We all know how important it is to encourage students to use the English language in the classroom from day one. But if you have ever tried to eliminate ( *sigh* ) or at least reduce the use of students´ L1, you will probably agree that this can be a very daunting task. So, here is an idea that might help you out.
I’ve called it the
From experience I can tell you it has worked best with Young Learners, but you might as well use it with Young Adults or even Adult classes.
It is also a useful tool to help prevent future behaviour problems (especially with primary school age learners). As students are expected to only use English in class, it automatically reduces the meaningless (in the teacher´s view!) chatting and lowers down the noise level (no more post lesson headaches!).
More importantly, the educational value of using English exclusively in the ESL classroom, has been proven to have many benefits. It not only provides the learners with more exposure to real English, apart from the textbook, but it also helps students to be better prepared for the challenges of becoming a fluent English user in the future.
So how do you use the ENGLISHOMETRE? I usually ask my students to prepare their own ENGLISHOMETRES first, and show them an example (the image above). This shouldn´t take very long and it can encourage their future participation in the activity as they can personalise it with their own design!
Once the ENGLISHOMETRES are ready to be displayed in the classroom, tell the students that the more English they use the higher they will go on their Englishometre’s scale. You can have groups within the same class competing against each other or different classes fighting for the Englishometre pole position! When a winning team / class reaches the top of the scale they get a prize in recognition of their great effort and outstanding achievement! Chocolate or sweets are always a winner, but you can choose your token of appreciation according to your students!
Have fun (in English, please)!
The above idea was inspired by a dear colleague of mine, Christina Collier and first published at: