• What is topic work?• How topics can be used as a basis for planning and organizing language learning.• How to organize topic work.• The problems and benefits of using topic work.
Topic work is a way of organizingchildren’s learning and languagelearning around topics or themesof interest to the children.
ART Draw, paint what the house ENGLISH Ats 1-5 ENGLISH Ats 1-5 looks like. Describe orallyAdress- What is and it? writing, whatHow are adresses the house looks worked out? like YOUR MATHS AT 10 ENGLISH Ats 1-5 HOUSE Shapes- observe Colors of front roof, walls, bricks. door, roof, walls, Name shapes, look path. Shade, hue for patterns in color mixing. buildings, draw. ART ART/DESIGN ALL CORE SUBJECTS SCIENCE AT 6 Observe and Construction. report. Looking in What is it built what can be seen from- walls, roof. through a window.
How topics can be usedas a basis for planning and organizing language learning. In the next part , we will see an example of how to plan for topic work. It is not the only way to proceed but it gives you a framework to start from, which you can try out in your own situation.
• How would you choose a topic and what factors would influence your choice of topic and activities?• Which age and language level do you think the topic would be suitable for?• Which language-learning activities based on the topic web would be suitable for the learners you have in mind?• Do all the activities in the web involve children in using languaje?
Topic web: Wild animals Maths GeographyEnvironmental Expressivescience arts
Here are some of the factors which may influence your choice of activities:• Pupil’s interests.• Pupil’s conceptual level.• Time available to do the topic work.• Level of language needed for the topic or to do the activity.• Level of cognitive challenge.
• Potential for encouraging pupil involvement and participation.• Pupil’s language needs.• Resources available to do the activity.• Syllabus.• Potential for linking with other activities.
Analysing language/skills/attitudes in learning activities.Here you have a list ofthings you can do onceyou have selected a rangeof activities. You can:
TASK 2 Sequencing activities.Objectives and Language focus: Skills and Pronunciation Notesactivity vocabulary and functions structuresTo find and Receptive Reading skills Final Links with maths-interpret (recycled) Finding consonant estimating andinformation on Vocabulary appropiate books. clusters, eg in measuring skills.animals’ sizes related to size Finding key length Organization: infrom books height, length, information about pairs and then numbers in animals’ compare answers. meters and cm sizes/heights in deer, wolf library books
Activity: Make and describe an imaginary animal.Objectives and Language focus: Skills and Pronunciation Notesactivity vocabulary and functions structuresTo make an Productive Manipulation Pronuntiation Art work, eg makeimaginary (recycled) skills of possessive an animal byanimal from Names of Decision making ‘s, eg deer’s, sticking togethergiven body animals: deer, Oral skills elephant’s. different parts ofparts. tiger, eagle, Listening skills different animals. Collaborating Organization: with other pupils. work in small groups.
Imaginary Animal -Cat’s head -Camel’s body -Scorpion’s tail
TASK 3 Identifying outcomes for activities.• In topic work, pupils learn how to work together, how to find out information, how to manage their work and present it.• The emphasis is on the process of learning and so we could say that one outcome is the development of process skills.
Here are three starting points for the topic work.• Consider the advantage and disadvantage of each one.
How to organize topic work.• There can be a lot of • If it is successful, this work involved in will give you organizing topic work. confidence to try a So it is best to start slightly longer project. small. Begin with a • In the following parts small project that takes we will consider you only two or three need to decide or lessons, perhaps linked organize in planning for to your coursebook. topic work.
• What materials do I need?Decide what materials you need tocarry out the activities.To reduce the burden of makingmaterials, think about how the childrencan help. What can they bring to class? • Monitoring and recording childrens’ progress. Keep records of how children work (learning process) as well as of the outcomes of their work during. If time is limited, just monitor a few activities closely and keep brief notes on each child.
• Classroom organization.Decide how you will organize pupils foreach activity, remembering to varyways of working in a lesson, eg wholeclass pair-group-individual wholeclass.
• How to group children?For group work you need to think about howto group children. This can be according to:-friendship-ability-mixed ability-shared interest.Change your groupings from time to time sochildren get a chance to work with differentchildren and are not labelled as belonging toa weak or a strong group.
The problems and benefits of using topic work.Lets see which conditions are particularlysupported by topic work and let us also look atsome of the problems which may prevent topicwork from creating these conditions.
• Create a real need and desire to use english• Provide exposure to varied and meaningful input with a focus on communication• Create a friendly atmosphere in which pupils can take risks and enjoy their learning• Provide opportunities for children to experiment with their new lenguage• Provide plenty of oppotunities to practise and use the language in different contexs• Help children notice the underlying pattern in language