Offline Supplementary Materials
SM recommendations - for teachers; Best ways to practice English outside of classroom - for students; Personal Experience - Valeriia Matveeva.
OFFLINE SUPPLEMENTARY MATERIALS
When taking on a new course or a student teachers usually select one coursebook to follow. We believe, there is no perfect book, because all students are different, they have their own goals, pace, background. So in order to tailor the course to their specific needs, the teacher has to turn to various supplementary materials. Today we are going to talk about various printouts and photocopiable materials you can use in your offline lessons.
Cutting Edge Photocopiable Materials
The series is a well-known multi-level resource pack that comes along with the Cutting Edge course. The topics raised there can be found in all other courses, so you will definitely be able to choose something relevant to your students.
The books contain board games, dominos, cards and other resources that the teacher needs to print and cut out, so there is some preparation needed. If your students seem to be tired of the monotonous routine, these materials are bound to come in handy.
Other similar books: English Result Resource Pack, English File 3 edition resource pack, Reward resource pack.
Collins English for life Listening
These books aim at exposing students to various accents - American, British, Indian, Scottish, German, Saudi Arabian, Chinese and so on. Since your students are more likely to encounter people who speak English as a Second Language, rather than native speakers, at work and when traveling, this book will help them prepare. Each unit takes a look at some general topic anyone can relate to, and the recordings feature authentic monologues or conversations, with utterances, hesitations, interruptions and slang. They come as close to natural English as possible, which comes in contrast to scripted and polished coursebook audio files.
Designed after old-school word quests, these games will make even the most disinterested student be eager to participate. The game looks like a set of numbered cards with a situation and a few options. Each option leads to a different card, and students need to make choices in order to get to the end of this maze. The game will usually have several outcomes, positive and negative, making it so fun to play! You can find some examples online, or make your own, Here is the game made by British Council about investing and spending - it revises money vocabulary. You can also use these games to teach negotiations (students need to agree on a decision), expressing opinion, past modals of deduction (what might have happened) or criticism (we shouldn’t have done this) and many other things.
Taboos and Issues
This book by Richard MacAndrew and Ron Martinez provides with photocopiable lessons on controversial topics: AIDS, sexual harassment, death, animal rights, racism, abortion, etc. The topics are introduced through texts, questions, vocabulary and are suitable for Intermediate level students and above. The topics are very stimulating and will lead to heated debates and lively discussions, but teachers have to be careful with the choices, know the audience well and have good rapport with the students, otherwise the situation may escalate to conflict.
These books by National Geographic are great for business and academic English as well as exam preparation. They contain lessons based around videos, have a lot of reading materials, graphs and charts, writing and speaking exercises. However, even the 4th book in the series is not challenging enough for Upper Intermediate students, but the course can be a great supplement for lower levels.
Not the most obvious choice, but Instagram posts are an excellent example of authentic realia you could use in the classroom. Among the activities you could come up with are: think of a caption for the photo, match text and photo, write hashtags, fill the gaps with words, write a comment for the post and so on. Your students are likely to already be doing all these things in their first language, which means they will be more motivated to practice writing!
What are your favourite supplementary materials for offline lessons?
Best Ways to Practice English Outside of the Classroom
When it comes to learning English, taking regular classes with an experienced teacher is all but essential for ensuring that you get the grammar of the language worked out as well as possible, and be able to raise any questions as you go.
While English lessons with a knowledgeable and well-qualified teacher can be invaluable, no one ever becomes perfectly fluent in a language without getting around to practising it outside of the classroom as well.
You can learn English from many sources. In your daily life, the list is endless.
So, whether you want to fit in a bit of extra English language practice on your evenings or weekends, or you’re feeling really ambitious and want to immerse yourself in the language around the clock, here are some of the best ways to practice English outside of the classroom.
SOCIALISE WITH NATIVE ENGLISH SPEAKERS, IN ENGLISH
Easily the best and most effective way to immerse yourself in the English language, is to socialise with native English speakers – in English.
If you live in an English-speaking country and are already fairly conversationally adept at speaking the language, this will be significantly easier than it might be in other circumstances. Nonetheless, it’s common for expats to remain within their own communities and – in many cases – to miss out on regular opportunities to socialise with members of the native population.
If you do not live in an English-speaking country, there is a good chance that you will nonetheless be able to find specific meetup groups targeted at English-speaking expats, or specifically focused around providing an environment where people from different linguistic backgrounds can practice their English.
Speaking English in a social context will give you a lot of insight into how the language flows in casual speech, and will also train you in the use of different idioms and expressions that are used in everyday speech.
WATCH ENGLISH LANGUAGE FILMS
Yes, you watching action-packed films or musicals is an enjoyable way to learn English. You can practice your excellent listening skills, and practice learning language and sentence structures all at the same time by simply switching on the subtitles.
Write down or draw images of your favourite scenes and characters from the film, be creative, add colour and annotations with simple sentences.
LISTEN TO SONGS IN ENGLISH
Listening to the radio and beautiful songs that get you singing along. You can check the song lyrics and practice your sentence structures, punctuation, and significantly improve your language range.
Pick out your favourite words and see if you can create your own poem or song.
You could even record your poem or song and play them back to practice your English language skills.
READ ENGLISH NOVELS (AND KEEP YOUR DICTIONARY NEARBY)
Reading novels in English is an excellent exercise in increasing your understanding of the written language.
Not only will this introduce you to things like metaphor, vernacular, and complex or even archaic phrases, but it will give you an insight into the culture of the country in question.
Of course, if you’re going to start reading novels in English, you should keep your dictionary and translation tool of choice within close reach – and, depending on how fluent you are in the language, the process might be slow going.
LISTEN TO AUDIOBOOKS
Listen to audiobooks in English, and this can help to strengthen your listening skills, you can practice learning speech and build valuable skills to help you create wonderfully language-rich sentences.
Create a story of your own to practice any new words that you have learned.
WATCH TED TALKS
Subscribe and enjoy watching TED Talks daily. Watching TED Talks will help to develop your concentration, listening skills and help you to build a wide range of vocabulary. The content of TED Talks available covers everything from; Media Studies, Business, Finance, Technology and many more topics.
DRAW PICTURES TO VISUALISE WORDS
Draw pictures of what you have learned and create a picture book. The images can help you visualise words and build ideas in your mind of the words you have learned. For example; You could learn the word - Flower – for this you could draw a picture of flowers, or you could break the word down – F for Friend, L for Love, O for Orange, W for window, E for Egg and R for Ring. You can build your words by using phonics learning and sound out each letter you speak.
CREATE A VOCABULARY NOTEBOOK
You can use your vocabulary notebook, to write down all the words you learn in a day. Over time it will build into a great resource that you can use to help you create sentences and stories of your own.
Do not just write down the translation of the new word that you have learned. Find the definition in English, learn the different spellings of the word, practice the punctuation and then use it in your writing daily. Try and learn at least ten new words a day.
READ ABOUT SOMETHING THAT INTERESTS YOU
Reading out loud and enjoying practising forming words can be the best way to improve your spoken English. Choose a topic you love and start reading every day, and it will build your confidence when speaking English.
How do you practice English outside of the classroom?
My name is Valeriia and I've been teaching English for about 7 years. I was teaching kids in China and Russia for several years and know a lot of tricks to make a lesson productive and fun. Teaching adults is a new favourite of mine, but no matter who I teach I utterly enjoy it - as in the end, English makes people so much more confident and lets them go global, and I love seeing my students' results so much.
What do you use to supplement your offline classes?
Offline supplementary materials for kids
With the spread of online teaching, teaching offline is gradually getting less common. There are pros and cons of each format but when it comes to teaching kids, offline still has numerous advantages. Supplementary materials are ample and can make any lesson engaging and diverse, and your students – bouncy and cheerful.
Flashcards are among the most versatile materials in the classroom. They can be used to introduce new words and to revise them, to learn, to play and to learn while playing. You can put them on the board and let children touch the correct one or choose the spelling, hide a card behind your back and let them guess the correct one or leave them in different parts of your classroom and let them run towards the word your say. You also can use small flashcards as a memory game. You just get to try them all as children have a lot of fun repeating the familiar words!
Posters work the same way as flashcards – just a way less portable. They work wonders when you want children to choose one object between many or name all the objects of the same colour, size or quality. For older children, posters are also useful to look for information or to check grammar rules.
Balls – well, anything you can throw at people – are practical when you want to elicit new words quickly. A child you throw a ball to needs to remember a word, or children throw it to each other and practice spelling or numbers. Of course, it works with adult learners too! You can play hot potato and the one who loses picks a flashcard or answers a question. There are also many ball games you can play in English with few instructions, especially if you have a class outdoors.
Cutting, tracing and colouring are all good to engage students and drilling new words is as simple as “Now let’s colour the roof red”. Tracing prepares them to write letters, and cutting is an excellent way to develop their fine motor skills.
Why not make puppetry! Acting a story rather than reading is way more engaging for smaller kids. Many educators also use a puppet as a companion for their lessons to introduce new words and model a dialogue.
Remember - if your students are restless, it’s a good time to change the activity, and introducing short physical activity breaks like dancing and singing is a good way to keep your lesson on point. The attention span of a 4-year-old is 10 minutes on average, but if you keep changing the relevant activities, the kids will never get bored!
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