First things first, our students are awesome. Super positive and eager to learn. Whether you’re a professional teacher or never taught a day in your life, they will make you feel welcome and encouraged, so don’t worry about things being perfect. In terms of age, they range from 18-55, with most being in their mid to late 20’s.
There are 5 levels at EIM, but we will be grouping everyone into 2 or 3 bigger classes. Expect between 5- 25 students in each class. We will teach at the school for 2 hours a day, 5 days a week. You’ll work in pairs to teach and if you’re not teaching one day, you’ll be floating between the classes offering support.
It’s HUGELY helpful to brainstorm some English activities in advance of coming down. This will save you time and stress and also allow you to bring down any materials (pictures, articles, games) you may want to use. Typically it works best for teachers to have 3-4 activities in mind for each class. You may only get to 2, but just so you’re prepared. Games and competitive activities are always a huge hit, but also try to have some meaty activities (reading, writing, etc.) in the mix too.
Here are some things that have worked well in the past:
A class on what makes a good story. Not just grammar but climax and resolution, character development, etc. People have also handed out different pictures of people and places and asked students to write a story inspired by the pictures.
Print-outs of different types of pictures
4-5 categories (Vocabulary, Expressions, Definitions, Spelling, Culture) taped to the blackboard, face down. About 5 questions for each category.
Divide class into two (2) teams. Teams allow them to work together to come up with an answer they all agree on.
If Team 1 answers incorrectly Team 2 can steal the points, if they answer correctly.
This game works for all class levels because you can scale up or down the level of difficulty of the questions.
Paper to write the categories & questions.
Students get excited with a fun prize at the end such as candy or cookies to share.
One person sit in front of the class and the teacher puts a card on his/her head with one word on it. The student cannot see the card but the rest of the class can. The student then has to ask the class Yes/No questions to figure out what the word is. If the yes/no questions are not leading the student to the answer, the class can occasionally give hints to help out.
This can also be done without cards with the teachers writing the word on the board above the student. Just make sure the student doesn’t turn around.
HC has a board game called Headbandz with cards and a headband but the game can just as easily be played with the teacher writing the word on the blackboard, therefore, only chalk and an eraser would be required.
Split students into separate teams. Ask them to come up with a team name. Provide students with letters (alphabet). Ask them to use the letters they receive to create words.
It helps to have one non-teaching volunteer assigned to each student team. They should assist the students by strategizing word choices; help with spelling; or giving clues to possible words if the students are stuck. They should not be suggesting words unless the students are really beginners or have a hard time grasping how to play the game.
Assign point values to the words created. For example, 1 point per word (all words have equal value regardless of complexity), or 1 point per letter used (to encourage compound/complex words), or points based of word length to simplify counting ( 4 letter words = 1 pt, 5 letter words = 2pts, 6 or more letter words = 3pts), or come up with your own point designation system. Each round ends when both teams cannot create anymore words from the letters they have.
As the teachers, one of us kept score and wrote the words that each team created on the chalk board. The other one collected the used letters from each team as they completed their words.
The team with the most points win! At the end of the lesson/game, have the students go over each word (from both teams) as a group or individuals and ensure that everyone can pronounce the words correctly and understands the definition of each word.
Definitely work out a game plan the night before with your teaching partner. Depending on the comprehension level of the students in the class, you might want to consider increasing complexity to the game as each round is completed. Have all your supplies packed and ready to go the night before.
Have fun! This is suppose to be a fun game…take cues from the students and your non-teaching volunteers. Be flexible, change up the rules of the game if you need to. Be ready to be amazed by the interesting word choices the students come up with!
Letters: You can purchase or make your own by using construction paper/index cards, markers, and scissors. I would recommend at least 4-5 sets of the entire alphabet with extra vowels and popular letters. Remember to draw lines to denote orientation so that letters are not mistaken for each other like M,W, C, U, etc. I would also recommend using only capital letters.
Bonus cards: We made bonus cards. One was a "star" card, we drew a star in place of a letter. The star can be used as a replacement for any letter they are missing to create a word. We also made a "BONUS" card. We wrote the words "BONUS" on the card. BONUS cards can be redeemed for extra points.
At least 3 large zipper bags. 1 to hold the letters and to help shuffle them. Other bags to separate the letters for each team to help start the game. The night before, we made all the letters, mixed them up, and then separated them into two separate bags for two teams.
Vocabulary Banks: Provide them a list of words to help with the game. You can create this on your own or look online for resources. We provided a few lists, one was an "easy" list, an "intermediate" list, and a "hard" list of vocabulary words. If you can, print extra copies that you can handout after the lesson. All the students wanted to keep the vocabulary lists. https://www.thegamegal.com/printables/