Friday, September 30, 2016

No Classes Monday: Rosh Hashanah

Enjoy the long weekend, and to those who celebrate it, the new year!

Monday, September 19, 2016

Activity Roundup: Stranger Things, A Parisian Pharmacy, An Interesting Robbery

Stranger Things was one of the big TV hits of the summer, and the first 8 minutes of the series are available on YouTube (the rest of the series is on Netflix). I've designed an activity that could be used with intermediate to advanced students in many skill areas - listening/speaking, reading, or writing - that helps students to think about genre, setting, and possible sources of inspiration for the show.

Next up, explore an interesting tourist phenomenon in Paris. Students can read this short article from the What A World column at The New York Times and do some vocabulary and comprehension activities. An ambitious Level 3 teacher could try this, and I think it could work all the way up to Level 10.

The final activity is a new video from StoryCorps in collaboration with Upworthy. In this video, the words spoken by the narrator are animated across the screen. Instead of handing out a printed worksheet to students, why not try working with the video in this way.

  1. Play the video, but don't project the image. Essentially, play the sound only. Ask students to take notes on what they hear, then discuss in groups. Ask them to estimate what percentage of the clip they understood.
  2. Play the video a second time. Ask students to expand on the notes they took, and discuss what new information (vocabulary words, bits of conversation, etc.) they understood the second time. Ask them to estimate what percentage of the clip they understood this time around.