Wednesday, May 27, 2020

Fast Times at Ridgemont High: Movie Review (Scripted)



Video version of an old post (as I explained about HERE)
For the original post, see:
http://joelswagman.blogspot.com/2007/09/fast-times-at-ridgemont-high.html

The Benefits of Extensive Reading: Listening Version

(TESOL Worksheets--Listening, Extensive Reading)
Google: docs, pub, video
[This is a re-working of my previous worksheet on The Benefits of Extensive Reading, which I've reworked to make into a listening exercise.]

The Benefits of Extensive Reading: ESL Listening



Watch the Video: https://youtu.be/MAe7W5Jjp_8
The Benefits of Extensive Reading
Question: What is extensive reading?
Students read a lot and read often.
Students read on a wide variety of topics.
Students only read stuff that is interesting or fun for them.
Students choose what to read.
Reading focuses on: pleasure, information and general understanding.
Reading is its own reward.
There are no tests, no exercises, no questions and no dictionaries.
The reading material is easy for the students--they can understand the meaning of the text easily without having to work too hard.  The vocabulary is also at an easy level for the students.
Students should be able to read and understand the material without any help from teachers or dictionaries.  If the student finds that they need to use a dictionary to understand the text, then it is best for the student to stop and pick something slightly easier.
Reading is individual, and silent.
Question: What kind of things can you use for extensive reading?
Anything and everything, including graded readers (books that are intentionally written with a simplified grammar and vocabulary for English students), novels, adventure or action books, science fiction or fantasy, romance or drama, informative books or articles on topics that interest you, comic books, newspapers, magazines, Internet articles, entertainment news (articles about music, movies, or celebrities), fashion magazines, children's books, teen literature, advice columns, and more.
Question: How will extensive reading help my grammar?
As every student knows, learning English grammar can be very difficult.  There are many different language structures.  It is possible to focus on these and understand them one by one in isolation, but it is very difficult to be able to remember them and use them all at once.  In order to fully learn these, you will need to become familiar with them by repeatedly encountering them over time.  In the limited time we spend in the classroom, there is no way that you can fully develop your English grammar.  Extensive reading will help you with this in two ways:
Firstly, during extensive reading, you will see, and be reminded of grammar structures that you have already learned.  This will help you to cement them more fully in your memory. 
Secondly, extensive reading will allow you to see many types of grammar structures that you haven't yet learned in class.  You may be able to learn some of these structures just through reading.  Other, more complicated grammar structures, you may need to practice more, but reading will help you to become familiar with them so that it will be easier to learn them in class later.

Question: How will extensive reading help me remember vocabulary that I have already studied?

As with grammar, learning English vocabulary can be very difficult.  You have probably realized this already.  In your English classes, you have probably studied hundreds of words.  But how many of these have you really learned?  How many can you remember now?
It is not enough to simply look at a vocabulary word once, and expect to remember it permanently.  In order to fully get the word into your long term memory, you will need to practice it again and again.  In our very short time in the classroom, you will not have enough time to do this. 
Extensive reading, however, will help you review the vocabulary again and again until it is permanently in your brain.  This is why it is useful to be continuously reading in English.  Even if you're not learning new words, you are helping yourself to better remember the old words.

Question: How will extensive reading help me better understand vocabulary that I have already studied?

English vocabulary can be very frustrating for students, because to truly learn a word is often a lot more complicated than simply learning a dictionary definition.  One word can have many different meanings in different situations.  Or two words can mean almost the same thing, but have slightly different nuances (different shades of meaning).  Or words can have different connotations (for example, two words may mean the same thing, but one word would only be used in positive situations, and one word would only be used in negative situations.)  There are also different collocations--for example, some nouns will only be used with certain verbs instead of others.
It is impossible to learn all of this simply by looking a word up in a dictionary.  The dictionary definition will give you only a poor understanding of the word, and you may not be able to use the word correctly.  But extensive reading will help you to get a fuller understanding of what the word means, and how it is used in English.

Question: How will extensive reading help me learn new vocabulary?

Extensive reading should expose you to many new words that you haven't yet learned before.
However, be careful here.  If there are too many new words in the text, the text is going to be too difficult for you, and you will not benefit from it.  You will want to try to pick reading material where you already know 98% of the words in the text.  This means that 98% of the vocabulary will be review for you, but you can still learn new words from the 2% new vocabulary.  This will quickly add up over time if you read enough.
This has been supported by many scientific studies--students who do a lot of extensive reading have a very high level of English vocabulary.

Question: How will extensive reading improve my reading fluency?

Reading is a skill.  Just like any other skill, this means you have to practice it in order to get better.  When you first learn to read in English, your brain has to work very hard to look at all the letters on the page, and match those letters to words, and match those words to sentences, and match those sentences to meanings.  Perhaps you remember how slow and difficult reading English used to be for you when you were a beginning student.
However, as you get more and more practice, these processes begin to become automatic.  Your brain no longer has to think so hard when it looks at all the letters on a page.  Words you have read many times now become familiar and easy.  You no longer have to look at each letter one by one to recognize the word.  And you are able to recognize the meaning from several words together much easier than before.
The more you read, the easier reading will become, and the faster you will be able to read in the future.  This will help you tremendously in your reading tests at school.

Question: How will extensive reading improve my writing?

Reading and writing are connected skills.  When you read, you are learning how to write, even if you don't realize it.  Every time you read, you are looking at something that somebody else wrote.  This is providing you with a good example for your own writing.  Even if you don't realize it, your brain is beginning to understand the common styles in English writing.  Your brain will also have absorbed many of the common sentence structures used for writing.  The next time you sit down to write, you'll find the words and sentences will come that much easier.

Question: How will extensive reading improve my speaking?

All language skills in English are interconnected, because they all make use of some of the same knowledge and processes.  Students who increase their grammar and vocabulary through extensive reading will find that this same increased knowledge is now available in their speaking. 

Question: What does the research show about extensive reading?

The most famous research study comes from Japan.  There was a group of Japanese students whose English ability was far behind the regular students.  The researchers took these students out of the regular English class, and put them in a special class.  In the special class, the students spent the whole time just reading books that were interesting and enjoyable for them.  At the end of one semester, their test scores had improved so much that they were almost as high as the regular students.
Somewhat surprisingly, the research on extensive reading has shown that it not only improves the students' reading scores, but also their listening, speaking, grammar, and writing scores.

Question: What about if I don't like to read?

It's important to remember that nobody likes to read everything.  For example, I don't enjoy reading motorcycle repair manuals in my spare time. 
For informative reading, I enjoy reading about subjects that are interesting to me.  I enjoy reading when it gives me information about something that I want to know. 
For fiction, I enjoy reading when I am interested in the story.
If you're reading something that is not interesting for you, stop reading it and find something else to read. 
It's also important to remember that reading is a skill that gets easier the more you practice it.  (Remember the section on reading fluency.)  When you first start to read, it will be very difficult for your brain to translate the words into meaning, and you will get tired quickly.  As you read more and more, your brain will begin to get used to this process, and it will begin to happen automatically.  You will find that reading is becoming easier and easier for you, and that you are enjoying it more and more.
It's also important to choose books that are not too difficult for you.  Nobody likes reading things that are difficult.  This is not enjoyable.  Choose books that you can read easily.
Watch the video, and make notes about each question.
video: https://youtu.be/MAe7W5Jjp_8
Questions
What is extensive reading?

What kind of things can you use for extensive reading?

How will extensive reading help my grammar?

How will extensive reading help me remember vocabulary that I have already studied?


How will extensive reading help me better understand vocabulary that I have already studied?


How will extensive reading help me learn new vocabulary?


How will extensive reading improve my reading fluency?


How will extensive reading improve my writing?


How will extensive reading improve my speaking?


What does the research show about extensive reading?


What about if I don't like to read?

To Have and Have Not: Movie Review (Scripted)



Video version of an old post (as I explained about HERE)
For the original post, see:
http://joelswagman.blogspot.com/2007/09/to-have-and-have-not.html

Tuesday, May 26, 2020

Needs Analysis: High Level Teens class

(TESOL Worksheets--Needs Analysis)
Google: docs, pub
[Note: Some of the questions on here were borrowed from colleagues.]

Name of your partner:

Why is your partner studying English?  What are their goals for using English in the future?



What is your partner’s strongest English skill?



What is your partner’s weakest English skill?



Does your partner enjoy using the textbook in class?


What kind of homework does your partner prefer?


What is one activity that your partner really enjoys doing in class?  Make sure to describe it in enough detail so that your new teacher will know how to run the activity.  (You can write on the back if you need more space).


What is one activity that your partner really hates doing in class?  Why?


Complete these sentences:
My partner enjoys it when…
My partner gets bored when…
My partner finds _______________ easy because ...
My partner finds _______________ difficult because ...

Write down 3 things that your partner wants to improve on by the end of the course.


What topics do you like learning about?

Monday, May 25, 2020

Key Largo: Movie Review (Scripted)



Video version of an old post (as I explained about HERE)
For the original post, see:
http://joelswagman.blogspot.com/2007/09/key-largo.html
I found this video HERE and these worksheets HERE useful when supplementing a lesson on vocabulary about the family. 
In my own class, I used this to supplement lesson 1B: A Family in East Africa from Life Elementary Textbook.

Speaking skills practice: Talking about your family (Elementary - A2)



(I am posting this on my blog so that I can keep track of it for later use. I am also indexing it with my TESOL Worksheet materials, and my Vocabulary materials).