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2.5 What are the top tips for teaching environment-themed lessons?

  • 1 year, 3 months ago
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  • Tip 1: Do not just throw out an environmental theme/topic in the middle of a lesson or course here and there. Think about the language focus, vocabulary focus and target skills. So use eco-friendly topics for to foster contextualised language learning.
    Tip 2: Do not let them passively listen to you! Make them work, think creatively, participate…Read More

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  • Hi everyone. Apologies for my lack of activity over the past week. I would say that relevance would be my big tip. Firstly relevance to the students’ lives and secondly relevance to the course objectives, language points, grades etc. Of course, this depends on the teaching and learning context, but if sustainability is still something of an exotic…Read More

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    • I know that the exam providers like Cambridge are making sure moves to include more sustainability related language and topics. I’m optimistic that this could have a positive washback effect.

      • City&Guilds ESOL Skills for Life starts to do that as well, which is great! We have an exam topic in Entry levels which is called “Our Environment” – one of which also contains writing a complaint letter to a Council about waste disposal and so on.

    • @eltsusta @rian-mcguinness Owain’s right – there’s been a considerable shift in recent years with Main Suite exams – to the extent where it’s rare if an exam *doesn’t* have some sustainable or environmentally-focused text or question.

    • I like the word “exotic”. Some people in school feel like I am dong something exotic teaching kids sustainability and not a part of “my subject”.

  • I guess the hot tips will be basically connected with taking action and showing enthusiasm for what you teach!

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    • @marcela-villan Enthusiasm is such a vital ingredient, isn’t it? One of the challenges I face in materials development is trying to make them usable for a teacher who might be less enthusiastic about the topic than we are. It’s tricky but also vital to avoid only having the enthusiastic teachers on the topic dealing with it in class!

      • Great comment! It’s difficult to make materials and make people more enthusiastic on these topics.

      • Owain, what do you think about publications only taking environment as their organizing theme or content? Nat Geo? They are all great but I think it runs the risk of limited content? What do you think? Or will the students get too fed up with such? To make something more effective, healthy intervals are necessary – scientifically proven as well, I…Read More

    • I agree, too. For those of us dealing with teenagers, this can be a huge challenge. I remember, as a moody teenager, laughing at the enthusiasm of certain teachers. In time, however, true enthusiasm did become infectious. I would add persistence to that enthusiasm for motivated teachers, but feel a little stumped about how to get less energetic…Read More

  • Top tips for teaching environment-based lessons:
    1. Be passionate and enthusiastic! (check! :-))
    2. Enrol a course! (check! :-))
    3. Encourage students.
    4. Focus on quality lessons and examples.
    5. Don’t overload students with sustainability.
    6. Go outside the classroom.
    7. As @ben-crompton said in live session: relevant topics, stealth…Read More

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    • Great tips @mila-pandzic. I like them all and just want to ask about going outside the classroom. What opportunities have you had to do this? I think it’s so important to remove education from being just in the four walls of the classroom. Recently I taught a young learner class and used this lesson created by someone in the previous cohort. It…Read More

      • @eltsusta That’s great to hear, I’ve been wanting to try that out for a while, but in our centre it isn’t so practical, unfortunately. I’d like to follow up @mila-pandzic about your fifth point – “don’t overload the students with sustainability” – as this is something I’m quite aware of myself as a teacher of lots of boisterous groups of teens.…Read More

      • @eltsusta I go out a lot as soon as the sun warms up. We have 2 parks and a lot of meadows and different trees in the school yard. This week the temperatures are unusually high for this part of year. Today was 22 Celsius. And of course, I decided to go out. We were practising writing haiku poems so they had to find motifs in the school yard, hear…Read More

      • @eltsusta I have read this lesson the other day, actually I got it in your newsletter in December. I am planning to do something like this. My students ride bicycles a lot after school, they go to the woods, etc., but they come to school by a school bus because we are on the main county road. So I haven’t done it yet because I was aware they could…Read More

    • ‘Stealth tactics’ are certainly something I will remember from that session, too. And it needs to be pretty stealthy to get some of these boys invested!