Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Tuesday's Torch Story

A man's character may be used by the adjectives which he habitually uses in conversation.
~Mark Twain

My ESL class is going very well so far! My students are amazing - they are so motivated and on-the-ball and just basically really nice people. As for me, I think I've got a better rhythm going this year. Each class begins with this sequence of 4 activities:

1. Quiz on the vocabulary words that they were assigned for homework the previous week. The quiz usually has around 24 items - half individual words and half simple sentences - half asking them to translate from Spanish to English and the other half vice versa.

2. Pronunciation Activity - I focus on two easily confused phonemes (ex. the /t/ sound and the /th/ sound). We practice them individually and then practice distinguishing them.

3. "Five English Words You Already Know" - our 5 cognates and 1 false cognate activity.

4. The Idiom of the Week.

This usually takes about 45 minutes, leaving 45 minutes for our main activity.

Last week our topic was adjectives and rather than simply giving them a list of common adjectives, I asked them to think of 5 adjectives describing 5 people in their families.

To prevent everyone from using the easy adjectives, like "My mother is nice. My father is intelligent. My brother is tall." etc., I made it a competition to come up with the most unique adjectives.

My winner described the people in her family as:

far sighted

Other adjectives that we got included:

skeletal (yikes!)

Not a bad set of adjectives to be able to habitually use in conversation, huh? ;)