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American schools - filling out a table for speaking practice

Uploaded by Sanderin van Hazebrouck, Pädagogische Hochschule Heidelberg (Germany)


This clip shows a phase of an English lesson in an intermediate classroom where the learners were summarizing the gained information in a table. The table supports this speaking activity and gives the learners the opportunity to write down a couple of words with the pen tool. 




Target language: English

Resource language: German

Native language of learners: German

Age range: 14+

Language level: B1 - Intermediate

Educational context: Secondary Education

IWB Features: Writing/pen tool (inc. handwriting recognition), Other

Teaching methods: Individual activity at IWB

Language area: Speaking

IWB board used: Promethean

Teacher comment

After we had learned many things about the American school system, the learners had to compare the American school system and the German schools system. I gave them different points, for example marks, lunch time, breaks or subjects. And this was done using a chart. In pair work they should work together and find the differences. First they did it on their own in their exercise books and they had about 10 minutes time. And after that the learners came to the board and wrote down their results on the whiteboard. Sometimes I like it when I work with the whiteboard that the learners do something alone first and then we check it on the whiteboard. Because otherwise I am afraid I use the IWB too much or too teacher-centered and that the communication is missing. Not in this lesson, but sometimes I’ve got the impression. So I let them do pair work first and then they can come to the IWB and present their results.

And really every learner talks in pair work and at the board only some learners can talk. So I really like that. And I sometimes feel like the weaker learners feel better because they know what they have to present. When I just tell them "ok, come to the board and say something", then they feel insecure. It's too spontaneous for them. So this way they are prepared and they know what to say. And they can show what they have learned. Again, some topics are really hard for them and they didn't really know what to write down, but some of the learners had it and they presented it, so the others could see what was right. Or some made mistakes and the learners corrected them.

Sometimes the writing is hard for them on the IWB, but it always works out. We haven't got the beamer on top. And of course they also speak English when they are at the front on the IWB and they have to write something down

Learner comments

Also ich finde das Whiteboard für das Englischlernen eigentlich ziemlich effektiv, dadurch ist man, also nicht wie beim normalen Tafelunterricht, dadurch ist man vielleicht, manche ein bisschen mehr abgelenkt, aber ich finde es besser zum lernen, weil einfach mehr, also man wird sozusagen gezwungen aktiv mitzumachen, weil dann jeder mal ans Whiteboard geht. Gerade wie man sieht bei unserer Lehrerin, die sagt dann auch oft, wer noch nicht am Whiteboard war, dass jeder so gut wie möglich mal am Whiteboard war. 


I think the IWB is perfect for learning english. It is very effective, because it forces you to participate actively. Especially our teacher always asks who hasn't been on the board so that every learner has the chance to use the IWB individually.

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iTILT is a European project on Interactive Technologies in Language Teaching which focuses on the use of interactive whiteboards in the communicative language classroom. If you have comments or questions about this project please contact us.