Move Me On 96: Struggling with language register - getting pitch right

Teaching History feature

By HA, published 10th September 1999

This Issue's Problem: John Ball is having difficulty getting his language register right


John is several weeks into his first school placement. He is very much enjoying the PGCE course. It is proving to be the intellectual and practical challenge that he hoped. He has come to the course as a highly qualified graduate, with a first class honours degree in history. He has had substantial experience of working with children-particularly 7 to11-year-olds, through a local play-scheme for which he has been a volunteer during his university vacations. He has shown a high level of commitment to achieving as a teacher. The staff at the school and his mentor and university tutor have all been impressed by his desire to learn and his willingness to take advice-although he is often the first to identify the aspects of his teaching that need development. So far, he has worked successfully with individuals and small groups and has already taken responsibility for planning and delivering whole lessons with several classes. He has devised some interesting and appropriate activities for the pupils, and he is keen to ensure that the pupils are involved in working things out for themselves. He has made good use of existing resources in the school, but also seeks specific advice about how these should be adapted for  the particular pupils with whom he is working.

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