I love the idea of small talks where students present something to their classmates and in a way they learn how to present, how to talk in front of a crowd.
We use a topic based coursebook in that way students focus on a different topic in each unit. This year I told my students that they would prepare a small presentation at the beginning of each lesson.These presentations should be a kind of introduction to the new unit. They chose the units they would present at the beginning of the year. We talked about how to prepare presentations, power points what to include on the slides, how to express themselves, etc.
As you may guess, the first presentations were not very sucessful. Lots of copying and pasting with beautiful images from the web and they read the slides instead of telling them to us.
Then we talked about plagiarism and I repeated many times that there was no need to write sentences but they should have notes on their slides. I also suggested that they could use the web 2.0 tools I taught them.
After a few units, I realised the presentations became better but at the end of each presentation I repeated what my expectations were.
And yesterday a student presented about talk shows. She used a glogster instead of power point and in the end we watched an animation she created with GoAnimate. It was brilliant and the other students also enjoyed listening to her. She never read, she talked. She was creative and I really felt very proud.
I think from now on the others will do their best to be as good as her. GoAnimate.com: esayan show by selin236
Well, partly because I have classes with no football enthusiasm and as schools close this Friday, I can’t do any World Cup themed lessons with my students. I believe the event itself can be a great resource for a speaking activity. However, there are other great things which can be done while the world cup is going on.
1. This one is in South Africa so it can be a good opportunity to reasearch the country. You can ask your students to learn something about Nelson Mandela or Nadine Gordimer as they also have Nobel prizes.
2. You can group students as A, B, Cs and ask them to reasearch the countries in their groups and present them to the class. They can even prepare a World Cup corner somewhere in the school with some information about the countries.
3. You can ask them to create trivia quizzes on past world cups.
4. They can prepare a presentation on unforgettable moments. I still remember how Maradona scored a goal with his hand and stayed unpenalised and as a result Argentina won the cup.
5. You can ask them to research the top scorers of the games.
6. You can ask the students to research some football legends like Pele, Cruyff, Socrates, Zoff ,Puskás, etc and how they continued their lives.
In the session, I talked about why we should use songs in EFL classes.
Music is everywhere in our lives. We listen to songs when we are happy, angry, sad or when we need inspiration or when we want to relax. We go out of our homes with our songs, we travel with them, we wait with them, we shop with them.
So we can teach with them. May be I didn’t say anything new. These are the things we all know. However, I think it is always good to remember them.
Music can be used to teach
grammar : at the presentation stage of a grammar point or while reviewing
listening : gap fill exercises, matching to teach listening for gist or detail
vocabulary: to teach or increase vocab by asking your students to replace the words with a synonym, antonym or a near synonym.
reading: songs are authentic texts and they can be used for comprehension, discussion and teaching culture
writing: you can use songs for teaching writing. Ask your students to write a letter to the character, write a story which took place before the sond, add one more verse to the original, write their song for the same topic.
While doing all these we can always use web 2.0 to motivate our students so they can add their own content to the material.
In the final part of my talk I gave examples how I used songs with my students.
I started the session with an activity from Music and Song by Tim Murphey (2009, OUP)
Play an instrumental piece.
Ask students to fill out the questionnaire while listening to the music.
1. If you turned on the radio and heard this piece of music would you:
turn off immediately?
buy the record?
download it to your mp3 player?
Leave it on as background music?
Imagine someone who loves this music. Describe the person in a few words.
Imagine someone who doesn’t love this music. Describe the person in a few words.
What emotions does it evoke in you?
What do you see if you close your eyes as you listen?
If this were the background music for an advertisement, what do you think the advertised product would be?
If this were a soundtrack for a film, what kind of a film would that be?
In what kind of place would you be most likely to hear this music?
In my month themes I wrote I’d like to do something related with the Oscars as we all know the nominees now. Today I assigned my students to prepare small talks on it.
For these short presentations my students will have 3 minutes to talk. I prepare a rubric to mark their presentations too. They like the idea of small talks and by doing them they improved their speaking skills and they are better at presenting their ideas now. Although they make mistakes while speaking, they are more fluent now. In the class I have really creative students so this is another challenge for the rest. They also use their creativity to surprise me and their friends.
Their small talk topic is Oscars as I mentioned above and these are my suggestions for what they can prepare.
1. Conduct a survey in the school and find out who do your friends think will get the awards this year in the following cathegories: Best actor/ Best actress/ Best Director/ Best film
2. Find out the nominated songs and present them in an interesting way.
3. Choose your own winners and give your reasons.
4. You are free to prepare something else on this very cool topic.
5. Choose one of the movies that was nominated and create your own poster for it and talk about it.
6. Choose one of the nominated movies and give information about its plot, setting, etc.
The deadline is February, 26th and I hope I’ll be able to share their presentations with you.