Sunday, 10 July 2011

Hey you, what song are you listening to?

 7th July 2011

Many thanks to 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.


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.

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