Think of all the tasks you set up this week. Which one was the most engaging?
The one my students enjoyed the most was this song-based activity. It was a warmer, to recycle previously taught language and draw attention to the /ɜː/ sound. Feel free to download and use it.
Here’s what they did, step be step:
• They listened and decoded the anagrams.
• Then, they were asked if the words rhyme- they noticed that they all have the /ɜː/ sound, although spelled differently.
• They were exposed to two examples of find someone who+verb . Then, they were asked to write their own Find someone who___ sentence.
Not only did the song relax students and set a nice tone, but it was also very motivating . They really wanted to get the answers right (in their defence, Khalid kind of mumbles..)! I also heard them humming the song later when doing a different activity!
My teenagers are starting to embrace micro-listening activities. They can see that this is a teaching and not a testing moment, so they’re noticeably more comfortable and less stressed. They surely benefit from ear-training practice as well.
What I’ve realized is that they should be able to play the mini-recordings as many times as they want in order to decode a sentence. So, when I create song activities in the future, I will use google docs and embed audio files. Then, just make a copy for each student and share it with them.
Writing an extra sentence (ex3) was also met with a lot of enthusiasm. Some sentences they came up with were:
• find someone who isn’t afraid to show his feelings
• find someone who calls to say goodnight
So, to sum up: fun, motivating, creative and productive task.
I’m going to try to use recently released songs every week and create some “light” tasks. Decoding features of connected speech, focusing on lexical chunks, maybe a task to stretch their creativity.. But the main aim will be to provide an enjoyable activity. Enjoyment is always motivating.
I know it’ll be a lot of extra work, but it’s worth it, especially if more teachers can use the tasks. I’ll publish the first one next week, so stay tuned.
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