Tuesday, October 31, 2017

The Sword in the Stone: Movie Worksheets

(Movie Worksheets)

Google drive folder Here

Part 1 (docs, pub), Part 2 (docs, pub), Part 3 (docs, pub), Part 4 (docs, pub), Part 5 (docs, pub), Part 6 (docs, pub), Part 7 (docs, pub), Part 8 (docs, pub), Part 9 (docs, pub), Part 10 (docs, pub), Part 11 (docs, pub), Part 12 (docs, pub), Part 13 (docs, pub), Part 14 (docs, pub)

Slideshow (1-2 only):
Part 1 (slides, pub), Part 2 (slides, pub)

More movie worksheets.  (For an explanation of why I think it's useful to use movies in the classroom, see here,  here, and here.)
As I wrote at the end of the Princess Mononoke post, my new job has required me to cut these worksheets down to the bare minimum.  So they are just the script and the missing words.

In my class, I use the following stages.
1) I hand out the worksheet.  I check the meaning of the words in the box by saying the definitions (in the mixed up order) and the students yell out the word.
2) We watch the movie one time with the lights off
3) I turn on the lights.  The students try to write in the missing words in the script
4) We watch the movie a second time with the lights on.  The students check their answers.  I pause the movie after each answer to check that everyone got the right answer.

Other notes:
I used this website here as the basis for the script, although I corrected it wherever I thought it was in error.
I tried to stick to 3 pages of script per lesson.  This was 3 pages as measured by the raw words (i.e. before I put in the numbers and the blanks).  Sometimes after putting in the numbers and the blanks, the script would spill over into page 4.
Because I was breaking the script up by page length, and not by natural breaks in the movie, often the movie worksheets stops and starts at odd moments.
But in practice, when I was actually showing the movie, I would play enough to give contexts.  (i.e. I would start the movie at the beginning of the scene each time, even if the movie worksheet only started halfway through that scene.)

The first couple worksheets I made where while I was reading Implementing the Lexical Approach, and I initially tried to incorporate some of the ideas from The Lexical Approach into these movie worksheets--drawing students attention to groups of words that are used as a set lexical phrase.
However, I soon got overloaded with other stuff at my work, and had to drop this.  (It didn't take very much extra time, but when you're busy, every little bit counts).
And so I went back to the bare minimalist approach.
This is why only the first two worksheets have accompanying slideshows.

Thor: Ragnarok

(Movie Review)

* You've got to give Marvel credit--they really go all out for these movies. Despite the fact that this is just one of those movies to tide us over until the next big crossover event, they did not skimp on the action here.  A huge spectacular that pulls out all the stops.

* Related to the above point: some really spectacular action scenes.

* But also some genuinely funny moments.

* Great dynamic between Thor and Hulk.

* An awesome soundtrack.  (I've always loved Immigrant Song by Led Zeppelin, and it gets featured prominently in this movie twice).

* A great retro campy style.  (I was reminded, in a good way, of all the excesses of the 1980 Flash Gordon movie).

 * Continuity nitpick--Lady Sif does not return.  Apparently it was because Marvel never got their act together to ask the actress in time.

* Some of the other Asgardians that featured prominently in the first film get killed off rather unceremoniously.

* So, this film is pretty much just non-stop fighting scenes from beginning to end.
There's no problem with that per-se.  After all, you're just getting what you pay for when you come to see a Marvel movie.
But, I don't know, maybe I'm just getting old, but I'm starting to feel a bit fatigued by these movies that are just constant fighting.  I was really pumped and excited for the first fight scene.  I was loving it during the middle fight scenes.  But by the time we go to the end of the movie... I was feeling ready for the movie to just be over.
All that being said, the director did the best that could be expected with this.  He kept increasing the drama and adrenaline.  I loved in the climatic fight scene how the movie took time out for the pep talk with Odin, and then it came back to the fight with more energy and amped up music.

An awesome spectacle and a lot of fun.  8 out of 10 stars.

Other Notes
* I'm ashamed to say I didn't actually know what Ragnarok.  It wasn't until the trailers for this movie first came out (about 6 months ago) that I bothered to Google it.
Once I realized the real mythology behind Ragnarok, I found it quite fascinating.  In fact, I was going to make it one of my Interesting Random Facts, But then I changed my mind because I figured everyone would be going to Google this for themselves once this movie came out.
But if by chance you are one of those people who never got around to reading about Ragnarok, check out the Wikipedia page.  Wow, did our ancient Germanic ancestors believe some crazy things!

Marvel Cinematic Universe Links:
Iron Man, Iron Man 2Iron Man 3Captain AmericaCaptain America 2ThorThe Incredible HulkThe Avengers,  Guardians of the Galaxy, Guardians of the Galaxy 2,  Civil WarAnt Man, Spider-Man Homecoming, and Avengers: Age of Ultron.

Video Review
Video Review HERE and embedded below:

Link of the Day
Noam Chomsky: Who Owns the World? Resistance and Ways Forward

Monday, October 30, 2017

Princess Mononoke Movie Worksheets

(Movie Worksheets)

Google Drive Folder HERE

Worksheets on Google Docs
Part 1 (docs, pub), Part 2 (docs, pub), Part 3 (docs, pub), Part 4 (docs, pub), Part 5 (docs, pub), Part 6 (docs, pub), Part 7 (docs, pub), Part 8 (docs, pub), Part 9 (docs, pub), Part 10 (docs, pub), Part 11 (docs, pub), Part 12 (docs, pub), Part 13 (docs, pub), Part 14 (docs, pub), Part 15 (docs, pub), Part 16 (docs, pub), Part 17 (docs, pub), Part 18 (docs, pub), Part 19 (doc, pub), Part 20 (docs, pub), Part 21 (docs, pub), Part 22 (docs, pub), Part 23 (docs, pub), Part 24 (docs, pub), Part 25 (docs, pub), Part 26 (docs, pub), Part 27 (docs, pub)

Slideshow Presentations on Google Slides:
Part 1 (slides, pub), Part 2 (slides, pub), Part 3 (slides, pub), Part 4 (slides, pub), Part 5 (slides, pub), Part 6 (slides, pub), Part 7 (slides, pub), Part 8 (slides, pub), Part 9 (slides, pub), Part 10 (slides, pub), Part 11 (slides, pub), Part 12 (slides, pub), Part 13 (slides, pub), Part 14 (slides, pub), Part 15 (slides, pub), Part 16 (slides, pub), Part 17 (slides, pub), Part 18 (slides, pub), Part 19 (slides, pub), Part 20 (slides, pub)

Each Worksheet is supplemented by homework from quizlet, which reviews all the vocabulary covered in that lesson.
The quizlet homework quizzes are cumulative.  Part 2 covers all the words in part 1 plus part 2.  Part 3 covers parts 1, 2, and 3.  Part 4 covers parts 1, 2, 3, and 4.  Et cetera.
Quizlet folder Here
Princess Mononoke Part 1, Princess Mononoke Part 2, Princess Mononoke Part 3, Princess Mononoke Part 4, Princess Mononoke Part 5, Princess Mononoke Part 6, Princess Mononoke Part 7, Princess Mononoke Part 8, Princess Mononoke Part 9, Princess Mononoke Part 10, Princess Mononoke Part 11, Princess Mononoke Part 12, Princess Mononoke Part 13, Princess Mononoke Part 14, Princess Mononoke Part 15, Princess Mononoke Part 16Princess Mononoke Part 17, Princess Mononoke Part 18, Princess Mononoke Part 19, Princess Mononoke Part 20

These worksheets follow the exact same format I used with Robin Hood, and  The Emperor's New Groove, (or at least, the first 20 of them do.  After part 20, they follow a much more minimalist approach). But I'll repeat myself here in order to make this post stand independently.

Each lesson follows the same procedure.
1. New vocabulary is presented to the students on the slideshow.
2. Students read through "The Story Last Time" section on the slideshow.  (This is the part of the movie that the students have already seen in the previous class).
3. Before watching the movie, the students are presented with a gist question (on the slideshow)
4. Students watch a short section of the movie (The students re-watch the section of the movie covered under "The Story Last Time" and then also watch a short section of new material)
5. Students answer the gist question (full class feedback)
6. Students are given the worksheet, and fill in the gaps in the sentences.  (Either from memory or using contextual clues).
7. Teacher plays the movie again.  Students listen and check their answers.
8. Full class feedback using the slideshow to check the answers
9. A short grammar point is presented on the slideshow

Further Instructions

These worksheets were designed for young learners CEF level A1+, but I believe can be used for any level above that as well, and could also be used for adult classes.
Each lesson consists of watching a 5 minute movie clip (time is approximate).  Of these 5 minutes, roughly half is a re-watching of the previous lesson, and half is new material (again approximately).
By the time all the activities are completed, however, each lesson can take about 40 or even 50 minutes. If you don't have this much time to spare in your lesson, activities can be deleted to bring the time down.

1. Vocabulary stage: The students try to guess the word before it is shown.  The slideshow is set up so that the first click shows the dictionary definition, the second click shows the picture, and the third click shows the answer.
The students are given roughly 15-16 vocabulary words.  The first ten of these words will show up again on the worksheet, which means the students will be responsible for identifying these words.
The last 5-6 words are bonus words.  These words will not be on the worksheet, but are given to the students as a little extra vocabulary bonus.

2. The Story Last Time Stage: Ideally the students read this outloud together as a group.  Assuming a class of students that is willing to do this.  (My children's classes will willing to do this.  My adult classes were not).
As a teacher, I correct any pronunciation mistakes as they occur.  If the students have any questions about the sentences, I answer them.  But if there are no questions, I do not explain everything.
In my children's classes, the children are rewarded at this point if they all read through the section nicely.  (They are each given a star for reading nicely, and if the whole class reads nicely, they get one step closer to being able to play a game at the end of class.)

3.  Gist Question: Students are given three options, and given the opportunity to speculate on the answer before watching the movie.

4.  Watch the Movie: For children's classes, the children sometimes require an incentive to be quiet during the listening section.  Each child that listens quietly gets a star, and if the whole class listens quietly, they get one step closer to being able to play a game at the end of class.  (In my class, laughing during the movie is allowed, but talking during the movie is not.)
Because I did not have access to a proper DVD of this movie out in my current context (Vietnam), the slideshow contains links to various websites hosting copies of the movie.  Many of these websites are unreliable, so I included several of them on the slideshow--in case one doesn't work, another one can be tried.
It's probably only a matter of time before all of the links become invalid because of copyright enforcement.   Your best bet is to probably just get a hold of a DVD of this movie, if at all possible.
For each lesson, I start the movie at the beginning of "The Story Last Time" section--i.e. the students start out by watching the part of the movie that they have just gotten done reading through.  I stop the movie when we get to the end of the worksheet for that day.

5. Students answer the gist question (full class feedback)

6. Students are given the worksheet, and fill in the gaps in the sentences.  (Either from memory or using contextual clues).
In my classes, half of the students were able to do this, and half were not.  The stronger students had the words all filled out before we played the movie a second time.   The weaker students were not able to match the words from the contextual clues, and instead they used this time to do the vocabulary section.
During this stage, I walk around the room.  If students have problems with the vocabulary matching section, I help them with the answer.  If they have problems with the sentence gap fill sections, I just encourage them to take their best guess, and tell them we'll check it together later.

7. Teacher plays the movie again.  Students listen and check their answers.
I keep my finger next to the pause button, and after each answer is given, pause the movie.  The students yell out the word they just heard.  I write the answer up on the board to ensure everyone can see it.  I wait for slower students to write down the answer before proceeding with the movie.
After all the answers have been identified, for children classes, if the class is reasonable small and if I have a teaching assistant, the teaching assistant and I go through and check each child's paper individually to make sure they have all the right answers and the correct spelling.  (I've discovered that sometimes the children will become careless about spelling if they think there paper is not going to be checked.  So this is one way to combat that.  However for larger classes, or classes where I have no teaching assistant, it takes more time than it's worth to check every child's paper.)

8. Full class feedback using the slideshow to check the answers.
For the sentence completion section, individual students are nominated to give the answer.  For the vocabulary section, the whole class shouts out the answer.

9. A short grammar point is presented on the slideshow.
The students are presented with a grammar point and a short explanation of that grammar point.
They are then presented with examples of that grammar point from the movie.  (The grammar point du jour is always something that was present in that lesson, but any examples from previous segments of the movie are also included in the slideshow).
When looking at previous examples of the grammar point, there is always some sort of elicitation task, often one in which students either have to supply the missing words to the sentences, or identify the meaning of the sentence.
In many cases, the students can't reasonable be expected to remember the missing words, but remembering the correct answer isn't really the point here.  The point of the elicitation task is just to focus the students' attention on the sentence.  After they attempt to remember or guess the answer, and thus have focused on the sentence, I click the slideshow, and the correct answer will pop up.

Rationale, Explanations, and Further Ramblings

Why show movies in class?
The reason for showing movies in the classroom is based off of the idea that students benefit from receiving a lot of input.  This is true for all ESL learners, but particularly true for children (who are possibly still in the critical period).  I detailed my thinking on this in a workshop on the Importance of Input with Young Learners and my Input Workshop.

There are 3 levels of input: graded input, negotiated input, and authentic input.
Ideally the learner should be exposed to all 3.
The majority of the input the student receives should not be authentic input, but rather should be graded or negotiated (For materials on graded input see here, and for materials for negotiated input see here).

However, provided that the learner is also getting plenty of exposure to graded input and negotiated input, I believe that authentic input (such as movies) also have a place in the mix.

Authentic input has many obvious problems--it contains a lot of unknown vocabulary, and contains a lot of grammatical structures that are beyond the student's level of acquisition.

However, provided that both the teacher and the students are willing to accept that a significant percentage of the input will be beyond the students' current level of comprehension, I believe that authentic input does have some benefits as well.
* It allows the student the satisfaction of feeling that they are engaging with authentic texts on at least some level (If students wait until they are completely fluent before engaging with authentic input, many of them will never get there. )
* It contains rich input
* Although much of the input will be above the student's current level, at least some of the input will be at the student's current level.

The worksheets follow the "Grade the Task not the Text" philosophy.  They were developed for children studying at the A1 or A1+ level of the Common European Framework.  But can be adapted for other levels.

The students are presented with 10 vocabulary words which they have to match to the sentences.
These vocabulary words are chosen with the aim of finding words that are salient in the text.

Ideally I wanted my students to be able to match the words to the sentences just from the contextual clues, and so selected the words according to which ones I thought were easiest to match.

In other words, the primary purpose of the vocabulary is to provide a reason for engaging with the text, and not for providing the students with useful vocabulary.
As a result, much of the vocabulary the students are presented with is either so low-level that it is  already known to them (e.g. tree, ear), or so specific to the story that it is not particularly useful to them (e.g fortress, emperor).
It was hoped, however, that by forcing the students to engage with the text, they would pick up a lot of other vocabulary incidentally.

The criteria for the selection of the bonus vocabulary was inconsistent.  Sometimes it was based on how useful I perceived this vocabulary to be, sometimes it was based on how important I perceived this vocabulary to be for understanding the text, and sometimes it was based on ease of teach-ability (e.g. nouns that could be easily visually represented were favored over other more abstract vocabulary).
Sometimes the bonus vocabulary was remembered by the students, and sometimes it wasn't.  However since this extra vocabulary was a "bonus", it wasn't essential to the lesson.  If they remembered it, great.  If they did not, no harm done.

The Story Last Time Stage
In this section, the students read through the section they had watched in the previous lesson.

The pictures come from this website here.  (Which is, by the way, a very helpful resource).

This is a continuation of something I started doing with The Secret of NimhThe Emperor's New Groove and Robin Hood, and the rational remains the same.

The purposes of having the students read the script are:
1) Mainly, to force attention on the input.
It is thought that some of the grammar structures and vocabulary might escape attention during the movie, but that students would have more opportunities to absorb the input if they read through it.
That being said, only the input that is at the students' current level of acquisition is going to be beneficial for them.  Because this is authentic material, much of it will be beyond the students' current level of acquisition.  But some of the sentences will be at the students current level, and it is with the hope of helping the students to notice these sentences that I have them read through the whole script. They will also be reading through a lot of material that they are not yet ready to acquire, but I'm assuming that this will do them no harm.
2) To encourage bottom-up listening.
When the students watch the movie at normal speed, they may have trouble catching the individual words, or distinguishing word boundaries between words.  Reading through all the words, and then listening to the movie again, will hopefully improve students bottom-up listening skills by helping them to match the sounds they are hearing to the words that they have previously read.
3) To encourage reading skills:
Previously, I used to use a lot of picture books with my Young Learners classes.  This is an effort to continue using picture books, but to make the movie itself into a picture book.
4) To encourage correct pronunciation habits
Although I don't explain the grammar or vocabulary (unless the students ask me to) I do correct any wrong pronunciation.  I figure that encouraging the correct pronunciation of all of these words now will help the students in the future when they do get to a level where they can use them.

In my classes, I've found that if the students are interested in the movie, they usually don't mind re-reading parts of it in "The Story Last Time" sections.  However, if they are not fully engaged with the movie, this section can test their patience.

If a class really hates the activity of reading "The Story Last Time", I think it's a legitimate question to wonder whether the negative emotions outweigh any of the potential benefits.  I don't know. Possibly.  I guess it's something to think about before doing this activity again, at any rate.

If any other teachers are using this material, I suppose it might be something to consider.  If your class really hates this section, you may want to think about cutting it out or adjusting it.

Listening for Gist
This is something I started doing with The Emperor's New Groove and Robin Hood to make the lesson conform more to the CELTA style.
In the CELTA style, you always have to give the listeners a task for any listening they do.
With all my other movie worksheets, I didn't use to do this, because I figured if the listeners are naturally engaged with the material, you don't need a task to force their attention.  But I added this section anyway just to make it more CELTA-style-esque.

Movie Worksheets
The movie worksheets usually contain one page of repeated material (from the previous lesson) and two pages of new material.
For the one page of repeated material:
Some students were able to complete these by memory, but that was okay.  It increased their confidence to get a few easy answers.
For the repeated dialogue section, I didn't stop the movie after each answer, but stopped it at the end of the repeated dialogue section to check all the gap fills that were repeated, before moving on to the new section.

I used this as my basis this script here.  I listened to the movie and edited it, and did my best to change it wherever it was in error.
The script I was using as a basis also contained a lot of stage directions.  I included these as well because--why not?  If the students read them, they could potentially be useful input.  If the students don't read them...well, no harm done.  I included them in small font.
The stage directions in the source material contain a lot of typos and grammar errors.  Although I proofread the dialogue carefully, I admit that I didn't proofread the stage directions as carefully.  Any errors I caught, I fixed, but I probably missed somethings.

This is an idea I got after reading Uncovering Grammar by Scott Thornbury.  (I'm behind on my book reviews, but hopefully I'll get around to reviewing it soon.)
Scott Thornbury makes the point that sometimes learners don't notice the grammar in the input until it is pointed out to them.  After the grammar is pointed out to them, the learners might begin noticing it more in future input.
So, I decided to add on little noticing tasks at the end of each movie worksheet.
The noticing tasks highlight a grammar item that was present somewhere in the new dialogue for that particular lesson.
I then went back through the old dialogue to try to find other examples of that grammar point.
The purpose of this little task is not to get the learner to acquire the grammar point productively.  It is only to get the learner to notice the grammar point in the input, and it is hoped that this will cause the learner to be more attentive to this same grammar point in future input, and that this repeated noticing will ultimately make it easier for the learner to acquire the grammar point at some point in the future.
This task is also partly influenced by what I read in Rules, Patterns and Words by Dave Willis.  Dave Willis believed that grammar points should be presented to students using sentences selected from authentic material that the students had previously comprehended for input.

So, admittedly, I'm biased.  Not only do these worksheets fit in with an approach that I was already predisposed to believe, but I was personally invested in them because I put in long hours making them, and so I wanted to believe that they were working.
So take my opinions with a grain of salt.

But I believe that these lessons were incredibly effective in raising my students' level of English.

I didn't conduct any careful experiments (no pre and post testing) but just based on my general feeling, I feel that my students comprehension of English has really shot up over the past few months as a result of doing these worksheets.
They've also seem to have absorbed a lot of the vocabulary, and many of the lexical phrases from this movie.

In other words, I believe that these type of movie worksheets are tremendously beneficial.  Perhaps maybe not as the sole basis of a curriculum, but I think they work very well supplemented with other activities.  (In my lessons they are only the first half of the lesson, and the second half of the lesson we work through a more traditional textbook syllabus).

All that being said, there are some frustrations and drawbacks to these movie worksheets, which I'll detail below:

1) Technology Issues:
Sometimes the movie wouldn't play for one reason or another (Internet connection problems or computer problems).  Sometimes the speakers didn't work, and the students would have to struggle to hear it, which means they sometimes didn't get the full benefit of the listening.
Because the Google Slides Presentations I made contain so many pictures, they can take a while to load, and on days when the Internet was slow, this was a problem.  (If at all possible, it's best to download the Google Slides on to the computer before class.  Google Slides automatically converts to PowerPoint when you download it.)

2) Issues with Student Attention:
When the students were fully engaged with the movie, and when the technology was working perfectly, these lessons went beautifully.
For whatever reason, however, the students' ability to focus seemed to vary from day to day.  (For who knows what reason).  Sometimes they were very focused, and absorbed a lot of the input.   Sometimes they were not so focused, and did not get the full benefit of the input.

3) Learning Styles
Although all of the students were engaged with the actual movie itself, not all of the students were fully engaged with the worksheets.  Some of the students enjoyed the movie, but didn't really pay attention to the worksheet.
Also, during "The Story Last Time" section, some of the students were very focused, and read out every word.  Other students were not focused.
The students who did focus on the worksheet, and focused on the reading, got the full benefit of the input.
The students who only focused on the movie part still seemed to pick up some language, but the benefit for them was not as great.
I attributed this difference to perhaps a difference in learning styles.

Comments About Princess Mononoke Specifically
So, there are several things about this movie specifically which might make it less than ideal to use in the classroom.

In my defense, it was not my first choice.  My first choice was AladdinI even prepared the first worksheet for Aladdin, before my students overwhelmingly rejected it.

I then gave my students several other choices, each of which they rejected.  (The danger of giving the students a choice is that they become increasingly picky).
It wasn't until 4 other movies had already been rejected that I suggested Princess Mononoke.
My students didn't know anything about Princess Mononoke, but they were interested in the movie poster.

Anime is also quite popular in Vietnam, so my students were excited about doing an anime movie.
And I was also a big fan of this movie, so I decided to try it out.
But there were some drawbacks:
1) the English dub of this movie is not great.  Despite having a lot of big name actors, most of them just read off their lines in a quiet monotone, which makes the movie both a little bit boring (at times) and also hard to hear.
2) the dialogue is all grammatically accurate, but it's incredibly stilted.  There's none of the natural conversation or free-style riffing that Disney would allow it's comedians to do in the studio.
In other words, the dialogue all sounds like something that has been translated, not like something natural.
3) I'm going to offend some Anime fans by saying this, but the animation quality is just not on par with Disney.  I'm assuming this is just because Japan doesn't have the same budget.  But the characters have extremely little facial expressions.  Often just their mouths will move, and nothing else.
As a consequence of this, The Story Last Time section was extremely boring.  Despite all the frames of the movie being available online here, in many of the long conversation, frame after frame it's just the exact same picture.

So, probably not the ideal movie to use to teach English with.  Again, not completely my fault.  I tried  to steer my kids towards other movies, but this was the one they wanted.

On the other hand...
...it worked great.
They absolutely loved this movie, and got really into the story.  And after each section was done, they had tons of questions about everything from the character motivations to how the magic worked in this universe.  It generated lots of discussion.
The first part of the movie is pretty slow, so there were a few sections at the beginning where they weren't quite so enthusiastic.  (But then, that's true of almost every movie).  But once the story kicked off, they really got into it.

if English is becoming an international language, that means that the study of English should not simply be a one-way transmission of Western culture.  In the English classroom, the students should learn about many cultures.  And so, maybe it was appropriate to do a Japanese movie dubbed into English.

The Last 8 Movie Worksheets
I'm a believer in my own methods, but unfortunately, these movie worksheets take way too long to make.  And I just ran out of time.
I started a new job, and I just didn't have the time anymore to keep pouring hours into these movie worksheets.
So the last 8 worksheets take a bare minimalist approach.  There's no PowerPoint, no quizlet, and no pictures for vocabulary matching.  Only the script and some missing words.
When using the minimalist approach, I hand out the worksheets.  We double check the vocabulary quickly.  (I say the definitions at random, the students yell out the word).  Then we play the movie, and they match the words.
There may be something to be said for the minimalist approach, actually.  The students don't get quite as much out of the movie, but on the other hand it requires less patience on their part.  And it takes less time, so we have more time in the lesson to do other things.
That being said, if I had time enough, I would have completed the whole movie using my longer method.
But for complete movies done using the longer method, see The Secret of NimhThe Emperor's New Groove and Robin Hood.

One last note:
I've mentioned these worksheets once before, in my review of Discourse Analysis for Language Teachers by Michael McCarthy.

Michael McCarthy talks about how "...conversations can often begin with 'well'..."
This is something I noticed when doing worksheets based upon movie dialogue for my students.
I never realized before just how common words like "well" and "Now," (used as a discourse marker) and "well now" were. They seemed to pop up on just about every other sentence in a lot of these Disney movies. 
(I think partly this is because Disney used to let a lot of these voice actors ad-lib a bit in the studio).
All of these discourse markers were noticeable by their absence when we did a movie dubbed from Japanese--Princess Mononoke. The dialogue was very heavy on conveying information, but was lacking all the "well"s and "now"s that were in the original English movies.

TEFLology: Episode 65: Peter Strevens, English Learning Ventures, and Post-human Applied Linguistics

(TEFLology Podcast)

Agh! Each week I keep promising to catch up on my TEFLology reviews, and instead each week I just get further and further behind.  Apologies.  (I say "apologies" as if anyone cared.  I know that literally the only person in the world who cares if this blog stays up to date is me.  So apologies to myself, I guess.)

Anyway, I've been crazy busy with work, and life, and everything.  But I still have ambitions of catching up on all the episodes, and returning to timely reviews.

This episode is from all the way back on August 30th.  You can listen to it here.
I don't have a lot to say about this episode, so I'll just make some brief comments.

Peter Strevens--I didn't know anything about Peter Strevens, but it was interesting to find out.2
English Learning Ventures: I'm not sure this is the first time I've heard about the idea of practicing English by going out on expeditions.  But I really like the idea.  (Especially as I've been trapped in classrooms in the middle of the city for far too long, the idea of English class on a mountain hike sounds really, really nice).

About the drama: The TEFLologists mention that these kind of dramas for English learning purposes have been done before.
Indeed, I use to see them on Japanese TV way back in 2002.
I couldn't tell you the name of the drama.  And I never really watched it all that carefully.  (I would usually just catch bits and pieces of it while I was flipping channels).  But one I remember was some sort of Easy English drama about a soccer team.  It seemed to be produced in Britain (all the actors were British) but that's about all I know about it.
And I think there were a couple other similar dramas on the same station.

I think the idea of a graded television drama is a great idea.  But unfortunately it doesn't always work well in practice.  At least not as compelling input.

The TESOL industry produces a lot of graded books, audio recordings, and videos, but unfortunately the talent behind the writing and production never seems to equal the talent that Hollywood attracts.  So it doesn't really catch the learners interest the way Hollywood movies do.
In my classes, I find it preferable to just use authentic Hollywood movies that the students are already interested in, and then just grade the task instead of grading the text.  And I feel like I've had good results in getting my students to learn from it.

Post-human Applied Linguistics--I don't really have anything to say about this, largely because it's so far outside of my expertise.
At least some of the ideas sound like they might be similar to what I'm currently reading in The Language Myth, but I'll have to wait until I finish that book to say for certain.

Sunday, October 29, 2017

Life Elementary on Quizlet

(Supplemental Materials for Specific Textbooks--Life Elementary)

Last year, I created quizlet quizzes to supplement several lessons from Life Elementary textbook.  I started at the beginning of unit 4, and continued through to Unit 8.
At which point I discontinued it.  It was taking way too much time to make all these quizzes, and very few students were actually doing it.

However, even though I've stopped making new quizlets, I still re-use the old quizlets when I re-teach these units.  The students are given the quiz url before the class, and they are instructed to learn all the  vocabulary before coming into the next class.

I also created a handout to help explain the process, which I give to the students on the first day we start using quizlet.  (This was largely copied from the previous handout I made for quizlet for Life Pre-Intermediate).

Google: drive, docs, pub

Using quizlet

How will quizlet help me?
Before each class, the teacher will give you a set of vocabulary words to study.  All of these words will come directly from the textbook.  
For maximum benefit, you should study all of these words before the lesson.  
Learning these words will help you to better understand the lesson.

What if I miss a class and don’t get the handout?
All of the quizzes are available in the folder.

If you miss a class, just go to the folder and find the quiz for the next lesson.
Hey, there are a lot of words on these quizzes.  I can’t possibly do the whole thing.
Once you create an account and log into quizlet, quizlet will allow you to save your progress.  You don’t have to do all the words at once.  You can do some of them now, take a coffee break, and then come back and do some of them later.
Don’t be lazy! Remember, the key to learning a foreign language is mastering the vocabulary.  If you learn all the words in each quizlet, your English ability should increase tremendously.

How do I use Quizlet?
Step 1.  Log-in to quizlet.  (You can either sign in with your Facebook or Google account, or you can create your own quizlet account.)  You will need to log-in in order to save your scores for the various games.

Step 2. Go to the quizlet quiz for the next lesson

Step 3.  I recommend looking at the word list to familiarize yourself with the words first.

Step 4.  I recommend doing speller before learn.  Speller is super easy.  The computer will say the word, and you just type what you hear.

Step 5.  Click on learn.  Complete all the words.
If you’re logged in, quizlet will save your progress, so you don’t need to do all the words at one time.  You can do half of them now, and half of them the next day.

Step 6. Complete the test, and check your answers.

Now, you’re ready to play the games.  Try to get the highest score in the class.

Step 6.  Play scatter.  Did you get the top score?  If yes, brag to everyone you know.  Call your mom over to the computer and show her.  Do a victory dance.  Run around the house and tell everyone how great you are.  If no, try again to get a higher score.

Step 7.  Play gravity race.  Did you get the top score?  If yes, do everything the same as above. If no, try again to get a higher score.

Saturday, October 28, 2017

More, Less, Fewer--Scrambled Sentences

(TESOL Worksheets--Countable and UncountableAdjectivesMore Less and Fewer)
google: drive, docspub
[This is a practice for "more, less, fewer",   Before class, the teacher cuts up and shuffles the cards.  The students then glue the cards onto the blank grid to make sentences.  In my own classes, I used this to supplement English World 5 lesson 12].

There are
in the city.
There are
in the countryside.
There is
in the city.
There is
in the countryside.
There are
in the countryside.
There are
in the city.
There is
fresh air
in the countryside.
There is
fresh air
in the city.