One month left! If you’re coming back to the same school or academy and you know that you’re getting the same students as before, it eliminates that awkward first class introductions. Instead you can focus on something much better – last summer experience.
Last year I had a pleasure teaching a lovely group of general English A1/A2 level for adults. It was a small and fantastic group of intelligent and funny ladies. I loved all classes with them, they always made me smile and in general I felt good about myself and my teaching style afterwards. That’s why when I thought about the summer coming to an end, my mind immediately went to this group and how I can make the very first lesson memorable and enjoyable for all the parties.
I started looking for a perfect activity that will get my girls excited to get back into English learning. As I already know them I can skip the awkward Hello, my name is… class (that I have already discussed and prepared right here) and I can move to other things. That’s when I stumbled upon One Stop English – First day post with a free file containing different first class speaking activities. I really liked the last activity called Funny Holidays. Students pick different holiday activity cards and either tell the truth about their holiday or go along with the lie written on the card.
The level suggested for this activity is Intermediate+ which doesn’t work for me. I took the idea and adapted it to an A2 level group. The class focuses primarily on talking and writing about past experiences hence it’s also a good moment to revise Past Simple. The plan is made of two files: a lesson plan and a worksheet that are available to download for free at the end of the post!
The class starts with a personalized story of your own holiday. I prepared my own short story that you can read and use as inspiration for your own! Before my students even start reading it, I want them to see it as a naturally flowing conversation. Students listen to your story twice but here’s the trick. It contains five lies, the task is to predict which parts are untrue. I wrote it down as I don’t want to memorize it and also if your students are a bit rusty after the summer, they may find it easier to listen and read at the same time if necessary.
The next step is grammar revision. I focused on Past Simple because this is where we left off at the end of last academic year and it just goes really well with talking about past experience. Students look for six regular and six irregular verbs that are in the text and then write their infinitive forms. It is also a good moment to refresh the use and structure of Past Simple and of course pronunciation of regular verbs!
As this level is still quite low and it’s unlikely that your students did anything English related over summer, I would give them some free time to prepare their own holiday stories (with three lies in it!). This will minimize the stress of coming back to class after holiday and speaking right away. It will give them some thinking time so they can prepare good and interesting stories that they are confident with. Once everyone is done, students present their stories and the rest guesses the lies.
And that’s it! The idea behind this class is to get back into routine, start thinking in English and of course talk about the holidays!
What is your “post-summer” class activity?