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How to incorporate mass media into a lesson

 
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Istari



Joined: 07 Jan 2013
Posts: 5

PostPosted: Thu Jan 10, 2013 4:16 am    Post subject: How to incorporate mass media into a lesson Reply with quote

Hello all,

At the small ESL school I teach at (in Canada), many of my lessons are one-on-one. These are often free-form, general conversation. I enjoy this, because I feel I can help my students more precisely, and focus on topics they especially want to learn about. One of my new (adult) students says she wants to focus on English via mass media, like newspapers, Youtube, and TED Talks. I like this idea, but as I am still relatively new to teaching, I'm finding it a bit daunting as to how to efficiently integrate these things into an actual lesson. I'm wondering if anyone has suggestions on what sorts of media work in a classroom setting/how to integrate it? i.e. I've read some blogs about TED in the classroom, but since they're often rather long clips, I'm wondering if that's the sort of thing best left for home? Thanks!
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Sally Olsen



Joined: 08 Apr 2004
Posts: 1311
Location: Canada,France, Brazil, Japan, Mongolia, Greenland, Canada, Mongolia, Ethiopia next

PostPosted: Thu Jan 10, 2013 11:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

If you can find a site that includes a chance to print out what is spoken, like the news, then you can have input from two sources.

Otherwise you could choose short clips at the beginning or stop them and review unknown vocabulary, grammar and ideas as you go along.

As for topics, your student's interest should guide you.

The biggest problem is explaining grammar you don't know. If you don't know the answer right away, you can say that you will get her/him an explanation for the next lesson and then ask for help here at Dave's or go to grammar sites for an explanation and ask her/him to try to find other examples before your next lesson.
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Istari



Joined: 07 Jan 2013
Posts: 5

PostPosted: Sun Jan 13, 2013 8:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

OK, thanks for the suggestions! I will try these things out and see if they help! Cheers.
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Istari



Joined: 07 Jan 2013
Posts: 5

PostPosted: Tue Jan 15, 2013 8:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hello again. On a similar note, I have another question. For you conversation teachers out there, how do you typically structure your class? As a new teacher to this, I was wondering if you have an entire syllabus written, or do you tailor your classes from student to student? I usually have a theme each day, with a worksheet or two, but those are really just diving boards for conversation. This has generally gone well so far, but sometimes I think my students would benefit from some more structure, i.e. a text book syllabus (it would give me a bit of peace of mind as well). If anyone does use texts for conversation, have you any suggestions? Or perhaps just general online resources? Thanks again.
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Sally Olsen



Joined: 08 Apr 2004
Posts: 1311
Location: Canada,France, Brazil, Japan, Mongolia, Greenland, Canada, Mongolia, Ethiopia next

PostPosted: Tue Jan 15, 2013 3:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think students like to see where they are going and what they have accomplished. I definitely do it individually if I can. You will get to know the students deficiencies and can work on them gradually and what they are missing and can add that. It doesn't hurt to refer to a textbook to make sure you are covering things they need. You can download those from the index or get a few teacher's manuals of different books. Going to conferences is great, not only for the new ideas and to meet people, but the books are usually on sale or sometimes given away free at the end of the conference as the booksellers don't want to carry them home. I try to get as many series as I can and then compare and contrast. They give you lots of ideas but also a plan, whether you follow it or not.

Or you can go on the grammar sites and check for what bothers most students, especially in their switch from their particular native language.

I usually tape my students so they can listen to their progression over the months and they often pick up on their own errors from earlier lessons and feel better that they know they were making a mistake and have learned it.

Point out their progress as often as you can to encourage them to continue and that their lessons are not a waste of time. If you have some kind of check list that makes it more visual for them.

There are a number of conversation specific books and most of them are good. There is a site designed by one of our contributors especially for conversations. It looks good.

"If you have a class of students who wish to have a free conversation style class to practice their conversation skills, I wrote a book containing 44 topics. 35 to 50 questions per topic. It will be enough to last for a 2 month period without revisiting the same topic. You don't have to spend any time preplanning classes.
www.labonteesl.webs.com

Since you are in Canada you can go to your local library and borrow most of the books and photo copy what you need. You can ask them to purchase books you would like as well. It may take a while but they have a budget for requests and it won't come out of your pocket.

www.tigertesl.blogspot.com is really useful as well[/url]"

If your student is at a high level, go to the IELTS sites for conversation and they will give you great ideas of how to assess your students. The teachers IELTS sites give you clues on how to grade your student and they can practice on the free IELTS websites.

Most people want to know the practical side of conversation and how things work where they live - what to say to be persuasive and what not to say, like swear words and so on. They might hear swear words but not know when to use them. They also want to know things to say in certain situations and what not to say so it is useful to practice those and find out the personality of your student so they fit well.
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Istari



Joined: 07 Jan 2013
Posts: 5

PostPosted: Fri Jan 18, 2013 5:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks again for such comprehensive comments! I'll definitely take those tips into account in my subsequent classes! Cheers.
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