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Humanising Language Teaching
Year 3; Issue 2; March 2001

Lesson outlines

1. Interview in a mirror (teenage and adult)

by Chris Sion, author of Recipes for Tired Teachers and More Recipes for Tired Teachers, Addison Wesley

You need a large mirror.
The student to be interviewed sits facing the mirror.
The other students are behind her - she can only see them as reflections.
They interview her.

2. Vocabulary Revision Techniques ( all ages of students)

by teachers in the English Department, Ecole Nationale Superieure de Telecommunications de Bretagne, France

A. I give each person in the group a word on a slip of paper. Each person mimes the word and says it.
The each person mimes their word and the rest of the group chorus it.

B. I give the group a key word like ship, and ask the students to list all the words they connect with ship. A secretary from the group takes all these down on the board.
All unclear words are explained.

C. To revise 'action phrases': Teacher : " Simon says: Paint a picture!"
Everybody mimes the action

Teacher: " Peel a potato!"
Nobody moves- if they do, they are out of the game.

Teacher: Simon says: " Peel a potato "
Everybody mimes peeling a spud.

( the students only obey Simon )

You can get a student to come out and run the class.

D. The words to be revised go up on the board. The students, working on their, categorise all the words. They can use any categories they like. Each category needs a heading.
Each student must produce two or more categories and less categories than the number of words on the board.
Group the students in sixes to compare their categories.

3. Activities round a Group Picture ( primary, secondary and adult)

by teachers at the Ecole Active Bilingue Jeannine Manuel, Paris www.eabjm.com

1. Tell the group they will draw a group picture on the board.
Each person can come out and draw one item only, at one given time.
Tell them to use the whole of the board.
Stop the drawing process when 15 to 30 items have been drawn.

From here in you have several possible lesson paths:

A. Get the students to name all the objects and parts of objects. They copy the drawing from the board and the words.

B. As in A, the students name the objects. You then ask students to come up and rub out an object and its word, saying:

    There isn't an X, now
    The X's gone now.
( this idea comes from Penny Ur's Grammar Practice Activities )

C. Ask each student to choose two animals/objects/people from the drawing and write a dialogue between them.
Three or four people read their dialogues to the whole class.

D Tell the students that the picture on the board is the first frame of story.
Tell them to work in pairs and draw the next 4-5 frames of this story.
Now ask them to work together with their partner and write the whole story out in words. ( Be everywhere, helping with language)
The pairs get together in sixes and read each other their stories.

E. Ask the students to name and draw in all the invisible parts of things in picture.
Eg: if there is a tree, they name and draw the roots, if there is rain falling, they draw in and name its cloud etc…..

F. Go over to a student who drew a particular item in the group picture and say:

    Did you draw that shoe in?
    Now you are the shoe in the picture- how old are you?
    Where were you bought?
    Do you get used a lot…. etc….
Interview a couple of students in role as an object they drew.
Ask the students to pair off and "object interview" each other.

G. Ask one student to tell the whole group how she felt as the group picture was building up. Get her to tell the story of her internal reactions as the picture was taking shape.
Ask the students to work in fours and share their inner process during drawing of the picture.

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