This Lion Roll was about the closest I could get to a lion and a tuna in the same photo. (Credit: Nicole Lee on Flickr)
This is just a quick post to share a lesson plan I came up with to fill a week where half my classes were cancelled due to the Korean thanksgiving holiday. Having experimented a lot with technology this semester, and not always with total (or even partial) success, I wanted to get back to doing something that was a little less hi-tech and a bit more traditional.
I always enjoy teaching the second conditional as it affords classes the ability to be really imaginative and to detach themselves from reality a bit. It also always seems a hard one for Korean students to grasp. It’s currently above my level, but I suspect that Korean may well deal with the hypothetical in a very different way to English.
The idea came from a video clip on the wonderful English Central (link). If you create or supplement your own material it’s well worth a look around – basically it has a whole lot of videos graded by level (although their idea of beginner would seem to be about low-intermediate, or decent middle school / high-school in Korea) and with English and Korean subtitles. It also has vocabulary and pronunciation exercises on there, which are good for extension after class and encouraging autonomy in your learners.
The lesson starts with a very simple activity, state what animal you would be and why. The aim of this is just to produce some correct sentences, in order that the students can work out / review the reason for using the structure. When a few examples have been collected and written up, see if they can figure out why. One very sensible suggestion my class came up with was that we use “would” in the answer because it’s also in the question, which is entirely true and a useful suggestion for those struggling with verb forms. If you’re answering a question and unsure of the form, just echo the one in the question unless there’s a good reason not to.
Then the lesson moves on to the video and some very basic listening comprehension questions. Finally it asks students to create and present a role-play based on what they have seen and learnt.
I think that my students actually enjoyed a return to low-tech teaching. It was definitely less-stressful trying to keep them on task when there’s only a paper and pen, as opposed to an internet, to distract them. The video got quite a few laughs – I left the subtitles on in Korean to help them understand it. The role-plays also were well done by most groups, though some struggled to finish them. There was one group who took magnificently to the task though, and recreated the video as a zombie invasion. What I was really pleased with was that it helped some previously very shy learners to speak, a sign of growing confidence and the value of allowing students time to prepare what they are going to say.
You can find all of the materials and the lesson plan below: