Silly Shakespeare for Students is a new series from Alphabet Publishing. It offers simplified versions of well-known Shakespeare plays, making them accessible and fun for English language learners. You can read the blurb from the publisher here.
A few key points about the resources…
Each play in the series has been cut to about an hour
They’re all done in rhyming couplets – short, sharp and engaging
They include lots of humour throughout, regardless of the original genre
Plays include stage directions, some production notes, plus an explanation of how the play has been adapted.
Loving London by Angela Tomkinson is an A2 level reader for teens. It provides 26 short texts on London (alphabetical), covering a whole range of topics (see image). Each text includes a short after-reading activity, and there are audio recordings available should the teacher wish to adapt the task into a listening. (more…)
Successful Group Work is a short book of 13 activities for teaching teamwork skills. Palmer begins by writing about some benefits of group work in the EFL classroom, such as increased student talk time and the chance to negotiate meaning. She highlights, however, that to ensure group work is effective learners first need to be aware of what makes it a success – that’s where teambuilding skills come in. Activities in the book are designed as a ‘complete course’, helping students identify and develop the necessary teamwork skills in order to succeed in group projects.
In defining ‘teamwork skills’, Palmer refers to a list compiled by the Conference Board of Canada, clearly stating how each of the activities in the book focus on these various skills. Some examples include:
Recognising and respecting diversity
Contributing to a team
Understanding and working within the dynamics of a group
Planning, designing or carrying out a task
There are some good tips in the introduction about setting clear expectations and post-task reflection. (more…)
Here’s a great group task for retelling a story. I came across it during the British Council summer school here in Bangkok. My teen group were doing activities based on the movie ‘Jumanji’, but this can work for any movie, fairytale, etc.
First, summarise your story in 100 words or so. You could use an existing plot summary from IMDB or even Wikipedia, and just cut it down as needed.
Once you’ve got the text, write it out into a table so that each word is in one of 4 columns, Here’s an example for the first sentence:
In 1869, two boys bury a mysterious and magical game – Jumanji.
Here’s the important part. Jumble each line of the text up so the words are in a different order. Then number each line to help learners keep track of where they are. Here’s the handout I gave them: (more…)