Thursday 23 February 2012

Project 366: Carnival and other eccentricities

ELT CLIL EFL ESL Carnival photos, ideas, resources
Images by C. Pang. See here for more.
Carnival! Some like it, some don't, but whether you do or don't, you'll most likely associate it with colour, music, fun, dance, Brazil, etc.

So, what's my lesson idea this time?

Aim: Mainly to get the students speaking!
Level: Any
Language: Emergent
Length: As long as a string
Material: Your students' photos

Ask your students to bring in a photo (preferably taken by themselves) associated with carnival, or even better, have them send it to you digitally. Collect them and prepare a mosaic like the image above. You can also set them a webquest task: find out where in the world they have carnival, when they celebrate it and how it got started in the first place.

You can arrange the students in pairs, groups or you can work individually - it depends on the size of your class.

Each student chooses one image. They describe it without saying which. The others try to guess.

Then, they're asked why they chose that particular photo.

Further discussion: Do they like carnival? Why? Why not? Do they dress up? What disguises have they used? What was the latest? What was their favourite? What's the most popular costume this year? What's the most popular ever, in their opinion? For example, in the Canaries, I think the most popular is men dressing up as women, but in a vulgar and grotesque manner: one of the images in the mosaic is a typical case. Oversized bust, badly painted lips, torn stockings, and generally, they make sure they can be easily identified as men: beard, moustache, hairy legs, etc.

What other festivals are there in which people dress in fancy costume? Do they (the students) participate in these? Why do people like to disguise themselves? What about safety in these occasions? Are there usually problems? Have they ever been involved in one?

Written task: Write about their choice of image as discussed in class.

Have you got any other great ideas?

Tuesday 14 February 2012

Project 366: What's cooking?

ELT EFL ESL CLIL Blog Lesson idea using images for speaking, writing
Images by C. Pang. More of the same here.

Yeah, what's cooking, people? Literally and non-literally. Do you know that to be cooking can mean to be happening or planning (often secretly)?

In case you're wondering...mmm... how come only 7 photos? You may be thinking that I haven't been able to keep up with the project. Well, you're wrong! Here's 36 from February. To see more, click here.

ELT EFL ESL CLIL Blog Lesson idea using images for speaking, writing

Why there are only 7 in the first mosaic is to do with my lesson idea to go with these images. Set a task for your students. Write K-I-T-C-H-E-N on the board. Their task is to take pictures of what they can find in their kitchen beginning with those letters. Scroll back to the top image - can you guess the names of those objects?


Knives, iodised salt, tea canisters, cereals, heat, eggs and nuts.

When they bring in their photos, they compare them with each other's collection. What's the most common? The most unusual? Check vocabulary, check spelling.

How far you can take this lesson depends on the level of your class. Here are some suggestions:
  • Who cooks in the family?
  • Do you eat in the kitchen?
  • What's the size/shape of your kitchen? Describe it.
  • Which is your favourite meal?
  • How many meals do you eat in a day? What do you eat?
  • What is your favourite food?
You can take it a step further like this (I got this idea from Brad Patterson, although his may be a little different): Mine is CLIL-influenced. ;-) Think ecosystem. Instead of you asking the question, get the students to do it after demonstrating it first.

What did you have for breakfast?
Ham sandwich and a coffee with milk.
Where does the milk come from?
What do cows eat?
What does grass need to grow?
Where does water come from?
And on and on it goes.

You can do cooking verbs (click to see an example), and if yours is an advanced class, you can venture into idioms (such as "If you can't stand the heat, get out of the kitchen) and phrasal verbs (cook up). I have quite a few activities on idioms. Go to the index file, and search (Ctrl F) for "idioms".

Food is a topic you can do so much with. You can have them write their own recipes (good for imperatives and linking words), you can discuss food expenditure, health, marketing, etc.

If this is successful with your class, you can, naturally adapt this for the other rooms of the house. You may like them to do my activities on Objects in the house either before taking the photos or after. For other activities go to the index file, search (ctrl F) for "houses".

For other ideas on using images in the classroom, search for "Project 366" or "Images" in the index file.


Friday 10 February 2012

Error correction: a free webinar, aka Lonely Teacher Blues, Part 2

Image by C. Pang. More like this here.
A couple of months ago, I posted about the loneliness of teachers and how this can be overcome in Lonely Teacher Blues. One of the easiest ways, I said, was to attend webinars, which are becoming, unsurprisingly, increasingly popular. Attending it is easy - all you need is a computer with internet connection, and a little time.

Error correction seems to be the topic on everyone's lips lately. If you've been missing a lot, be sure to follow my on Continuing Teacher Development, where the latest news regarding conferences, webinars, etc. are posted, and follow me on Twitter, too. It's also apt that iTDi (International Teacher Development Institute) will be hosting its own free webinar on error correction next month.

Their directors Scott Thornbury, Steven Herder, and Barbara Hoskins Sakamoto will be presenting on this webinar to be held on Saturday, 3rd March 2012 starting at 12:00 GMT. See what time it is for you here.

Steven Herder will be asking ,"Why correct ESL errors in an EFL class?", Scott Thornbury will be provoking your thoughts in "Does error correction really work?" while Barbara, in her usual affectionate way, will encourage you to "Embrace mistakes!"

Note it down on your diary, don't miss it. To avoid disappointment, register here.

Sunday 5 February 2012

VI Premio Espiral Edublogs 2012

Premio Espiral Edublogs 2012 idioma Inglés

Once again, this blog is participating in the annual Premio Espiral Edublogs. These awards are primarily for Spanish-language blogs, but there are sections for foreign languages, where this blog is competing under. With the new layout and the increasing importance of English as a global language (yes, believe it or not, not everyone attaches mush significance to it), I'm hoping the jury will be more impressed than last year!

Anyway, it's not all that important - it's just widening my readership: what's the point of writing if no-one is reading, right?

IaskU, my interview blog, is also participating. You can comment on that, too, by clicking here.

If you wish to make a comment on the official page, please click on the image above. It doesn't have to be in Spanish. Thank you!

Thursday 2 February 2012

Project 366: The First Month

Wow! I've made it through the first month without missing a day. Every day I've tried to shoot a few photos  but not all made it to the page. The lack of control over my automatic constantly frustrated me! To see the mosaics better, click on the images or if you wish to see the individual photos, January's lot are here.

Would you use any of these photos in your lessons?

Here's an idea for you. Beam these images up on the screen. Have the students work in small groups. Ask them to invent a character or characters, then choose 7 photos, and write up a story of a week in the life of their imaginary personality or personalities.

When they finish, they read their stories out to the rest of the class. Post it here if you wish!

For more ideas on using images, go to the index file of this blog and search (ctrl F) for "images" or "Project 366".