Setting: An intensive English language Summer camp in Edinburgh, Scotland for high school EFL students from various countries and L1 backgrounds. Learners are mid–high-intermediate.
Context: The curriculum of the English lessons at the camp are intended to be fun and interactive. There are no formal assessments or grades assigned. The camp takes place on the campus of the Loretto boarding school, which is equipped with SmartBoards in each classroom and a wifi network, which the learners have access to. Learners typically come to camp with their own mobile devices, namely smartphones and tablets.
- Use a variety of grammatical forms to convey instructions, including imperatives and going to
- Practice functional phrases commonly heard in tutorial videos
- Practice informal free speaking for a camera with an emphasis on fluency
Number of learners: 9–12
Length of class: 90 minutes
- Classroom with wireless internet connection
- Google slide presentation
- Various colours of firm construction paper
- Sts’ own paper and writing utensils
- YouTube video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kv1nECoQLw4
What this activity accomplishes
|5 minutes||Ask sts to respond to the following questions in pairs or small groups:
After sts have had a chance to converse with one another, ask a few students to share their favorite channels and what sorts of tutorials they are familiar with.
|Google slide with questions||Warm up and lead-in: Activates sts’ schemata about the topic, shows teacher how familiar they are with the medium of tutorial videos and how much scaffolding they might need|
|5 minutes||Tell sts that today we’re going to learn how to do something all together from a YouTube video – the teacher included.
Pass around the construction paper and tell everyone to choose a color that they like.
Tell sts to complete the steps of the tutorial along with the video – they don’t have to pay too much attention to language at this point, just concentrate on the meaning of the steps.
Watch the video.
|Youtube video [link above] projected on SmartBoard||Watching the video familiarizes sts with the format of a tutorial and further activates schemata about the genre.
The paper airplane tutorial is appropriate because everyone can do it and it requires few materials.
|5 minutes||Test out the paper airplane designs with an impromptu paper-airplane race. Make sure sts put their names on their planes beforehand.
Retrieve planes have sts return to their seats.
|Paper airplanes, ample space for throwing.||No real pedagogical value necessarily – just a way to get sts out of their seats and energized before the next stage, which is form-focused.|
|5 minutes||Once sts are seated again, tell them that we will focus today on how to give directions or instructions to someone. Tell them they will watch the video again, but this time take notes on the steps and try to remember how exactly the narrator in the video says them.
Watch the video again, this time sts gather 3 – 4 examples of instructions from the video, trying to capture how the narrator says them.
|Paper and writing utensils for students.
Youtube video, again.
|Encourage “noticing” the different forms used in the video. Also close listening, as students write phrases down word-for-word.
|9 minutes||Elicit some samples from the students of instructions that they heard in the video. Write a few examples on the board. Place them in four columns according to their form. For instance, if the instruction is in the imperative, with going to, a phrasal modal, or in the simple present (see Appendix A). If sts don’t come up with one instruction for each category (they probably won’t catch the ones with phrasal modals or simple present, because there are so few and they come relatively late in the video) fill out the last couple of columns with the sentences already pre-written on a card or on a document on the SmartBoard so as to save time.
Ask sts to notice what all the instructions in each column seem to have in common. They can brainstorm with a partner to label the names of the columns in their notes. Check answers together. They should, at this proficiency level, probably know the terms simple present, going to, imperative, etc. They might now know phrasal modal, in which case give a brief explanation
|Categorizing and contrasting the different forms exemplified in the video encourages noticing and an inductive focus on grammar.|
|5 minutes||Explain that there are multiple ways to give directions in spoken English. Ask the following questions:
Which forms are you familiar with already for giving instructions?
What is going to usually used to talk about? Did you know it is also sometimes used to give directions? What about present simple or modals?
Which forms seem to be most common for giving instructions, judging by the video?
Does this sort of language seem formal or informal? When/where would you use it?
|Most have probably encountered this topic before but may not be familiar with all the ways to tell someone what to do.
They may also be familiar with the forms but not their uses in this context
|3 minutes||Give sts the prompt for their YouTube tutorial assignment. Present handout with instructions and have one of the students read aloud:
By yourself or with a partner, choose something that you can teach the class to do. Preferably something easy that you can do with materials from the classroom or your dorm room.
Write down the steps, but ONLY a rough outline. Do NOT write a script for your tutorial.
Practice explaining the steps using a variety of the forms we practiced. Be relaxed and don’t worry too much about making mistakes. Practice your tutorial for Rachel before you film it.
Film your tutorial with a smartphone. You may need to find someone from another group to hold the camera or film it with the front camera. It should be no longer than 1-2 minutes.
Send your video to Rachel using Airdrop, email or an ipod/iphone cable.
See if they have any questions.
Give sts some example topics:
Example – how to…
|Handout with instructions||Help sts understand the objectives and expectations of the video project.
Establish a helpful, logical sequence of scaffolding so that their language in the final product is as precise as possible.
|25 minutes||As students begin the task, circulate and review their topics to make sure they are appropriate and feasible in the given amount of time with the available materials. Listen to them practice and give feedback on the forms they’ve chosen to use, as well as rate and delivery of their spoken instructions.
If some groups/individuals finish early, have them listen to their video with headphones and assess their own accuracy. Have them note three potential errors and/or questions that they have for the teacher.
|Students’ own smartphones
Whatever props they need for their tutorials
Students’ own headphones
|Teacher coaches and guides students as they pursue their independent projects.
The review portion is like a self-assessment of students’ own production so that they can target potential areas of their speech that need work, and also seek the teachers’ guidance on those areas.
|5 – 10 minutes [depending on time left and number of volunteers]||Have 1 or 2 groups volunteer to show their videos to the class. If possible, the class should try to do the tutorial along with the video.||All of the videos are sure to be entertaining. Everyone gets a chance to learn something new from the tutorials as well!|
|5 minutes||With the Socrative app have sts respond to the following question as their “exit ticket:”
What is one new thing you learned today?
Homework: listen to their recording if they haven’t had time to do so yet in class. Note down potential errors and/or questions that they have about their performance.
|Students’ own smartphones with Socrative app
Smartboard class Socrative page
|Consolodate the days’ lesson, gauge from students what the most important takeaways were. Use feedback to shape the lesson plan the next time you deliver it.|
Form breakdown from the airplane video
|going to||phrasal modal||simple present|
|Take your other corner and do the exact same thing.
Grab both sides right here…
Then just smooth that down just across the top.
Then smooth down that edge.
Take your other side…
Put your finger right there…
Just meet that tip right there, so it’s the exact same…
And then, flip it up this way
So line it up and push down on that seam.
So flip it over…
|We are going to fold it exactly in half.
You’re going to fold it down.
You’re going to take this corner
You’re going to fold it down so it’s on a bit of a diagonal…
You’re going to just fold that seam so everything faces down
We’re going to take the top of it
You are going to fold it down until the top edge lines up perfectly
We’re gonna do the exact same thing.
We’re gonna take that edge
|We have to fold it up
Then we just need to lift it up
Then you open it up and you’ve got a nice crease down the middle.
“We are going to fold it exactly in half and just smooth down your edge.
“Then you open it up and you’ve got a nice crease down the middle.
“And then your next step is to take your top corner and you’re going to fold it down, just so it meets right there on your center crease.
“Take your other corner and do the exact same thing.
“Now you have something that looks like that.
“Now your third step, very straightforward, grab both sides right here, and you’re going to fold it towards you and it’s gonna end up looking just like an envelope. Then just smooth that down just across the top.
“Now your third step is probably the trickiest step, but not too hard to do. Put your finger right there, and you’re going to take this corner and you’re going to fold it down so it’s on a bit of a diagonal, as you can see right here, and this point meets the center line. Then just smooth down that edge. Take your other side, put your finger right there, and just meet that tip right there, so it’s the exact same. Then smooth down that edge. And you end up with something that looks like that.
“Now if you keep those two sides in place, this little triangle that’s leftover right here, all we have to do is just fold it up. And we end up with something that looks like that.
“And all we need to do is just lift it up a little bit, and you’re going to just fold that seam so everything faces down, and it looks like that. That’s how it looks from the side.
“And then, flip it up this way. This is the very last step. We’re going to take the top of it and you are going to fold it down until the top edge lines up perfectly with your bottom edge. So line it up and push down on that seam. So flip it over and we’re gonna do the exact same thing. We’re gonna take that edge, fold it down so it meets this edge perfectly and just smooth it down.
“And that is all there is to it! You have one of the best paper airplanes. It flies far, it flies fast, and it’s really easy to do and really easy to teach.”