Health & the body
August 29th 2019
There really is quite an art to teaching extremely elementary classes. Activities and exercises need to be really scaled back and minimalistic. If you haven’t done it for a while, it can be quite a shock. This was my recent experience. But it can also be quite refreshing to experiment with new ideas on Level 0 or Level 1.
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Socializing includes many varied and unexpected but common everyday situations which require competent speaking skills. Students of a foreign language have to be prepared to encounter these situations and be ready with appropriate responses. Pictures help give context to these situations and help students imagine how they might respond.
Two of the most enjoyable speaking topics in the classroom are movies and music. No question that these topics engage students and generate a buzzing atmosphere.
Academic vocabulary can be pretty tough to teach. A variety of exercises including picture matching, sentence writing and gap fill exercises can make for a rewarding lesson. Recycling, reinforcing and reviewing using multiple intelligences is the best way to teach vocabulary.
For me, one of the all round best and most successful teaching activities is brainstorming. And brainstorming works even better if you put a little work into its preparation and customize it for a particular class or topic.
Travel and tourism is a pretty good classroom topic if your students travel frequently. If they don’t, the travel topics don’t work so well. However, my own experience is that with the growing middle classes in Asia, students have become increasingly mobile.
There have never been many useful language textbooks or websites for public health. I’m pretty interested whenever I find anything for this topic and I’ve created a few of my own.
Complaints and annoyances are a part of everyday life. Talking about complaints and annoyances in the classroom is a great way to engage students. It’s a great way to get students to express their feelings and opinions. Textbooks often seem to avoid this great speaking and discussion topic but I find it generates interest, a lot of input and can be a lot of fun.
News story worksheets are a great way to engage students with language and contemporary issues and events at the same time. They help students practice their use of tenses and logical narrative organization. It can also be pretty interesting and fun.
What’s the link between language used in the health sciences and process paragraph and essay writing? Actually, these two areas work really well together. The health sciences, including fields such as medical technology, are full of processes. And right now I’m teaching medical technology students.
Some of the most interesting topics to teach with the aid of images are body language and gestures, advertising and describing appearance. They are quite different topics but their commonality is that they all have strong visual elements. As a consequence, it has been really enjoyable creating teaching materials for these topics even though I have only scratched the surface of possibilities.
The value of almost infinite image libraries these days is that you can find an image to match any kind of “grammar situation” you can imagine. It certainly makes teaching grammar more interesting to explore the possibilities.
Images are also great for illustrating almost every kind of health problem and treatment.
Vocabulary and language for describing graphs is a pretty essential component of any Business English or academically related language course. It’s also a pretty important testing topic in English language assessment tests such as IELTS.
I’ve always found cause/effect writing quite interesting to teach. This is probably because cause/effect can be applied to almost any topical social issue.
Opinion and argument paragraph writing is really enjoyable if you carefully organize the steps throught the writing process of brainstorming, outlining and sentence writing.
I’ve realized belatedly that the best way way to look through ideas and material is to scroll up and down through it. So I’m formatting most of my pages in this way.