Publication Date

2001

Degree Name

Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT)

Abstract

This paper explores the critical learning moment that occurs on the first day in a new language class as the individual students, group and teacher interact for the first time. It states that the first day can influence the entire direction a course takes and asserts that the learner, the group, the teacher and the cultural context are key variables that determine how the first day turns out. It argues that by being aware of the impact each of these variables has on learning, the teacher can direct the emotional, mental and social energy of the group positively and create the most advantageous conditions for learning.

Secondly, it examines the key strategies that teacher can use to effectively prepare for the first day. These strategies are: anticipating students’ uncertainties and resolving them, establishing rapport, beginning community building, personalizing the language, arranging the room consistent with teaching goals, establishing class routines, creating an atmosphere of success and modeling the attitudes and behavior a teacher expects.

Disciplines

Curriculum and Instruction | Educational Psychology | First and Second Language Acquisition | Other Education