How to challenge yourself


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  • Ask students to brainstorm the meaning of the word ‘challenge’ – can include definition, but also how it makes people feel when they face/complete a challenge etc
  • CollocationsShow the first sentence. Ask students to brainstorm as many adjectives as they can to complete the sentence.Then compare to the list (taken from the Oxford Collocations Dictionary) – they are grouped into general meanings: size, level of difficulty, both (size + difficulty), ‘newness’, feeling towards the challenge (my names for the groups – you can change them!)Encourage students to write down some/all of the adjectives. They will need them in the speaking.
  • Drill the sentence so students can say it with feeling. Students may need this in the speaking exercise which will come next.
  • Project the questions on the board/dictate them for students to write/have them on a handout. Students can ask and answer any of the questions they want to, and can say ‘Sorry, but I don’t really want to talk about that.’ if they are uncomfortable talking about any topic.
  • Clarify the concept of a ‘comfort zone’ in any way you like (elicit/define/ask SS to look it up…)Ask them what they think the picture means. Do they agree?Tell them the video will suggest ways to get out of their comfort zone. Listen and make a note of the suggestions in the video.
  • “This man talks about trying new things for 30 days. What kind of things do you think he tried?”Students watch and see if any of their ideas were mentioned.
  • Answer the questions, referring back to the two videos.
  • Hand out the jigsaw reading, divided so that one group has each letter of SMART. They read the texts thinking about the two questions on the slide, then return them to you and share what they found out about what a SMART goal entails.
  • Summarise the five letters that make up ‘SMART’ and check students are happy with all five concepts.
  • Ask students to write goals individually for their future English study, or anything else they choose to.Then work in pairs/small groups and decide if the goals are SMART – are they effective goals? If you want to, record the goals in some way so you can return to them later in the course.
  • Show students this phrase and allow them to think about it. (They don’t have to discuss it – silent reflection is fine!)
  • How many of them will try challenges they’ve come up with during this lesson? 
  • How to challenge yourself

    1. 1. Image credit: Unknown (meme) How to challenge yourself Sandy Millin, Director of Studies, IH Sevastopol
    2. 2. What is a challenge? • a new or difficult task that tests somebody's ability and skill
    3. 3. It was a ______ challenge. • big, considerable, enormous, great, huge, real, serious, significant • difficult, tough • major • fresh, new • exciting, interesting
    4. 4. Sorry, but I don’t really want to talk about that.
    5. 5. film/how-to-challengeyourself Image credit: Unknown (meme) HOW TO CHALLENGE YOURSELF
    6. 6. TRY SOMETHING NEW FOR 30 DAYS MATT CUTTS ts_try_something_new_for_30_day s.html
    7. 7. Which challenges? • Do you agree with Matt’s ideas? Or do you prefer the ideas in the first video? • What small changes could you make in your routine? What would you like to try for 30 days?
    8. 8. SMART? • What is a SMART goal? • How can you set them?
    9. 9. SMART • • • • • Specific Measurable Achievable Realistic Timed
    10. 10. English goals • What are your goals for your English? Vocabulary, grammar, pronunciation… Reading, writing, listening, speaking... • Are they SMART?!
    11. 11. Image credit: Unknown (meme)