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CASO PRCTICO 8: You are in a school of a rural town.

How do you plan the


first days of school?

As an English Teacher my main goal is to plan de first days of school in a rural town.
To do this, I propose some specific objectives such as knowing pupils' learning styles and
characteristics and making an Initial Evaluation. For this purpose, I base on the Organic Law
2/2006 of 3rd may (LOE) which is modified by the Organic Law of Education 8/2013, of 9th
December for Improvement of Educational Quality (LOMCE).
The first days of a school year are crucial to get success learning. The first goal these
days is to know pupils' learning styles in order to make a Programme Plan meaningful for them.
There are several resources in order to know pupils such as consulting Academic Reports from
the last year, coordination with teachers and meeting their parents. This information must be
collected. To do this, it is essential the Evaluation Process. Evaluation is ruled in Andalusia by
the Order August 10th 2007 about evaluation in Primary Education which is modified by the
Order March T7tE 2011. According to this regulation, evaluation must be global, continuous
and a tool for improving. Evaluation has three moments: initial, continuous and final. It is a
tool of improving teaching-learning process and it is global according to pupils cognitive
stage. For this goal, it is essential to be coordinated with the rest of school team and the s
Counselling Team to know pupils with special educational needs or learning difficulties in our
classrooms. This information can be collected by direct observation, a Personal Evaluation
Sheet and task analysis.
All this information helps me to draw a Programme Plan according to the context
needs of a school in a rural town due to the fact that some characteristics that I can find in this
kind of areas are income students, presence of immigrants pupils in the
classroom and a limited English proficiency,
Thus, as an English teacher whose main aim is to plan the first days of school in a
rural town I apply some methodological foundations such as planning activities that combine
different groupings, integrated skills and competences (Kirsch, 2008). Another principle, it is
to use different methods of teaching English to know pupils' learning styles such as the
Communicative Approach (Hymes, 1972), the Total Physical Response (Asher, 1982),
Learner-Centred Approach (Weimer, 2002) etc.

So, I find myself as an English teacher in a classroom of 25 pupils of 1st year of


Primary Education in which there are two immigrant students with low communicative
competence in Spanish and English. In this situation, I propose the next activities:

1. Whole-class activity: Warm up activity: In an informal chat, I try to encourage pupils to


participate in the English lesson making presentations by themselves. I ask their names at the
rhythm of clapping. I am the first to perform the activity and I encourage pupils to go on. In
this activity I establish turns of communication and we use English in a funny way.
Regarding immigrant pupils, I try to integrate them in the activity and I use body language
and gestures to compensate the low communicative competence.
2. Whole-class activity: Listen and do. Pupils listen commands and perform them. They
are basic commands such as 'Stand up' 'Sit down' or 'Turn around'. 1 pretend participation
and to link listening skills and actions. My role during the activity is like a prompter,
encouraging pupils to participate actively,

3. Individual activity: Colour according to a code: Pupils have to colour a picture


according to the code given by numbers. For example 1: Red. I try to assess their
previous knowledge again (www.activityvillage.co.uk/united-kingdom)

4. Pair work activity: Ask your classmates: Pupils have to ask their classmates What's
your name? To do this they have to interact and move freely in the classroom. I prompt
integration of immigrant students in the group. I try to get heterogeneous pairs to foster
communicative competence.

5. Whole-class activity: Action song: Pupils listen to a brief song on the digital projector.
This song is related to basic polite formulas such as hello, bye, good morning etc. This
song must have different intonation and rhythm in order to catch pupils' attention. Pupils
perform the song. I play the song at least three times and 1 try to encourage pupils to
perform the song by making gestures. Firstly, pupils listen to the song while watching
me. Secondly, pupils listen to the song and start to make gestures. Thirdly, I try they sing
and making gestures at the same time (Asher, 1982).

As regards attention to diversity I set up reinforcement and follow up activities.


In the case of reinforcement activities, pupils perform a game. This is 'Flash? In this
game, I show a flashcard and I turn it. Firstly, 1 turn it quickly and later, I turn it slowly
until pupils say what they see. As regards follow-up activity I propose a 'Reading and
match' activity. Here, pupils have to match vocabulary with the corresponding picture.
Consequently, I get to develop several basic competences such as Linguistic
Communication Competence (using routines and classroom language). Citizen and Social
competence (following the rules of activities, using polite formulas). Mathematical
Reasoning Competence (by following numbers according to a code), Personal Autonomy
and Initiative competence (by participating in the activities), Learning to learn (by
integrating learning and using strategies to learn). Data processing and Digital
Competence (by listening a song on the digital projector) and Cultural and Artistic
Competence (by colouring a picture following a code and learning polite formula)
according to the Law of Education in Andalusia 17/2007 of 10th December (LEA).

Regarding evaluation, I assess the activities proposed to collect information for


the Initial Evaluation. This evaluation allows me to know pupils' learning styles and plan
the didactic programme for this school year according to pupils' needs.

Firstly, I assess basic competences through the use of basic competence indicators
such as the following:
-Active listening (Linguistic Communication Competence and Citizenship and Social
Competence)
-Using polite formulas (Linguistic Communication Competence, Citizenship and Social
Competence and Cultural and Artistic Competence)
-Respect towards rules of oral communication. (Linguistic Communication Competence
and Citizenship and Social Competence)
-Collaboration in the class activities (Citizenship and Social Competence and Personal
Autonomy and Initiative Competence)
-Identify problems and look for solutions (Learning to Learn Competence and Personal
Autonomy and Initiative Competence)
-Listening to the song on the digital projector (Data processing and Digital Competence
and Linguistic and Communication Competence)

Secondly, I draw assessment criteria to Asses the student's learning:


-Acts out a song -Follows the oral commands.
-Collaborates in the activities
-Shows a positive attitude to the English lesson

And thirdly, as an English teacher I also use criteria to asses my own practice
because evaluation must be formative. The criteria are if I get enough information about
pupils' learning process and needs, participation, interaction and motivation in the English
lesson, and if I am adapting the contents and activities to all pupils.

For these purposes, I use techniques to collect the information such as the direct
observation of the learner's performance during the activities and a personal evaluation
sheet. This sheet has four columns: The first one is about the item evaluated. Columns 2,
3 and 4 are the level of learning success. For example:
Items Yes In progress No
Pupil:
Shows a positive attitude to the Foreign Language

To sum up, as an English teacher, I think the way of planning the first days of
school must be addressed to get information from the students in order to make a
programme plan according to their interests and needs. To do this, it is necessary to work
in a coordinated way (teachers. Counselling Team and parents) and make an initial
evaluation through observations and activities. This information is a valuable tool to
guide my work as an English teacher and plan according to students characteristics.

REFERENCES
-Hymes, D.H. (1972). On Communicative Competence. In J.B. Pride and J. Holmes
(eds.). Sociolinguistics. London: Penguin Books (pp.269-293)
-Kirsch, C. 2008. Teaching foreign languages in the primary school. London: Continuum

- www.activityvillage.co.uk/united-kingdom Legal References


-Educational Law in Andalusia 17/2007 of 10th December (LEA)
-Order August 10th 2007 by which is established the evaluation of the learning process
in Primary Education in Andalusia modified by the Order March 17th 2011.
-Organic Law 2/2006 of 3rd of May of Education (Ley Orgnica de Educacin-LOE).
-Organic Law of Education 8/2013, of 9th December for improvement of Educational
Quality (Ley Orgnica de Educacin-LOMCE)