Now that the school holidays are getting closer, you might want to set tasks for your students so they can revise and practise their English. However, they probably want to take a break from study and spend time with their friends and family. So how can you motivate them to do some language work without them realising they are studying?
The key to the question lies in the nature of our students’ language use out of the classroom. They are surrounded by English in many contexts, and they often engage in a variety of communicative acts. Think about the amount of music, film, videos, news stories, websites and games they come across every day. By inviting our students (from middle school all through higher education to adult learners) to reflect on these experiences, we will make them more aware of the possibilities of their natural everyday encounters with the English language.
Here are a couple of tasks you can set for younger as well as older students.
1 Write a list of the films that you watch during the holidays. What do you like about them?
2 Collect all the songs that were popular during the holidays. Which one is your favourite? What is it about?
3 If you play computer games, do a mini presentation about them. Report on what the games are about and how you play them.
4 When you hear an interesting story on the news, take some notes about it and then share them in class when school starts once more.
5 If you plan to prepare some meals, choose a recipe written in English and try to make it.
6 Write your reflections about the year. What did you like most about it? What was your biggest lesson? Which day would you like to relive?
7 Set some learning goals for the new year. What would you like to achieve in English?
8 Set your social media settings to English for the holidays and see how different things are. Then share your experiences with the class in the new year.
9 Choose one story to read in English. It can be an original story, a classic novel, a graphic novel, a short story, a poem, or anything that you are interested in.
10 Teach your family something in English during the holidays.
Do YOU have any other ideas?
For titles (especially holiday and Christmas titles), check out the following links:
- Stories for Christmas
- An Interactive Christmas Lesson with Charles Dickens: A Christmas Carol Special
Remember to visit our Helbling Readers Catalogue for more titles.