Task-Based Lessons

16. Soap opera

Thank you to guest contributor, Thomas Rickman, for this post. For some years now from fairly low levels upwards I have been using clips from soap operas both to practice listening skills and also because they can provide highly effective and engaging vehicles for meaning-focused communication.  Soap operas exist in many cultures so many learners …

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15. Dream Festivals

Now entering a second lockdown, perhaps it’s time to indulge some dreams of escape. I thought of festivals because they are the very opposite of current social distancing and restrictions on behaviour. I was lucky enough to be free and have the money to go to Glastonbury once, and also have great memories of WOMAD …

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14. Edutopia

“Education is what survives when what has been learned has been forgotten.” – BF Skinner “All I learnt at school was how to bend not break the rules.” – Madness Education is derived from the Latin educare – to lead out – but all too often it seems more like a process of content being drummed in! We’ve probably …

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13. New Rules: part 2 (the one with Google Docs)

In New Rules part 1 (https://fluencyfirstelt.blog/2020/09/02/12-new-rules-part-1/), we looked at one way of generating possible rules / norms for a new class, using an opinion dictation. The lesson finished with the learners being tasked with writing their own set of rules for homework. This lesson follows on by asking learners to collaborate to create the final …

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12. New Rules: part 1

“If you think your behaviour isn’t controlled by norms, think again” (Oyster, 2000, in Dörnyei and Murphey, 2003:35) Welcome to a new academic year, new courses, new groups and new rules! There are certain essentials we are always keen to establish in my first few lessons – rapport, group cohesion, expectations, typical roles and routines, …

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11. Don’t Worry, Be Happy

The “happiness industry” is ubiquitous, but there is a serious undertaking at the core of it. How is it possible to maintain a positive outlook in an age of political instability, increasing intolerance, and impending ecological destruction – let alone the coronavirus pandemic? We’ve all met people who seem (at least) to have the ability …

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10. Staycation

Welcome to our 10th task 🙂 If you are fortunate enough to be able to afford a holiday this summer, chances are it will be a “staycation” – a trip to some part of your own country. I’m lucky to live in a country that, while fairly small, has a lot to offer the local …

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9. Snapshots from my life

This “show and tell” type task, which I did recently with a group of students on an oral presentations course, is based on the fact that people enjoy sharing personal experiences in photographs, and it makes use of what students have readily to hand – their devices. It encourages the students to think about people …

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8. Nature Rising

The task encourages learners to share different recent news stories concerning animals and to decide whether they are true or false: real or fake news. I’d noticed during the last couple of months how these animal stories seemed to be proliferating. They delighted me at first. I was disappointed, though, to learn that a large …

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7. Bucket List

Sometimes going through major life changes can make you look back over your life, and forward to the future. Perhaps, with the lifting of restrictions in late spring, the appearance of a chink of light between the doors of confinement has turned students’ thoughts to future possibility? This task focuses on students’ life ambitions that …

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