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Idioms describing food, color, animals, weather vocabulary. It is advisable that teachers organize their idioms lessons around one specific thematic group. Idioms are complicating and they can also be difficult to explain to your students.

Take note that the link between their literal meanings and their actual use is not always distinct e. For these reasons, teachers should avoid introducing more than 5 to 10 idioms in one given thematic lesson. I do not recommend this approach! It will be very difficult for your students to retain the meaning and use of idioms without discovering their context first.

Ask students to guess the meaning of idioms, and then introduce them in context. Make sure that your students are ready Your students need to be very comfortable with the individual vocabulary that makes up an idiom before you teach them the idiom in whole. Make sure your ESL students are at an Upper Intermediate level or above before embarking on idioms lessons. Using Bilingual Exercise Though it is thought that idioms should be taught beginning from the Upper - Intermediate to Advanced levels, other levels can also benefit from it through the use of bilingual exercise.

Idioms are tricky, but they add beauty and color to parts of any language. I have discovered that students really enjoy learning them, especially if the teaching is done in a way for students to catch fun. There are certainly lots of enjoyable classroom lessons that can be done on this topic, and there are several good games' websites with captivating images that students can use for reinforcement too. The sites below are some examples Some colorful sites to use for idioms 21 http: Everybody is one way or the other attracted to a certain kind of music.

To adults, it is a slow or mid-tempo kind of music, to teenagers, they prefer a more energetic and fast paced rhythm, while kids love a fun filled music that they can actively run, jump and possible dance to.

Songs are generally spectacular language learning tools. Saricoban and Metin found that songs can develop the four skills of language which are reading, writing, listening, and speaking. For a considerable long period of time language teachers have mostly used the monotonous listen and fill in the gap activity when using songs in class, forgetting the fact that there are numerous other ways songs could be used to work on grammar, pronunciation, vocabulary and colloquial use of the target language.

Taking grammar as a case study, the present perfect tense does not exist in Portuguese and I believe in most Latin languages. Most teachers, including my humble self find themselves between the devil and the deep blue sea 23 trying to sink in this tense to students. Below is an exemplary activity.

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I have …………………, I have ……………. But I still haven't. I have ………………… honey lips Felt the healing in her finger tips It burned like fire This burning desire I have ………………. But yes, I'm still running. Sts organize the verses according to what they hear And you loosed the chains You broke the bond Oh my shame, you know I believe it Carried the cross of my shame 24 The activity above can be used with intermediate and upper intermediates levels to work on grammar, pronunciation and vocabulary.

This is just one of the miracles that songs can do to language learning. Apart from having a good time singing along, students are simultaneously learning because the classroom becomes appealing and stimulating. Funny enough, whether they like it or not, after singing a song over and over again, students find themselves unconsciously singing the song learned outside the classroom and this goes a long way to activate their brains linguistically speaking.

What teachers should know when using songs in class 1. Listen to the song carefully to be sure that it matches the aspect of language you want to trash on.

When planning your lessons, ponder on how music can help create a smooth transition from one activity to the next. Planning your classes with musical cues not only aids the students to recognize what is happening next, but it helps you as a teacher move between activities without any hitch. Play music to introduce new language - Songs are a great way to teach new language to youngsters and even adults.

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Even when the students do not fully grasp the lyrics, they are always excited to sing along. You can use music to review language - Singing songs is a fantastic way to quickly and easily review language previously practiced in class. One of the most remarkable things about using music to teach language is that students simply do not forget songs.

Before using a song, think about the language level of your class. Age should also be taking into consideration when using songs in class. Using an inappropriate song for the wrong age group or level in class might ruin your entire class. Make sure the song to be used has a target. Focus on a particular verb tense or aspect of Grammar that you want the song to send across to the students. Most importantly, it does not cost you anything to ask your students about their favorite genres of music at the beginning of each semester.

This will absolutely make your job easier when you intend to use songs in class. I am assuring you that you will be more than glad that you did. They employ not only reading skills but spelling, listening, writing, speaking, and even grammar. They also give students the opportunity to work on their communication skills.

There are several types of ESL dictations teachers can use in class. The most popular is running dictation which helps students a great deal with grammar and spellings. We also have question dictation, dictogram, classical dictation, picture dictation, shouting dictation which is quite common among kid groups, silent dictation and of course, musical dictation. Though not really common in Brazil where I am from, musical dictation is an excellent and fun way for students to increase their vocabularies, listening, speaking, AND writing skills.

There are quite a number of ways teachers can use musical dictation. The most common of all is the playing of one line of a song, class repeats, then writes the line down. Teacher continues with this sequence until the song comes to an end. Below is the way I use musical dictation in class to help students learn. It is quite simple and fun.

This activity should not exceed more than 20 minutes. Improving listening and spelling skills, review learned grammar and vocabulary Level: A small colored ball, a CD preferably a slow song 27 Outline: Prepare a piece of music that students know and obviously like. Explain the rules to the class before kickoff. Students sit in a circle while the teacher stands or sits in the middle of the circle, with a remote control to play and pause the music.

As the music plays, the first student on the right or left depending on the seating arrangement picks up the ball and quickly passes it to the next student and the process continues.

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If the word is correct, the student gets a point. The student with the most points wins. You can also divide the class into groups to make it more fun. It will also have a group spirit building objective. Musical dictation can be a fun way of bringing dictation which has been long forgotten back to our language classrooms. Songs are one of the unavoidable language resources most students love, and during the activity above, teachers may surprisingly find out that musical dictation could turn out to be a hobby for some of their students, even more so, when students realize that they can now figure out the lyrics of their favorite songs.

It can be used in teachers' professional development as well. Teachers or students can create their own videos as content for the class or as a means to assess learner performance Taggart, Video combines visual and audio stimuli. For English language learners, video has the added benefit of providing real language and cultural information Bello, ; Stempleski, Video can be controlled stopped, paused, and repeated.

It allows learners to see facial expressions and body language at the same time as they hear the stress, intonation, and rhythm of the language Bello, It is quite interesting and instigating that videos are being used more and more as a teaching tool in language classrooms. Nowadays, it is a painful reality that students would rather settle for a movie than read a book. Below are some suggestions of how teachers could use videos to spice their classrooms: Back to the Screen - The teacher picks a short extract from a thought provoking movie and then divides the class into two halves, with one group facing the TV while the other half will have their backs turned to it.

The latter only listens to the dialogue, but the former watches the movie. Afterward, the listeners ask the watchers questions to find out what they saw. Dubbing - Showing videos where characters convey a lot of emotion in their expressions, without sound and allowing students figure out the dialogue can be an interesting language lesson with a lot of fun.

Based on the length of the movie, students can do many things without having to worry about understanding the dialogue. They can describe what is happening using narrative tenses; describe the scene; anticipate dialogue or reactions; you can even make students act out the scenes, too. In fact, you can use this idea even with 29 animal videos, by allowing students imagine what dogs man best friends are thinking in a movie where a dog is a playing a detective.

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Questions and Answer — You can simply choose a suitable movie which is relevant to the topic of the day. Students watch the movie, and which you will give them a lot of questions dealing with the characters seen in the scene of the movie shown, which can be for oral, writing, expression purposes.

The class is not divided into two halves. Choose a brief video extract 3 or 5 minutes with a lot of sound effects. Cover the screen and allow students to listen to only the sound. If some of the sound effects are that of a person singing and or a tire screeching, your linguistic focus either as presentation or practice could be: Backwards viewing - Choose a short 3 minute action scene in a movie.

For example, a woman was heard screaming in a forest, all of a sudden her voice ceases, and a man with an axe was shown desperately running out of the forest. He got to the highway, reached for his car, grabbed a huge blanket and was hurriedly running back to the forest.

Play the sequence backwards to the students, and then have them reconstruct the story in chronological order, using narrative tenses, or future tenses, or whatever you want the linguistic focus to be. Finally, play the sequence normally so students can compare it with their version. After all the students must have guessed, release freeze frame to compare what they said with what actually happened.

Fill the gap - You could show students a short movie. You could get tons of them on youtube. When it gets to a scene full of suspense, you can fast forward pass it and ask students to guess what happened.

They provide the student with content, context, and language. Videos play an increased role in providing ESL instruction to students in the classroom as well as in self-study situations. Balloons Most of us language teachers commence our classes with warm up activities to capture the attention of our students and get them to work together as a group.

And physical activities are the ones that actually indulge most of our students the more. Snell,cited in Promislow, Physical activity makes use of the kinesthetic modality. It is a way most people learn. On a more general note, doing physical activities together has a magical way of getting people to work together.

And looking at it from the academic point of view, when physical activities are incorporated into regular academic classes, students learn faster, retain information longer, and score higher grades in examinations. Regularly getting students out of their seats and doing something physically engaging sends more oxygen to their brains, and stimulates an increase in neural activity. Having to engage them with an educational exercise using balloons is a great way to get them to work together.

Activities such as this should only be used as warm up and should last for 10 minutes maximum. The activity below can be used as a guide. Elicit from the students common body parts likely to be used for this activity arm, knee, shoulder, foot. Write those on the board as well.

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Students work in groups of about 8. They stand in circles. Each group gets one inflated balloon. The task is to keep it in the air as long as possible, hitting it with any part of their bodies except their hands.

When it does hit the ground, they start again. To wrap up, it is pertinent and crucial to remember that all existing learning style instruments and learning strategies are in their infancy, and need further testing through classroom application Oxford Ideas for using pop songs in the English language classroom.

Teaching for Excellence, p. Principles and practice in second language acquisition. Songs enhance learner involvement. English Teaching Forum, 36, What every teacher should know. Electronic Journal Articles Helgesen, M. Accessed 28th June Available for World Wide Web: Audio-Lingual Method of Teaching English.

Accesses 16th May Available on the World Wide Web: One Stop English online. Accessed 8th June Five Commutative Language Learning Activities. Accessed 13th May Songs, Verse and Games for Teaching. Accessed 2nd July New avenues to choosing and using videos.

Processing of idioms by L2 learners of English. Preparing ESL workers to work in teams. The Connector, 4, p Reference material Merriam Webster Collegiate Dictionary. Oxford Advanced Learner Dictionary Oxford, Oxford University Press. Short Courses Cotton, H. Canadian Institute of English. Thesis and Dissertation Olajoke, A. Accessed 2nd August, Available from World Wide Web: Accessed 11th July, Accessed 22nd August, Possible Friday excursions include a visit to a Candomble community, local art and history museums, the riverside city of Cachoeira, and Praia do Forte, site of the Tamar sea turtle nesting project.

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