It’s a huge honour to welcome Anna Musielak as a guest blogger here on the blog. I first met Anna at TESOL France 2010, where she gave a fantastic workshop about using drama techniques in the language classroom. I came back from the weekend in Paris with a head full of ideas for using with my students, a large proportion of which were inspired by Anna’s session. Following on from my recent post about a lesson in which I had used an improvisation activity as an introduction to some writing, I thought it would be wonderful to have someone a bit more knowledgeable than I to share a few ideas. The result for you to enjoy is here:
I like doing activities that don’t require a lot of preparation, sometimes you just don’t have the time and strength for it. But that doesn’t mean that you don’t put thought into your lesson – on the contrary – the lesson is definitely structured and planned even though it’s “not prepared”
Some time ago I had a ladies discussion club – the only problem was my ladies weren’t that willing to talk spontaneously…. I decided to organize a meeting – to be exact Foodoholics Anonymous meeting! Every student got a piece of paper with a problem written on it e.g.
…or something along those lines.
I tried to keep it fun, crazy and light. Then I gave them a couple of minutes to think about their problems. And I asked for details:
- When did you realise you had a problem?
- How many times a day do you need to eat this product?
- How did it mess with your life?
- How long have you been off that food?
We sat in a circle, each students had a name tag and the idea was to introduce themselves along those lines:
“My name is …… and I’m a Foodoholic. I’m addicted to….I eat it…times a day….”
and then they shared their problems. My students surprised me and came up with crazy and very elaborate stories such as :
“I realized that I need help when I broke up with my boyfriend ’cause he ate the last bottle of ketchup”
“I knew it was time to get off tomatoes when I broke into the local grocery store in the middle of the night”
“I was in trouble for stealing fruitloops from my 5-year-old nephew…I knew then it was time to do something about my problem…”
Later on we had a heated discussion about the addictions, strong will and some quick remedies. This exercise proved really great for practising not only food related vocabulary, but also likes and dislikes as well as Present and Past Simple. With more advanced students – modal verbs and second conditional can be reinforced.
Anna Musielak is a Polish teacher and teacher trainer holding a Ph.D. from Silesian University. She has worked at the military unit, at college, teaching British Literature and Culture and as methodology director in a private language school. She has also published articles on literature, culture and language teaching. At the moment she is working on workshops and teaching English to young learners and adults. She is interested in using drama, music and literature in ELT.
You can follow Anna on Twitter at @AnnaMusielak
Anna doesn’t keep a blog herself (altough I definitely agree with Dave Dodgson’s thoughts that she should!) but she is building up quite a collection of guest posts:
- Using drama games to teach soldiers on Ken Wilson’s blog
- Drama Warmers and Fillers on Vladka Michalkova’s blog
- Using Songs on Eva Buyuksimkesyan’s blog
- Party Mix: Engaging Teen Learners on OUPELTGlobal
- Not a Drama Queen but a Drama Teacher on James Taylor’s blog
- Welcome to Earth on Dave Dodgson’s blog