Before I forget...
I think most would agree that having a good
memory is near the top of the list of skills necessary for
'good language learning'. Do we look at this enough in class?
Do we pass on enough tips on how to memorise efficiently?
A nice way into this is by giving a memory
test & analysing the results. Hand out a list of words
such as the following - change to suit the group so that they
are all known words:
Give the students one minute to remember
as many as possible. They then turn over the papers &
individually write out their memorised list. When they have
dried up, get them in small groups to share their memory techniques.
Some of the strategies that might come up
in the discussions could include remembering words with similar
meanings, words that look the same, words that stand out because
they look different eg. long or short words, words that sound
different/nice/ strange, words that can be associated through
a story (get them to re-tell their stories) etc.
It's not a test to see who can remember
the most but to collate the different strategies they have
used, learn from each other & generally raise awareness
of the importance of memory & the conscious use of strategies.
We'll look at some different memory techniques
in future Tips.
to the contents
This is a simple idea that helps promote
autonomy & maybe saves you a little work. When you need
to practise some language area why not hand it over to the
students & ask them to think of a natural situation in
which one would use the language. This then checks they have
understood the language area, helps them to extend their ideas
about the area, gets away from the coursebook feeding in all
of the ideas & provides more variety of activity.
Get the students in pairs to brainstorm different
areas, go round & check they are on the right track, providing
ideas if they don't have their own & then get them to
write a dialogue for one of their situations, incorporating
the target language. Again while they are writing the dialogues,
go round & help out & corecting as necessary, &
then the pairs read out their dialogues in front of the class,
the rest guessing what the situation is. A more spontaneous
way would be for them to simply have the dialogues without
writing them out beforehand. It depends on the aim of the
You would need to introduce this gradually
as you might initially get little response, especially if
your students are not very independent & autonomous learners.
to the contents
Christmas lesson plan
This week's Teaching Tip takes
the form of a lesson plan centred around Christmas things.
It is an upper intermediate level lesson but it would be easy
to adapt it to lower levels by re-writing the texts.
The plan consists of the following stages:
- warmer/sinking in to the theme - Xmas jokes
& local traditions
- vocabulary brainstorm
- information exchange
- follow up ideas: letter writing, roleplay,
Hope your students enjoy it.
out last year's Xmas ideas.
Click on your present to
get to the plan!
the Past Teaching Tips