We’re starting to look into blended learning at Active Language and whilst chatting about it the other day, I remembered a colleague, John, mentioning EDpuzzle. This site allows you to add questions and comments to YouTube videos (and perhaps does other things though I haven’t explored it fully yet!). Here’s my first attempt at using it – unfortunately you do need to sign up to use it, although you can log in with your Google account. In fact, part of the reason for embedding it here was to see if it could be accessed by the class without needing to create an account – I don’t like obliging people to sign up to things.
This is an activity which I’ve done with a couple of groups and they respond quite well to it – it gives the learners a space for a bit of creativity and provides an enjoyable lead-in to Listening Part 1 of the PET paper.
Give the learners a sample paper and divide them into pairs (you can also do individuals depending on the question type). Assign each pair one of the questions and explain that they are going to write the dialogue. They must include all three of the options and shouldn’t necessarily introduce the correct answer last.
It works with a nuber of skills as the pairs must first write then perform their dialogue whilst others listen. This is also an opportunity to brainstorm new vocabulary which they may be unfamiliar with – recently when I did the activity, one of the answers included a hot-air balloon ride.
I did a fun activity with the B2 group today – a game taken from Straightforward Upper-Intermediate which practises word formation.
Each group of two or three students has a question board and there is a questionmaster who has the answer sheet. The object of the game is to get for boxes in a row (horizontally, vertically or diagonally). Learners choose a square and must produce the correct form of the word given; if they’re correct, they win the square and can colour it in.
Use of English activities can sometimes be a little dry and although this has the disadvantage of not showing the word in context (which goes a long way to helping identify the form of the word needed in the exam), it does make for an enjoyable, competitive way to practise this skill.
Today our B1 group looked at describing images in preparation for their PET exam. This structure gives learners the prompts they need to keep speaking for a minute and we also looked at language for speculating to give them more range.
Not an existentialist question, but a quick filler which my colleague Nico shared at TEFL del Sur’s Swap Shop. An easy way to practise prepositions of place and classroom vocabulary with YLs – very useful for the Cambridge Exams, especially at Starters level where learners have to place objects on a picture card.
Learners describe their current position in relation to the class and their classmates. For example,
I’m sitting next to Laura.
I’m opposite the teacher.
I’m under the projector.
I’m on a blue chair.