CLESOL 2014: Learning Outside the Classroom


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This is a presentation given by Justine Ritchie and Martin McMorrow at the CLESOL (Community Languages and English for Speakers of Other Languages) Conference in Wellington in July 2014. It covers key aspects of organising learning experiences for English language learners outside the classroom space, whether that be in natural or social environments and includes some example activities.

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CLESOL 2014: Learning Outside the Classroom

  1. 1. LEARNING OUTSIDE THE CLASSROOM • What is LOTC? • What different LOTC environments are there? • How can we help learners prepare for LOTC? • What activities can be included during LOTC? • How can we exploit LOTC in follow-up lessons?
  2. 2. What is Learning Outside the Classroom (LOTC)? • Learning in any environment (including buildings or open spaces) outside the four classroom walls 'Learning outside classroom … wonderful!' MH, Grandmother, Beginner ESOL learner from China.
  3. 3. What is Learning Outside the Classroom (LOTC)? • Involves real-world encounters and authentic language 'It is essential, because you meet people everywhere, anytime... you can become fluent in English, understand local accent, enrich your vocabulary...' P, Former Journalist, Upper Intermediate ESOL Learner from the Czech Republic
  4. 4. What is Learning Outside the Classroom (LOTC)? • Can create memorable experiences 'It is good idea because it is beneficial to chat. It is good to go shopping and watch cinema. It is good to improving my English speaking with people and listening.' A, Tibetan Monk, Intermediate ESOL Learner
  5. 5. What is Learning Outside the Classroom (LOTC)? It is good idea because sound interesting. I wish it. There are many helping me - speak English, heard English. It is good for my NZ life. J, Mother and housewife, Intermediate ESOL learner from Korea • can also be the basis for classroom learning (in the form of preparation and review sessions
  6. 6. What different kinds of LOTC environment are there? Natural • Beaches • Domains • Bush walks • Gardens • etc
  7. 7. Cultural • Museums • Restaurants • Pa sites • Marae • Public talks • Films • etc
  8. 8. Functional • Libraries • Post Shops • Supermarkets • Malls • Tourist Information • Open Homes • etc
  9. 9. How can we help learners prepare for LOTC? Preparatory Resources • Realia • Texts • Images
  10. 10. Preparatory Activities • Practicalities • Language study • Classroom simulations / roleplays • Research
  11. 11. What activities can be included in LOTC? • Challenge cards • Alphabet / Colour Trails • Treasure hunt • Story-telling • Research tasks • Evaluation forms • • Secret Shoppers Games & Challenges
  12. 12. Functional Dialogues Recording Paired practice – one student participates, the other observes and gives feedback Students making audio, video or image recordings on their phones to use in follow-up activities
  13. 13. How can we exploit LOTC in follow-up lessons? Language • Past tenses • Question forms • Superlatives / Relative Clauses • Modal verbs • Vocabulary
  14. 14. Skills • Descriptions • Narratives • Informative texts • Reworking functional dialogues • Quiz questions
  15. 15. LOTC Task In pairs or groups, brainstorm an LOTC activity you could use with your student(s), including the: • Location • Language and Cultural Learning goals • Tasks for Preparation, the Activity itself and the follow-up lesson