Once again we learned how precious multimedia resource sharing is in learning English. In our latest English language activity titled News Story Tenses we used Wikinews website both to learn what’s going on in the world and to brush up on our use of English tenses. We have found out that Saudi women will finally be allowed to drive, how the US-based taxi booking company Uber was too relaxed about London transport regulations, that Star Trek enthusiasts can enjoy a new series after 12 years, and about different approaches of Facebook and Russia to the protection of personal data. In the process, we practiced all four language skills of reading, writing, speaking and listening, and as a result we created interactive grammar exercises focusing on tenses for everybody who is interested to have a try.
On Saturday 18 of March 2017, English teachers gathered at Lingva for the 25th round of in-house workshops. The presenters this time were Danijela Bojanić and Marija Milovanović. While Danijela’s workshop, titled Humour Is No Laughing Matter, explored ways of practising different language skills through different forms of humour and using diverse multimedia resources at A2-B1 levels , Marija’s session called “Writing in Class” was dedicated to finding attractive ways of encouraging students of all ages practise this skill, which we more often than not tend to leave aside and assign for homework in order to save precious class time for speaking although we are aware that most of our students do no homework at all. It has been a long time since we last had our in-house workshop and we were all eager to learn and share some new teaching and learning ideas and ready-made activities. Our impressions of the activities presented in both workshops were extremely positive:
Feedback for Writing in Class by Marija Milovanović
“Great, interesting, useful ideas for classes!”
“You’re ready to present at higher levels – at YALS or ELTA seminars and conferences.”
“On the second thought, I’ll use all of your activities. Well done!!!”
“Keep up with the good work!”
Feedback for Humour Is No Laughing Matter by Danijela Bojanić
“I loved it. We haven’t had any workshops so far related to this, what is great is that you could use everything in the classroom (I know I will). Thanks for the ideas!”
“It was very exciting, I liked it pretty much, a lot of interesting ideas and activities. Great job!”
“The song is great! Students could write their own version and practice vocabulary (fruit/vegetables).Tnx”
“I enjoyed it and you encouraged me to get out of my comfort zone! Thanks!”
“A lot of fun! I would actually use the teacher prank list with the worst students and ask them to add their own.”
Learning of English tenses can be fun if done through interesting texts, such as excerpts from biographies of famous actors and singers: Sean Connery, Jesse Williams, Avril Lavigne, Johnny Depp, Curt Cobain and Eminem. As we could once again see for ourselves that what we recognize in a text cannot be automatically acquired and that practice makes perfect, the least we can do is to tailor such practice to our interests.
These contributions to Lingva’s treasure trove of interactive exercises “Learn Better English” were made by our students, as part of their preparation for the Cambridge CAE exam – Sofija Rajković, Jovana Đokić, Milica Milisavljević, Tamara Šarčević, Ana Petrović, Jana Perić and Marijana Janković, together with their teacher Mirjana Ljiljak-Vukajlović.
English tenses: Sean Connery by Sofija Rajković
English tenses: Avril Lavigne by Tamara Šarčević
English tenses: Jesse Williams by Marijana Janković
English tenses: Johnny Depp by Milica Milisavljević i Jovana Djokić
English tenses: Eminem by Ana Petrović
English tenses: Curt Cobain by Jana Perić