Girl with thought bubbles around her containing her dressed in various career outfits, i.e. doctor, chef, construction worker, etc.
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Teacher's Corner: Career Opportunities
In this month’s Teacher’s Corner, we will provide students opportunities to practice English to learn about and practice pursuing job opportunities.
Perhaps the best aspect of learning English as a second or foreign language is the job and career opportunities it provides. As the lingua franca, or common language of business, science, and the Internet, English can increase our students’ opportunities around the world.
 
In this month’s Teacher’s Corner, we will provide students opportunities to practice English to learn about and practice pursuing job opportunities. Each week features activities that highlight English in workplace and career settings. The activities included in this month’s Teacher’s Corner frame English practice two ways:  entering the job market in weeks one and two, and experiencing English-related jobs in weeks three and four.
 
  • Week 1 - The Job Fair
  • Week 2 - Building a Resume
  • Week 3 - English on Tour
  • Week 4 - Best Job in the World
 
Week one begins the month with a job fair. A job fair is a poster presentation-style display where high school and university students can learn about jobs and careers that interest them. Week two builds on week one’s career-seeking by having students work with and create their own resume and cover letter for a job. The second half of the month features activities that give students the opportunity to practice two English-speaking jobs: tourism and teaching. In week three students research a building, historic site, or popular location and share what they learned with the class. The month closes with students getting to practice the best job in the world – teaching! In week four, students form teams and teach a grammar rule or structure to the rest of class.
 
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Table of Contents

Week 1 - Job FairExpand

In this week’s Teacher’s Corner, students will explore the world of employment by taking part in a job fair. Job fairs provide employers the opportunity to teach people about the work they do. In a job fair, these employers, or companies, create a poster presentation that provides details about the work that either they or their company does. These job fairs are often held at secondary schools or universities so that students can learn about the many career opportunities waiting for them after graduation. 

LEVEL

Intermediate to Advanced

LANGUAGE FOCUS

Reading, speaking (primary focus); writing (secondary focus)

GOALS

During this activity students will:

  • research job opportunities
  • practice note-taking skills
  • practice presenting and asking questions about career opportunities

MATERIALS

  • Teacher: whiteboard/chalkboard, markers or chalk, a timing device, large sheets of paper (optional)
    o Note: If possible, provide students with poster paper (63.5x76.2 cm) for their presentations.
  • Students: pencils or pens, notebooks or writing paper, computer with Internet access
    o Note: Internet access is not needed in class, but for students to conduct research as homework
 

PREPARATION

  1. Read through all the materials carefully.
  2. Create a list of possible career opportunities. If students have trouble brainstorming careers, the list can be used to assist them.
  3. This activity occurs across several days and includes three parts: Pre-homework brainstorming, research homework, and the job fair. For more advanced classes, or if your classroom has computers with Internet, this activity could be completed during a single class period. Choose the approach that works best for your teaching and learning context. 

ACTIVITY PART ONE: PRE-HOMEWORK BRAINSTORMING

In this part of the activity, students will work in teams to create a list of jobs or careers. Once the teams have created their lists, a member of the team will come to the board and write their team’s list on the board. Each unique job or career the teams list will be worth one point. The team with the most points at the end wins!

   1. Begin the activity by dividing the class into two teams. Instruct the students that each team will need one sheet of paper and a pen or pencil.
   2. Next, tell the teams that they will have three minutes to write down as many jobs/careers as possible.
   3. Say “Go” and have the teams work for three minutes, brainstorming as many jobs/careers they can and adding them to their sheet of paper.
   4. When the three minutes are over, say “Stop”.
   5. Have one member of each team come to the chalkboard and write down the jobs/careers their team brainstormed.
   6. After the jobs/careers have been listed on the board, drawn a line through any job or career that both teams have on their list. For example:

Team A

Team B

Pilot

Farmer

Teacher

Football Player

Engineer

Teacher

Farmer

Tour Guide

Astronaut

 

   7. Any job listed by both teams is not counted. After these jobs have been crossed out, give each team one point for any job the opposite team did not list. In the example above, Team A earned 3 points and Team B earned 2 points, so Team A wins!
   8. Next, have the students look at all of the jobs on the board (including the crossed out ones) and do a think-pair-share:
          a.  Think: Have each student decide which job listed on the board is the most interesting to him or her (1 min).
          b.  Pair: Have the students form pairs. Each student should share with their partner the job they find the most interesting and explain why (3 mins)
          c.  Share: Have the students share the job they like best with the class. Encourage them to explain why.
   9. Finally, have the students choose a job they would like to have in the future. This can be the job they picked in the think-pair-share, or a student can select a new job if the one they liked best was not listed on the board.
   10.  Inform the students that for homework they will research the job they selected.

ACTIVITY PART TWO: RESEARCH HOMEWORK

   1. As a homework assignment, the students should research five basic questions about the job and, if possible, find one picture of someone working at that job or career. For homework, have the students find the answers to the following five questions:
          a. What does a person with this job or career do every day?
          b. How does a person get this job? What do they need to study before getting this job?
          c. Where do people with this job work?
          d. Why is this job interesting to you?
          e. What is something new that you learned while researching this job?
   2. Have the students complete their research as homework. Depending on the level of students and schedule of classes, this homework could be assigned overnight, or students could be given several days to complete the research.
   3. Once students have gathered their research, have them bring their information to class.
   4. Provide each student a sheet of poster paper.
          a. If poster paper is not available, students can tape together 4 sheets of paper to make a poster.
   5. On the sheet of paper, have the students create a poster about their selected job or career. Encourage students to make the poster visually interesting as well as informative!
          a. Note: Depending on class time and schedule, the poster making can also be completed as a homework assignment.

ACTIVITY PART THREE: THE JOB FAIR

   1. Have the students bring their posters to class.
   2. Split the class into two groups: Group A and Group B.
   3. For the first round, Group A will present their posters and Group B will attend the job fair.
          a. Have the students in Group A find a spot in the classroom to set up their poster.
                i. If possible, have the students stand along the walls and hang their posters there.
          b. The students in Group B should walk around the room and visit the posters of the students in Group A. The student presenting the poster should talk about what they learned about this job or career and why they find it interesting. Group B students listening to the presentation should ask questions about the job.
          c. Depending on time, this activity can be done for 20 minutes or can last until each student in Group B has visited at least five job posters. Time this activity as best fits your teaching and learning context.
   4. Have the groups switch roles. This time, students in Group B present their posters and students in Group A walk around the room and learn about careers.

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Week 2 - Building a ResumeExpand

Finding a job begins with submitting a resume to an employer. A resume is similar to a curriculum vitae (CV), but is typically shorter than a CV. A resume lists a person’s skills and experiences and is a required document when applying to jobs. In the United States, a resume is typically accompanied by a cover letter. A cover letter is a one-page letter to an employer that explains, in paragraph form, why a person is the best person for a job. In this week’s Teacher’s Corner, students will practice proofreading and editing a resume and cover letter before writing one of their own.

LEVEL

High-Intermediate to Advanced

LANGUAGE FOCUS

Reading, speaking (primary focus); writing (secondary focus)

GOALS

During this activity students will:

  • practice editing in writing
  • create a resume and cover letter
     

MATERIALS

  • Teacher: whiteboard/chalkboard, markers or chalk, computer and printer
  • Students: pencils or pens, notebooks, or writing paper
 

PREPARATION

  1. Read through all the materials carefully.
  2. Print out the Resume in Appendix 1. Make one copy of the Resume for each pair/small group.
  3. Print out the Cover Letter in Appendix 2. Make one copy of the Cover Letter for each student.
     

ACTIVITY PART ONE: GROUP EDITING

This activity begins with a group editing activity. The idea in group editing is to have several students work together to correct errors in writing. By working together, students work more slowly, which allows them to find a few more errors. They can then discuss the errors with their partner or partners.

   1. Begin the class activity by writing the following sentences on the board:

          a.  Studying English is a big thing in my life.
          b.  I have a lot of sports that I like to play.
          c.  In my spare time, I like to make artwork.

   2. Have the students form pairs or small groups. In their pairs/small groups, have the students discuss the sentences on the board. Ask them to make corrections to the sentences so the sentences are stronger or clearer. Give the students 5-6 minutes to make the corrections.

   3. Once time for the activity has been completed, have the pairs/small groups share their corrections with the class. While the pairs/small groups may have varying answers, they all should in some way address the following issues:

          a. Studying English is a big thing in my life. The phrase “a big thing” is too vague. The sentence should be improved to something more specific such as “Studying English is important in my life.”
          b. I have a lot of sports that I like to play. The phrase “a lot of” is too informal for academic or business writing and should be changed to more formal language. Some alternatives could be a word such as many or a specific number such as three:  "I have three sports that I like to play.”
          c. In my spare time, I like to make artwork. In this example, “make” is a weak verb. It should be replaced with a stronger verb such as create or design:  “In my spare time I like to design artwork.”
   
   4. Inform the class that in today’s activity they will practice avoiding vague words, informal words, and weak verbs by working on a resume and cover letter. Write the terms resume and cover letter on the board. Ask the class if anyone knows the meaning of these terms.
          a. Note: If none of the students know these terms, it is not a problem. Tell the students that today they will learn the terms resume and cover letter.
   
   5. Next, with students still in their pairs or small groups, pass out one copy of the resume in Appendix 1 and one copy of the cover letter in Appendix 2 to each pair/small group.
   
   6. Have the pairs/small groups read through the resume and cover letter and look for words or phrases that are vague or too informal, or for weak verbs . Give the students 5-7 minutes – depending on level and ability – to complete the task.
          a. Note: Monitor students during the task to ensure they circle or underline the vague words, informal phrases, or weak verb choices that they find.
   
   7. Once the pairs/small groups have identified all of the vague words, informal phrases, or weak verb choices, have them replace these with words or phrases that are clearer or more direct.
          a. Note: If students are unsure of what correction to make, encourage them to take a closer look at both the resume and the cover letter. Words in the resume can be used to make the cover letter stronger and the cover letter may contain words that can be used to make the resume stronger.
   
   8. After the pairs/small groups have made their changes, have them form larger groups. For example, you could have two pairs join to make a team of four students. In these teams have students compare the changes made before reviewing the answers as a class.

ACTIVITY PART TWO: WRITING A RESUME AND COVER LETTER

  1. As either a homework activity or an in-class activity, have the students write their own versions of the resume and cover letter.
  2. Younger students can create imaginary resumes and cover letters for jobs/careers they would like to have in the future.
  3. Older students could write about their actual experience and skillset.

For more on careers and talking about jobs check out Role-Play Party: Talking about Jobs.

Appendix 1: Resume

Directions: Read Eddie’s resume and cover letter below and change the weak verbs, vague words, or informal language. There are 15 items to find. Can you find them all?

Eddie Fernandez
12 Overland Ave | New York, New York | 555-3432 | efernandez@greatplainsu.edu

Objective
Writer for Kirby Comics

Education

  • Bachelor’s Degree (2016) Great Plains University
    o   Major - Creative Writing
    o   Minor – Graphic Design

Experience
March 2010 – Present
Writer and Artist | Self-Published Comic Books

  • Creator of a monthly comic book series
  • Wrote award-winning comic book story The Trace Effect
  • Artist for a number of comics written 

September 2013 – May 2014

Laboratory Assistant | Professor Peterson’s Lab | Great Plains University

  • Assisted Professor Peterson in a bunch of science experiments
  • Managed people in the science lab
  • Organized work schedules and experiment calendar

June 2014 – September 2014
Delivery Person | Chef Mark’s Sandwich Shop | Great Plains University

  • Took sandwiches to customers
  • Made sandwiches for the new breakfast menu
  • Ordered sandwich ingredients from local Farmers’ Market

Awards & Acknowledgements
2015 Winner “Best Science Fiction Story” in the Great Plains University Creative Writing contest for the story The Trace Effect

Appendix 2: Cover Letter

Eddie Fernandez
12 Overland Ave.
New York, New York
555-3432
 
Dear Mr. Kirby,
 
I am excited to apply for the position of story writer at Kirby Comics. Kirby Comics makes incredible comics that are read by people all over the world. Your Captain Alpha comic is very popular.  Besides Captain Alpha, Kirby Comics makes a lot of comics that are examples of exciting storytelling and incredible artwork. I’d love to bring my own creative talent and storytelling experience to Kirby Comics and continue this tradition of good comic creation.
 
I’ve  written and drawn six of my own comic books over the last 8 years. This experience taught me the importance of deadlines and how to write fast. Also, my comic book story The Trace Effect was selected as best science fiction story at the 2015 Great Plains University Creative Writing Contest. Besides writing comics I have a lot of job skills that I can bring to Kirby Comics. I was a laboratory director and was a manager of the student workers. During my time as lab director I assisted in ten science experiments. In my work at Chef Mark’s Sandwich Shop I created new sandwiches and ordered ingredients for each day’s sandwiches. As an intern at Kirby Comics, I could use these skills to help the company work creatively and effectively on a limited deadline.
 
Again, Kirby Comics’ focus on creative stories has made a big impression on me. I would be thrilled to work at an organization where everyone loves comic books as much as I do.
 
Thank you for your time,
 
Eddie Fernandez

Appendix 3: Resume Answer Key

Directions: Read Eddie’s resume and cover letter below and change the weak verbs, vague words, or informal language. There are 15 items to find. Can you find them all?
 
Eddie Fernandez
12 Overland Ave | New York, New York | 555-3432 | efernandez@greatplainsu.edu
 
Objective
Creative comic book fan determined to write for Kirby Comics.
 
Education
  • Bachelor’s Degree (2016) Great Plains University
      o Major - Creative Writing
      o Minor – Graphic Design
 
Experience
March 2010 – Present
Writer and Artist | Self-Published Comic Books
  • Creator of a monthly comic book series
  • Wrote award-winning comic book story The Trace Effect
  • Artist for a number of comics written  
 
September 2013 – May 2014
Laboratory Assistant | Professor Peterson’s Lab | Great Plains University
  • Assisted Professor Peterson in a bunch of science experiments
  • Managed people in the science lab
  • Organized work schedules and experiment calendar
 
June 2014 – September 2014
Delivery Person | Chef Mark’s Sandwich Shop | Great Plains University
  • Took sandwiches to customers
  • Made sandwiches for the new breakfast menu
  • Ordered sandwich ingredients from local Farmers’ Market
 
Awards & Acknowledgements
2015 Winner “Best Science Fiction Story” in the Great Plains University Creative Writing contest for the story The Trace Effect

Appendix 4: Cover Letter Answer Key

Eddie Fernandez
12 Overland Ave.
New York, New York
555-3432
efernandez@greatplainsu.edu

Dear Mr. Kirby,

I am excited to apply for the position of story writer at Kirby Comics. Kirby Comics makes incredible comics that are read by people all over the world. Your Captain Alpha comic is very popular.  Besides Captain Alpha, Kirby Comics makes a lot of comics that are examples of exciting storytelling and incredible artwork. I’d love to bring my own creative talent and storytelling experience to Kirby Comics and continue this tradition of good comic creation.

I’ve written and drawn six of my own comic books over the last 8 years. This experience taught me the importance of deadlines and how to write fast. Also, my comic book story The Trace Effect was selected as best science fiction story at the 2015 Great Plains University Creative Writing Contest. Besides writing comics I have a lot of job skills that I can bring to Kirby Comics. I was a laboratory director and was a manager of the student workers. During my time as lab director I assisted in ten science experiments. In my work at Chef Mark’s Sandwich Shop I created new sandwiches and ordered ingredients for each day’s sandwiches. As an intern at Kirby Comics, I could use these skills to help the company work creatively and effectively on a limited deadline.

Again, Kirby Comics’ focus on creative stories has made a big impression on me. I would be thrilled to work at an organization where everyone loves comic books as much as I do.

Thank you for your time,

Eddie Fernandez

 

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Week 3 - English on TourExpand

This week’s Teacher’s Corner provides students with the opportunity to practice speaking and presentation skills through a tour guide activity.

Level

Intermediate to Advanced

Language Focus

Reading, speaking (primary focus); listening (secondary focus).

Goals

During this activity students will:

  • Practice reading, speaking, and listening skills through a fill-in-the-blank activity
  • Develop presentation and speaking skills by conducting a tour

Materials

  • Teacher: whiteboard/chalkboard, markers or chalk, a timing device, large sheets of paper (optional), computer and projector
  • Students: pencils or pens, notebooks or writing paper, computer with Internet access for homework

Preparation

  1. Read through all the materials carefully.
  2. Print out copies of the Empire State Building Reading A in Appendix 1 and the Empire State Building Reading B in Appendix 2.
    • Print enough copies of Appendix 1 for half the class and enough copies of Appendix 2 for the other half of the class.
  3. Read the Empire State Building Reading Answer Key in Appendix 3.
  4. This activity has a homework assignment and an in-class presentation. For more advanced classes, or if your classroom has computers with Internet, this activity could be completed during a single class period. Choose the approach that works best for your teaching and learning context.
  5. An option for this activity is to have the students work locally, within your community. If possible, have the students pick historical locations or places of interest in your city or neighborhood. Then, when students conduct their tour, visit that location as a class.

 

Activity Part One: The Empire State Building

1.     Begin the class by having the students form pairs.

2.     In each pair, give one student the Empire State Building Reading A and one student a copy of the Empire State Building Reading B.

3.     Instruct the students to read through the story on their own for 2-3 minutes.

4.     After the students have had a chance to read the story, have the pairs work together to fill in the blanks in the story.

  • Student A can ask questions to Student B to fill in the blanks in their story. Student B can ask Student A questions to fill in the blanks in their story.

5.     After the pairs have filled in the blanks, review the answers as a class. Ask the students what they learned about the Empire State Building.

6.     Next, on the board draw the following table:

Topic

Sentence Numbers

History

 

 

Present Day

 

 

Interesting Story

 

7.     Ask the students to read the story again, this time paying attention to the structure of the story. In this part of the activity, students will engage in active reading. In active reading, students work to understand the purpose of an article and how the story is structured.

  • Instruct the students to underline the sentences in the story that discuss the Empire State Building’s history.
  • Then, instruct the students to draw a square around the section of the story that describes what currently happens at the Empire State Building during the present day.
  • Finally, have the students draw a circle around the part of the story that provides an interesting story about the Empire State Building.

8.     As a class, review the answers to the active reading activity by filling in the chart that you wrote on the board.

Optional Activity Extension:

If time permits, have the students read the Empire State Building reading out loud in pairs. Encourage them to practice reading rate (speed), stress, and intonation. These speaking skills are critical for a professional tour guide.

Activity Part Two: Tour Homework

  1. Begin this part of the activity by asking the students if they can think of other famous buildings like the Empire State Building. Have the students share their answers with the class.
  2. Next, tell the students their homework assignment is to find a building, historical location, or famous place and create a tour of that place.
    For the assignment students should:
      • Find 2-3 pictures of the building, historical location, or famous place.
      • Provide a brief history of the site.
      • Describe the present day use of the site.
      • Research an interesting story of the site.
      • Finally, put all of the information and pictures together into a computer-based presentation. If a computer is not available in the classroom, have the students put everything together on a poster.
  3. Have the students research their building, historical location, or famous place as a homework assignment. Depending on the students’ level and ability, allow them up to several days to do the research.

Activity Part Three: Taking a Tour

  1. After students have conducted their research, have them share their presentations with the rest of the class. This section of the activity can be done several ways:
    • Have 4-5 students come to the front of the class, and have each student announce the location they researched. Then have the rest of the class form groups around the 4-5 presenters. Students should listen to the presentation on the location they find most interesting.
    • Each student can come to the front of the class, one at a time, and present on the information they learned.
    • Divide the class in half. Half of the students will present their information a while the second half of the class moves around the room to listen to their presentations. Then, students switch roles and do the activity again.
  2. Remind and encourage students to make their presentations interesting. Have them do more than present: take the class on a tour of their location. Being a tour guide can be a great career, but being a good tour guide involves more than sharing information. Tour guides need to be engaging and speak clearly with stress and intonation!

Optional Activity Approach:

If computers are available in the classroom, students can use Internet-based map tools such as Google MapsBing Maps, or Open Street Maps to show their building, historical location, or famous place.

For more on New York City, check out the New York, New York and Exploring New York City lesson plan.

For more on using active reading in the classroom, check out the February 2017 Teacher’s Corner and Encouraging Critical Reading in the EFL Classroom.

 

Appendix 1: Empire State Building Reading A

Picture of tall, skyscraper building known as The Empire State BuildingDirections: Read the story below about the Empire State Building. Ask your partner questions and use your partner’s answers to fill in the blanks of the story.

The ____________________ is one of the symbols of New York. The name comes from the nickname of the State of New York. Until 1954, the Empire State Building was ____________________, and it is currently the third tallest in New York City. Strangely, it was built during the Great Depression when such a large project should have been unthinkable. After it opened in 1931, it sat mostly empty for years; some people jokingly called it the “_________________.” Now it houses numerous offices, shops, and restaurants and is one of the most visited sites in the city because of the stunning views from the observation deck on the ____________________ floor.

There is an interesting story in the race for the tallest building in the world. At the time the Empire State Building was being built, the Chrysler Building was under construction ten blocks away. The architects of the Chrysler Building had a secret, though. Hidden from view inside the building, they were constructing a spire to top the building. At the end of construction, the 125-foot spire was raised into place, taking the title of tallest building in the world from the Bank of Manhattan Building by just 60 feet. The honor wouldn’t last, though. The Empire State Building would open less than a year later, and it exceeded the Chrysler Building in height by more than 200 feet.

* Reading adapted from New York, New York by Thomas W. Santos

Appendix 2: Empire State Building Reading B

Picture of tall, skyscraper building known as The Empire State BuildingDirections: Read the story below about the Empire State Building. Ask your partner questions and use your partner’s answers to fill in the blanks of the story.

The Empire State Building is one of the symbols of New York. The name comes from the nickname of the State of New York. Until 1954, the Empire State Building was the tallest building in the world, and it is currently the third tallest in New York City. Strangely, it was built during the Great Depression when such a large project should have been unthinkable. After it opened in 1931, it sat mostly empty for years; some people jokingly called it the “Empty State Building.” Now it houses numerous offices, shops, and restaurants and is one of the most visited sites in the city because of the stunning views from the observation deck on the 102nd floor. There is an interesting story in the race for the tallest building in the world. At the time the Empire State Building was being built, the ____________________ was under construction ten blocks away. The architects of the Chrysler Building had a secret, though. Hidden from view inside the building, they were constructing a spire to top the building. At the end of construction, the ____________________ spire was raised into place, taking the title of tallest building in the world from the _____________________ Building by just 60 feet. The honor wouldn’t last, though. The Empire State Building would open less than a year later, and it exceeded the Chrysler Building in height by more than ___________________ feet.

* Reading adapted from New York, New York by Thomas W. Santos

Appendix 3: Empire State Building Answer Key

Picture of tall, skyscraper building known as The Empire State BuildingEach of the sections of the story are indicated below. The underlined section is the history, the bold face sentences are the present day, and the sentences in italics are an interesting story of the building.

The Empire State Building is one of the symbols of New York. The name comes from the nickname of the State of New York. Until 1954, the Empire State Building was the tallest building in the world, and it is currently the third tallest in New York City. Strangely, it was built during the Great Depression when such a large project should have been unthinkable. After it opened in 1931, it sat mostly empty for years; some people jokingly called it the “Empty State Building.” Now it houses numerous offices, shops, and restaurants and is one of the most visited sites in the city because of the stunning views from the observation deck on the 102nd floor. There is an interesting story in the race for the tallest building in the world. At the time the Empire State Building was being built, the Chrysler Building was under construction ten blocks away. The architects of the Chrysler Building had a secret, though. Hidden from view inside the building, they were constructing a spire to top the building. At the end of construction, the 125-foot spire was raised into place, taking the title of tallest building in the world from the Bank of Manhattan Building by just 60 feet. The honor wouldn’t last, though. The Empire State Building would open less than a year later, and it exceeded the Chrysler Building in height by more than 200 feet.

* Reading adapted from New York, New York by Thomas W. Santos

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Week 4 - Teaching: The Best Job in the WorldExpand

We will wrap up this month’s Teacher’s Corner on jobs and careers by giving students an opportunity to try the best job in the world – teaching!

Level
Intermediate to Advanced

Language Focus
Speaking, reading (primary focus); writing (secondary focus)

Goals
During this activity students will:

  • study a grammar rule
  • practice presentation skills
  • experience teaching an English class

Materials

  • Teacher: whiteboard/chalkboard, markers or chalk, a timing device, computer and printer, computer and projector (optional)
  • Students: pencils or pens, notebooks or writing paper

Preparation

  1. Read all of the materials carefully before starting the activity.
  2. This activity can be used as a review assignment to practice grammar rules or forms previously studied. It can also be used to teach new grammar rules or forms. Decide which is best depending on the needs of your teaching and learning context.
  3. If a computer and projector are available in the classroom, students can make a computer-based presentation to teach their grammar rule. If the classroom doesn’t have a computer and projector, students can present using a paper-based poster or the chalkboard.
  4. Before the activity cut up a sheet of paper into strips. On each of these strips, or grammar cards, write a grammar rule or form. For more advanced classes, write two or more related grammar rules or forms, such as “simple past tense vs. past continuous,” on each strip. Make enough strips of paper so that each pair/small group of students can have one strip of paper.
  5. For each pair/small group, print out enough copies of the Grammar Presentation Instructions in Appendix 1. The instructions do not list a time limit. Before giving students this assignment, decide how long each pair/small group will have to deliver their presentation.
  6. This assignment requires students to research grammar. If computers and Internet are not available to students, be sure to use grammar that can be found in class textbooks or other resources in your teaching context.

Activity Part One: Homework assignment

This part of the activity is assigning pairs/small groups of students grammar that they will research for homework and later present to the class. Part One is short and can be completed within the last 10 minutes of a class.

  1. Begin the activity by having students form pairs or small groups - around 2-3 students each.
  2. Put the grammar cards in a box or small container and mix them up.
  3. Walk around the room to each pair or small group and have a student reach into the container and select a grammar card.
  4. Once all of the pairs/small groups have a grammar card, give them 2-3 minutes to see what grammar rules or forms the other teams received. During this time the pairs/small groups can try and trade their grammar cards with each other. This is a good chance for the students to have some additional speaking practice.
  5. Once the time is up have the pairs/small groups return to their seats with their grammar cards.
  6. Instruct the students that as homework they will need to study this grammar rule or form and create a presentation where they will teach the rule or form to the class. Give each pair/small group a copy of the presentation instructions in Appendix 1. 

Activity Part two: Grammar presentations

  1. Before the presentation day, cut a sheet of paper into slips. On each slip write a number. There should be one slip of paper for each pair/small group of students. The pairs/small groups will draw numbers to decide in which order they will present.
    Note: The order of presentations could also be decided based on volunteering. Another option is to order the presentations based on the grammar topic. For example a team with the present continuous presents before a team with the past continuous.
  2. Remind the pairs/small groups that this is their opportunity to teach. They should not just deliver the information, but check for understanding from the rest of class, ask questions to the class, and be engaging.
    Note: Don’t be surprised if the pairs/small groups use many of the same approaches as you do. Our students learn much about teaching by the way we teach them, and it can make these presentations fun to watch as a teacher!

Appendix 1: Grammar Presentation Instructions

It is your turn to be a teacher! In your groups, you need to teach one grammar topic that we’ve covered so far in our class. You will have to teach it to the whole class. You will get a grade for this project. 

Make a computer-based presentation or a paper-based poster presentation. Here is what to include in the presentation:

  1. Explain the grammar rules or forms (affirmative sentences, negative sentences, yes/no and wh-questions, meaning and use).
    a. Give your own examples sentences.
    b. Give the most common mistakes students make using this grammar.
    c. Make a short practice exercise for everybody to review your grammar topic.
  2. Every member of the group should be responsible for 1 part of the presentation. It means that EVERY GROUP MEMBER has to speak during the presentation.
  3. You MUST NOT use any examples and charts from class textbooks. You can use them to help you get ready for the presentation, but you need to create (make) all examples and a practice exercise BY YOURSELF.
  4. You will receive ONE grade per group. If some people work hard in the group, but others do not, the whole group will get a lower grade. So you have to make sure to help each other, and to prepare and practice together for this presentation.
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