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

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This video has such incredible energy. I am so impressed with how the teacher keeps track of each different part of the lesson with such speed. I really enjoyed that he threw some jokes into his lesson to keep the lesson entertaining. It really looked like the students enjoyed him as a teacher.
Something I didn’t like as much was how he organized his board. For me I think it is always important to keep things neat so that it is easy for the students to look back on the information. Maybe going over less at a time so he has more room to write in larger letters would help organize the information more clearly.
Over all I found this video inspiring, the teacher has a great understanding of the lesson and it clearly reflects on his students.
In his video demo, Bill Harris employs a variety of teaching techniques that engage the students on many levels. The result is a learning experience that appears far more interactive than the 'preaching to the choir technique'. He is funny (i.e. his reference to Borat), theatrical (the rhythm of his voice, his gesturing), and perhaps most importantly, respectful.

Within seconds it became apparent that Harris himself would be doing very little talking (or at least not more than was necessary). This choice was effective, after watching the video in its entirety, it is clear that this allowed collaborative and engaging environment.

I thought it was brilliant how he used his students concrete knowledge as a 'jumping off point'. When dealing with the word awful he first addressed the concept, then the spelling, the pronunciation, and finally he allowed the group to work together on its usage within a sentence. In more ways than one, he was playing to what they already knew (i.e. 'last night', 'the lesson', 'the teacher', 'the cinema', etc). All of this helped provide a basis for learning, one that was clearly enjoyable for student and teacher alike.
I like that Bill used the strategy of the broader range of expressions (1-5) rather than just the black and white "good" versus "bad" synonyms. I also thought it was helpful that he was direct in his instructions to the class and that he had them work in groups to come up with their own words to describe the faces.
I really like how he had a sense of humor... "This teacher... [class respond] "brilliant" ! great!
I liked his technique of "counting" out the words of the sentence on his fingers, giving the class an opportunity to see that some of them had missed the word "the."
I like how he encourages his class to use hand gestures (when he is speaking of the intonation and stress in the sentences)
I think Bill's best asset in keeping his students engaged is his expert pacing of the lesson. He begins with simple concepts and demonstrates them with an excellent balance of visual aides, group participation, and student partnering. He uses these different teaching methods in succession, seamlessly progressing from one to the next.
I also like his idea of using one narrative (starting with "I went to the cinema") to cover several ideas. I thought his use of whistling to quickly show inflection was very creative and complimented his use of hand gestures quite well.
The visual aids he uses really serve their purpose, and I like how he switches back and forth from classroom teaching and pair work. His enthusiasm and passion for teaching is something I aspired to, and throughout the video, you can see so many students smiling and just generally enjoying their time in class.


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