Learners’ engagement and motivation significantly depend on the relevant and innovative approaches of teaching, which should concern lessons’ objectives, stages, and activities. In particular, before conducting unit 2, learning goals were formed by using the ABCD approach that comprises four factors, namely, Audience, Behavior, Condition, and Degree, while determining objectives. The first element implies students, while the second means tasks such as describe, write, discuss or recite a specific subject. Simultaneously, Condition assumes optimal learning environment or constraints under which behavior will be executed, whereas Degree relates to the acceptable performance criterion, including time, speed, number of errors, and others.
However, the most substantial contributors to students’ motivation and knowledge acquisition are active learning strategies. These strategies generally require pupils’ intense and frequent involvement in the teaching process via discussion, skill presentation, practice, and even teaching classmates. Moreover, the integral element of this approach is to link current learning to previously obtained knowledge, which ensures a clear connection between lessons and provokes interest in new topics. Besides, to maintain active engagement, educators can provide various real-life, interesting examples and draw students’ attention to essential points of the theme.
Finally, one of the most effective activities that help activate students’ prior knowledge and consolidate present material is carousel brainstorming. This method implies cooperative learning using movement and conversation to refresh background knowledge and profoundly examine a new topic. It requires a division into small groups that revolve around the classroom and stop at specific points to discuss designated questions. In addition, unit 2 contained other useful activities such as a 2-minute talk, when pupils share their ideas and knowledge, and THINK-PAIR-SHARE that stimulates seeking common ideas and conveying them to the class. Overall, these strategies proved their effectiveness and utility in the learning environment, promoting learners’ active engagement, incentive, and enthusiasm.
In unit 2, I have gained valuable experience by discovering multiple learning strategies and activities and facing different challenges and complicated situations. First, I have realized the critical significance of students’ prior knowledge for supporting their motivation and achieving consistency between lessons. To refresh previous materials, I always tried to allocate 8-10 minutes to review the last lesson, check homework, detect shared mistakes, and highlight critical points to memorize. Furthermore, I occasionally attempted to make references to previous themes to show clear connections between them.
Additionally, I had excellent opportunities to practice effective modern teaching strategies, including carousel brainstorming, Think-Pair-Share, 2-minute talk, and others. I should note that the first activity displayed a particular efficacy in knowledge acquisition, which encourage me to use it in the future. Nevertheless, active learning was especially appealing to students since everybody strived to try a role of a teacher and saw their drawbacks. They also started respecting the teachers’ efforts to convey knowledge and realized the difficulty of this process. Besides, I observed that active learning tended to boost pupils’ engagement and make them more excited and focused.
Finally, the most valuable experience is related to two problems occurring during the unit. Specifically, sometimes, several students did not want to collaborate, and I had to encourage them to find common links and interests. The second issue is connected with the domination of some pupils over others or students lagging behind the program. In this case, I needed to pay slightly more attention to inferior individuals to address their questions and fill gaps. Altogether, unit 2 has equipped me with practical knowledge and various skills that will be useful while performing unit 3 and my future teaching.