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5.1

Cambridge Assessment English

Skip to 0 minutes and 1 secondHello, everybody. Hello, everyone. Welcome to Week 5. And our topic this week is resources. Absolutely. But first of all, we're going to answer questions from last week. Questions on grammar, vocabulary, and phonology. So, Marie Therese, there were lots of questions about whether you should teach the terminology of grammar when you're teaching grammar. Not just the ideas, but the terminologies, so present perfect, et cetera. What do you think? Well, I think the answer is it depends on the learners and on whether you think it's useful for them to know it or not. I think, perhaps, kids, if you're teaching really young kids. What do you think? It's not really appropriate, is it, to be - because it's confusing them there.

Skip to 0 minutes and 41 secondsThey're still learning probably their own first language, and they're learning English in a more sort of organic way, picking it up as it goes in the class. With older learners, I think it's probably quite useful for them to know the names of tenses and that sort of thing because it means that they will be able to go home and look things up, and maybe do practise activities. There's so much stuff now on the internet that they could go and do a game, a gap fill activity or something like that online.

Skip to 1 minute and 14 secondsAlso, if they have learned grammar in their own language, or they've learned the grammar of another language, it's useful to be able to hook in English grammar with the grammar they already have. I think people on the course have talked about contrastive analysis. So that you look at how the present continuous is used in English, and if it's used in your language, how is it used? For example, in French you say I've been to the cinema yesterday. When in English, you can't say yesterday with the present perfect. And I think if students know that, it's very useful. So they'll know that we only use present perfect with an indefinite time.

Skip to 1 minute and 52 secondsSo I think it's useful and it has its place, but I wouldn't necessarily teach it to kids. No, OK. But for adults, it empowers them to go and learn on their own, and give them a bit of independence. And also, they might know the names of the tenses because they might have learned it when they were at school in a very traditional sort of way of learning English where they learned tenses, and they learned conjugations, and so on. And so they might remember bits of that. And if you were teaching in a more communicative fashion, it's good for them to be able to link what they already know with this new stuff that they're learning.

Skip to 2 minutes and 26 secondsBecause it's not new stuff, it's stuff they already know. It's building on what they know already. Yeah, exactly Now, we promised last week that we'd do guided discovery this week. Oh yes. OK, yes, I had set up - leave it for this week. Lots of people asked what it was and so I thought I'd just do a little example. So a guided discovery is a deductive - it's not a deductive, it's an inductive approach to language learning. Remember last week we talked about deductive an inductive. Deductive, you see the rule and then you have examples. Inductive, you see examples and then you work out the rule.

Skip to 3 minutes and 0 secondsI have a favourite guided discovery lesson where I'm teaching or revising past tenses, narrative tenses. So past perfect, I had been, I had looked, I had watched. And past simple, I watched, and past continuous, I was watching. So those three tenses. So I give students a text. It's a narrative. It's quite a funny story about a man called Mr. Scott who gets on the wrong airplane. And in that, in the text there are examples, multiple examples, of those three tenses. So first they read the text for comprehension. So they read it with comprehension questions about where was he going? Did he get there? Who is that text about?

Skip to 3 minutes and 47 secondsThat sort of thing so that they understand the meaning of the text and they can see that language in it. Then I give them another handout and on the handout there are questions which relate to particular sentences, the grammar I'm teaching that are in the text. So for example, there'll be a sentence that says Mr. Scott got on the plane, he had never flown before. Right, OK. OK? So Mr. Scott got on the plane, he had never flown before. So I'd give them a number of questions that they have to answer in relation to that particular question. So for that particular sentence. So for example, how many actions are there? Two actions. Got on the plane, never been before.

Skip to 4 minutes and 32 secondsWhich action happened first or didn't happen first? Which has never been before. Which action happened second? Got on the plane.

Skip to 4 minutes and 41 secondsSo what the students are learning is that these are two different tenses, one of which - and we use them because one actually happened in the past, before the other action. And so the questions are grammar questions. They're leading them specifically to that grammar.

Skip to 4 minutes and 58 secondsAnd so the students learn, they see the language in context, and they learn the rule of the language. I could write the sentence on the board and say, this is the past perfect, this is the past simple, we use this because this action happened before the other action. And I could do that, and that'd be fine, wouldn't it? Well, the difference with that is it's short and sweet, and the learners might not remember it. Whereas, something that they've discovered for themselves, they're more likely to remember. That's the whole point.

Skip to 5 minutes and 24 secondsAnd again, you're seeing that - actually, we had a comment from Auriette on the course who said, but it takes ages to prepare, and it takes ages to go through it in class, and why don't we just tell them? Actually, I don't think - Auriette you didn't say why don't we just tell them. You just said it takes - and it's true. It's absolutely true. It does take time. It does take time. But, this week our theme is resources, and one of the things I think we're going to emphasise throughout the week is that if you prepare your resource, yes, it does take time.

Skip to 5 minutes and 52 secondsSo make sure it's worth it, and keep it, file it, and use it with another class. My Mr. Scott lesson I've had for years. Absolutely years and I've used it. Because that's the other thing, if you're going to spend a lot of time preparing something, make sure it's something that doesn't date. A guy getting on the wrong airplane is never going to date. Well, not for a long time. Not for a long time, exactly.

Skip to 6 minutes and 16 secondsAnd the other thing as well with guided discovery is this thing that it's memorable. It's much more memorable because it's quick to just say, here's the past perfect. This is what we do. But I have no idea what's happening in the students' heads. And when they have to do this kind of exercise, I know whether they've understood it or not because they've had to tell me the answers. Now, there are lots of questions about what books to recommend. Sophie wanted a book to put on her bedside table. It showed real dedication, didn't it? Yeah, well done Sophie. Reading your grammar before you go to sleep. So what grammar book would you recommend, Marie Therese? OK. So two grammar books.

Skip to 6 minutes and 49 secondsOne is a Martin Parrott and it's called English Grammar For Teachers. And I like it. It's very simple, straightforward, it has little exercises that you can do if you're not clear yourself. It's really a book for people who are learning to be teachers, I think, but I still look every now and then if I'm not sure about something when students ask me a question. The other grammar book - so that's Martin Parrot. We'll put these links, incidentally, on the page. The other grammar book I use is a English Grammar In Use, which is Raymond Murphy. And it's not a grammar book for teachers, actually, it's a grammar book for students.

Skip to 7 minutes and 27 secondsIt has bunches of exercises that students can do to practise particular tenses. But I always recommend it for teachers because if it's simple enough the students to understand, I'll be able to understand it. So that's the other grammar book. And also, the teachers are explaining it to learners. So it gives you the kind of simplicity you need. Absolutely, and it has context. It has ideas for contexts that you can use to present language in. So that's grammar. It's actually a best seller, I think. Is it? Is it? Oh. Yeah, it's a best selling grammar book. There you go. I'm in the best sellers. So, that's grammar. Grammar and vocabulary, I want to mention English Vocabulary Profile.

Skip to 8 minutes and 5 secondsThis is like a database. It's a website. It's a database which used a corpus to put together what words and what grammar students use, or should be taught, or could be taught at different levels. So for example, if there's a word in a text - I don't know, say embarrassed is in a text, or disappointed is in the text. And I think, I wonder if my students will know this word, or should I pre-teach this vocabulary? Go to English Profile because it'll tell you what level that word is commonly known. So is it an A2 word? It's done with the CEFR. So that's English Vocabulary Profile and English Grammar Profile.

Skip to 8 minutes and 50 secondsFor pronunciation, we have to do Adrian Underhill because Adrian Underhill is like 'the man', as far as phonology goes, pronunciation. He developed the phonemics chart that we use, the IPA chart, and he has made some really, really clear YouTube videos. There's a whole set of them. There are about 20 of them. There's one that introduces the charts and introduces the shapes. The shape your mouth should be when you're saying the different phonemic sounds and then there are, I think, 19 or 20 other short video clips for each of the sounds.

Skip to 9 minutes and 36 secondsSo I highly recommend them and because they're short, they're just about enough time that you can understand what's going on and then you can have a pause, and come back and do another. Little and often. Absolutely, absolutely. I think they're really really, really useful. So that's it really, those are my recommendations for grammar, vocabulary, and pronunciation. Right. Now, there were lots of questions too about how you get beyond the individual sentence in grammar. How you use grammar naturally, kind of almost automatically. And recommendations, I think Diana recommended lots of exposure to English. So do lots of reading. Build up your passive vocabulary, your passive knowledge of grammar. Lots of listening to realise what vocabulary you can use actively.

Skip to 10 minutes and 16 secondsAnd there were some nice ideas, actually. Nihart I'm not quite sure how you pronounce that, Nihart. We should get people to write their names in phonemic scripts so that we don't make fools of ourselves pronouncing them wrong. But she set up a charity day for people to knit. Interesting word, knit. You don't pronounce the K, but it was just a one day event to knit and use English while you were knitting. And it was so popular that this group carried on, and that's a fantastic way to kind of learn English to use English by doing. And then Ildiko had a nice idea, which was about building sentences. So for example, you might say, I like apples.

Skip to 10 minutes and 53 secondsAnd then I say, she likes apples, but I like oranges. And then the next person might say, they like fruit or she likes apples. She likes oranges, but I like - or they might say, they like fruit, but I like - and so you build up sentences. OK So I think kind of getting beyond people's current state of knowledge. A vocabulary idea, for example, let's say somebody writes it's raining or they've written story. You could say well, could we think a different word? So maybe it's only raining a little bit. What would we say then? So we'd say it's drizzling. Or maybe it's raining very hard. So we'd say it's pouring it's rain.

Skip to 11 minutes and 29 secondsOK, so you can try and extend people's vocabulary that way. Now, again, lots and lots of requests for how to make grammar fun. I think lots of people have had boring experiences with grammar. So for adults, for older learners, can you give them an idea, Marie Therese? We could do grammar auction. You know when you auction stuff, you hold it up and people decide how much it's worth. So $5.$5, \$10, exactly. And so grammar auction you have a sentence, the teacher gives the students a sentence. So puts it on the board or gives them a strip of paper. Is it a correct or an incorrect sentence?

Skip to 12 minutes and 4 secondsIt could be correct or it could be incorrect, and the students have to decide. And if it's correct, you might - if it's fantastically correct, you might want to bid for it because the aim of the thing is to have as many correct sentences in your pile. You also have some pretend money. Did I say that before? I don't think I did. You have some pretend money and so you look at the sentence and you decide, this is a really correct sentence, and you bid for it. Well, if it's not, if there's a mistake, you lose that money and you don't get the sentence. Or you end up with an incorrect sentence.

Skip to 12 minutes and 38 secondsSo if it's a correct sentence and you bid for it, then you get the sentence and you keep your money. So the aim of the exercise is to keep all your money and to have a stack of good sentences, correct sentences. Of course, it's also a learning thing in that the incorrect sentences are corrected by the students in the class. It isn't just left. So you could have a whole bunch of sentences that focus on a particular grammar area that you've been working on, or you can have sentences that include common areas from your students. So that's grammar auction. But you've got an idea for a young learners.

Skip to 13 minutes and 10 secondsWell, I've got an idea for younger learners and this involves a box, a shoe box. And this is Larry the Lamb. Now Marie Therese, you're going to be six. OK? OK, I can be six. And we've been learning prepositions and present continuous in the class, OK? And this is Larry, he's our class toy. OK. Hello, Larry. So I'm going to ask you to tell me where is Larry? Larry is next to the box. Where is Larry now? On the box. Where is Larry now? Beside the box. Larry's inside the box. Very good, Marie Therese.

Skip to 13 minutes and 49 secondsLarry's under the box. Very good. OK. What's Larry doing now? Larry walking along the box. Very good. What's he doing now? Larry jump over the box. Very good, Marie Therese. OK, I've also got Larry's sister - Of course, you have. - Laura. So we could actually, we're not going to do it, but we could practise they're - They're jumping over the box. Or we could even have a little bit more fun with it. We could have Laura, and what's Laura doing? Laura's hiding. She's hiding behind the box. OK. And you can get the students. The kids can have it and then the kids could ask each other where is Larry? What's Larry doing? Exactly, yeah. They practise in pairs. Lovely.

Skip to 14 minutes and 35 secondsFantastic. Now, I don't know if you noticed, Marie Therese, because you're enjoying yourself so much, but you said Larry jump over the box, and I said very good. What do you think of that? Yeah, well it's incorrect what I said, and you were congratulating me on a wrong sentence. And there are a lot of people that think that that's really bad, but - But you've used the right verb. You said jump - Absolutely - and you got the right preposition. You said over. Absolutely. So am I going to really say actually that was an incorrect sentence. And you did repeat the correct sentence so the other kids could hear that you had noticed that something was wrong.

Skip to 15 minutes and 11 secondsAgain, there's a school of thought saying people don't notice those things that teachers do. So there can be little techniques which I've seen a teacher where you could put 'ing' on the board. So when the learners forget the 'ing', you can just point to the board and then jumping over the box. And also, you can store it up maybe, and at the end you can just do a little revision of drilling, maybe, a little bit of pronunciation practice. Yes. That was a question, actually, that we forgot to answer when we were talking about phonology. Liz and somebody else, I think, asked is drilling out of date? Do we not do drilling anymore?

Skip to 15 minutes and 48 secondsDrilling is absolutely not out of date because how are you going - remember when we were doing those sentences in - was it Week 1 or Week 2? When we had to learn bits of each other's languages. How would we have remembered them if we didn't? Drilling, incidentally, we're using jargon again without expanding. Drilling is repeating over and over, or repeating altogether as a class, or repeating as an individual. How will you learn if you don't do it? I think actually about maybe 10 or 15 years ago people thought it was a - they felt embarrassed about doing it, but I think it's back in fashion and I always use it.

Skip to 16 minutes and 27 secondsAnd there's fantastic ways you can do it You can do backward drilling. Can't you? Absolutely. So instead of saying Larry's jumping over the box, you can say the box, the box, over the box, jumping over the box, Larry is jumping over the box. Yeah, exactly. [INTERPOSING VOICES]

Skip to 16 minutes and 43 secondsIt's the vital way of practising pronunciation. Yeah, good. Other questions that we had. So we've done games for grammar and we've done - oh, I was going to do my prepositions game. You had a prepositions game you were going to tell us about. So what's your game? So my prepositions game is you have pictures of famous people and we were trying to think of other famous people apart from Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie, which we really thought of Beyonce. We obviously don't know our celebrities, do we? Beyonce is a famous person, and Adele is a famous person, and Bruno Mars is a famous person. So we'd have pictures of all these famous people.

Skip to 17 minutes and 25 secondsBefore the class came in, you'd put them all over the room. So you'd have something under your chair, you'd have something on the wall, you'd have something above something, something below. So pictures all over and the kids go around and they look for the pictures, and then they have to come back and say Beyonce was under the chair. Bruno Mars was on the table, et cetera. Usain Bolt was - Usain Bold, very good. Well done. Yeah, so that's it. That's my game. And it's quite fun because it's kinesthetic. It has been moving around the room, looking for things, and it's a bit like a kind of egg hunt kind of thing. And using memory as well.

Skip to 18 minutes and 10 secondsA vocabulary game that we talked about before was, for example, we're going on a picnic at the weekend. And so we're going to go - what are you going to take on your - I'm going to take an apple. I'm going to take an apple and a banana. I'm going to take an apple, a banana, and a carrot. I'm going to take an apple, a banana, a carrot, and some dandelion tea. It's enough. I can't think of anything with an E. So round the classroom. Everyone has to remember and if someone forgets, the others help. Any game that kind of depends on the memory usually goes down well, doesn't it, with any age group. Yeah, absolutely.

Skip to 18 minutes and 44 secondsI think we'd better stop. I think so too. This week you're going to be made familiar with lots of resources, not just physical resources but digital resources, course books. Not forgetting that you yourself as a teacher are a resource, the learners' a resource. So lots of new learning this week and we'll see you again on Friday. And we've got to France. And we're going to France. Not literally. Our profile for this week is France. We have a teacher telling us what it's like to work there. So see you at the end of the week, everyone. Have a great week. Bye for now. Bye.

Introduction to Week 5

Monica and Marie Therese start the week by answering the question we asked you to think about at the end of last week. They also answer your most popular questions from Week 4 and introduce this week’s topic: resources.

In the ‘Downloads’ section below you’ll find some useful links on last week’s topics. You’ll also find our latest country profile. This week we’re looking at France.

There’s quite a long list of things teachers can use as resources, isn’t there? This week we’re going to explore some of the different resources teachers use in the classroom. We’ll hear from learners and teachers about the resources they use and you’ll see some teachers using different resources in class.

As in earlier weeks, there’ll be quizzes and polls; we’ll invite you to make a podcast and and we’re going to be asking you for your views on using different online resources.

We look forward, as always, to seeing your contributions to our tasks and reading the comments and ideas you share with us this week.