme was born when you joined YYHS two years ago and it has come a long way. PMP001 was handed out to you in September 2007 and by the time you graduate from YYHS, you will probably have got over 500 PMPs. We teachers have been improving our work and the quality of the PMP exercises is much higher than before. Learning English is a long process of accumulation and our PMP is a living example of this process. Some students may despise the PMP and they would feel sorry for it. Ignoring one PMP is OK; throwing two in the bin is all right; but can you afford to leave out over 500 PMPs?

 

I will not check everyone’s daily PMP. Instead I will choose some of you to hand in the work.

 

LISTENING PRACTICE

 

We do not do the listening part in the Student’s Book. Listening Practice rests heavily on the arrangement we teachers of English have made with the school administration. Every Monday, Wednesday and Friday evening, from 6:00 to 6:20, the English assistant plays a listening test on the cassette player. You are supposed to listen and choose the answers. Also check your answers and find out why you made the wrong choice by reading the scripts within these 20 minutes. Listening requires you to pay undivided attention to the recording. Please do not multitask while the recording is on. Give all your attention to this activity and the 30 points in the final exam will all be yours.

 

READING PRACTICE

 

Reading Practice is something new for the last year of high school. It is acknowledged that your final score in an English test is decided in a large part by your performance in Cloze Test and Reading Comprehension. So we prepare Reading Practice for your training in speed and accuracy.

 

In one evening class, we hand out a paper of one cloze test plus five reading passages. This paper is actually one standard exam with the listening, vocabulary, sentence completion and writing nipped off. You are supposed to finish the paper within 45 minutes. We anticipate that in the beginning some of you will have difficulty finishing the paper in 45 minutes and we will push you a little bit. Gradually you will find you are able to read faster and that more and more of your choices are right.

 

SMALL TALK

 

Our Small Talk programme will go the same way as ever. Every day a small talker will talk freely to the class for five minutes. Our purpose is to improve your ability to speak spontaneously. The Small Talk may take many forms—monologues, dialogues, quizzes and interviews. If the small talker forgets to prepare, it does not matter. The teacher will fire questions at him or her for five minutes, non-stop.

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SENTENCE COMPLETION

 

Is there a shortcut to better scores in this part? Probably not. Most teachers would agree there is no simple solution to this problem. The way we recommend is called “intelligent copying”.

 

Spend some cash on a notebook for your “intelligent copying”. After each practice and each exam, copy the good questions down in the book and review them frequently. Some students copy just for the sake of copying. After they copy, they do not review. After they copy, they do not process what has been copied. These boys and girls will make little progress. Intelligent copying means that you think about what you are copying and try different ways of doing the job.

 

One boy in our grade copied the sentences on one page with the blanks still in the sentences. On the opposite page, he set down the key. After a few days, he came to the sentences again and tried to put the answers in to see if he had made some progress. And this process was repeated at different intervals. Gradually he realised that each sentence tested one grammar point and what he had copied was organised and reorganised overtime. He ended up with a web of English grammar knowledge. Did he improve?

 

SSP

 

SSP provides excellent reading material. The paper is edited to assist the language teaching in high school in Shanghai. To the students preparing for the National Matriculation English Test, the paper is very suitable. The difficulty level of the reading material falls somewhere between CET-4 and high school English. Most students find it a bit challenging but still readable. We will use no more than ten issues of the paper a semester for extensive reading.

 

JOURNAL

 

Is our Journal programme a waste of time? Absolutely not! We have come a long way and there is no way that we will give up. First of all, you learn to express yourself in simple English in writing in your journal. Secondly, the journal is a channel of communication between the teacher and the students. Do I know each and every one of you well? And do you know me well? Why? You and I know the answers, and so there is no going back.

 

OFFICE HOUR

 

My office hour is from 5:00 to 6:00 every afternoon. I am available in this slot in my office. If you do need my personal help and need a one-to-one talk, please come over. I am afraid you do not have a lot of time at your disposal to come to my office and sometimes if too many come at a time, I still cannot talk with every one. So come when I am free.

 

In the past, some of you came to my office during the breakfast break. Please do not visit me during this time. I have too many duties and some personal businesses to take care of in the breakfast break.

 

FREE DOWNLOADS

 

If you happen to have a digital player and you plan to use it for learning English, welcome to get some free downloads from my digital library. Please do not waste your time on your digital devices by doing some foolish stuff like listening excessively to music, reading unsuitable e-books, playing games, or whatever.

 

Good luck, boys and girls.

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