Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Lesson Ideas for ESL Tutors.

I like to give ESL lessons that are topical, about things that students may have come across on TV or read about in the news. As we are now in "award season" and there have been many award shows on TV giving out statues to actors and the like, I decided to do a lesson with the students that dealt with this topic. This also gave us an opportunity to revise some vocabulary we had learned earlier in the year regarding movies, TV shows and actors. Some of the vocabulary we went over included,

  • Blockbuster
  • Comedy
  • Thriller
  • Romantic comedy
  • Horror 
  • Genre
  • Independent
  • Special effects
  • Leading man
  • Leading lady
  • Ensemble cast
  • The Oscars
Some of the new vocabulary that I introduced included,

  • Nominations
  • Nominee
  • Award
  • Golden Globe Award
  • SAG Award
  • Best Performance
  • Motion picture
  • Drama
  • Musical
  • Animated Feature Film
  • Acceptance speech
We then brainstormed movies and TV shows that the students had seen during the previous year and I wrote them on the board. We decided to do our own awards show with the list that the students had created. I asked each of them to choose one movie and one TV show that they had most enjoyed and gave them time in the class to come up with some compelling reasons for their nominations as they were going to be giving a short speech on the reasons for their choices.

The students really enjoyed this exercise and we were able to practice the past tenses, adjectives, as well as honing their presentation skills. The lesson also offered the students some insight into what is a culturally popular past time here - award shows. Many students use TV and movies to develop their English skills as well as gaining understandings about the culture they are temporarily living in so this lesson fitted in well. The students learned some new vocabulary and relished the chance to vote for their favorites. As a follow up assignment we discussed the movies and TV shows in their own countries and how they differ from typical Hollywood offerings. This proved to be very educational for me and I appreciate learning from my students, about their homelands.

I am a qualified ESL tutor who specializes in online ESL tutoring .