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Making lessons dynamic

Discussion in 'Modern foreign languages' started by 19sunflower, Nov 8, 2015.

  1. 19sunflower

    19sunflower New commenter


    I need to do a conversation class with Primary school children (ESL) and I'm not sure what to do to keep them engaged. The teachers I work with have said my classes aren't dynamic enough, and I don't know how to make them better. The average class size is 25.

    I want to give as many people as possible a chance to speak, but if I ask them all questions they will get bored.

    The topic I have to teach to year 4 for example is jobs. I want them to be able to recognise different jobs and places of work. I'm not sure what to do other than to use flash cards. I'd like to finish with a guess my job game, but I don't know how to develop the main part of the lesson.

    I feel so lost.

    Can anyone help?
  2. expresslts

    expresslts New commenter


    One way of using the flashcards is to have the pupils guess what card you have. I found this works well with S1/S2 at secondary. Hold all the cards to your chest and ask them to keep guessing in the target language. If they get it right, they can keep hold of the card or they can come up and take over from you.

    Hope that helps,

  3. minnie me

    minnie me Star commenter

    If you want to get as many children to speak then you need to set up some sort of group activity which you then ' monitor ' . This would need practice of course and may not be for the faint hearted ! You could try silly voices and chanting - choral work in theory means everyone is contributing. You say you want them to be able to recognise jobs / places of work - orally / in writing / reading / listening ? Assume you are giving these elements equal weighting. I think you need to ask the staff what exactly they mean by being 'more dynamic' . They may mean that you need to be more of an extrovert ? or you need to inject more pace / variety into your lessons. Better feedback from them will help you. Maybe they should be modelling the practice for you ?
  4. Vladimir

    Vladimir Senior commenter

    19sunflower, don't panic! I've been through this too. What they want to see is more activities and games, movement, pair work as games and group games and activities. It's actually very easy once you get into the swing of it. I honed it to a fine art to the extent that I did minimal preparation, did next to nothing in lessons, and had my lessons praised as fun and 'dynamic' because the kids were active and enjoying the dross, I mean the 'carefully planned student-centered materials' I threw at them. It beats being berated for trying to teach and it's pounds in pocket.
    Look up Genki English for ideas.
    Where are you teaching, by the way?
  5. Dunteachin

    Dunteachin Star commenter

    Use props: nurse's uniform, chef's hat, truncheon...etc to introduce the jobs. You can play all sorts of games with these. I used to use the interactive whiteboard for games of snap, hangman etc but can't remember the package I used - was 5 years ago!
    I presume you've been on Tes resources? Does Sunderland MFL still exist? Songs are a must! Plenty of stuff out there if you look. Make it fun! Dance, sing. I used to love it.
  6. Vladimir

    Vladimir Senior commenter

    Are you sure you're on the right site? Not that I'm against a bit of kinky display!

    Jokes out of the way, this is just the sort of nonsense I hate about ESL and language teaching generally. Who has all this rubbish lying about? And if you have to go to such lengths to learn a few simple vocabulary words, heaven knows what you're going to need to teach a phrase and a grammar point!

    Having said that, it's just the sort of thing your ESL observers and lesson critics will love to see!
    Landofla and pascuam49 like this.
  7. funambule

    funambule New commenter

  8. 19sunflower

    19sunflower New commenter

    Things have gone from bad to worse. Now they won't let me continue working there. I've been given no explanation. Feel totally lost.
  9. Vladimir

    Vladimir Senior commenter

    You're probably better off out of it if that's the way they treat you. Where are you teaching? Japan?
  10. 19sunflower

    19sunflower New commenter

    No, Spain. Don't think I'll go back even if they ask me to. My health is more important.
  11. Vladimir

    Vladimir Senior commenter

    That makes sense. If the issue ever arises again, all joking aside, more games, student-sudent interaction and activities is what they want you to do, most probably. I thought they'd have more sense in Spain. Ah, well...
  12. Geekie

    Geekie Occasional commenter

    MFL Sunderland existed for 10 years. Since April 2014 all its resources and loads of new ones can be found on Light Bulb Languages, still completely free of charge.
    pascuam49 likes this.
  13. VladimirUnmoderated

    VladimirUnmoderated New commenter

    You should charge for them. Why do people always expect educational stuff to be free? My solicitor doesn't work for nothing!
    mlapworth likes this.
  14. BrightonEarly

    BrightonEarly Occasional commenter

    Hi Geekie, I see you as a major contributor to the previous generation TES MFL forum that you're also called a 'new' contributor! No acknowledgement of the years of posting that we have done!
  15. oldishfart

    oldishfart New commenter

    'New contributor'?

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