Teaching the Antimoon Method
Dear Antimoon and community,
I am a teacher of the English language right now in Japan and I am very interested in how to implement the Antimoon method into classroom learning. I meet with my students once a week for now and I want to give them this different approach to learning English.
Would it be helpful to help them construct their own sentences and content for a SRS program? Would it be helpful to cover grammar points and then make sentences for them? I'm not quite sure what is useful and what is not. I am learning Japanese and I have been applying the antimoon method to that, but that is all private study. Thinking of how to bring this to the classroom [I do have 90 minutes to do everything....] is challange, but I think it would be a lot more helpful that doing such "fun" content as self introductions and 'this is a pen'
I'm thinking about this too now. But there are some interesting thoughts:
OP, how are you going to encourage your students to use SRS? Can it be done in class? At home? In real terms, you might risk spending more than enough time on introducing SRS programs to them alone...
When I recall what I did at high school (namely, I did a lot of self-study out of "personal" motivation, rather than having been encouraged verbally), I can see that my teachers had often been quite hopeless - they had more admin work than work with the kids. We weren't even doing vocab drills with dry word lists; we simply did countless past exam. papers... with nearly no focus on vocab, pronunciation and grammar (my teachers would only say "learn on your own", and they didn't have the time to chit-chat and tell us what we could do - and, essentially, something entertaining).
As a rule, then we have to apply the same things of antimoon to a particular situation. In a conversation class... I'd say it's both important to have a clear lesson plan and... a sense of humor. By that plan I mean... unfortunately, what you can think of to talk about in such a class, for example, to make it input-heavy.
Well, I can't really comment more on class, when I'm not even a teacher myself. But I'd say that could be terribly difficult to, even if you aren't very money-minded and really want to introduce something good to your students, perhaps also for your own good (learning your L2) and developing some friendships with native speakers...
(Trivia: that said, I've seen an economics professor who puts his own comments and interesting articles in his own blog, and he showed it to his students, which might have helped them somehow.)
<<I can see that my teachers had often been quite hopeless >>
Mine were actually pretty good!
<<We weren't even doing vocab drills with dry word lists; we simply did countless past exam. papers..>>
That's actually not such a bad way to learn as people claim!
<<(my teachers would only say "learn on your own", and they didn't have the time to chit-chat and tell us what we could do - and, essentially, something entertaining>>
They're doing you a favour by encouraging initiative!
<<Well, I can't really comment more on class, when I'm not even a teacher myself.>>
Feel free to comment! We like all ideas!
<<But I'd say that could be terribly difficult to,>>
It's pretty easy, actually!
What grades do you teach?
I teach from 5-50. The lesson plan I am working on currently would be for a beginner adult course. I've been observing many classes and all they have been doing is situational conversation and I don't think anyone really understands what they are doing.
It's not exactly Antimoon, but my Japanese teacher for the last two quarters spent most of the class time on the following things:
1) Students recite short dialogues memorized from book text/audio (we used Yookoso 1 and later Genki 2) with occasional correction and general comments on class trends in mistakes
2) Students answer professor's questions and pose questions on situations laid out on the board
3) students repeat after the professor - generally for problem words, such as 'sake' (alcohol) and 'sake' (salmon) which differ only in intonation.
She called this the 'ACT' period. Occasionally we would read from the book, then answer questions. We never did book activities in class - the common type, that lay out a pattern (Ex: how much is this ____? It costs ____ yen.) and have students do substitution drills. My professor for Japanese 1 used them a lot, but not the one I had for 2 and 3.
This would be followed by a FACT period of grammatical explanations and answering questions in English.
I supplemented this with a lot of Japanese TV and a bit of outside reading, and think that a lot of my progress, especially later on, was due to that outside practice, as the FACT periods became less helpful and I studied less for the class (but maintained my good grades). However, my classmates in general really liked the method, and I think it (especially the ACT periods) gave many of them a degree of facility and confidence with the spoken language which they would not otherwise have had after one school year of study.
I don't think you can exactly teach the antimoon method. The best you can probably do is explain the philosophy and make it as easy as possible for your students to find fun, low-stress things in English. You could I suppose offer incentives to students who do things outside of class in English - watch movies, etc.