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What is the interesting and effective ways of lead-in? 
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Joined: Wed May 10, 2006 5:43 pm
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Post What is the interesting and effective ways of lead-in?
I'm a English teacher in China. Now i'm facing a problem that it's very difficult to find an effective way to start a lesson. The lead-in part is very important for students to get involved as quickly as possible. Who can give me some advice and new ideas? :P :P


Wed May 10, 2006 5:52 pm
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Location: Nagano, Japan
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Mandy - Welcome to the forums! :smt006

What kind of a lead-in were you talking about?
- a lead-in for a particular language point?
- a warm-up to get the blood pumping?
- a warm-up review?
- a lead-in to get a new class going and having fun?

Also, what age group are you working with?

For my regular classes (children's) I liked to have a timed race review first thing. We all sit in a circle and we go over some old vocabulary, say 'chores.' As we revire the vocabulary I try to get them to review and talk in the target language: 'I have to ~.' 'I don't have to ~.' 'He has to ~." "do you have to ~?' ... Then, I break out the timer or stop watch. I have a little intro music I sing 'Ja ja ja jaaaaa.' (you kinda gotta be there.) But the more fun you make it seem.... the more fun it seems. ;-)

All the students take a card and we time how fast we get around the circle with the students asking each other 'Do you have to ~?' It's a timed race. You can set a goal for them to complete one or two times around in a set amount of time. If they do it, then they win! and they get stickers/stamps/... or they don't have to do homework! Whatever reward system you have.

They really enjoy that and they almost always win and get stickers right in the first 5-10 minutes of class.

If you can tell me about your classes, I and everyone else (cough-post!) might be able to get you a better suited activity.

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Wed May 10, 2006 6:54 pm
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Thank you very much for your reply, mesmark.
I'm going to teach high school students in China. it's maybe a little bit different from teaching children. Do you have some experience in teaching high school students, aged about 16 to 18?
I'll be very glad to see your reply. :P :P


Sat May 13, 2006 3:23 pm
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Joined: Sat Jan 21, 2006 8:03 am
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Location: Athens, Greece
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Quote:
For my regular classes (children's) I liked to have a timed race review first thing. We all sit in a circle and we go over some old vocabulary, say 'chores.' As we revire the vocabulary I try to get them to review and talk in the target language: 'I have to ~.' 'I don't have to ~.' 'He has to ~." "do you have to ~?' ... Then, I break out the timer or stop watch. I have a little intro music I sing 'Ja ja ja jaaaaa.' (you kinda gotta be there.) But the more fun you make it seem.... the more fun it seems.

Mark I'd like to know more about this review game. How do you get them to review and talk in the target language? And what is the purpose of the music. I haven't understood how this works but I have a feeling that I could include this in my upcoming 9-year-olds class's celebration lesson for being good for ten classes in a row.


Sat May 13, 2006 4:18 pm
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ah... (sigh) high school students. :? Yes, I do have some experience with them and they are my best and worst classes. They are some times very easy to engage and sometimes very hard. They do respond well to games right off the bat for review. Sometimes I play the same game from last week or some other game to build on what we did last time. That gets them in the right 'talking' mind state and helps get the atmosphere of the classroom taken up a notch.

For introduction of new material and trying to engage the students, it really depends on what you're teaching and their level. However, I generally tackle the situation like this:
    - Try to find something they're interested in that will use the vocabulary and language desired
    - Start off with that topic and let the students discuss about it in pairs/group
    - See what kind of vocab comes up and make lists
    - Discuss it as a class and go over vocabulary
    - Introduce you're desired language and see how the class runs with the ball

Now, that's just a TESOL 101 answer to your question. I know that doesn't help much. If you can toss out an idea of what you might teach, I can try and give you some more concrete advice.

As an example, say you were going to teach language based around unknown events/outcomes
- Why didn't John come to the party?
- Do you know if Lisa finished the homework?
- I'm not sure, but I think the meeting is at 3:00.

I have started some classes like this with discussions about mysteries, Moai statues, the pyramids, Nasca Lines, Micahel Jackson :shock: and so on...

Hopefully, you'll get some students saying or trying to say some of the things you want to practice or teach. Then I go over them and any they might have missed. If you have a worksheet, now's the time. After that you can talk about the same mysteries again. Then next week start with some 'who done it?' mystery role plays.

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Mon May 15, 2006 1:46 pm
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Manuela wrote:
Quote:
I'd like to know more about this review game. How do you get them to review and talk in the target language? And what is the purpose of the music. I haven't understood how this works but I have a feeling that I could include this in my upcoming 9-year-olds class's celebration lesson for being good for ten classes in a row.

The music is really stupid. :P It's actually like trumpets sounding to announce the king's entrance, but a little more cartoon-ish. I sing all the time for no reason and sometimes for reason. I'll sing the instructions of an activity just because... I'm a little goofy. :smt026

Anyway, the timed races for review...

I start out by showing them flash cards, and we review the vocabulary one by one. With some cards, I begin to talk about them. Say, 'take out the trash,' I would say something like, 'I don't have to take out the trash.' They've done this so much my next bit of silence is a clue to them that I want them to tell me something, ie. 'I have to take out the trash' or 'I don't have to take out the trash.' For more advanced classes we branch out into higher levels. 'I had to take out the trash last week. What a drag. Do you have to take out the trash every week?'

Well, there are the doers (those that want to talk and do) and the slugs (those that I have to ask, and they only give me the minimal possible answer) and they participate accordingly in that first part.

Then we get in a circle and the cards are in the middle.
- each person takes one card.
- on my turn, I use the language as instructed and then it's the next persons turn.
- it's a race to see how fast we can get around the circle.

You can time them and then do it again to see if they can beat their best time. If you're doing this in large classes you can have the students work as 2-3 teams. I generally don't pit the teams against each other but go with the improved time record for rewards.

You can set a certain amount of time and have the teams see how many laps they can complete in that time. Then do it again and see if they can complete more laps the second or third time. I always have them change cards between turns. So if it's lap 2 they have a different card from lap one, that way they're not just saying the same thing over and over again.

This is a fun review and a good fluency exercise. You can have them talk about themselves/the card, ask questions to the next person or all of the above.

Mark: He has to take out the trash. I don't have to take out the trash. How about you, Manuela? Do you have to take out the trash?
Manuela: No. My father does it.

Manuela: He has to do the dishes. I have to do the dishes after dinner. How about you next guy? Do you have to do the dishes?
Next guy: Yes....

That's really long for a quick review game, but you can make it shorter to suit the needs of the class.

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Mon May 15, 2006 2:14 pm
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Thank you Mark. It sounds very good. Keeps kids moving and talking.
I'll try it out tomorrow along with two or three other games. These running games! It's my first year trying out such games where a lot of physical movement is involved. I went to school in a country with a totalitarian regime and discipline in classes was so good that teachers could teach classes of 45 high school students without any problem.!!! I only realize now, that I'm a teacher myself, what an achievement that was. Running about in the class would have been completely against the trend of the day.What I mean to say is that as a student I haven't experienced how such games work.
It's your site and Eric's that have inspired me to try such games out. And I'm pleased with the results. Thanks.


Tue May 16, 2006 2:15 pm
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Thank you so much, mark. I really gain a lot from your passage. :P :P :P


Wed May 17, 2006 6:19 pm
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Post Routine for class
Hi Mandy, I'm not sure if this idea is too simple, but I try to have a small routine for my high school classes. My class size ranges from 25-40 students, so it's a challenge for me to have much one-on-one time with everyone. Each of my students has chosen an English name (for the sole reason that an English name is like a character for students to play in English class, so they might feel liberated to explore the language as that character). At the beginning of each class, I do a roll call. When I say the student's name, they say a greeting or phrase that I've chosen. For me, this phrase is something like,"How's it going?" or "How've you been?" to get my students use something besides rotely asking "How are you?" But, it's possible that the phrase could be something related to the topic of the day, in the Target Language. For example, if you're discussing weather, the students might say, "It's chilly today" during roll call. It's just a small activity, but I hope it helps!


Fri May 19, 2006 4:21 pm
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