iTILT Partner Clip Selection: How to use the IWB to create authentic activities

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Activities or tasks should be designed around a real-life context and should have a clear communicative purpose.

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This was the first criterion of our initial set of criteria set out in the iTILT-training handbook(page 14) and it shows how important authentic language learning is. Activities or task designed around real-life contexts are not just motivating for the learners, but they often provide them with authentic language input through sound (e.g. listening to native speakers, watching clips) or text (e.g. newspaper articles, websites). Authentic language learning situations also encourage learners to communicate in the target language. 

This blogpost is part of the iTILT Partner Clip Selection, a series of blogposts in which iTILT-team members highlight  a number of clips from the iTILT.eu website illustrating classroom practices that underpin one or more of the criteria that the iTILT team expects to be conducive to effective communicative language teaching

The iTILT-team has selected five clips from the iTILT.eu website that are of classroom practice that underpin this criterion.

 

1. Showing directions to practice speaking

This authentic language learning situation encourages learners to communicate in the target language. They are asked to provide directions from one landmark on the map of México City to another by using the pen tool to mark the path they are using. The use of different coloured pens enables the learners to give alternative routes. This real-life situation practice was aimed to support the learners in a role play at a later stage of the unit and served as a preparation for a field trip to Barcelona, Spain.

 

Watch the clip here: http://www.itilt.eu/iwb-practice?id=405

Target language: Spanish

Resource language: German

Native language of learners: German

Age range: 17+

Language level: A1 - beginner

 

 

Educational context: Vocational Education

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

Teaching methods: Individual activity

Language area: Speaking

IWB board used: Hitachi Starboard

 

2. Using embedded video to generate discussion

Embedding videos is one of the main benefits of the IWB software, since no additional devices (e.g. DVD player, TV set) are needed to show a video on a large screen. The embedded file is also ready to play and needs no additional loading time compared to clips from the internet. This classroom clip shows the use of an authentic video clip which was taken from CCTV footage during the UK riots in the summer of 2011. The learners were given pre-, while- and post-watching tasks, including oral discussion. The input from the video, as well as the produced output, supported authentic language learning.

Watch this clip here: http://www.itilt.eu/iwb-practice?id=299

 

Target language: English

Resource language: English

Native language of learners: Spanish

Age range: 15+

Language level: B2 - Upper Intermediate

 

Educational context: Secondary Education

IWB Features: Video

Teaching methods: Whole class discussion, groupwork

Language area: Speaking 

 

3. Visite virtuelle de la Tour Eiffel à l'aide de l'outil vue sur rue

The teachershows the students the Eiffel Tower with GoogleStreet View. She adds a link to Google Maps to her lesson file, and can thus directly move to the right website. The activity is a preparation for a class trip to Paris and hence shows a great potential for authentic discussions.

Watch this clip here: http://www.itilt.eu/iwb-practice?id=484

Target language: French

Resource language: Dutch

Native language of learners: Dutch

Age range: 15+

Language level: A2 – Lower Intermediate

 

Educational context: Secondary Education

IWB Features: Interactive objects

Teaching methods: Whole class discussion

Language area: Life & Culture

IWB board used: SMART board

 

4. Matching newspaper headings

This rather simple activity of matching separated halves of newspaper headings was aimed to practice the passive and past participle. The headlines were taken from a local newspaper and described current issues at that time. The learners were asked to use the drag-and-drop function of the IWB to bring the corresponding halves together. Additionally, they were asked to add personal statements about the issues (e.g. explain if they have seen the super talent show etc).  This activity has a clear focus on form, but its authenticity can be enhanced if learners are encouraged to react to the headlines.

Watch this clip here: http://www.itilt.eu/iwb-practice?id=298

Target language: English

Resource language: German

Native language of learners: German

Age range: 14+

Language level: B1 - Intermediate

 

Educational context: Secondary Education

IWB Features: Drag & drop

Teaching methods: Individual activity at IWB

Language area: Life & Culture, Speaking

IWB board used: Promethean

 

5. Using the IWB for acting and role play to practice speaking

Another way to create authentic activities with the IWB is to use its features for role plays. This kind of speaking activity promotes authentic language use in situations that are relevant for the learners. In this specific activity shown in this clip of young learners of Welsh you can see how the IWB can support this speaking activity by providing a context - a ‘doctor’ with the sentence 'beth sy'n bod?' ('What's the matter?'), which the whole class had to ask while one learner would act out an illness. The activity took place after the learners had practiced the different vocabulary for body parts. As it can be seen in other video clips, the whiteboard can also be used to support role plays when a setting (e.g. shop, an office, a beach) is shown on the whiteboard and the learners can use it as a kind of ‘scenario’ to create more authenticity for their role play.

Watch the clip here: http://www.itilt.eu/iwb-practice?id=352

 

Target language: Welsh

Resource language: English

Native language of learners: English

Age range: 7+

Language level: A1 - beginner

 

Educational context: Primary Education

IWB Features: Image

Teaching methods: Whole class questioning, Pairwork, Roleplay

Language area: Listening, Speaking

IWB board used: SMART Board

 

Individual items in iTILT selection can be found by using the keywords ‘iTILT Partner Clip Selection’  on the Library search page