“Our chief want is someone who will inspire us to be what we know we could be.”
~ Ralph Waldo Emerson
Today’s post celebrates the innovative ways teachers are motivating their English language learners. We are describing different ways to teach English that will astound your students. We offer you a peek at what other teachers are doing with their language learners and the results. We hope these ideas inspire you to be creative with a lesson or two even if you don’t choose to use these methods throughout the year.
Teaching English through Rap
Jason Levine, also known as Fluency MC, uses rap songs to teach learners collocations and vocabulary. He raps about grammar and structures and provides the pdfs with lyrics. He has several videos created that you can use with your learners in case you aren’t the type of teacher who raps. Here is a recorded presentation in which he explains his method, how he started, and the results. Also, be sure to check out Tara Benwell’s post about a teacher who teaches English using Hip Hop.
Teaching English through Lip Dubs
Chuck Sandy has his university students in Japan create Lip Dub videos of famous songs. You can check out one of these videos here. In a lip dub, students learn the lyrics to a song then record a video in which they mouth the words to the lyrics as the music plays. The students lip sync in the video. The students seem to be having a lot of fun and it helps with team building. Here’s a lesson plan to get you started.
Teaching English through Karaoke
Greta Sandler had her 5th graders in Argentina karaoke on Singing Fridays. They use this time to sing English songs they have created, teach others English songs through Skype, and sing famous English songs they have prepared and memorized throughout the week. You can find ideas and web tools to help you get started in this post about teaching English through song lyrics. One of our favorite tools for language learners is Lyrics Training.
Teaching English through a Geolocation Game
Paul Driver has invented SpyWalk, a location-based urban game. Language learners play in teams with mobile devices and live GPS tracking to complete missions. The project was recently nominated for an ELTon.
Teaching English through Memes
Nina Jeroncic, who is based in Slovenia, recommends teaching with Internet language or memes. According to wikipedia, memes are ideas, behavior, or language spread throughout a culture. Here is a recorded presentation in which Nina explains various tools and lesson ideas. She uses examples like YOLO, the Grumpy Cat, and more. Her ideas would be great to motivate teens and university students.
Teaching English by Creating Apps
Ozge Karaoglu, a young learner teacher in Turkey, has her 5 to 7 year-old students create the content for mobile apps. They have created a children’s dictionary, games, and stories that integrate their voice, imagination, and drawings. Find the free Android apps here and the IOS apps listed on her blog. Ozge’s kids’ apps were recently nominated for an ELTon and have won various awards.
Teaching English in Virtual Worlds
Language learners of all ages are immersing themselves in virtual worlds to learn English. They create an avatar that travels through a virtual world like Second Life and they can interact with others and objects. Language Labs is one of the more well-known virtual schools that teach English to adults. Watch videos of the project here.
Teaching English via Taboo Topics
One way to get learners thinking critically is to bring up topics that will rile them up. We have a variety of lesson plans on controversial and taboo topics.
Teaching English through Magic
In last month’s post we listed various ways to motivate learners with magic. Get your students to learn English by teaching them magic tricks, having them create magic potions, and getting them to write in invisible ink.
Do you have more innovative ideas to add to this list?
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