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OnTESOL Graduate in Switzerland: Engaging Lesson for Young Learners

This week I had to stand in for one of the teachers that take care of young learners (because she was sick).

To prepare for the class, I followed my tutor’s advice and recommendations and some instructions on the TEYL handbook (and of course TPR, TBL, and ALM methodology).

I must admit that I was pleasantly surprised about the outcome, the students were engaged for 2 hours (non-stop!).

It was very nice to see their reaction after the 2 hours when I said that the lesson had ended: “Oh! That’s it?! Already?!”.

Since this experience, I am incorporating TPR also to TBL lessons with older students (to consolidate what we have learned so far).

About the author: Núria Barnolas is teaching English in Switzerland. Ms. Barnolas completed the 250-hour TESOL Diploma and she is currently taking the 20-hour TEYL course

My structure was the following:

Topic: hobbies and leisure

Context: Students that despise school and last lesson before a school exam about this topic.

Pretask Phase: revision of verbs and prefixes through a matching task < which is also kinesthetic)

Flashcards with the verbs (two piles of cards: one with verbs and one with prefixes)

The students had to match verbs with prefixes. Whenever they found one match, they had to run, write it on the board with a sentence (they had to come up with a sentence) using the separable verb.

**Vocabulary problems: whenever they didn’t understand the meaning of a word -> I had flashcards with drawings and pictures or pantomime.

***Cheatsheet: some students still struggle with basic content (like the endings of verb forms regarding person). I hanged on the whiteboard two “cheat sheets”, one with the personal pronouns and one with the endings. I left a space between these two, so we could write the root of the verb in the middle. That also helped them a lot.

Task cycle: create a mind map

Once we had all the verbs and sentences on the whiteboard, each student created a mind map (I helped them) with all the verbs – so they would have an overview.

TBL practice phase: drill exercises

We flipped the mind map over, and put one pair of flashcards (verb+correct prefix) on the table: the students had to come up with a sentence (or if they remembered, the one that was written on the whiteboard). Every student had to repeat the sentence without any mistakes. We did a lot of drills here to consolidate the structure (verb conjugation, the position of the verbs in the sentence, declinations).

TBL practice phase: problem-solving task

Verbs in an expanded context: I handed out a puzzle – the students needed to reorganize the puzzle to create a meaningful dialogue about leisure. Once done, they glued the dialogue behind the “Verb MindMap” and then we “played” the dialogue.

As a reward for all the hard work (and because it was an afternoon class), we all had chocolate cookies!

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