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“There is no such thing as a worthless conversation, provided you know what to listen for. And questions are the breath of life for a conversation.”
—James Nathan Miller (1921–2001), American journalist
Do you wish to create more compelling conversations with your English students? Do you seek customizable activities that engage their interests? What materials can keep our English lessons current? And how do we make give our students both a choice and voice in our classes?
Perhaps by adding our new collection of reproducible English lessons to your professional library!
Creating Compelling Conversations: Reproducible Search and Share Activities for English Teachers will be released later this month. This reproducible teacher resource book features over 75 individual worksheets and contemporary communicative activities. Organized into eight thematic sections, all activities address a broad range of topics in both daily and academic life. Section themes include:
- Studying English
- Preparing for College Life
- Creating a Home
- Modern Living
- Exploring New Career Opportunities
- Enjoying and Keeping Money
- Enjoying Free Time
How it works
Each Search and Share activity asks students to individually research a given topic and share the information they have collected. Students then take turns presenting their findings in small group, asking questions and discussing the materials. Designed primarily for intermediate and advanced English language learners (ELL) in American universities, each discussion round usually takes 15-20 minutes to complete.
Through Search and Share assignments, students discuss their personal interests with classmates in a safe, focused manner. As a result, these exchanges often introduce the class to new perspectives on a variety of socially and culturally relevant topics – in English. We’ve found that when students are invested in their research they spend far more time reviewing possible resources than required. Students also learn more in their research even before sharing information with classmates. Therefore, the flexibility of Creating Compelling Conversations encourages English learners to take ownership of their expanding language skills in an appealing, communicative style. Plus, each English class leads to different discussions based on new authentic materials.
We know – and our students soon discover –authentic sources are not equally credible. Students often develop critical thinking skills by discussing the information they collected in small groups. Why did you choose this source? What was the main idea? What evidence was provided? How strong was the evidence? Who was quoted? What else do we know about this topic? What else would we like to know? Did the article seem fair? Why? How does this match personal experiences? Small group discussions and focused conversations around student research encourages students to think, reflect, and question sources and information.
English teachers can also extend the Search and Share activities with supplemental projects. In writing classes, we often use these worksheets to introduce new topics for movie reviews, research papers, or writing better business documents. In speaking classes, students can videotape themselves, give presentations, or engage in mock job interviews and informational interviews. Here’s a sample of eight communicative activities that emphasize hedging language through authentic sources.
Spark more engaging conversations today!
Creating Compelling Conversations: Reproducible Search and Share Activities for English Teachers will be available July 15, 2019 on Amazon as both an 8.5×11 paperback ($28.50). All individual units are also available through Teachers Pay Teachers for $4.99 each. Again, you can also download a free collection of worksheets here.
Let’s create more compelling conversations together!