LOOK AHEAD TO 2016


LOOK AHEAD TO 2016

 

Goals

 

1 To help the students graduate from high school

2 To achieve the exam goals

 

Guidelines

 

Reading Leads

 

Why does reading lead?

Reading comprehension is the biggest chunk of the final exam. Also the ability to comprehend texts is the most important requirement on the curriculum. Not only is reading tested, but also it is a means of teaching and learning the language. The students improve their overall English proficiency by absorbing meaningful, mentally challenging texts.

How does reading lead?

The Reading Project for 2016 is the first item on the weekly schedule. Two periods are allocated for each practice. One period is devoted to reading the passages and answering the questions; the other to re-reading, dictionary use, and reflection on the students’ part and to-the-point explanation on the teacher’s part.

The learners are reminded to heed three items while reading: concentration, speed and comprehension. A good reading habit is the key to comprehension. Thus they are not allowed to eat or drink, chat, or use a dictionary when the reading is going on. After the reading is done and answers checked, there is more work to do, and this work is critical to learner improvement. The suggested post-reading activities are re-reading, using a dictionary, study reading, reflecting on the mistakes, locating good words, phrases and passages, retelling or rewriting. As far as advanced learners are concerned, retelling benefits their speaking; rewriting their writing.

 

Revision Enhances

 

Revision is not simply repeating what was done in the first two years of high school. The goal of revision is to refresh the learner’s memory of language items covered in the 8 books: words and expressions and grammar. By revision itself, a learner cannot improve his abilities and skills. Revision helps a learner build up his bank of English knowledge. Without the basic words and expressions, no learner could go ahead in his endeavour; just memorising those words and expressions, without sufficient practice, a learner would have no means to reach the ultimate goal of using English for comprehension and expression. Thus Revision enhances.

 

Grammar and Writing Perfect

 

With the changes in the exams in mind, we have to switch to teaching and learning grammar for communicative purposes. The multiple choice questions on grammar have been long gone; the sentence completion questions are obsolete. What is required of an examinee is to use grammar properly in communication, or in a context: in the cloze test, the error correction passage and the guided writing task. Achieving mastery of all aspects of grammar, on the learner’s part, would occupy too much of his time; it would leave his language practice under nourished.

However, the changes do not mean in any way that grammar is of less importance. Grammar helps a learner to be correct in his interpretation of input and to a greater measure in his output. When it comes to Part 2 of the exam, an examinee would go out of his way to be correct in order to achieve a perfect score or a near perfect score. A candidate who scores 145 should lose almost no point in the second part of the paper.

 

Materials

 

Grammar Revision

 

August is devoted to revising grammar with the aid of a Grammar Revision book. We basically follow the pattern of Read, Talk and Practice.

The students read a chapter first. Talk follows their reading. Talk involves the teacher and/or the students. The teacher could highlight key points. Better still the teacher could answer questions from the students on the relevant content. Practice accompanies each chapter.

 

The Reading Project

 

The Reading Project is the No 1 thing in the last school year. It is a weekly fixture. All the passages are taken from past NMETs. The staff members took great care over the editing.

Normally two consecutive periods are spent on the weekly Reading Project. In the first period, the students are expected to read through the passages and answer all the questions. In the second period, after answers are given, they are expected to process the text more by re-reading, reflecting on their mistakes, using their dictionaries, focusing on good words and phrases and (for advanced learners) retelling and rewriting a favourite passage.

 

Books 1-8

 

Books 1-8 are revised unit by unit, module by module; but the process is no longer the same as what we did during the first two years. Largely a lot of work is done by the students independently. In the morning self-study period, they should read through the vocabulary list, Text A and Text B. While reading, they are supposed to highlight language items that are worth their attention.

 

Companion to Revision

 

Most revision work is done through the Companion to Revision. In this book, hands-on work is available for each unit: reading and writing. The book is supplemented by a workbook, which provides practice in all types of the exam questions—blank filling, cloze tests, error correction, reading and writing.

 

English Weekly

 

English Weekly is adopted mainly for its standard tests. The test carried in the quality paper is well controlled in terms of vocabulary and difficulty.

 

Routines

 

The Reading Project

The Reading Project takes place once a week. Each workout lasts for two periods.

 

The Writing Task

The writing task is done roughly every other week. Questions for writing are found in the Companion to Revision Workbook. Students’ works are to be collected and graded. A couple of samples are to be commented on in class using the digital whiteboard. Handouts should be prepared in advance of teacher commenting.

 

Listening Workout

Listening is done largely by the students themselves. Every other evening around 20 minutes are spent on the task in the classroom. The teacher’s assistant takes charge of playing the audio and keeping order. After answers are checked, the students should read the scripts to find out why mistakes were made.

 

English Weekly Tests

English Weekly Tests are done on a bi-weekly basis.

 

Timeline

 

August

August is devoted to Grammar Revision. The Reading Project and English Weekly Tests go ahead as planned.

 

September 2015—February 2016

We do the Revision during the six months. The Reading Project and the English Weekly Tests go ahead as planned.

 

March—the Final Exam

Revision lasts until the end of March. The final stage starts in April.

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