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These lessons are based on the CALLA approach. CALLA has five lesson elements:
Prepare: Engage students in the topic and identify objectives for the lesson. Find out what students already know about it and motivate them to learn more. Teach new vocabulary.
Present: Present new information. Explain the target learning strategy for the lesson. Model what the students are asked to do. Discuss connections to students’ prior knowledge.
Practice: Give students an authentic, active task that they can do in a small group or in pairs. Remind students to use the target learning strategy. Self-Evaluate: Question students so they will reflect on their own learning. Ask students to evaluate their own learning rather than wait for the teacher to assess them. Find out if using the learning strategy helped students’ understanding.
Expand: Guide students on how to apply what they learned to their own lives. Point out other contexts where the learning strategy may help. Make connections between content and language or to the student’s first language. When appropriate, request that parents contribute to learning.
There is no one way to use Learn English, but here is one technique that a lot of learners find useful.
- Many of our pages have a video, some audio or a text article towards the top of the page. They might have a preparation task that you should do first, but often the best way to start is just to press play or read this part of the page.
If you find what you’re listening to or reading much too difficult or easy, use the advice above to find a page in a different section of the site. You shouldn’t easily understand everything, but you should be able to understand a lot of what you hear or read.
- Then you will find some tasks. These might be testing what you understood or they might be about the language you heard or read. You can do them as many times as you like and you can also go back to the video, audio or text if you get stuck.
- There are usually some downloadable PDF files which can be useful if you have a poor-quality internet connection or if you are a teacher who wants to use our materials in class. Finally, there are the comments where you can discuss the page with other learners (in English!) or ask questions.
The most important thing you can do is to speak English as often as possible. To do this a partner is very helpful, so think about the people you know and consider if any of them could be a practice partner for you. Even if you do not have a practice partner, it is still possible to practise alone. Just speaking English to yourself while you are at home, going about your normal daily activities, can help a great deal with your fluency and can help you to feel more confident.
You can also use the audio and video materials here on LearnEnglish to improve your fluency. After doing the exercises, try listening with the transcript (listening and reading). Then try saying the text yourself, and finally try saying it with (and at the same speed as) the recording. This will help you to develop speed in your speech, which is a key component of fluency. You’ll also pick up a lot of language as chunks – words which are often used together in set phrases – which you can use to communicate with less hesitation.
How to write depends upon what kind of writing you want to do, for what purpose you are writing and who the recipient is. Different kinds of writing require different language and different ways of organising the text, so the first thing to do is to take a look at as many different texts as you can. In general, to improve your writing it’s important to read and write as much as possible, so keep an eye out for good examples of letters, articles and so on. Using the internet to read magazines, newspapers and other text-types from online media is a good idea.
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