Film Soundtrack Task

So, the origin of this lesson came when I was still teaching exams. I wanted a task that replicated the skills and language needed for Speaking part 3 in FCE / CAE / CPE, I wanted to show that the language for the task had genuine use outside the exam. I also wanted it to be a bit of fun. I decided to use some music as it would allow students to use high level vocab and in the feedback sessions I would have scope to add input and also to check comprehension. There are other examples of how to use songs in class on the site, for example: https://textploitationtefl.com/2018/03/04/the-cure-pictures-of-you-present-perfect-continuous/

or

https://textploitationtefl.com/2015/01/27/writing-lesson-based-on-a-song/

There are a lot more for you to explore.

Anyway, in this lesson, the songs are used for a slightly different reason.

So without delay, let’s get down to it.

  • Time: 90 minutes
  • Level: Intermediate / Upper Intermediate / Advanced / FCE / CAE / CPE (it could be used with lower levels with some scaffolding)
  • Aim: To encourage discussion and practise decision making language.
  • Sub aim: Practising presenting a decision to the group.

Procedure:

Pre-listening: Select 5-7 songs that you intend to use. Try to ensure that the songs have a different feel and that they will evoke a different emotional response.

  1. Listening 
  • Tell the students you are going to play them 5-7 pieces of music/songs. You are only going to play about 30 seconds of each. Ask them to write down any feelings they have about the song. Tell them that you don’t want things like “I like it”, “it is rubbish”, but want adjectives or description of feelings the songs evoke or where it reminds them of being etc.
  • Play the songs allowing time after each for them to write up notes.
  • After all of the songs have been played ask the students to compare what they have written down in small groups. Try to make sure the groups are 2-4 people each.
  • Do group feedback, this allows you to share ideas, but also share any high level / interesting vocab.
  • You may need to play the songs again at this point in order for them to complete the next task.

2. Task – the script outline

Ask the students to skim read the scenes. Ask them what type / genre of film they think it is.

Then, ask students to work in groups and complete the task on the worksheet. 10-15 minutes. There may be some language that the students are unsure of. Try to elicit meanings from them. Encourage them to think about context where possible.

Task: You have been asked to select music to match the scenes. The songs we played you earlier were the ones we have the rights to. We can probably just about afford to license one more song. So if you have a suggestion for one that would work, we can probably manage that.

Direct them to the suggested language on the worksheet (please add extra language to this that you would like them to practice). Encourage as you monitor and also take notes so you can do error correction after.

Give the students 5 minutes to prepare to present their ideas to the group. Try to encourage them to use reasons. This is a chance to recycle the lexis they used earlier and to practice summarising a group discussion.

Optional: Board the different ideas for how the film ends. The students can then vote on the best.

Post task reflection: Ask the students where they can use the language that they have been practising. The aim is that they recognise that this is language that could be used in the exam. If not exam students in business discussions, meetings etc.

Also encourage the students to offer each other feedback on the language they all used. Ask the students which of the phrases they did use, which they didn’t and why. It is about them making choices about the language they use and developing their own personal lexis.

Possible extension activities: 

  • Ask the students in groups or individually to write dialogue for part of one of the scenes. This can then be edited and improved as a writing task. You could also ask the students to film it. This is a great chance for a student to act as director and help students improve. For a similar idea: https://textploitationtefl.com/2017/07/11/modals-of-deduction-a-murder-part-1-2/
  • Use one of the songs and treat it as a text and textploit it. See other ideas from the song lessons on the site.

Materials:

 

 

 

 

Murder Mystery Part 3 & 4

So, this is the follow up to the lesson: https://textploitationtefl.com/2017/07/11/modals-of-deduction-a-murder-part-1-2/

It has quite a bit of listening, they are included here, but feel free to rerecord them using colleagues. They are not my finest.

Aim: to practice modals of deduction / create opportunities for using them in speaking. Reading and listening practice and vocab building.

Level: Pre-Int / Int / High Int / Upper Intermediate (The lower levels will find it challenging, but that is fine, as long as you tell them it will be, and provide lots of scaffolding and support)

Procedure

Reading:

You could do this as a jigsaw reading, where the students have different information they have to share with each other, if you have the right number of students, or you could dictate one and get students to do the remaining two as a jigsaw. Alternatively, you could pass them all to the students.

For further reading on Jigsaw readings see: https://www.teachingenglish.org.uk/article/jigsaw-reading

Vocab:

Answers: A – 4, B – 6, C – 1, D – 5, E – 3, F – 2

Modal verbs:

Just an opportunity for the students to practice the target language. Encourage them to share ideas and support them with linking words. As groups ask them to present the questions or pieces of information they would like to be able to say who committed the crime.

Listening:

This is challenging, you might need to play it more than once. For the answers try to encourage the students to give fuller answers.

If they are really struggling you could ask them to read it and listen at the same time.

Answers:

  1. No they have different interests.
  2. He says they get on fine as they avoid each other.
  3. He wanted Adam to take over the family business.
  4. He uses it for his photographs.
  5. Obviously this is subjective, but no, he is rude, arrogant – try to get the students to explain this.
  6. Not happy at all.
  7. Yes very.
  8. Working with stones from the fruit trees – encourage students to think why this may be significant.
  9. He didn’t say what really, he just said some tools.
  10. It’s normal / he is surprised it is illegal.

Encourage them to think further about the new evidence and to make suggestions. If you have time get them to build up a picture of what they think happened and explain it to the class.

Prepositions

  1. on
  2. of
  3. at (but in also works)
  4. up

Optional task

This is something I like to do, but can easily be left out, ask the students to find a picture online using their phones which represents what they think the three characters look like and ask them to justify their choices.

Modals

Encourage the students to make statements using must have and can’t have related to the story.

The ending

I did this as a cut up and asked them to match the sections to the different times shown below.

  1. 9.00
  2. 11.00
  3. 11.45
  4. 15.00
  5. 16.00
  6. 18.30

The end is in order, but the times are attached in the tapescript page.

After, ask the students to explain in pairs or groups what has happened in the story to check understanding. Monitor and do all class feedback.

Ask them what surprised them / annoyed them about the story.

Follow up:

I asked them to write a short newspaper article which enabled us to practice passives and recycle some of the vocabulary seen. I did it as pair work, but of course it could be done as homework.

Materials:

 

Adam Brown

Jim Birch 

Leslie Forbes 

 

 

 

 

Presentations – structure and shape 1

One of the activities I have ignored most over my teaching career has been student presentations, recently however, I have been working in EAP and the need for presentations has become far more pressing and apparent. Therefore I have resolved to make a lesson focusing on this. The fact I don’t teach it is itself odd as I do them in quite a few different forms all the time, but, I digress.

The lesson starts with a listening task, then moves to noticing skills on a good presentation, focusing on the language used and structures, before some reflection and hands over the possibility of your students making their own.

Aim:

  • to focus students on the shape of a good presentation by identifying the different parts of one
  • To better prepare students to give a short presentation in class.

Level / classes: Upper Intermediate / Advanced / IELTS / FCE / CAE / CPE / Business

Procedure:

Intro – ask students to write the first ideas that they have when they think of the word ‘globalisation’ or ask them to find a picture that represents this.

If you are unsure what to expect from this, you could always provide pictures

Listenening 1: 0-2.03mins

This is just a short listening task, encouraging students to take notes. An important skill, the questions that follow the notes are useful to assess whether the notes they took were useful.

Answers:

  1. How globalised we are, how globalised we aren’t?
  2. National borders don’t matter, we live in one world
  3. It is shared by pro-globalisers and anti-globalisers
  4. First mention, David Livingston, 1850s
  5. Railroad, steamship, telegraph

You can of course play again should you need to.

Speaking and brainstorming:

Put students into pairs or small groups and ask them to think of what makes a good/bad presentation.

Whole class feedback.

Predictions: 2-5.50mins

  1. 2% – 6/7% including internet calls
  2. 3% – 1st Gen immigrants
  3. Just under 10% – FDI

The Shape of the talk: 

He states that he is going to look at

  • How globalised we are
  • How globalised we aren’t
  • Why it is important to be accurate

Now students watch the rest of the talk, take notes and match the talk to the two shapes (this could be set as homework, but is needed for the next part of the class).

Encourage students to take good notes, getting them into the habit will be useful and will enable the discussion at the end to be more fruitful.

Answers:

The talk fits the SPSE ( Situation / Problem / Solution / Evaluation) model.

This is pretty typical for an academic talk, the second model is more suited to an essay, although it is important that students really see what easy of these parts relate to.

It is important for students to try to think about how presentations are structured, it relates to all stages of making a text, written or spoken, seeing what others do and learning from it is a vital stage in them becoming more autonomous. Encourage them to look at other presentations and assess what structure they think has been used.

Table completion:

Problems:

  1. If we don’t see the world accurately as being only 20 -25% globalized, we won’t be aware of the benefits of further integration.
  2. People become needlessly alarmed when by their belief that the world is already completely globalized.

Solution:

If, particularly in terms of aid, developed nations were even slightly more globalized, many people in developing countries would benefit.

 Evaluation:

Even a small change in how aid is allocated would help.

 Reflection:

Ask them whether they thought the talk was interesting, whether it told them things they were unaware of. Elicit things they were surprised by etc. What things from their original good / bad discussion did they see/hear?

Follow on: 

Obviously, this leads nicely to the students themselves doing a presentation, which is how I would follow it. I think start with a shorter one 3-5 mins, but make sure that they are doing it from research and structuring it well so that they maximise their time.

I would recommend letting them choose a topic, but maybe check that it is going to be suitable for the audience and what the aims are.

Materials:

 

 

 

A might well:The many forms of “might”

A borderline advanced student stopped me in the corridor the other day and asked me what the difference was between might, might as well and might well and for a moment I was stumped. He was holding his Upper Int coursebook on the grammar reference section for “might” and he made a very good point which was:

The Upper Intermediate book has exactly the same information as the Intermediate.

He was right, so I decided to look at it in a little bit more detail and came up with the lesson below.

The materials and the teaching notes are all in the same file and I’ve attached it as a PDF and as a WORD doc so that you can edit it if you like.

Enjoy

  1. might-as-well  – WORD doc
  2. might-as-well  – PDF

 

guys pic

 

Being succinct – walk me through your CV!

This lesson works equally well in a general English class as in an English for Work class but I tend to do it as a nice opener in new English for Work groups as it helps them to learn a little about each other. It helps if they’ve had a job before…so maybe don’t do it with a bunch of teenagers, not without changing it massively anyway.

The main aim is to encourage them to be clear and concise. The context here is an interview but this applies to most situations. I very often find language learners tend to panic and ramble and leap off on circular stories that don’t answer the question you asked because they’ve forgotten it in their panic over being asked a question in the first place.

This aims to work on that a little bit.

Level: Pre-int and above.

Time: 1.5 – 3 hours

Materialbeing succinct – walk me through your CV

Procedure:

(1)

Intro:

To get the sts in the right frame of mind, hit them with the discussion questions at the top of the page. Pay particular attention when they describe their career thus far. I’ll bet they go off on a long rambling explanation of their job, which is fine at this point, but you may want to refer back to it later on.

(2)

Gist reading

Direct them to the partial conversation and ask them to decide where in an interview this question might come. The idea is that this, or some version of this question is usually one of the first questions in an interview and is often used to get a snapshot of the person so it’s important to make a good first impression.

(3)

Post-reading:

What we want is for them to analyse the answer a little. I’m not saying it’s the most perfect answer in the world, and if they have suggestions, take them on board. But what we want to get from them is that it’s a clear, succinct overview of his career and all of the information mentioned is relevant.

You could ask them if their own answers had been the same.

(4) 

Vocabulary focus:

As always, a nice little matching exercise to encourage a bit of vocab analysis never goes astray.

(5) 

Language focus:

The idea here is to get them to notice the different language used without going into too much detail. My experience is that learners will overuse the past simple when talking about their career, instead of bringing in the perfect aspect, which implies something which is still continuing, instead of dead and buried, which is not what you want when describing your career.

(6) 

Preparation:

Get each student to make notes on their career. NOT FULL SENTENCES!!! stress this and beat anyone who is writing their answer out in detail. You want them speaking in a moment, not reading.

(7) 

Practice:

Sts tell each other about their careers  in pairs. Give them a time limit of 1-2 minutes each but if they go over, let them.

When they’re finished, get them to analyse their partner’s answer. They were, after all, the audience. who better to judge it?!

I’ll bet, they went off on tangents, gave extra irrelevant info and went over time. I’ll also bet it wasn’t very linear or easy to follow.

So…reflect, chat about what impression this gives of you and then get them to do it again with a new partner.

Repeat as often as needs be!