Tag Archives: teaching

Students’ Greeting cards

14 Feb

19/3/1433

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New Term….New projects

4 Feb

 

This is 1st grade secondary Level 2 new project  this semester. With the upcoming Janadriyah Festival  on the 8th of February.I’ve decided to let my students design a greeting card about Saudi National Day. Janadriyah is a national heritage and folk cultural festival. It lasts for two weeks and is organized by the National Guard.

The project:

1- Work in a group of 3 to design a greeting card for Saudi Arabia National Day.
2- Choose who you are sending the card to.
3- Write 3 sentences about Saudi Arabia using the notes in Chart page 12 in your Pupil Book.
4- Add suitable and related picture , images
or drawings.

5- You will present your project on Saturday 11 th of February .

Role Play As A Teaching Strategy

30 Nov

What is role-play?
Role-play is any speaking activity when you either put yourself into somebody else’s shoes, or when you stay in your own shoes but put yourself into an imaginary situation!

Imaginary people – The joy of role-play is that students can ‘become’ anyone they like for a short time! The President, the Queen, a millionaire, a pop star …….. the choice is endless! Students can also take on the opinions of someone else. ‘For and Against’ debates can be used and the class can be split into those who are expressing views in favour and those who are against the theme.

Imaginary situations – Functional language for a multitude of scenarios can be activated and practised through role-play. ‘At the restaurant’, ‘Checking in at the airport’, ‘Looking for lost property’ are all possible role-plays.

Why use role-play?
It is widely agreed that learning takes place when activities are engaging and memorable. Jeremy Harmer advocates the use of role-play for the following reasons:

  • It’s fun and motivating
  • Quieter students get the chance to express themselves in a more forthright way
  • The world of the classroom is broadened to include the outside world – thus offering a much wider range of language opportunities

 

In addition to these reasons, students who will at some point travel to an English-speaking country are given a chance to rehearse their English in a safe environment. Real situations can be created and students can benefit from the practice. Mistakes can be made with no drastic consequences.

Tips on successful classroom role-play


Prepare for success
Role-play is possible at elementary levels providing the students have been thoroughly prepared. Try to think through the language the students will need and make sure this language has been presented. Students may need the extra support of having the language on the board. I recently did a ‘lost property office’ role-play with elementary adults and we spent time beforehand drilling the structures the students would need to use. When the role-play began the students felt ‘armed’ with the appropriate language. At higher levels the students will not need so much support with the language but they will need time to ‘get into’ the role.

The role of the teacher
Some of the possible teacher roles are:

  • Facilitator – students may need new language to be ‘fed’ in by the teacher. If rehearsal time is appropriate the feeding in of new language should take place at this stage.
  • Spectator – The teacher watches the role-play and offers comments and advice at the end.
  • Participant – It is sometimes appropriate to get involved and take part in the role-play yourself.

Bring situations to life
Realia and props can really bring a role-play to life. A group of my young learners recently played the roles of pizza chef and customer. A simple cone of white card with CHEF written on it took a minute to make and I believe it made the whole process more fun and memorable for the class. As soon as it was placed on their heads they ‘became’ the pizza chef and acted accordingly.

Rearranging the furniture can also help. If you are imagining you are at the tourist information office or at the doctor’s surgery try to make it as real as you can. Students can even leave the room and make an entrance by knocking on the door.

Keep it real and relevant
Try to keep the roles you ask students to play as real to life as possible. It may be hard for students who have little opportunity to travel to imagine they are in ‘Ye Olde Tea Shop’ in the heart of the English countryside. However, it may be within their schema to imagine they have been asked to help an English speaker who is visiting their own country. This may involve using some L1 to explain about the local culture or to translate local menus into English for the guest to their country.

Students working in the business world may find it easy to role-play a business meeting with colleagues visiting from abroad. If you are working with young children, try to exploit their natural ability to ‘play’. They are used to acting out a visit to the shops or preparing food, as that is how they play with their friends.

Feed-in language
As students practise the role-play they might find that they are stuck for words and phrases. In the practice stage the teacher has a chance to ‘feed-in’ the appropriate language. This may need the teacher to act as a sort of ‘walking dictionary’, monitoring the class and offering assistance as and when necessary. If you are not happy doing this and you feel that the process of finding the new language should offer more student autonomy, you could have ‘time-out’ after the practice stage for students to use dictionaries to look up what they need.

As mentioned in the role of the teacher section, feeding-in the language students need is fundamental. By doing so, they will learn new vocabulary and structure in a natural and memorable environment. It is a chance to use real and natural language.

Error Correction
There are many ways to correct mistakes when using role-play. It is rarely appropriate for the teacher to jump in and correct every mistake. This could be incredibly demotivating! Some students do like to be corrected straight after a role-play activity, while the language is still fresh in their minds. Sentences with errors can be written on the board for the group to correct together.

  • Self-correction – If you have the equipment to record the role-plays either on audiocassette or on video, students can be given the opportunity to listen to the dialogue again and reflect on the language used. They may find it easy to spot their own mistakes.
  • Peer-correction – Fellow students may be able to correct some mistakes made by their peers. Students could be asked to listen out for both great bits of language they’d like to use themselves, and some mistakes they hear. Be careful to keep peer-correction a positive and profitable experience for all involved.
  • Making a note of common mistakes yourself and dealing with them in future classes ensures that the students don’t lose motivation by being corrected on the spot or straight after the role-play. Negotiate with students and ask them how they would like to be corrected.

 

Use your imagination and have fun
The most successful role-play I did last year was with a group of teenagers and was used as a spring board activity after listening to a song. The song was Avril Lavigne´s Skater Boy. The class worked in pairs to act out the scene of Skater Boy finally getting to meet his ex-girlfriend after the concert. The results were humorous and I was surprised that they all really got into the roles they played.

Role-play can be a lot of fun. If you still feel reluctant to use it in the class I suggest you begin to integrate it slowly. Why not extend an appropriate reading or a listening from a course book and turn it into a role-play? You may be pleasantly surprised by the results!

 

47 Alternatives to Using YouTube in the Classroom

2 Oct

47 Alternatives to Using YouTube in the Classroom.

This is a very useful article with amazing links.

Three weeks into the School Year

29 Sep

I was recently talking to a friend in NY about teaching the same grade with a very similar scope & sequences of units in the subject area. She told  me about the positive effect it had on her and her students. She suggested that teachers should be allowed to stay in the same grade for a couple of years. I think I agree with her. I spent the last 5  years juggling  new syllabuses and the an unwanted move to another grade every semester . It caused me to spend hours and hours and hours trying to figure everything out again. And in all the time I’d spend starting over,I feared that my students might have felt it. I’m a bit of a perfectionist . I hate to admit it but for a while it felt like a burden …something I’m not enjoying at all.

I like a change and trying on new techniques and activities but sometimes you just need a break to step a side and have a good hard look at your work to make even better. I know that teaching is a constant collaboration with others and more than often trial and error to find out what actually works for you as a teacher. Let’s hope for the best this term.

Pay Attention to Digital learners

28 Sep

I have a dream……..I have a dream that one day I would be able to create the kind of digital classroom environment I see and hear about every other day from other teachers who are doing it right NOW. I’m trying to overcome some of the obstacles but the administrative traditional paper oriented mentality keeps fighting me every step of the way.

I have a dream and I’m holding on to it till it becomes a reality one day.

Teacher motivation

28 Sep

This is a gift to myself. I watch it whenever I feel frustrated and overwhelmed …..

a simple reminder why we teach