ACEnglishteacher

Transforming teaching and learning for the 21st Century


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Christmas activities to keep students engaged and learning

Christmas is just around the corner, exams have finished but classes still go on… Make the most of the class time left with a Christmas activity or two…

Activity 1

I adapted the following activity from a blog post I read a couple of years ago on elt sparks.  The activity is based on a Christmas ad for H&M by the director Wes Anderson. My students were really struggling with the past tenses (past simple, past continuous and past perfect) and needed more practice.  I decided to use a narrative (the advert) to facilitate understanding and provide further practice. 

The advert tells the story of some passengers who are stuck on a train after bad weather and mechanical difficulties cause the train to be delayed.  This delay means they will miss Christmas with their families. The conductor and his assistant decide to organise a Christmas brunch in the cafeteria for all their passengers to make them feel better and they have an ingenious idea to execute their plan… Continue reading

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3 ways to practise grammar at Christmas

Just because it’s Christmas doesn’t mean the grammar’s got to go…

In fact just after the end of term exams (now) is when I need to be going over content that students haven’t yet mastered.  Here are 3 ideas to spice up the grammar and give it a Christmas twist…

Adverts

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There are some great adverts around and the Christmas season sees a plethora of ads to convince you it’s their turkey and Christmas pud you want on the table.  Some of these ads we wait for with anticipation: Come November in the UK, small talk at the bus stop is no longer about the weather but what the new John Lewis Christmas ad will be like… Continue reading


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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!