- First week: It is all about us. (Still in planning stage)
- From second week: Let’s start with words.
So let me start with a Bingo!
It’s is fun.
They love it.
I want to use it to actually test the vocabulary.
I have to keep in mind that there will be new students in the program who might or might not be a total beginner. I’ll use the format of Bingo to present, practise and test vocabulary.
But what words?
I decided to follow Phillip Kerrs¹ suggestion and adopt the alternative approach, instead of a semantic one, which is (1) look at the material (text), (2) predict the items that will be problematic, (3) select and (4) write material that will introduce/practise. I made sure that the text was rich in high frequency words. In order to discover that I used a tool called Frequency Level Checker. I want most of the words to be from Level 1 ( The most frequent 1000 words of English and their word families). Luckly the story I chose to work with has around 89% of them and 93% of the NGSL.This is what the result look like, here.
Kevin Stein suggested me using the New General Service List (NGSL) to guide me through word choice. He has actually written a great post which is a #mustread if you want to know more about word frequency, NGSL and reasons why we should be using it.
LOST AND FOUND BY OLIVER JEFFERS
I have this lovely book called Lost and Found which is part of a collection of 3 books from the same author. Lucky me I found some videos I can use with it which will add the audiovisual element to the lesson that they like so much.
How to play while presenting and practising the vocabulary selected?
1- Select the words from the Lost and Found story.
2- Create the bingo cards. Use a free Bingo online generator.
3- Print out slips of paper without the words, just the definition in L1* (I want my learners to create an image of it instead of think first of a word) and a sample sentence. Not the same from the story. In this way, they will have the opportunity to encounter the same word, same meaning again but in a new context. *ideal for monolingual groups. Maybe teachers who do not share students language, can ask someone to record it. ** Pictures/miming could be used alongside the definition and sample sentence.
1-Students choose their Bingo cards. They will have to have on their desks, the bingo cards and the notebook.
2 – Draw a slip of paper from the box (or a bag). Student listen attentively and on their notebooks, they will write down only the sample sentence. They’ll need time to hear and transcribe the sentence.
3- Read aloud the description of the word again and ask them to circle the word in the sentence on their notebooks. Then, cross out the word on their bingo card. There might be a great chance that beginners won’t know what word to circle. Here comes the Presentation, Practise and Test. It is test because the elementary/pre-intermediate learners will have a chance to test themselves. It is presentation because learners who are first encountering any of those items will have a chance to learn it. In both cases they are practising with the vocabulary. Few weeks later, I can challenge them to know these words by heart + the other ones not included in this bingo but that are part of the story and chosen to be taught later. I’ll also keep a chart with the new words and encourage students to create their own vocabulary list so they can record new vocabulary items on their notebooks.
4- After giving students enough time to transcribe, circle and cross out, I’ll elicit the word and record it on the board so everyone can check if they circled the correct word.
5- The Bingo ends when all the slips of paper have been worked on. * I’ll try to focus my sample sentences on simple past as the story is told using the simple past. After recording the words on the board, I’ll work with them through word family, associations and quick grammar points related to the sample sentences after the bingo is over. This will give a chance for them to take notes, ask questions and create new sentences of their own.
This is a ludic way to present and practise vocabulary from a story/a text/a dialogue and gives everyone an opportunity to participate in the game. It can also become competitive later on once everyone knows what words they will have to listen too and be attentive to mark on their cards, as well as a great chance to recycle it again. Needless to say that all this has to be carried out with enthusiasm so it can be learning in a way that is fun.