Tuesday, 26 July 2011

Look at Me!!

In today's lesson the learners practised and performed a 'Jazz Chant' with focus on text reconstruction and reading aloud.

You can use these jazz chants in a variety of fun ways. You can practice stress and rhythm with your class, to help your students sound more natural when they speak English. Also, because each jazz chant focuses on different vocabulary and grammar, you can also use them to review important words and structures!

The first task was to repeat the phrases and guess what the poem is about. The pronunciation was eagerly drilled but it wasn't until I slowly revealed a picture of a TV that they got the theme.
'Parts' of the poem were given out and were put in their correct sequence whilst listening, it was clear that everyone got the order correct.
A video of the poem was shown for students to understand the intonation and pace of the speech.
We then had a bit of a practice and began recording. I must add that I have full permission to record today's learners and publish them on this blog, anonymously. We went on to record each other performing the poem, this enabled us to identify problem areas and drill them further. Much improvement was made in the chant, however the presence of a digital recorder created some understandable shyness and anxiety making some of the tricky phrases like "You want what?" "What do you want?" even harder. Nevertheless this task was really enjoyed with eager participation and frequent laughter.

Once again many thanks to Jamie Keddie @ www.lessonstream.org for this fun and effective lesson.

This video demonstrates how interactive
 whiteboard software was used to support and enhance the lesson

Student Recordings

Worksheet - Poem Full

Poem Parts




Thursday, 21 July 2011

Bingo Lingo!

21st July 2011

In today’s lesson we focused on good old fashioned rhyming bingo calls.  They contain so much humour and expression of real life concepts that are particular to the UK. How the phrases represent the numbers by rhyming or meaning provides excellent pronunciation practise and oodles of vocabulary. Traditionally the phrases are called before the numbers, giving those who have internalised the code the advantage.
As a warmer the learners were given the task of sharing what they know about ‘bingo’, surprisingly only two knew of the game and went on to describe it to the others. I set the scene of a local bingo hall and its patrons, how serious it can be, little old ladies furiously stamping an array of cards with their wide-tipped marker pens. I went on to explain that if you know the phrases you can shout ‘BINGO’ first!

The students were given a handout and then focused on a slide-show presenting the numbers 1 – 21 with pictures. We read a phrase at a time, predicting what would be in the upcoming picture. This provided lots of interesting and often funny ideas and with regular concept checking the group soon had them down. We then played a few games, each picking up in pace in the competitive atmosphere and they were soon using 3 cards at a time. This was greatly enjoyed and I’m toying with the idea of trying to slowly introduce all 90! Perhaps offer a certificate in Bingo Linguistics ;)

I’m bemused that this old tradition has fallen by the way due to ‘political correctness’, after having a good laugh at Frankie Boyle’s jokes and watching two fat ladies doing new and exciting things with lard on their cookery show. Nevertheless I am aware of my multicultural group and will change a few things in order to avoid any inappropriate discussion.

A video demonstrating how interactive whiteboard
 software was used to support and enhance the lesson

Bingo Lingo Slideshow

Bingo Cards

Tuesday, 19 July 2011

A man eating chicken

19th July 2011

Today’s lesson focused on

  • -ing + noun 
  • noun + -ing -
  • ed & -ing adjectives
We began by matching new vocabulary with pictures, the students did well and were happy to learn some new words, and this was followed by some pronunciation focus. Particular vocabulary is selected for this task in order to enable the students to better participate in following activities.

Students were then asked to draw ‘a man eating chicken’. Everybody drew an image of a man tucking into a chicken leg.

Using the board we were able to focus on the grammatical structure and the use of hyphens. Images on the board illustrated the difference between ‘a man-eating chicken’ and ‘a man eating chicken’.

In a prediction activity students were given the task of matching phrases, this went down really well as the subject matter was quite unusual. It was quite difficult but amusing and a wonderful ‘levelling’ activity. One of our kind helpers a native English speaker found it equally as difficult as everyone else. Please see the video demonstration and embedded documents for a clearer picture.

We then viewed a number of videos illustrating some very interesting and unusual things plus great focus on the target language.

Following the video we revisited the phrase matching activity and corrected mistakes with the students feeding back correct use of the language areas covered.

In a final productive spoken activity students asked and answered questions using the target language.

The students seemed to enjoy the varied content of the videos.

A video demonstrating how interactive whiteboard
 software was used to support and enhance the lesson

Tuesday, 12 July 2011

Prepositions of Movement

12th July 2011

Today’s lesson focused on prepositions of movement:

out of
around etc……

As a warmer, students were asked ‘What did you have for breakfast?’ This was relevant to the beginning of the video that followed and helped the students to prepare for what they were about to watch, most of the answers were surprisingly; ‘cornflakes, toast and butter’.  We then had a vocabulary and picture match activity that served to elicit/pre-teach upcoming words in the lesson. Next I elicited what their breakfasts might say to them if they could speak, ‘go back to bed’ and ‘wake up and go to work’ being some of the elicited ideas. Before viewing the video students were asked to identify what the man’s breakfast said to him – the answer was ‘go!’ The video used is amusing, interesting and very cleverly done, which helped students to enjoy, connect with and relax whilst completing the tasks involved. After the first viewing I elicited and presented how his journey went. The students did well to use some prepositions of movement and with some guidance began to use the target language effectively. During a second viewing, the students had to use their powers of observation to remember the progression and order of the man’s journey. After watching the clip once again they were given the task of ‘sequencing’ the events with a worksheet that had strips of sentences cut up, they then attempted to put the journey in order, practicing use of the target language. This was done well with most students getting it 75% correct. The strips of paper were then taken off the table so they could revise with a gap-fill worksheet. As the lesson was coming to an end the students were told to work together and use the target language in order to discuss the way to the exit of the community centre. In order to leave they had to use the following directions:

Stand up, go through the door and out of the classroom, go around the corner and through another door, go down the stairs, around the corner, through the door at the bottom and turn left, go through the main door.
 The students did well in this productive spoken task and were soon on their way.

Once again many thanks to Jamie Keddie and lessonstream.org for this idea and consistently wonderful materials :)

Sunday, 10 July 2011

Hey you, what song are you listening to?

 7th July 2011

Many thanks to lessonstream.org for the following lesson focusing on present continuous questions, replies and intonation. Lesson-stream is an excellent online source of fun and interesting ESOL lesson plans.

A chef friend of mine once told me the secret to good cooking. According to him, success lies in obtaining excellent ingredients.
It all seems so simple really. And as a language teacher I can relate to this. We can’t overestimate the importance of the ingredients that we select for the classroom – that is the materials.
Materials should inspire teachers and engage students. They should be provoking (without necessarily being provocative although that can be good). They should arouse curiosity and get heads thinking and language emerging. During the last few years, the modern teacher has been given access to an explosion in good ingredients to take into the classroom.

Jamie Keddiewww.lessonstream.org

In a warm-up activity students were asked to consider and discuss the following questions:

v     Do you listen to music on the street?
v     What equipment do you use? (mp3 player, mobile phone, etc.)
v     Do you wear earphones or headphones?
v     What are you listening to at the moment?

This warm up activity allows the students to engage with the theme of the lesson and activates any existing language knowledge – readying them for the following tasks.

Students were then asked to list possible reactions from people being asked questions on the street whilst listening to their mp3 players etc. The students were able to predict most of the main responses in the upcoming video. Next we focused on rising and falling tones in questions and identified the different meanings in using the present simple and continuous. In the first viewing of the video students were given the task of noting the answers given and to ascertain whether the question had been heard or not according to the responses. The students enjoyed the video very much as there were some surprising answers as to what type of music was being listened to by whom.  One particular elderly gentleman surprised the group as he was listening to something really upbeat and funky, the students had assumed he was listening to something slow and old fashioned. The students were set another task where they listened for information and completed a handout where responses were put into categories of ‘question heard’ and ‘question not heard’. This was completed well with the group getting most of the answers correct. A further showing of the video followed where they looked for more in-depth information. The students enjoyed the video and tasks and even noted some of the varied music mentioned and played on the video.
In a final productive spoken activity we discussed ideas prompted by a slideshow – the target language was used correctly almost effortlessly.

I am very happy to have found Jamie Keddle’s Lessonstream blog which provided this lesson as well as the ‘Man Lying on the floor’ idea that I used a few weeks ago.

Friday, 1 July 2011

but that's just me..........

28th June 2011

Today’s lesson focused on “like + ing”. In the first task students were asked to list things they like, including activities, this helped to introduce the target language. Students then studied a handout with various words on in order to predict the plot of the following video. A website called ‘Wordle’ enables you to create great looking handouts. There are many applications for ‘Wordles’ – check them out.

Prediction - You can create word clouds of texts before the students read or listen and ask them to make predictions about the content of the text based on the word cloud. They could also check any new words from the word cloud that they are unsure of before they read or listen.

The students did well to predict that it was some sort of love story. Students then watched the video to check how well they did. The video was viewed once again for students to find more specific information within the lyrics of the song in a gap fill activity. Focus on grammar and spelling followed and students were given a task where they practised the spelling rules of adding ing to words. In a final productive ‘singing’ activity students made their own lyrics to the song. I had inserted an image of a guitar and a keyboard into the whiteboard software and then linked the images to samples of the chords from the song – when the images were clicked students were able to get the tune, encouraging them to sing whilst I recorded them. This was greatly enjoyed with much laughter – it was great to hear them making a real effort and enjoy it so much. Please feel free to listen to our students enjoying themselves.

Please click on the files to listen to our students having some fun

Lesson Documents available @ Scribd