Lesson idea credit: Paul Walsh @josipa74 at http://decentralisedteachingandlearning.com/office-space/
Although the course finished about a month ago, I only got time to add the write up now. I’ll try to keep my writing less verbose, because my student, who also happens to read my blog, pointed out that the articles tend to be a bit long. Not to mention that it’s been a while so I’ve forgotten some of the details already.
In Module 9, the focus was on using computer language and punctuation and it is actually the only module in the series I wasn’t entirely happy about and will probably revamp next time. The aim was to enable students to speak about computer procedures and how to speak about basic tasks we do on computer in English. The problem was that the students have very advanced computer skills, but lack the language, so they did find it a bit boring to describe how to save files etc. So for the next time, I will have to find synergy between their computer and language skills. However, the part of the lesson on punctuation was interesting. The students loved to learn new vocabulary for punctuation marks and helped edit a document “over the phone”, which meant they had to actually use the new language.
The last lesson of the course, Module 10, was based around “21st Century Office Space”. If you’ve read the whole series, you will know the students had already written a business report suggesting how to improve their work environment. I had checked with some of the students that they were happy to do some DIY in the lesson and let their hair down a bit, I’d bought the supplies and brought them to class and we got going! You can find the original lesson plan here: The basic idea is for the groups of students to build their “perfect office” from the material provided. First, they talked about their plans (I skipped the coding from the original as this had been the second time I had done the lesson and wanted to have enough time for the building), then they go and build their models. Finally, everyone walks around, asks and answers questions and comments. It was a very successful activity and I really recommend it to anyone.
And lastly, a few words to sum up the course. It was my first time to design the entire syllabus as well as the materials. If you’re ever thinking of making such an endeavour, do bear in mind that each worksheet (aka lesson plan) took me approximately three to four hours to design and one hour to polish and print. From the point of view of working conditions, I’d like to point out that I actually got paid for the preparation and I must say it made a lot of difference to the enthusiasm I put in. Last but not least, I am very grateful to my boss and to the course organiser for entrusting me with the project. It was a fantastic experience.
The last word of thanks must go to the attendees, who were really engaged and interested and I could not have wished for a better crowd. Let’s hope the glory of the course spreads across our institution and we have more people at different levels sign up in the terms to come.
If you missed the previous posts in the Office English series, you can find them here: