Here is a particularly interesting experiment with advanced learners using Objective Advanced (CUP). As my colleague and friend James Egerton wrote this is “a well-meaning but narrowly-inclusive” coursebook.
Here is an example of how easily these coursebooks can be adapted by our students. The social impact is apparent and so is the potential for a language class based on emergent and student-generated content and language. Enjoy!
1. Luca, p.33 connectors gap fill. Edited focus: bullying.
1) Rewritten gap fill, but focusing on bullying:
Bullying is a problem which is not much considered. ____________ in school situations, so when the bullying is between young students, many adult figures like teachers simply ignore this dynamic. ___________, the victims themselves don’t expose the problem to someone else as they are scared of suffering the consequences. _________ in other social environments where adults could be bullied by group mechanisms. But ________ there are lots of campaigns that try to break down those situations.
2) How did UFC world champion George St Pierre react when he met his childhood bully? Take notes on what he says:
3) Discussion: revenge vs forgiveness.
GSP is French-Canadian and is an English learner. He communicates well, but makes a few grammar errors. Can you analyse three?
4) Now listen to another legendary fighter, Mike Tyson, talk about bullying in his neighbourhood growing up. Does he have the same ideas as GSP?
How did he react to being bullied? How could he have changed this?
*French-Canadian and American accents here; I was pleased that Luca exposed the bright young things to accents away from my south-east England chimes. Variety is the spice of life (James).
2. Elena, p.38 speaking on problems, personality, hopes and dreams (general). Edited focus: problematic teenagers.
1) What do you think are the top three problems of being a teenager?
Pre-teaching vocabulary: grunt work, take it for granted, find a clique, tastes are nuanced, overwhelming, all tarred with the same brush, ridiculise, malevolent.
How many of these problems are represented in the video? Do you disagree with any of the points?
2) Discuss any three of the following questions with your partner:
A. How would you describe a teenager’s life?
B. If a teenager had to change school, what should they do to adapt and make new friends easily?
C. Why do some teenagers suffer and care so much about others’ opinions?
D. If a teenager could change one thing in their life, what do you think it would be?
E. How would a teenager cope with all their problems and insecurities if they didn’t have anyone to talk to?
3. Federico, p.37 Qs1-2, listening about a (fabricated) Formula 1 driver Cesar deMatos. Edited focus: para-sport.
Federico introduced us to Formula 1 driver Alex Zanardi (from Bologna, Italy) who lost both his legs in a racing accident and subsequently became a world champion in a new sport.
1) Gist listening – What gives Alex Zanardi the strength to proceed?
2) Listening for detail: gap fill (3 minutes onwards):
A. Sometimes these _____________ can pull your inside trigger.
B. These five seconds in which you ______ your eyes and tell yourself: “there’s something more I can ____.”
C. Those special five seconds are everywhere: in your profession, with your loved ones and in your ___________ with people.
D. It is the same simple idea of __________ something more when you think you’ve given it all.
E. You ___________ yourself.
3) Discussion in pairs then as a group: If you had been Alex Zanardi after the accident, what would you have done?