Glossary as Class Dictionary
The Glossary activity can be used to promote active learning and develop cooperation among students. In our LINC 6 class, students work in pairs or small groups to create and maintain a class dictionary (“Our Words and Collocations”). Whether the words are assigned by the teacher or selected by the students, they are always based on the class activities. Once they have the words, students collaborate to decide on a definition, a collocation and an example to be included, following a format previously agreed on. The teacher’s role is mainly to monitor and support.
In this type of activity, content and process are given equal significance, and in line with the social constructivist approach, “groups construct knowledge for one another, collaboratively creating a small culture of shared artifacts with shared meanings” (https://docs.moodle.org/28/en/Philosophy). Students become course co-creators, and in order to increase their sense of ownership and responsibility, they can also be asked to act as experts for the entries they have authored (easily searchable through “Browse by Author”).
Glossary with phonetic description
It would be helpful to put phonetic description besides the word as in a dictionary. Sometimes it can be hard to hear clearly how the word sounds. Most of my Chinese students have electronic dictionaries which has IPA (International Phonetic Alphabet) besides the words. With the phonetic description, my students can pronounce the word better.
I can use the "Discussion" feature to have students write about a given topic, then reply to each others' entries with suggestions for grammar, spelling, and organizational fixes.
Having student's input in their journey of learning English.
I believe my students to be equal partners in the classroom, therefore, besides getting verbal feedback, I conduct a survey in the beginning of the semester. In the beginning I get their ideas by making them fill out an expectation form in all competencies - Listening, Speaking, Reading and Writing, and how to achieve this goal. Then i divide them in groups of 3 or 4 and make them discuss their strategies for achieving their goals. Later, each group presents one idea in each category in front of the class by using the blackboard or a chart paper. The next step can take place the same day after break or the next day because I want the students to mull over the ideas by themselves or each other in informal setting. We then look at all the strategies and decide 1 from each competency to be used in the classroom by all the students that semester. This group strategy has helped me in getting some novel ideas in enhancing my students learning experience. For example, one class decided to have a study group to practice writing in their free time. They divided the class in smaller groups and everyone wrote something every day. Once a week, they got together and went through everyones written material and decided on one to present to the class. (I checked all their writing but never made this decision for them).
This exercise made them confident of their abilities very early in the semester which made them eager to share ideas and join in conversations too. I found out that most of them enjoyed working as a team and even some of the solitary ones made a few good friends. Some of them are still in touch with each other even now when they have finished studies and have careers.
Health Care Communication
White Coat Black Art (http://www.cbc.ca/radio/whitecoat) is a CBC radio program which deals with health care issues. The show is hosted by a doctor but is aimed at a non-medical audience. All medical and technical terms are defined and described in lay language.
Episodes from this program can be used in an OSLT Health Sciences course to improve several aspects of communication for internationally educated health care professionals.
Theme: At Home in Our Community & World
Topic: Housing Problems
In our module for housing we created a real world module/task for housing at the LINC 4 level.
How to create a Canadian Resume
This is from the settlement.org resources. It gives tips on how to create a Canadian style resume. Examples of a chronological and a functional resume are included. http://settlement.org/ontario/employment/find-a-job/resume/how-do-i-create-a-canadian-style-resume/
How to make Wikis useful in class
I have found that after having a class discussion on a topic, it's a good idea to ask them to write their ideas on a wiki. They can read each others ideas clearly, and collaborate on the same page, by using Edit.
The students used Microsoft Word to type out their sentences first and did copying and pasting them into a wiki page. Thus they also learn and practice Microsoft Word skills.
idea for adding a link
Having just attended a short workshop about digital storytelling on Friday, I think I'll add this activity to our Housing unit. Students will describe their dream house, choosing pictures, or even videos, and recording their commentary.
ideas for using choice activities
The choice activity can be used in many ways. I used it to poll students on what theme they were most interested in covering in the summer school class and also if they wanted to concentrate on listening, speaking, reading or writing. I also used it to ask questions during a unit, to get an idea whether they had understood something or not. I will also poll them at the end of the course to find out what they thought of the course.