Select Page

Last weekend I had the honour of giving a workshop session at the 30th TESOL France Annual Colloquium, which was a great event as I’m sure all who attended will agree. You can read notes on some of the highlights for me here (more on these to come soon).

I have to say a huge huge thank you to everyone who came to my session. I hope you found it practical, useful and, above all, enjoyable. I certainly enjoyed sharing some small ideas with you for activities to do in the classroom. Below you can find a pdf of the presentation slides and a few notes on the activities I demonstrated (these are intentionally brief, as I plan to blog in more detail about using sounds and images in the classroom at a later date – watch out for posts here, guest posts and maybe even an article!)
Before Words TESOL France 2011

The four activities I demonstrated (plus one I just described) were the following:

  • Using sound effects to stimulate vocabulary production
    • Basically, play a sound effect (ambient SFX are best) and ask learners to write whatever comes into their head. They could even do so in their own language, as long as they share them in English after.
  • Using sound effects to set up a quick roleplay
    • Again, playing a sound effect, ask learners to think about where they are and how they feel. Guide them a little bit, but not too much (for example, playing a rainy sound effect tell the learners to imagine that they are on their way to a house party).
  • Using images to predict a poem
    • Show learners a set of images from a video of a poem (some examples of these to come in a post very soon!) and ask them to guess what they are (no wrong answers here). Play the video and ask them if they have changed their minds at all.
  • Using music and pictures as stimuli for a story telling activity
    • Play 4 excerpts of music and ask learners to draw or write whatever comes into their heads. Learners then share their pictures in pairs or small groups and come up with a narrative to link 4 of them.
  • Using pictures to analyse language and vocabulary
    • Ask learners to write a simple sentence and then challenge a second learner to turn it into a picture. Pass the picture on to a third learner who has to try and guess the original sentence.