4 Connecting English inside and outside the classroom

In the previous activities you have thought about the English that is available in your local area and how it can be brought into your classroom. There are also ways that you and your class can reach out to the local community. For example, your students may know people who use English regularly for personal or professional reasons. You can heighten your students’ awareness to these uses of the language, and this can reinforce the value of learning English. It will also help both you and them think about what kind of English skills you should be practising in your class.

Activity 4: People who use English

Write the following questions on the board before the lesson.

  1. Tell your students to draw a table with two columns.
  2. Ask them to fill in the table. In the first column, they list people they know, e.g. their doctor, a policeman, their grandmother, etc. In the second column, they list what they have seen these people reading and writing in English. They should use the prompts from the board to help them make their lists.
  3. Ask them to look at the table of the student next to them to compare. They may then want to add other things to their lists.

Finally, ask them to work in pairs to present their information to the class. Are they surprised at how much English is used?

Pause for thought

Here are some questions for you to think about after trying this activity. If possible, discuss these questions with a colleague.

  • After the lesson, think about how you can use your students’ responses in future lessons. Are there people you could ask to come into class to talk about how they use English?
  • Are there connections you can make between the lessons in the textbook and the ways in which these people use English?
  • Are there other local resources you could use in your classroom?

See Resource 3, ‘Using local resources’, for more ideas on this topic.

5 English and technology