Choosing the topic of the week for our speaking classes is probably my favourite part of the lesson writing process. It not only allows me to stay up-to-date with what's happening in the world, but to also learn something new, weird and fascinating. English is constantly changing - it belongs to us all and we can all effect change on it however we choose to use it. So, although I'm a teacher of English, I'm also a learner of English and I like to keep my axe sharpened so I can always offer value.
In this post, I want to outline some of the thought process so you too can begin writing or adapting material for your own classes.
In short - we want to find a thought-provoking topic that inspires & engages our students, all the while giving useful language. Sometimes this can come in the form of a Breaking News topic, or an everyday topic or theme.
To give consistency to our lessons, we have quite strict criteria for the video we choose to centre our lessons around. We look for the following:
1️⃣ A real-world, authentic video from a reliable source that sparks interest and discussion (see below for our Top 5)
2️⃣ Video shouldn't be longer than 5 mins (exceptions can be made if it's particularly good)
3️⃣ Contains between 8 and 12 key terms to pre-teach (we look for lexis and chunks that Sts are likely to also come across in different contexts (I'll explain more about our choices in a different post)).
4️⃣ Mustn't be (too) offensive.
𝐓𝐎𝐏 𝟓 𝐬𝐨𝐮𝐫𝐜𝐞𝐬 𝐟𝐨𝐫 𝐠𝐨𝐨𝐝 𝐯𝐢𝐝𝐞𝐨𝐬:
🌟Great Big Story
Ultimately, we want Sts to have the confidence to go forth and use the language learned; in multiple contexts - to speak about these topics in their own contexts with whomever.
𝘚𝘰 𝘸𝘩𝘢𝘵 𝘵𝘰𝘱𝘪𝘤 𝘴𝘩𝘰𝘶𝘭𝘥 𝘐 𝘸𝘳𝘪𝘵𝘦 𝘢 𝘭𝘦𝘴𝘴𝘰𝘯 𝘢𝘣𝘰𝘶𝘵 𝘯𝘦𝘹𝘵?