Making Suggestions and TV Language
Scaffolding a listening activity using the Woodpecker app
|Photo by freestocks.org on Unsplash|
In this lesson, I have focused on three areas my students often have difficulty with: talking about their TV viewing habits, making suggestions and listening.
When I teach expressions for making suggestions, I take the opportunity to highlight the difference between the more formal way of making a request, 'Would it be possible to meet with you on Friday?' and the more common, native way of suggesting, 'Let's meet on Friday'. I explain that suggestions are frequently used by native speakers when chatting and also in more formal business situations. In general, English speakers are becoming less formal. Therefore, it's important for students to familiarise themselves with such expressions both for comprehension and communication.
In the age of digital streaming and video on demand, chatting about TV shows and online streaming services is commonplace. Students often lack the vocabulary needed to participate in such conversations, so the expressions and exercises in this lesson are intended to help them express themselves more confidently.
The in-class lesson materials and the homework, form a three-tiered scaffolding activity aimed to develop listening skills. The lesson is used as a pre-listening activity. The homework includes a listening activity which is broken down into parts and should be completed with the help of the Woodpecker app. And finally, vocabulary and writing activities are given as post-listening activities.
The Lesson Plan
The lesson objectiveThe objective of this lesson is to introduce a variety of expressions to make suggestions and to respond to suggestions. To learn the basic language needed to talk about TV shows and TV viewing. And in addition, to combine an in-class activity and a self-study activity to scaffold an exercise to improve listening skills. I aim to demonstrate how to use the Woodpecker app to review language, expand vocabulary, improve listening skills, and give students the ability to experience the lesson language in new contexts.
|English Jade - engVid|
The lessonThe lesson consists of a warm-up activity, a vocabulary review and 5 tasks:
- Warm up: To get students thinking and talking about TV shows.
- Task 1: TV language - Match the expressions with the definitions.
- Task 2: Dialogue - To demonstrate a conversation about TV suggestions, to identify the suggestion expressions and to answer brief comprehension questions.
- Vocabulary review: Expressions with examples of suggestions and accepting/rejecting suggestions.
- Task 3: Making suggestions - Encourage students to plan and create a dialogue using the language from the first part of the lesson.
- Task 4: Matching statements and responses - To show examples of everyday language. If time, students could create alternative responses.
- Task 5: Speaking - Two situations to be roleplayed with a partner in order to produce the language and practise it in 'real' situations.
The homeworkThe homework consists of 5 parts and uses an engVid video viewed in the Woodpecker app. The homework could be completed using Youtube, but parts 2, 3, 6, and 8 would not be relevant.
- Part 1: Improve listening - Encourage students to first attempt watching videos without subtitles or a transcript to develop their listening skills. Get them to practise two different listening skills: understanding the main idea and listening for detail (you could suggest specific information for them to listen to like suggestion expressions).
- Part 2: Improve understanding - Using the app's functions, students should then watch the video while reading along. Encourage students to choose the dictionary in the app, that they prefer before starting. Lower level students could use a dictionary that translates into their native language, and higher level students should use the English English dictionary with definitions in English. Students can touch any words that are unfamiliar to them to pause the video and to read the translation/definition and to add these words to their 'Word History' in the app.
- Part 3: Improve comprehension and pronunciation - Using the go-back buttons, students can watch the video again (until 3:46), stopping and rewinding chunks of the language to repeat verbally and copy Jade's pronunciation as they watch.
- Part 4: Writing and revision - Before watching the second part of the video, which contains new expressions, students should write a list of suggestions to review the language in the lesson in a new context, as in the video.
- Part 5: Improve listening and new expressions - Students should watch the second part of the video without subtitles as in Part 1. A number of new expressions are introduced in this part of the video. Lower level students might need an additional explanation, which could be given in class or they could read about the formation of 'Would you mind' expressions here.
- Part 6: Improve understanding - Students should use the app's functions to watch the second part of the video again, as in Part 2.
- Part 7: Write a dialogue - Students are required to write a short dialogue to practise the new expressions in the second part of the video.
- Part 8: Review new vocabulary - Encourage students to check their 'Word history' in the app, they should export new expressions and create a file on their computer to save vocabulary to review and use in the future.
The lesson materials:
Click to view the video in the Woodpecker app.
Click to view the video on YouTube.
ConclusionCreating a new lesson plan to work with my students on the topic of making suggestions, is something I've been wanting to do for some time, so I'm very pleased to have finally completed it. I think the in-class lesson also works well as a pre-listening activity. The TV viewing language is an added bonus and a motivator to promote fluency and improve speaking. I must thank Cynthia, a wonderful Chinese student of mine for the inspiration. She likes to start our lessons each week, with a quick chat about the new shows that she's discovered on Netflix. The excellent Woodpecker app supplies the listening activity for this lesson, an engVid video by English Jade, which both reviews the lesson language and introduces additional expressions. At the same time, exposing students to a London accent. Woodpecker's video functions greatly enhance the use of such videos with its built-in interactive tools, perfect for building scaffolding activities. It makes planning the listening and post-listening activities so simple for a teacher and so comprehensive for a student. The post-listening activities, in the form of writing a dialogue and reviewing new vocabulary, complete the lesson and ensure that all the four language skills are used and developed in the lesson.
I hope you and your students find the lesson and homework activities interesting and useful.
Would you mind expressions: https://dictionary.cambridge.org/grammar/british-grammar/common-nouns/mind
Jade's YouTube link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sse2FKrC_DE
Article about scaffolding: https://everydayesl.com/blog/listening-exercises-for-struggling-listeners
Article about breaking down listening activities into 3 parts: https://everydayesl.com/blog/2017/10/10/the-three-parts-of-a-listening-exercise
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