I’m Suzanne, teacher at IHPA for 3 yearsTalk about my experience with B2 teen class Share some ideas about why traditional hw might not always be the best way forward
The class: This is the scenario at the start of the lesson. Anyone experienced similar situations?Upper int teenagers, generally capable on paper but reluctant to extend answers / use more ambitious languageLittle chat – blank faces at the start of classBut they responded well and had a lot to say on serious topics we came across in the book– want to engage with politics / social issues etcNatural at this stage in development and should be encouraged; more complex ideas encourages more complex language
Why do we give homework? I’d never really thought about it, here are a few of my ideas. Can you guess the anagrams? PracticeConsolidation ExposurePreparationRevisionAssessmentAny other ideas?Most Ts use the workbook - but these students didn’t always need thisChecking answers a very flat start to the lessonBut my students didn’t seem to need it Practice – but ss don’t always need the same types of practiceConsolidation – they might have already got it!Exposure – is using the WB exposing them to realistic languagePreparation – can be much more interactiveRevisionAssessmentthey’re very conscientious and didn’t have many problems with the exercises, and seemed to be cognitively underchallenged
Used lyricstraining.com on the IWB, anyone familiar with it? Listen to song and complete lyricsfollowed by worksheet with focus on vocab, then talked about importance of recording new vocab and how to do it.Using a song is great- if they like it, they’ll be motivated, if they don’t like that particular song they can find another one.Provides a personal context for language learning, as well as a firm association between lexis and meaning.
After initial lesson, ss went to listen to any song they liked, had to bring back some new vocab for next lesson.Subsequently introduced other useful sites. Recognise or use any of these? (outline)Often gave HW e.g. watch a video on TED, which can be linked to topic or generalAlso gave research tasks, e.g. for travel articles, presentation about their cities. Don’t need to give specific websites – teens know how to use the web, the process of searching develops different reading skills, promotes digital literacyVocab bag [show it!] – lots of natural expressions, idioms and phrasal verbs.Decide together what’s worth learning, write it on a card and use for warmers etc, then throw it in the bin when you’ve got it!
Obviously we had to do a lot of work on speaking in the classroom too, especially functional language and role plays/debates!Students are unlikely to ever ask for homework, but trying something like this now and again can help.If it makes them more likely to do activities in English, and more aware of what’s available, it’s worth trying!
If you want more info, anyashaw is doing a session on HW at 12.30 and my colleague lizzie will be talking about learner autonomy later on.
1. No, homework please!
Suzanne Goodwin, IH Palermo
2. The class
Hello! How are you today?
What did you do today?
3. Why do we give homework?
The thought process
4. The preparation: learner training lesson
5. The activities
6. The effects
Engaged with real world topics
Exposed to a range of new language
Enthusiastic to share
Talking at the start of the class!
7. The class
“In my opinion, watching videos on TED is
incredibly useful because it has made me more
confident with listening.”
“I prefer the homework where we have to use
internet, for example watching a video, because it
lets us to listen other people and it’s better than
“The workbook is useful to revise grammar, but it’s
more boring honestly. I prefer doing interactive
activities which helps me with new interesting
“I like TED and internet tasks a lot, because I think it’s
a really enjoyable way to discover new grammar and
vocab. I don’t dislike a little revision on the workbook.”
“In my opinion, exercises on the workbook
are the best way to improve the grammar
and writing. Researches are ok, but
sometimes the topic is boring.”
8. Homework: Try giving your students
an alternative task… and let me
know how it goes.
Thanks for listening.