Sweet Relief

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May 16, 2011 by k. liz

Ahhhhh . . . the sweet relief of a successful lesson! It was very nice to finish and feel that my students had benefitted and so had I. It was by no means an outstanding lesson, just worked with my students. Here’s what I did:

Topic: Offer, Accept, Refuse language
Level: Upper Beginner/Lower Intermediate
Time: 50 minutes
Materials: video; bubblr handout; situation handout; Accept/Refuse signs

Warmer: to begin, I played this video in class. I think it’s cute, and it gave us a setting to work with the language.

Once we had watched the video, we talked about some adjectives that would describe the monkeys. Finally, I had the students tell me what would the monkeys say if they could talk? And what would the customers say? I still had not introduced the target language so was just encouraging anything they gave me. Having them fill out the conversation led to the next activity – filling in conversation bubbles that for pictures (thanks to eltpics on flickr and bubblr!) Here is the strip I gave my students and I just asked them to write what they thought the people were saying. Anything was game because I still had not introduced the target language.


Now, this next step I think was key to my lesson being successful. This obviously won’t work in every classroom, but we are nearing the end of our term, and I’ve mentioned before that I have some fairly unmotivated students in my classes, so at this point, I looked at all of the students who had not touched the handout I gave them, and I promptly dismissed them from the room. Two of the offenders straightened up, apologized, and worked well the rest of the class. But, three left with no argument. I figured I’d rather have a productive class with most of my students, then argue and lecture the class because of a few students. After that, we had a great class!

Next, I used Triptico (see my post on this here.) I had prepared this before the class, and had it ready to go. This part of my lesson actually went really well. I chose one student to come up to my computer and told the class that they were going to organize all of the vocabulary words into the categories: Offer, Accept, or Refuse. Oh, and I forgot, I had also already gone over what “Offer” “Accept” and “Refuse” meant by demonstrating. I offered my marker to a student, and he took it. I also explained accept as saying yes, and refuse as saying no. So, once we’d had that established, I stepped back and let the class work to organize these words. (I know this won’t work with every vocabulary lesson, but with all of these phrases there weren’t really any new words, but more how to use them in the context and in phrases.)

I was really happy to step back and watch my students take over to accomplish this task. I was very happy with their work. I gave them some feedback when they were almost finished and told them “Okay, you have two incorrect.” Then, they found the problems and fixed them. From there, I went on to explain a few of the phrases, but for the most part the students already knew this language. I then worked through asking some of the questions. We were focusing on three types of offers: food, help, and to do something. So, I explained some of the details of the phrases – where the verbs go, whether or not you need the pronoun again, etc. We then looked back at the bubblr handout and I asked them to think of some questions using the vocab that was now on the board.

They did well with that, so once I felt that they were working well with the language and understood it, I handed out our final worksheet which just consisted of 10 situations. The students were working together to come up with a question to ask to offer something. Here are the questions I used (feel free to take them!)

I let them work on this for somewhere around 10 minutes. Most of them had not even gotten halfway through, but they were working on it and producing language, so we moved on to the next activity (which was using the same situations.) I had already prepared a Keynote presentation with the same situations that were on the handout. I then would choose two students to come up, and they would read the situation and then come up with a question to ask. One student would be offering, and the second student would accept or refused. I also chose another student to sit in the middle of the back of the room and hold up a sign with either accept or refuse on it, and the responding student would answer accordingly. I went until most of the students had practiced orally, and then wrapped up by checking that they did not have any questions.

I know that this format may not work with every lesson, but it worked really well with my first class today. I hope you can use some of the ideas!


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