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Messages - Sarah_Choi

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Extensive Reading / Extensive Reading Project
« on: April 30, 2012, 09:42:02 PM »
 I would like to introduce an extensive reading project which can be applied to a middle-school English course in EFL settings. As we all know, extensive reading would be really beneficial to students. And as an enthusiastic supporter for the extensive reading, I always kind of forced my students to do some extensive readings outside of the classroom when I worked in a Korean middle school. Since many students, at least my students except some of them, never read any English books outside of the classroom, I made it as mandatory by making it as a project they need to complete to pass the course. The procedure of the project would be as follows:

First, they need to choose a book among penguin level books. (Link: ) Since I do not want students to struggle with a very difficult book which would be much beyond their proficiency level (If I let them choose a book by themselves, some of them will choose a very difficult book such as Da vinci code), I make them choose a book among penguin level books. And I usually make my students choose a different book from each other so that they can listen to other studentsí stories with more interest when they make a presentation about the book they read.

Second, I give them two weeks to read the book. During two weeks, they can read the book whenever they want outside of the classroom

Third, after two week, in class, they need to introduce the book they have read to classmates. They can just tell the story or make a presentation with PPT slides. In the presentation, they are going to give the summary of the story and what they felt after reading it. It would be just 3-5 minutes talk.

In one semester, students will do such a project for 3-4 times. So basically they are going to read at least four English books. It might seem nothing at first but when they do this continuously, their English proficiency will improve very much. I made my students do this for a year when I was in Korea, the effect was outstanding. So I recommend using such a project so that they can practice reading English books outside of the classroom.

General Reading Links / Creative Writing with Picture Cues
« on: April 30, 2012, 04:26:24 PM »
When I worked in a Korean middle school, I often used a picture-cue writing activity to teach past tense. In this activity, I usually geve a l ot of cue-pictures to students and let them choose one of them. Then, with a chosen cue-picture, they made a story using past tense. Students, especially young students always love to choose one picture among many pretty pictures and make a story of their own. So even though it was a part of a grammar lesseon, they really loved the activity. I usually used other pictures in Korea,but I found good pircure cues online, so I would like to share them. Not only for teaching past tense, such a creative writing activity with picture cues can be applied to various lessons!

General Reading Links / A game for practicing scanning skills
« on: April 16, 2012, 02:20:24 PM »
I found a good game in which students can practice scanning skills. In this game, students can be a detective and try to solve the case with the given clues. And while doing so, students need to scan the scattered information in the game to guess what really happend. It could be very interesting and useful at the same time for students. However, vocabulary used in this game is a little bit difficult so it would be more suitable for intermediate-level students. As a warm-up activity or even as a main activity, we can use this game in class when we give them a lesson about scanning and skimming.

Complete Reading and/or Writing Units / Reading Genres
« on: April 03, 2012, 01:47:40 PM »
Created by Sarah Choi & Hamzah Abbadi

Topic: Distinguishing reading genres with vocabularies and story structures

Level: Intermediate ESL students
Reading, Writing, and Oral Communication
:  Based on vocabularies and story structures, students can identify the reading genres and create different genre types by themselves.
Time: 50 minute lesson

Objectives: At the end of this lesson, students will be able to: 
  • Distinguish genre types.
  • Identify vocabulary or story structure that is important to each genre.
  • Create different genre types using their new and existing knowledge
-PowerPoint Presentation (Attached)
-Online websites (Attached w/ PPT)
-2 Student Handout (Attached w/ lesson plan)
Online website:

Vocabulary / Re: Creating Personal Dictionaries for Vocabulary growth.
« on: March 13, 2012, 01:24:47 PM »
Actually most Korean students are already doing this. And there are some problems of  keeping personal dictionaries. Many students are keeping it to memorize them, which makes the words decontextualized. So in case of keeping personal dictionaries it would be very important to include some sample sentences which contain the target words so that they do not end up memorizing decontextualized words.

[font=&#44404]In pre-reading stage, I think activating students' schema is the most important to make them ready to read the article. Since many students will not be familiar with the concept of pulsar, it would be good idea to use a video clip which can explain it and activate their background knowlege..[/font]
Pulsars & Neutron Stars
[font=&#44404][/size]1. First, in pairs students will be asked to guess what the plusar means: they cannot consult the dictionary.They have to only guess the meaning of it. [/font]
[font=&#44404][/size]2. As whole class, briefly share the ideas.(without telling the answer. Make them guess more actively and make them curious, which can trigger their interest..) [/font]
[font=&#44404][/size]3. Without telling them the answer, show them the video clip.[/font]
[font=&#44404][/size]4. And then tell students you are going to read an article about what you've watched.  [/font]

I like the idea a lot .And it could be a good practice for students. However I think it will take time a lot. Maybe it would be difficult to finish this activity in one class. We might have to divide it into two classes or maybe we have give students some homewoks related this lesson.

I loved your lesson a lot. I am sure students can learn skimming and scanning through this lesson!

Sophie, as we talked in class, it would be nicer to have more structures for your ideas. You may add some additional information such as time management schedule or teacher role or materials..
And now I figured that your lesson was designed for children. In that case, would it be a little bit difficult for them to read this story or understand it?  But in case you have your students read the story in their own language, it would be better. I think it is always good to have students think creatively.

Good idea! I think it is always a good idea to have students think creatively. I was thinking about almost same idea as you, but about cultural differece. The part that having students read the story first and have them make a story is same but, before that they need to find one cultural difference in the story and write about what would have been different if Harry Potter were in their country. With such an activity, they can be creative and understand the cultural difference at the same time.

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