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(VIDEO) Demo Lesson: Elementary Level Speaking/Pronunciation/Vocabulary Focus

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I'm new to ESL, but I have taken beginner language classes before and I saw a lot of similarity in the teaching style. I was most impressed by the actual lesson plan and the overall way that Bill carried about the lesson. It's clear that he has experience and is comfortable and confident leading the class. I think his lesson was very effective, but I also think his energy is a bit too bubbly. Enthusiasm is wonderful but for me even as a native speaker, I found it to be a bit distracting. Perhaps it was the combination of tonal whistling, hand gestures and quick talking/pace that made the lesson distracting for me. However, I do believe his overall lesson was very effective, and I hope to learn from this course how to teach effectively as well.
I loved how comfortable Bill seemed to make his students feel during the lesson. It was interesting that he included phonology, syntax, and semantics all in one short lesson, and it was great how the lesson came full circle at the end. The lesson itself was relevant to real life and to the students. He gave the students plenty of opportunities to speak and practice, which was nice. The students really seemed to enjoy the lesson, and Bill is certainly enthusiastic.
I think that Bill's enthusiasm and energy in this lesson keeps students engaged and attentive without much verbal participation. His dynamic gestures and clear, concise instructions seemed easy to follow, and I appreciated the natural progression from vocabulary to partner conversations. This type of confidence and effectiveness in teaching are definitely qualities I aspire to emulate!
Since it is obvious that Bill is an experienced pronunciation teacher, I would have liked the video to show more choral drills in their entirety and possible correction of student's pronunciation problems. But, I understand that it may not have been the intent of the video, and the awareness of the class of cameras and microphones probably was nerve-wracking.
I thought the lesson was brilliant. I really like how he kept the lesson moving rather quickly from one point to another, covering a lot of information and yet not overwhelming the students at all.
I really admire Bill's confidence and the energy he brought to the classroom. The students seemed to be at ease. I thought the way he kept the lesson moving yet still incorporated the repetition of earlier ideas was brilliant. He covered a lot without it feeling like he was doing so. I, also, found his tonal whistles and hand gestures really helpful.
Bill is obviously a very experienced teacher, and he is great at motivating his students. His methods are well-organized and I thought the faces conveying emotion were great. He is very thorough and you can tell the students will walk away from the lesson with a concrete understanding of what they were taught. I think that he could have used more motor activity, because I find that it is harder to speak and do something else at the same time without stumbling (i.e. walk around, shake hands, have a conversation, wave goodbye, etc.) Overall, though, I thought it was excellent -- he is very well-prepared, clear and enthusiastic -- exactly how a language teacher should be.
Bill is the kind of teacher I hope to become. His energy and enthusiasm are sincere, the pace of the class seems just right, he knows his material and has found ways to ensure his students are successful without struggle.
As a teacher Mr. Harris was very engaging with his students, the expressiveness in his voice and body language kept the class in constant participation, no student was neglected nor lost focus. He not only created what appears to be a comfortable environment for learning, but utilized group work, pair work, and the board to assure meaningful interactions in a lesson that requires that the students continuously talk and give feedback on their grasp of pronunciation. I thought it was brilliant his working step-by-step with the students to write a dialogue and then allow them to take over the dialogue and demonstrate their mastery.
The first thing that I noticed about this classroom was how Bill set all of the classmates into pairs. This alleviates the stress of finding a partner as well as creates a friendly dynamic in the room so that each student has a friend to help them along and boost their confidence.

Bill really took the time to plan out how to teach without actually "teaching" in a traditional sense. While talking about intonation, he fluidly slipped in some vocabulary which the students can subconsciously retain.

It was nice to see a teacher who was really happy to be teaching. His enthusiasm increased the students' attentiveness and excitement for the class.

The only negative thing that I noticed was that Bill seemed to be speaking very quickly. This class seemed to follow along because they were more advanced, but I feel like this could be too quick for other classes. I really enjoyed how he communicated visually by motions and verbally by sounds instead of just relying on verbal communication.
Brilliant lesson. It shows how important visual aids (charts, marking stress, counting on fingers etc.) and the teacher's enthusiasm/style are in teaching and learning. His pacing is also very good--it's quick, but he slows down and redirects when it is needed. Bill also does a great job giving short, clear directions when introducing each activity. I wonder how Borat learned English...
Bill is an energetic and enthusiastic teacher. His students were paying attention and actively participating during the lesson. I like how he used illustrations, hand movements and intonation to teach the students vocabulary, syllables and word stresses. I also liked how he structured his classroom in pairs.


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