sábado, 28 de janeiro de 2012

Ask me questions!

One thing I've been noticing in my classes is that most students have difficulties in making questions, I mean, more than answering them. They usually find it difficult to organize the structure of those questions, either by forgetting to use the auxiliary verb, or placing it in the wrong place in the sentence. I always try to emphasize questions in my lessons because we often ask students to "answer" and not to "ask". Yesterday I used one my magazines (Speak Up) in order to practice the structure of questions in different verb tenses. So right before class, I picked an interesting article from it, played the CD (yes, we can use Speak Up CDs in class!) and then it was the time for my student to look at the article and prepare five simple questions about it to ask me, and I would do the same. This way, not only we can check on their understanding but also the students themselves are able to see clearly whether they still have doubts on asking questions in English. Next time you teach consider letting your student(s) asking you questions, not only answering them. I wish you a wonderful weekend, colleague!

terça-feira, 24 de janeiro de 2012

They're looking at...

I was teaching "Present Continuos" to one of my students yesterday, and at the end of our class I thought about using this picture I got from an old magazine some time ago. Actually I didn't use it before because I realized it's impossible to see what the couple in the picture is looking at. And this is why that picture was always left aside...but in the last minutes of my lesson I decided to place it on the desk and I asked my student what that girl and that boy in the picture were doing. He told me they were looking at...something. Then I started asking him some further questions and this time he was supposed to use his imagination in order to make predictions and try to guess what they were looking at. Really funny predictions came out! Great exercise!

quinta-feira, 19 de janeiro de 2012

A really special homework!

I know this word "homework" can sound kinda "boring" for most of our students but there are many ways of making it lighter for them to have something to do at home. Today I thought about one of Adele's song which is being played a lot on the radio and is the new hit of one of our soap operas. The song is "Someone like you" and I'm pretty sure you know it. Most of our students, too and I think they would be really happy to know what that song is about. As one of my adult students is already back to classes I thought about giving him this homework: we're going to listen to the mentioned song and then I'm going to ask him some questions about it (the topic of the song, the feelings of the woman, etc). As homework, he'll have to write in a form of a composition and end for that sad story and bring it to me the following class. Nice way of assigning a homework and getting a smile back. See you soon, colleague!

terça-feira, 17 de janeiro de 2012

Topics, topics, topics!

An easy and nice way of getting your students speaking again after this long summer vacation is simply choosing some different topics before class, such as: money, music, family, jobs, etc. Before re-starting your lessons just say one of the topics and get your student(s) talking about it for some time. Great as a warm up!