Experiences of an English Language Teacher

Category: lesson ideas (Page 1 of 3)

Developing Academic Awareness: Lesson Plan

One of the biggest challenges which was discovered is ensuring that the awareness surrounding academic culture with international students is accessible and that students, regardless their nationality, understand of what is expected of them in an academic setting. This lesson is best suited for international students first on their journey with UK academia.

Activity 1

Place students into small groups to discuss for 5 minutes:

  • What do you think are the biggest differences between studying at university in your home country and in the UK?
  • What do you think are the similarities between studying at university in your home country and in the UK?
  • What do you do to develop cultural awareness in the UK?
  • What clubs or associations could you join in a UK university? Have you joined any yet?

Once students have discussed, elicit and board up their ideas and answers to share as a class. Try to find out more information about a student’s home country and their academic culture.

Activity 2

Move students back into a small group again and hand out the following worksheet attached below. Allow students to discuss in their small groups, before checking answers as a whole class (suggested answers are included on page 2 of the worksheet and much depend on each individual institute).

Activity 3

Get students to compare academic behaviour and culture with their home countries to the UK. Get students to consider the potential drawbacks of cultural misunderstanding while studying at their undergraduate or postgraduate courses. Here are some suggested questions below to prompt discussion.

  • What advice would you give other students studying in your home country to help them understand academic culture?
  • What do you think are the differences between tutorials, seminars, and lectures?
  • How could misunderstanding hinder your studies and progress?
  • What is the best way to integrate into UK academia?
  • What resources are available to help you with your academic studies at university and how do you find this?

Activity 4

Introduce students towards what services or support is available for their academic studies or study skills to help them understand what is expected while they study at their university.

Five Ways To Use Timelines In Class

The use of timelines is nothing new in the physical classroom but with the ever growing presence of online synchronous teaching, timelines is something which is not really given much thought. I have not incorporated timelines in an online lesson before but after considering this I would actual use them either with a mini-whiteboard and webcam or integrate them within my PowerPoint for the class. One benefit of the use of timelines during lessons is that it helps students visualise tenses and how they are used in English. It will also raise their awareness of potential differences between their L1 tenses and their L2 (that being English).

In this post, I shall be sharing five ways you can use timelines in your remote or physical lessons. If you are unfamiliar regarding timelines, my video introduction below to them will possibly help.

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Top Six Reading Activities for EAP Teachers

I recently read a really interesting and inspiring blog post on ELT Planning – about 23 ways to use a text in the classroom. It was very interesting to see what was suggested and it got me thinking about EAP-related tasks which could be used by teachers and students for their academic reading skills.

In academic writing and skills development, reading is crucial for any undergraduate or post-graduate student, with English being their second language. For the vast majority of EAP students, they have difficulty comprehending academic language, so in this blog post, I am sharing my six favourite reading activities for EAP students.

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How To Make Reading More Engaging

In this quick post, I share five tips to make your reading more engaging and entertaining for your learners. I have also supplemented the post with a video for those that want to watch something for 5 minutes.

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Pancake Day: Lesson Ideas and Activities

One of the most popular events during late February or early March, in the UK, is Pancake Day. I am sharing some lesson ideas you could use with your class to celebrate the event and to get your students learning more about this British custom.

It is very important to introduce your students to celebrations in the UK, so they are able to learn more about British society and events which they may come across. Furthermore, they will feel more inclusive within British society if they are able to participate with some events.

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“Wacky Races” Lesson Plan

I few months ago, I was sitting with my Director of Studies and some teachers and we were discussing of ways to engage some Colombian young learners with material in relation to cars. One idea that was thought up was the old TV series, “Wacky Races”. I sat down for a half a week and created a lesson around this TV series. If you have never watched “Wacky Races” before, I would definitely recommend watching the following clip below. It is funny to know that the TV series was first shown on TV in 1968. Some of the best TV series never get old.

The introduction to ‘Wacky Races’

Anyhow, I would like to share some of the material and staging for this lesson so you could try it out with your young learners.

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Classroom Community Builders: Book Review

Introduction

I was kindly asked a few weeks ago by Alphabet Publishing to review a recent publication, ““, written by Walton Burns. After a few weeks of waiting, the book finally arrived along with a personalised letter from the publisher.

The publisher, Alphabet Publishing, is one of those small independent organisations which specialise with practical ideas for teaching and lesson ideas. The first book that I reviewed for them was “” as a video book review. You can watch the video below or find out a bit more from a previous blog post.

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British Food: Lesson Activities

Blog Post Image

In this post I have developed material for teachers to incorporate into lessons related to food – not such a good idea if you have any Arabic learners as Ramadan has just started. This particular lesson lasts around 45 minutes and is a good task for learners to become more aware of British food.

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Teaching Ideas for Word Stress

pronunciation-practice-activities

Pronunciation Practice Activities” by Martin Hewings

So the past few months, I have been focusing more and more on pronunciation for all levels of learners, no matter whether they are young learners or adult learners of English. Anyhow, I tried out a new lesson idea today which was partly inspired from the wonderful book, “Pronunciation Practice Activities“, written by Martin Hewings. I would recommend any teacher worth their salt to purchase this book, as it offers some great pronunciation lesson ideas which could be incorporated into class immediately.

Most teachers would identify word stress with the teaching of new vocabulary or as a technique to support pronunciation for problematic lexical items. This is all well and good but it reminds me of a teacher reacting to issues rather than proactively focusing on areas of language learning. Personally, if a teacher is able to develop a lesson based around pronunciation and developing learners’ awareness of pronunciation, so much the better. There is by no means anything wrong by reacting to pronunciation issues as they arise but I think it would be a nice change of focus when we remind learners that there are some basic principles that they can learn no matter how large or small the lexical item. Nevertheless, lets look at one lesson idea which is published in “Pronunciation Practice Activities“.

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