Tuesday, 8 September 2009

Killing them softly?

Tuesday afternoon and my students are working on a text on English as a global language. It has been a long day for them and for me, and we still have 45 minutes to go. They are all quiet, and it seems most of them are doing what I have asked them to do. On the front row one of the girls has fallen asleep, however. It makes me wonder if I am killing my students rather than teaching them English. Today's ordeal is to apply this reading strategy to the reading of the text, believing that it can help them understand the text, remember the content and also learn a few new words. Perhaps this is not the kind of activity to do at the end of the day, but I simply cannot come up with any creative idea on how to do this differently, and they just have to work their way through this text sooner or later. Maybe next week will be more fun and more action? My dream is to have a collection of activities that are not too time consuming that I could use to spice up my teaching. Any ideas out there?

Picture: thisishowyoudoit.com


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  2. Nice Work said...
    I would suggest "speedtalker", an activity inherited from my colleagues at the Army Academy, which lets students practise both vocabulary, rephrasing and definitions in one go (the original Kinder egg, I'm sure) - even with a competitive element (which my students enjoy immensely). Make two lists of about 10 words (I often include vocabulary we have recently worked on). Students sit in pairs, one gets one list which the other student isn't allowed to see. Student 1 then has to make student 2 guess all the words on the list, by giving definitions, explaining what the thing does or is - but without either translating the word into Norwegian, use words where the target word is included, or pointing to it if it is a thing that is in the room.
    If the word is "window", student 1 could say something like "this is made of glass, almost all houses have them with curtains around them, and you can look through it". The goal is to get through the list as fast as possible, hence the name "speedtalker". When student 1 has gone through his/her list, student 2 gets the other list and gets a turn to explain and define.

    08 September 2009 18:11

  3. Thanks a lot "Nice Work"! I will definitely try this out in class next week!