Teaching English Language as a Foreign Language Without Gadgets
Classroom without teaching aids
You need to burn the midnight’s oil in order to make the whole class interested in your grammar lesson. This can be quite easy when your school owns a multimedia classroom equipped with all kinds of useful gadgets, such as: laptops, tablets, projectors, white boards, etc. But what if you as a teacher does not have anything of the above mentioned? How would you achieve your goals?
Take for an example one school where two foreign languages are being learnt as a second language. One of them is English. Having in mind the fact that school’s funds cannot cover the expanses of equipping the school’s laboratories, it is excessive mentioning of buying furniture and useful high-tech gadgets for foreign language classes. As a result English teachers have to take the organizations of their lessons in their own hands.
The lessons are 45 minutes long and each one consists of three parts (introduction, main part and conclusion). During the first five minutes of the lesson an English teacher introduces a warm-up activity, in this case for Comparison of adjectives.
- Warm-up activity: The teacher distributes pieces of papers with printed questions on them. Students work in pairs and discuss these questions: 1. Which students are tall in their class? Who is the tallest one? Which students are funny? Who is the funniest? Which students are smart? Who is the smartest one? They have 1 minute for their discussion while the teacher monitors the whole activity and then the teacher asks some of them to share their opinions with the rest of the class. Time: 4 minutes
- Main part: 1st activity: In this part of the lesson, teacher hands over a chart with the rules for the comparison of adjectives and makes groups of four students. Their task is to figure out the main rules and to raise their hands when they finish. They need 4-5 minutes to complete this activity. The group who finishes first writes the rules on the blackboard and other groups add more rules if the first one has missed some of them. 2nd activity, time 20 minutes: Students then open their books on page 50 and in pairs read the text “Eating Out.” When they have read, teacher asks them some questions from their book: 1. What kind of food does each restaurant serve? Which restaurant would these tourist prefer? There is a list with the tourists’ names in their books. Then, students do the exercises on page 51. The first exercise on that page is to complete the table with the adjectives which were used for describing the restaurants and to put them in comparative and superlative form. They do it in pairs. Teacher asks students to read their answers aloud. Next exercise is a matching one and they do it individually. These are the sentences: 1 The specialities from Bangladesh are as good as in any top class restaurant. 2 The pizza bread is the tastiest I’ve ever had. 3 The prices are more expensive than in a lot of restaurants. 4 The terrace outside is not as noisy as the main dining room. Students match them with the uses (a-c): a to say that a person, thing or activity is unique in a group b to say that two people, things or activities are not equal c to say that two people, things or activities are similar or equal. (answers: c, a, b, b). Then, in pairs students write sentences comparing two places on the photographs in their books, using the given adjectives.
- Conclusion, time – 15 minutes: This part of the lesson is reserved for the final checking of students’ knowledge on comparison of adjectives. They do adjectives crossword. Teacher gives out copies to the students and they complete it in pairs. As for the homework, they do the exercise 7 on page 51.
Bear in mind that all of these activities have to be prepared weeks and weeks earlier so that they can be fully completed when the lesson comes. It often takes the whole weekend and the afternoons on working days, so if you want a dynamic and engaging lesson you have to plan it in advance.