The age-old tradition of making New Year’s resolutions seems to be somewhat out of favour in our strenuously modern age, but for the predictable fortitude of health and fitness evangelicals who, following weeks of guilt-inducing gluttony, contribute briefly to the annual, January surge in gym membership. By mid-February one’s festive over-indulgence is but a distant memory and the determination to eat more broccoli and goji berries tends to have waned.
In any case, I’m sure the question of “Have you made any…?” has been put to a good many students already in the hope of eliciting some language to build upon or simply to get a discussion going. You may have been fortuitous enough to receive such heart-lifting responses as “To dedicate more time to serious study of grammar” or “To read a novel in English”, or you might have been met with quizzical expressions all round. If these considerations haven’t made their way into your lesson plans as yet, you can negotiate the latter occurrence by facilitating the invention of resolutions as part of the lesson.
Encourage students, in pairs or groups, to talk together about any aspects of their lives they would like to change if they could, then have each invite suggestions from their classmates as to what they might do to make the desired alterations. Give students time to think about it- perhaps in a break or over lunchtime- so that they can be confident in their answer and offer some detail as to how they are going to achieve whatever it is they want to achieve. They are of course not required to express a genuine intention but rather to formulate an accurate answer to the question, utilizing the correct future tense, vocabulary and so on.
For my part, I resolve to limit my TTT (Teacher Talk Time) still further by implementing a more committed task-based approach in lessons- not so much a New Year’s resolution in fact, more an ongoing battle with intermittent, alternating periods of relative peace and skirmish.
And so, as 2013 draws to an unseasonably mild close, it remains for me and all at Peartree Languages to wish you a very merry Christmas and a prosperous new year.
Director of Studies
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