Partner Country: Latvia                                                        24 April 2019

Level A2

University of Latvia, Visvalža 4a, Rīga

Teacher(s)  Edgars Lasevičs, MA

                   Tatjana Bicjutko, MHum

Course aims:

  • to enable learners to communicate effectively and appropriately in real life situations;

  • to develop and integrate the use of all four language skills with the priority given to speaking and listening;

  • to revise and reinforce structure already learnt;

  • to improve their current language skills while developing further interest in learning English;

  • through active engagement and social interaction to promote positive outlook and overall wellbeing.

Class aim: to teach words of emotions and past forms of most often used irregular verbs.

Group profile

  • 4 people: 2 males and 2 females;

  • Age: 65-82;

  • Mother tongue: Latvian;

  • Level of the foreign language knowledge: A2;

  • Other relevant data:

  • all participants had been attending English language courses at the University of Latvia Senior Club.

Skills to be developed and reinforced:

  • language skills: listening, speaking, writing skills;

  • soft skills: communication skills (storytelling, reading body language); critical thinking (logical thinking, artistic aptitude, willingness to learn, thinking outside the box); positive attitude (confidence, cooperation, enthusiasm); interpersonal skills.

Specifics

  • Length of the class: 2 h with 10 min break

  • Anticipated outcomes: a staged dialogue, personal story

  • Teaching and learning methods:

  • Teaching/learning aids: colour cards with emotions, a pre-prepared dialogue, tables, cards and dices with most often used irregular verbs, a list of situations and topic for storytelling, a writing board, paper and pens/pencils.

Class outline → lesson plan…

Peculiarities of the learners

  • Preferences/interests: (possibly) travelling, reading.

  • Barriers to learning: age-related cognitive and physical limitations.

  • Any other relevant information: apart from brief introduction and invitation to participate in a recorded session, instructors had no previous knowledge of the group.

Problem (in the process) → a certain restraint in the beginning;

solution: to start with a breathing exercise;

evaluation of its effectiveness effective in making students feel relaxed.

Problem (in the process)  → reaching the dead end in the yes-no game;

solution: giving hints (nearly an answer) to one of the learners;

evaluation of its effectiveness: not perfect for its demotivation effect; however, it might be compensated by a discussion of possible details of the story and learners’ expectations.

Outcomes 

  • Classroom participation: gradually growing from a restrained instructor→learner communication through learner↔learner and learner→ instructor communication to learner↔instructor↔learner communication.

  • Level of interaction: high

  • Real progress (skills developed): though difficult to measure without assessment, there is a definite improvement in

    • the knowledge of past simple and irregular verbs;

    • mastery of words of emotions;

    • openness to learning and willingness to tell stories;

    • overall wellbeing.

Reflection (consolidation on positive/negative outcomes, unsolved problems with suggestions on how to solve them in the future) The experience proved to be useful for all participants. The methodology using theatrical activities is workable and conducive to enhancing language and communicative skills and promoting empathy and social interaction. The problem is to develop the course which may keep the same level of involvement throughout all class.

List of videoclip titles with hyperlinks

Intro: Breathe and tune in (a breathing exercise)

Warm up: I am what I am (a colour-emotion game)

Activity 1. Homo emotus (reading with intonation)

Activity 2. Truths and a Lie (reading emotions and seeing false information)

Activity 3. Guess how I feel (reading a situation)

Intermezzo: Calm down! (relaxed breathing)

Activity 4. I’ll beat you (playing cards with verbs)

Activity 5. Death at the circus (a yes-no game)

Activity 6. Sweet memories (memory work – final stage)

Exit exercise: Worries go away! (short guided meditation)

Lesson Plan, Resources and Handouts available here:

Lesson Plan

Colour cards

Colours: teacher support

A table with most often used irregular verbs for each student

Dice with a different verb on each side_6 items

Situations: hidden emotions

Cards with verbs

Memory draw: the list of topics

 

 

Leave a Comment