One of my favourite tools on the web is bulletin boards (no, not those from early 90s web chats). They work like a basic corkboard you put up in your classroom wall and they can even look like it too. My experience with these types of tools has been either as a collaborative birthday greeting (everyone is given the URL and leaves a note with their birthday wish) or to ask for answers from a lot of people to a central question. There are a number of them available online, but Linoit has quickly become my favourite because of its functionality, attractiveness and reliability. I’ve designed a lesson that attempts to show off and make effective use of Linoit’s features for classroom activities. Click the board below or here to view the interactive version of this board. Look around and familiarise yourself with what’s there (and Linoit’s features if you have never used it before) and then take a look at the lesson I’ve put below. =)
I decided to use it to practice perfect modals for criticism in the context of a job interview. I want students the students to pretend they are the interviewers and interviewees, who after conducting an interview, are discussing their reactions to what was said and done by the interviewee. One goal was functional: to embed different types of media to the board, including audio (student response in MP3 format), video (Youtube job interviews) and documents (PDF handout students should download).
Activity 1 – Grammar & function practice
First, I uploaded the Youtube video (black box on the left) and pinned it to the board. It’s as easy as it sounds. The video shows two interviews contrasting what and what not to do as an applicant. I also pinned a post-it below the video with instructions for students. On it, I added a “due date” to remind students when this task needed to be complete. On the right side of the video, I pinned and resized two post-its with practice activity instructions, asking students to use post-its of their own to give examples of things done well (using Simple Past) and then criticism (using Perfect Modals, in particular Should + Have + PP). I added smiley face icons to help distinguish meaning. Finally, I perma-pinned these items so that students couldn’t move them around.
Activity 2 – Freer practice
I pinned two videos that are listed on my handout on Job Dos and Don’ts. Next, I pinned instructions to students below them. Finally I uploaded the handout as PDF for students to download.
Activity 3 – Group task
I only pinned instructions to help organise student uploads.
Activity 1 – Comparison of Good / Bad Interviews
- Using a LCD projector or smart board, load this Linoit page onto the screen. Play the first video for the class.
- Ask students what they thought of the interviewer’s questions and the interviewee’s answers and behaviour. Discuss as a class.
- Ask students to notice how the person in the next video answers or acts differently than the first. Play the second video.
- Put students into pairs to make a list of differences between the two applicants.
- Come together as a class and elicit differences. Put examples on the board in Simple Past.
- Ask students if Applicant #2 did <INSERT EXAMPLE FROM THE BOARD>? Students respond no. You say naturally, “I think she should have <EXAMPLE>.”
- Repeat with more examples. Get students to repeat. Show as much or as little of explicit grammar and pronunciation explanation as you wish.
- Give the URL that comes from click on the i on the Palette to students. If they have their own laptops, they rewatch the video and add post-its to Activity 1. They can do this in written or recorded form (as examples show).
- Keep projecting the screen as their post-its show in real time or turn it off until students have finished the activity.
- Go through student post-its together as a class. Elicit students to read their ideas. Recast for pronunciation and edit post-its as students suggest.
Activity 2 – Dos and Don’ts of interviews
- Have students watch the videos on the right side of the screen individually.
- Have students download the Handout PDF onto their computers and use as a guide for the second watch.
- Put students into small groups to discuss what they noticed based on the handout guides.
- Encourage students to use learnt grammar point from Activity 1 during the conversations.
- Walk around and listen to groups. Take note of language that emerges. Add it as post-it notes beside the video.
- Discuss the videos, language and handout as a class – recycle grammar as you can.
Activity 3 – Interview skills workshop
- Tell students they will do some interview skills practice and be critiqued afterward by a panel of “experts”. Put students into groups of four (two pairs together). Have each pair choose a field related to their studies or interests. The other pair then creates interview questions about a job in that field.
- 1 student from Pair A and 1 student from Pair B come together to conduct a job interview. The applicant tries to act in ways appropriate to the interview context. The other two students observe and take notes. Once complete, students critique the applicant, hopefully using the grammar point from Activity 1 and notes on emergent language from Activity 2.
- Students switch roles and redo the task.
- Once complete, Pair A and Pair B regroup and write an article together about the job interview they critiqued into a Word/PDF document. Students upload it to the Linoit board where indicated.
- You can use student submissions in class or correct individually to give back to students later.
*On this particular Linoit Job Interviews board, I’ve started each of the activities with one student submission so you get the idea.
*Alternatively, if technology isn’t so readily available, practice the grammar point and get the emergent language through playing the first video and having class discussion. Leave the Linoit side for homework by giving students the URL.
*Unsure about using any features? For help about them, click here.