Archive for tesl

Sit back and relax with ‘Good Hair’

Posted in ESL, Movies, you tube with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 10, 2010 by EslImaginarium

‘Hair is important spiritually, culturally and integral to our self esteem.’

Good Hair

Official trailer:

The Plot:

Chris Rock, a man with two daughters, asks about good hair, as defined by Black Americans, mostly Black women. He visits Bronner Brothers’ annual hair convention in Atlanta. He tells us about sodium hydroxide, a toxin used to relax hair. He looks at weaves, and he travels to India where tonsure ceremonies produce much of the hair sold in America. A weave is expensive: he asks who makes the money. We visit salons and barber shops, central to the Black community. Rock asks men if they can touch their mates’ hair – no, its decoration. Various talking heads (many of them women with good hair) comment. It’s about self-image. Maya Angelou and Tracie Thoms provide perspective.

Click the title below for listening and reading comprehension questions about the trailer and the plot:

Good Hair worksheet 1

How much does it cost?

Click on the title below for a student worksheet on the above clip and also some extra questions.

Good Hair worksheet 2

Bad hair day

Below is a clip from an article featured in the ‘Wall Street Journal.

Click here for the full article.

‘When A Bad Hair Day Brings You Down’

Scientists at P & G, with help from a Yale psychology professor, surveyed women, before and after using Pantene products, using a questionnaire that psychology researchers use to measure mood. They found women felt less “hostile,” “ashamed,” “nervous,” “guilty” or “jittery,” depending on the hair products they used, while at other times they said they felt more “excited,” “proud” and “interested.”

Lets talk about hair:

Celebrity hair styles

Ask the students if they can think of any celebrity hair icons.

Show students the following icons and ask them if they have ever had a similar hair cut or would like a hair cut like these celebrities.

Crazy hair styles

Ask students if they think a hair style can reflect your personality.

Show students the following photos and ask what they think the models personalities are.

Click below for the accompanying worksheet :

Good Hair worksheet 3

Selling a style

Ask students if they are influenced by hair advertising.

Show students the following hair adverts.

‘Because we’re worth it':

‘Hair comes alive':

Discuss the adverts:

Students are put into groups and have to discuss the questions on the worksheet.

After discussing the questions they have to come up with a slogan to sell a hair product.

Each group presents their slogan and the class vote on the best slogan.

Please click on the title below for the accompanying worksheet:

Good Hair worksheet 4

Hair Styles

Ask students if they know the names of different hair styles e.x. short/long etc.

Wordle time- Do you recognise any of the styles? can you match them with the pictures below?

Click for the accompanied worksheet: Good Hair worksheet 5

Male styles

Female Styles

Role play:

After completing the worksheet the students make pairs and pretend they are going to get their hair cut.  One student will play the role of the hair dresser and the other as the customer.

Monitor and give advice to the students.  Ask the best pairs to demonstrate their role play to the class.  Students vote on the best role play.

Some final words

For more media on this subject you should check out this excellent documentary by pop star, Jamile and  this episode from the Tyra Banks chat show.

After all this talk about hair I just realised it’s time to go for a haircut.  So I will leave you with this:

Any suggestions or comments are welcomed below & for more activities from the imaginarium please sign up.  Cheers and happy hair cuts.

さよなら Japan,おひさしぶり Scotland

Posted in ESL, you tube with tags , , , , , , , on September 8, 2010 by EslImaginarium

Hey all,

It’s been ages since my last post and it’s about time I got back to the world of the imaginarium.

Since my last post I’ve been busy returning to ‘bonnie’ Scotland after 3 years teaching in Japan.

It was really emotional saying goodbye to all my wonderful students and fellow teachers.  I have so many fond memories and  miss everyone already.  Since leaving I decided to make a website for my students to keep them updated on what, ‘I like’.  I want to make it accessible to all my students so I have kept writing to a minimal for ease of understanding and i have kept it simple with mainly videos and images.  It’s like a little brother to the imaginarium but without the activities.

Check it out here.

Since returning to Edinburgh I have been really busy visiting families, friends and making the most of the Edinburgh Festival which is a fantastic cultural extravaganza.  While indulging in delicious food, wine and inspirational conversation, I have had little time to think about my upcoming Masters or this blog.  To be honest it has been nice moving my head space away and recharging so that I’m ready for the exhausting year ahead.  I will be very busy studying an MSc in TESOL and I hope I can use this blog as a place to experiment with ideas and also a place to unload some of the new information I will obtain.

I want to leave you with my favourite esl websites which I used while teaching in Japan:

1. MES english – Great flashcards and ideas for teaching Junior High School ‘English Club’

2. Dream English- Fun songs and flash cards for Elementary School

3. Englipedia – My saviour when using the comprehensive English books supplied to all  Junior High Schools throughout Japan(I contributed several lessons to this site)

4. One Stop English / English 4 U- Very useful for private lessons

Before I go I want to share this hilarious video.  I taught eigo notes last year and this video brought on a massive fit of  the giggles:

ESL Goes to Glastonbury with ‘GLOGSTER’

Posted in ESL, Music, you tube with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 29, 2010 by EslImaginarium

Here is my first attempt at using glogster.

I learned about this application after watching the learning video by Russell Stannard.

I decided to use it as a kind of treasure hunt.

Students watch the videos or follow the links to answer the set of questions.

Click here for the direct link to this glog.

I really loved playing around with this application.  The potential for unleashing your creativity is amazing.

You need to give it go.

Summer Holidays & Vampire Weekends

Posted in ESL, Music, you tube with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 25, 2010 by EslImaginarium

Summer is here and it’s not just the weather that changes.

Ask the students the following question:

How do we know it’s summer?

Where do people go during the summer holidays and what activities do they do?

Elicit summer words from the students and ask them to write the words on a piece of paper.

ex. ice cream, sunglasses, clothes, BBQ, music, movies blockbusters, festivals etc.

The Special guests in today’s class are Vampire Weekend

Vampire Weekend- Holiday

Students watch the following music video and check if the video contains any of their words.

Song lyrics:

Students watch the video several times and listen to the lyrics.  Give the students the worksheet below and ask them to fill in the gaps.

Vampire Weekend lyrics gap fill

Students check if they were correct by watching the following video with the song lyrics

Karaoke version:

Song meanings:

Ask the students what they think the song is about.

Show students what the band said about the song:

“The lyrics refer to a member of my family who gave up eating meat when we invaded Iraq. They were horrified by what was happening internationally and they lost their taste for meat. It wasn’t even necessarily an overt protest, it was a physical reaction.”

Ask the following questions:

What do you think about this reaction to war?

How did you react to the invasion of Iraq?

Have you ever done anything so drastic in reaction to something? (ex. death in family, failing exams etc.)

Summer party game:

I got the following activity from my great friend and fellow esl teacher, Jeremy.  It never fails to work and the students have lots of fun trying to figure out the secret rule.

Tell the students that you’re having a summer BBQ party and you are making a guest list.

Say that  you are bringing apples to the party.  Ask students what they will bring?

Students have to answer by saying ‘I will bring a _______’

The secret rule is that the next item must start with the next letter in the alphabet.

If they say, ‘I will bring a bottle of wine’ then the teacher will say ‘okay you can come to my party’ but if they say something that does not begin with b then say, ‘I’m sorry you can’t come’.  Write the list of the people who can come to your party.  Keep playing until all the students discover the rule and everyone joins the party.

You can make up other rules for this game.  The next item could start with the last letter of the previous item.  ex. I will bring chocolate, I will bring eggs.

Getting to know the band – Vampire Weekend Interview:

Ask students if this is the first time they have seen Vampire weekend.

Ask them what they thought about the song we played previously and the interview.

Video listening comprehension:

 Students listen to the interview and answer the questions on the worksheet below.

Vampire Weekend interview questions

Vampire Weekend – Giving up the gun

Tennis is officially cool with this video, featuring RZA and Jake Gyllenhaal.  If only ‘Wimbledon’ was this exciting

Students questions:

1.How many times do you see the girl in red hitting the tennis ball?

I counted 22.

Read the following passage:

The heroine of the video isn’t an amazing tennis player, but she has heart. She stays calm despite the unfairness of it all.  Giving Up the Gun centers around Jenny (a friend of Vampire Weekend) and a number of opponents whom she goes up against in several matches; there’s a samurai, a gigantic woman, Joe, and Jake (to name a few) and she beats all of them.

2.Do you remember a time when you didn’t give up, even when things were unfair?(write an anecdote)

Song meanings:

Ask the students what they think the song is about.

Show students what the band said about the song:

I got the idea for the song from a book my Dad gave me called Giving Up The Gun. It’s a history book about the time when Japan expelled all the foreigners from the country, closed off all trade, and stopped using guns and reverted back to the sword. It seems unimaginable now that humanity could willingly go back to an older technology. It got me thinking about whether you could give up the things that you have and go back to a simpler way of life.

If you were to give up something, what would it me?

How could you make your life more simple?

I hope you all have a wonderful summer.  Please let me know if you have any extra suggestions for this lesson.

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Vuvuzelas-Do they ruin the game?

Posted in ESL, Sport, you tube with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 21, 2010 by EslImaginarium

The word ‘vuvuzela’ has to be the most controversial word that is buzzing around the world cup.

Everyone has an opinion about this word and it has been the topic hitting the headlines all over the world.

Such a heated topic is perfect for the ‘esl’ class and it will be interesting to see how it is effecting the students.

Recently there has been another ‘facebook’ protest page dedicated to banning the ‘vuvuzela’ from the World Cup.   The ‘facebook’ campaign states, ‘it sounds like a deafening mix of angry elephants trumpeting, a swarm of buzzing bees and a fog horn.’

FIFA- BAN THE ANNOYING VUVUZELA (HORN) FROM THE SOUTH AFRICA WORLD CUP !

May 27 – 173
June 3 – 228
June 8 – 235
June 11 – 4,046
June 12 – 23,198
June 13 – 80,216
June 14 – 139,110
June 15 – 194,778
June 16 – 249,000
June 17 – 267,880
June 18 – 280,352

As you can see the campaign is growing by the day.

Should we embrace this passion for the vuvuzela, which is a tool of cultural celebration and ask the protestors to buy ear plugs and shut up?

Or

Should this residule noise created by the bee flat hornet, which is spoiling our viewing pleasure be banned?

The Video clips:

Students watch the following clips and answer questions about each clip.

After watching the clips they have to write an opinion about the vuvuzela.

Please click below for the accompanied worksheet.

The Vuvuzela WORKSHEET


What is a vuvuzela?:

Cultural instrument?

Explain the Vuvuzela:

Reading comprehension exercise

Please click on the title below for the ‘guardian’ news article on the vuvuzela debate.  Students read the article and answer some questions about it.

Vuvuzela Reading Comprehension

Vuvuzela jokes are everywhere:  Here are a couple of funny clips to leave you with..

The Vuvuzela song:

Fellowship of the Vuvuzela:

I hope you liked the above activities.  If you have any other suggestions or opinions about the ‘vuvuzela’ then please write a comment below.

Please subscribe to my blog to follow the imaginarium.

Step Right Up!! The Big Brother Circus has Arrived

Posted in ESL, TV, you tube with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 16, 2010 by EslImaginarium

The UK summer has begun and as always it’s accompanied by the cultural phenomena known as ‘Big Brother’.  The funeral has started as we joyously  say goodbye to Big Brother while trying to avoid the addiction of watching the  Final season.

I have to say that I’m pleased to be far away from the hysteria of Big Brother.  Although I admit to being an avid follower of the show in its early days.  However, over the years it has become a desperate and trashy reality TV show which is responsible for a splurge of similar hideous incarnations.

Ask your students if they know about ‘Big Brother’ and if there is a version shown in their own country.

The History of Big Brother:

The Big Brother TV Show is produced in 42 territories and has been a prime time hit in almost 70 countries. The first Big Brother show broadcast was in the Netherlands in 1999. This mould-breaking series was the UK’s first fully interactive mass TV experience and has been hailed as the ‘godfather of reality shows’.

Click here to view Big Brother worldwide

Here is a cut ‘n’ paste from ‘Wikipedia‘:

Big Brother is a reality television show in which a group of people live together in a large house, isolated from the outside world but continuously watched by television cameras. Each series lasts for around three months, and there are usually fewer than 15 participants. The housemates try to win a cash prize by avoiding periodic evictions from the house.

Activity – Judging a book by its cover:

Below are the pictures of the new contestants and a ‘wordle’ of the jobs they have.  Students have to try to match the job with the contestant.

The contestants

The jobs

Please click on the title below for a worksheet of this activity

Big Brother jobs WORKSHEET

Activity – Judging a book by its cover part 2:

Students form groups.  Each group is given an envelope with the contestants pictures and an envelope with their personalities.  The students race to match the pictures with the personalities.  When they think they are correct they ask the teacher to check.  The teacher will tell them how many correct answers they have.  The group is given time to try to change their choices.

Please click on the title below for the pictures and personalities.  Print copies for each group.Cut out the pictures and personalities and put them in separate envelopes.

Big Brother WORKSHEET 2

Lets watch a BB video clip to see what all the fuss is about:

Please click on the title below for questions about the video clip:

Big Brother Video WORKSHEET

Who would you like to live with in the Big Brother house?

Please click on the title below for Big Brother discussion topics

Big Brother Questions

Extra activity:

Predictions: Create a Big Brother poster with all the contestants.  Ask the students to write their predictions of who will win the competition.  Each week remove the picture of the contestant who is eliminated.

Who am I? – Students write out a paragraph of their own personalities.  The teacher collects each students paragraph.  The teacher randomly reads out one of the paragraphs and the students have to guess which student wrote the paragraph.

Reality TV

The reality tv debate

Is reality TV a waste of time?   Students have a debate about their opinions on reality TV.

Students who think reality TV is a waste of time go to one side of the classroom and the other students go to the other side.  Both sides think about what they can say to support their arguments in a debate.  Each side is given a time limit to present their ideas.

Please click on the title below for a reality TV worksheet:

Reality TV WORKSHEET

I hope you liked the above activities.  If you have any other suggestions then please write a comment below.

Please subscribe to my blog to follow the imaginarium.

ESL World Cup Fever (Extra time)

Posted in ESL, Sport, you tube with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 13, 2010 by EslImaginarium

Bring out the vuvuzelas as the world cup has started and it’s time to join the party.

Here are a collection of my ‘World cup’ favourite clips so far:

The Host Nations Amazing Journey:

Click on the title below to download the accompanied worksheet.

Rainbow Nation

History Of Celebration:

Click on the title below to download the accompanied worksheet.

World Cup Celebrations

Snoop Dogg interview(Adidas Originals):

Show students the following interview with Snoop Dogg.

Ask the students if they know anything about Snoop Doggy Dog.

Inform the students that they have to try to write down as much as they remember from Snoops answers to the world cup questions.  Watch the clip a few times.

Click on the title below to download the accompanied worksheet:

Snoop Dogg Interview

Nike Write the future:

I would now like to leave you with my favourite world cup clip.  This is very impressive and really expresses the multi cultural aspect of the World Cup. The party has now started as we look forward to the excitement of this wonderful event.

ESL World cup fever (game 2)

Posted in ESL, Sport, you tube with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 8, 2010 by EslImaginarium

Warm up exercise:

Some World cup warmer questions:

1.  Where and when was the last World Cup? Germany 2006

2.  Where and when is the next World Cup?  Brazil 2014

3.  How many years is there between each World Cup?  4 years

Questions to ask every day during the World Cup:

What countries played yesterday?

What were the scores?

What players scored?

What country is at the top/bottom of group x?

First half – Countries , flags & mascots

Word relay game:

Ask the students to make groups.

Ask the groups to stand in separate lines in front of the board.

The student at the front of the each group is given a pen/piece of chalk.

Students have to write down all the countries in the world cup.  The first student from each group writes a country and then passes the pen to the next in line.

Give the students a time limit(3 mins) and see how many countries they can write within the time limit.

Each group checks the ‘wordle’ to see how many words they managed to get and deduct points for wrong spellings.

World cup countries ‘Wordle’

Match the flag with the country

In groups the Students look at the flags and match the countries with their flags.  (Give the students a time limit)

Mascots

Ask the students what the mascot is for the South Africa World Cup.   Why do they think that a leopard was chosen to represent the world cup.

Ask the students if they can remember any previous world cup mascots and if they can, have them try to describe what they looked like.

Show students the picture of the previous mascots and ask them what country the mascot represents.

Click here for an article on the 10 dumbest World Cup mascots.

Answers: Goleo VI – Germany, Ato, Kaz & Nik – Korea & Japan, Footix – France, Stryker – USA, Ciao – Italy, Pique – Mexico, Naranjito – Spain, Gauchito – Argentina, Tip & Tap – West Germany, Juanito- Mexico, Willy – England

Ask the students what their favourite ‘mascot’ is and why.  Find out which is the most popular mascot within your class.

Students have to design a mascot to represent their own country.

Groups

Divide the class into teams.  Ask the students if they know what countries are in each group.  Have a contest to see which team can write the countries in each group correctly.

Second half  – Video dictation.

The alternative England anthem.

Watch the following video by the legendary; Mark E Smith.  His vocals are usually difficult to comprehend so it is very helpful that there are subtitles for the lyrics.  Ask the students to write down the words that they see.

Music video – ‘England’s Heartbeat ‘- Shuttleworth feat. Mark E. Smith

Extra time – Samurai Blue

If I haven’t already told you, the team I will be following this World Cup is shown in the clip below.

If only they were as strong as this:

What’s your prediction?

Ask your students who they predict to win the world cup and what team they think will actually win the world cup.  Put their predictions on the wall and check if they were correct at the end of the cup.

A British music magazine, ‘the NME’ recently did a feature on who the musicians predict will win the world cup. Click  here from some predictions by musicians.  Ask students to listen to the celebrities and have them write down the countries each artist thinks will win.

Sticker album

I have nostalgic memories of collecting stickers during the world cup when I was a wee boy.

I was always really excited to try and get as many stickers as possible.  It was always fun swapping stickers with friends.

You could hand out world cup country stickers every time a student answers a question correctly.  Give students stickers outside the classroom as well, if they ask you questions in English about the world cup.

I usually use images I find from ‘clipart’, laminate them and put double-sided tape on the back.  You could make a sticker sheet for the students to collect their stickers on.  MES English has a great selection of ideas for stickers and sticker sheets and has recently put up some great football stickers.

I hope you and your students enjoy the world cup and my lesson ;)

ESL World cup fever (game 1)

Posted in ESL, Sport, you tube with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 8, 2010 by EslImaginarium

ESL World cup fever starts here:


1. How much do you know about your countries team?

Students are given quiz questions to try and answer.  You could turn the class room into a ‘question of sport’ style quiz show.  Divide the class into groups and ask one student from each group to stand.  The student who gives the correct answer first gets points for their teams.  If they don’t know the answer then pass to the next question.

At the end of the quiz the students watch the video clip to see what the correct answers are.

FIRST HALF – The quiz questions:

I live in Japan so I have created questions based on the Japanese football team.  Just adapt these questions to the country you are focusing on.

1.  How many of the last 5 Asian cups has Japan won?  3

2.  When was the J League launched? 1993

3.  When did Japan make their first World cup appearance? 1998

4.  How many times have they appeared in the World cup? 4 times

5.  What group are they in ? Group E

6.  What other teams are in Group E? Netherlands, Denmark & Cameroon

7.  What is the nickname of the team? ‘Samurai Blue’

8.  Who is Japans head coach? Takeshi Okada

9.  Who is the captain of the team? Yuji Nakazawa

10.  What team does he play for? Yokohama Marinos

11.  Who is the most capped player for Japan? Masami Ihara

12.  How many appearances has he made? 123

13.  Who is Japans all time leading goal scorer? Kunishige Kamamoto

14.  How many goals did he score? 75

15.  What is Japans current fifa ranking? 46

16.  When did Japan and South Korea host the World cup? 2002

17.  What is Takeshi Okada’s main target in this world cup?

To reach the semi finals.’

18.  Who will they play their first game against? Cameroon

19.  When will they play their first game?  June 14th


Second Half  – The video clip:

When the students have been given enough time to answer the questions they check their answers by watching the following clip:

For a similar introduction clip to the other teams in the world cup then click here.

For more information on the team and material for a possible reading exercise then check out the BBC team guide here.

Extra time – project ideas:

Project idea :  Divide the students into groups and ask each group to choose a different teams country to research.  Each group has to make a poster about the country.

Project idea 2 : Students make a wall chart of the World cup schedule and make sure that a different student updates the chart with the scores each day .

Penalty shoot out : A treat to leave you with until the next game

Daft Punk & Star Wars – The party starts here:

Summer movies(What’s it to be?)

Posted in ESL, Movies, you tube with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 5, 2010 by EslImaginarium

So it’s soon going to be time to go to your local multiplex to choose from an array of sequels, ‘trequels’ and jaw dropping extravagant budget, full-on action, mind numbing experiences.  Stock up on extortionately priced  sickly popcorn, choose an extra-large drink of caffeine and remember to switch of your I-phone so that the sound of tweets do not distract you from the eye candy that is attacking your mind.

So whats it to be????????

Let’s look at the rotten tomato guide to the most anticipated releases this summer;

Students listen and write what movie was the ‘yay’ and what was the ‘nay’ for each month.

The students use the following wordle to help them decide.

Yay    or     nay?(The answers)

May:       Robin Hood                                    Prince Of Persia

June:     Toy Story 3                                       Twilight

July:       Inception                                         Last Airbender

August:   Scott Pilgrim V’s The World        Eat Pray Love

Match the poster with the synopsis:

1. Make a slide show of movie posters or put the movie posters on the walls around the classroom.  Students have to match the following synopses with the posters.

Use the synopses from the movie site, IMDB

1. He’s 23 years old, in a rock band, “between jobs,” and dating a cute high school girl. Everything’s fantastic until a seriously mind-blowing, dangerously fashionable, roller blading delivery girl named Ramona Flowers starts cruising through his dreams and sailing by him at parties.

2. As their owner Andy prepares to depart for college, his loyal toys find themselves in daycare. So, it’s all for one and one for all as they join Barbie’s counterpart Ken, a thespian hedgehog named Mr. Pricklepants and a pink, strawberry-scented teddy bear called Lots-o’-Huggin’ Bear to plan their great escape.


3.Now Cobb is being offered a chance at redemption. One last job could give him his life back but only if he can accomplish the impossible. Instead of the perfect heist, Cobb and his team of specialists have to pull off the reverse: their task is not to steal an idea but to plant one.


4.With their country weakened from decades of war, embattled from the ineffective rule of the new king and vulnerable to insurgencies from within and threats from afar. This unlikeliest of heroes and his allies set off to protect their country from slipping into bloody civil war and return glory to England once more.


Survey Monkey

I recently learned about ‘survey monkey’ from another excellent Russell Stannard training video.  This application is excellent for conducting a questionnaire with your class and also for students to conduct their own questionnaires.  Here is my first attempt using this application.  I decided to conduct a summer movie survey. This survey gives the students an opportunity to express their opinion.  When all the students have answered the questionnaire you can make a popularity chart with the statistics and also look at the different sentences the students made.

Please click here to view it and if you have time feel free to try it out.

Click here to take this survey

(If enough people take this survey then I will publish the results in a future post.)

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