So there I am, sitting in Nandos in Gatwick airport, killing time with chicken, when I glance to my left and see a large text painted on the wall. As all EFL teachers know, there are two aspects of the job that we just can’t turn off:
- Constantly looking out for new material for our lessons.
- The mistake alarm. Every time we see or hear one it rings loud and clear.
The second of these has made Facebook and Twitter hard to bear for much of us, especially with friends writing things like “You should of called me”…GAHHHHHH!!!!!!!!
Sadly Nandos is no different and this little text had three separate mistake clangers in there. However, it also had some negative inversion and some nice vocab in there so I decided to take a photo (I then had to put up with weird looks from around the room) and use it in a lesson.
I’ve yet to use it but here’s the material and the procedure. If you try it before me, let me know how it goes.
Level: Upper intermediate + above (nice for Cambridge exam groups too)
Time: 90 mins – 3 hours
- The Legend of the Barcelos Cockerel (word)
- The Legend of the Barcelos Cockerel (PDF)
- The Legend of the Barcelos Cockerel – teacher’s copy
- The main aim here is to encourage our students to be more analytical, to notice the English all around them. This mean noticing mistakes as well as new vocab and interesting language patterns.
- Display the word “Legend” on the board and ask sts to discuss what it means. Then show them the dictionary definition and get them to check their ideas. (I like to use full dictionary definitions from time to time to encourage sts to use English – English dictionaries and to look at common features of dictionaries, especially how to understand the pronunciation)
- Get students to chat about the discussion questions and then feedback as a group. I’d try to get as much interesting language from their legends up on the boards now as it could help later.
- Students skim read the text (30 seconds) and in pairs retell it in their own words.
- Vocab focus: Sts match the key vocab from the text with the definitions/synonyms on the worksheet.
- Editing: Sts work together to find the mistakes. See the teacher’s copy for the answers.
- Language focus: Sts examine the negative inversion sentence and feedback as a class.
- Ask sts to retell the story and record their stories. I think it would be interesting to compare the language they use to tell the story and the language of the text. The key vocab will be the same but the style of the text is very much that of a legend. I think this would be an interesting comparative analysis.
- Going back to the discussion at the beginning of the lesson, sts use the vocab boarded then and the legend style discussed above to write their own legends.
- Place them around the room and encourage sts to move around with two tasks. (1) find errors & (2) decide who has written the best legend in keeping with the style discussed above.
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