May is a month when many of us may feel exhausted and in need of some support with our work. As the school year draws to a close, we are often faced with a growing to-do list that can feel overwhelming. This is where the use of AI technology can come in handy, providing us, teachers, with the tools we need to simplify our workload and reduce stress. With an AI you can generate personalized listening exercises that can save time and energy and that will allow us to focus on other important tasks that require our attention.
So, here we go!!! I want to share with you this listening activity. Honestly, all I did was search for a video on YouTube and Twee.com did the rest.
Click here to see the PDF where I copied/pasted the activities generated by Twee.com. It also contains the answers; also provided by the app. Yay!!!
Step 1. Before watching the video: Working on vocabulary
I just love creating visual content so much that I couldn’t resist making some exercises a tad more engaging. I decided to get creative and combined traditional paper exercises with WordWall to bring the material to life. It was a bit of extra work, but totally worth it!
Step 2. Students Watch the Video.
It only lasts 1:25
Step 3. The exercise: While Listening.
Are the following statements true or false?
1. Parliament only debates issues of the day.
2. The House of Commons is made up of MPs.
3. The House of Lords is made up of elected members.
4. The monarch’s role in Parliament is mainly political.
5. The Prime Minister is questioned in the House of Lords.
6. Committees in Parliament scrutinize the work of government departments.
7. Parliament doesn’t ask for input from the public.
8. Parliament only represents the views of people in London.
9. Parliament makes laws.
10. The opposition sits with the government in the House of Commons.
Step 4. After listening.
Give students the transcript with some gaps and play it again. You might have to play it twice. I am afraid I deleted too many words.
Remember, you have the PDF with all the exercises in a link above.
I find it really hard to stick to the textbook every time the lesson is about Relationships. With any other lessons, about any other topics, it might be easier to be content with following the dictates of the textbook. But I think Relationships, and all sorts of ideas spring up. Not all of them are good, to be honest. But these, I have tried and tested in class. They work.
This lesson is divided into two chunks:
The first part is dedicated to revising, reinforcing, and introducing new vocabulary.
The second part is dedicated to honing students’ listening and speaking skills using different visual inputs: images, audio, video, and cards.
GUESSING THE TOPIC WITH A FRIENDLIER VERSION OF THE GAME HANGMAN
Students will need to guess what topic we will cover in class next, But…. There are rules to follow:
The class is divided into 2 teams. Each team names a spokesperson.
Let’s say Team 1 starts. Now, to get the chance to say a letter to solve the puzzle, they’ll have to answer a content review question. For example: “what preposition collocates with the verb “depend”?”. After a quick discussion with the members of their group, the spokesperson will give an answer. If correct, they can suggest a letter. Whether it is a correct or incorrect guess, the turn will pass to Team B, who will get another content review question and the chance to guess a letter if the answer to the review question is correct.
Important: Teams can’t try to solve the puzzle until half the letters have been guessed(i.e. if the word has 14 letters, 7 must have been guessed) and only the Team playing will have this chance.
If they guess and fail, their turn will be skipped.
GAME: THE 15 SECONDS CROSSWORD GAME TO REVISE VOCABULARY
Divide the class into 2 teams.
Team A chooses a representative who chooses a number from the crossword puzzle, reads the description, and has 15 seconds to guess the answer with the help of their team.
If they guess the answer, they can continue playing until
they can’t guess the word,
they run out of time (remember 15 seconds) or
they guess three answers in a row.
If this happens, it is Team B’s turn.
The winner is the team that solves the last clue.
In this case, the terms in the crossword were related to the “relationships”
NOTE: (click on the top right-hand corner to enlarge the crossword)
INTRODUCING NEW VOCABULARY: PEER TEACHING AND PARTNER DISCUSSION.
More Vocabulary here. Give students some individual time to read through the vocabulary, underlining any new terms.
Building on the belief that ” to teach is to learn twice” (Whitman, 1998), ask students to get into groups of 4 and help each other with any vocabulary they haven’t been able to guess on their own.
Whole class: ask students in Group 1 which vocabulary items are still unfamiliar to them. Ask the other groups in the class to volunteer an explanation if they know. If nobody in the class knows, clarify the meaning. Continue in the same fashion with all the groups until all the vocabulary has been clarified.
Work on pronunciation and then test students by giving a definition and asking them to quickly give you the term.
SPEAKING and LISTENING
Display this picture and ask students to comment on this picture. Ask:
Who do you feel more sorry for? The bride, the groom, or the mother-in-law?
LISTENING. Why bother with marriage? Watch from 0:00- 0:34
Play the beginning of the video (0:00- 0:34) In pairs or small groups, comment on the following:
What is the speaker’s view on marriage? Do you agree with his view?
Are there more benefits or drawbacks to getting married in your country nowadays?
What is the right age to get married in your country? And to have children?
FAMILIES: LISTENING and SPEAKING
Write NUCLEAR FAMILY on the board and ask students to explain what type of family a nuclear family is and what other different family types they know. Write them on the board. Ideally, they will come up with stepfamilies (also called blended families), cohabitation, extended family, lone parenting, DINKS (I know, unlikely!) and some others.
Time for listening.First Listening:Play the audio once and ask students to jot down the different types of families that are mentioned (stepfamilies. Cohabitation, DINKS, lone parenting and people living alone). Write them on the board. You will probably need to add People living alone. Second Listening: Note-taking. Form groups of 4 students and assign a different kind of family to each of them. Ask them to take notes, as their final task would be to retell the information they hear about their assigned family structure. NOTE: I have assigned cohabitation and DINKS to the same person.
Follow-up: ask students in their groups to comment on the strengths and weaknesses of each type of family structure
PARENTS AND THEIR OFFSPRING: SPEAKING AND LISTENING
1. LYING. Play this video where children confess the biggest lie they have told their mums, in front of their mums. Ask students to confess theirs.
2. OVERPROTECTING PARENTS.
Ask these questions
Are parents today too overprotective?
What is considered overprotective parenting?
What can overparenting do to a child?
FAMILY TRACKING APPS. Display with the OHP this article from the BBC about family tracking apps and ask them to read the first 3 paragraphs. Ask students to talk about the advantages and drawbacks for both parents and children.
SPEAKING CARDS: FINDING THE MATCHING PAIR.
Put students into groups of 3 or 4. Give each group a set of cards and ask them to place them face upon the table. Student A begins by taking the beginning of the question (in blue) and finding the matching pair (in orange).
Student A has two minutes to express his/her opinion. Then, it is Student B’s turn.
It’s been years since I last discussed the media and its role in our society in my classes. I don’t really think much has changed since the last time I explored this topic in class.
I feel we are still being manipulated by the media
I still feel we are, in most cases, misinformed
I still feel that the press is controlled by the same networks of people that run everything else
I still feel the information we receive is biased and based on speculation rather than hard facts.
But this lesson is meant to be focused on the paparazzi and their work chasing celebrities or famous people. We will discuss the very serious damage that the paparazzi and tabloid media can cause when they constantly invade people’s privacy. We will discuss whether the paparazzi are to blame for some unfortunate events and whether stricter laws should be enforced. We will study vocabulary relevant to this topic and read real examples where the right to have a private life will be discussed. Are you ready?
Step 1: a stirrer.
Ask students: Have you ever met someone famous?
Telling an anecdote about yourself never fails to engage students. It’s only fair that if you are asking them to talk about themselves, you do the same.
2. On the board, write the question below and ask students to briefly comment on this.
Want fame? Kiss your privacy goodbye!
Step 2 . Introducing vocabulary
Every time I revise or introduce vocabulary in my classes, I make a point of reminding my students that they need to study the vocabulary in chunks. There is no point in studying the verb “apply” if they don’t know the preposition it collocates with. The next activity is a good one to remind students of this necessity.
Give students two minutes to write all the vocabulary they know related to The media.
On the board, write a circle with the word The Media inside. Do a mind-map with all the vocabulary students provide.
Drill pronunciation and then do a quick translation exercise to consolidate meaning and pronunciation.
Introduce new vocabulary.
To follow a lead
revulsion/respect for their profession
a tip-off/to tip off the paparazzi
to gather news
to spot a celebrity
a major scoop
a click-bait story
tabloid journalism and sensasionalism /senˈseɪ.ʃən.əl.ɪ.zəm/
to censor/impose strict censorship /ˈsen.sə.ʃɪp/
To harass foreign journalists UK /ˈhær.əs/ AmE /həˈræs/
to stalk a celebrity /stɔːk/
to pursue or chase celebrities /pəˈsjuː/
to catch up on the news
to leak to the press
to tackle misinformation
invasion of privacy /ɪnˈveɪ.ʒən/ /ˈprɪv.ə.si/
untrustworthy/reliable sources /ʌnˈtrʌstˌwɜː.ði/
accuracy of the reports
to be in the limelight
to be highly sought-after /ˈsɔːt ˌɑːf.tər/
You can follow the rest of the lesson plan using the presentation below. I hope you enjoy it!
In case you are looking for debatable or persuasive topics about the media, here you have some.
Step 3. Now, on the board, write the question: “ Is it ethical to choose the sex of your baby?” and ask students to, individually, list some reasons to defend their position. Put them in pairs to discuss their opinions and then do a whole-class debate.
Note: You will also find this question (slightly modified) in the exercise below.
Speaking: Activating vocabulary
Display the first question and have students, as a whole class, come up with the word that best fits in the gap.
To activate the vocabulary above, ask students to choose 3 words or expressions from the list. Write them on the board and encourage students to use this vocabulary when answering the question in pairs. Repeat procedure for question Number 2.
Is there a limit to how long you can spend teaching and talking about a topic? I wonder, how many subtopics are there to talk about? It’s been one month since the course began and I am still doing lesson One. OMG! At this pace, I am never gonna reach the end of the textbook.
Here is a little something I did with my C1 students. Unit 1 was about cities, but how do we talk about cities and not about Housing? My thoughts exactly, we cannot.
Activities: Speaking, Listening, Mediation, Vocabulary. Board Game
PDF ( available at the end of the post) 🙂
Optional lead-in: Speaking
Students get into pairs and talk about these 2 questions.
It is said an average person lives in 11 homes in their lifetime. What is your number?
If money was not a problem, where would you live and what kind of house would you have?
It is always a good idea to give students some time to come up with vocabulary they already know. You can do it in different ways.
The traditional way: give students a couple of minutes to come with as many words or expressions they can think of related to housing. This can be done in pairs with one person writing down the answers. Get group feedback and write the most interesting words/chunks on the board.
Using technology to create a word cloud on the board: you can use Answergarden, Mentimeter or Wooclap for this. (hover over the name of the tool and it will take you to the tool)
Fun extension: ask pairs to write a sentence using as many words as possible from the board. Score pairs a point per word and award a bonus point for the longest.
low -income households
overburdened with housing costs
to make a down payment
to evict /eviction
rising home prices
overcrowding and under occupations
real state bubble
to rehabilitate /rehab, rehabilitation
Listening and Speaking. Video: Affordable Housing
Time to listen
Before watching the video, ask students to predict the answers to these questions. This will hopefully lead to some discussion where students will be encouraged to use some of the vocabulary above.
Play the video and ask students to check their predictions. Comment on the answers. Were their predictions accurate?
Making housing more accessible would help reduce…
What share of a household budget do you think is spent on average on housing?
Why has the price of housing risen so dramatically in the last decade?
What share of a household budget is spent on housing in low-income households?
In many countries, a large share of young people is still living with their parents. Predict: is your country one of these countries? Justify your answer
Reading and speaking
Divide students into pairs for this activity
STUDENT A: cohousing
Cohousing, which is a form of intentional community, originated in Denmark in the 1960s Intended to recreate an “old-fashioned sense of neighbourhood” through resident participation in the design and operation of their communities, this type of community model allows families and individuals to occupy private homes while at the same time contributing both time and money to common facilities that are owned and managed by the larger community.3 Community members pay monthly or yearly membership dues and often help with tasks such as cleaning and repairing shared resources. While residents contribute to the financial responsibilities of acquiring and maintaining common facilities and resources, each member maintains an independent economy and personal income.
Summarize what you have just read and give your opinion
STUDENT B: Squatting
Squatting has a long history in Spain, often fuelled by high rates of homelessness. But there is now a darker phenomenon too – squatters who demand a “ransom” before they will leave a property. And this has led to the rise of private eviction companies, some of which use threats to achieve their goal.
Summarize what you have just read and give your opinion
Speaking: Conversations questions+ Board game
Driven by my obsession to make students use new vocabulary, I am constantly thinking and trying different ways to “force” new vocabulary into my students’ speeches. In this case, I have created a board game here using the vocabulary above. A dice, some counters and some conversation questions and they are ready to go. Students throw the dice and try to use the word/chunk in the square they have landed on. They can also try to use the word/chunk in the previous and following square. If they do so, they can move forward one square.
Is giving homeless people homes more effective and sensible than making them stay in shelters or on the street?
How much is Airbnb affecting the housing market in cities where rent is on the rise?
What can be done about rising homelessness in big cities?
Does it make sense to encourage homeownership through tax policies?
Should housing policy be more balanced, supporting rental housing and homeownership on a more equal footing?
Exam-oriented task using vocabulary
In this case, I gave them this task and asked them to discuss the prompts in pairs. Needless to say, encouraging them to use the new vocabulary,