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January 22, 2008

Tips and Tricks- Setting the Scene

Hello Readers,

Imagine the scenario. You've gone through a few exercises in your course book with your students. The first few exercises were difficult, so you weren't surprised when they seemed to be confused. But then you realize that they really don't get it. They're frustrated. You're frustrated ...

... you just can't understand what's wrong.

So what is wrong?

Is it possible that you forgot to set the scene, to put things into context, for the students? Being given a framework is incredibly important for students. If you've ever been involved in a conversation in another language where you didn't know what the topic was, you can probably understand how difficult it can be to sort it out, especially if the vocabulary is new for you. Even if you've never had that experience in a foreign language, you've probably had a similar experience by simply sitting in on a conversation about a topic that either doesn't interest you or is over your head.

So how can you help your students out in this situation? Remember to always start your lessons by setting the scene.
- Tell a story to introduce the topic.
- Put the grammar point in context.
- Elicit key vocabulary words.
- Ask students comprehension questions.

What else can you do to set the scene?

Share your comments here.

Hope that helps!

Carol Rueckert

Posted by crueckert at January 22, 2008 12:15 PM

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Divide the class into teams, then hide clues around the room that they will use to guess the topic of the day.

Posted by: Jen Chapin at August 26, 2008 03:52 AM

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