I currently spend my Wednesday mornings and afternoons with my Entry 2 students. It’s quite interesting, as I haven’t usually spent a college day with the same group of learners (apart from a three week stint I did at another language school and some summer schools). I used to see my group on two different days in the week, and that was useful from the point of view of being able to recycle vocab from the previous day’s lesson. I would say there’s a little less scope for (and it’s a little less easy to manage) recycling vocab from morning to afternoon sessions, but it opens up an interesting possibility in being able to develop through-lines to both the days lessons.
This morning I was working through an activity framework from Teaching Unplugged called Headlines in which students exaggerate a recent event from their lives into a newpaper-style headline, and then ask and answer questions about it. We had wonderful birthday parties, traffic nightmares, an accident (thankfully not life-threatening) and a cancelled ticket story. The two that would spark the last 30 minutes of the day’s lessons were a ‘crazy cat’ and ‘funny puppy’ (subconsciously these learners must know something about alliteration and repetition of sounds as important in catchy headlines!).
A bit of a dry part of the afternoon’s lesson, all about target setting, and the students talking about how they felt about the different skills, how to improve and so on, was coming to an end when… A comment about cats and dogs caught the attention.
It seemed like a good choice to go off piste and do something a bit more engaging for the last half an hour.
We brainstormed different kinds of pets (can a cow be a pet?), talked about common pets in different countries, and ended up with this: (original question was probably a bit morbid and tough to understand – my fault – so was replaced)
Huzzah! One of the targets for a number of students in the class was to use conjunctions correctly, so a nice contextualised usage could be presented. More of the same please!!