Effortless English Archives

Automatic English For The People

Thursday, August 25, 2005

Book/Film Club Class

by AJ

* I would structure the entire semester on the idea of a book and film club. Every week students would read books, present them, watch movies, and present them.

*Id use a combination of required readings/films and student chosen books. For required books/films, Id use ones likely to be of interest to the students (ie. Harry Potter, The Hobbit, Sex and The City).

*Prior to assigning a required book... I would read it and present it to the class. Id give a rough summary and my review of the book (why I chose it). Id do the same with movies.

*I would alternate between books and movies and audiobooks.

*Students would keep a vocabulary notebook for everything... this is good for helping them see tangible language benefits from reading and listening.

*Id create "game rules" (ie. grading) to encourage autonomous learning, massive comprehensible input, authentic materials, and authentic communication.

*Students would create blogs in order to post their learning goals, post about their weekly and monthly progress, publish their book and movie reviews.. and communicate with me and each other.

*Students would read one (self chosen) book every two weeks... and view one (self chosen) movie every two weeks. . Theyd post the book/film info on their blog and the progress they were making (in terms of new vocab in notebook and number of chapters read).

*Assuming the class met two times a week: One day a week they would make presentations. Theyd meet in small groups to present their book/movie, summarize it, review it, and lead a discussion about its general themes/ideas. Thus, one week they would present a book and the next week they would present a movie...

The other day of the week would be devoted to teacher chosen activities such as: showing required movies, playing excerpts from required audiobooks, reading articles and discussing them, doing TPR Storytelling, etc...

*On presentation days, Id encourage students to bring snacks and drinks (coffee, tea, cokes, etc.). I would also lower the lights a bit and would play classical background music during the discussions... to facilitate the "book club" vibe.

*Presentations would be graded by peer review and would focus only on subject knowledge and sufficient voice volume. Grammar, pronunciation, vocab use, and other speaking skills would NOT be graded.

*Id encourage article reading by offering +1 extra credit for every 1/4 page (or more) article turned in... students would highlight new vocab and concisely define it.

*Id require 1000 collected words in their vocab notebooks (for the semester) as 1/2 of their Final Exam grade. If they collected 2000 words Id let them skip the Final Exam altogether.

The Final Exam would be a C-Test drawn from passages in the required readings.

*This format could be wide (open to any books/films) or could be narrowed to particular genres or topics: ie. Fantasy & Sci Fi, Romance, Historical, Business and Management, America, Britain, Australia..., Social Work Issues,.....).

In fact, I quite like the idea of an "English Romance Class"... I think it would be very popular at Thammasat :)

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