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Resources relating to English language learning, employability and teacher-training.

Resources relating to English language learning, employability and teacher-training.
Presentation skills: business pitches
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Presentation skills: business pitches

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This resource is an activity instruction sheet for students, who will work in small groups to pitch an idea for a product which is not on the market, 'Dragon's-Den' style. Prior to the activity, you may wish to show a clip from Dragon's Den, particularly for students from other countries who may not have heard of it. See: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b006vq92 for clips. You may also show examples of elevator pitches on YouTube e.g. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zumkSeC2u3M and https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i6O98o2FRHw and get students to discuss what makes a good pitch. The students need time to think of ideas and to prepare their pitches so you will probably allocate a large chunk of the class to this. Students could be provided with flipchart paper and pens to assist with this and/or they could have access to computers to create presentations. After the allocated preparation time, each group takes it in turns to present their pitch. For each pitch, you might like to have a panel of 'dragons' from the class who will judge the pitch and decide whether they will support their product or not. Fake money could be used to make this more realistic and the panel could change each time a new pitch is presented so that all students get the chance to be dragons as well as pitching their ideas. The class as a whole could then discuss which pitches they thought were best and why. Depending on how many students you have in the class and how many groups there are, this activity with introduction and feedback could take several lessons. This type of activity could be used as an assessment, either in groups as this activity has been set up, or on an individual basis.
The British Monarchy
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The British Monarchy

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This resource contains a PowerPoint presentation about the British Monarchy and the role of the Queen in the UK. A note-taking handout accompanies the presentation. The final slides of the presentation provide references for further reading and research. This is designed to be used in ESOL-type classes where students are learning about British culture but it could be used with other learners who are studying this topic. Following the presentation, it could lead onto a debate about the role of the Monarchy , or an argumentative essay on this topic.
Leadership and management theories
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Leadership and management theories

4 Resources
This resource is comprised of: 1. Investigating leadership theories - 4 handouts covering: - Trait theories - Behavioural and style theories - Transactional and transformational theories - Environment leadership theories 2. Investigating management theories - 7 handouts covering: - Taylor's theory of scientific management - McGregor’s X/Y theory - Mayo's theory - Maslow's hierarchy of social needs - Herzberg’s Motivation-Hygiene theory - Edward de Bono and lateral thinking - Tuckman’s stages of group development - Belbin's team roles All the handouts mentioned in 1. and 2. could be printed (and laminated) before class. Students could work in pairs or small groups, with each group being given 1 of the handouts. They could be tasked to design a poster on flip-chart paper or a presentation on the computer showing: - A summary of the theory - Whether or not they agree with it (and why) - A strength of the theory - A weakness of the theory Alternatively, students could design a creative presentation, drama, rap or dance to present their theory. Students could then present their work back to the rest of the class and others could be encouraged to ask questions and/or provide feedback. Further discussion could be around which leadership or management theory the class think is best (or worst!) and why. An example of students' posters is given as part of the 'investigating leadership theories' resource. 3. Leadership and management theory essay titles - covering the theories mentioned in 1. and 2. No word count has been prescribed, as this can be specified by the tutor according to their requirements. They could be used as a group writing exercise, homework or an assessed essay. 4. SWOT template: this could be used individually or in groups to prompt thinking about the Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats of different leadership and management styles.
Negotiating deals
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Negotiating deals

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This activity is aimed at international students learning English and specifically around Business English / negotiating language for intermediate learners. There are 4 scenarios to be role-played in pairs. For each scenario, there is an accompanying handout of information/images to assist with the role play.
ESL speaking prompts: leisure, sports and the arts
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ESL speaking prompts: leisure, sports and the arts

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This resource is aimed at international students learning English and provides some visual prompts of hobbies and activities as well as questions on this topic e.g. 'How much free time do people have in the UK? '; 'Do they go to performances/art galleries/museums etc.? ' It could be used as a gentle introduction to talking about leisure specifically within the UK, for ESOL/citizenship-related classes. It could also be used as a fun way to introduce one of the IELTS speaking topics.
ESL speaking prompts: cities and villages
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ESL speaking prompts: cities and villages

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This resource is aimed at international students learning English and provides some visual prompts of cities and villages as well as questions on this topic e.g. 'Do you think it’s better to live in a modern flat or an old house? Why?' It could be used as a gentle introduction to talking about housing or as a starter for writing an essay on the advantages and disadvantages of housing. It could also be used as a fun way to introduce one of the IELTS speaking topics.
Dissertation help
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Dissertation help

7 Resources
This bundle includes activities around key elements of an undergraduate dissertation. It is designed to assist with the structure and layout of the work as well as to influence the depth of content required in each chapter. Laying out your research focuses on how research is presented. Students could work in small groups in class with some past dissertations sourced from the university library. Students look through the examples in front of them and discuss what each section contains, thereby coming up with their own definitions for each chapter. The handout allows space for more notes on each section of the dissertation and discussion as a whole class to compare notes may follow. Writing Abstracts and Introductions, the Literature Reviews activity and Writing Methodologies are activities which can be used in conjunction with a mark scheme / assessment grid from your university, where students allocate a grade to each example given in groups and then justify their grade to other groups of students in the class. The Writing Introductions diagram is supplementary material for students to refer to on their own. The Quantitative data analysis activity provides small groups of students with raw data, perhaps with each group focusing on a different question. They discuss any problems with the data and how they would analyse it and present the results. They then present their findings to the rest of the class. The Academic Referencing activity could be set as directed learning following an introduction to referencing at your institution. It enables students to visit the library and/or do research online to write down different examples of referencing. A completed example has been included to give an idea. The activity could lead on to using referencing software, such as RefME.
Map activity: Great Britain, the UK, Ireland or the British Isles?
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Map activity: Great Britain, the UK, Ireland or the British Isles?

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This map activity includes a handout for students which asks them to label the maps. The accompanying teacher's presentation with the answers could be used to present information first or to use afterwards to clarify answers, or both, depending upon the prior knowledge of the students. It could be used in Geography classes, or with ESOL learners who have recently moved to the UK.
Speed referencing
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Speed referencing

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This classroom activity is aimed at students who are getting to grips with academic referencing and is designed to make learning about referencing fun. Before using this activity, ensure that students understand the concept of referencing and are familiar with the type of referencing and related conventions used by your institution. To use this activity, print off several copies of this resource and laminate each sheet. (As a guide, the 2 sheets given here are suitable for 1 small group of 2-3 students, so you will need as many copies as you have groups). Use a guillotine to create small cards and put them into packs for each group (I find that using elastic bands or envelopes helps with this). In small groups of 2-3, students have to order the cards given to show the information required in a reference for: a book, a chapter or essay in an edited book, a web page, a journal article, a blog, an electronic image, a newspaper or magazine article, an online report, a TV or radio programme and a conference paper. It may be a good idea for students to practise first, referring to the reference guidelines of your institution, before trying to do it with no guidance - at this point, egg timers or an online timer could be used to see which group can organise the references correctly as quickly as possible. The teacher could shout out which one to do e.g. a book for each round to make it easier and more focused than doing all of the references at the same time.
Good news listening
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Good news listening

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This is a worksheet to be used to improve ESL listening and note-taking skills. It is based on a BBC (2013) 6 minute English recording and includes key vocabulary from their site: BBC, 2013. 6 minute English: good news [viewed 05/08/16]. Available from: http://www.bbc.co.uk/worldservice/learningenglish/general/sixminute/2013/01/130131_6min_good_news.shtml The recording can be played as many times as is needed to suit your students' ability. It can also be paused at key points. The audio file and a transcript can be downloaded from the BBC site too. This activity could be used in class or set as independent learning/homework.
Google maps exploration
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Google maps exploration

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This worksheet can be used as homework/directed learning or in a class with access to computers/the internet. It explores the functionality of Google Maps and allows students to improve their IT skills. The resource comprises of a worksheet with answers.
Jumping into journals
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Jumping into journals

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This resource is a template that university students or academics can use when reading journal articles. The headings and prompts encourage students to think about the main points of the article they are reading as well as its style and credibility. The template can be used as self-directed study to enhance independent learning, or it could be used as an in-class activity. Either way, students can share their findings with others, particularly if they are all studying the same subject but have read different journal articles.
Job interviews
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Job interviews

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This activity is a role play, whereby one student pretends to be a potential employer conducting a job interview and the other student plays the part of the candidate being interviewed for the job. The role play activity gives details as to how each student can prepare for the task (this could be laminated for regular use in class). The teacher needs to provide some job adverts/descriptions for the students to use alongside the role play activity so that they are focusing on a real job - a selection of job adverts are included in this resource which I have used with my students, but you may wish to find your own adverts, according to your students' interests (again, the adverts could be laminated for use in class). A selection of adverts could be provided by the tutor so that students can choose which job to focus on, or all students could focus on the same job. Alternatively, students could find a job advert they are interested in and bring it in for this class. Students can swap roles so that they get chance to be both the candidate and the employer. An alternative to role playing in pairs is to get the students to work in threes, with one student being the employer, one being the candidate and the other being the observer. The observer can then provide feedback as to how the candidate presented themselves and whether the employer seemed convincing or not! The students could then swap roles. To add a bit of creativity and fun to the task, students playing the part of the employer could think of one 'wild' question to ask after the usual expected questions e.g. 'if you were a biscuit, what kind would you be and why?' The candidate could then try to link this to their own skills and qualifications! For further ideas, see: https://toughnickel.com/finding-job/Off-The-Wall
English learner grammatical errors
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English learner grammatical errors

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This resource is a collection of grammatical errors that I compiled from ESOL students' work over a period of 3 months during 2014. The errors have been categorised into different types, with each type starting on a new page: agreement, articles, plurals, prepositions, punctuation/formatting, spelling / wrong word / collocation, tense, word class and word order. In class, this resource could be used with intermediate and advanced learners of English. Students could work in small groups and each group could be given a different page/topic from the resource. Each group could: 1. try to correct the errors 2. discuss why they think the original sentences are wrong and why they think their revisions are correct 3. try to categorise the errors into groups of different kinds 4. come up with a theory about why students make these errors 5. think of some strategies for improving this particular aspect of grammar Each group could then present their findings to the rest of the class. If time allows, students could create formal presentations to deliver to the class, thereby enhancing their group-working skills and utilising IT as well.
Study schedules and lifestyle habits in different countries
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Study schedules and lifestyle habits in different countries

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This discussion activity is designed to raise intercultural awareness in classes comprising of students from different countries. It can be used as an icebreaker at the beginning of a course when a class first meets, or as an introduction to the theme of culture in a class who know each other well. It can also be used to develop vocabulary relating to daily routines, personalities and food. For young children, this activity could be used in conjunction with telling the time and ordering daily activities. For older students, it could be an introduction to cultural aspects such as attitudes towards time in different countries and could lead on to learning about, say, Hofstede's cultural dimensions theory. The resource consists of one handout designed for students to use in class. It contains a series of discussion questions to prompt conversation in pairs or small groups and leads on to an activity where students design their own schedule for the school/college/programme they are attending. The personalised schedules could just be discussed verbally or they could be realised in the form of a poster or using a planner on the computer before being presented to the rest of the class.
Writing Methodologies
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Writing Methodologies

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This activity is aimed at undergraduate students embarking on dissertations. The worksheet can be used for private study but is best used in the classroom context, where it will generate discussion around Methodologies, allowing students to look at some examples and compare them, highlighting areas for improvement as well as noting useful academic writing styles, which they can then consider when writing up their own research projects. This activity could be used in conjunction with a mark scheme / assessment grid from your university, where students allocate a grade to each example given in groups and then justify their grade to other groups of students in the class.
Writing Abstracts and Introductions
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Writing Abstracts and Introductions

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This activity is aimed at undergraduate students embarking on dissertations. The worksheet can be used for private study but is best used in the classroom context, where it will generate discussion around Abstracts and Introductions, allowing students to look at some examples and compare them, highlighting areas for improvement as well as noting useful academic writing styles, which they can then consider when writing up their own research projects. This activity could be used in conjunction with a mark scheme / assessment grid from your university, where students allocate a grade to each example given in groups and then justify their grade to other groups of students in the class.
Housing discussion
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Housing discussion

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This is aimed at international students learning English. It contains 22 images of types of houses with their name underneath e.g. 'terraced house,' 'bungalow,' 'mansion' etc. It includes some unusual types of housing such as a 'canal boat,' 'treehouse' and 'lighthouse.' The images are intended to generate discussion around housing and students could be allocated a few pictures per group to discuss and then feed back to the rest of the class. Suggested questions for discussion are also included. The activity could be taken further to discuss issues such as housing policy in different countries and what governments are doing to ensure everyone is houses. It also lends itself to further research around the cost of houses in different countries and regions and the economics of renting versus buying, plus cultural differences around this.