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All things EFL… A collection of practical ideas, resources for the classroom and thoughts on EFL today


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Christmas…time for a song!

merry-christmas-isolatedThe classic, “Do they know it’s Christmas?” provides lots of opportunities for language work,  investigation and discussion.  I have used this song with different levels for different learning outcomes.  This particular lesson is aimed at upper elementary/intermediate teens to:

  • revise/extend christmas vocabulary
  • identify and practise previously taught diphthongs (although they could be introduced at this stage too)
  • research information
  • discuss the message of the song
  • consider some wider global issues

How many sessions you dedicate to this will depend on where students do their research (in class or at home), how you organise the discussion stage (whole class, pairs, groups…) and how much time you want to spend on it, if any.  Depending on your students you may want to make it a bit more light-hearted and not delve into the wider global issues too much.

I tried to make make it more relevant to my students (teens) by incorporating the 30th anniversary version, sung by more recent artists.  However, they did enjoy the original version,  laughing at the fashion and hairstyles and trying to guess the year…

Click on the link below to get the PowerPoint (lesson plan)

Do-they-know-its-christmas

Merry Christmas!


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Happy song, happy students, happy teacher!

Stick man dancingI recently completed a great course with Katherine Bilsborough on  iTDi about materials design. One of the assignments was to create materials based on an authentic text. I chose a song, an old feel-good favourite of mine Dancing in the Moonlight Toploader, and modified an activity I had already used in class. Although I used this activity originally with teens, I have since used it with adults with equally positive results.

In this activity, students practise listening for specific vocabulary whilst revising the phoneme /ai/.  Students also recall and practise using common homophones. Follow up activities are intended to develop digital literacy (see demo Padlet canvas), foster respect and tolerance and give students a voice (sharing opinions about what makes us happy), contributing to a positive classroom atmosphere.
Please use, adapt or share if you like this activity.

Teacher notes

Slides

Slides (make a copy)

Vocabulary cut ups

Vocabulary cut ups pdf