|A picture is worth 1000 words|
Adrian began by telling us that two or three 50-word texts should generate five or six hours of teaching. This was quite a surprising claim and had us hooked from the off!
We were then shown that we don't even need 50 words. For example, we should treat a picture as a text. Remember the saying: 'A picture is worth a thousand words'.
Another place to start would be with a newspaper headline. For example.
- Who or what does the word 'youth' refer to ?
- What is a jobs market?
- How was/were the youth hit?
- Who or what hit the youth?
- What was the youth hit with? etc., etc.
- pick up on collocations and do vocabulary matching exercises
- isolate the grammar - tenses, comparatives, etc.
- teach a particular part of speech - adjectives, articles, prepositions, etc.
- highlight referencing words - like this, this kind of, these, they, etc.
|An example of a short text|
Usually in course books, the higher the level, the longer the text. Remember:
- You can ask students to paraphrase or summarise the text.
- Use it to increase vocabulary. For example, you could get students to replace every adjective with a synonym, thus teaching them to avoid repetition in their own writing.
- You can use the text as the basis for a class discussion.
- You can ask students to generate questions from the text for their classmates to answer.
- You can get students to prepare two-minute presentations based on the text.
- The texts are bite-sized.
- The language emerges from the topic, NOT the topic from the language.
- Choose a topic.
- Find (or write) short texts about the topic. These can be like short newspaper articles.
- Start looking for the language - DO NOT try to write a text to illustrate a grammar point or a particular type of vocabulary. The text should never be contrived - the language should emerge from a naturally-written text.
- Design your activities - don't forget to record audio versions of your texts to be able to add listening activities.
- Always have the topic at the forefront of your mind.
- Higher level students can generate their own texts (this is good for error correction, too).
- Texts written by higher level students can be used in lower-level classes.
- Give students a similar text to the original as a gap-fill - articles, linkers, etc.