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Adding choice and reflection to teen classes (guest post)

A fantastic guest post on Sandy Millin’s blog by Helen Chapman. Great tips for teens classes.

Sandy Millin

I was introduced to Helen Chapman at IATEFL Liverpool this year and I’m really glad I was (thanks Phil!) 🙂 She has lots of fantastic ideas for the young learner and teen classroom, both of which I’m sadly lacking, so following her on Twitter and reading her blog have been useful. A few days ago she posted an intriguing image of a lolly stick and some whiteboard graffiti on Twitter, and I asked her if she’d tell me more in a guest blog post. Here’s the result:

I’ve been a fan of adding a review/reflection stage to lessons with teenagers for the last few years, and more recently, I’ve been trying to include an element of choice in my classes. I’ve found this to be a really beneficial use of class time.

Why add a review/reflection stage?

Reviewing learning immediately after that learning has taken place aids memory. It…

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Self-correction and recording speaking activities (FCE Speaking part 2)

Geraldine teacher

Speaking by its very nature is ephemeral. As a teacher, it’s the skill that I find most difficult to correct. Do I interrupt and impact on fluency? Or should I wait until the end and board some of the most common errors? Either way, I seem to correct the same errors again and again. The students can often identify the mistakes they’ve made relatively easily but they continue to produce the errors. Those are just the grammar and vocabulary issues. What about the task itself? In a group of 12 students, when perhaps 6 people are completing the task simultaneously, I can’t tune in to them all at the same time. I often ask the partner to evaluate, but 99% of the time they lack the confidence to say anything other then it was ‘good’.

Ideally, I’d love to give detailed feedback for each individual every time we do this…

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Watching TV Series

Klara@eoi

Watching TV series is often a favourite pastime for many of my students, and not just the millennials. Most of those who are in C1 and C2 are already watching them in English, as they are aware that they can learn everything from the newest slang to an authentic-sounding accent.

Series are shorter than films, they let you come back to the characters again and again and predict what will happen to them next. They often reflect real life, which means people in them use real language and grammar. Therefore, it’s a great resource to exploit inside and outside the classroom. Here are some things I have done in class:

autonomous learning

This year I have been trying to encourage and guide my students into practising their English outside the classroom every day, so I provided them with a list of things they could do to practise the different skills…

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New year, new language? Language learning resolutions for 2019.

Emma's Language Journey

23755515_10159585416905335_3745950809325334108_n Cheers, Duolingo… This was a while ago, hope I’ve improved a bit since then! 

Since it’s the start of a new year, I thought I’d write about my language learning goals for 2019, in the hope that this will help me become clearer about what I want to achieve (and also help me stick to it!).

I realised recently that, despite having a languages degree and reaching C2 level in Spanish, my language learning strategies aren’t particularly well developed. I’ve always been lucky enough to “pick up” vocabulary quite quickly, especially when I was living in Chile (but also when I was studying at university and spending a lot of time reading  complex literary texts in Spanish). This means that I don’t really have strategies for learning vocabulary (apart from the classic “read, cover, write, check” strategy that I remember from primary school spelling tests). So, I’m also hoping to…

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#eltbookclub

Are you a teacher looking for opportunities to continue your professional development? Why not join an elt book club? Jenni Fogg writes about it here.

jennifoggteach

I ask a lot of questions on Twitter, for example, ‘what’s the most outside your remit thing you’ve had to teach in the ELT classroom?’ (answers included ‘the legal side of a petrochemical refinery’ and ‘mudlogging’ *shrug emoji*) and ‘what’s in your teaching bag?’ (answers included blu tac, dice, paperclips and obviously fly swatters).

Recently, I asked if an ELT book club existed on Twitter. I asked because I’d like to do a little bit more reading, just one ELT-related book or article a month to get me thinking. Lots of people seemed to like the idea! I suppose doing something with a big group not only encourages connections with people within the community, but it makes us a bit more accountable and more likely to read, even if we secretly just read the first chapter and the conclusion. #nojudgement

So, what’s out there? Turns out there’s plenty for you to get…

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Six Word Stories

How I see it now

In this post, I’d like to share a project we worked on earlier today. I’d like to point out that it was not a single lesson but a block of four 45-minute lessons, in which a group of ten teenagers (12-15 year-olds, 8 girls and 2 boys) worked on their Six Word Stories.

Here’s what we did.

20160323_081226Portraits (icebreaker): First, I asked students to make pairs (some of them didn’t know each other very well, which was to the good). I gave each student a large piece of paper and I asked them to draw a portrait of their partner. When drawing, they faced each other and they were about 2 meters apart so that they couldn’t see each other’s pictures very clearly. When they finished, I asked them to walk over to their partners, show each other the portraits and talk about them for a few minutes. I…

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Practical activities for listening decoding skills – a collection of links

Olya Sergeeva's ELT blog

As a follow-up to yesterday’s post (the recording of a webinar on Practical activities for teaching listening decoding skills, which was part of last year’s Electronic Village Online session on teaching listening), here are some links to activities that I collected for the session participants. These were meant as highly practical resources that could help the session participants to try out listening decoding in class. There are three sections:

  • activities that could be adapted to a wide range of listening texts
  • video extracts from lessons
  • materials and excerpts from published books that you could try out.

practical activitiesSECTION A: activities that could be adapted to a wide range of listening texts

1. Fast speech frustrations by Olya Sergeeva (ET professional issue 112, September 2017)

Olya Sergeeva describes the lesson procedure that she uses in her Authentic listening courses with learners at B1 level and higher. The procedure could be used…

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