This week sees the end of the summer intensive course with my intermediate learners. I've approached this course with a mostly unplugged attitude, using occasional excerpts from a textbook only to introduce learner-selected topics and/or as a springboard to reinforcement activities. Today, learners will help me decide how they should be evaluated and we'll do that on Friday (plus snacks and socializing to celebrate the completion of the course).
I was very happy to see the bulk of these adult learners pick up on their freedom to help drive the class. One (a former teacher) never really got into it. Another seemed willing, but on the fence. But the others started coming in with language questions they had observed outside of the lesson, and stopping our discussions to ask about specific turns of phrase, etc. Toward the end, they began to really sense that they could also press toward whatever discussion topics they wanted. I hope some of them continue into the fall so that we can take this and run with it!
Some quick notes on my own performance (before I ask the learners next time): I worked on improving my boardwork and plan to post on that soon. I don't have the right sense of pacing for a 90-minute class yet (after teaching three hour classes for five years!). Generally, I plan for too much in one session. I did well (IMO) in getting learners to ask "What about this situation? Would I say it like this? [example sentence]" and then writing their sentence on the board verbatim for the class to analyze, propose solutions, and debate.
I hope to post some reflections on the course over the next few weeks, because I should have more time!