Every class is unique. Students have different needs, motivations, skills, and goals. To enable an inclusive, effective learning environment, teachers must therefore be flexible and adapt their lessons to each group and individual.
We addressed the issue of flexibility as part of Pearson’s live training for exam teachers. The participants took part in demonstration courses for semi-intensive and extensive groups with Formula B2 First course book. They have a firm vision of how to adapt teaching for their courses in the future.
The Formula B2 First course book is a versatile teaching material. It provides teachers with the content and tools they need to deliver English classes to different groups of students over a variety of course lengths.
Let’s look at what they learned in the live training sessions.
A look at the goals of live teaching
The participants chose whether they wanted to attend a single demonstration class from a semi-intensive course (80 hours) or a class from an extensive course (100 hours).
Both lessons were aimed at helping learners develop language skills and prepare for a Cambridge B2 exam assignment. How much can be achieved in a course varies depending on the length of the course: you will find that there are more learning objectives in the detailed lesson.
The semi-intensive classes focused on the use of English and had the following objectives:
To be able to do better …
- Form adjectives with –ent / -ant, –capable / capable, –Yes
- Verbs form with Over-, –under
- complete an exam to read and use English part 3 word formation Word
The sEmi-intensive lessons with a focus on writing with the following goals:
To be able to do better …
- Develop and organize ideas in a paragraph
- Link ideas in a paragraph
- write a review for an event
- Complete an assignment to write Part 2
Overview of semi-intensive and extensive lessons
Both lessons are based on pages from the Formula B2 First course book and the accompanying test file. The Exam Trainer is used in extensive and semi-intensive classes for homework.
Each lesson begins with a personalized opening activity to motivate participants and introduce them to the topic.
In the semi-intensive lesson, which deals with the topic of emojis, the participants look at a message in emojis and share in the chat box what they think it means. They then discuss questions about using emojis in breakout rooms.
The extensive lessons focused on the subject of music and concerts. The participants complete the request “Without ___ life would be very boring” in the chat box with their own ideas. Then they discuss in breakout rooms what makes a good / bad concert or festival.
Listening and reading activities
The next level of the lesson provides input in the form of listening or reading. At this point, students not only focus on exam competencies, but also develop their language skills.
In the semi-intensive lesson, participants hear a lecture on emojis. You then need to look at the suffixes used to form adjectives within that conversation. Later they practice forming and using suffixed adjectives in personalized ways so that they can better remember them.
The content is expanded on the Exam Boost page in the Exam File which introduces prefixes –over and –under.
In the in-depth lesson, participants read a review of an event and learn to develop their ideas in a paragraph. Next, participants watch an exercise in the exam trainer. You use an example or a reason to identify how ideas were developed.
Participants are then given a set of topics and work in groups in breakout rooms to develop these ideas and write a paragraph. Here they have the opportunity to work together and learn from each other.
Conclusion of the lesson
The final phase of the lesson focuses on a Cambridge B2 First exam assignment.
In the semi-intensive lesson, the participants complete a part 3 reading and use task of the English language. To do this, they use the strategies described in the exam file and the language / skills completed in the lesson.
In the detailed lesson, participants plan and write a review of an event. After class, students should feel more confident and be able to do so effectively.
Before completing the review, learners can complete a page or an entire page of activities in the Exam Boost section of the exam file. This also supports the learner in writing an assessment.
If necessary, teachers can ask learners in the exam trainer and in the app to complete relevant tasks. You can also complete any assignments in Exam Boost that you didn’t complete in class, as well as refer to the Write File page for writing reviews.
Take away lessons
Start with a quick task that involves guessing something, brainstorming, or sharing ideas through the chat box. This binds the learners quickly. Nominating students to explain the information they have shared also gives students speaking practice and helps build a relationship.
Give thought time
Ask students to share their responses through the private chat box. That gives them time to think. You can also provide personal feedback and make sure it is the student’s own work. This way we can assess more learners more accurately.
Ask the students to use the private chat box to let you know if they would like to hear a recording a second time. This shows you how secure the class feels overall. Have a quick finishers expansion task ready in case you need to play back the recording a second time.
Use online tools for instant feedback
Ask students to use thumbs up / down to provide an opinion, say if something is true / false, or choose an option. This keeps students actively involved and allows us to grade all students before naming someone to explain their answers.
Have students work collaboratively
Using a document that all students can write on (e.g. a Google Doc) enables them to work collaboratively. We can see all of the work clearly and give feedback easily. This works well for short writing tasks that focus on an underdevelopment, such as developing ideas in a paragraph.
Check out both lessons here:
Resources used in the live lesson
The lesson uses the followingFormula B2 first Resources:
Semi-intensive live lessons
Extensive live lesson:
- B2 course book (page 38), B2 exam trainer (page 54) and B2 exam file (pages 22-23) – Get your sample HERE
Access via thePearson English Portal, The teacher components used are:
- Semi-intensive: B2 teacher notes and the course book presentation tool
- Extensive: B2 teacher notes, the course book presentation tool and the B2 teacher notes from the exam trainer
What is formula
formula is a new, highly flexible competency-based course that focuses on Cambridge exam preparation for teens and young adults. It supports courses from 30 to 100 hours of instruction and includes three levels – B1 Preliminary, B2 First and C1 Advanced.
By choosing different blocks of lessons, teachers can create their own course to meet the needs of their students, be it face-to-face, mixed, hybrid or fully online.
You might also like to read another article in this series, Live lesson experience: testing, teaching, testing with formula