Saturday, November 30, 2019

GEPT Reading and Speaking

Using English-medium Instruction and a variety of engaging tasks to help students read and speak better in English

By the request of the director of CLJH, I conducted a four-hour long English course targeted at the preparation for an English proficiency test. I not only used English as a medium of instruction but got the students using the language for reading and speaking tasks.

1. Reading Strategies

Is time travel possible? An ancient mummy was found wearing seemingly modern Adidas boots. It went viral online, and many people believed so.

With this intriguing article from Breaking News English, I devised a series of connected reading tasks. Those students experienced using strategies like predicting, questioning, visualizing, and summarizing to comprehend the story more effectively. On top of that, they even were able to present in English. 

2. How to Read Longer Sentences

Most Taiwanese students have great difficulty reading long English sentences. They don't know where to pause appropriately, and they tend to speak in a monotone, too. 

To create a better flow of your speech, you need to group your words into thoughts. As JenniferESL suggests, punctuation and grammar help us decide where to pause and then lead to better intonation patterns. 

3. How to Describe a Picture

As preparing for this section, I found a video from Oxford Online English that provides a step-by-step procedure. It includes giving a summary of what you see, talking about where things are in the picture, adding details, and speculating about the context of the picture. 

Those students picked up the skills quickly. With the guided questions, they were able to finish the sentences with their own words. 

4. A Skype Session 

Thanks to Jessica's help, those students experienced introducing themselves and how to get to know a person in English. They asked her many interesting questions and even sang a song together. They were so curious about her that they wondered whether they would talk to her again.  

5. GEPT Intermediate Vocabulary with Kahoot

Taiwan Test Center offers some interactive vocabulary quizzes regarding the English proficiency test. To make it more exciting, I used the world-renowned instant response system to create vocab questions. Some of the students have a relatively bigger vocabulary, so they enjoyed the game a lot. 

When I called it a day, some students stayed and asked me some questions. They told me what classes they were from and showed interest in taking this kind of course again next semester. It was, indeed, genuine and warm-hearted feedback. 

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