Teaching EFL Listening via FUN WITH ENGLISH Books/8B/Lesson 15

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INTRODUCTION[edit | edit source]

Easy lesson for the last week of classes. Idea is to get a conversation going around spring festival and also review a few common simple mistakes many students tend to make.

Be careful with the lao wai bit, its sensitive and some students w/o a high english level may take it the wrong way, esp if in their experience people only say good things about foreigners in those moments when they shout out ‘laowai’ in the streets. For the first few lessons I was too preachy telling them not to say things. Now I prefer to just tell the story of a Chinese person in America and let them figure it out on their own.

MATERIALS[edit | edit source]

  • Comic Strips

SYMBOLS USED[edit | edit source]

  • OR # are for instructions or notes.

‘ means is for something to say. == and CAPITAL letters is a section header. = and lower case letters is a sub-section header. <> Indicates a link to a web resource.

LESSON PLAN[edit | edit source]

0 Before Class Preparation

  • Clean classroom.
  • Write ‘Lesson Plan’ and ‘Announcements’ on the board.

1 Opening Conversation

  • Open with ‘Yo.’ and ‘What’s up?’ which we have been practicing.
    • If they do not remember, go over with them by writing this on the

board. Try to have them fill in the second part.

      • hello = yo
      • how are you? = what’s up?
      • I am fine, and you? = not much, you?
  • What Chinese festival is coming in February? (Talk about Spring

Festival & Chinese New Year’s]

  • What other Western festival is also on February 14th? (Talk about

Valentines day, which in 2010 is also on Chinese New Year’s]

  • Perhaps tell a personal story.
    • Our family Volvo is older than most of the students.
    • When I was a kid and that dude in the locker room he was fat.

2 Common Student Mistakes

  • Start by going over what “Common Student Mistakes” means, stressing

they should not feel bad becasue many of them make the same mistakes.

  • no why!

‘ Why is saying no why a mistake? ” Becasue it is not English, it’s Chinese – meiyou wueshenma ‘ What should you say? ” No reason.

  • give me!

‘ Why is saying give me a mistake? ” Because it is rude – bu li mao in Chinese. ‘ What should you say? ” Can you please give me one? ‘ What should you say afterwards? ” Thank you.

  • I know! I know!
    • Write 2 + 2 = on the board.

‘ If I ask this question and you know the answer, what should you say? ” I know, it’s 4. ‘ If you don’t know the answer, what should you say? ” I don’t know. ‘ Then I will tell you the answer is 4. After I tell you, can you say Oh, I know? ” No, you should say I see or I understand. ‘ If I have to tell you the answer to a question, you cannot say I know. If you know the answer already then you can say I know.

  • pronunciation of ‘C’ – Many students say it as ’say’ instead of


  • pronunciation of ‘F’ – Many students say it as ‘f-uh’ instead of ‘eff’.
  • lao wai!

‘ What is a lao wai? ” Foreigner ‘ What is a foreigner? ” A person from a different country. ‘ Right, so in China I am a lao wai. If you went to America you would be lao wai right? ‘ For example, if you go on to a trip to America, you are very happy. There is good food, good shopping, beautiful places and beautiful people. You are very happy! Then, one day you are walking down the street and some Americans stop and yell FOREIGNER! then start laughing and talking quickly. How would you feel? ” [if they don't respond] would you be happy?

    • Don’t batter it over the head, but try to naturally get them to

consider how a foreigner in China might feel, even if they are saying nice things.

– From here on out, vary by class depending on what they like. –

3 Game they want to play and/or Everybody’s an artist and/or Competition (boys against girls) Game and/or Go Outside

  • Everybody’s an artist


  • Competition (boys against girls) Instructions


    • Additional Instructions:
      • If you don’t have a lot of time, it doesn’t have to be boys

vs. girls.

      • It seems like a simple enough game the teacher can just relax, but

with my classes unless I am actively involved moving around and keeping score on the board it hasn’t worked.

      • Can also do phrases instead of just words.

4 Read Comics and Relax

  • If possible go through a comic strip with them step by step – seeing

what they think.

  • Hand out comic strips.
  • Walk around the room sitting with different groups of students

talking and see if they want my help.

    • Move quick.
  • Be parient, it is really hard for some them. If they can’t access

the comics immediately they tune out and start acting up.

Lesson Critiques[edit | edit source]

9 June 2010 AM Period 1 Grade 8 Class 1[edit | edit source]

  1. Spent a minute or two getting everyone into their seats as I did not arrive until perhaps a minute and a half before the bell.
  2. Tried going over the common mistakes to start, but no one was really listening.
  3. Fashion Slideshow
    • Few students listening, but the response was not very strong.
  4. Telephone
    • One team had 3 people with a really high level and they dominated, which made it tough for the others to have fun.
  5. Fire! Game
    • Blindfolded a student and had them look for a fire - worked alright.
  6. Watched The Birds
    • Watched it through again stopping and chatting about which went alright.
  7. Watched 1 Man Band for the last minute or two.

9 June 2010 AM Period 2 Grade 8 Class 3[edit | edit source]

  • Promised one of the students we could watch the vampire show he was interested in watching, so we did.
  • Stopped it at one point to explain about prom in the USA.

9 June 2010 AM Period 4 Grade 8 Class 2[edit | edit source]

  • Switched the boys and the girls with Mr. Brown, so today I was back teaching the girls.
  1. Do you have any questions? Anything you want to talk about?
    • No.
    • Played music quietly in the background throughout.
  2. Taught them about prom in the USA, got a few laughs, but no real questions.
  3. Fashion Slideshow
    • Also asked their opinions on make up / dresses vs. pants for girls / tattoos
    • Didn't think they were into it, but a couple expressed disappointment when it finished.
  4. Missing Words Listening: You Gotta Be
    • Played the song all the way through the first time.
    • Second time a whole bunch of them were listening trying to figure out what was happening.

9 June 2010 PM Period 1 Grade 7 Class 11[edit | edit source]

  1. Greeting: Yo! What's up?
  2. Do you have any questions for me?
    • Got a couple.
  3. Fashion Slideshow
    • Not too much interest.
  4. Oh my God vs. Oh my Lady Ga Ga & Oh my Gosh
    • Not sure how much was understood.
  5. Columns Telephone
    • Played it twice through and that was enough, the kids just go wild.
  6. Simon Says
    • Students were not too excited and those who got out early kept on hitting one another.
  7. Pixar Shorts and discussion.

9 June 2010 PM Period 3 Grade 7 Class 10[edit | edit source]

  1. Greeting: Yo! What's up?
  2. Do you have any questions for me?
    • Not many.
  3. Fashion Slideshow
    • I'm getting better at delivering the slides.
    • Questions on them do not really work, it'd be better just to add more pictures.
  4. Pixar Shorts
    • Grandpa & Sheep one were boring and did not get much of a discussion.
    • Birds went better but finished as we were ending class.

9 June 2010[edit | edit source]

What did I do well?

  • Having a lot of different things we could do, and letting the classes go this way or that depending on student interest.

What could I have done better?

  • Asked better questions around the fashion show.
  • Tried more to talk about common mistakes with the students. I did not try very hard at all to get these discussions going.

What did I learn?

  • Having multiple options instead of a set lesson allows me to better follow student interest without the pressure of "We need to get this done!" playing in my own mind.

What did the students learn?

  • About fashion and different ways to think about fashion.

How can I make the lesson better?

  • Add more pics to the fashion slideshow.
  • Try to talk about the common mistakes more in the lessons.

10 June 2010 AM Period 2 Grade 8 Class 5[edit | edit source]

  1. Do you have any questions for me?
    • None.
  2. Huang Mei Xi Lyrics
    • One or two sang seriously, most did not.
  3. Fashion Slideshow
  4. Missing Words Listening: Let it Be
    • Played one time through for them to listen and another time without they lyrics which worked better than I expected.
    • At one point when they were all listening I decided to yell at a couple of boys who were acting up, doing that cost me about 95% of the listening student's attention [they laughed at the boys I chastised] and the boys did not really change their behavior much.
  5. One Man Band Video
    • Got a decent chat going about the video afterwards.

10 June 2010 AM Period 3 Grade 8 Class 4[edit | edit source]

  1. Do you have any questions for me?
    • One or two.
  2. Taught them about "Oh my God!" and "Bless you."
  3. Asked "What have you learned this year?"
    • Got one or two responses, but not much.
  4. Fashion Slideshow
    • Tried chatting with everyone, but I was not able to.
  5. Listened to Des'Ree "Let it Be" One Time
  6. Simon Says
    • One girl won when I asked them to "touch your elbow".
  7. Huang Mei Xi Lyrics
    • Put them up there and then asked some people to sing for me, which a few did.
  8. Bye Bye with contact info
    • Told the class honestly how I felt about them and the wonderful work they have done this year.

10 June 2010 PM Period 2 Grade 8 Class 6[edit | edit source]

  1. Did the movie and grades with them I didn't do the week before.
    • Giving some kids who were just quiet C's felt wrong as did one boy who was annoying at times, but whom was also always talking in English in every lesson in one way or another and who could've easily made my lessons impossible, but who did not.

10 June 2010 PM Period 2 Grade 7 Class 8[edit | edit source]

  1. Do you have any questions for me?
    • Got a couple.
  2. Taught them about "Oh my God!" and "Bless you."
    • Attracted their attention, and one boy in the back was writing down notes.
  3. Fashion Slideshow
    • Managed to chat with every student in the class at least once, I believe.
    • Working through the pictures is a good way to talk to everyone, because it keeps it interesting and the questions fresh.
  4. Telephone
    • A boy who is usually EXTREMELY quiet delivered the correct message, which was shocking and wonderful.
  5. Bye Bye with contact info
    • Told them honestly what I thought about them as a class, and that I was leaving. Some of the students did not realize I was not returning.

10 June 2010[edit | edit source]

What did I do well?

  • Chatting with a bunch of students during the fashion slideshow.

What could I have done better?

  • Done a better job of delivering my exit speech/message to them. Some of them I did not do it at all.

What did I learn?

  • It will be difficult to say goodbye to them.

What did the students learn?

  • That I am leaving and one more chance talking and speaking with me and hearing how I deliver class.

How can I make the lesson better?

  • Make sure I talk to every student at least once during the fashion slideshow.
  • Keep doing the manners bit.
  • Ask them what they've learned.
  • Learn how to sing Huang Mei Xi.

12 June 2010 AM Periods 1, 3 & 4 Grade 7 Classes 1, 5 & 6[edit | edit source]

  • Taught the full 50 students alone today.
  • Did about the same lesson plan above, but I also mentioned their upcoming test again, and experimented with giving out candy to the students.
  • One of the students said he knew one of the stories the test was from.
  • Trying to give the students candy has been very difficult.
  • Some students rise to the challenge and get really, really excited. Those who would usually be quiet, raise their hands.
    • Especially the more aggressive students.
  • Others, who normally might talk from time to time, completely shut down.
  • Once I begin throwing chocolates around the room inevitably some boys get a big kick out of knocking down the chocolates and preventing their classmates from getting them.
    • This has started with one boy who thinks he's clever in each class and then spiraled out of control.
  • Some students also tend to lost interest after they realize I will only be giving them one chocolate each.
    • They end up giving the chocolates to their classmates, but it gets REALLY annoying.
  • If one of their classmates speaks for a second time, they are sure to remind me "Two times!"
  • Kids can get very rude with them around, asking/demanding their classmates give them the chocolates they earned.
  • One girl whose incredibly bubbly and fun was absolutely dour by the end of the period for some reason I believe related to the chocolates.
  • Usually keeps them interested for a short while, then I lose the majority of the class.
  • Tried just calling on individual shy students near the end, which went OK.
  • Finished class by asking a question like "If someone tells you something is true, what can you do to see if its true?"
    • Said I would give a chocolate for the best answer.
    • In the 3rd class I said the best 3 answers. I also tried writing what they said on the computer with their names.
      • I struggled writing the Chinese names. Students got a big kick out of this and some tried to help, others took advantadge telling me the wrong words to type which got many other classmates laughing and me angry.

How can I improve?

  • Tell them they are not allowed to stand up and block the chocolates?
  • Abandon the chocolates idea?
  • Give them a chocolate if they ask me a question only?

12 June 2010 PM Period 1 Grade 8 Class 9[edit | edit source]

  • Tried having the students just ask me questions for chocolates.
  • Then, instead of throwing them around the room, I had the students walk up to me to receive them, and say "thank you".
  • Surprised to discover that some of them simply did not like chocolates, and that some were uninterested or too shy to ask.
  • Most students who did not ask, I called on them in any event.
  • Definitely worked better than the morning, but by the end most of the students were not interested.
  • Did the fashion slideshow to little interest.
  • Tried playing them the Des'Ree song to finish, which was not too well received, in that, no one was listening. Part of it was that they could not hear.

12 June 2010 PM Period 2 Grade 7 Class 4[edit | edit source]

  • Started off going over the test and then right into the fashion slides.
  • Got more of their attention than in the earlier class when I did the slides after the chocolates.
  • Then did the chocolates and having them ask questions, which also worked better with them coming to the front.
    • Still though some of them were too shy, or did not really care.
  • Tried singing Huang Mei Xi, which even though I just did one or two lines was met with a huge applause.

12 June 2010[edit | edit source]

What did I do well?

  • Tried something new with the students, and even though it did not work especially well, I stuck with it and tweaked it, looking for a way to make it work.

What could I have done better?

  • Let them know I am leaving in a more direct way.

What did I learn?

  • Giving out candy to students can get them talking, and be dangerous.

What did the students learn?

  • About fashion and got one more experience asking me questions.

How can I make the lesson better?

  • Incorporate Huang Mei Xi, more.
  • Consider dropping the candy.

APPENDIX[edit | edit source]

Materials Used Whose Copyright is Owned by Others[edit | edit source]

      • I used these because it was allowed within the rights given by the

people who made the materials.

      • The copyright of this lesson plan does not reflect the copyright

of these materials. Please contact the creators to see how it is OK to use their materials.

      • If I used something created by you and you would like me to change

the way I use it or the attribution, please let me know.

  • Copyright Holder – Dave’s ESL Cafe
  • Website <http://www.eslcafe.com/>
  • Materials Used
    • Everybody’s an artist, by Scott Van Wagenen
    • Competition (boys against girls), by Chad Davis
  • Copryright Holder – Chicago Tribune & Sun-Times
  • Materials Used
    • Many editions of the Sunday comics, kindly sent to me by my father.

Materials Used I Created[edit | edit source]

  • Comic Book Activity

Acknowledgments[edit | edit source]

  • I would like to thank all the 7th and 8th grade classes at Anqing

Foreign Language School who had this lesson for their participation and feedback. I would also like to thank the Anqing Foreign Language School for allowing me to teach.

Changelog[edit | edit source]

Ver 0.1 Jan 17, 2010

  • Sketched out ideas and rough plan on paper at an Anqing coffee shop.

Ver 0.2 Jan 18, 2010

  • Transcribed into aquamacs clarifying and finalizing my prep for the


Ver 0.3 Jan 20, 2010

  • Revised following 11 classes worth of experiences.
  • Expanded the instructions for “yo, what’s up?”
  • Removed questions about studying and exams because those questions

only put kids in a bad mood.

  • Added questions about spring festival and valentine’s day, which are

topics that can be discussed for a long time.

  • Removed the poetry contest announcement, because I forgot to bring

it up in far too many classes.

  • Modified the instructions for every part of the lesson plan.