NOW!PROF. KCM Working Principles

These are fundamental principles which underpin the Now!Prof. teaching technique. All of the subsequent lessons are based on these simple, but powerful premises.

Every explanation is unique

Each lesson is divided into three key phases:

  1. Building Board-work : The presentation of the topic to the students. This is the bedrock from which their understanding of the topic will be built as well as a point of reference when they need to return to a topic at a future time. Build the board-work for the lesson with the students, asking questions and eliciting examples from the class. Every explanation is unique, built by the students themselves and as such reflecting what is relevant to them. Remember what you write on the board is what they will write in their notes, the more relevant it is to them the easier it will be to remember.
  2. Speaking Activities : Use games and activities that are designed around a meaningful use of the language. these activities are all designed from the simple premise of considering how each grammar topic is actually used in real life, in real situations. This is then integrated into engaging activities which promote the personalisation of the language by the students.
  3. Active Revision : The use of controlled practice activities designed to reinforce correct form and construction. Traditionally this part of the lesson would come before the free practice, but it is effective as a homework activity, reinforcing the students understanding and memory of the key lesson concepts after the initial teaching. It forces students to engage in “active revision” of the topic and leaves classroom time free for using the language in a meaningful way through speaking activities. Remember that the time spent in the classroom is, in many cases, the only time when students can practice speaking.

1. Boardwork:

– Organised. Section off board to provide clear presentation of topic. Use headings, sub-headings, dividing lines. Common to see messy board as teacher doesn’t know where to write things that come up during the lesson like vocabulary that is outside what they planned to present. Simple solution. Dedicate a section of your board to this, make students aware of it, give it a title “useful vocab” and section it off from the main boardwork planned for the lesson.

– Colour coded. Consistently, every lesson, every explanation use the same colour coding and annotations. Tell students to do the same. What you write on the board is what they need to write in their notes. Your boardwork is thought through to present a topic in the easiest way to understand and learn, consistent colour coding and annotation is essential to this.

– Elicit / Personalise. Don’t just present a pre-defined, generic explanation to your students. Ask them questions to elicit the sentences for your grammar explanation and write their answers on the board. More meaningful. Their notebook becomes filled with their own examples. Encourage students to give true answers not just correct sentences that answer your question. Develops pertinent vocab, creates discussion, builds relationships teacher-student and student-student. More stimulating, more motivating as students try to express themselves in a meaningful way.

– Show don’t tell. Once boardwork us complete leave it there during the practice activities. When students make a mistake you can indicate the relevant correction on the board, eg. Use of verb form, aux, construction order. Forces students to engage and think and self-correct. Efdective engaged learning, much more powerful than teacher correcting and student repeating the correction without engaging with the mechanism behind the correction.

2. Active, speaking students. Straight from the initial boardwork students are guided and encouraged to use the language. 

Free practice activities should be fun and relevant to get students to engage with language and understand how learning the topic can be beneficial to them and how it will allow them to express themselves.