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Today’s lesson was, in essence, quite simple. The aim was to improve oral fluency and accuracy on the topic of holidays. It seemed quite a logical progression from the orang-utan circular writing activity of the previous lesson. I beamed up these photos of mine (except for the backpackers, taken from Wiki Commons).

The instructions were on the slide, so I didn’t really need to say much except to tell them to work in pairs.


Holidays by Chiew Pang

When that trailed off, I did a PACS with them on these four sentences:

  • You do more things on a camping than on a beach holiday. (Correct!)
  • All time you are moving –> You are moving all the time or You are constantly moving/on the move.
  • Some persons are more adventurous –> Some people are more adventurous.
  • I always have beach holiday on the summer –> I always have a beach holiday in the summer.

For each sentence, I asked them if they were correct and told them to make the necessary corrections.

Some pronunciation work was also needed:

  • history
  • island
  • culture

And I highlighted the fossilised error of many Spanish students: depend of instead of depend on. I wrote depend ___ and, of course, they knew which preposition should go in the gap, but when they speak, they never remember!

In the next stage, they changed partners, and asked their new partner about their first partner’s answers. For example, first session: Ss 1 & 2; 3 & 4. Second session: 1 & 3; 2 & 4. Ss 1 & 3 would ask about Ss 2 & 4’s answers.

This brought about another PACS:

  • He prefer doing a camping holiday –> He prefers going on a camping holiday.
  • What’s the most enjoy holiday for him? –> most enjoyable. Or: what/which kind/type of holiday does he enjoy the most?
  • He say me that you can see a lot of places –> He told me…

For pronunciation, I had to work on “least”.

We then did a listening activity from the coursebook (Cambridge English Complete First Certificate), which, for a change, was quite decent. I find that dialogues of native speakers were OK, but that of foreign speakers are an embarrassment as it is obvious that they were faked.

I was pleasantly surprised that they did their listening rather well, which means, in the future, I could concentrate more on speaking and writing, their main weaknesses.

We wrapped the lesson up with a guided discovery of the differences between travel, journey, trip and way, followed by some controlled practice.

My reflection

This class isn’t very vibrant at best – the most active student having left because he couldn’t continue due to work pressure – so the lesson felt somewhat subdued, some might even consider it boring. However, there was a lot of pairwork speaking and I’d managed to get in a fair bit of correction work, which I was pleased about. One of my personal aims is to continue to improve on monitoring strategies, so I was happy with that today.

The coursebook actually had images, but I decided to use my own to make them “dogmetically” personal. I didn’t have any pictures of myself, or anyone else, on backpack, so I must keep an eye open for that! My worn-out backpack is stowed away in the basement somewhere. The images had helped to build a certain rapport from the beginning as they could identify some of them as places they had been to. That helped the conversation flow.