Research for EFL teachers: French secondary school preparation

Recent reforms in French teacher education have led to the creation of new university schools of education (Ecoles Supérieures du Professorat et de l’Education) with masters programmes combining education sciences, disciplinary knowledge, pedagogy and also a research dimension. In the master’s programme in teaching English as a Foreign Language (Master MEEF Anglais), for future secondary EFL teachers, this research strand sits alongside English language and culture, EFL teaching, education theory and ICT. The initiation to research is offered during each of the two years of the programme, which integrates university courses and teaching practice. At Nice University, we designed a programme where an introduction to classroom research is connected with the two first-year teaching placements, which occur alongside university courses preparing for secondary school entrance exams (CAPES). In the second year, students conduct research projects in relation to the more extensive teaching practice involving university lecturers, secondary school practitioners and teacher educators.

The objective of the research component of the master’s programme is to help students understand

  • how language is learned in classroom environments, and
  • how teaching affects the process and outcomes.

This post offers background on second language classroom research for university lecturers and secondary practitioners to inform second year student research projects. We begin with a brief discussion of current second language research, followed by a presentation of the action research framework recommended for master’s research projects, and finally some of the the wider implications and future directions for this work are considered.

bench-accounting-49906

Bench Accounting

Classroom research in ELT

Second language teaching research

The learning and teaching of foreign or second languages has been the object of research in a number of different disciplines. Second language acquisition research in the field of linguistics is often dated to early work on learner language and learner errors in the 1970s (Corder, 1967; Selinker, 1972). It is also often associated with experimental designs using test and control groups, and statistical analyses, in order to test the effect of particular aspects of the learning environment on language learning, for instance. In language education, on the other hand, researchers have used discourse analysis to investigate patterns of language use in the classroom, for example, and to examine how teachers develop their classroom skills. Neither of these types of research seems appropriate to our students, however, because they have little or no training in research methods, and are expected to become classroom language teachers, not researchers.

However, it is possible and worthwhile for our students to conduct a different type of classroom research which can support their developing teaching skills and encourage reflective practice. This in turn may help them become more effective teachers who are able to adapt to new challenges and opportunities throughout their careers.

Action research

Action research is frequently attributed to Lewin (1946) and involves the teacher acting as a researcher in his or her own classroom by finding a question (or puzzle, or problem) to investigate, collecting data, analysing and interpreting the data, and then acting on the results, often setting off a new cycles of action research. For example, a language teacher might wonder why some learners in a class seem more motivated to participate in learning activities than others (Ellis, 2013). The teacher would collect data to find out whether this intuitive judgement is correct (e.g., by recording lessons, or making field notes, or perhaps involving the learners themselves), and analysing this data. Then the teacher can consider ways to make changes, and again measure the effect on learners.

Burns has written on this topic for researchers (2005) and for practitioners (2010). She explains the different stages of the action research cycle: plan, act, observe and reflect (2010) and the benefits for teachers and for the field (2005). Cook (2012) has further practical advice for novice researchers at graduate level.

Analysing learner language

To investigate the effects of second language teaching it is important to obtain some kind of measure of classroom activities by collecting and analysing data. Data collection can involve recording class activities or gathering samples of learner productions (spoken or written work). Data analysis then requires studying the learner language in these interactions or productions in a systematic manner (not just assigning grades).

The Center for Advanced Research on Language Acquisition (CARLA, University of Minnesota) has online materials to support teacher research on learner language. This resource identifies a number of orientations which teachers can adopt to analyse their learners’ language use; perhaps the most accessible are

Students often find data analysis particularly challenging and need support both with the rationale for this and methods of carrying it out. Tarone and Swierzbin (2009) provides a useful framework for this.

Masters research projects

Suggested approaches

For the research projects to be conducted in the second year of the master’s programme, students can start from a pedagogical question, as in standard action research, or replicate a published classroom study, or conduct a CLIL project.

Teaching article

Choose an article from a journal in the list below which addresses a teaching issue relevant to your learners. Read up on the issue starting with the article’s reference list, and use it as the starting point for your action research cycle.

Replication study

Choose an article from a journal in the list below which reports on research on an aspect of second language teaching which is relevant to your learners. Conduct a similar study with your learners.

CLIL study

Apply CLIL principles to a teaching unit on a literary theme or cultural notion which is appropriate for your learners. Working with your tutor and any other colleagues, plan and teach the unit, then analyse it using the critical incident technique described in Coyles, Hood and Marsh (2010).

Conducting and writing up research

I suggest the following framework for M2 research projects.

Research method

  • define a research question (problematisation)
  • collect data
  • analyse and interpret findings (two AR cycles if possible)
  • collaboration among student, school tutor and university tutor on definition of research question, method (classes, data) and analysis

Report format

  • in English, with French-English glossary
  • 20-30 pages (4-6000 words), double-spaced, 12 pt, table of contents, page numbers
  • structure:
    • abstract
    • keywords
    • introduction
    • background or literature review
    • method (participants, classroom context, data collection)
    • analysis/results/discussion
    • conclusion,
    • references (APA format, as in the present document)
    • appendices (lesson plans, research instruments)
  • oral defence with tutor(s) and another instructor: 10 minute presentation, 10 minutes for questions
  • evaluation on quality of project, write-up and presentation/discussion.

Future directions

Our work on master’s classroom research projects can contribute to our overall efforts for teacher education in the programme by supporting both novice teachers and their more experienced practitioner tutors. If thoughtfully conceived and carried out, student projects can also contribute to broader research in second (English) language teaching.

With this in mind, it is important for our classroom research to

  • draw on relevant recent research by language teachers and teacher educators;
  • define reasonable research questions which can be adequately addressed in the time available;
  • collect data in an organised and ethically appropriate manner (using participant authorisation forms and anonymising data);
  • write up and share findings with peers (past and future graduate students), colleagues (English teachers in the local academy) and stakeholders (inspectors, ESPE, university).

Sharing findings

Master’s in Teaching mini-conference

In Nice, we organised a day of Reflections on Classroom Practice in early June for first year students to share their teaching experiences using powerpoint presentations. We invited the students’ tutors and used these presentations as the basis for our grades. We used a similar format for second year student presentations, organised as joint half-day sessions including university and school tutors of all presenters.

Teacher education collaboration

We could also consider ways to build on second year master’s projects in Nice and Toulon by
organising combined research classes online (e.g., via the unice Connect platform)
organising outreach events with practising EFL teachers via inspectors and in-service training programmes
working with recent graduates and newly qualified teachers (T1, T2, T3) to continue professional support and encourage further practical research initiatives

Research collaboration

A final dimension to consider is collaborative research into language teacher education in our context. This is one area where I have done research with academic colleagues, graduate students and teachers (Cutrim Schmid & Whyte, 2012; Whyte & Alexander, 2014; Whyte, Cutrim Schmid, van Hazebrouck & Oberhofer, 2013), both in funded projects and independently. We might consider working together in similar ways with the MEEF students and tutors.

Organisations and conferences

Platforms for talks or publications include:

  • AFLA (Association Française de Linguistique Appliquée)
    http://www.afla-asso.org/
  • ARDAA (Association pour la Recherche en Didactique de l’Anglais et en Acquisition)
    http://www.ardaa.fr/ (colloque SAES (May)
  • EuroCALL (European association for Computer Assisted Language Learning)
    http://www.eurocall-languages.org/ conference (July/August)
    Special Interest Group in Teacher Education*
  • GERAS (Groupe d’Etude et de Recherche en Anglais de Spécialité)
    http://www.geras.fr/ colloque GERAS (March)
    Groupe de Travail sur la Didactique de l’Anglais de Spécialité*

Bibiography

References

Burns, A. (2010). Doing action research in English language teaching: A guide for practitioners. Routledge.

Burns, A. (2005). Action research: An evolving paradigm?. Language teaching, 38(02), 57-74.

Cook, V. (2012). Starting applied linguistics research. Retrieved 4 July 2014 http://www.academia.edu/4356490/Starting_Applied_Linguistics_Research

Corder, S. P. (1967). The significance of learner’s errors. International Review of Applied Linguistics in Language Teaching, 5(1-4), 161-170.

Coyle, D., Hood, P., & Marsh, D. (2010). The CLIL tool kit: transforming theory into practice. Coyle, D., Hood, P., & Marsh, D., CLIL: Content and Language Integrated Learning.

Cutrim Schmid, E., & Whyte, S. (Eds.) Teaching languages with technology: communicative approaches to interactive whiteboard use. A resource book for teacher development. Advances in Digital Language Learning and Teaching (Series editors: Michael Thomas, Mark Warschauer & Mark Peterson). Bloomsbury.

Ellis, R. (2013). Interview with Rod Ellis. Language magazine. Retrieved 3 July 2014 http://languagemagazine.com/?page_id=3843

Lewin, K. (1946). Action research and minority problems. Journal of Social Issues, 2(4), 34-46.

Selinker, L. (1972). Interlanguage. International Review of Applied Linguistics in Language Teaching, 10(1-4), 209-232.

Whyte, S., & Alexander, J. (2014). Implementing tasks with interactive technologies in classroom CALL: towards a developmental framework. Canadian Journal of Learning and Technology, 40 (1), 1-26.

Whyte, S., Cutrim Schmid, E., van Hazebrouck, S., & Oberhofer, M. (2013). Open educational resources for CALL teacher education: the iTILT interactive whiteboard project. Computer Assisted Language Learning, 27 (2), 122-148 doi: 10.1080/09588221.2013.818558

Open access journals

Canadian Journal of Applied Linguistics / Revue canadienne de linguistique appliquée: http://journals.hil.unb.ca/index.php/CJAL/index
English Teaching Forum: http://americanenglish.state.gov/english-teaching-forum
The Asian EFL Journal: http://asian-efl-journal.com/
TESL E-J: http://www.tesl-ej.org/

Online resources
Learner language (CARLA)

Foreign language teaching methods (COERLL)

Further reading

Spada, N., & Lightbown, P. (2006). How language are learned. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Tarone, E., & Swierzbin, B. (2009). Exploring learner language. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

 

Internal report, UNS/ESPE Nice

S. Whyte, July 2014

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IWB-supported video communication in primary ELF

My colleague Euline Cutrim Schmid at the University of Education Schwäbisch Gmünd and I have been working on task-based telecollaborative projects with primary school teachers of English as a foreign language (EFL) for a number of years. We have used IWB technology to allow live exchanges between pupils in French and German primary school classes in English as a lingua franca (ELF). Learners use an audio-video link and screensharing to complete information gap tasks in groups or in front of the whole class in the local classroom. Some children move objects on a page in a shared IWB file in response to information provided orally by remote speakers. A German learner may describe a funny animal with a crocodile’s head and an elephant’s body, while French listeners drag and drop the appropriate body parts to create the animal, for example, or a French “shopkeeper” will collect items from supermarket shelves to serve a German “customer.”

A task-based approach to video communication with the IWB

myles-tan-84040Myles Tan

In our first study, we asked:

  • How can an IWB support VC exchange between remote partners involving young learners?
  • What types of materials, activities and teaching techniques seem to
    promote effective learner–learner exchanges?
  • What light is shed on this communicative situation by teachers’ and learners’ views?

And we concluded:

This study has shown that it is both possible and worthwhile for young beginners to engage in live peer communication, and that IWB-supported VC interaction offers a promising platform for this type of exchange. The analysis of transcripts of video extracts provides an impressive picture of how the teachers were able to orchestrate an extremely complex set of interactions to support their learners in the planned tasks. Each of the three examples examined in the study shows how many different local interactions were required in each classroom in order for the central dialogue between French and German learners to unfold in ways that were useful for both the active learners and those observing. Even in this first familiarization session, the teachers were able to manage the technology, both the VC equipment and the IWB software, the different configurations of learners, and the ID card task itself. In so doing, they never intervened directly in interactions and rarely provided models or translated for their learners. It is remarkable that, even in these initial exchanges with so many other concerns, there are examples of learner–learner interaction supported only by the task materials.

This leads us to the second research question concerning materials and activities. This study suggests that while the design of task-based activities is important, balancing Cameron’s cognitive and language demands with appropriate support, her third aspect, interactional demand, may require more attention. The learners in the study seemed to lack communication strategies for dealing with interactional breakdowns, and the participants in general needed to focus on the task itself and collaboration with their interlocutor, rather than on other issues such as a language learning point or a technical detail. Nevertheless, the participants were positive about the experience.

Investigation of the third research question revealed that both teachers and learners found the exchange motivating and useful, with both groups also providing ideas and goals for future sessions.

Regarding technology, it is common in ICT studies to call for more technical support, teacher training, and familiarization sessions with technology in order to iron out recurring technical problems, and help teachers to implement effective learning activities that exploit the most appropriate affordances of our ever-evolving technological environment. Such measures are clearly helpful, if not always forthcoming. It is worth considering, however, whether this understandable desire to master the technological context and make the most of its potential to support learning might not lead teachers to overorganize and micromanage interactions, to the detriment of learner autonomy.

Whyte, S., & Cutrim Schmid, E. (2014). A task-based approach to video communication with the IWB: a French-German primary EFL class exchange. In Cutrim Schmid, E., & Whyte, S. (Eds.). Teaching languages with technology: communicative approaches to interactive whiteboard use. A resource book for teacher development. London: Bloomsbury.

Teaching young learners with technology

biegun-wschodni-8636Biegun Wschodni

In the next iteration, we focused on both design and implementation of tasks with the aim of balancing support for learners to complete activities with space for spontaneous language production.

This chapter has shown that new technologies can offer opportunities for meaningful language-learning experiences through authentic tasks.The various task-based activities described here illustrate the potential of technology to allow interaction with speakers who do not share a native language and to provide scaffolding to support this interaction. However, the chapter has also demonstrated that simply using new technologies does not guarantee, or even enhance, new meaning making. Our analysis of classroom interaction and teachers’ and learners’ perspectives has shed some light on a number of important aspects of technology use with young learners.

First, while the project tasks were perceived as more authentic and interactive than traditional activities, teachers and learners also expressed the desire for even greater learner-centredness, allowing opportunities for pupils to use language creatively and experiment with language. The majority of project tasks imposed a tight framework that often prevented this type of language interaction, suggesting that an important challenge with young learners is the balance between adequate linguistic and emotional support and space for learners to create. Second, in early sessions, the unfamiliar environment and technological limitations led to greater teacher mediation; by later stages of the project, the learners developed communication strategies and skills which allowed them to act more autonomously. This pattern corresponds to the implementation dip (Fullan 2001) noted earlier, and may reflect a positive effect of the teacher support in context and over time also reported in previous studies (Hennessy and London 2013, Whyte et al. 2013).

This chapter has discussed various advantages of using new technologies with young learners in the FL classroom, through the description and evaluation of technology-enhanced activities that were perceived as motivating, meaningful and productive. It calls for a stronger focus on task design and task implementation in technology-rich learning environments. Further research needs to be done on the design of technology-enhanced tasks that provide a framework for supporting young learners’ language production, while at the same creating room for the development of learner autonomy and self-directed learning.

Cutrim Schmid, E., & Whyte, S. (2015). Teaching young learners with technology. In Bland, J. (Ed.). Teaching English to Young Learners. Critical Issues in Language Teaching with 3-12 year olds. Bloomsbury.

Classroom technology for young learners

annie-spratt-365543
Annie Spratt

We later summarised our experience with these exchanges as follows:

Primary pupils aged 7 to 9 in Germany and France used English as lingua franca to interact with the remote class in three collaborative tasks: making ID cards, a supermarket exchange, and a breakfast invitation. Participants saw the tasks as authentic and relevant in design, but in early stages of the project, the actual implementation of these tasks did not sufficiently encourage learners to use their own resources. Transcriptions of the first CMC interactions showed high levels of teacher mediation in learner-learner exchanges. In later phases, the teachers made efforts to help learners develop communication strategies to negotiate meaning and repair communication breakdowns on their own.

Similarly, both teachers and pupils felt the planned tasks imposed a tight framework which prevented spontaneous use of language, and so later phases of the project aimed to allow more open activities. Thus, in preparation for one of the supermarket sessions, 15 German learners showed and described the content of their lunch boxes without preparation, using any linguistic resources at their disposal. Since the learners had not prepared or practiced in advance for the activity, they could not rely on memorized chunks, but had to adapt language on-line during interaction. An important challenge with YELLs is thus the balance between adequate linguistic and emotional support, on one hand, and space to create on the other.

Whyte, S., & Cutrim Schmid, E. (in press). Classroom technology for young learners. In Garton, S., & Copland, F. (Eds.) Routledge Handbook of Teaching English to Young Learners. Routledge. 2018.

English Medium Instruction: a reading list

A reading list on English Medium Instruction.
Many of the references were collated by Mary Page and Rob Baird, of the Academic Centre for International Students at the University of Southampton for an open course on this topic.
Others come from Joanne Pagèze and Mura Nava

Craig Whitehead

General terms and concepts

  • Beebe, L., & Giles, H. (1984). Speech accommodation theories: A discussion in terms of second language acquisition. International Journal of the Sociology of Language, 46, pp. 5-32.
  • Brumfit, C.J. (2001). Individual Freedom in Language in Language Teaching. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  • Cogo, A. and Dewey, M. (2006). Efficiency in ELF communication: From pragmatic motives to lexico-grammatical innovation,Nordic Journal of English Studies, 5(2), pp. 59-93.
  • Jenkins, J., Cogo, A., and Dewey, M. (2011). Review of developments in research into English as a Lingua Franca.Language Teaching44(3), pp. 281–315.
  • Wenger, E. (1998). Communities of practice. Learning ,meaning, and identity. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

English as a Medium of Instruction

European perspectives on EMI

Language Policy and EMI

English as a lingua franca

Against English as a global language

Intercultural communication

  • Baird, R. (2013). Investigating Perceptions of Master’s Students on English-as-a-medium-of-instruction Programmes in East Asia. PhD thesis, University of Southampton.
  • Baker, W. (2009). Language, culture and identity through English as a Lingua Franca in Asia: notes from the field. Asian EFL Journal, 4, pp. 8-35.
  • Baker, W. (2015). Culture and Identity through English as a Lingua Franca: Rethinking Concepts and Goals in Intercultural Communication. Berlin: De Gruyter Mouton.
  • Brumfit, C.J. (2001). Individual Freedom in Language in Language Teaching. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  • Bucholtz, M. and Hall, K. (2010). Locating identity in language. In C. Llamas and D. Watt (Eds.), Language and identities. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press.
  • Friedrich, P. (2008). “I want to be part of the club”: Raising awareness of bilingualism and second language writing among monolingual users of English. In Friedrich, P (Ed.). Teaching academic writing. London: Continuum.
  • Gleick, J. (1987). Chaos: Making a new science. New York: Penguin
  • Harris, R. (2009). After Epistemology. Bedfordshire: Authors Online.
  • Holliday, A. (2011). Intercultural communication and ideology. London: Sage.
  • Lacan, J. (Edited by Miller, J.) (1988). The seminar of Jacques Lacan, Book II. New York: Norton.
  • Leask, B. (2008). Internationalisation, globalisation and curriculum innovation. In Hellstén, M. and Reid, A. (Eds.). Researching International pedagogies: Sustainable practices for teaching and learning in higher education. Sydney: Springer.
  • Scollon, R., and Scollon, S. W. (2001). Intercultural Communication: A Discourse Approach (2nd ed.). Chichester: Wiley-Blackwell.
  • van Lier, L. (2004). The Ecology and Semiotics of Language Learning: A Sociocultural Perspective. Boston: Kluwer Academic.
  • Wittgenstein, L. (1953). Philosophical Investigations. Oxford: Blackwell.

TBLT, SLA & CLIL

  • Boulton, A., Carter-Thomas, S., & Rowley-Jolivet, E. (Eds.). (2012). Corpus-informed research and learning in ESP: Issues and applications (Vol. 52). John Benjamins Publishing.
  • Brown, H., Tarone, E., Swan, M., Ellis, R., Prodromou, L., Bruton, A., … & Waters, A. (2007). Forty years of language teaching. Language Teaching, 40, 1-15.
  • Douglas, D. (2004). Discourse domains: The cognitive context of speaking. In Boxer, D., & Cohen, A. (Eds.). Studying speaking to inform second language learning,  25-47.
  • Garcia Mayo Maria Del Pilar. (2015). The Interface between Task-Based Language Teaching and Content-Based Instruction.” System, vol. 54. 1-3, doi:10.1016/j.system.2015.09.003.
  • Jenkins, J. (2006). Points of view and blind spots: ELF and SLA. International Journal of Applied Linguistics, 16(2), 137-162.
  • Llinares, Ana, and Christiane Dalton-Puffer. The Role of Different Tasks in CLIL Students’ Use of Evaluative Language. System, 54: 69–79, doi:10.1016/j.system.2015.05.001.
  • Long, M. 2014. Second Language Acquisition and Task-Based Language Teaching. Blackwell, 2014.
  • Ortega, L. “Researching CLIL and TBLT Interfaces.” System, vol. 54, 2015, pp. 103–109, doi:10.1016/j.system.2015.09.002.
  • Sarré, C, & Whyte, S. (2016) Research in ESP teaching and learning in French higher education: Developing the construct of ESP didactics. ASp. la revue du GERAS, 69: 139-164, asp.revues.org/4834.
  • Tardieu, C, & Dolitsky, M. (2012) Integrating the Task-Based Approach to CLIL Teaching. Teaching and Learning English through Bilingual Education, Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2012, pp. 3-35, hal-00748683.

Needs analysis in ESP

from Chovancova 2014 https://doi.org/10.2478/slgr-2014-0031

Allwright, R.L. (1981). What do we want teaching materials for? ELT Journal, 30 (1), 5-18.

Aurelia, M. N. (2012). Cross-cultural communication – a challenge to English for legal purposes. Procedia – Social and Behavoral Sciencies, 46, 5475-5479.

Basturkmen, H. (2013). Needs Analysis and Syllabus Design for Language for Specific Purposes. In C. A. Chapelle (Ed.) The Encyclopedia of Applied Linguis-tics. Blackwell, unpaginated.

Chovancová, B. (2013). From Classroom to Courtroom: Preparing legal English students for the real world. In R. Vystrˇcilov´a (Ed.) Pr´avn´ı jazyk – od teorie k praxi (Legal Language – from Theory to Practice). Olomouc: Palack´y Uni- versity.

Coyle Do, P. Hood and D. Marsh (2010). CLIL: Content and Language Integrated Learning. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Dalton-Puffer, C. (2007). Discourse in Content and Language Integrated Learning. Amsterdam and Philadelphia: John Benjamins.

Dudley-Evans, T. (1997). An Overview of ESP in the 1990s. Proceedings 1997: The Japan Conference on English for Specific Purposes, University of Aizu, Japan, 5-9.

Edwards, N. (2000). Language for business: effective needs assessment, syllabus design and materials preparation in a practical ESP case study. English for Specific Purposes, 19, 291-296.

Eslami, Z. R. (2010). Teachers’ Voice vs. Students’ Voice: A Needs Analysis Ap- proach to English for Academic Purposes (EAP) in Iran. English Language Teaching, 3 (1), 3-11.

Flowerdew, J. and M. Peacock (2001). Research Perspectives on English for Aca- demic Purposes. Cambridge: CUP.

Gass, J. (2012). Needs Analysis and Situational Analysis? Designing an ESP Cur- riculum for Thai Nurses. English for Specific Purposes World, 36 (12).

Harwood, N. (2005). What do we want EAP teaching for? Journal of English for Academic Purposes 4, 149-161.

Huhta, M., K. Vogt, E. Johnson and H. Tulkki (2013). Needs Analysis for Language Course Design: A Holistic Approach to ESP. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Hutchinson T. and A. Waters (1987). English for Specific Purposes: A Learning- centred Approach. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Nunan, D. (1988). The Learner-Centred Curriculum: A Study in Second Language Teaching. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Swales, J. (2000). Languages for Specific Purposes. Annual Review of Applied Linguistics, 20, 59-76.

Widdowson, H. G. (1983). Learning Purpose and Language Use. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

English Wordlists for teaching and learning EFL/ESL

On his Wordlists page, @muranava has a curated selection of English wordlists, both general and subject-specific. Find information about the General Service Word List, the Academic Word List, as well as specific corpora and recent updates to available resources.

 

Screen Shot 2017-09-02 at 15.46.35

@muranava teaches EFL in higher education (engineering, business) in Paris, so some lists reflect that teaching context. He also runs a corpus linguistics community on Google+ with references, advice and updates on research and tools.

 

CrowdWish lesson plan (Rachael Roberts)

A great example of a communicative lesson plan, using authentic resources to stimulate discussion. There is a grammar focus, but it comes from the topic and activities, rather than constituting the starting point of the lesson. Link to video and transcript provided, CC licence – what more could we ask?

elt-resourceful

genieLampHeart

A free downloadable lesson, about a new online service, CrowdWish, which invites people to post their wishes on their website. Every day people vote on the most popular wish, and CrowdWish will grant it!  Students start by discussing some wishes taken from the site, then read a short text about what the site aims to do (so don’t tell them at the start of the lesson!)  There is then a focus on some useful idioms, before going on to watch a video in which the founder of the site, ‘pitches’ his idea. Students then look at the grammar used with ‘wish’, particularly at the use of ‘would’ when you want someone else to change their behaviour. Finally the students come up with their own wishes and vote on them, like on the site. You could even try and grant the top wish if you’re feeling creative..

The lesson would be…

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