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Current Events Class

 
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Okazaki



Joined: 01 Apr 2010
Posts: 4

PostPosted: Mon Jul 12, 2010 1:55 pm    Post subject: Current Events Class Reply with quote

Hello all,

I've just recently arrived to Korea, and I have to create a current events class from scratch basically. Syllabus, material and all. I have three classes that are going to be focused on current events from three different genres: Technology, Music and Sports.

Has anyone ever done a currents events class, and if so, do you think it could be possible to give me an idea of what your format was for the class? Any help would be appreciated. I'm a first time teacher, so I'm racking my brains trying to figure out how to organize a decent current events class in a 55min period.

Thank you so much!
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Sally Olsen



Joined: 08 Apr 2004
Posts: 1304
Location: Canada,France, Brazil, Japan, Mongolia, Greenland, Canada, Mongolia, Ethiopia next

PostPosted: Mon Jul 12, 2010 4:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Could you tell us the age level of the students? length of the class and course? materials available?
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Okazaki



Joined: 01 Apr 2010
Posts: 4

PostPosted: Fri Jul 16, 2010 5:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hello, sorry i was unable to answer, things have been hectic.

Well, the class age level is 9 - 13, The class meets 3 times, and is 55 min each time. We basically have to come up with the materials we're going to use, (create worksheets, etc).

The class is going to touch on three separate genre's the first being techology for the first week, sports for the second week, and music for the third.

so for the second and third week, i'd like to have the students bring in their own articles, and for the first week I figured I'd choose a topic related to technology so that we can have a class discussion about it.
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Sally Olsen



Joined: 08 Apr 2004
Posts: 1304
Location: Canada,France, Brazil, Japan, Mongolia, Greenland, Canada, Mongolia, Ethiopia next

PostPosted: Fri Jul 16, 2010 10:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sounds like fun.

We did this one summer at Carleton University in Ottawa. The students read the article iin groups of four and puzzle out any vocabulary or grammar structures they didn't know.

But half the class had another article that disagreed with the first or added information to the first article.

The first half summerized their article on a poster (with pictures provided for the first round - just out of the newspaper or magazine) and one person volunteered to present that to the class. The same for the other half of the class.

Then they had a discussion.

Fiinally they wrote up their own views individually but they could ask the other four for spelling, etc and could read their paragraph to the others to get feedback.

The students also requested a vocabulary test and so we did a quick spelling test at the end of the lesson and the following lesson had prepared a fill-in-the-blank worksheet with the vocabulary but with a bit of new information.

Each lesson we followed the same format of read, discuss and write and some sort of "test" but the activities varied. They had a formal debate, they made a newsletter, they listened to a short lecture on the subject by a visiting expect and took notes, they went to the library to get books on the subject, they watched short clips from a movie or the Internet., they tried to find as many dissenting opinions as possible, they made charts, they made questionnaires and gave them to their friends and fellow schoolmates, they even made a short documentary with a video camera creating the script. first.
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Sally Olsen



Joined: 08 Apr 2004
Posts: 1304
Location: Canada,France, Brazil, Japan, Mongolia, Greenland, Canada, Mongolia, Ethiopia next

PostPosted: Fri Jul 16, 2010 10:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

[quote="Sally Olsen"]Sounds like fun.

We did this one summer at Carleton University in Ottawa. The students read the article iin groups of four and puzzle out any vocabulary or grammar structures they didn't know.

But half the class had another article that disagreed with the first or added information to the first article.

The first half summerized their article on a poster (with pictures provided for the first round - just out of the newspaper or magazine) and one person volunteered to present that to the class. The same for the other half of the class.

Then they had a discussion.

Fiinally they wrote up their own views individually but they could ask the other four for spelling, etc and could read their paragraph to the others to get feedback.

The students also requested a vocabulary test and so we did a quick spelling test at the end of the lesson and the following lesson had prepared a fill-in-the-blank worksheet with the vocabulary but with a bit of new information.

Each lesson we followed the same format of read, discuss and write and some sort of "test" but the activities varied. They had a formal debate, they made a newsletter, they listened to a short lecture on the subject by a visiting expert and took notes, they went to the library to get books on the subject, they watched short clips from a movie or the Internet., they tried to find as many dissenting opinions as possible, they made charts, they made questionnaires and gave them to their friends and fellow schoolmates, they even made a short documentary with a video camera creating the script first.
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Okazaki



Joined: 01 Apr 2010
Posts: 4

PostPosted: Fri Jul 16, 2010 11:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

That sounds excellent.

The problem is that this school, or hagwon in Korea has a habit of throwing things out in the mix at the last minute. So It seems as if you had a lot more time to have your class do a number of activities.

This class is only meeting three times during the summer. I wish that I could include more activities myself. I do like a lot of the ideas that you employed, I will see if I can divide some of our discussion time into activities that will keep the kids interested. Then again, I figure if the topics are about music and sports, they'll be plenty interested.
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Okazaki



Joined: 01 Apr 2010
Posts: 4

PostPosted: Mon Jul 19, 2010 8:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sally,

I was wondering what age group were your students? Also, since I'm having students bring in their own articles for the 2nd and 3rd classes, do you know of any current events worksheets that have been created specifically for this type of class?

I could very well draft my own, but I basically want to ask comprehensive questions about the articles the students are going to bring in...somethign that i could create that could apply to each article regardless of topic...does that make sense?
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Sally Olsen



Joined: 08 Apr 2004
Posts: 1304
Location: Canada,France, Brazil, Japan, Mongolia, Greenland, Canada, Mongolia, Ethiopia next

PostPosted: Mon Jul 19, 2010 10:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It is too bad when the school restricts you so but if the classes are successful, they might extend your time.

I think you mean a template for the lessons. I always found that enchantedlearning .com had great templates and I could adapt those for any age group. Have a look at their material to get an idea of how to arrange yours.

Our classes at Carleton were for late teens and also for adults. The products and activities varied but it seems that "Disasters" was a favourite topic.

The students didn't want to vary the classes much from what they had had in their English classes at home but gradually we got them excited about different ways of learning. they wanted a lot of grammar, a lot of drill and tests. We wanted them to think in English but we had a powerful motivator because they were in an English situation. We talked about teaching and learning methods as much as we talked about anything else.

In Mongolia and other places where I didn't have the back up outside of the classroom, we still argued about how to learn and I was always amazed that the students would argue their case well in English. They didn't know it but we were debating the topic, "Why do we need to learn English?" over and over. I was happy because they were speaking or writing in English.

I would turn it around and ask them why I had to learn Mongolian and got even better answers. Then we would argue about how they learned Mongolian and how they were trying to teach me. They would throw vocabulary at me until I was exhausted and I would learn a word or two permanently. When they said the words before they translated to English, I would learn them more easily because I had a context and often materials like flashcards with pictures or a story (article) that I could read again and again and get someone to tape for me.

All this happened at the end of the lesson and provided a wealth of opportunity for me to continue their use of English. The principal was always impressed because we would be longer in the classroom and the students were talking to me in the halls and after school. Leaves a good impression.
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Patrice



Joined: 28 Jun 2011
Posts: 7
Location: Taiwan

PostPosted: Wed Jun 29, 2011 4:16 am    Post subject: Some feedback and ideas for teaching the three topics! Reply with quote

Sally has shared an excellent idea for teaching different topics by reading. However, I am afraid that this idea might not 100% suitable for Okazaki’s student since they’re only young ESL learners.

Do you know your students’ current English level? It will help us to come up more teaching idea. Besides, I also want to know the ‘type” of the class. Is it a traditional class or just like a summer camp, since you’ve mentioned that the class will only meet three times during the summer. If the school didn’t require you to do lots of tests or finish the books, why don’t you try some fancy activities? (As we know that, all kids love to play!!)

Thus, here are my suggestions for designing the class. When you’re dealing the three topics: Technology, Music and Sports, you’d better think about these students’ real life. You can introduce the topics by guiding students to experience them.

For example, when you want students to learn “technology,” you could design a computer class, like content based instruction. Let students to try some useful and easy software, but they didn’t try before, such as sending an e-mail to a foreign pen pal or using Skype to make friends with foreigner, etc.

In the music class or sport class, the same idea should be applied. Learning easy and interesting English songs, sharing their favorite English songs or searching an English song on-line could all be fun for young learners. For sport class, why don’t you introduce some western sports? You could also ask students to introduce their traditional sports to you. (They will be proud of themselves if they can also teach you something Very Happy )

Last but not least, asking comprehension questions is a good idea to elicit students’ thinking, but I think students’ English level should be taken into consideration. If their current level is not as high as you think, language could be an obstacle for them to answer the questions.
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Carrierabbit



Joined: 24 Jun 2011
Posts: 6

PostPosted: Wed Jun 29, 2011 6:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sine your target groups are at beginning level, as proposed in the previous posts by Sally and Patrice, I suggest you let students collect some pieces of news and paste them on notebooks and write down three to four sentences to express their opinions on them. It’s like homework for them to let students contact what happened around them and give them opportunities to read newspaper.

Also, you can ask students to search online English newspaper and print them. All the students have to do is check the unknowing words in the titles because they might not be able to read English news in current level. But they can make guess what the news might say about. Then, you can let students to share what they find on the Net or on the Newspaper in front of class.

After all the students show their works, you can let students role play with some interesting events. For example, students can act if they were the figures in some pieces of news. Of course, you have to find some famous news that everyone is familiar with.

I think you are lucky to teach such interesting and innovative classes. Enjoy it!
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