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Activities for ESP (Geography)

 
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anitka



Joined: 23 Jan 2003
Posts: 10
Location: Moscow

PostPosted: Fri Feb 14, 2003 10:47 am    Post subject: Activities for ESP (Geography) Reply with quote

I teach English to students of Department of Geography and sometimes I feel a lack of activities.
Our programme is based on increasing vocabulary and studying specific scientific texts, but they do need some conversational practice.
Well, what we sometimes do some conferences devoted to the topic that we discuss, they have to prepare some short oral presentations on a specific topic of their interest and then we discuss it, we do some activities with vocabulary like (fill in the gaps activity, make short stories) sometimes we retell the texts and have discussions.
That's just some activities that have come to my mind because now I'm a bit in a hurry.
What else do you usually do to practice and make some fun of these sometimes not so exctiting scientific texts?
I'm looking forward to your replies,
Anna.
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Glenski



Joined: 17 Jan 2003
Posts: 164
Location: Sapporo, Japan

PostPosted: Fri Feb 14, 2003 12:10 pm    Post subject: some activities Reply with quote

Hi Anitka,

While I don't teach geography lessons in my English classes, there are a few ways to do it.

1. Use superlatives. Have a survey and tell students to mingle for 20-30 seconds per student to find the largest lake, tallest mountain, longest river, etc. in the world.

2. Use modified superlatives. That is, sometimes people just don't know THE biggest/longest/tallest thing. Show them how to say "one of the", and do the same or similar survey. Compare answers on the board.

3. Use directions. I just taught a low level high school class how to describe where various places were with simple phrases like "it's to the north of" or "it's about 500 miles east of". Great info gap exercise!

4. Vocabulary tags. Just thought of this. List some famous names without the final parts, and see if students can fill in the blanks or match the answers from another list. Example: Amazon _______, United _____ of America, Angel _______, Sahara _______, Black ________, Caspian _____, etc. How many more FIRST parts can they insert after they've found the correct second part? Nice small group activity.

5. Nationality vs. Country. How many people can tell you correctly that people from China are Chinese, people from Iraq are Iraqi, people from Mexico are Mexicans, people from Peru are Peruvians, etc? Silliness. Do the same for possessives/language. (example: Netherlands = country, Dutch = people and language, but United States = country, Americans = people, and English = language, and Sweden = country, Swede = people, and Swedish = possessive).

6. Anything with a bouncing inflatable globe just HAS to be fun! Name that capital city before the ball hits the ground! Name that continent after you hear the country (or vice versa).
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anitka



Joined: 23 Jan 2003
Posts: 10
Location: Moscow

PostPosted: Fri Feb 14, 2003 7:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for your ideas, but they are too easy for my students. I mean we delve into really specific scientific language but I don't want to bore them to death with all these specific texts!
Any ideas about this?
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Glenski



Joined: 17 Jan 2003
Posts: 164
Location: Sapporo, Japan

PostPosted: Sat Feb 15, 2003 7:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Increasing vocabulary, whether at the most basic level or the highest, is (as you probably know) a matter of two things:

1. Giving them vocabulary that they will actually use.
2. Repeating the vocabulary often enough so that it sticks in their minds.

So, what vocabulary do you think they need? To say that they "need some conversation practice" is such a broad statement that I can't dip into my bag of tricks and present you with a vocabulary lesson/idea. Conversation practice may have any number of goals (again, as you probably already know):
persuasion
debate
greeting
asking for help/advice
praise
small talk
etc.

What is the exact goal of your class in relation to learning English? Please be specific.

Also, just what do your students need to practice? Conversation skills? Grammar? Idioms? Where are their weak points?

Just curious, what scientific texts do geography students read?
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anitka



Joined: 23 Jan 2003
Posts: 10
Location: Moscow

PostPosted: Sun Feb 16, 2003 8:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't think they need small talk and all this stuff, they have the second teacher who teaches General English.
Discussion and Debate - we have tried that, but it's difficult to organise that because the texts we read with them don't allow much debate.
The example of vocab. we study with them: weathering, precipitation, westerlies, trade winds, doldrums, plate tectonics, continental drifts and all other kinds of geographical words.
I try to practice with them the words we have already studied, besides we write a lot - summaries, essays, we have to translate because some of them will get a diploma of translators.But I do feel that a little bit of fun with these sometimes boring words is necessary.
The main goal of our course - they should be able to take part in any scientific discussions and read not adopted scientific texts on their specialization.
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Showem



Joined: 22 Jan 2003
Posts: 80

PostPosted: Sun Feb 16, 2003 4:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If you have the technology, you could show a recording of an English weather report (the reports on CNN are good) and have them jump up every time they hear one of their specific vocabulary words. Obviously, this won't cover all of them, but some would be there.

Then, make them do a report in front of the class as if on TV. They could do either do a weather report, or what would be amusing is to report as if on TV for something bigger and slower like continental drift or an upcoming ice-age.

"And with the San Andreas Fault shifting again this week, California is expected to sink on Friday."

I'm sure since you are more familar with the material than I, you can build it up more.
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Aleem Shakir



Joined: 27 Jun 2003
Posts: 4

PostPosted: Fri Jun 27, 2003 7:47 pm    Post subject: Re: Activities for ESP (Geography) Reply with quote

I will suggest you get some book with title as: Using Language Games in the Classroom.
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