Sunday, March 11, 2012

The Jing-lesson that won the Teacher Training Videos scholarship

I was very happy to find out that one of my lesson ideas I have used with my pre-intermediate teen class has helped me win the Teacher Training Videos Scholarship to attend the IATEFL Glasgow conference. I'd like to share it with you hoping that Jing will inspire you just as much as it has inspired me.

So here's what I sent in:

Level: Pre-intermediate +, age 12 +
Aim: To enable teenagers to express their strong feelings against expectations towards them through writing their poem and reciting it using some of the target verbs with prepositions and the target grammatical structures, also sensitising them in using appropriate sentence stress in this context. Jing is used as a motivational as well as an effective teaching tool for the above purposes.
Materials used: the poem "Today" by Jean Little

Lesson plan:

1. Orientation:

a. On the W/B: “You must live up to your potential.” Open Class discussion on who sts think might say it: parents, teacher, my class-mate(s)? (2 answers are possible)
b. I tell them a few things about expectations by parents and school in my time – using photos.

2. Preparation:

a. Then brainstorm expectations and write them down – reformulate from L1 into L2: Things they are expected by parents and school every day. What do they have to live up to every day at school? First as open class, then in groups. Finally, put the ideas they collected on the board. If possible pre-teach some of the more challenging phrases/chunks from the poem.

b. Mini discussion in pairs: How do you feel about these?

3. Listening for gist, sentence stress:

a. Read the poem to them. Sts have to decide how the teen girl feels about the expectations.

b. Sts get the H/O with the poem. They listen again and underline the stressed words + feedb.

4. Practise sent. stress:

Sts read the poem to each other to show how the girl feels. (Make note of the stress and pron difficulties they still have.)

5. Language focus:

Students are asked to read the poem again and decide
  • which sentences are definite decisions about the future (e.g. Today I will not strive to do better.),
  • which ones are spontaneous decisions, whatever she will feel like at that moment (e.g. I'll look at clouds.)
  • and possible future actions but not sure (e.g. Today I might eat the eraser off my pencil.)
At the end of the lesson collect the handout with the poem for this lesson.

For homework I sent them the following screencast:
Unable to display content. Adobe Flash is required.
See the link to this Jing here. Sts will also receive the word-document below. Their poems can be used for later listening and pronunciation work in class with the permission of the authors following the same steps above.

In my experience teens take pride in producing their own poems, but not all of them are ready to share it with the class, and this is perfectly fine.
Not all students will do part two, where they have to write their own poems, only those who feel the urge to express their feelings, which again is absolutely fine. Though I have found that a lot of them love using technology and are more ready to do the work using such tools as Jing.

And here's the word document sts were sent together with the Jing Screencast:


I found the poem in a wonderful book entitled 'Hey World, Here I Am!' by Jean Little, OUP 1989 where there are many more I am planning to use with my teen classes.

And here are my words of gratitude that go to Russell Stannard and the people who have donated the money towards this scholarship. Being able to attend a super-mega international conference, such as the IATEFL Glasgow, is a fantastic opportunity, one that I would never have dreamt of becoming possible as a freelancer living on very little, as I guess, most self-employed EFL teachers do. It is truly amazing that there are people who dedicate their time, energy and money for such a cause, for a teacher to be able to go to THE conference of the year. THANK YOU!


  1. I like your ideas!!!!I admire your work very much. I work hard in order to become as a good teacher as you are!It's a pity that we cannot meet. I could learn a lot of things from you.

  2. Hi Andi,
    Thank you for your lovely comments. I am sure that you ARE a great teacher. Why couldn't we meet? Where do you live? There are lots of ways to meet :-)
    Good luck with your teaching and hope to meet you soon,

  3. Actually we are relatives, I'm Marika's daughter.It's been such a long time since we last met.

  4. Oh, sorry, Andi! There was no link to your name, so wasn't aware which Andi you were :)))
    Will get back to you soon. I'm in Glasgow at the moment after a fabulous confernce, the 46th annual IATEFL conference. Travelling back to Hungary tomorrow.
    Majd írok neked, Andi és NAGYON SZÉPEN KÖSZÖNÖM, HOGY ÍRTÁL! Puszi az egész családodnak, Marikának külön nagy puszi jár :)


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