Posted in Uncategorized

Say something nice

A great idea for a warmer.

A Hive of Activities

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This warmer is appropriate for a class that already knows each other quite well. In essence, the students to greet each other, and pay each other a compliment. Getting so many compliments in such a short space of time feels good, even when the compliments are contrived. It also feels a bit silly, which allows the students to laugh and relax together – perfect for communicating in their L2. The activity comes from a great book I recently acquired by Jill Hadfield, called Classroom Dynamics (where it’s called Crazy Compliments.)

Materials required: students and post-it notes (the same number as there are students).

  • Write on each post-it note an instruction to give a compliment, eg. “say something nice about my eyes,” “say something nice about my smile,” “say something nice about my pronunciation,” etc.
  • Stick one on the back of every student and explain that they are going to mingle…

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Posted in Conversation Classes

Tiger Mother Conversation Topic

tiger mum

This is a conversation activity based around Amy Chua the controversial author of the book “Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother”, her guide to parenting using stricter Chinese methods. Below are the links to the prezi and two hand outs.

Prezi

tiger mother example of technique

Tiger Mother quotes handout

Lesson Plan

First show the first slide of the prezi with the three quotes and have students discuss them as a class or in small groups.

Then tell show them the second slide and tell them that the three quotes are all from Amy Chua. Ask students if they have heard of her and encourage them to share their knowledge if they have.

Then give out the first handout (example of technique). Have the students read the story, go over any vocabulary issues and then have students discuss it using the questions on the 2nd slide.

Then have students discuss the quotes in the 3rd slide of the prezi or alternatively print out the second hand out (quotes) and use that for discussion.

Homework Suggestion

Students preparing for exams could write an article or essay based around Amy Chua and her techniques. A compare and contrast piece based around students opinions of her techniques compared to traditional western parenting.

 

 

Posted in Conversation Classes, Exam Preparation Class, Uncategorized

Picture Description Lesson Plan

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This is a fun lesson plan in which students work in pairs describing and drawing pictures. It will be useful for students preparing for Cambridge exam speaking activities.

You will need this handout: Pics for describing

Put the following picture on the board and hand out other copies to the class:

tower bridge

Ask students what they can see in the picture.

What’s in the background?

What’s in the foreground?

Go through the following vocabulary on the board:

In the background/foreground we can see…………..

On the left/right

At the top/bottom

He’s wearing……………..

He’s facing left/right/the camera

He looks happy/sad/ etc.

Prepositions: Next to/beside, above, below, in front of, behind.

Now tell students that you are going to describe a picture and they have to draw it. Tell them to draw quickly, also remind them about perspective (things in the foreground appear bigger than in the background)

Describe the following picture to them:

woman running

Try to give as much detail as possible. Collect in the pictures and stick them to the board and then show the real photo. Invite students to comment on the differences and vote for the one they think is most accurate.

Now put students in pairs, tell them that one person is going to describe and the other is going to draw. Have them position themselves so that the describer is facing the board so that he/she can see the vocabulary and the other should be facing them. Be careful that the different pairs are spaced out so that they cannot see each other’s pictures. Give them 5 minutes to describe and draw. Once the 5 minutes are up collect in the pictures and invite comments and votes again. Have students swap roles and repeat as many times as you like. There are several pictures in the handout with different degrees of difficulty.

Follow up activity:

For FCE or CAE students use the pictures for a practice run of the speaking part 2, in which students must compare and contrast two pictures for 1 minute.

Posted in Conversation Classes

Age Restrictions Conversation Topic

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This is a conversation topic lesson plan for adults and mature teens about the subject of the current age restrictions for films, video games and music. You will need this handout.

Put students into small groups of 3-4 and give each a copy of the handout. Start by answering the first question yourself in front of the class; give them a brief summary of the last film you watched, any shocking scenes is contained and what the age restriction was. Then encourage them to ask and answer the questions in their groups.

When all groups have finished have them feedback to the rest of the class, encourage the groups to retell the information they have learned about their group members, for example:

“Carlos said that Jurassic Park had given him terrible nightmares.”

“Montse said that she didn’t think anybody followed the age restriction rules.”

Then have the students turn the paper over and discuss part two, in which the groups must discuss appropriate age limits for different movie/TV content, afterwards they will discuss the effect theses things could have on impressionable children. Have students feedback to the class as before.

Here is the handout in full:

Part 1

  1. What was the last film you saw at the cinema/on TV/DVD/on the internet?
  2. Briefly describe the film to your group.
  3. What was the age limit?
  4. Did the film contain any shocking scenes?
  5. What’s the scariest/most shocking film/TV show you’ve ever seen?
  6. Do you remember any specific films or TV shows that had a big effect on you when you were younger? Did any films give you nightmares?
  7. What’s your opinion of the current system for age limits on films? (U, PG, 12A etc.)
  8. Do you think people follow the system?
  9. If you have children do you let them watch films with a higher age limit than their age?
  10. Did these limits exist when you were a child?
  11. Did your parents let you watch films with a higher age limit than your age?
  12. Do you know the rules for what can and can’t be shown on TV? Do TV stations edit/censor parts of films when they are on TV? (For example in the UK violent films or films containing nudity can only be shown after the ”watershed” (9pm)

Part 2

Look at the following list. In your groups discuss each item and think about an age limit for each one. Also think about the effect each one could have on young children. Share any experiences you have.

Images of:

  • people using drugs
  • songs with explicit lyrics
  • scenes of people smoking
  • kissing
  • blood
  • news containing images of dead people
  • shooting
  • nudity
  1. How have films/TV shows changed during your lifetime? Do they contain more or less of the things in the list?
  2. What changes would you make to censorship laws/age restrictions if you were in government?
  3. Whose responsibility is it to make sure that children are not exposed to things they shouldn’t see? Parents? Government?
  4. What effect do you think violent films, TV shows and videogames have on children and people in general?
  5. Can you think of specific examples of games/shows/films that cross the line? (that are too violent)