Back again after a long break from work. Major surgery and some other stuff made me concentrate on reading for fun (discovered Martina Cole’s novels – highly recommendable and absolutely unputdownable) and knitting Nordic sweaters in dozens.
But on Wednesday it’s time to go back to my students again, and I’m really looking forward to it, especially as all my students now for the next three weeks are in their early teens; spontaneous, eager and heartbreakingly adorable – 7th- and 8th-graders. Last week I decided on what themes we would start the new term off with: New year’s resolutions with my 7th graders and professions with the older students. As to my own new year’s resolutions I have but one: if I decided to start writing my blog again, there would be only short posts, documenting ideas – no more mastodont pieces that took all day or more to write.
So this is my first one on PROFESSIONS and vocabulary learning (the idea is to build up for the Icebreaker-session next week ).
Using Didactor , an e-learning online site, as is my wont, I came up with three steps.
1) Familiarize my students with the new (and maybe some old) vocabulary by having them pair off pictures (shamelessly borrowed from Woodward English) with the terminology in question.
2) Next step – to have the students identify each of the occupations by writing and spelling correctly. Clues are given in their L1.
3) The last step is for the students to try to remember as many of the 34 professions as possible, without any visual aid. The words are listed alfabetically but can be filled in randomly into the task. Again spelling and writing has to be correct in order to be accepted by the program, but for each word the letters are substituted by dots, which might trigger mnemonic function.
These three tasks – which took about half an hour to put together – should cover a whole lesson. If students are too quick to give up, they will be asked to re-do the tasks and compete with their own previous performances. Students who are quick learners will be asked to come up with tools-of-trade for as many of the 34 professions as possible.