Interrogative Forms
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I find that making students grasp the idea of interrogatives in a natural way is challenging. There is no corresponding structure in Portuguese and they have a hard time remembering to use the auxiliar verbs. I found two ways to burn the structure in their memory without using a long and boring grammar exposition lecture.

The first one is using flashcards. I have several printed verbs flashcards (which can be found throughout the web, here for example) which I give to my students to ask eah other questions. If I'm teaching Present Simple, I'll write a main question on the board ("How often do you...?") and the students need to ask each other the same question about each of the verbs. I let them speak freely for about twenty minutes, just observing and correcting when needed.

Another way I use is through a song called Eternal Flame by Atomic Kitten. It's an easy song that has some questions being asked and repeated several times in the lyrics. I give the students the lyrics with the questions erased and they have to listen and write them all down. The song is easy to follow and students usually end the class singing along. I also have a matching worksheet with some follow up activities.

You can find the song's lyrics and the worksheet under the cut.

Eternal Flame WorksheetCollapse )

Teaching Vocabullary
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Teaching vocabulary is the most boring part of teaching, isn't it? There is so much tampering with Power Point a person can do to make an exposition - listen and repeat - lesson be fun.

That's why it's good to change things a little bit. The way I present vocabulary has been very effective with both adults and children and they usually look forward to them now.

For this lesson, some preparing is needed before hand.

(1) First, I choose 20-25 items of vocabulary to teach.

(2) Before the class starts I cut slips of paper with the words and/or pictures of what is going to be taught.

(3) I tape the vocabulary items throughout the classroom and the school, not in visible places, like for example under the desk, behind chairs, banners, under the trash can, behind fire extinguishes, just be creative. In this part you can calculate the level of difficulty according to the age and how long you want the lesson to go.

(4) I do a quick intro on the new words and give my students a 5 by 5 table for them to write the words they find.

(5) The students go around the school finding the words and writing them down. The first one to come with the complete set wins.

(6) After the lesson I go over each hiding place and show them the locations of all the words, going over their meaning and with the more intemediate students I also review prepositions of place. The students can also be told to make senteces with the new words.

Like I said, even adults like this activity. The downside is that after a few times, you run out of places to hide the words, so you need to get more and more creative.

SW: join the dark side
This is my community to post all things EFL and ESL. I decided to start this community because I want to share my teaching experiences after these couple of years in the business. I pretty much learned everything by myself, also using several sources throughout the web, and never went to any specific course. I love teaching and feel I can share some things, so if you want to watch this community, please do so. I will not accept new members and I'll be the only poster here, but anyone is free to comment and discuss.

I don't know how often I'll update, but I have lots of resources to share, and everything will depend on time and how RL goes.


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