domingo, 18 de abril de 2010

Fast Tip 9: An element of surprise!

Before going to class it’s a good idea to ask yourself: What is my element of surprise today?” We all know it’s good when students are aware of what they’re supposed to do during the lesson. They know that when they get to a point in their books where is written “Conversation”, they have to listen, then listen and repeat, then practice the conversation in pairs, etc. But we gotta have in mind that sometimes predictable things can easily become boring and demotivating (what is even worse!) so it’s a good idea to make use of an “element of surprise” once in a while. Don’t worry! This can be a simple thing, a tiny detail.

a) Instead of starting your class as you’re used to, for example, checking homework, why not doing something different (related to the content you’ve been teaching, of course!) like a fast game or a small text to be read. You can check homework afterwards and surprise your students with an unusual activity;
b) Prepare some simple, but interesting activities to work on the abilities you want. I explain. If your students are used to listen to the conversation with their books closed, prepare a fill in the blanks exercise and put them in pairs in order to complete the dialogue while listening to it;
c) Make use of a material you don’t usually work with in class. It can be magazines, newspapers or certain objects. This will definitely surprise your students!
d) Do an exercise in a different way! In pairs, in small groups or even sitting on the floor!
e) If you have the chance to leave the classroom for a while it’s a GREAT idea. Get your students speaking English with others in the course area! You can give them some questions which they’re supposed to ask outside and bring the answers back to you.

I wish you a Sunday lots of great surprises, colleagues!

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