ESL Activities for adult learners

Post-it notes vocabulary activity

If you want an easy to prepare activity to teach students some new thematic vocabulary, what you need is some post-it notes (two different colors), pens or markers , a table and a larger piece of paper ( the size of a poster possibly).

(περισσότερα…)

Advertisements

Social inequalities : an oral presentation mini course

“For us, art is not an end in itself … but it is an opportunity for the true perception and criticism of the times we live in.” (Dada poet Hugo Ball)

Social Inequalities is a mini course teaching students how to prepare oral presentations using contemporary artists as an incentive. The target group is students over 16 years old and the level is B2+ . In total it lasts about  8-9 teaching hours. This is why the whole series was initially  posted in 3 parts (First : lesson plan 1, Second : lesson plan 2 and Third : lesson plan 3 & 4 together).

(περισσότερα…)

Writing poems late at night

44625133_10218555675303500_5255242608095002624_n

My friend, my finally cancer free friend, Meredith Lee, was here a month ago to visit. We met in Athens and I spent 3 days with her before she was off to a cruise around the Greek islands enjoying her ‘freedom’. We mostly spent our days strolling around Athens and taking pictures as she just wanted to take as much in as possible of the Athenian atmosphere and landscape. We went around the historic center, talked to people on the streets, shop owners, dogs and cats (!). We walked for hours, one day probably over 20 km! I even took her to the theatre to see the latest Enke Fezollari success! She cried in the end!

(περισσότερα…)

Alien, the movie. Alien the punctuation?

This is a lesson plan I have been using for 2 years to teach punctuation to my students. It has worked well with levels B1-C1. The reason why I chose this particular movie, Alien,  and actually the first ALIEN movie made is that, even though older teenagers or young adults know the new version of it (the sequel was out about 2 years ago) , they are not familiar with the very first movie that ever came out. That makes it easier for me to make them work better and use their imagination. It should also be noted that I use this lesson plan when teaching essay writing and is part of the editing process which takes place in the end.

alien-1979-movie-poster-feat-ripley-peter-cassidy.jpg

(περισσότερα…)

DEBATE : Is Graffiti a form of Art or Vandalism ?

This series of lesson plans fist appeared on the Visual Arts Circle and can be found Visual Arts Circle. I am sharing it here too so that it is archived.

graffiti-street-art-history-thumbnail

By Vicky Papageorgiou

The classroom debate is a highly useful tool for a teacher. It provides the students with an excellent opportunity to improve their fluency skills and to extend their vocabulary while, at the same time, discussing about complex contemporary issues and developing the students’ critical thinking skills. If organised carefully, classroom debates are something your students will look forward to.

Introducing a debate in the ELT classroom is a complex process without any doubt. If none of the students has ever taken part in a debate, the teacher has to ensure that several steps are followed :

(περισσότερα…)

Lesson plan : Learning with YouTube videos

This is a new Lesson Plan I wrote and is now published on the current ELTA SERBIA NEWSLETTER, in the July-August issue

http://elta.org.rs/kio/nl/07-2015/Lesson%20Plan-Vicky%20Papageorgiou%20Learning%20with%20YouTube%20videos.pdf

You can check out the whole newsltter here : http://elta.org.rs/2015/07/13/elta-newsletter-july-august-2015/

youtube_logo_standard_againstwhite

(περισσότερα…)

Listen to my painting

This is a new series of activities about art paintings and sound effects.

In this activity students will explore sound effects and storytelling. They will compose a sound effect sequence from a picture stimulus and tell a story. They will have to find and select the sound effects on the internet, build up their own sequence and create their narrative and share it with the rest of the students who will have to guess which picture the sequence relates to and why.

Lesson Plan

Paintings and sound effects

 

Language level: Intermediate – Upper Intermediate

 

Learner type: Adults

 

Time: 60 minutes

 

Activity: Listening to sounds, narrating and writing stories

Language:  1) use of the simple past, 2) you might want to pre-teach some structures, such as :

It might be…

I think it is possible that…

Could it be …?

I believe it is..

Skills : The primary aim of this activity is to encourage students to use their imagination to build up a story with the use of sound and image.

Materials: Sound effects websites, art paintings/photos

Prepare a selection of pictures. In this case, it is : Matisse (Dance I), Edward Hopper (New York Movie) and David Hockney (My parents), Edward Hopper (Night Windows), Henri Rousseau (Luxemburg Gardens), Raph Steiner ( American Rural Baroque). Depending on the size of the class, of course, they could be more.


Henri Matisse  Dance (I)Ed. Hopper New York movie

download

download (1)

 

download (2)

Ralph Steiner American Rural Baroque

 

 

It could be art paintings or art photos– in this case, you can browse through the various museum sites, such as the MOMA http://www.moma.org/ or the Getty museum http://www.getty.edu/art/ )

You can also suggest some sites with sound effects which the students can use, such as : https://www.freesound.org/browse/tags/sound-effects/ , http://www.flashkit.com/soundfx/ , http://www.freesfx.co.uk/ , etc.

Step 1

Divide your students in pairs and give each of the pairs a painting or photo. Tell them that they have to come up with sound effects to fit the pictures. Using the painting as a point of reference, they need to build up a story around it. (Show them, for example, Edward Hopper’s ‘New York Movie’. They should come up with the sound of a movie playing, the opening of a cinema door, the sound of the velvet curtain, the walking of a person on a thick carpet, etc.) . Also, tell your students NOT to reveal their pictures to the other groups/pairs.

Step 2

Allow each pair of students time to discuss a short narrative for their pictures. Tell them that they have to write down only the basic parts of their story and not all the details.

Step 3

Let them explore ways of expressing it using sounds. Ask them to find the MP3 files of the sound effects on a relevant site.

Step 4

After they have prepared their sound sequences, let the groups share them with the rest of the class. Now it’s also time to reveal all the paintings.

Step 5

Ask the rest of the class to guess which picture each pair of students used. Encourage the other students to describe the elements that led them to this conclusion.

Step 6

Now, ask them to explain the story that each sound-sequence think that it narrates.

Follow up

  • Get the students to explore each other’s stories and decide who made the better sound adaptation

  • Encourage students to research online more about the paintings or photos and the real story behind them (if there is one documented, but most of the times there is one and that’s why using paintings for this purpose is ideal, they can be a starting point for comparisons between the initial idea behind the painting and the story learners made up)
  • Ask the students, in the end, to write their stories in a more elaborate way.

Writing for the Witness Project of the Online Edition of The Guardian

 

One of the first writing activities we embarked on with my AMC College 1st year Speech and Language Therapy students (Intermediate Level) this year was participating in the Witness Project of the Online Edition of the Guardian https://witness.theguardian.com/

What is the Witness Project

As they explain on their page, ‘GuardianWitness is the home of user-generated content on the Guardian. You can contribute your video, pictures and stories, and browse all the news, opinions and creations submitted by others‘.In other words, it’s a place where the readers can contribute their own written material along with a video or a picture.

The contributions fall into 3 main categories : a. assignments, b. live news tie-ins and c. open suggestions. The main requirement is that you post your own material (photo, video, etc.) or have permission for what you post. Also, posts are reviewed by their team and suitable contributions are published on the Guardian Witness. So, permission is required for your post to appear on their pages. Finally, some of what the Guardian’s team consider the best pieces might be featured on the Guardian site – on an appropriate page each time.

How the students participated

My students browsed through the page’s topics, picked the topic they were interested in, chose one of their own pictures or videos to write about, or took a new picture or video. The Project’s topics vary and change on a regular basis (there are new ones every 7-10 days and not all of them have the same duration – some of them are open for 10,20,25 days, etc.). There are , in fact, so many that it is difficult for someone NOT to find something interesting.

Objectives

The objective was for the students to practice writing short grammatically correct texts. The most important objective though was to motivate them to write something that they could choose themselves using a medium such as photography or video, quite popular among young people, and not only. Even though it was a short project, it could increase the students’ engagement in writing.

 

The procedure

  1. We checked the topics and decided which students would work individuallyand which in pairs. Also, we decided which topics they were going to write about.
  2. The students had a week to produce and deliver their work.
  3. After deciding on the topics, we needed to discuss the kind of help they needed: a. brainstorm ideas? , b. did they need help with new vocabulary?c. help with the content and structure of the assignment.
  4. Some of the topics themselves included specific questions that the writer should focus on. This served as a kind of guidance and I insisted that the students use it. Also, there is a word limit on the text you submit every time, which was also convenient for all of us.
  5. The following week, when they brought their material back in the class, we all looked at their work. We talked about the way it was written, the language, the photo chosen etc. Any mistakes which could cause any misunderstanding, were corrected.
  6. In the end, after all of their posts were submitted and accepted, a Pinterest Board was created and all of them were pinned on it along with some photos of them working on their projects in class.


94784f6fbc263a520ce1a2f67bb93af02014-01-13 16.24.100b50e7176c213939f1a1db847e43990d80fab9963dd9f02938a73b8252329520

Anticipated problems

As was mentioned earlier, once you submit your work on the Witness Project,permission is required for your post to appear on their pages. A few of the students’ work did not get permission (the reason is not known, it could be a problem with the email verification or even a problem with the photos submitted). So, we needed to work on a different topic with 2 of them. Since, there is no limit in how many posts one can submit, I suggest that each of them writes at least 2.

I hope you enjoy their work. I know that my students did! You can look at their work below. 

http://www.pinterest.com/vpapage/theguardianwitness-assignments-speech-and-language/