Monday, May 23, 2016

Materials Adaptation (Language Leader Intermediate Unit 8 Lesson 4)

In our school, where students learn English in a two-semester intensive program before they start their academic studies, we use Language Leader as our main textbook. We use the same book every year, which I think is the case in most schools, and it kind of gets dull after some time. That's why, a colleague of mine and I adapted this lesson to make it more relevant to the learners' lives and (hopefully) more interesting. We didn't need to use the book itself (believe me when I say not using the textbook does make a lot of difference sometimes) although we extracted the listening part from it.

It is a speaking lesson with a focus on discussing possibilities and options as well as problem solving. It starts with the following extract from the Lakeside College prospectus, and asks learners to talk about which facilities would interest them and what sort of things students at university often complain about.
Instead of the prospectus in the book, we used the prospectus of our own university (click on the picture to enlarge) and asked the students to tell us which one of these items is the most important thing when choosing a university and which ones reflect the reality of our school.

The prospectus is published by the university for prospective students, so we wanted to see which parts the students who are currently studying here would agree with because the next part of the lesson involves their problems about school.

After their comments about the prospectus and its content, we moved on to the listening part (3a in the book). We gave them the following instructions and the task (You need to play the audio file 2.8, available on the Active Teach CD).
You will hear METU students talk to the administration about the problems they have.
Listen to the meeting and complete the notes.

After that, we did the next task in the book, which gives the key language the students might need for the following speaking task.

The next part is discussing the most common problems the students face and finding solutions to them. For this purpose, a few days before the day we did this lesson, we asked our students to write their problems on a piece of paper and give it to us. Then, we chose the most common ones and came up with this list. We gave them to the students as small slips of paper, and we gave them the following instructions:
  • You are a member of the METU NCC Student Representative Council.
  • Recently, fellow students from METU NCC SFL have filed the these complaints to the Council. 
  • In your groups, read each complaint and offer solutions. 
  • Remember to offer solutions not only to the teachers and the administration but also to the students.
  • Get into groups of 4 and take one slip of paper each.
  • One student will read the complaint.
  • The other 3 will give their solutions.
  • Take notes of your best solution(s) and we will compare them with the solutions of the other groups. 
Once they were finished discussing, we had a whole class discussion to find the best solution to each problem.