Authentic Material – Big deal for teachers and learners.

 

keep-it-real

Hello There,

I would like to share with you some great lessons that it was a huge success in two groups of students during this month. Actually, I’m always on facebook or twitter looking for activities that could engage my small group of students.  This time I was searching for something different from their coursebooks. Needless to say, I have to follow the school curriculum but this semester, we are allowed to engage our teenagers with different kind of materials, I mean authentic ones.

The first time, I worked with these kind of materials, it was with my adult class in 2010, specially conversation class (A2-B2). That time, I usually started with something that they had already learned in their coursebook, and then I used to engage them in  warm-up or review activities.  There were articles, videos, ad from American and British tvs, some podcasts and so on.  Some of my students were really afraid of trying this new things. They couldn’t realize that things like ‘Friends’ , it was  a real moment of learning. Because there  are some myths towards Brazilian learners that ‘if you don’t learn from a book, you didn’t learn at all’. It took some patience and time to reconstruct this point of view, but finally, after some lessons they got the idea and, it worked pretty well.

Then, I decided to work with my very young learners projects using this book  ‘Pete, The Cat’ , it was a huge success. The kids simply adored him (Pete) and we had a lot of fun. It was the moment that, I brought the concept of adapting materials for students with special needs to my institution. Besides, adapting the material was a perfect moment to work with an inclusive curriculum and environment, my students were able to interact with all during the school time and why not saying outside as well.

Thus, most of these materials were there, ready to be use and it was not difficult to find them. Today we have many sources and platforms that are available to help us in our classes. Actually, all those materials I have been using with in my classes are on twitter and facebook too. Just a big deal!

Once I caught myself wondering, how my teachers used to prepare their lessons? Teaching english as a second language nowadays in Brazil is not the same way that I learned 30 years ago. Back in the 80’s , I used to have penpal friends from England and USA, it was suggested by one of my favorite teachers that time. It was amazing the feeling of those letters arriving in my home.  They used to describe their lifestyles and so did I – it was a kind of authentic material that time. There were no internet, just the traditional post office! And surprise (I still have two postcards from them). To tell the truth, both experiences had helped me a lot to understand about culture, language and friendship.

Today, when I am in class, I can relate some situation within my students. The use of technology has helped us a lot to use what is surround us – The more we use our reality, the more we create opportunity to learn. That is why authentic material are made for. Thus, I would like to suggest you two great people who create amazing things to improve and motivate our students.

#1 – Phil Wade creation :

Since He has started to share his #minilessons, I have been using quite a lot. His materials 14199367_323865964625586_8782023895156632105_nare really great to lead a good conversation class (from music to divergent topic as refugees). Instead of using games all the time, I decided to work with his minilessons because of the skills (speaking and writing) presented there and of course my students’ needs. Our free lessons happens once in a month, so I was supossed to bring some fun to them, using things about the target language. That was the moment that I saw his post on facebook and voilà. It has been my #1 sources this semester.

#2 – Natural English :

I was tweeting some ideas and activities, when I came across this won14455827_10202355767332174_1395091194_oderful material and I got really impressed with its lesson. First of all, we had worked with the target language presented previously on the lesson and the title  caught my attention ‘Sometimes Bad Things happen to good Robots’  (it is a full sample). In fact, I couldn’t use the whole lesson, but I worked with the video and also the text. During the class we saw the video in pairs, my students discussed about the video and then in a different peer group, they read the text. We did the exercise 4 about vocabulary. However, I didn’t use all the lesson, I didn’t have enough time for it. So, I selected to work with them just some parts, otherwise we couldn’t have time to explore some words in the vocabulary part that it was new for them. Besides,  exercise 6 – as suggested by Natural English it was not appropriate to my group (13-14 years old). This lesson worked during 1:15min. I assigned them the homework part to hand me back in a week. They described some things that happened with their family members and friends. I decided not publish here on the blog their composition, because it was too personal. Anyway, It was a wonderful lesson that raised some very important issues that many people have faced in life, unfortunately.

I would like to thank Phil Wade and Natural English for taking the time to prepare such great lessons. I  hope this post can help other teachers to understand and how authentic materials can improve their way of teaching . A hint for newbie teachers – try to introduce little by little in your classes, starts as a warm up then you will be giving an entire lesson.

sources:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/philwadecreations/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/TEFLLessons

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Pete-Cat-Love-White-Shoes/dp/0061906220

 

 

Indiscipline – Hey Teacher, come on…

 

“Creativity dies in an indisciplined environment.”  Jim Collins

 

Hello there,

I have been working hard on my research for my MA project, during these 3 months I could observe that many teachers are facing difficult time with indiscipline during their classes. It might sound strange for some people in other countries. However, tumblr_nauopi7nyr1ro49vxo1_250there are many studies and surveys in this area going on in Brazil. Actually, They have shown that teachers have spent more than 20 minutes to calm down their students to start their classes. So, it is not an easy task and, imagine how frustrating it can be.

It is not a lack of classroom management. Most of the time, it’s something that go beyond us. There are situations of chaos, and some teachers simply do not know how to deal with.

Two weeks ago, a friend of mine on facebook posted pictures of happy classes – the students were such as Michelangelo angels; the teacher – a beautiful blonde young lady in her 30 with a stunning smiles… Anyway, I am not saying that, those pictures are unreal, but it was so far from our reality. Of course, teachers including myself go to school happy, excited to teach lesson plans in which usually take hours to be prepared. And when we go to school, we can not teach because of bad behavior, so ‘ who is to blame? 

I love searching words on dictionary. According to oxford american dictionary the word discipline is a way of training your mind and body so that you control your actions and obey the rules. However, what caught my attention was the example “a good teacher must be able to maintain discipline in the classroom” – wow! It is really annoying, isn’t it?

I have been observing many teachers and, I can assure you that they were doing very well their job. In fact, the problem was not only the students, but some aspects that the school could have helped those teachers (unfortunately it didn’t). Therefore, there are some reasons why teachers are giving up on teaching or having burn-outs during the semester.

Many of these issues are bullying, peer pressure, physical violence and in some schools where we have special needs students – Meltdown (in case of autism) and so on.

When some teachers do not have any support from their school and decide to ignore an indisciplined student does not take away the problem; it worsens the situation. In fact bad behavior will encourage other students do the same.  There are some ideas in this post by changing minds might help us to respond some bad behaviors in our classes.misbehavior

On the other hands when teachers have dialogue between school and parents, the problem with the misbehaving child will lead both side to another level of partnership and collaboration.

 It is not a piece of cake to handle indiscipline in our classroom. Even though, we have been prepared for classroom managment, including trainings, workshops – this will happen to us once! This is a kind of situation that it will be out of control, and we will ask this question forever ‘what was wrong with that class?’ so, I suggest you do not take misbehavior personally. Indiscipline is not the teacher’s problem, it is everybody’s problem.

Do not be afraid of reporting this issue to your school. Apparently,  this kind of behavior happens out of school and some parents avoid telling the truth to the teachers during parents meeting.

Sharing what is going on in your classroom with your colleagues, mentors and friends, it might be helpful for you. Because some of them have faced the same problem at once and, they might help you – giving ideas, advice and suggestions how to work and engage your students in some properly activities.

Since I have been teaching english in some schools and institutions in Brazil. I have shared some difficulties and challenges with some friends every so often. Their experiences have helped me a lot when it comes to dealing with different kind of behaviors and moods. I had almost forgotten another good hint – Do not isolate yourself, all of us have walked through the fire (I mean the classroom).

To sum up, I would like to share with you this article from CNN ‘What teachers really want to tell parents’  I read it a couple of years ago, but it is still updated. I hope you like my reflection about indicipline and misbehaviour. Thanks for dropping by.

Sources:

The Malta Independent – http://www.independent.com.mt/

Autism Speaks – https://www.autismspeaks.org

Changing Minds – http://changingminds.org/

CNN.com – http://edition.cnn.com/2011/09/06/living/teachers-want-to-tell-parents/

Photos credit

1- http://everythinghardcoremusic.tumblr.com/

2 – http://scils-synergetic.pbworks.com/w/page/11077238/Misbehavior

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Inclusive education – Apps to engage students with SEN.

Hello There,

steve-jobs-quotes-42

In 2014 I presented my 1st session at Braz-Tesol, where I could share with a group of 25 people including teachers and coordinators ideas and some apps that I used to work with my SEN students. I was very pleased to present my experience and how I used to engage my SEN students during my classes. Most of these apps are free and very easy to work with.

Today, I have found thousands of apps that it might help us to engage all students toward their learning process in an inclusive classroom and also keep up with other students in the classroom. I will share with you some apps and also websites that have been essential during my classes.

Apps:

1# Autism iHelp  – It is simply the best in my opinion. I remember using them with my son and then I introduced little by little with some students. You can create your own lesson plan based on this app. They have many kind of contents, so that you can work with your students in pair in a regular classroom or in private classes. It is easy to work with and you can ask your students’ parents to download for free the beta version.  It is also available for android.

2# Zoola Animals – It is all about animals. Most of the time, children with special needs have some pets to help them to improve their socialization with other people around. Animals are most of the time “good mediator” when it comes to involve these kids in the real world. So that using this app you can create activities, specially speaking tasks to improve their social skills and fluency. For instance:

what kind of animal do you like?

Do you like to go to the Zoo?

Do you have a pet?

what does the… say?

you can reinforce the activity working with this two websites: Super simple songs, color game . Therefore if you teach from Kindergaten to 10th grade, this is the best webiste ever. It is the number one during my classes. It doesn’t matter how old they are – whether they are 5 years old or 50 plus… they will lesl-autismove to play with you and the whole classroom.  ESL game + is a complete webiste where you can find activities for everyone! Of course, you can adapt for your students necessities. Needless to say, it is very simple and easy to work with. It works perfectly in interactive white boards, computers and tablets.

By the way, during  Joe Dale’s session at the 50th Iatelf in April, He brought to the audience many great ideas to work with our students. This one really caught my attention, it is called – Ultratext. Since I have showed them during the classes, I have recieved some great ideas. They know that I love facebook – it is where I interact more with teachers, educators almost everyday. So during one of our meetings, one of them create a very cute text and I sent to me to post on my facebook. It was pretty nice way to show them how it can be possible to connect to the world today – people from Greece, Turkey, France, USA and Brazil replied the post in comments and I showed them. It was an amazing time, because they didn’t realize that a simple text would go so far.

We can have a wonderful time using technology in our favor. Many teachers refuse to use some apps or websites arguing that they can be noisy or not obey the rules and avoid to come back to the class routine. However, it is necessary do give them the right instructions and elicit from them what is the goal of the use of tablets or mobiles during the classes. A messy and noisy classroom, we might deal with it even not using any apps. Thus, establish rules and goals to the activities are the best choice ever.

To sum up, there are many tools and apps that we can help our students to develop their skills and also get the best of them using technology. When we are opened to bring new sources to facilitate and also stimulate the learning process in an inclusive enviromnemt, these children, teens and adults will be able to connect to the world with more attention and desire to learn even more. We cannot forget that technology is one of their favorite things, most of them are able to create and develop things and processes than anyone else.would do. Actually, there are some studies based on this fact – called The Geek Syndrome, so using technology to help them keep up with other students in the classroom are more than welcome, it is an inclusive tool.

Here you will find some apps and tools that might help your students with autism and dyslexia.

Top 5 apps for SEN

Awesome Autism Apps 

Apps and Dyslexia 

 

Here it is my webinar “Engage students with SEN using Apps on #etwinedu

 

 

 

 

 

 

Special Educational Needs Forum at the 50th IATEFL – Birmingham

 

Hello There,

I would like to highlight some great moments that I had in the 50th IATEFL conference in Birmingham. First of all, I would like to share with you my adventure to get there.

And the story goes… I left Rio de Janeiro, in the hottest autumn day and heading to Spain (like Elton John’s song  – Daniel). I met a young girl who turned my friend during the flight, we were at the same connection to London. During our long chat, she asked me why I was traveling to UK and I told her that I was going to an International Conference for Teachers of English and she got surprised like many other people do. Yeah, we have conferences spread all over the world. I can assure you that every conference has a singular atmosphere. Its essence to connect teachers to discuss, share and learn from different contexts and backgrounds makes a unique experience for all teachers.

So, my “adventure” started in a beautiful cold afternoon, when the pilot told us that we were approachiIMG_6931ng to LONDON. I was very excited to meet old and new friends that I have been interacting for some years. Friends that become my soulmates such as Roseli, Teresa, Marjorie, Joe and Sergio ( Virginia, Vicky and Burcu couldn’t join us this time, it was a pity).

Anyway, I thought it was complicated to get to Euston Station. In fact,  this was a piece of cake comparing to what was waiting for me.  I had a really hard time with my luggage.  It traveled around Spain and, British Airways gave me as an excuse with “compliments” –  one night kit specially made for MAN!

Oh boy, I tried really hard arguing along other passengers who had the same problem – our luggages were supposed to be at the airport, not somewhere over the rainbow in MADRID.

To my surprise, I was the only one who was traveling to BIRMINGHAM so that, my luggage travelled more than me. After 2 days since left Rio, finally my luggage checked in at the hotel while I was attending the conference. It was the best day of my life! No, it was not! Not a happy flight at all!

After all, I got safe and sound in Birmingham and the ICC really impressed me. What a beautiful venue! Every thing was handy, easy to use and comfortable. Coffee shop and some music. Great!

To tell the truth, there were many good talks and keynotes that I would like to able to see. Unfornately, I have to choose some of them and my intention wIMG_0134[1]as to participate at the  Forum on special educational needs – creating positive inclusive learning opportunities with three great educators who did wonderful presentations as you can catch up with the recording in the link above. They discussed and argued the necessity to provide teachers resources, teaching development, materials and support for many teachers who are facing challenges and demands for Special Educational needs in their classrooms.

Needless to say it was a perfect time to propose a new SIG for this area. Whether approved the new SIG called Inclusive Practices and SEN (Special Educational Needs) will be the voice of thousands of teachers who need support with adapted materials, universal learning design, inclusive policies and enviromnent, research to develop teaching practices and so on. This SIG is crucial to our students and to us – Teachers.

Another great moment it was during the Interactive Language Fair where 10 presentations were happening at the same time. One of these presentations, I asked some questions related to inclusive education. Even though the Interative Language Fair was not about SEN, I was curious to know, whether on their contexts, they had faced or come across with students with neurodiversities (According to Silberman the notion that conditions like autism, dyslexia and attention-deficit/ hyperativitydisorder (ADHD) should be regard as naturally cognitivIMG_0626[1]e variations with distinctive strenght that have contributed to the evolution of technology and culture rather than mere checklist of deficits and dysfunctions).

Therefore, a teachers from Turkey surprised me during her presentation. She told me that in her school, the kids with some learning difficulties, they have a teacher that help them out during the activities and engage them with the whole classroom; And that was the moment that I learned a new nomenclature for Mediation as Shelter Teachers (the idea of “Shelter” is to protect the children, giving them a safety learning enviromnent) and it was just amazing, being there and know from others – strategies, how they mix methodologies and adapting approaches that can really make the difference when it comes to inclusion. It is true that we have some difficulties to put into practice, some inclusive policies in our educational system. I reckon it is not necessary create new ones, what we have to do is – raise acceptance and accessibility for an education in which understand what is the real meaning of diversity (thinking and learning). In other words, We need Teachers who are able to UNDERSTAND this issue in our schools, Institutions and Universities. Not only accept or be aware of, but understand that wIMG_1098[1]e are different and our students with neurodiversity are not more or less than anyone else. That is what we have to struggle for – an inclusive society.

Finally, I have to confess that I had a great time at Iatefl. I met face-to-face many people who had the opportunity to attend some talks I have done on-line. I could feel once again, how powerful is the connection within my PLNs – that is the best part in conferences. The moment that we express our friendship beyond the computers and smartphones with hugs and endless talks to each other. Having fun and plan our next time together and make new friends as well. That’s priceless.

In the other hands, I have to confess that I really missed some inspring talks such as Mercedes Viola, Susan Hillyard, Luke Meddings and JJ Wilson.

I know that I took almost one month to talk about the conference due by my frenetic agenda but I got home full of ideas and I will prepare myself for my 1st presentation in Glasglow to talk more about Inclusive Education. So, let’s hope for the best…

 

Sources:

SILBERMAN.S -The Legacy of Autism and the Future of Neurodiversity – USA- 2015

IATEFL – http://www.iatefl.org/web-events/iatefl-webconference

 

 

Awareness x Acceptance – Inclusive Education

 

“We are trying to construct a more inclusive society. We are going to make a country in which no one is left out” . Franklin D. Roosevelt

 

Hello There,

This month is dedicated to austim awareness or autism acceptance. Hum, got a little bit confused but there are two points of view about this issue that many people are talking about.

What is awareness and acceptance? According to Cobuild dictionary – Awareness means “be  aware of something is happening because you hear it or see it”. So when it comes to raising awareness about Autism, many  groups, organizations, teachers and parents advocate what autism is about. In the other hand, Acceptance of someone with austim is to think of them as part of the group or in our society.

Besides, we (parents and educators) are trying to discuss and dialogue about this important issue that has been increased every year. Studies have shown autism cases on the rise and many discussions are going around.

And what about the Educational field? What about deal with them in a regular school? Are we ready for them? Inclusive Education – what is it about?

Last week, I was on twitter searching for some news about inclusive education, when I came across #neurotribe a best seller book written by Steve Silberman  who is explaining in a very fascinating perspective about autism. In fact, I am still reading his book and  I agree with some statements on it and,  others that I reckon, we have a long road to investigate as well. It is a book that I highly recommend for Educators and Teachers – It is really worth taking some time and read it.  12970478_10201729580837903_692683208_o

Meanwhile, I was preparing a lesson, to adapt some social skills for three SEN students in a regular classroom. I was wondering why it is so difficult to adapt a lesson that includes social skills (socialization.). Most of the time, the problem is not SEN students but how students (in general) will accept them. That is the moment that we have to raise awareness to accept these new issue in our schools (in other words – What is autism or Dyslexia or ADHD? (Awareness) and How can we learn together? (Acceptance).

Thus, They have to create the rules together and emphasize that they will use them during the school year. This inclusive project might help all the students to understand how they can have fun, learn and interact with all kind of people everywhere else. That is what an inclusive enviromnent does and it is possible to achieve one, if we are ready for it.

One of the materials that I have read for my MA project in inclusive education, it was this guideline from Unesco Bangkok. Our Educational system has to bring up new forms to engage our students. Education means acquisition of knowledge and teachers may interpret education as means for creation a new inclusive society so that, put into practice  these  ideas, projects might bring children with disabilities in our regular classrooms. Although we have many publications and researches about inclusive education, we have been faced bureaucracy and the continued neglect of their right to education. It is sad to see that many children are taken away from school, because of the lack of interest, investment and good will.

To sum up, we have to be aware of the diversity of dialogue and development. Every citizen has the right to learn and live in a more inclusive society. All of  us have our differences and respect each other, it is our best choice to survive in this world. So, it is not only AWARENESS but also ACCEPTANCE… One coin, two faces in an inclusive world.

 

 

 

 

Easter Project – Celebrating Beatrix Potter

“Once upon a time there were four little bunnies and their names were – Flopsy, Mopsy, Cotton-tail and Peter” 

Easter with Peter Rabitt

Hello There,

This month we set up a project at school for Young Learners and each grade will be working with children’s literature, including Beatrix Potter’s tales. This year is celebrating her 150th birth anniversary. Beatrix Potter wrote bucolic tales about bunny rabbits. Thus, I have decided to engage my small group of young learners through Peter Rabbit story and, it is also Easter time. We will celebrate it according to our traditions and with fluffy bunnies full of chocolate eggs on Easter Sunday hunt as well.

Anyway, I grew up listening many tales from many part of the world. My mother used to teach English in her free time in a school nearby our home, and I still remember her preparing some lessons. Most of the time late at night after helping me with my homework. One of the books that she used to read for me before bed time was Peter Rabbit – a small golden book that she bought before entering at the University. It was not new but full of memories from its previous owner and she still keeps it on her shelf.

Time passed by and nowadays, I am an english teacher with the same passion that once she was and of course, full of resources that she could not have imagined that one day, it would be possible to use them in a regular class. Thus, I asked for her help and showed  my lesson plan about Peter Rabbit. She seemed surprised to find the lesson planning about the story that she used to read when I was a little girl. Actually, We had such a great time laughing and preparing the lesson together.

peter rabbit

So here it is our lesson: 

Let’s meet Peter Rabbit –  

I will work with this paper book or  if you prefer an e-book version, it is available for free on IOS or Android platforms. It will be a nice time for them learning a new language by stories. Moreover, storytelling is a magical moment for kids in general. As a mother, I really know how powerful telling a story for a kid can help them to develop their emotion and imagination. Children’s minds began to inquire, wonder, think when we (parents, teachers,  storytellers…) start telling stories.

The reason of this lesson is to give a motivating reason for English-language learners to speak and write. Even though our meeting occurs twice in 45-min class per week, They will be exposed and stimulated to interact with the whole classroom using the new vocabulary in a ludic way.  As you can see in the picture below, we can explore activities in many possibilities to engage them learning through12443352_10201601051104740_1415896566_o their contents – for instance numbers (one – two – three) opposites (little and big) family members (mother, brother, sister), prepositions (in, on, under) food ( vegetables) and feelings (kindness, behavior and on).

Besides, you can engage them to create their own stories, using another kind of animal (cat, dog or  pig), they can reread the story and collaborating for their
portifolio project. So that, they will develop even more the four skills (speaking, listening, reading and writing) which have been exploring in pairs during the classes.

After you have introduced them the story and explored the target language. Finally, you can use this video to check whether they achieved the goals you had set up previously. This is the moment for sense of achievement. I usually do this at the end of the class to measure if they assimulate the new vocabulary and some grammar points.

Therefore, the main goal of this project is to engage them to have fun toward their own pace, supporting each other to collaborate and giving them feedback to improve their confidence to learn a new language.

Many people might think that teaching children is easy, a piece of cake. However, teaching kids goes beyond telling stories and playing around. They will carry with them, the stories that caught their attention, which made them dream and co-participate for the rest of their lifes. Nevertheless to say that, stories can build our personalities, shape our future and make us a better person. To sum up, all languages have their own stories like every culture and every human being… 

Here there are some links that might help you to engage your classroom with Beatrix Potter’s 150th anniversary. 

The Peter Rabbit Coin – The Guardian

The Letter for a young correspondent – The Guardian

Beatrix Potter  – Twitter full of articles about her 150th celebration

The Tales of Peter Rabbit – You Tube

Stick Tale – Pinterest and BookTime

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Love is in the air… Valentine’s Day ideas

When Love speaks, the voice of all the gods
Makes heaven drowsy with the harmony.
(Love’s Labour’s Lost, 4.3 – Shakespeare)

 

Hello There,

I have been away for a while. In fact, it was vacation time and next week our school year will start again. So, I decided to create some activities based on Valentine’s Day and I would like to share with you a couple of ideas that will engage some groups of teens and adults classes as well.

This year Valetine’s day will be on Sunday and of course these ideas could have been used previsously during the week. However, in Brazil it was Carnival Time and some schools will return next Monday. It can be a nice way to work as a warm-up or icebreakers activities. In addition to, this year we are celebrating Shakespeare’s 400th anniversary. It is such a nice time to introduce a glimpse of love to some students who have never heard about Shakespeare masterpieces.

First of all, I suggest you give them some hints about this lovely day. As some students from Brazil may not know why Valentine’s day are so popular in UK or USA or maybe some other countries celebrate it in another time of the year. It is very helpful bring to them videos or small texts explaining about this famous celebration.

For example in Brazil, we do not celebrate it in February – It is on 12th June (before Saint Anthony celebration – a Portuguese Heritage). Thus, here it is a wonderful video in which you can work with some interesting facts about Valentine’s day 

Another kind of activity you can engage the whole group is using found poetry from a text. It can be from a newspaper, a page of a book,

hidden poetry

credit photo – Pinterest

magazine and so on. This one will be very challenging and they can work in pairs on it.  I have done this twice with a group and they simply loved it!

You can use this picture as an example of what you want them to do. In this activity, they are now ‘writers’.  You can scaffolding  by listening to or observing them. Moreover,  you can not take control of the activity. If you do so, it will turn the idea into a boring exercise and they will give up.

It demands a couple of minutes. At the end of their creativity process, they can read their poetry aloud or exchange within their classmates.

You can use a text from Romeo and Juliet or Midsummer Night’s dream from some well-known Readers (select the level you are teaching) It is not difficult for teens levels though. Some of these classical books have turned recently into movies and, they will recognize easily the plot.

Do not worry whether some students are afraid of reading Shakespeare. Unfortunaly, the language issues is the top notch caution. We teachers know that, it is for sure not easy task – there are lots of  vocabulary and language structures in which they have never heard about; or maybe someone has told them that it is extremely hard job for basic and intermediate students read Shakespeare books.

Therefore, we have to expose them to these classical books and with their enigmatical words to delight his poetry, narratives and on. Otherwise, They will never figure out that some of the words that we have today came from him and that English language owes a lot to Shakespeare works.

What about music? Valentine’s day without music, come on. Bring a song and ask them to sing along and filling the gaps contest. I reckon this season will be Adele – Hello?!. Well, Well, here you can find some songs to work with your classes from teens to adults.

Finally, you can engage the whole classroom without exposing themselves. I really do not like the idea of exchange cards or writing a love letter. It is something very personal and we have to keep in mind that our students have to be comfortable to join the activity. Nowadays, because the high level of bullying incidents, I have decided not take these kind of activities into classes. I reckon when we taylor-made materials or activities, we have to be sensible and put ourselves in the students shoes. Using some kind of activities that will not engage the whole group may be avoiding and, some of these ideas will not contribuiting in their learning process at all.

Needless to say that, there will be some studens that might argue with you  “Why do they have to learn this kind of stuff”. Try to explain them that when we learn a language, we are exposed to its culture. So we can not separate these two important and valuable issues. There is no language without its culture or vice-versa.

So, I hope these ideas can help you!  Thanks for dropping by  and I wish you a happy Valentine’s day full of chocolate and love.

 

 

Credit photo : https://br.pinterest.com/pin/251990541626793645/