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  • blythewilson
  • Waygookin

    • 10

    • December 15, 2010, 02:54:27 pm
    • suwon, south korea
After School Conversation Class
« on: April 18, 2011, 12:57:01 pm »
So I teach an after school conversation course for middle school students. Here are some handouts. So far I've only had one class with them.

In the first class, with the Language Strategies for Active Classroom Participation handout, I went over the "Expressing an Opinion" section, made sure the students understood what it meant, and then had them watch the trailer for the Pixar movie 'Up'. I then had them fill out the Think Pair Share handout, first showing them my own example, then having them brainstorm their opinions, write sentences with the 'Expressing your Opinion' sentence starters, and then pairing up and telling their partner their viewpoint.

These are all baby steps in hopes that in a month or two I will be able to orchestrate a discussion. Let me know what you think.
« Last Edit: April 18, 2011, 02:17:52 pm by blythewilson »


  • Missmame
  • Waygookin

    • 10

    • April 01, 2011, 03:06:53 pm
    • Gyeongju, South Korea
Re: After School Conversation Class
« Reply #1 on: April 18, 2011, 01:41:25 pm »
That's an good activity. I also have an afterschool conversation class and it's by myself, it's hard to get the students attention without an korean teacher.


Re: After School Conversation Class
« Reply #2 on: April 18, 2011, 01:48:25 pm »
Thanks for that, that's brilliant. It's so difficult to get students to say anything in these classes. Hopefully this will help me make a start!


  • mike hawk
  • Waygookin

    • 14

    • October 31, 2010, 03:21:05 pm
    • Gongju
Re: After School Conversation Class
« Reply #3 on: April 18, 2011, 02:21:46 pm »
It says there's an attachment with handouts, but I can't find where to download them.  Does anyone else have this problem?


  • blythewilson
  • Waygookin

    • 10

    • December 15, 2010, 02:54:27 pm
    • suwon, south korea
Re: After School Conversation Class
« Reply #4 on: April 18, 2011, 02:45:56 pm »
I think this might help with your problem.

http://waygook.org/index.php/topic,7188.0.html


Re: After School Conversation Class
« Reply #5 on: April 18, 2011, 03:12:25 pm »
Sounds like a great way to bulid them up and maybe some day...


Re: After School Conversation Class
« Reply #6 on: April 18, 2011, 08:21:50 pm »
The after-classes are such a pain in the a***. As you said its so hard to get the kids interested/under control/not punching each other. I hope this helps me!!


Re: After School Conversation Class
« Reply #7 on: April 18, 2011, 08:48:02 pm »
My class is so random...I've had about 8 classes so far this year....I've done everything form predictions (telling the future), personality tests, astronomy....i need to have more structure but it's hard with all 20 of them and all they want is to watch movies which is banned at school


  • srich48
  • Newgookin

    • 4

    • February 21, 2011, 06:25:35 pm
    • Daejeon
Re: After School Conversation Class
« Reply #8 on: April 18, 2011, 09:35:44 pm »
I just want to say I feel all of your pain with the toughness of Afterschool classes.  I have 29 students in mine, and it's a daily battle to get them to care about any activity I try to offer them.  I think this opinion activity is worth a try and could be fun, though.

The most I've gotten their attention is when I tried to give a rallying speech about how close all of them are to being really great English speakers. 

I'm truly amazed at how huge their vocabularies are, but how little they've practiced any grammar.  If they practiced grammar just a tiny bit, it seems like they'd all be able to speak so well.   


My latest tactic is to teach one small grammar point a day and just try to convince them of why they should learn it.  I usually start with "one day you will all go to a foreign country!!!" which usually gets their attention, and then "and people will ask you such and such" 

and then I think of actual conversations they will one day have with a foreigner, and they will shout out to me how they will answer.  I wish the class was more student-centered, but to be honest, I usually have the attention of about 6-8 students out of 29 every day.  I know this is terrible, and i want it to be better, but this is where I am at right now. 


  • Vagabond
  • Waygookin

    • 20

    • March 03, 2011, 08:35:21 am
    • Masan, Gyeongsangnam-do
Re: After School Conversation Class
« Reply #9 on: April 19, 2011, 08:21:02 am »
It seems as though there's a bit of a 50/50 split on how you guys view the afternoon extra lessons. I've tried to approach it as an opportunity to really get some proper English education in trying to focus on having the students taking an introspective approach to learning the language, i.e. if they're able to confidently talk about themselves and various aspects of their lives they will be able to apply that descriptive ability to others and various life experiences.

As wonderful an idea as I thought that was, in practice it's been much harder. I've got 20 students in mine now after a new student switched over yesterday and for the most part I virtually have to force them to practice the content I provide them with and coerce them to apply it in a personal context. The majority of them seem to see extra English as an easy alternative to other extra classes they may have been forced to do during hte extra 45 minutes spent at school.

That being said there are 2 or 3 who genuinely want to learn as much as they can and when they deliver it always makes the time spent dealing with the others worthwhile.


  • miwon
  • Waygookin

    • 22

    • March 02, 2011, 02:34:35 pm
    • korea
Re: After School Conversation Class
« Reply #10 on: April 19, 2011, 10:23:20 am »
I have 10 kids in my after school class and see them three afternoons in a row they are reasonably well behaved, but its such hard work keeping their attention and making lessons fun!!! I will try this lesson today, thanx


Re: After School Conversation Class
« Reply #11 on: April 19, 2011, 10:46:07 am »
Is so good to read your posts, was feeling like i was the only one struggling to get my students interested and feeling quite despondent!  Thanks for this lesson, going to give a go today in my AS class!


  • Justine
  • Explorer

    • 6

    • November 01, 2010, 06:58:53 am
    • South Korea
Re: After School Conversation Class
« Reply #12 on: May 11, 2011, 09:46:17 pm »
after school class is a daily struggle.  keeping them interested and focused that late in the day is always tough


  • MsKoan
  • Explorer

    • 5

    • August 09, 2011, 01:23:04 pm
Re: After School Conversation Class
« Reply #13 on: August 12, 2011, 09:06:46 am »
Thanks for the great ideas..
I'll be teaching eve conversation to high school boys, intermediate-advanced and have no clue of how to start...


  • jeg3000
  • Waygookin

    • 14

    • August 04, 2011, 10:52:44 am
    • Ulsan, South Korea
Re: After School Conversation Class
« Reply #14 on: October 09, 2011, 06:45:23 pm »
thank you for sharing.  I can sooooooo relate.  I don't know what to do!  I had them write me a letter telling me why they joined my AS class.  they were all very honest.  most of them picked the class because they didn't want to study any important subject and they just wanted to hang out with their friends.  I have a handful that picked the class because they actually want to improve.  The loud kids are making it difficult for the one's who want to learn.  I'm trying every management technique I can think of to no avail.  Some days are better than others.  those days I've found have been because they activities are engaging and require all the students to be envolved.  It's a struggle every day to find the best lesson for this class that comes to me 4 times a week.  Any help anyone can give will be greatly appreciated!

I've already lobbied to interview the next group of students who want to be in my class.  hopefully, I'll know the students better and be able to only accept students who want to learn :)  Now if I can just make it until December.

Thanks!!


I just want to say I feel all of your pain with the toughness of Afterschool classes.  I have 29 students in mine, and it's a daily battle to get them to care about any activity I try to offer them.  I think this opinion activity is worth a try and could be fun, though.

The most I've gotten their attention is when I tried to give a rallying speech about how close all of them are to being really great English speakers. 

I'm truly amazed at how huge their vocabularies are, but how little they've practiced any grammar.  If they practiced grammar just a tiny bit, it seems like they'd all be able to speak so well.   


My latest tactic is to teach one small grammar point a day and just try to convince them of why they should learn it.  I usually start with "one day you will all go to a foreign country!!!" which usually gets their attention, and then "and people will ask you such and such" 

and then I think of actual conversations they will one day have with a foreigner, and they will shout out to me how they will answer.  I wish the class was more student-centered, but to be honest, I usually have the attention of about 6-8 students out of 29 every day.  I know this is terrible, and i want it to be better, but this is where I am at right now.


  • trendgame
  • Veteran

    • 110

    • August 24, 2011, 04:46:05 pm
    • Gyeongsang-buk do, Yecheon
Re: After School Conversation Class
« Reply #15 on: October 19, 2011, 07:17:03 pm »
I'm also struggling. I see the same 13 boys mon-thur mornings for 30 mins and tue-thur after school for 45 mins. That's 4.5hr in total a week! Which I think's a lot of stuff to plan. I'm lucky in that most of them are willing to use English. It's just knowing what to teach and how to maintain their interest/attention.

So far my best idea has been to try and find a theme or over-arching topic for the week. Then have reviews/games in the morning classes because nobody wants to start the day memorising vocab or analysing grammar. Anway, here are a series of lessons based on the English animation Wallace and Gromit: The Wrong Trousers. There's a fair bit of material. It's more to provide an example of what can be done once you choose a topic/starting point. I'm going to continue the lessons to talk about crime (in the animation a character tries to steal a diamond).

There are lessons on verbs, 'around the house' lexis, clothes and a few prepositions. The animation itself has little dialogue but is visually entertaining. And very English, if there are any English gooks out there looking to spread a bit of Englishness.
In teaching you cannot see the fruit of a day's work. It is invisible and remains so, maybe for twenty years.
-- Jacques Barzun


Re: After School Conversation Class
« Reply #16 on: October 20, 2011, 09:15:44 am »
I have 4 after-school classes a week, each 45 minutes with no co-teachers.

Grade 1 = 7 students = Game / Reading / Game

 The students are low level so the games are good to keep their attention and the reading acts as the learning stage of the lesson and keeps the students focused. I have the students read one sentence each of a mini-story (http://www.rong-chang.com/easyread/) which I cut down to two paragraphs, anymore and the students really struggle. It's important to end the lesson with a fun activity to keep them engaged for the next lesson in my experience.

Grade 2/3 = 13 students = warm-up / reading / listening / activity.

I am fortunate that for the most part that these students actively want to learn and the smarter students in the school. Those in the class with a lower ability are normally friends with a higher ability student who I then encourage to help their lower level friend.

I start with a quick game every lesson called 'minute to win it'. Put students into 4 teams. Each team takes a turn writing as many words on the board in 1 minute. Each word must start with the previous word's last letter (e.g. water > rat > tree). Students must write words alternatively in their team and are rewarded one point for each letter used (hence encouraging the students to use longer words). Once the students learn the format of the game they very quickly start to use bigger and better words, each week bettering the previous high score. It's fun, quick, get's them thinking and most importantly competitive which they obviously love.

Then I do a reading exercise on the relevant week's topic (extreme weather, money, travelling, endangered animals etc.) and try and fit in a game at the end relevant to each topic.

The best game I've used (found on waygook) is called 'Making money' : http://www.eslcafe.com/idea/index.cgi?display:1003716375-11849.txt.

Essentially students have to make the most money in 20 minutes but face various problems along the way. The game leads on nicely to a number of different lessons such as politics, supply and demand, natural resources or countries.


Re: After School Conversation Class
« Reply #17 on: October 20, 2011, 11:23:09 am »
Great job, Trendgame! Think this could be useful for my convo class.
Do you have the worksheets and link to the movie by any chance? ;)


  • trendgame
  • Veteran

    • 110

    • August 24, 2011, 04:46:05 pm
    • Gyeongsang-buk do, Yecheon
Re: After School Conversation Class
« Reply #18 on: October 20, 2011, 01:52:49 pm »
@ discoinfiltrator - I had the video already on my laptop but a quick youtube search just turned up this beauty..

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RKZdsPvJq60  ;D

I will attach worksheets and supplementary stuff now. I only used a sheet for the household vocab and one for comprehension questions about the first 10 mins of the movie. I cut up the small pics and had them play a memory game (the same as the one in the PPT) and a trading game (described briefly on the PPT) for extra practice using the vocab. I've also attached a powerpoint with screengrabs from the whole thing and an angry birds review that covers all of the lessons. Hope this helps :)

I don't think I'll be putting in this much work every week for my students so I'm glad other people can use these lessons!
In teaching you cannot see the fruit of a day's work. It is invisible and remains so, maybe for twenty years.
-- Jacques Barzun


  • vexus
  • Newgookin

    • 4

    • February 09, 2011, 12:56:55 pm
    • Korea
Re: After School Conversation Class
« Reply #19 on: October 20, 2011, 02:51:22 pm »
I think that giving students time to write about a subject before they express their opinions or talk about it in small groups can be useful. It gives them a less judgmental (or at least it is perceived that way) time to develop what they will say about a topic.