My new relationship with books

Thanks to getting into unplugged teaching, working in places with few resources and also from reading so many great blogs, I’ve now developed a different relationship with books. I have moved away from book dependency and now see books as a collection of ideas and activities. I’ve always like making things and learning and trying out ideas so I do that now thanks to what I pick up from books. The brilliant English Raven was the first person to outline this idea in one of his great posts on recreating coursebook exercises in the class.

This helps on many levels:

1)Books have some great ideas

2)Recreating them gets students involved

3)You can adapt them

4)Students who write stuff down are more likely to take it away

5)They are also more likely to remember it as they have processed it more than just reading alone would grant

6)Copying is tiring and expensive

Here’s an example of part of a BE worksheet me and Eric from TESOL France’s Teaching Times came up with:

1.What social media do you use and why?
2.Which companies do you know who use it?
3.How do companies use social media?
4.What do you think of these uses:

Company news announcements    Product discussion boards        Customer reviews

Discount offers    Customer service forums        Customer research

5.Read this presentation extract from a Business technology conference about social media.

“….lots of companies are failing to exploit social media. Facebook and Twitter are home to millions of potential customers but companies just aren’t reaching them. Some successful attempts have been made such as offering customer support, creating customer and supplier discussions as well as advertising new products and services but these are not the norm. Social media should be used to engage with current and potential customers.”

6.To what degree do you agree or disagree?

This is a standard worksheet procedure which we see time and time again and is great but if you want to make it more interesting/challenging/differentiated then why not recreate it?

With a higher class I would probably do this:

1)Set up 4 tables and on each put a paper and a pen.

2)Ask students to sit evenly wherever they want

3)Ask them to write down one type of SM on the paper and pass it round in 90 seconds

4)When the time is up ask one person in the group to read out the list and lead a discussion about each entry.

5)Ask groups to summarise their discussions under 3 headings and then explain them to the class.

6)Ask 1 student to read out number 5 and elicit a few ideas

7)When ideas are flowing ask groups to continue the discussions

=No copying, to teacher-domination, writing, speaking, discussion, group work and it’s v personalised.

As I said before, books have great ideas, how you use them is up to you.