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.