Listening to the Universe of Discourse: 04: Black, White and Red

A friend sent me this link to a video. Before you click on that link, read these instructions:           Don’t read the description and don’t look at the video image. As you click the link, close your eyes and don’t open them while you listen Listen and figure out what you … More Listening to the Universe of Discourse: 04: Black, White and Red

Listening, then Speaking (then Reading, then Writing): Part three: Method becomes Madness

A long time ago (when the Earth was green), I heard a language-teaching nightmare story about a particular “method” that I want to share. Since I can’t find any references that confirm this story, I won’t slander the “method” by naming it directly. Let’s call this the “Quince Method”. The “Quince Method” (QM) was developed … More Listening, then Speaking (then Reading, then Writing): Part three: Method becomes Madness

Listening, Speaking (then Reading, Writing): Part two: Madness Behind the “Method”

Let’s look, first, at several explanations of the word “method”, then we’ll get into the madness. Webster’s Dictionary: 1:  a procedure or process for attaining an object: as a (1) :  a systematic procedure, technique, or mode of inquiry employed by or proper to a particular discipline or art (2) :  a systematic plan followed in presenting material for … More Listening, Speaking (then Reading, Writing): Part two: Madness Behind the “Method”

Listening, Speaking (then Reading, Writing): The life, near death and hidden life of the Audio Lingual Method: Part one

We were at war. We had to send troupes over to that far away place. In that far away place, most people did not speak American. Our brave boys would have to be able to communicate, to buy bread, to interrogate prisoners, to give orders, to meet girls. They had to learn languages, and fast. … More Listening, Speaking (then Reading, Writing): The life, near death and hidden life of the Audio Lingual Method: Part one

To Pair or not to Pair: Part Six: Pair-work Alone or with the Curriculum

  Finally, some general, concluding thoughts on how to fit pair-work into your class. Pair-work as a stand-alone activity Pair-work is an excellent activity within a structure of class where students spend time in formal “grammar” classes, then spend another period of time in so-called “listening / speaking” classes. If your school or academy divides … More To Pair or not to Pair: Part Six: Pair-work Alone or with the Curriculum

To Pair or Not to Pair: Part Five — Class Structure

Now that you’ve got the basic things prepared (classroom, characters, props and student attitude), you’ll want to make very clear to your students that this is not a random activity. “Art loves order,” Stanislavsky told us in his work with actors. Make sure you have order in the basic structure of your class to allow the … More To Pair or Not to Pair: Part Five — Class Structure

To Pair or Not to Pair: Part Four: The Bag of Props

This will probably be the most useful and fun object you have for the pair-work exercises. The bag of props The word “prop” in theatrical lingo actually is a shortened form of the word “property”, that is, something that belongs to someone. Despite this origin of the word, a prop also has the meaning of … More To Pair or Not to Pair: Part Four: The Bag of Props

To Pair or Not to Pair: Part Three: Stock Characters

  In this part I concentrate on the development of characters that your students can (and should!) pretend to be, so that it is not them speaking but someone else, an important step towards developing their target language personality. The stock characters Stock characters have been the basis of improvised drama for centuries. From the 3rd … More To Pair or Not to Pair: Part Three: Stock Characters

To Pair or Not to Pair: Part Two: Setting Up

Second part of that long blog post on working in pairs. It begins with the physical setup of your classroom, then continues with the first of several materials you’ll want to have on hand. Setting up a pair-work classroom Arrange the semi-circle Classrooms can seem pretty boring places. Desks lined up in rows, students looking at … More To Pair or Not to Pair: Part Two: Setting Up