As I have introduced in my previous blog entry, I would like to describe some of the activities and materials devised to work with our adolescent students. As it was explained, time constraints at our school obliged us to adapt to a more moderate model within CLIL, which is called “Theme-Based” model. It departs from the focus on Grammar Teaching and provides different activities on varied and original topics. Content and activities selection should guarantee and foster:
- students´motivation and interest.
- cooperative work.
- development of communicative, cognitive, affective and learning processes.
- reflection about the world´s current issues.
Following these premises we devised especial materials and activities so as to develop the different contents contained in the film from which we had departed.
To work with the series of contents Music-Biology-Values we designed materials for students with low proficiency level in English. We decided to show them the scene “Virologist Scene/Bob Marley Scene” from the film "I am Legend" and initiated a discussion based on questions and a brainstorm of ideas. In this way we introduced the topics and helped students recall as much knowledge and information about them as possible.
Before watching activity:
- What is virology?
- What does a virologist do?
- Brainstorm ideas and try to build up a definition.
Afterwards students read a scientific text about “Virology Jobs” and checked their predictions. The chosen text was easy to read as well as informative enough so that students could extract the necessary information they needed to continue working. They also discussed the topic with their Biology teacher, who helped us a lot with specific information. The reading follow up activities included:
- finding scientific words from Greek and Latin origins which resemble words used in our mother tongue, Spanish.
- organising families of words.
- reinforcing Grammar: PRESENT SIMPLE exercises in sentences referring to general truths and scientific use.
- reinforcing Grammar using the PRESENT SIMPLE PASSIVE in sentences used in scientific texts.
- fill in a chart comparing Bob Marley’s philosophy of life with what Dr. Neville does as a virologist.
- preparing a short summary explaining the message contained in the “Virologist Scene/Bob Marley Scene” in the film “I am Legend”.
This is only one example of activities designed to work with our students following the “Theme-Based” model which can be developed in schools with restricted time allotted to the teaching of English.
It would be very interesting if colleagues from all over the world could share any ideas on materials and/or activities they might have been applying in their schools. Please contact me and write about them or about any other topic which might be of interest to all of us!
Receive my kind regards from Argentina,