These new kids need more public speaking skills than us. They will work on projects in teams, they will present their projects and they will need to be more confident in front of an audience. Thus, as teachers we can encourage our students to speak in front of an audience by assigning weekly projects. Friday afternoons can be a great time for doing this as on the last day of the week they feel tired and demotivated. You can find a lovely box, or a jar and put the project ideas in and ask them to choose the one for the next week.
Here are some suggestions but we can add more,
Every week students choose a song which tell a story and prepare a 3-minute presentation about the song. They have to mention the band, singer, genre and the story of the song.
Students scan through the week’s newspapers, online news channels and prepare their 3-minute presentation on current affairs.
Students find out about the movies or the plays on and choose one that they’ve watched or want to watch and prepare a presentation.
Students choose a quote that they like. Tell the class who said that and why they have chosen it and what it means.
Students choose a colour and research how that colour effects people.
Students choose two places they want to compare. they can be two cities, two cafes, two bookshops, two clothes shops, etc and prepare a 3-minute talk.
September 13th is the Roald Dahl day and this year it’s his 100th birthday. Regular readers know that I’m fond of Roald Dahl stories and I love using them in class. I just wanted to bring some links that you’d like to use with your classes.
Here the schools are not open yet but I’ll start the year with some Roald Dahl stories with my Grade 11 and 12 students. So here you can find some ideas and websites which will inspire you with your celebrations.
If you are learning English in the 21st century, you are lucky because you will have numerous alternatives to practise the things you’ve been learning.
There are thousands of great sites which will help you, but if you don’t have a place to store these cool sites, then you’ll lose track so I will suggest you to bookmark them.
I use scoop.it, diigo and pinterest for the sites I love. You can start a pinterest board for the listening, reading or writing sites, or start using scoop.it to curate links for learning vocabulary, practising reading, etc. You can follow other learners and learn from them as well.
Here you will find some cool tools for you to practise what you’ve been learning.
EngVid is a free site to learn English for free with video lessons. New Lessons are added regularly, covering grammar, vocabulary, TOEFL and more. Students who are willing to improve their English can visit the site at least once or twice a week.
5 Minute English is a site designed to give the learners short and easy explanations and exercises. The learners can have a quick look at grammar, reading, listening, vocabulary and idioms. They can also find answers to questions that can be confusing for other learners. This is under the Question and Answer section.
If you spend 5 minutes a day here regularly, you will benefit a lot.
News in Levels is another great site that can be recommended to enthusiastic ESL learners to study English.
There are short news articles for different levels. You can choose your level and read the news and listen to it. You then can try the other levels for the same article. The words in the original news have been changed and adapted to 3 levels. The vocabulary definitions are also given.
I just came across with ETTC, a site where you can try writing poems on your own. The site allows the users to write fun poems, guiding them to use certain vocabulary.
This is a great way to learn and recycle vocabulary.
Listening to songs is one of the greatest ways to study a foreign language. That’s why Lyrics Training is another site you can visit daily. You can listen to the songs and try to fill in the gaps according to your level. If you can’t catch up the words, the video stops and you have to listen to it again.
oneword.com is a great site which will allow the learners to write on a word given in 60 seconds. When you click on the link and access the site you will see how simple it is to use. Click on ‘GO’, you will see a word and will have 60 seconds to write about it. The words given are very simple and that way even the beginners can find something to write.
Esl.fis.edu is a site to provide resources that will help ESL learners improve their grammar, reading and vocabulary skills. The site contains activities and quizzes which will facilitate learning. You can choose an activity and start doing and you get immediate feedback.
I am not a fan of online games. I don’t play any but my son spends most of his free time playing online games. I have lots of students who do the same and when the subject is online games, even the quietest one starts to speak. A few years ago I had three students in my class. They were very much interested in games. They were very interesting boys because they were not ordinary players as they learned a lot about mythology and literature playing these games. One of them is writing stories and probably he’ll become a famous writer one day. That’s my hope for him.
I was clearing my files during the break and I came across a handout I coped from a book (unfortunately I don’t remember the name of the book) on literature. There were questions about favourite titles and characters. I put the handout among the ones I’d like to use this year but then suddenly I thought about another activity. Why shouldn’t I adapt it to games that the students are fond of playing and would work on the activity eagerly?
So here are my questions. I’ll be very happy if you can suggest other questions for this activity.
Think about the online games you love playing. First finish the sentences then compare your answers with your partner.
I think I’m like the character ————————– from the game ———— because ———————-.
I like the title of the game ————————— because ———————-.
The game which I find very challenging is ———————————.
I want to meet the character ———————- from the game —————- because ————————-
The character whose action I admire is ————————– because ——-
For me the most interesting 3 online games are ———————————.
It is easy to win a game in ————————– because ———————–
It is difficult to win a game in ———————– because ———————-.
The game ——————- is set in a ——————————. It is —————–.
10. In the game ———————— you need to be a team to win.
Here you can find the handout I prepared for the activity.
Links to some blogs and interesting posts on online games
We were working on narrative tenses and the writing task of the lesson was ‘writing a story’. My class is small and it’s a real mixed-ability class. although it’s small, it sometimes takes very ages for the students to master something. The book we’re using organized the activity very well – first making students to know and use the connectors to make them aware of the sequences in a story. We did the exercise on the book and wrote a paragraph using AtFirst, Then, After that, Eventually, Finallybut some of the students had problems writing their own paragraphs so I decided to continue.
photo credit @AClilToClimb #eltpics
I divided the group into two and told them they would write a story using At First, Then, After that, Eventually, Finally.
Each group now had a good students to help the others.
I changed one student from the groups and exchanged them with each other after they finished writing and reading their paragraphs aloud.
I left the good ones in the group, changing one students after writing a paragraph for four times.
In the fifth round, all the good ones were in one group but two groups managed to use the connectors and produced their own sentences.
Then they all went back to their seats and wrote their own paragraphs.
As a follow-up, they wrote another paragraph, creating a book with bookr.