Now that I am back teaching ESL, after being gone from the field for almost 4 years, I am really enjoying catching up on some of the ESL teaching blogs that are out there. Today one that I discovered is called In Your Country. It is filled with lesson ideas that would work well with the way I am trying to do my classes.
The post that caught my attention was with picture prompts for describing people. Rather than have students describe pictures of people, they are asked to describe the owners of different items: an old van, a pair of heels, and a dog. I really liked this idea because it requires students to think and to sue their imaginations. Based on what I saw this past week, my beginners could do that.
The nice thing about activities like this — one of them at least — is that it shifts the focus of the class from what students don’t know to what they do. It allows them to build on their existing knowledge, to see the new material as an extension of that rather than something completely unrelated to it.
I will be trying some of these ideas in my class soon. I’ll let you know how they go.