You might not need to encourage your students to take control of their learning. I do. My teens aren’t used to working independently or undertaking tasks without the teacher directing proceedings.
Our current topic is health and fitness. I found this great information booklet online entitled ‘Take charge of your health’, which was aimed specifically at teens. It looks like this, and you can access it here.
I bought these story cubes a few months ago, and I’ve tried them out a few times this term. They are basically dice with pictures on them, so it’s really up to you how you use them. You can find a few ideas on the story cubes site, which include some demonstrations.
These are a pretty good tool to have in the classroom, and it wouldn’t be too hard to make your own (they can be a bit costly if you want a few sets). I find with my EFL classes that there’s rarely time for storytelling lessons, which is a shame as these cubes would be a great resource. However, I’ve tried to integrate these into lessons, with varied success. As you’d expect, the cubes mainly help students generate ideas for certain tasks. They’ve worked best with my teens.
Note: If you know about the specific sets of cubes then I’ve got ‘voyages’, ‘actions’ and the standard set.
A few weeks ago we did a review of using articles (a fairly common error for Thai learners) which was based on Jim Scrivener’s activities in Teaching English Grammar. The basis of this was creating a short story (about 5-8 lines). Student’s had to use articles correctly for new/known information. They then cut their story up line by line and gave this to another group to put in the correct order. The cubes helped with ideas and made the stories fun for other students to read. This also meant lots of emergent language. (more…)
This post outlines my problem-solving techniques, and offers some tips for improving interaction in teen classes.
It’s only a few weeks into term, but I’m revisiting familiar issues with my new teen classes:
Why are they so timid? Why won’t they volunteer answers during class discussion? Why won’t they share ideas when nominated? Why won’t they interact in pairs? Am I putting too much pressure on them so early into the term? How can I stop them speaking together in their L1? Should I always stop them speaking in their L1?(more…)