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Super Students

Category: Lexical Approach

I always kick off my classes with revision cards. On slips of paper I write sentences in which I have underlined the target lexical item. Students cover the underlined word with their finger and try to elicit the word from their partner, a bit like taboo. I really like it: you pick several flowers with one cut (a humanistic variation of the more violent two-birds-with-one-stone idiom). Students warm up and revise, and it gives you (the teacher) a chance to settle in.

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William Christison
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Anyway, today my students had their homework out and immediate starting commenting on it. And I wondered, is this a coincidence or are they trying to tell me something?

This is an hour long class with two proficiency students; I mean they’ve already passed that IQ test, so they’re awesome language learners, lexical superstars, testimony of what hours of effective language teaching can do. Or did they reach these linguistics heights in spite of us? Maybe I should ask them.

Anyway, they always ace the lexis because they’re such responsible, conscientious, hardworking students: homework’s always done, lexis revised, they’re primed and ready to go: for an hour. By the way, don’t get me wrong. I don’t even take hour-long classes unless they’re back-to-back with another class, which is the case here.

Anyway, maybe these two super students don’t really need my lexis cards. Besides, in an hour class you have to move right along if you want to give them language work, a listening, and some fluency work. When it comes to the ABCs of language teaching, I think the A could be “adapt”. I’ll try to think of something for B and C.

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