Great tips from Marek Kiczkowiak at http://teflreflections.wordpress.com also relevant to FCE/CAE/CPE students.
Check out this great article from Jenny Johnson at the British Council about ways different ways to maintain CPD.
Image credit: thelondonacornschool.co.uk
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This is a reading and conversation lesson plan for high B2+ students, based around an article in the guardian newspaper about the acorn school in London which has a no technology policy for students, both at school and at home.
Download the abbreviated version of the article and the lesson plan here:
Describe the classroom in our first school. Did it have a blackboard? Decorations? Computers? What were the desks like? How were they arranged?
How did the teachers present information to you? On the board? With a projector? Flipchart? Powerpoint?
How have new technologies changed education?
Do you think they have changed it for the better?
What technology do schools use nowadays?
In what ways does technology help/hinder learning?
At what ages do you think children should start using the following things?
- the internet
- watching films
- games consoles
Give out the article and have students read it and underline any vocabulary they have problems with. They should then ask their partner for help with the vocab.
What do you think of this idea?
What are the advantages/disadvantages of this approach?
How do you think children would react to this approach?
Would you consider sending your children to this school?
Motion for debate:
“Children should not use any technology until the age of 12”
Put the class into 2 teams, try to choose the teams so that students have to argue against their own beliefs.
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This is the first of a new series of lesson plans based around different podcasts for proficiency and post-proficiency students. They’re appropriate for high C1+.
These lesson plans work in a similar way to the Proficiency Book Club series; set the podcast as homework so that students can listen to it at their leisure and then discuss it in the following class. For this lesson plans students will need to listen to the first part of the Darkode podcast by the amazing radiolab team of Robert Krulwich and Jad Abumrad. Download the plan here:
How computer literate are you?
How often do you use a computer?
Could you live without one?
What would you lose if your computer suddenly died or was stolen?
Have you or anyone you know ever been hacked?
What do you do to stay safe online?
What happened to Ina?
Russian hackers hacked her computer and held all her files hostage for 500 dollars.
Where does she suspect the hackers are from?
Russia or the Ukraine
Why did she decide to pay?
Her husband’s tax receipts are worth more than $500.
What does she have to do?
Get $500 in bitcoins to pay the ransom
What happened when she decrypted one file?
A timer started counting down until the files would be permanently deleted.
What are bitcoins?
An unregulated, untraceable online currency.
What did she have to do to get the bitcoins?
A lot of paperwork, take a photo of her husband holding his driving licence, get in contact with coincafe.com and send them the $500 from the post office.
What different problems did she encounter?
A snowstorm, thanksgiving holiday, the change in exchange rate.
How did she overcome in the problem of the exchange rate?
Contacted her daughter in Brooklyn to get her to go to the Bitcoin ATM.
What happened next?
She paid the ransom but she was 2.5 hours late, she received a message telling her she now had t pay $1000.
How did she solve this problem?
She wrote to them in Russian explaining all the problems she had encountered and the hackers took pity on her and decrypted her files.
Who else has been a victim of cryptowall?
Police departments, universities and normal people.
How many people have been a victim of cryptowall?
What would you do it this happened to you? Would you pay?
How much are the files on your computer worth to you?
If you could save 1 file from your computer which would it be?
Here are some phrases and words taken from the podcast:
top it up/off – to refill something to the top. I topped up my wine glass.
pay a ransom – to pay a criminal to return something or someone they have taken
playdate – US, when parents meet up so that their children can play together.
speak in airquotes – to make quotation mark gestures with your fingers while speaking to show that you’re not speaking literally.
Image credit: theguardian.com
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Download the worksheet here:
And the picture reveal powerpoint here:
Yet another lesson plan on picture descriptions, deduction and speculation. What can I say? I’ve got to prep a lot of students for FCE speaking!
Warmer – Who’s this?
Show students the picture of BBC radio 2 DJ Steve Wright but don’t tell them who it is. Put them in groups and tell them to come up with an idea of who he is. Monitor and check what language they’re using, board any nice examples of speculative language.
Students present their ideas of who he is. After reveal that he is a famous radio DJ in the UK.
Handout the exercise on the worksheet. Have students complete the gap-fill in pairs; encourage them to discuss it in English: “Number 1 could be …, don’t you think?” etc.
Complete the sentences with a word from the box
|guess can’t as could/might/may perhaps pretty must|
- He ______ be a policeman with that long hair. (it’s impossible that he’s a policeman)
- ______ she’s a lawyer, she’s wearing a smart suit. (It’s possible she’s a lawyer)
- He ______ be enjoying himself, look at that big smile. (I’m sure he’s enjoying himself)
- I’m ______ sure they’re brother and sister, they look quite similar. (75% sure)
- I’d ______ that they’re in a hot country, judging by their clothes. (It’s possible)
- She ______/_______/________ be his girlfriend, they seem very close. (It’s possible)
- He looks _______ if he’s tired after a long day at work.
Review as a class:
Choral drill sentences for intonation and sentence stress.
Show students the pictures of more English celebrities. Elicit the instructions to the next activity, (use the new language to speculate about the people in the photographs)
Students share ideas as a class, award points to groups that guess correctly.
- Stephen Fry – TV presenter, journalist, novelist
- Jade Goody – Reality TV star, Big Brother contestant
- Jack Monroe – Chef, writer, journalist, political activist
- Jeremy Corbyn – Politician, new leader of the Labour Party.
Picture Reveal Game
Massive thanks to https://tekhnologic.wordpress.com/ for the amazing picture reveal powerpoint template I’ve used for this next activity.
Project the first slide of the picture reveal powerpoint. Students take it in turns to choose a number, click on the number and it will disappear, revealing part of the picture underneath. Students must then speculate as to what the picture is. Award points for correct use of the phrases and teams that correctly guess the contents of the photo.
Slide 4 is an actual FCE part 2 task with 2 pictures to compare and contrast, while slide 5 is a part 3 collaborative task that students can complete in pairs or threes at the end of the game.
Nominate a few students to bring a photo to the next class to repeat the activity as a warmer.
Thanks to my colleague Raquel Gomez for introducing me to Macmillan’s amazing database of resources:
She focused specifically on the pragmatics section in a seminar she recently gave in my school. She ran an experiment last year using the materials to boost scores for FCE and CAE speaking exams so I’m going to try them out for myself today, starting with this one on agreeing and disagreeing: