Posted in Advanced C1, B2 First, Conversation Classes, Exam Preparation Class, Proficiency

Where do you stand? Science & Technology

Technology and Science | Study Abroad Life

This is another edition of my “Where do you Stand?” conversation series. Students debate different topics related to science and technology but must rate their opinion on a scale from 1-6 before they begin the discussion. Download the PowerPoint and student handout below:

If you want to use it with B2 students you could use this phrase sheet.

Credit to Owlcation for some of the debate topics:

https://owlcation.com/academia/80-Science-Debate-Topics-for-Students

Posted in Advanced C1, Exam Preparation Class, Proficiency, Vocabulary Classes

C1/C2: Review – Gadget, App, Software

Los 21 gadgets que te vas a comprar en 2020, según Business Insider |  Business Insider España

This is a lesson plan for C1-C2 students designed to develop their understanding of vocabulary to describe gadgets, apps and pieces of software. Candidates are often required to describe such things in writing tasks in the main suite of Cambridge exams. This lesson plan may also be useful for business English classes. Download the handout and key below:

Students start by discussing the most useful gadgets, apps and pieces of software they own. Then they read a text describing the new Thermomix cooking robot. After focusing on the language, they put it into practice by writing their own short product pitches and presenting them to the class.

Pre-reading

  1. What’s the most useful gadget you have in your house?
  2. What’s the most useful app you have on your phone?
  3. What’s the most useful piece of software you have on your computer?
  4. How do these things make your life easier?
  5. Why do you think these gadgets/apps/pieces of software have become popular?

Reading

  1. Does your family have a Thermomix? If so, is it useful? If not, would you like one?
  2. What things can it do?
  3. How does it compare to its competitors?

Read the text, does it contain any of the ideas you mentioned?

Theromix have been making waves in the world of kitchen gadgets for some time now. Ever since the advent of their first appliance way back in 1985, they’ve been at the cutting edge of the market lending a hand to hard-pressed families the world over.

The latest model, the TM6, really made a splash when it hit the shelves last month. This latest iteration really is lightyears ahead of its competitors. With its state-of-the-art design it truly is a sight to behold. That being said, what really makes it stand out from the crowd is how easy it is to use. It really is a piece of cake, and you’ll be savouring that cake sooner than you think.

Simply scroll through the different preset menus, select the one that catches your eye, add the ingredients and let thermomix take care of the rest. It’s touch-screen menus and ergonomic controls are so user-friendly that you’ll master them in no time at all. It enables you to make quick, mouth-watering meals at the touch of a button. Though its competitors may come with all sorts of bells and whistles, there’s a reason Thermomix has cornered the kitchen robot market: elegance, ease of use, and efficiency. It’s not rocket science!

Language Focus

Look at the expressions in bold, make notes on their meaning with your partner.

Can you remember the missing words?

Theromix have been _________ waves in the world of kitchen gadgets for some time now. Ever since the a______ of their first a_______ way back in 1985, they’ve been at the cutting ______ of the market lending a _______ to ______-pressed families the world _______.

The latest model, the TM6, really made a s_______ when it ______ the shelves last month. This latest iteration really is lightyears ________ of its competitors. With its ______-of-the-_____ design it truly is a ______ to behold. That being said, what really makes it stand ______ ______ the crowd is how easy it is to use. It really is a piece of _______, and you’ll be savouring that cake sooner than you think.

Simply scroll through the different preset menus, select the one that ________ your eye, add the ingredients and let thermomix take _____ _____ the rest. It’s ______-screen menus and e________ controls are so user-_________ that you’ll master them in no time at all. It enables you to make quick, ________-watering meals at the _______ of a ________. Though its competitors may come with all sorts of _______ and whistles, there’s a reason Thermomix has _________ the kitchen robot market: elegance, ease of use, and efficiency. It’s not _________ science!

Sell, sell, sell!

Choose one of these gadgets, write a short pitch to sell it to your classmates.

Posted in Campaigns, Recommended Websites

Freeed: The Online Teaching Community

I’ve recently made an account and started connecting with other teachers on freeed.com a great new platform and online community for teachers. It’s completely free to create an account and it’s full of useful lesson plans and other resources created and shared by teachers all over the world. The types of content range from ready-to-use class materials to book reviews and blog posts. It’s an easy way to share materials and make connections with like-minded teachers.

Myles Klynhout is a member of the Freeed team and here he is talking about the origins of the platform and giving advice on how to get started:

“Teachers already face many challenges and pressures. Good practice now means working with efficiency, consistency and creativity. The problem is that too many teachers are working alone, adapting authentic and published materials, or developing their own.”

“Too often, these materials never see the light! If more educators shared their great ideas, everyone would benefit. Freeed’s mission is to make that happen, by ensuring that the process of sharing is as quick and easy as possible.”

“We understand the importance of teachers connecting and developing materials locally. Freeed’s first community in Finland has achieved just this and now has more than 3000 active users – primary and secondary school teachers, all sharing lesson ideas and teaching tips.”

“Since then, communities have been established in the Netherlands and Tanzania. As our number of teachers grow, what we want to do next is link these local communities to one another, creating a global network of educators.”

“The new ELT community is a great opportunity for us to understand the challenges teachers face in different contexts around the world.

“How can I join the Freeed ELT community?”

Step 1: Go to the Freeed website and Get Started.

Step 2: Quickly create your free account and join the ELT community (Freeed will always be free for teachers!).

Step 3: Start sharing ideas with other English teachers. You might even find the perfect materials for tomorrow’s lesson.

The situation Myles describes definitely resonated with me and it was that urge to share and swap materials that initially got me started with this blog. Check out the full blog post here. Then create your account and dive straight in! See you there!

https://www.freeed.com/

 

Posted in Conversation Classes, Reading Classes

No-tech school: Reading + Discussion

Image credit: thelondonacornschool.co.uk

Follow me on twitter @RobbioDobbio

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:

Tech free school article

No tech school LP

Warmer

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?

Article

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
  • smartphones
  • tablets
  • computers
  • tv
  • 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?

Debate

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.

Posted in Conversation Classes, Current Affairs Classes

Conversation Topic: Mars One

mars-one-colony-astronauts-2

This is a conversation activity in which students discuss human achievements and the Mars One colonisation project. Either split the class into small groups (3-4) or for smaller groups have a class discussion. You can download the handout here.

Introduction

  • How many amazing physical achievements (climbing Everest, walking to the South Pole etc.) can you think of?
  • Which achievement was the most impressive?
  • What’s the most physically difficult thing you’ve ever done? (climb a mountain, run a marathon etc.)
  • Are there any you would like to try in the future?
  • Are there any you wish you had tried in the past?
  • Are the world’s best athletes present at the Olympic Games?
  • What type of athletes or sportsmen/women do you think deserve the most respect?
  • What do you think of ‘extreme’ sports (bungee jumping, tightrope walking…)?
  • What do you think is the most impressive human achievement? (not necessarily physical, could be scientific/technological/medical for example the moon landings)

Mars One

  • How much do you know about Mars? Share your knowledge with your group.
  • Are you interested in astronomy and the science of space travel?
  • Do you have any memories of important achievements in space travel?
  • Have you heard of the Mars One project? Share your knowledge with your group BEFORE READING THE DESCRIPTION BELOW.

Mars One is a privately funded project which intends to establish a human colony on Mars by 2025. They plan to send an unmanned spacecraft to the planet in 2018 followed by equipment and supplies over the following 6 years. They are currently accepting applications to be part of the first 4-man crew that will take off in 2024 on a one-way 7 month trip to the red planet. Once the colony is established 4 people will be sent every 2 years.

  • What do you think of the project? Is it realistic?
  • The project is currently accepting applicants to be part of the 4 man crew that will leave in 2024. What kind of people do you think they are looking for?
  • Would you be interested in participating? Why? Why not?
  • What kind of people do you think would apply for the project?
  • If you were running the project what tests would you do on the applicants to check if they are suitable?
  • What are the biggest problems the people could encounter on the 7 month journey to Mars? And when they land?
  • How would you feel if a member of your family wanted to apply for the project?
  • Do you know anyone who you think would like to apply?
  • Why do you think people would apply to be part of the project?
  • Imagine you have been selected to be part of the first crew. You are allowed to take 1 item of hand luggage (standard budget airline size) of personal belongings. What would you take and why?