A bit of an update here.
This week on Tuesday I gave a talk at a local workshop & seminar.
For all those who attended the Smart Ekselensia event of "Enriching High School Teachers Competence Through Modern Teaching Methods" please enjoy the photos and included below are a few points from my presentation and discussions with the English teachers:
1. Aim at your bottom three students for 100% success.
A lot of the time the problems that begin in the first year last. If a student decides that English is too hard and impossible then it doesn't take long until the lessons truly are. Everybody wants star students that will make them and the school proud but unfortunately sometimes this "want" will lead to the bottom students building a strong wall (or affective filter) against the strange foreign language. The longer that wall is up, the further away from the class standard they get. It is a big mistake for a teacher to assume those students simply "aren't gifted with the ability to acquire languages" because those students have all acquired a language pretty well until now (their L1). So aim for the bottom three and those analytical students who usually get good grades will still get good grades - the only different will be that the other 90% will get them as well.
2. Increase student exposure to the "real" language, even though it won't be tested.
3. Allow a language rich and more complete silent period for all the students to instill confidence and understanding (sometimes 'false beginners' need take a step back into the silent period)
Okay guys, keep changing lives out there and good luck! ^_^