So there I was, walking out of the tube station, wondering where I was going to get my hands on a short text that didn’t immediately strike me as an obvious text for a lesson (one that we could use to challenge ourselves) when a lovely young lady, standing shivering at the top of the steps handed me the above postcard. Perfect!
I think most of the activities that go along with this lesson are pretty self-explanatory but I briefly wanted to talk about one of our aims: to encourage learner autonomy. For us, the end game has to be sending students out of the classroom with the tools they need to continue learning on their own. Exercise 2C in the lesson below aims to do just this. Of course we need to be teaching the students vocabulary in class but imagine a world where students come across an unknown word in a text and their first port of call isn’t their dictionary, instead the use the context and a variety of other strategies. Imagine they were able to simply insert a synonym and move on, happy that they’d understood the meaning. This is a world we want to live in.
The exercises below are a way of training your students to start doing just this. When done over a series of lessons, you should start to notice a difference in how they approach new vocabulary and their confidence when faced with unknown words and phrases. We’ve had a lot of success with these types of activities but it’s all for naught if we don’t let the students in on what’s happening. So, take a second after exercise 2C and ask the students why you just taught them this vocabulary, why you spent ten minutes teaching these specific words. Of course it helps them engage with the text, and you could argue that all vocabulary is important but what you’re really doing is teaching them a skill and to do that you have to make them aware of it first. Give a man fish and all that lark.
Anyway, try it out and let us know how it goes. Enjoy.
Level: Pre-intermediate – Upper-intermediate
Time: 1.5 – 3 hours
- To examine persuasive language
- To encourage learner autonomy
- To highlight the difference in use of real and unreal conditionals.
- To raise awareness of and practise weak forms and features of connected speech.
- By the end of the lesson the students will have created a radio advertisement, using weak forms, and persuasive language.
Age group: Adults
- Discussion questions
- Language focus: Vocab / informal + persuasive language / real versus unreal conditionals
- Pronunciation focus: Features of connected speech within the audio
- Reflection: What have we looked at so far?
- Practice: Creating a radio advert using the language/features of connected speech that have been looked at in the lesson.
- Material A: Detailed procedure
- Material B: Audio A/B/C (email us at firstname.lastname@example.org for the audio files – or feel free to record your own on your phones)
- Material C: Worksheet (higher+ lower)
- Material D: Answers
- Material E: Postcard Side A + B
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