George Chilton is an English teacher and writer based in Barcelona, Spain. He came to the city in 2008 with a plan to stay for 6 months. Spanish time is a little different to the rest of the world.
He’s sharing some of the ESL lessons he uses in this blog.
Neil McMillan is an English Teacher and Teacher-Trainer also based in Barcelona. He also writes, makes music and DJs, and studies Catalan and Spanish. In between all that he climbs hills and protests a lot. Perhaps too much.
We think ESL lessons should be…
Fun and inspiring and useful and relevant and spontaneous and intelligent and unplugged and sometimes surprising. And they shouldn’t follow the rules.
For the most part, the “designer lessons” aim to elicit natural language in order to create a dialogic relationship between the teacher and the learner. In other words, we believe that student motivation is highest in a class where the students have opportunities to take the lead while the teacher guides, resulting in a co-creation of language in an environment that encourages both freedom of expression and the free-flow of student-led questions.
We’re not saying that if you use these lessons your students are gonna leave the class sounding like something from Emmerdale, but – with a bit of luck – they’re going to have had something resembling a real-life conversation.
So these lessons…
Aim to engage and promote conversation in a semi-controlled way. Ultimately, the teacher is responsible for guiding and correcting the language production in class. So we hope these ideas give a decent-enough framework and help to create an energetic, spontaneous environment in which to teach.