As usual I started by asking the class to tell me what we did the week before.
- Across! Through! Towards! By!
- Where am I sitting?
- On the chair!
- Where’s the chair?
- In front of the blackboard!
- Where’s the blackboard?
- Behind you!
- Where’s Pino’s scarf?
- In her neck!
- In her neck?
- Around her neck!
- Where is my scarf?
- On the chair!
- Where exactly?
- Over your jacket!
- And where is the jacket?
- Over the back of the chair.
Then a couple of students walked in…
- Where were you? Why are you late?
- I had an interview.
- An interview? For another job?
- No, no, interview no… meeting!
- Ah, meeting!
- And you, Gladis?
- I was in the door.
- In the door?
- No, no… at the door!
- Ah, at the door. Why?
- I had to wait until the children go house.
- Until the children went home?
- Yes, until the children went home and I could close the door.
This led on the topic of working hours.
- So how many hours per week do you work?
- Teaching time?
They couldn’t agree among themselves as to the number of hours they work! So, they started discussing, in a mix of L1 and L2…
And at some point, something else we did the previous week cropped up.
- OK, make and do. Some examples?
- Make beds! Take photos!
- What’s the general rule? They tried to explain.
I’d previously directed them to a post with explanation and practice so they remembered a few points.
- And exam?
- Take! Make! Do!
- Do or make?
Understandably, they had some problems so I told them we could use several verbs with exams including, do, take, sit, sit for, prepare for, review for, revise for, study for, etc.
- So, Gladis, why were you absent last week?
- I had a headache. Today, too. I’m tired but I did an effort to come.
- Did an effort… OK, effort. Do or make?
- Do! Make! Do!
- Hands up, those who say ‘do’! And ‘make’?
- Only 1 voted for ‘make’!
Then, I told them to stand up and write down 5 words that they’ve learned from day 1 until the present time. Only 5, I said.
Believe it or not, they had problems coming up with 5 words! That was somewhat disappointing. I told them to discuss among each other the words they had remembered.
I asked them what was the most common, and unsurprisingly, they were words they’d learned in the previous lesson. However, it did throw up more lexis such as
- sweat -> sweatshirt > tracksuit -> suit -> 2-piece/3-piece suit -> waistcoat -> sleeveless -> long-sleeved, short-sleeved
- suite -> en suite -> en suite bathroom
Talking of sleeves brought us to parts of the body and we spent a few minutes where they asked each other to do things like ‘Touch your left shoulder with your right hand!’ It’s actually quite amazing that I never failed to see confusion between left and right when we do stuff like this.
At this point, I shushed them and did a “listen to the silence exercise”. I told them to remain silent and try to listen to all the sounds they can hear. They were told to write them down. This brought up more lexis:
- whir -> whirring of a fan
- fan (with blades) -> ventilator (not necessarily with blades)
- heater -> radiator
- rumble -> the rumbling of my stomach
- scrape -> the scraping of a chair/table on the floor; the scraping of a pen on paper
Image by C. Pang. See more of his photos here.
After this activity, I played a video, but only the audio without the visual part. First, I told them to read the questions I’d prepared.
- What’s his name?
- Where does he live?
- What does he do?
- How long did he live in Japan?
- How long has he been teaching in London?
- What are his hobbies?
- Is he good at playing the guitar?
- What’s his email address?
Then, I started the listening. The first time, I played it the whole way through. Then, I played it again, stopping at strategic points for them to answer 2 or 3 questions at a time.
They did this exercise rather well, I thought. It also led to this:
Rock climbing > A CLIL to climb -> pun, play on words -> CLIL, hill
What I liked
They found the listening easy, much easier than the video listening I did with them the previous lesson. This may be due to any or all of the following reasons:
- the “listen to the silence” activity, which might have fine-tuned their ears
- the absence of visuals (They thought that might possibly have distracted them)
- Luke’s language, accent, pace…
- the questions provided them with a clear concept of what to expect
What I didn’t like
They had difficulty remembering 5 words they’d learned from previous lessons. This was, in some way, attributed to the fact that not many of them do the reviewing tasks I set them after each lesson.