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One of the most relevant aspects of the structure of an essay is signposting: giving clear indications about the content of your writing not just in the introduction, but in every section. Imagine you were giving indications to a driver to prevent them from getting lost: that is the function of signposting language. That way, your text will be much easier to read, much clearer.
This is essential, even at intermediate levels (B1-B2). You can find ideas of signpost language in the document below:
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.
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:
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:
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.
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:
EL COMPANION VOLUME Y LAS TAREAS DE MEDIACIÓN EN SECUNDARIA (todos los idiomas) – 8 de enero 2020Contenidos:
ESPECIFICACIONES Y RECURSOS PARA LA PRUEBA DE PRODUCCIÓN Y COPRODUCCIÓN DE TEXTOS ESCRITOS (inglés) – 15 de enero 2020
One of the most relevant aspects of the structure of an essay is signposting: giving clear indications about the content of your essay not just in the introduction, but in every section. Imagine you were giving indications to a driver to prevent them from getting lost: that is the function of signposting language. That way, your essay will be much easier to read, much clearer. Here you have a more detailed explanation.
You can find below some possible expressions you can use to that effect:
You can also have a look at these links, especially the first one, a very thorough guide to academic writing:
As an exercise, you can read these two sample essays (argumentative and discursive).
Can you highlight….?
You can find below the same essays with some of these aspects highlighted:
The following links provide further ideas and resources on how to check whether the language produced sounds natural, or to widen the range of vocabulary used to meet the requirements of B2-C1-C2 levels:
Starting secondary school can be a nerve-racking experience for students. These are some suggested activities you can use on the first day of your English/literacy classes with year 1 secondary students.
As a follow-up, you can also use Shonny’s video describing her actual first day at school.
What I did back then was to scan all the answer sheets as pdf files that I have kept on my drive. The students I did this activity with are in their year 4 secondary this year: it would be a nice end-of-year giveaway to show them what their thoughts and hopes were on their first days at secondary school.