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As usual I started by asking the class to tell me what we did the week before.

– Prepositions!
– Which?
– 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?
– 38
– 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

– swear

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.

  1. What’s his name?
  2. Where does he live?
  3. What does he do?
  4. How long did he live in Japan?
  5. How long has he been teaching in London?
  6. What are his hobbies?
  7. Is he good at playing the guitar?
  8. 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.