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American schools - collecting opinions on IWB for speaking practice

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


This clip shows the last part of a lesson on the American school system in an intermediate classroom. The learners are supposed to share their opinions and decide wether they would like to go to an American school or not. The IWB supports the speaking exercise by giving the learners the opportunity to express themselves. They have to summarize what they want to say and write it in a table.



Target language: English

Resource language: German

Native language of learners: German

Age range: 14+

Language level: B1 - Intermediate

Educational context: Secondary Education

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

Teaching methods: Individual activity at IWB

Language area: Speaking, Strategies

IWB board used: Promethean

Teacher comment

So I finished the lesson with going back to the world of the learners. I started with the knowledge of the learners and I wanted to end it with the learners. They should think about the question if they would like to go to an American High School. First they discussed it again with their partner and wrote something down. And then some learners came to the board and presented their opinion. On the IWB we had one side with a happy smiley, meaning they would like to go to an American High School, and the other side with a sad smiley, where they should write down why they would not like to go to an American High School. And so again they talked, they presented their opinion and then they wrote down a prompt or some words. So it was again communication, talking and asking the learners for their own opinion, what I think is really important in a lesson. Without the whiteboard I would have just let them talk. So this way we really had something on the board we could see and again collect all the different points for and against American High Schools.  Sums up the whole lesson again. 

Interviewer: What they have learned is what they put on the board. 

Yes, but they used it in connection with their own opinion. And somehow, I don't know why, but they are really more motivated to say something when they can go to the IWB and write something down. If I had done it in a regular lesson and perhaps just ask: "Tell me, would you like to go to an American High School?" they would not have talked so much as with the IWB. It's really good to see that they really think about things. 

Learner comments

Ich fand das auch gut als wir am Ende reingeschrieben haben ob wir auf so eine Schule gehen würden und wieso. 

I liked that we could write down on the IWB if and why or why not we want to go to an American High School or not.

Ich fand das auch, weil das geht an der Tafel eben nicht so gut. Wenn irgendwie Sachen markiert werden oder was schreibt, dann kann man das wieder richtig wegradieren wenn man sich verschrieben hat.

I also liked that activity because it wouldn't work on the blackboard. Whenever you mark something or write something you can erase it especially if you misspelled a word.

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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.