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  • OK so I explained this at (possibly too much) length in the 2.5 forum, so I wanted to simplify it here.

    I like the idea of basing the lesson around a text, but the concept of ‘a text can be anything’ is kind of new to me. It’s not that I don’t do this, I just consider ‘text’ as ‘article’ (e.g. newsela or one provided in a course book) and find…Read More

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    • Thanks for this, Rob. I’ll leave a reply in 2.5 with some musings from your post there. I appreciate that ‘anything is a text’ can be a bit of a strain sometimes. I have been working quite a lot with developing visual literacy with my learners – I thoroughly recommend you check out the New York Times’ ‘Photo of the Week’ page, as I’ve found this…Read More

      • Hi Ben, thanks for that.

        • Turns out command+return doesn’t do the new paragraph.

          Shift+return works though

          So, yeah, the first two phases are kind of interchangeable/flexible. The reason I have them in this order is volume of vocabulary. I have 8 words to introduce (not including taxi which in my experience often comes up/is useful). So by doing the stages in this order,…Read More

          • Update on this lesson that I did this afternoon, in case you’re interested. Turns out the rank order activity worked really well – got them debating (mostly in Chinese, but that’s to be expected, I’m sure it helped to consolidate vocab knowledge when we reviewed it in English) and they were way more engaged in the follow up survey we did. As you…Read More

            • Timing’s almost always an issue isn’t it? Great to hear that you have a fruitful and productive class – it sounds the your learners were able to really engage with the topic, so I’m sure that environmental aim was more than achieved. I’m sure the posters would make a nice way of rounding of the trimester as you say, and it also gives you the…Read More

            • Hi Rob and @ben-crompton what a great thread going on here. Rob I’ve put a comment on your padlet lesson, summing about things we talked about. I think being on this course has really opened my eyes to outdoor learning. I’ve justt come across this concept of ‘nature as co-teacher’ in a video I’ve discovered by the theorist I mentioned before. This…Read More

            • Also, I’m glad to hear your lesson went well with your class. At this point, Rob, I want to ask if you would be interested in making this lesson into a post for eltsustainable.org? I think it’s such a great lesson and many people could benefit from it. There are a few posts already by alumni from the course; the one about a meat-free Monday is…Read More

  • I always kind of worked on the assumption that language cuts across ‘subjects’, and so does nature. It’s not ‘a subject’, but can be incorporated into many different areas. The only way ‘sustainability’ can really have any lasting impact is if the same thing happens – if it’s more than a one-off unit somewhere in a course book, but part of…Read More

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    • It’s a neat little hack isn’t it? My lessons now have four aims:

      1) Communicative
      2) Language
      3) Phonological
      4) Sustainable Development Goals

      Even if point 4 is just an extra question in the post-activity stage, or a discussion about what someone else might think, it’s enough to keep it current. I think that makes everything much more powerful…Read More

  • I enjoyed that video, thanks. Glad using stories was in there – it’s probably the single most useful thing for my students.
    I like the idea of having a language goal and an environmental goal for each lesson. Sometimes the simplest ideas are the best and that’s definitely something I’m going to incorporate over the rest of my semester.

    My own…Read More

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    • Love this, and fully agree. I have a logistical question, speaking as a teacher of kids and teenagers. What would you do to get the parents to buy into this? I know for a fact that many of the middle class parents of my youngest kids would be reluctant to do a litter pick on the way to school.

  • For me, judging by where and who I teach, my top tips prior to viewing the video would be along the lines of:
    – keep it manageable (in terms of language and ideas). Too much could be overwhelming
    – start local – make it relatable (look at the issue of litter in the playground before trying to solve the ocean plastic garbage patch
    – lead by…Read More

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