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In the previous lesson with this FCE group, I noticed some problems with past simple -ed endings, so I began today’s class with a quick revision of a few examples. The ending /d/ and /t/ sounds are always more difficult to get right, so I concentrated on these. I told them that the difference might not be very important when speaking, but not knowing the right pronunciation may affect their understanding of the word, especially when they are linked to the next, e.g. worked out is more likely to be pronounced /wɜːktaʊt/ rather than /wɜːkt/ /aʊt/.

They then, in pairs, discussed playing video games before attempting a challenging listening exercise. This led to a guided discovery of the rules of comparatives and superlatives of adjectives and adverbs.

After this, I beamed up an image of Me and Julia, the orang-utan and had them speculating the events leading up to this ominous meeting.

Me and Julia, the orang-utan

Copyright 2012 Chiew Pang

After a few minutes of this, I asked them to create a story in their mind about the image and write it down on their notebook. However, instead of doing the circular writing activity like the way I did with the CAE group (I wrote about  it here), I set a timer. After every two minutes, I asked them to stop writing, even if they were on mid-sentence, and to pass their notebook to the person on their right.

While they write, I went around, monitoring and correcting. There were four students today. When they got their own notebook back, just as I did with the CAE group, I told them to add another sentence. They were then told to finish it at home, make any necessary corrections and post it on their Wiki.

Getting creative

Copyright 2012 Chiew Pang

Post-lesson, I asked them for their feedback on this activity and here are a couple of thoughts (the other two hadn’t got round to posting theirs):

  • Yes, I enjoyed this activity. I think it’s useful to have more creativity when you do writing exercises of others. You need to think of new words or expressions to complete the story.
  • Yes, I liked the activity. I agree with Sara, it’s very useful!

And here’s an example of an uncorrected story:

<< Chiew had always wanted to travel to the jungle so, one summer he decided to buy a ticket to Indonesia. It was a little crazy but he felt young and he looking for adventures.

After a long trip, Chiew arrived at the jungle. He was alone, he only had one small bag and one banana to eat.

When the night was coming, he saw a violent orangutan, and he gave the banana to her, because he thought that the orangutan was hungry. He was very frightened. He decided to spent the night in the middle of the jungle, to observe the orangutan’s behaviour. He was very exited.

Next morning, he woke up and, by surprise, there were a lot of orangutan around him. He was very afraid but he realised that orangutans were very calm and they only wanted to see him. It was an unforgettable experience. >>

Mmm… I like it!