Friday, July 07, 2006

Lesson ideas

I'll be creating a listening and speaking course for advanced level students. The aim of these lessons is to help students practice the language they already have at their disposal. As a result it will not involve teaching much new in the way of vocabulary and grammar. The vast majority of the language needed will come from the students themsleves.

I'll be using DVDs, podcasts, songs, as well as more traditional materials such as photocopies and good old fashioned imagination. Unlike most of the stuff I've talked about in this blog it will be done completely without the aid of the internet, at least in the classroom. Not as glamourous the web 2.0 applications I've mentioned, but necessary given the technological limitations of my teaching situation. Looking on the bright side the lessons are great fun and have worked pretty well in the past.

Here is a taste.

Writing an accident report


a video/dvd with an accident scene e.g. Pulp Fiction, The Bourne supremacy or The Witness


1 Ask students if they have ever been involved in or seen a car accident.

2 Ask students to think of words connected with accidents (in Greek or English).

3 Divide words into verbs, nouns, adjectives and adverbs. If necessary add more to the lists.

4 Explain to students that some of them are going to see video of a car crash.

5 Divide the class into two groups. One group will be police officers investigating the crash, the other group eye witnesses.

6 The police officers leave the class and write down a list of six to eight questions that they should ask the eye witnesses.

e.g. What did you see ?
When did the acident happen?
Who was to blame ?

7 Show the eye witnesses the video just once. Ask them to write down what happened.

8 The police officers come back in and interview the eye witnesses, making sure they write down their answers.

9 The two groups divide into groups of three or four then work on a group description of the accident.

10 Each group reads out their descrition and students discuss possible differences etc.

11 Explain to students that they are going to write an accident report for the insurance company. This is very useful if your students are doing the FCE exam

12 Go through the format of a report and how we are going to organise our information.

-What information does the company need to know ?
-How can we organise it in such a way as it is quick and easy to read?

13 Students write up a rough version of their report in 10 to 15 mins.

14 Take a quick look at the reports, then ask students to write up a final version of the reports for homework.

Weird but true, if you put "podcasts in the classroom" in Google this site ranks higher than Apple. Now what exactly are those Mac guys doing? Not much, by the looks of it, I'd say.

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