I was watching an episode of US sitcom The Big Bang Theory recently when one scene struck me as something I could use in class. My initial idea was to use it to demonstrate an activity (i.e. as an instruction), rather than as material for a whole class or classes.
This was for a group of fifteen Russian university students who were over here doing an intensive course. Whilst they were fine working on their own and in groups, I had been getting a limited response from all but the most confident of them in whole class stages. However, when I started the video they cheered more or less spontaneously and as one, and it became clear that they were nearly all enthusiastic fans of the programme. That, and subsequently remembering that various of my students had mentioned the programme at one time or another, got me to thinking about whether I could exploit it more in class. The additional need to think of something to do for an Oxford TEFL workshop motivated me to experiment with using it in various classes.
So, that’s what I’ve been doing, and the results will form the basis of my workshop. I haven’t by any means finalised the details yet, but I anticipate it will include:
- Watching some of the clips that I used. These are all short, averaging around two to three minutes.
- Looking at some of the tasks and activities I did, and maybe trying out a couple: these include listening, listening with the transcript, reading a part, acting a part, and some incidental vocabulary and pronunciation work.
- Discussing the value, pedagogic and otherwise, of the material and activities, and how it can be adapted to suit students of different levels, and sharing ideas for further exploitation of this and similar material. I aim to pass on some feedback from my students here (i.e. how they felt about it as classroom material).
So, if any of that sparks your curiosity, I hope to see you there.
Sean Hayward’s workshop will take place at Oxford TEFL in Prague on March 15th.
For those of you on Twitter, we’ll be using the hashtag #oxfordfreeworkshops
We invite you to give feedback on this workshop, or ask questions, by leaving a comment below.
Find out more about Oxford TEFL’s Free Teacher Development Workshops for TEFL teachers, taking place in Barcelona and Prague during March by checking out these links.