Before I get into the previous fortnight’s focus, here’s my focus for the next two weeks. I’m struggling a little with a loud group of six-year-olds so I’m going to look into ways that I can control their energy levels a little better without simply resorting to more heads-down activities.
So, routines for higher levels and older learners. Well, to be honest, I haven’t had many classes with my adult learners as yet as with one group we did start-of-the-year evaluations (this blogpost is partly a moment of procrastination as I don’t want to get back to marking their written tasks yet!) and another group only started on Tuesday so we’ve only had a couple of lessons. However, I have put some routines in place with my PET group which I’ll adapt for the older learners too.
Weekly video – this is an activity which I successfuly used last year with my B2 adults and it’s working well so far with my B1 teens this year. Each Thursday, one of the learners brings a YouTube video for the class to watch and prepares three comprehension questions about it. The thing I like about this activity is that it allows the learners to share videos which interest them and can spark a lot of conversation as well
Quizlet – my colleague, Amy, introduced me to Quizlet last year and so this year I’ve started using it with the teens group. I like the Scatter game, in which two teams compete to see who can match the vocab to the definitions more quickly
New vocab wall – I only introduced this to the B1 group yesterday, but with the promise of chocolate for participating, they seemed quite keen! I stuck up a big piece of card to the board and made it look like a brickwall. Learners can add new words or phrases to the wall (kind of graffiti-ing it)
Also, as I have two Cambridge preparation groups (B1 and B2), I want to work on the speaking exam more frequently, particularly the picture description and interactive tasks as I feel these are the two tasks which candidates struggle most with, but which they can easily do well in with a little training
And, speaking of exam preparation, I also have an ISE II group and with them I’d like to focus on using the different grammatical structures confidently when asking and answering questions, as one of the key points which has been raised in previous exam feedback is that candidates were often more than capable of showing understanding of different structures, but struggled more to produce them (either through a lack of accuracy or through offering more natural responses to the examiner’s questions)