Sunday, 11 November 2018

Making Suggestions and TV Language

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 objective

The 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.


https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCy-dvmsfmvYXBmt_huqqo1A
English Jade - engVid


The lesson

The 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 4Matching 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 homework

The 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 lesson materials in Google Docs.
Click to view the video in the Woodpecker app.
Click to view the video on YouTube.



Conclusion

Creating 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.


Additional links:


Suggestions: https://dictionary.cambridge.org/grammar/british-grammar/functions/suggestions
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

Please feel free to comment, I appreciate any feedback.  If you are a Google+ member please comment below. If you're on Facebook please message me there and of course, you can always contact me through my website: http://talk2meenglish.wixsite.com/lessons


Monday, 5 November 2018

Listening to Numbers

Listening to Numbers

Photo by Stephen Dawson on Unsplash


In today's post, I have created a lesson plan to review numbers and listening to numbers.  I often prepare students for the IELTS and the FCE exams and my students find listening to numbers extremely challenging.  My business students also have difficulties understanding numbers and figures when attending meetings and participating in conference calls. Therefore, I hope this lesson will give them the opportunity to practise and improve their listening skills.


   






Whilst browsing for a suitable video containing lots of numbers on the Woodpecker app, I found a video from the Alltime Numbers YouTube channel.  They have created a variety of videos on different topics 'in numbers', with the help of YouTube and the Woodpecker app these videos can be quickly and easily transformed into lesson plans or homework activities. 


Preparation tips



  • Use the Woodpecker app to find a video by typing a keyword into the Search Bar in the Main Menu. You can also use the list of categories to search in a specific area of content or click on the Channels & Playlists and search there.  I simply wrote 'numbers' in the search bar and scrolled through the options. 
  • Once you have chosen your video and checked that the content is suitable and appropriate, touch the Share icon to send yourself an email containing the Woodpecker code for the video.  You will add this to your lesson plan so that your students can connect directly to the video within the app.
  • Open the video in YouTube, on your PC/Laptop, click on the Options menu (three dots on the right-hand side, under the video). Click Open Transcript, the transcript will appear at the top right of the screen and can be copied and pasted into your lesson plan in order to create a fill the gap listening exercise.
  • Choose the vocabulary, expressions, and grammar that you would like to introduce or review in the lesson and basically, you have a lesson plan.

Lesson Objective


The objective of this lesson is to firstly review how to say numbers and figures and secondly to develop the ability to listen to numbers.

The lesson consists of a warm-up activity, vocabulary and grammar revision, a speaking exercise and a scaffolded listening exercise.

Warm-up: A reading activity containing random facts about the UK.  Students should read the text. Feedback and pronunciation correction should be given.  The facts can also be discussed.

Vocabulary and grammar review: Students read the information.  At the end of each point, the teacher should highlight key information and then write additional examples for the student to practise in order to check comprehension e.g. the use of 'and' should be highlighted by the teacher 'one thousand AND one' then additional examples should be given, e.g 2,018, 5,432.  This is not a reading activity, the more active this part is, the better-prepared students will be for the speaking and listening tasks.

Task 1: Say the numbers - Students need to read and pronounce the numbers correctly. 

Task 2: Listening - Students should watch the video without the transcript or subtitles.  First, they should focus on understanding the main idea and then they should try to listen for details, listening and noting down the numbers that they hear.

Task 3: Complete the gaps - Students should watch the video again, this time completing the gaps with the correct numbers.  They can watch the video numerous times according to their need.

Task 4: Reading and checking - Students can now turn their phones to portrait mode and watch the video again, reading along with the transcript and using the video tools to check the translation/definition (depending on the dictionary they have chosen in the Woodpecker app) of new or unfamiliar words.  They can also check their answers from Task 3.


The lesson materials


Lesson Materials

Click to view the lesson materials in Google Docs
Click to view the video in the Woodpecker app
Click to view the video on Youtube


Conclusion 

Using authentic English videos to review numbers is an excellent way to prepare students for tests and for real-life English.  It takes practice and experience to develop listening skills, so creating lessons like this and setting homework tasks for students to work on using apps like Woodpecker is essential.  I hope you and your students find this lesson useful.



Please feel free to comment, I appreciate any feedback.  If you are a Google+ member please comment below. If you're on Facebook please message me there and of course, you can always contact me through my website: http://talk2meenglish.wixsite.com/lessons

Monday, 1 October 2018

Coffee: The Greatest Addiction Ever

Coffee: The Greatest Addiction Ever


Now, creativity can come from anywhere, but sometimes a busy online teacher needs a little bit of assistance. I started using the Woodpecker app a few weeks ago, and the main advantage for me is, that it is a wonderful source of inspiration for lesson ideas. I have a number of long-term conversation students, which means I constantly need new lesson materials. I often use TED as a source for creating lessons based on videos. However, variety is the spice of life (so is coffee, apparently). I came across a YouTube channel called C.G.P. Grey on Woodpecker. According to its description, it contains a variety of explanatory videos with animations on topics about politics, geography, economics, and British culture. I chose a video from the channel and have used the functions in the Woodpecker app to create a mixed level conversation lesson about 'Coffee'. 


Despite the fact that the video is about a potentially excellent topic for conversation, I wouldn't have usually chosen it for a lesson, as the speaker speaks very fast. There are web applications like Otranscribe that allow you to slow down the speed of the video.  Nik Peachey wrote a post about using this app to improve 'Bottom-up' listening skills. However, with the Woodpecker app, students can cope with the fast narration by using a variety of functions like reading along with a transcript or going back one sentence to re-listen to chunks of the video. Students, who have the app on their phone, are able to work at their own pace, using the specific functions that they need, to help them to understand the video. Additional information about the app's functions can be seen in my last two blog posts, 10 Phrasal Verbs for the Office and What Countries Have Tried Universal Basic Income?


Lesson objectives


The objective of the lesson is to improve speaking skills and fluency, expand vocabulary and develop both micro and macro listening skills. In addition, Task 2 reviews the language of preference.

The lesson consists of a warm-up exercise, eight tasks, homework activities and an answer key.

Warm up: Encourage students to talk about the topic of coffee, their habits, their opinions, and check their coffee knowledge.

Task 1: Types of coffee. Match the name of the coffee types with the diagram. This is just for fun and could be useful to help students order their favourite type of coffee when abroad.  This exercise should be completed quite quickly.

Task 2: Expressing preference.  Review the different ways of talking about preference and encourage students to use the different structures to talk about their coffee preferences.

Task 3: Coffee facts. Get students to predict the answers to the questions before watching the first 0:38 seconds of the video. Encourage students to watch the video using the Woodpecker app (horizontal mode) or Youtube (CC off) WITHOUT subtitles and answer the questions.  

Task 4: Fill the gaps. Students watch the first 0:38 seconds of the video again and should focus on listening for specific details, numbers and names of countries. Then they should fill the gaps in the transcript. If necessary they can repeat the video and use the Woodpecker text and go-back functions (Portrait mode) or YouTube subtitles (CC on) to help complete the exercise.

Task 5: How is coffee made? Students should look at the table and predict the names of the stages of coffee from pollination to espresso using the photos. Then, watch the video without subtitles and note the names of the stages. If necessary they can repeat the video and use the Woodpecker text and go-back functions (portrait mode) or YouTube subtitles (CC on) to help complete the exercise.

Task 6: Comprehension. Get students to quickly predict the answers to the questions and then watch the last part of the video without subtitles. If necessary they can repeat the video and use the Woodpecker text and go-back functions (subtitles in YouTube) to help complete the exercise.

Task 7: Discussion. Encourage students to speak, share their opinions, talk about their preferences and generally use the language from the lesson.

Task 8: A coffee phrase. Ask students to guess the meaning of the expression, if they are not familiar with it.  They can also google the expression and compare the different definitions.

Homework: The first 6 short tasks require the use of the Woodpecker app and the objective is to review the language from the lesson and to improve listening and comprehension skills using the C.G.P.Grey video. The additional activity is a listening and writing exercise using a BBC Learning English Podcast about coffee addiction.


The lesson materials




Click to view the lesson materials in Google Docs

Click to view the video in the Woodpecker app

Click to view the video on YouTube



Conclusion

Once again, the Woodpecker app has helped me to find a new source of inspiration for lesson creation. It has also opened my eyes to the possibility of using a wider variety of videos in my lessons. For my students, I believe, it will give them the confidence to listen to and cope with videos that otherwise would be impossible for them to understand.

I would also like to mention that I have used the amazing Eltpics on Flickr to add photographs to this lesson.  Eltpics is a collection of photographs collected by teachers for teachers.  For more information and teaching ideas you can visit their website. I have also used an image from freedigitalphotos.net. And Latteartguide very kindly gave me permission to use their 'Coffee types' diagram.

Please feel free to comment, I appreciate any feedback.  If you are a Google+ member please comment below. If you're on Facebook please message me there and of course, you can always contact me through my website: http://talk2meenglish.wixsite.com/lessons

Saturday, 22 September 2018

Woodpecker App - Creating a lesson plan based on an engVid video

10 Phrasal Verbs for the Office


In my last post, I explored how to use the new Woodpecker app to create a lesson based on a video about UBI.  In this post, I will demonstrate how to use a video from one of the "Teacher Channels" in the Woodpecker app to create a lesson plan. 

There are some great video lessons on YouTube or on websites like engVid, which I sometimes send to students as self-study activities. I search for videos that will complement the particular lesson topic or grammar point that I have been working on with the student. It is an alternative and fun way for students to review the language covered in the lesson, improve their listening skills, and it is something that can be done on-the-go.  

In this post, I'm going to do things the other way round. Firstly, I chose a lesson from the engVid 'Teacher Channel'. In the video, teacher Alex introduces and explains the use and meaning of 10 common office phrasal verbs. Then, I created a lesson plan to go over the same phrasal verbs. The homework activities will involve the student watching Alex's video, through the Woodpecker app, in order to review the phrasal verbs. The objective is to assist language retention, improve listening comprehension skills, and to work on pronunciation.



Key Woodpecker functions used in this lesson


Built-in bilingual dictionary

Touch a word in the subtitles that appear in the lower half of the phone screen, to view the definition of the word in your chosen language. You can also touch on the 'speaker’ icon to hear the word played out loud.  



Back icons

Go back either 1 sentence or 5 seconds and listen again to a particular expression or sentence. Useful to improve comprehension and for pronunciation practice.

Word History

When a word is touched it is automatically added to the 'Word History', which can be found in the 'Main Menu'.  To export words from the 'Word history' to a range of apps or to copy to a file, touch the three horizontal dots on the top right of the screen. Then, tick the circle next to the words that you would like to export. Finally, touch the green export icon in the menu bar at the top of the screen. Choose either 'Copy to clipboard' or 'Export as file'.




*Note: The export function is a payable add-on, which can be purchased by touching the 'Main Menu' icon (top left of the screen) and then 'Add-ons (bottom right of the Main Menu). It is a one-time payment and costs approximately US$1.

Dictionary

In the 'Main Menu' of the app, touch the 'Dictionary' option. Then, type a word or phrasal verb in the search box to view a definition in your native language and to view videos related to the word.  Touch the arrow on the right of the translation to reveal greater detail from a dictionary. Touch on the name of the dictionary to go to the website of that dictionary and to see all the available information about the word or expression.




Creating a lesson plan based on a video within the Teacher Channel engVid in the Woodpecker app

Choose a video

When I ask students about their learning objectives and difficulties, phrasal verbs is something they all mention. For this reason, I have begun expanding my bank of lessons on small thematic sets of phrasal verbs. Therefore, I went to the 'Main Menu', 'Teacher Channels', 'engVid', 'Alex', and then touched the 'Search' icon and typed 'Phrasal Verbs'. I chose Alex's channel for a number of reasons. Firstly, because he's American and I try to expose my students to different accents (I have a British accent). Additionally, his lessons are no longer than 20 minutes, and he focuses on approximately 10 phrasal verbs in each lesson, which corresponds with my teaching method for phrasal verbs. My objective was to create a lesson to introduce the set of phrasal verbs in the video and then use Alex's video for homework and as a useful tool to encourage my students to review, recycle and hopefully retain the phrasal verbs.

Once you have chosen your video

Step one - Open the video in portrait mode in the app.  Then, click on the 'Share' button (top right of the video screen) and send a link to yourself by email. You will add this link to your lesson materials so that your student can go directly to the chosen video in the Woodpecker app for the homework activity.


Step two - Read through the subtitles of the chosen video and touch/take note of the phrasal verbs that you would like to work on in your lesson.

The Lesson Plan

I created a lesson plan that consists of 8 tasks, 4 tasks for 2 groups of 5 phrasal verbs. The main objective of the lesson is to introduce, review and give the student the opportunity to use the phrasal verbs.

Task 1
To introduce the first set of 5 phrasal verbs in context - The student must identify the phrasal verb in a sentence and match it with its definition.

Task 2
Review the phrasal verb - Fill the gaps with one of the five phrasal verbs. Some sentences require the tense of the phrasal verb to be changed.

Task 3
Context and meaning - Read the dialogue. Then, replace a verb/expression with a phrasal verb. Read the dialogue again using the correct phrasal verbs.

Task 4
Speaking - Ask questions about the student's experiences in the office to show the practical use of the phrasal verbs and to encourage them to use the phrasal verbs in context.

Task 5-8 are a repetition of Tasks 1-4 with the second set of 5 phrasal verbs.

Homework

The self-study activity has 8 parts, students will need to use the Woodpecker app in order to complete them.
Part 1 - Revision and Improve Listening skills
Students should turn their phone to horizontal mode, tap on the CC (None) and watch the first part of the video.
Part 2 - Improve understanding skills
Students should turn their phone to portrait mode and watch the first part of the video again, reading along with the text and tapping on words that they would like to add to their 'Word History' in the app.

Part 3 - Improve comprehension and pronunciation: 
Students should use the 'Go-back-one-sentence' button and the 'Go-back-five-seconds' button on the Woodpecker player to re-listen to chunks of text, in order to understand better. Encourage them to pause the video and repeat the chunks of language saying them out loud. Remind them to copy the native speaker’s pronunciation and intonation.
Part 4 - Expand Vocabulary
Students should watch the second part of the video. Firstly, with their phone in horizontal mode and without subtitles, then in portrait mode reading along with the text and using the app to help them comprehend and to add new vocabulary to their Word History. Finally, using the 'Go-back-one-sentence' and 'Go-back-five-seconds' buttons to re-listen and repeat chunks of text to improve understanding and pronunciation.
Part 5 - Review New Vocabulary
Students should review the words that they have added to their Word History (found in the main menu) when they have finished watching the video. If they wish to purchase the in-app function (approximately US$1) they can use the 'Export' option, to export their vocabulary list to a text file or even to a Quizlet file in order to continue working on the expressions.
Part 6 - Writing and vocabulary review
Your student should write a sentence of their own using each of the ten phrasal verbs.  As an alternative, they could create an office dialogue using as many of the phrasal verbs that they can from the lesson.
Part 7 - Additional Exercise
Encourage your students to use the 'Dictionary' tool in the app to explore other uses and meanings of the phrasal verbs covered in this lesson.  
*Note: I would not recommend this activity to lower level students or to students that have found the lesson challenging.

The lesson materials:

Click to view the lesson materials in Google Docs
Click to view the video in the Woodpecker app
Click to visit the original video in the engVid website 
Click to view the video in YouTube 


Conclusion

In my opinion, using the Woodpecker app to find inspiration for writing a lesson plan, in the form of one of the 'Teacher Channel' video lessons,  is both highly effective and a huge time saver for teachers. From the students perspective, there are a number of advantages. The most important, I believe, is to be able to listen to another teacher with a different accent explaining the same vocabulary or grammar point again. The student gains from the repetition, which will increase vocabulary retention, while at the same time, being exposed to additional language and examples. Listening to a different accent will improve their listening skills. In addition, the combination of in-class activities and the more auditory/visual method of teaching from the homework video should reach a wider range of students by using a variety of teaching methods to suit different learning styles.





For tips on how to teach phrasal verbs, I recommend reading this blog post by James Taylor:

For more information about learning styles, I highly recommend this book by Marjorie Rosenberg:
https://www.amazon.com/Learning-Styles-Delta-Teacher-Development/dp/1905085710

Please feel free to comment, I appreciate any feedback.  If you are a Google+ member please comment below. If you're on Facebook please message me there and of course, you can always contact me through my website: http://talk2meenglish.wixsite.com/lessons

Wednesday, 22 August 2018

Woodpecker App - Creating a video lesson about UBI




Woodpecker App

I was contacted a few weeks ago and asked to check out a new app called Woodpecker.

The purpose of the app is to immerse language learners in content designed for native speakers. It breaks down the language barriers of authentic online content like videos and news articles, enabling English learners to enjoy the web without being overwhelmed by native English.  The app allows students to access over 400 channels such as TED, Khan Academy, Comedy Central, and Vevo music and consists of more than 200,000 videos. It enables learners to view the videos in the app and to read along with an interactive transcript: when a word is touched, both the video and transcript pause and the translation of the word is displayed in the student’s chosen language.


Many of my lessons use authentic materials, like YouTube videos and news articles, so I was interested to find out more about this app and to explore how I would be able to use it in my lessons and how my students could use it as a self-study tool.


The Woodpecker Learning app is extremely user-friendly and contains a variety of useful tools for language learners. You can read detailed information about how to use the app on the Woodpecker website:

I decided to create a number of different kinds of lesson plans, to explore and demonstrate how the app can enhance my materials and my student’s learning experience.

Information about the app
Although the company has a website, it is an app and only works on Android or Apple mobile phones or tablets.

To download the app:












  • Go to: Google Play Store or App Store
  • App Name: Woodpecker - Language Learning
  • Hold your phone in portrait mode and follow the instructions.
  • Which language are your learning? English, Simplified Chinese and Traditional Chinese (My students should choose English)
  • Which language do you know? The languages that are currently available are German, Spanish, French, Japanese, Portuguese, Russian, Vietnamese, Simplified Chinese and Traditional Chinese. (My students should choose their native language)
  • Open the app on your phone, hold your phone in portrait mode.  Start by touching a video on the "Homepage" and follow the introduction to the video browser in order to understand more about the browser functions.
       
* Note - The developers are currently working on a monolingual English dictionary which will make the app practical for all English language learners by offering a definition in English rather than a translation.


Key Woodpecker functions used in this lesson

Back icons

Enable the student to go back either 1 sentence or 5 seconds and listen again to a particular expression or sentence.



Built-in bilingual dictionary

Touch a word in the subtitles that appear in the lower half of your phone screen, to view the definition of the word in your chosen language. You can also touch on the “speaker’ icon to hear the word played out loud.  




Word History

When a word is touched it is automatically added to the "Word History", which can be found in the "Main Menu".  To export words from the "Word history" to a range of apps or to copy to a file, touch the three horizontal dots on the top right of the screen. Then, tick the circle next to the words that you would like to export. Finally, touch the green export icon in the menu bar at the top of the screen. Choose either “Copy to clipboard” or “Export as file”.






*Note: The export function is a payable add-on, which can be purchased by touching the "Main Menu" icon (top left of the screen) and then "Add-ons" (bottom right of the Main Menu). It is a one-time payment and costs approximately US$1.



Creating a lesson plan based on a video within the Woodpecker Learning app

Choose a video


This is the hardest part.  Finding a suitable topic for your students and finding a video of an appropriate length is always the most difficult part of creating such lessons. The Woodpecker app makes this easier by displaying a selection of new videos on its "Home Page" for inspiration.  To search further, touch the "Main Menu" (top left of the screen- three horizontal bars) and under "WATCH", choose one of the following categories:


    - Touch the search icon to view subcategories.



- Within the search box of an individual channel, you can choose to rank the videos in order of things like date and duration of the video.


Once you have chosen your video

Step one - Open the video in portrait mode in the app.  Then, click on the "Share" button (top right of the video screen) and send a link to yourself by email. You will add this link to your lesson materials so that your student can go directly to the chosen video in the Woodpecker app.


Step two - Read through the subtitles of the chosen video and touch words that you would like to work on in your lesson.


Step three - (Optional) Open the video in YouTube, on your PC/Laptop, click on the "Options" menu (three dots on the right hand side, under the video). Click "Open transcript", the transcript will appear at the top right of the screen and can be copied and pasted into your lesson plan in order to create a reading/fill the gap/find the expression type of exercise.



Lesson objectives
I usually use short videos of about 3-4 minutes, for my one-on-one online lessons. The majority of the videos in the app are longer than this. Therefore, for this lesson plan, I have experimented with an 8-minute video. I believe that the topic of the video, Universal Basic Income, will be interesting and promote discussion for both my Conversation and Business English students. In addition, the video contains interesting and challenging vocabulary and expressions.  I decided to focus on the first half of the video in class and then instruct the students to use the app to work on the second half for their homework.


The Lesson Plan
I created a lesson plan that consists of a brief warm-up exercise and 5 tasks to complete one-on-one with an online teacher. However, the lesson could easily be adapted for a class.  I had originally planned to create an intermediate level lesson, but due to the content of the video and the key vocabulary that is covered in the lesson, I think that the level is a little higher.

Task 1 - Language Exercise
I took the key vocabulary that I had previously touched in the video's subtitles in the app. These can be found in the apps ”Word History”. I exported the words to a Google Docs file. I then copied and pasted the sentences that contained the same words and expressions from the YouTube transcript and created a “match the words with their definitions” exercise.
Woodpecker app Tip: There is a US$1 (approximately) one time, in-app purchase that allows you to export your "Word History" or copy it to a clipboard. This can be a real time saver and make creating vocabulary exercises faster and easier.

Task 2 - True or False Questions
This task consists of 8 True or False statements. The statements should be read before watching the first part of the video to help the student listen for particular information. The video could be screen/system sound shared using Skype/Zoom in an online class. Subtitles should be removed in order to work on the student’s listening comprehension skills. The student could watch the video on their own device using 
YouTube or they could open the video in their Woodpecker app, without subtitles. If they have great difficulty comprehending, of course, they could use the app with subtitles to help them through the video.
Woodpecker app Tip: When watching a video in the app, if the phone is turned horizontally, the subtitle/translation function does not work. If the student taps the CC icon and clicks “None” (to toggle off the YouTube subtitles too) they can then focus on listening. When they turn their phone back to portrait mode, the subtitles with the built-in dictionary function return.



Task 3 - Understanding
Instruct the student to read the questions and then watch the first part of the video again. Ideally without subtitles and then answer the questions. If they find this challenging, they could use the subtitle function on the app to search for the answers in the text.


Task 4 - Your Opinion
Encourage the student to share their opinions, explain why, and give examples. This is their opportunity to speak about the topic. Remind them to try to use the language from Task 1.


Task 5 - Debate
Give the student a few minutes to take notes and prepare their side of the debate. They could use the subtitles in the app to search for useful expressions and facts to enhance their debate.


Homework
The self-study activity has five parts, they will need to use the Woodpecker Learning app in order to complete it.

Part 1 - Revision and Improve Listening skills
They should turn their phone to horizontal mode, tap on the CC (None) and watch the first part of the video once more.

Part 2 - Improve understanding skills
Students should turn their phone to Portrait mode and watch the first part a final time, reading along with the text and tapping on words that they would like to add to their "Word History" in the app.

Part 3 - Expand Vocabulary
Students should watch the remaining part of the video using the app to help them comprehend and to add new vocabulary to their Word History.

Part 4 - Improve comprehension and pronunciation:
Advise the student to use the “Go-back-one-sentence” button and the “Go-back-five-seconds” button on the Woodpecker player to re-listen to chunks of text, in order to understand better. Encourage them to pause the video and repeat the chunks of language saying them out loud. Remind them to copy the native speaker’s pronunciation and intonation.

Part 5 - Review New Vocabulary
Your student should review the words that they have added to their Word History (found in the main menu) when they have finished watching the video. If they wish to purchase the in-app function (approximately US$1) they can use the "Export" option, to export their vocabulary list to a text file or even to a Quizlet file in order to continue working on the expressions.

Part 6 - Writing and vocabulary review
Your student should write a paragraph expressing their opinion of UBI. They should try to use as many of the words/expressions that they added to their "Word History" in the app and the expressions from Task 1 in the lesson materials.


The lesson materials:


Click to view the lesson materials in Google Docs.

Click to view the video in the Woodpecker app (only works on a mobile).

Click to view the video on YouTube.

Conclusion:
I have thoroughly enjoyed using the Woodpecker app to create this lesson plan and am certain that my students are going to find the app extremely useful. I am looking forward to the update of the app which will contain the monolingual English dictionary, simply because I don’t usually recommend that students translate. Having this function will enable learners to read the definitions in English, which will be more beneficial, in my opinion, to their language development. Having said that, I’m sure that my students will find the ability to translate, in the current version, very convenient.

In my next blog post, I will explore how to use a video from one of the Teacher Channels on Woodpecker and incorporate it into a lesson plan.


Please feel free to comment, I appreciate any feedback.  If you are a Google+ member please comment below. If you're on Facebook please message me there and of course, you can always contact me through my website: http://talk2meenglish.wixsite.com/lessons