Teacher Tips and Teachniques (New section at Liz's suggestion!)

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Teacher Tips and Teachniques (New section at Liz's suggestion!)

Post  Jason Renshaw on Fri Apr 11 2008, 13:23

Hi everyone,

I just received this private message from Liz (sorry to post it publicly here, Liz, but I think it is an awesome idea and should be shared immediately!):

Hi?
T.G.I.F.
Last night, when I was going home, I came up to this idea.
Why don't we have a page for shaing tips and ideas of teaching?
Every student in our class is enthusiastic teacher or teacher wanna be. Somehow all of us are involved in teaching and we have our own sources. Then it will be great to share our teaching resources like good internet sites and ideas or etc.
Anyway have a nice weekend.

From Liz



Liz, I can't agree with you more, and my sincerest thanks for such an excellent suggestion. I've therefore started this specific section for the sole purpose of having students sharing their great teaching experiences and activities, or answering each other's questions.

I hope your classmates show a willingness to reciprocate! I'll also be happy to contribute ideas and suggestions here based on students' submissions.

Good luck with it, everyone.

~ Jason


***

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Daegu City, Republic of Korea 702-701

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My experience

Post  inmyheart479 on Sat Apr 12 2008, 15:26

Thank you very much for a good sugeestion.
I would like to share my teaching experience as a part time job with some middle school students for after-school activites. If my memory serves me right, it might be last year around this time.

The lesson was themed 'Let's go shoppin'. The lesson used our collective love of shopping to introduce new vocabularies and sentence structures. Throughtout the lesson the student's ability to read, write, listen and speak effectively were intially practiced and then produced. The theme, 'Let's go shoppong' was chosen after it ranked number 1 on my female student list of things to do. To engage the boys I included a section on shopping for video games.
The first half of my lesson plan consisted of 'warm-up' exercises designed to introduce the lesson theme and to switch the class from Korean to English. Through the 'Warm-up' we used a series of pictures of things we bought and where we bought them. The students listened, matched, wrote and spoke about the activity objectives. The activities were intended to begin easy, straight forward and them progressively bacame more complex. It allowed the students to gain confidence quickly and emcouraged them to participate.
To be specific, the first exercise began with a photo of an open refrigerator. We used the refrigerator and the food items we placed in it to start. In the fridege were displayed various items that we would buy from a supermarket. The class was asked to identify the items shown on the various shelves. From there we progressed to our closet and then house, each time adding items and vocabulary.
I think the selection of food items is an educational theme that is easy to attract students' attention. The topic also gives the class a large selection of words to choose from making it easier to engage the students. The exercise introduced the various compartments in a refrigerator and how to describe where the food items were located. Happily, the excercise worked effectively in engaging students to showcase their vocabulary of food. One of my roles was to teach them how to properly describe where the food is located in the fridge.
And then, I changed the format a little but. For a variation, I started with the refrigerator empty and brainstorm with the class to fill it which they would like to. It meant that we stopped relying on the CD imagery and I had the students keep their text books closed. I attached a big picture of fridge (almost real size of it) on the blackboard to make the material more engaging, letting students to enjoy placing items (presented by pictures) on it and describe properly again.

The second part consisted of students listening to some dialogues and correctly matching them to the correct products or locations. It used the vocabulary and the location presented on the previous step of 'Warm-up' to expand them into comprehension activites. Again, the pictures were easier for the class to follow. The dialogue wasn't as well received or as affective. On a bright note, there were some great examples of peer tutoring and support among the student groups. I encouraged them to help one another in class work and it was nice to see.

The final part of the activity had the students create their ideal shopping list. The products named were written on the blackboard by yours truly. It was a nice complement to the two earlier activites. Students built a nice inventory of words for the class to use. I've covered a few different topics from supermarkets, clothing and sport equipment. And more students were confident and ready to produce their own list. The students showed creativity with their items and enjoyed their new found freedom. With students' confidende and interests I divided the class into teams and had them compete to create their ideal shopping list with the products which they foudnd interesting. The list went beyond simply food items for the fridge. When they were pretty much enjoying the competition, I let them do some role play with characters of customers and clerks.

Well. the goal was to increase the level of students' participation and provide them with an effective portal into the larger lesson plan.The text book and CD were a great starting point but the lesson was much stronger than the original through a process of fun activities. However, there was room for improvement in both the materials used and how they were being taugh with the class since it was my first experience in front of 30 middle school students.
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Let's go shoppin

Post  Jason Renshaw on Sat Apr 12 2008, 15:35

inmyheart479 wrote:Thank you very much for a good sugeestion.
I would like to share my teaching experience as a part time job with some middle school students for after-school activites. If my memory serves me right, it might be last year around this time.

The lesson was themed 'Let's go shoppin'. The lesson used our collective love of shopping to introduce new vocabularies and sentence structures. Throughtout the lesson the student's ability to read, write, listen and speak effectively were intially practiced and then produced. The theme, 'Let's go shoppong' was chosen after it ranked number 1 on my female student list of things to do. To engage the boys I included a section on shopping for video games.
The first half of my lesson plan consisted of 'warm-up' exercises designed to introduce the lesson theme and to switch the class from Korean to English. Through the 'Warm-up' we used a series of pictures of things we bought and where we bought them. The students listened, matched, wrote and spoke about the activity objectives. The activities were intended to begin easy, straight forward and them progressively bacame more complex. It allowed the students to gain confidence quickly and emcouraged them to participate.
To be specific, the first exercise began with a photo of an open refrigerator. We used the refrigerator and the food items we placed in it to start. In the fridege were displayed various items that we would buy from a supermarket. The class was asked to identify the items shown on the various shelves. From there we progressed to our closet and then house, each time adding items and vocabulary.
I think the selection of food items is an educational theme that is easy to attract students' attention. The topic also gives the class a large selection of words to choose from making it easier to engage the students. The exercise introduced the various compartments in a refrigerator and how to describe where the food items were located. Happily, the excercise worked effectively in engaging students to showcase their vocabulary of food. One of my roles was to teach them how to properly describe where the food is located in the fridge.
And then, I changed the format a little but. For a variation, I started with the refrigerator empty and brainstorm with the class to fill it which they would like to. It meant that we stopped relying on the CD imagery and I had the students keep their text books closed. I attached a big picture of fridge (almost real size of it) on the blackboard to make the material more engaging, letting students to enjoy placing items (presented by pictures) on it and describe properly again.

The second part consisted of students listening to some dialogues and correctly matching them to the correct products or locations. It used the vocabulary and the location presented on the previous step of 'Warm-up' to expand them into comprehension activites. Again, the pictures were easier for the class to follow. The dialogue wasn't as well received or as affective. On a bright note, there were some great examples of peer tutoring and support among the student groups. I encouraged them to help one another in class work and it was nice to see.

The final part of the activity had the students create their ideal shopping list. The products named were written on the blackboard by yours truly. It was a nice complement to the two earlier activites. Students built a nice inventory of words for the class to use. I've covered a few different topics from supermarkets, clothing and sport equipment. And more students were confident and ready to produce their own list. The students showed creativity with their items and enjoyed their new found freedom. With students' confidende and interests I divided the class into teams and had them compete to create their ideal shopping list with the products which they foudnd interesting. The list went beyond simply food items for the fridge. When they were pretty much enjoying the competition, I let them do some role play with characters of customers and clerks.

Well. the goal was to increase the level of students' participation and provide them with an effective portal into the larger lesson plan.The text book and CD were a great starting point but the lesson was much stronger than the original through a process of fun activities. However, there was room for improvement in both the materials used and how they were being taugh with the class since it was my first experience in front of 30 middle school students.

Thanks so much for posting this. I can see how much effort you've put into it, and the very detailed guidelines will no doubt have your classmates singing in appreciation.

I was also happy to see the careful methodology you applied. In brief, some of things I really liked seeing in this lesson outline were:

- The focus on a broad and familiar theme the learners could readily relate to;
- The deliberate (and clever) twist to keep both genders interested in the theme and tasks
- The fun, action-style approach to it (rather than the usual run-of-the-mill approach I've often seen for food/shopping units);
- Your method of beginning with simple/brief/easy and gradually building on such activities to create more elaborate and challenging ones;
- Your willingness and creativity in taking the initial textbook materials to a much more engaging level;
- Your bravery to experiment with a new class with so many learners;
- Your note that, while it appeared to work well, there is always room for further reflection and improvement in the approach;
- Your willingness to share the lesson outline here online with your Practical English classmates!

All in all, a sterling effort - very impressive.

Thanks so much,

~ Jason


***

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Lots of lesson ideas and lesson outlines here...

Post  Jason Renshaw on Sat Apr 12 2008, 15:39

Hi all,

You can also find lots of fun and effective lesson activities here in another part of the forum:

http://englishadvance.niceboards.org/methodology-of-spoken-english-skills-f1/

You'll find some lesson outlines from the Speaking strand of my own Boost! Integrated Skills Series (from Pearson Longman) there, but also dozens of very original and well designed lesson outlines from the students enrolled in that class (Methodology of Spoken English Skills).

I hope it gives some of you some new materials to work with, or at least think about!

Best wishes,

~ Jason


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Re: Teacher Tips and Teachniques (New section at Liz's suggestion!)

Post  sunnypine on Sun Apr 13 2008, 20:39

Jason Renshaw wrote:Hi everyone,

I just received this private message from Liz (sorry to post it publicly here, Liz, but I think it is an awesome idea and should be shared immediately!):

Hi?
T.G.I.F.
Last night, when I was going home, I came up to this idea.
Why don't we have a page for shaing tips and ideas of teaching?
Every student in our class is enthusiastic teacher or teacher wanna be. Somehow all of us are involved in teaching and we have our own sources. Then it will be great to share our teaching resources like good internet sites and ideas or etc.
Anyway have a nice weekend.

From Liz



Liz, I can't agree with you more, and my sincerest thanks for such an excellent suggestion. I've therefore started this specific section for the sole purpose of having students sharing their great teaching experiences and activities, or answering each other's questions.

I hope your classmates show a willingness to reciprocate! I'll also be happy to contribute ideas and suggestions here based on students' submissions.

Good luck with it, everyone.

~ Jason


***

Wow!! I like this idea too!! These days I'm working at English Kindergarten, and it's my first experience with very little kids. Sometimes it's really fun and valuable, but sometimes it's annoying too. So I thought like.. "OK, I need to improve my teaching skills." For me, this idea is really great!! I will upload my good stories too.
cheers
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Re: Teacher Tips and Teachniques (New section at Liz's suggestion!)

Post  inmyheart479 on Tue Apr 15 2008, 19:38

Jason Renshaw wrote:
inmyheart479 wrote:Thank you very much for a good sugeestion.
I would like to share my teaching experience as a part time job with some middle school students for after-school activites. If my memory serves me right, it might be last year around this time.

The lesson was themed 'Let's go shoppin'. The lesson used our collective love of shopping to introduce new vocabularies and sentence structures. Throughtout the lesson the student's ability to read, write, listen and speak effectively were intially practiced and then produced. The theme, 'Let's go shoppong' was chosen after it ranked number 1 on my female student list of things to do. To engage the boys I included a section on shopping for video games.
The first half of my lesson plan consisted of 'warm-up' exercises designed to introduce the lesson theme and to switch the class from Korean to English. Through the 'Warm-up' we used a series of pictures of things we bought and where we bought them. The students listened, matched, wrote and spoke about the activity objectives. The activities were intended to begin easy, straight forward and them progressively bacame more complex. It allowed the students to gain confidence quickly and emcouraged them to participate.
To be specific, the first exercise began with a photo of an open refrigerator. We used the refrigerator and the food items we placed in it to start. In the fridege were displayed various items that we would buy from a supermarket. The class was asked to identify the items shown on the various shelves. From there we progressed to our closet and then house, each time adding items and vocabulary.
I think the selection of food items is an educational theme that is easy to attract students' attention. The topic also gives the class a large selection of words to choose from making it easier to engage the students. The exercise introduced the various compartments in a refrigerator and how to describe where the food items were located. Happily, the excercise worked effectively in engaging students to showcase their vocabulary of food. One of my roles was to teach them how to properly describe where the food is located in the fridge.
And then, I changed the format a little but. For a variation, I started with the refrigerator empty and brainstorm with the class to fill it which they would like to. It meant that we stopped relying on the CD imagery and I had the students keep their text books closed. I attached a big picture of fridge (almost real size of it) on the blackboard to make the material more engaging, letting students to enjoy placing items (presented by pictures) on it and describe properly again.

The second part consisted of students listening to some dialogues and correctly matching them to the correct products or locations. It used the vocabulary and the location presented on the previous step of 'Warm-up' to expand them into comprehension activites. Again, the pictures were easier for the class to follow. The dialogue wasn't as well received or as affective. On a bright note, there were some great examples of peer tutoring and support among the student groups. I encouraged them to help one another in class work and it was nice to see.

The final part of the activity had the students create their ideal shopping list. The products named were written on the blackboard by yours truly. It was a nice complement to the two earlier activites. Students built a nice inventory of words for the class to use. I've covered a few different topics from supermarkets, clothing and sport equipment. And more students were confident and ready to produce their own list. The students showed creativity with their items and enjoyed their new found freedom. With students' confidende and interests I divided the class into teams and had them compete to create their ideal shopping list with the products which they foudnd interesting. The list went beyond simply food items for the fridge. When they were pretty much enjoying the competition, I let them do some role play with characters of customers and clerks.

Well. the goal was to increase the level of students' participation and provide them with an effective portal into the larger lesson plan.The text book and CD were a great starting point but the lesson was much stronger than the original through a process of fun activities. However, there was room for improvement in both the materials used and how they were being taugh with the class since it was my first experience in front of 30 middle school students.

Thanks so much for posting this. I can see how much effort you've put into it, and the very detailed guidelines will no doubt have your classmates singing in appreciation.

I was also happy to see the careful methodology you applied. In brief, some of things I really liked seeing in this lesson outline were:

- The focus on a broad and familiar theme the learners could readily relate to;
- The deliberate (and clever) twist to keep both genders interested in the theme and tasks
- The fun, action-style approach to it (rather than the usual run-of-the-mill approach I've often seen for food/shopping units);
- Your method of beginning with simple/brief/easy and gradually building on such activities to create more elaborate and challenging ones;
- Your willingness and creativity in taking the initial textbook materials to a much more engaging level;
- Your bravery to experiment with a new class with so many learners;
- Your note that, while it appeared to work well, there is always room for further reflection and improvement in the approach;
- Your willingness to share the lesson outline here online with your Practical English classmates!

All in all, a sterling effort - very impressive.

Thanks so much,

~ Jason


***

I can't thank you enough for making contributions towards my growth and
development in the near future. Your lengthy feedback expressed with a lot of thought in it is nurturing my mind and waken me to realize where I stand now to reach a goal. Every single datail of your response to my writing does speak volumes.

Thank you very much. I really appreciate it.
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Re: Teacher Tips and Teachniques (New section at Liz's suggestion!)

Post  Mi Jin Jeong on Wed Apr 16 2008, 07:53

Hey~ ^^
I learn many teching skills and get useful ideas from this wedsite. These will be very helpful to my future students. I've been teaching elementary students for a few months, I play fun games as the mystery riddles, what we've done in the class before, and my students really liked it. I am very happy and thankful for that. And I will share a good thing with you if I get something.

Thanks. ^^

Jason Renshaw wrote:Hi everyone,

I just received this private message from Liz (sorry to post it publicly here, Liz, but I think it is an awesome idea and should be shared immediately!):

Hi?
T.G.I.F.
Last night, when I was going home, I came up to this idea.
Why don't we have a page for shaing tips and ideas of teaching?
Every student in our class is enthusiastic teacher or teacher wanna be. Somehow all of us are involved in teaching and we have our own sources. Then it will be great to share our teaching resources like good internet sites and ideas or etc.
Anyway have a nice weekend.

From Liz



Liz, I can't agree with you more, and my sincerest thanks for such an excellent suggestion. I've therefore started this specific section for the sole purpose of having students sharing their great teaching experiences and activities, or answering each other's questions.

I hope your classmates show a willingness to reciprocate! I'll also be happy to contribute ideas and suggestions here based on students' submissions.

Good luck with it, everyone.

~ Jason


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Re: Teacher Tips and Teachniques (New section at Liz's suggestion!)

Post  Liz on Wed Apr 16 2008, 09:45

Today, I'd like to introduce a couple of web-sites. Maybe some of you know have already been using these.

First of all, http://puzzlemaker.discoveryeducation.com

You can make puzzle worksheets here. My favorite one is criss-cross puzzle and hidden message.

Secondly, http://bogglesworldesl.com

There are lots of ready-made worksheets. I often use these materials for the classes that are specialized for low level students.

Lastly, http://www.schoolholic.net/

Here, you can watch many interesting cartoons which are based on school life. By the way, those cartoons are in Korean.
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You forgot one!

Post  Jason Renshaw on Wed Apr 16 2008, 09:50

Liz wrote: Today, I'd like to introduce a couple of web-sites. Maybe some of you know have already been using these.

First of all, http://puzzlemaker.discoveryeducation.com

You can make puzzle worksheets here. My favorite one is criss-cross puzzle and hidden message.

Secondly, http://bogglesworldesl.com

There are lots of ready-made worksheets. I often use these materials for the classes that are specialized for low level students.

Lastly, http://www.schoolholic.net/

Here, you can watch many interesting cartoons which are based on school life. By the way, those cartoons are in Korean.

Liz - great sites there! I've used them all before and other teachers strongly recommend them as well.

However, you forgot one:
http://www.englishraven.com/main.html

Some guy made that one... perhaps you'll find it familiar!

Best wishes,

~ Jason


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Weblog: http://jasonrenshaw.typepad.com
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Re: Teacher Tips and Teachniques (New section at Liz's suggestion!)

Post  choi Eun sil on Wed Apr 16 2008, 13:42

Liz wrote: Today, I'd like to introduce a couple of web-sites. Maybe some of you know have already been using these.

First of all, http://puzzlemaker.discoveryeducation.com

You can make puzzle worksheets here. My favorite one is criss-cross puzzle and hidden message.

Secondly, http://bogglesworldesl.com

There are lots of ready-made worksheets. I often use these materials for the classes that are specialized for low level students.

Lastly, http://www.schoolholic.net/

Here, you can watch many interesting cartoons which are based on school life. By the way, those cartoons are in Korean.

Thanks Liz..
The Puzzle maker site seems to be helpful.
Thank you for sharing the information. sunny
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Re: Teacher Tips and Teachniques (New section at Liz's suggestion!)

Post  choi Eun sil on Wed Apr 16 2008, 13:52

Jason Renshaw wrote:Hi everyone,

I just received this private message from Liz (sorry to post it publicly here, Liz, but I think it is an awesome idea and should be shared immediately!):

Hi?
T.G.I.F.
Last night, when I was going home, I came up to this idea.
Why don't we have a page for shaing tips and ideas of teaching?
Every student in our class is enthusiastic teacher or teacher wanna be. Somehow all of us are involved in teaching and we have our own sources. Then it will be great to share our teaching resources like good internet sites and ideas or etc.
Anyway have a nice weekend.

From Liz



Liz, I can't agree with you more, and my sincerest thanks for such an excellent suggestion. I've therefore started this specific section for the sole purpose of having students sharing their great teaching experiences and activities, or answering each other's questions.

I hope your classmates show a willingness to reciprocate! I'll also be happy to contribute ideas and suggestions here based on students' submissions.

Good luck with it, everyone.

~ Jason


***


Today, I was really upset while in class.
I gave 'Further reading' related to lesson topic to students.
While reading, one student said to the friend.
'I think it is linked to the school test. so I don't want to read it.'
It is really stupid.
What on earth is English for the test?
At first, I was angry at the student's reaction, but maybe I lack teaching skillsl.
I have to improve the skills.
In this site, I can get and share various information . flower
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I'm having fun!!

Post  Kang Eunmi on Wed Apr 16 2008, 15:30

It's really fun. I wrote a concern and some advice as SAM.

While I do this, I can share what my classmates worry about these days and their

thoughts. Thanks for giving us to do such a meaningful job.

By doing this, we can get closer to each other soon!!

What a genius my mate who suggested this job!!
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recommend

Post  choi Eun sil on Thu Apr 17 2008, 09:44

I'd like to recommend the book ' Games for grammar practice'.

There are many useful games you anc use when you teach Grammar.
I think most students don't like grammar lesson.
Using this kind of activities, Garmmar class can be excited and fun.
I hope this book is informative for your class.
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A great way to learn about teaching in the class.

Post  Boyun Park on Wed Apr 23 2008, 15:12

I'm also thankful for making this section. I don't have experience teaching students in class except tutoring several kids before. I think this will help me a lot to know about how teachers manage classes and tools used for teaching. This will be a good chance for students like me(without experience in teaching class) to hear from current teachers about real school lives thesedays. Very Happy
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Cheat & Swindle Holidays

Post  Hyo-Jin Kim on Fri Apr 25 2008, 15:38

If you've got a confident class with a passion for debate this activity could be the ideal way to let learners get off a bit of steam, while allowing the teacher to retain relative control over the language used. It is an interaction between holidaymakers demanding a refund, and travel agents determined not to give it.
There is a relative degree of flexibility with Cheat and Swindle Holidays but it is well-suited to practice of structures for making complaints. It should also be remembered that while the activity as it is here is stand-alone, best results are likely to be achieved by a teacher using it as a culmination of a series of well-planned relevant stages.

Preparation
Preparation of materials is minimal. Although the activity can be done by dividing the whole class into two, interaction time is maximised by limiting groups to four or six. Half will be angry tourists, the others defensive travel agents. Class preparation is done in the pairs or threes, therefore it will be sufficient to prepare one role card for each pair/three.

Stages

  • Depending on what precedes this activity, a way to get the group focused is to create a list of things that can go wrong on holiday. I find it useful to start them off, e.g. lost passport, falling ill, poor service in hotel etc


  • Then ask them in pairs to recall any negative experiences they may have had on holiday. As a whole class, students share some of these experiences and similarly any action they took, if relevant. Even if a number of students have experiences to recount, keep the class together, it is not a good time to go back to working in pairs. Keep it brief.


  • Ask the students what they can do if the holiday is a complete disaster? Elicit complain, you will need to go in this direction. Add some more useful expressions e.g. make a complaint, moan, moaner, gripe etc


  • Review language for making complaints. I do this by giving them a list of expressions to use and asking them to rate their strength. It can also be done on the board. Here are some example expressions for learners to rate from 1-5, 5 is the strongest:

    • What do you think you are doing?
    • Perhaps you would like to consider that ...
    • Now listen here! We want action!
    • We would like to see an improvement in your service.
    • It was absolutely disgraceful.
    • Would it be possible to consider our complaint?
    • We asked for ... but we got ...! Not good enough!
    • We think you can do better.
    • All you care about is money!



  • Divide the class into A and B. Explain that the As have just returned from a terrible holiday and are determined to get a refund from the travel agents. Hand them their role cards and tell them they have ten minutes to prepare their case for a refund. Remind them they can use ideas and language from the preceding activities.


  • Bring the Bs together and explain that they are travel agents due to meet angry customers. Have a look at their role cards with them and check their understanding of the activity. Tell them they have ten minutes to prepare answers to the complaints listed.


  • Monitor and make suggestions.


  • After ten minutes, check that the As have a solid case with good reasons for a refund. Divide them into twos or threes.


  • Repeat this for the Bs and check they have good answers to the complaints listed.


  • Put the class into facing groups of equal numbers and start them off (as you see fit). Closely monitor for mistakes and to be sure that the activities remain balanced.


  • Depending on available time, allow the activity to run its own course, not intervening unless necessary.


  • Bring the whole class together. Ask the tourists if they succeeded in getting a refund. Ask the travel agents why not. This has the dual effect of summarising and concluding the activity.


  • Give feedback on language points.


Possible supplementary activities connected with this lesson

  • Students choose a holiday from a range of limited options


  • Students plan a holiday


  • Students choose what to take on holiday from a list


  • Students design a holiday for the teacher


  • Students write holiday brochures for their towns/countries


  • Students write postcards


  • Students redesign travel brochures so as to attract different types of people to the same place


Level: Intermediate and above (Also Pre-Intermediate if carefully adapted)
Written by Chris Tricett
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Vocabulary bag

Post  Hyo-Jin Kim on Fri Apr 25 2008, 15:41

To revise new vocabulary I keep a vocabulary bag in the classroom for the term. When we study new vocabulary in a lesson I write the words on strips of card (one word on each) and put the cards in the vocabulary bag. I use the vocabulary bag to play different games to revise the words in the bag.
One example is at the start of a lesson as a warmer I give each student a card and they find a partner and give a definition of the word. Their partner has to try and guess what the word is. Partners swap cards and find a new partner to give a definition to. Keep swapping partners until everyone has had a chance to speak with several other students.
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Activities To Promote Speaking

Post  Hyo-Jin Kim on Sat Apr 26 2008, 04:32

1. Discussions

After a content-based lesson, a discussion can be held for various reasons. The students may aim to arrive at a conclusion, share ideas about an event, or find solutions in their discussion groups. Before the discussion, it is essential that the purpose of the discussion activity is set by the teacher. In this way, the discussion points are relevant to this purpose, so that students do not spend their time chatting with each other about irrelevant things. For example, students can become involved in agree/disagree discussions. In this type of discussions, the teacher can form groups of students, preferably 4 or 5 in each group, and provide controversial sentences like “people learn best when they read vs. people learn best when they travel”. Then each group works on their topic for a given time period, and presents their opinions to the class. It is essential that the speaking should be equally divided among group members. At the end, the class decides on the winning group who defended the idea in the best way. This activity fosters critical thinking and quick decision making, and students learn how to express and justify themselves in polite ways while disagreeing with the others. For efficient group discussions, it is always better not to form large groups, because quiet students may avoid contributing in large groups. The group members can be either assigned by the teacher or the students may determine it by themselves, but groups should be rearranged in every discussion activity so that students can work with various people and learn to be open to different ideas. Lastly, in class or group discussions, whatever the aim is, the students should always be encouraged to ask questions, paraphrase ideas, express support, check for clarification, and so on.

2.Role Play

One other way of getting students to speak is role-playing. Students pretend they are in various social contexts and have a variety of social roles. In role-play activities, the teacher gives information to the learners such as who they are and what they think or feel. Thus, the teacher can tell the student that "You are David, you go to the doctor and tell him what happened last night, and…" (Harmer, 1984)

3. Simulations

Simulations are very similar to role-plays but what makes simulations different than role plays is that they are more elaborate. In simulations, students can bring items to the class to create a realistic environment. For instance, if a student is acting as a singer, she brings a microphone to sing and so on. Role plays and simulations have many advantages. First, since they are entertaining, they motivate the students. Second, as Harmer (1984) suggests, they increase the self-confidence of hesitant students, because in role play and simulation activities, they will have a different role and do not have to speak for themselves, which means they do not have to take the same responsibility.

4. Information Gap

In this activity, students are supposed to be working in pairs. One student will have the information that other partner does not have and the partners will share their information. Information gap activities serve many purposes such as solving a problem or collecting information. Also, each partner plays an important role because the task cannot be completed if the partners do not provide the information the others need. These activities are effective because everybody has the opportunity to talk extensively in the target language.

5. Brainstorming

On a given topic, students can produce ideas in a limited time. Depending on the context, either individual or group brainstorming is effective and learners generate ideas quickly and freely. The good characteristics of brainstorming is that the students are not criticized for their ideas so students will be open to sharing new ideas.

6. Storytelling

Students can briefly summarize a tale or story they heard from somebody beforehand, or they may create their own stories to tell their classmates. Story telling fosters creative thinking. It also helps students express ideas in the format of beginning, development, and ending, including the characters and setting a story has to have. Students also can tell riddles or jokes. For instance, at the very beginning of each class session, the teacher may call a few students to tell short riddles or jokes as an opening. In this way, not only will the teacher address students’ speaking ability, but also get the attention of the class.

7. Interviews

Students can conduct interviews on selected topics with various people. It is a good idea that the teacher provides a rubric to students so that they know what type of questions they can ask or what path to follow, but students should prepare their own interview questions. Conducting interviews with people gives students a chance to practice their speaking ability not only in class but also outside and helps them becoming socialized. After interviews, each student can present his or her study to the class. Moreover, students can interview each other and "introduce" his or her partner to the class.

8. Story Completion

This is a very enjoyable, whole-class, free-speaking activity for which students sit in a circle. For this activity, a teacher starts to tell a story, but after a few sentences he or she stops narrating. Then, each student starts to narrate from the point where the previous one stopped. Each student is supposed to add from four to ten sentences. Students can add new characters, events, descriptions and so on.

9. Reporting

Before coming to class, students are asked to read a newspaper or magazine and, in class, they report to their friends what they find as the most interesting news. Students can also talk about whether they have experienced anything worth telling their friends in their daily lives before class.

10. Playing Cards

In this game, students should form groups of four. Each suit will represent a topic. For instance:

Diamonds: Earning money

Hearts: Love and relationships

Spades: An unforgettable memory

Clubs: Best teacher

Each student in a group will choose a card. Then, each student will write 4-5 questions about that topic to ask the other people in the group. For example:

If the topic "Diamonds: Earning Money" is selected, here are some possible questions:

Is money important in your life? Why?

What is the easiest way of earning money?

What do you think about lottery? Etc.

However, the teacher should state at the very beginning of the activity that students are not allowed to prepare yes-no questions, because by saying yes or no students get little practice in spoken language production. Rather, students ask open-ended questions to each other so that they reply in complete sentences.

11. Picture Narrating

This activity is based on several sequential pictures. Students are asked to tell the story taking place in the sequential pictures by paying attention to the criteria provided by the teacher as a rubric. Rubrics can include the vocabulary or structures they need to use while narrating.

12. Picture Describing

Another way to make use of pictures in a speaking activity is to give students just one picture and having them describe what it is in the picture. For this activity students can form groups and each group is given a different picture. Students discuss the picture with their groups, then a spokesperson for each group describes the picture to the whole class. This activity fosters the creativity and imagination of the learners as well as their public speaking skills.

13. Find the Difference

For this activity students can work in pairs and each couple is given two different pictures, for example, picture of boys playing football and another picture of girls playing tennis. Students in pairs discuss the similarities and/or differences in the pictures.
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Thank you very much for sharing them.

Post  Joo Un-jin on Sat Apr 26 2008, 18:20

Liz, thank you very much for sharing those kinds of useful websites.
I am already using 'puzzlemaker'. But I found another helpful one 'bogglesworldesl'
I have had difficulty for making materials for low-leveled students.
'schoolholic' will be so helpful to me.
I will add them to my favorites.
Thanks a lot!
Have a nice weekend.^^

Liz wrote: Today, I'd like to introduce a couple of web-sites. Maybe some of you know have already been using these.

First of all, http://puzzlemaker.discoveryeducation.com

You can make puzzle worksheets here. My favorite one is criss-cross puzzle and hidden message.

Secondly, http://bogglesworldesl.com

There are lots of ready-made worksheets. I often use these materials for the classes that are specialized for low level students.

Lastly, http://www.schoolholic.net/

Here, you can watch many interesting cartoons which are based on school life. By the way, those cartoons are in Korean.
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Re: Teacher Tips and Teachniques (New section at Liz's suggestion!)

Post  Han Kyoung Jae on Thu May 01 2008, 10:58

Liz wrote: Today, I'd like to introduce a couple of web-sites. Maybe some of you know have already been using these.

First of all, http://puzzlemaker.discoveryeducation.com

You can make puzzle worksheets here. My favorite one is criss-cross puzzle and hidden message.

Secondly, http://bogglesworldesl.com

There are lots of ready-made worksheets. I often use these materials for the classes that are specialized for low level students.

Lastly, http://www.schoolholic.net/

Here, you can watch many interesting cartoons which are based on school life. By the way, those cartoons are in Korean.

Many thanks you for introducing to us these useful sites.
I made many kinds of useful materials for my students at first, but it took too much time and effort for me to make them.
From now on, I can use these sites for the class. Sharing the helpful sites and materials is a very good i dea. If i get to know new helpful sites, I'll let you know, too. Thank you for the sharing.^^
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Re: Teacher Tips and Teachniques (New section at Liz's suggestion!)

Post  Han Kyoung Jae on Thu May 01 2008, 11:04

Hyo-Jin Kim wrote:To revise new vocabulary I keep a vocabulary bag in the classroom for the term. When we study new vocabulary in a lesson I write the words on strips of card (one word on each) and put the cards in the vocabulary bag. I use the vocabulary bag to play different games to revise the words in the bag.
One example is at the start of a lesson as a warmer I give each student a card and they find a partner and give a definition of the word. Their partner has to try and guess what the word is. Partners swap cards and find a new partner to give a definition to. Keep swapping partners until everyone has had a chance to speak with several other students.

Hyo-jin!! You have many useful ideas for the class. Whenever the students feel bored, these kinds of methods are very useful ways to refresh them. I want to apply them to my class after mid-term examination. Maybe these kinds of methods are suitable for the low level students. At any rate, thank you for giving me a good idea.
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Re: Teacher Tips and Teachniques (New section at Liz's suggestion!)

Post  Jason Renshaw on Thu May 01 2008, 12:58

Hyojin - somehow I don't think the following is all 'your' original content. If you have lifted it from a website or a textbook, you really should reference it. Otherwise it is - well - theft...

:-)

~ Jason

Hyo-Jin Kim wrote:1. Discussions

After a content-based lesson, a discussion can be held for various reasons. The students may aim to arrive at a conclusion, share ideas about an event, or find solutions in their discussion groups. Before the discussion, it is essential that the purpose of the discussion activity is set by the teacher. In this way, the discussion points are relevant to this purpose, so that students do not spend their time chatting with each other about irrelevant things. For example, students can become involved in agree/disagree discussions. In this type of discussions, the teacher can form groups of students, preferably 4 or 5 in each group, and provide controversial sentences like “people learn best when they read vs. people learn best when they travel”. Then each group works on their topic for a given time period, and presents their opinions to the class. It is essential that the speaking should be equally divided among group members. At the end, the class decides on the winning group who defended the idea in the best way. This activity fosters critical thinking and quick decision making, and students learn how to express and justify themselves in polite ways while disagreeing with the others. For efficient group discussions, it is always better not to form large groups, because quiet students may avoid contributing in large groups. The group members can be either assigned by the teacher or the students may determine it by themselves, but groups should be rearranged in every discussion activity so that students can work with various people and learn to be open to different ideas. Lastly, in class or group discussions, whatever the aim is, the students should always be encouraged to ask questions, paraphrase ideas, express support, check for clarification, and so on.

2.Role Play

One other way of getting students to speak is role-playing. Students pretend they are in various social contexts and have a variety of social roles. In role-play activities, the teacher gives information to the learners such as who they are and what they think or feel. Thus, the teacher can tell the student that "You are David, you go to the doctor and tell him what happened last night, and…" (Harmer, 1984)

3. Simulations

Simulations are very similar to role-plays but what makes simulations different than role plays is that they are more elaborate. In simulations, students can bring items to the class to create a realistic environment. For instance, if a student is acting as a singer, she brings a microphone to sing and so on. Role plays and simulations have many advantages. First, since they are entertaining, they motivate the students. Second, as Harmer (1984) suggests, they increase the self-confidence of hesitant students, because in role play and simulation activities, they will have a different role and do not have to speak for themselves, which means they do not have to take the same responsibility.

4. Information Gap

In this activity, students are supposed to be working in pairs. One student will have the information that other partner does not have and the partners will share their information. Information gap activities serve many purposes such as solving a problem or collecting information. Also, each partner plays an important role because the task cannot be completed if the partners do not provide the information the others need. These activities are effective because everybody has the opportunity to talk extensively in the target language.

5. Brainstorming

On a given topic, students can produce ideas in a limited time. Depending on the context, either individual or group brainstorming is effective and learners generate ideas quickly and freely. The good characteristics of brainstorming is that the students are not criticized for their ideas so students will be open to sharing new ideas.

6. Storytelling

Students can briefly summarize a tale or story they heard from somebody beforehand, or they may create their own stories to tell their classmates. Story telling fosters creative thinking. It also helps students express ideas in the format of beginning, development, and ending, including the characters and setting a story has to have. Students also can tell riddles or jokes. For instance, at the very beginning of each class session, the teacher may call a few students to tell short riddles or jokes as an opening. In this way, not only will the teacher address students’ speaking ability, but also get the attention of the class.

7. Interviews

Students can conduct interviews on selected topics with various people. It is a good idea that the teacher provides a rubric to students so that they know what type of questions they can ask or what path to follow, but students should prepare their own interview questions. Conducting interviews with people gives students a chance to practice their speaking ability not only in class but also outside and helps them becoming socialized. After interviews, each student can present his or her study to the class. Moreover, students can interview each other and "introduce" his or her partner to the class.

8. Story Completion

This is a very enjoyable, whole-class, free-speaking activity for which students sit in a circle. For this activity, a teacher starts to tell a story, but after a few sentences he or she stops narrating. Then, each student starts to narrate from the point where the previous one stopped. Each student is supposed to add from four to ten sentences. Students can add new characters, events, descriptions and so on.

9. Reporting

Before coming to class, students are asked to read a newspaper or magazine and, in class, they report to their friends what they find as the most interesting news. Students can also talk about whether they have experienced anything worth telling their friends in their daily lives before class.

10. Playing Cards

In this game, students should form groups of four. Each suit will represent a topic. For instance:

Diamonds: Earning money

Hearts: Love and relationships

Spades: An unforgettable memory

Clubs: Best teacher

Each student in a group will choose a card. Then, each student will write 4-5 questions about that topic to ask the other people in the group. For example:

If the topic "Diamonds: Earning Money" is selected, here are some possible questions:

Is money important in your life? Why?

What is the easiest way of earning money?

What do you think about lottery? Etc.

However, the teacher should state at the very beginning of the activity that students are not allowed to prepare yes-no questions, because by saying yes or no students get little practice in spoken language production. Rather, students ask open-ended questions to each other so that they reply in complete sentences.

11. Picture Narrating

This activity is based on several sequential pictures. Students are asked to tell the story taking place in the sequential pictures by paying attention to the criteria provided by the teacher as a rubric. Rubrics can include the vocabulary or structures they need to use while narrating.

12. Picture Describing

Another way to make use of pictures in a speaking activity is to give students just one picture and having them describe what it is in the picture. For this activity students can form groups and each group is given a different picture. Students discuss the picture with their groups, then a spokesperson for each group describes the picture to the whole class. This activity fosters the creativity and imagination of the learners as well as their public speaking skills.

13. Find the Difference

For this activity students can work in pairs and each couple is given two different pictures, for example, picture of boys playing football and another picture of girls playing tennis. Students in pairs discuss the similarities and/or differences in the pictures.

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Daegu City, Republic of Korea 702-701

Managing Director: www.onlinEnglish.Net
Author: http://www.boostskillsseries.com
Weblog: http://jasonrenshaw.typepad.com
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Do you think translation is needed in English classes?

Post  bakbann on Mon May 12 2008, 09:04

Is translation needed during English classes? I'm just wondering your thinking.

Few days ago, I had a small talk with my professor and other graduate students who did their first practicum. One of them said, she wanted to use Communicative Language Teaching Approach with a lot of activities. She wanted to encourage students to communicate each other with low inhibition or pressure. However, Her plan was frustrated by the teacher who is in charge of her. The teacher believes translation is one of the indispensible elements in English class and she is a strong supporter of Grammar Translation Method. My professor were against this idea. He argued that although students may not be able to translate English writing into Korean exactly, they can understand what the writing is about. Moreover, It is much more effective way to explain English words in English like English-English dictionary largely based on its context or by synonyms and antonym. It is meaningful learning, he added. He also insisted translating English words to Korean and making students memorize them won't last long in their cognitive structure.

I believe there are numerous students who want direct translation into Korean to make it clear. However, I also agree with my professor that students can understand English without translation. I know this is highly controversial among many teachers and educators, but I just want to hear various opinions about this.

What do you think?
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I got in trouble!

Post  Kang Eunmi on Wed May 14 2008, 21:59

I'm a teacher! When my students look depressed or sad, I always help and encourage them with warm-heart.

However, these days, I'm so much depressed and do not want to do anything.

Even attending class makes me stressed. If there is a wise teacher for me, what would he/she say for me?

I know I can learn something new by teaching. But I do not want to do neither of them. silent


Last edited by Kang Eunmi on Wed May 14 2008, 22:11; edited 2 times in total
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Thanx~!! Liz^^

Post  Kang Eunmi on Wed May 14 2008, 22:01

These web sites are what I really need. Whenever my students ask me to play a game with me I don't know what to do.

And I needed some materials for my class. Thanx a lot!!

Liz wrote: Today, I'd like to introduce a couple of web-sites. Maybe some of you know have already been using these.

First of all, http://puzzlemaker.discoveryeducation.com

You can make puzzle worksheets here. My favorite one is criss-cross puzzle and hidden message.

Secondly, http://bogglesworldesl.com

There are lots of ready-made worksheets. I often use these materials for the classes that are specialized for low level students.

Lastly, http://www.schoolholic.net/

Here, you can watch many interesting cartoons which are based on school life. By the way, those cartoons are in Korean.
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hi

Post  Yoobin Cha on Thu May 15 2008, 20:07

I think that everyone has experienced depression like you.
I guess it depends on weather,health, situation..
How about taking a walk in good weather with your pets or friends?



Kang Eunmi wrote:I'm a teacher! When my students look depressed or sad, I always help and encourage them with warm-heart.

However, these days, I'm so much depressed and do not want to do anything.

Even attending class makes me stressed. If there is a wise teacher for me, what would he/she say for me?

I know I can learn something new by teaching. But I do not want to do neither of them. silent
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Re: Teacher Tips and Teachniques (New section at Liz's suggestion!)

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