Techniques to Help Keep Good Pacing
Techniques to Help Keep Good Pacing
Written by: Kerry, Lucier, Ivy, LucyProofread by: Lucy, IvyIdeas contributed by: ChloeZ, Christina, Dana, Kerry, Lucier, Ivy, Lucy
You often hear, among all these elements of a lesson, that pacing is the least important one...
Or is it?
It is really having no impact on the quality of your lesson?
If your answer is yes, then you might want to think again.
If you try to look through both teachers’ and students’ lenses, the cloud of confusion might clear up a little.
Learning does not take place with just a click, a proper allocation of time can profoundly contribute to students’ learning experience and sense of participation.
Good pacing can help ensure that students are given enough input and have enough practice of the target language. This also means leaving sufficient time for students to process and allowing teachers to appear prepared so that students are more likely to stay focused knowing that teacher is trying to take care of their learning.
Pacing is also important and might often make or break the learning experience in a Qkids lesson.
So, what could we do to keep good pacing?
Here are three basic techniques which can be really helpful in predicting time distribution and making in-class adjustments.
- Paying attention to the key time checkpoints of the lesson
- Allocating teaching time based on the number of sections
- Previewing lesson content
But like everything in life, things don't always go as expected. Before you even realize it, you might be already facing challenging situations, either going way ahead of time or way behind.
To deal with these dilemmas, here are some techniques you may incorporate.
When the pacing is too fast, what can I do?
1. Go back to review the target language or play games
If you find yourself having covered all the sections but still having plenty of time left, the best option would be going back to new learning sections to reinforce the target words or sentences. If there is still time left, you can go back to the game sections, choose the game that students enjoy the most, and use different ways to play.
2. Create more speaking opportunities
If you feel that you have to rush towards the mid-end, you can try to create more speaking opportunities for students. You can have students recycle the target language several times and listen to all students' output.
3. Do relevant extension
If students are advanced, you may consider doing an extension. But be careful and make sure the extension is relevant to the target content so potential confusion and off-topic talks could be avoided.
When the pacing is too slow, what can I do?
1. Focus on the target content
Doing relevant extensions does help deepen students' understanding of the target language and expand their knowledge. However, when you are aware that you're short on time, we recommend teachers prioritize the target content and ensure they can be delivered first, and then consider expanding thinking if time permits.
2. One round in individual activity
It is natural that teachers would want to ensure each student gets an even number of chances to speak and practice in individual activities. So when one gets two turns, the other must be given two as well, and this causes problems with time management. To avoid stretching one section too long, teachers can choose to let each student practice only once.
3. Avoid long silence gap
With good intention, teachers try to leave enough time for students to produce language and use the target language independently but often end up with a long pause of silence and the lesson going quite slow. If this sounds familiar to you, you may consider providing timely support if students appear struggling, as this reduces waiting time for all students and helps bring the pacing of the lesson back on track.
4. Do more group practice
Using the whole-group strategy will help when you feel that the class goes slow. Prompting students to practice individually is valuable but this may need some adjustment if you are already struggling to finish all the sections of the class. When this happens, you can try to have students practice in pairs or all together as a group, involving in peer support and creating more speaking opportunities, and managing time more easily at the same time.
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