How GCSE and A-level grades are going to be awarded in 2020

England has already announced how GCSE and A-level grades are going to be awarded this year. Listen to this report to find out more:

Transcript:

Click/tap on the screenshot to open the file

Glossary:

Further info:

Exam regulator unveils GCSE and A-level plans for coronavirus crisis

Speaking points: 

  • How do you feel about this decision? Can you weigh the pros and cons? 
  • In your view, how are grades going to be awarded in Spain to primary school pupils? To secondary students? 
  • Could these measures be applied to students sitting the EBAU/EVAU exams this year? 

 

Entertainment while under lockdown- Speaking/mediation activities

These days, plenty of world-famous artists are livestreaming impromptu concerts from home through social media; theatres are streaming older productions for free…Is this going to have a long-lasting effect on the way entertainment is produced and consumed?

Here you can find some speaking activities as well as a mediation activity on the subject:

SPEAKING: 

Click/tap on the screenshot to download file

MEDIATION IN WRITING:

Click/tap on the screenshot to download the file

These are some of the examples mentioned in the activities:

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Zoom para clases de idiomas

Si estáis pensando utilizar Zoom para hacer video llamadas con vuestros alumnos, podéis ver este tutorial sobre cómo configurarlo para poder hacer pequeños grupos para actividades orales, o cómo poder escribir con una pizarra, entre otras muchas funciones:

*Si iniciáis la sesión como anfitriones (hosts) desde la aplicación para dispositivo móvil, no os dará la opción de abrir breakout rooms (grupos pequeños). Solo se puede hacer desde ordenador.

Cómo mostrar el iPad durante llamadas de Zoom

 

mediation, spoken interaction and written production tasks about charities (C1)

The following tasks deal with the topic of charities, and they integrate mediation in speaking, spoken interaction and written production/interaction. They have been designed with groups of four students in mind, but can be carried out in pairs.

The context to the tasks is the following:

Your school is going to raise money for a charity by carrying out activities involving students and teaching staff. You have been appointed as class representatives, and have to decide which charity from the appeals your class group is going to support financially.  

  1. Mediation in speaking: 

Each team member will listen to a radio appeal for a charity. They will have to take notes, and then, with these notes, be able to relay that information to the rest of team members.

This first task has been designed bearing in mind the following descriptors from the Companion Volume:

  • NOTE-TAKING (LECTURES, SEMINARS, MEETINGS ETC.): Can select relevant, detailed information and arguments on complex, abstract topics from multiple spoken sources (e.g. lectures, podcasts, formal discussions and debates, interviews etc.), provided that standard language is delivered at normal speed in one of the range of accents familiar to the listener.
  • PROCESSING TEXT IN SPEECH: Can summarise clearly in well-structured speech (in Language B) the main points made in complex spoken and written texts (in Language A) in fields of specialisation other than his/her own, although he/she may occasionally check particular technical concepts.

Using cooperative learning mats, students are assigned a number in their group. Then, all the number 1 students get together in the same group; all the number 2, and so on, to listen to the same clip, using their headphones and a headphone splitter:

These are the instructions:

Listen and take notes about your charity. You can listen to it twice. You will then have to report back to your team. Take notes on:

• objectives/goals of the charity
• sample problem mentioned
• what the charity has done for the individual mentioned
• how the situation has improved after the charity’s action
• what the speaker is asking of the listener
• key words related to money and charities

INPUT- AUDIO CLIPS- Taken from BBC Radio 4 charity appeals

These appeals tend to be around 3’50”-4 minutes long, and they always have the same structure, which is ideal for students to listen to different appeals over the same amount of time, and be able to report back to their groups.

Mediation strategies to be used:

  • streamlining a text
  • simplifying language
  • adapting language

Here you can find useful language to relay the information you wrote down.

2. Spoken interaction:

Once all the members of the team have enough information about all four charities, everyone has to argue in favour of their charity. They will have to reach an agreement at the end of their discussion.

They can prepare for 2 minutes individually, and they will discuss their views for 7 minutes.

This is some language students can use to interact.

They can use talking sticks/talking chips, to help students share the same amount of talking time.

3. Follow-up- written production: Write a leaflet for the charity of your choice, to convince the rest of students to donate money. You can use Canva or Piktochart to create it. Please remember to use persuasive language:

Click on the image to open pdf file

template to give feedback to students’ spoken production

For some years now, whenever my students were speaking in pairs or groups, I would write down comments I would like to make on my iPad: I would go round, monitoring their conversations, and I would jot down ideas as they came up. These would typically include a mixture of grammar, vocabulary, or pronunciation mistakes, or simply alternatives I could provide to what they were saying. I would also add further ideas that occurred to me while listening to them. Then, I would project my notes and give feedback to my students following those notes in that ‘chronological’ order.

I was more or less happy with that system, but somehow I felt I could be more organised. That’s how I came up with this chart: it is based on a single-point rubric with four criteria (vocabulary range and control, grammatical accuracy and range, phonological control, discourse). Rather than descriptors, I can write my comments under each of the headings: ‘needs improvement’ and ‘not quite there yet’ on the left-hand side, as ‘areas for concern’, and ‘suggestions’ (=alternatives, synonyms..) and ‘good!’ (expressions I liked) as positive comments on the right-hand side.

Using this chart allows me to give feedback to their spoken productions and interactions in a more organised way, making all the comments about one particular item (vocabulary, pronunciation…) at once, rather than randomly as they came up in their conversations.

You can download the chart by clicking on the image below. It is still a work in progress, so contributions are welcome!

Related posts: giving feedback to students’ written production- workshop materials

Expressions to use in spoken production/interaction- C2 English

Click on the picture for a pdf version of the file:

In these videos you can find examples of how to use some of the discourse markers above:

ICT tools and apps to record/promote spoken production and co-production/interaction