Communicative Use of the Textbook
The materials in the
textbooks for Junior and Senior High are there to be used in a variety of
ways. The textbook forms a solid base for the lesson yet should be used in
conjunction with activities which are more student-focused and
communicative and actually 'bring the language to life'.@In this way, the syllabus is being followed, yet the
learning methods are varied. Not only does this avoid boredom on the part
of the students (and sometimes the teachers as well!) but it also provides
them with a clear purpose for learning the language if they can see how it
would help them in a real-life situation.
Relying solely on
the textbook is, perhaps, not the best strategy for teaching English
communicatively. However, the structure of the textbook should be used as
the main guide for the creation of any communicative activity (as mentioned
above). With this in mind, try to find creative communicative activities to
supplement the textbook teaching points i.e. the grammar and the vocabulary
activities are good for addressing grammar, vocabulary and communication
and are interactive and heavily student- focused. These activities do not
necessarily have to relate directly to the text, itself, but should be
based upon the same lesson grammar and communicative aims.
examples please go to Tell Me More: Task-based Communication Activities
(a website containing ESL lessons for Korean Students with detailed
task-based lesson plans.)
In this way, the
textbook serves as a reference source for both grammatical and vocabulary
structure and also as a practical learning review when used in conjunction
with a communicative activity.@
Included in this
section are examples of certain activities, and how they can supplement
your textbook. These examples have proven to be successful in several
Junior High School:
the Junior High Textbook-a detailed description on how to plan a
fun, interactive, communicative lesson around a chapter in the textbook.
Symbol Substitution Role-play Activities
(Role Plays e.g. asking for directions to bus/train/plane
etc. pp.56- 57 Speaking Plus 3 NEW HORIZON 1), telephone dialogue (New
role-plays are immensely enjoyable for the students and allow them to
practice the language in a controlled way whilst providing them with
options/decisions as to which words and phrases to use in their dialogue.
The easiest way to
create your own Symbol substitution role-plays is to create a table in word
with several columns headed with symbols and listing a number of options.
Below the table, write a dialogue e.g. a restaurant/telephone conversation
etc. and substitute words for symbols. The students then practice the
dialogue- picking and choosing which phrases they wish to use in the
dialogue from the list of options under that particular symbol.
Speaking Plus 4 (NEW HORIZON 1 p.66)
Design an MSWORD
template with picture boxes and small clock faces inside. Write one question
and one half-completed answer under each box. Since this is a
speaking/listening gap-fill activity, each student has to reply with the
full answer and has to write down their partners answers once they have
interviewed their partner and obtained their information.
Noughts and Crosses (Tic Tac Toe) Q & A activity@
Good for practicing
any question structure (e.g. Do you know how to? Yes/No. What must you do?
I must .) Simply divide the class into 2 groups and then get one member of
a team to ask a member of the opposing team a question. The opposing team
member should then provide the correct answer. You can score both teams on
questions and answers or just one team at any one time. You can make one team
miss a go if their sentence is incorrect and you can also modify the
activity so that students report back information to you (reported speech)
once they have asked a question and received an answer from the opposing
(for new vocabulary review e.g.
"Mother's Lullaby" p.36 New Horizon 3- new words)
Try explaining the
words using actions as well as just saying them out loud. Traditionally
bingo is played by reading out the words and acts rather as a listening
comprehension exercise. Another modified version of BINGO is to do mime or
gestures to explain the words. This adds in an extra element of fun and
also greatly aids studentfs learning memory, since Japanese students,
culturally, are generally more visual learners.
For learning and
practicing vocabulary. Make your own if you can draw or see the Resources Page
and click on one of the clipart web links that we have provided for you.
One option is to pass some flashcards round to your students and get them
to test each other in pairs by asking "What's this in English?"
to which the other student must reply "It is@". After several turns, students then change
cards and pass theirs on and begin the whole process again.
Oral Matching Exercises/Oral Investigative
Find Someone Who ('knows how to'
(p.44 NEW HORIZON 3). In this instance, Who? What? Where? Questions were
used together with and 'Must/must not' (p.42 NEW HORIZON 2)
An activity that can
be used to practice just about any question structure and is particularly
effective when it comes to getting the students to mingle and ask each
investigative questions and answers activities are very good for
'interactive teaching' (e.g. find your twin; find your sports partner, find
someone who) where students either have to find out who has the same
information as they do or obtain information about someone else. This can
be tailored to any grammatical point.
(Word/Sentence Strips, pelmanism/ concentration game)
students with strips of paper containing words or sentences which then have
to be re-arranged to coincide with a given theme. I.e. matching countries
to languages, matching expressions or commands to a specific situation or
when asking for specific information.
Use clapping and
tapping to reinforce pronunciation intonation and stress on words or
sentences. Since this is a TPR
Activity (total physical response activity) the students are more active in
the classroom and this avoids boredom even when drilling new words/phrases.
It enhances the learning process and makes even word/phrase repetition more
'interactive'. Evidence suggests that they actually enjoy it! (New
Horizon/New Crown 1,2 & 3, any new vocabulary).
Take a theme that
has been briefly looked at in one of the books (for JHS see New Horizon 2
&3 e.g. gChildren should not play computer gamesh NEW HORIZON3 pp.56
onwards). Pre-teach some debating vocabulary e.g. I am for/ I am against/ I
agree/ I disagree etc. Then, get the students to brainstorm 2 opposing
views either in groups or individually and then debate their points of view
You can make your own
chants if you want to. Clapping when drilling is helpful as it provides a
basis for rhythm for the students. The students usually enjoy this a lot
since it is a Total Physical Response activity(i.e. using the body as well
as the mind) You can also buy specific CDs/tapes that can be used for young
children at most bookshops.
Lots of visual aids
and things that the children can touch/create, like making Xmas cards, drawing
pictures in relation to a topic, decorations, Halloween costumes etc. are
enjoyable for the children and help to teach them about Western culture.
They are also a more fun way to introduce vocabulary or grammar to a young
Senior High School:
(see above, JHS Debates)
contentious issues (e.g. teenage pregnancy, drugs, under-age drinking, violent
films/games and crime etc.) using authentic resources e.g. radio
broadcasts, news flash, newspaper/magazine article etc. and even the
internet if the students can have access to computers.
Symbol Substitution Role-play Activities
(see above, JHS Symbol Substitution Role-Play Activities)
Please look at the
link below for a table which clearly explains the difference between a
textbook-related activity and an 'irrelevant' activity—which should be
avoided in class:
Textbook-Relevant Activity vs. Irrelevant Activities