Friday, 1 April 2011

Ago Vs Before - March 31st 2011

March 31st 2011

Graham and I had another full classroom today with 8 students attending. Today’s focus was on ‘before’ and ‘ago’, knowing when and how we use these can be difficult for learners of English and again we were able to provide help with something that the students had asked for themselves. Once the students were presented with how and when we use ‘ago’ and ‘before’ they soon began to use them correctly with very few errors. Space restrictions within the classroom means we can’t use a full-size whiteboard, by using a laptop and a projector we are able to present information, music and videos clearly, giving the students a media-rich experience. For a productive spoken part of the lesson I had resourced some new and old music videos from the countries of our students in order to promote the use of the target language. This went down really well with a lot of laughter at some very out-dated music and images. Students were saying things like; ‘This song was made before I was born’, ‘This was made 30 years ago’, and so on. What did come out of this were some very interesting facts about the singers. For example Allana, our Chinese student said “The Chinese singer actually fell in love with the actor Jackie Chan, but he wasn’t interested and she committed suicide”, we also learned about the ceremonies in which some of the songs were performed like marriage etc. We ALL learned something new, making for a very engaging group conversation where students were relaxed and speaking without any apparent anxiety in speaking English. The students made every effort to tie in the target language whenever possible with some help from myself and Graham. A very relaxed, informative and fun time was had by all – a real treat. In a short discussion at the end facilitated by Graham he was able to identify further areas of study that the students want, the main one being the use of slang and the local Swansea dialect and accent, Graham and I relish the thought of preparing for this – roll on next week!

Ago or Before

ago-before key

activity handout

09 - Mixed Group Lesson Plan - 31-03-2011

An Eritrean Song

A Yemeni Song

A Chinese Song - Teresa Teng

An Afghani Song

A short video of part of our class, kindly videoed by Graham. 
It has been speeded up intentionally ;-)

The student participation was excellent.  The lesson moved quickly where I had to adapt the lesson to include a speaking element. Shaima ended the lesson by being able to say “Hello, my name is Shaima and I live in Swansea”.

This wasn’t just a great achievement for her, but for me also.  I felt that after all these weeks, we are getting somewhere and the work is starting to show.  Her daughter said that her mother thinks my lessons are her life and they make her happy!

A quote from a service user; “Shaima’s English has improved immensely.  She couldn’t speak a word when she arrived, but now she is trying to converse with the odd word and sentence”.

Overall, a very happy day for me as her teacher J

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