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    • Join Date: Mar 2007
    • Posts: 17

    Advanced Lessons

    Hi All,

    I have just started teaching advanced adults general skills, but am having trouble coming up with interesting lesson plans.
    It seems the lessons are either too easy or too boring...

    Anyone out there have any lessons that have worked for them?
    They are a class of 20-something year old learners.


    • Join Date: Jul 2007
    • Posts: 554

    Re: Advanced Lessons

    We often forget that advanced students like any other level also enjoy fun activities. They like challenge and respond remarkably well to humour. The key for me is to use as much humour as possible in the lessons and to add a lot of interesting supplementary material. I will refrain from giving you a complete lesson plan as I have no knowledge of your students cultural background or intersts. Nor do I know your teaching style and some things work for me that don't work well for others. However, I will suggest some activities you might try.
    1. Logic problems - students work in small groups on solving these problems - give them different information which they then exchange and discuss the ramifications. A quick search of the net should find you plenty of examples although you may need to make your own problem solving grid for some.
    CRpuzzles Logic Problems Index
    2. Letter writing - write the letter before
    Usually we give students a letter to reply to - try giving them the reply and let them work in pairs to reconstruct the original letter (or letters it could be the last of a series of 4)
    3. Inappropriacy - rewrite a rudely worded letter to make a polite one. (in pairs)
    4. Guess the film
    Choose 10 well-known films or books and rewrite the titles - the students have to work together to find the original titles. For example -
    Frozen precipitation in the company of those of stunted growth.
    or as it is more commonly known Snow White and the Seven Dwarves

    or perhaps slighly easier

    A cold time of life
    - Ice age

    I'm sure you get the idea

    Sorry just got a phone call will write more tomorrow have to go

    • Join Date: Dec 2006
    • Posts: 14

    Re: Advanced Lessons

    Dear Horsa,
    Greetings from Moscow!
    I'm currently teaching a group of high-intermediate students (16-year-olds), who are really bright and well read. I'm looking for an advanced text-book we might use, as well as a good grammar book - any ideas?
    Thanks in advance,

    • Join Date: Dec 2006
    • Posts: 14

    Re: Advanced Lessons

    Oh, yes, if you are still around, dear Horsa - thanks for the Logic Games link!

    • Join Date: Jul 2007
    • Posts: 554

    Re: Advanced Lessons

    Looking at this thread I feel a little guilty - I never came back to it for some reason. Probably too late now.

    Anyway to your questions.

    1. A good grammar book: English Grammar in Context CUP by Carter, Hughes and McCarthy but look at it first as it might not meet your needs.

    2. A course book for advanced 16 year-olds. This is a difficult age and will depend on the group. Some groups will be too mature for books aimed at the teenage market but too immature for the young adult range. In any event, most books aimed at teens seem to me to be lightweight and of little real benefit to serious learners. It would help if I knew what book they are studying at upper-int. Take a look at Inside Out Advanced by Ceri Jones published by Macmillan and its accompanying resource pack. It is really aimed at young adults so it might not suit your group, but you obviously know them well, so you should be able to decide. It's easily found here in Moscow. If you let me know what books they used at lower levels, I may be able to give you better advice.

    • Join Date: Dec 2006
    • Posts: 14

    Re: Advanced Lessons

    Thanks, Horsa. We've finished the 'Enterprise' series (Express Publishing). We've been also using a range of other materials, reading in the original etc. I'm a bit confused, since most of the books aimed at high-interm level seem to be tailored to give preparation for certain exams, like FCE, CAE etc. I've been toying with the idea of doing an FCE or, later, a CAE book, but what they really need is language learning, not exam preparation. A good exam book provides for both, of course, but the exam part wiil be wasted on them.
    Last edited by Elena vabishchevich; 08-Nov-2007 at 19:51.

    • Join Date: Jul 2007
    • Posts: 554

    Re: Advanced Lessons

    In that case have a look at upper int Cutting Edge again it's for young adults but has plenty of good vocabulary and is not exam based. It is however focussed on task-based learning so the methodology may not suit you. Alternatively, upper int English File might be acceptable.

    • Join Date: Dec 2006
    • Posts: 14

    Re: Advanced Lessons

    Thanks, Horsa. Looked at The English File. Too easy for us in terms of grammar. Thanks for the Inside out book, seems to be the right thing, at least as far as the grammar goes.
    Any ideas on where to look for a good section on register?
    Thanks in advance and best of luck in Moscow.
    Last edited by Elena vabishchevich; 09-Nov-2007 at 13:00.

    • Join Date: Nov 2007
    • Posts: 55

    Re: Advanced Lessons

    Hi, it's Elena again! Sorry about the change of online name, but it was a mistake to give my real name in the first account.
    We did the Matryoshka puzzle - excellent!
    Which ones did you find working better in a language class? I mean, some are so-o-o time-taking!

    • Join Date: Jul 2007
    • Posts: 554

    Re: Advanced Lessons

    I have used several such puzzles but my students are very advanced adults and we have 2.25 hour lessons so time isn't so crucial. Going back to your question about a grammar resource book - Hewings' Advanced Grammar in Use from CUP might be worth considering if you haven't seen it already.

    As to register, it depends on whether you are using the term to mean stylistic variation - levels of formality or, more accurately, to mean specific language relating to particular professions etc. I would guess you mean the former. I use the site below when I make materials relating to levels of formality and for that matter specialist language. Have a look at it - especially the A-Z of formal/informal words.

    Plain English Campaign | Free guides

    I tend to do things like create 2 letters or dialogues on the same theme one formal the other informal then cut them up, mix them and the students have to separate and reassemble them. Unfortunately, I have no examples on this computer as it is not the one I usually use for making materials.

    I can't immediately, think of a book I could recommend that gives extensive practice on levels of formality. FCE/CAE preparation and resource books all do to a certain extent, of course, but in my opinion most fail to give this area enough attention. I'll have a look in our library and try to find you something useful.

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