Dogme and exams:a lesson structure

I just read Chia’s brilliant post on IELTS prep and so pushed this old post up the ladder as it may follow on from some of her great ideas.Thanks Chia!

The speaking and writing sections of many EFL exams have always been a tough area. So much so that some schools offer optional classes just in those areas. Thus, it seems surprising that there isn’t enough, course book wise, dedicated to these 2 exam skills. If you go to China the opposite is true. Huge shelves are dedicated to BEC speaking or IELTS writing.

With this lack of materials and the communicative nature of these 2 skills having an extreme Unplugged class seems perfect. An IELTS speaking/writing course could be something like this:

1)Choose themes common for the speaking

2)Ask students to select one each week

3)Discuss, argue, debate, present, contradict, support…..and whatever else types of interaction arise. BUT make sure they understand the topic’s principles and can present and discuss different perspectives. Don’t force roles on them but summarise different ones after the conversations. Play DEVIL’S ADVOCATE.

4)Now you have the raw materials, go over some useful language and the differences for written and spoken discourse

5)Bring in the exam sections and discuss how to do the different sections (speaking P2,3, Writing P2)

6)Ask students to demo how they can transfer their knowledge to each.

Now they know how the course works and is relevant to their exams change and spice up the topics. Ask them to research them and find new ideas.

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