by Nina


Summer English For Women

Posted by Nina Hanakova |

After managing my first “English Without Books” course from January - May, which was quite challenging and intensive for both the students and me, I decided to organize something more easy-going in the summer.

Consider this a report on what we did and how the summer course went and feel free to comment on or ask about any of the lessons or management of the course.
The course was aimed at my typical target level/student - an intermediate/upper-intermediate level female student, who is talkative, cheerful and motivated to practise speaking. I found 6 ladies who were interested in what I had to offer throughout the two main summer months of Czech summer - July and August. It quickly turned out to be the nicest group I have ever taught.

We met once a week for 2 - 2,5 hours and communicated only in English. Three out of the total of 8 sessions were joined by my friends/colleagues Glenn Weidner and Dave McShane. On the rainy days we met in my private classroom (situated in the centre of Brno in my own home) or in a tea room, on the hot days we met outside, in our garden, in a park or in a cocktail bar (outside).

The course syllabus focused on practising speaking, learning new vocabulary and clearing a few grammar points. In order to make it fun, we worked with the two most effective “passive” ways to learn a language - watching films and reading literature, particularly short stories.

When I teach group lessons I am particularly interested in the group dynamics. It is very important to choose the right students to fit each other whenever you are putting a group of students together. That is if you want them to get the maximum out of their learning process. If the students enjoy the process, if they have fun while learning, if they are excited about talking to each other, they learn much faster.

Lesson 1 - Childhood Memories - getting to know each other (with a native speaker)

Lesson 2 - Talking About Movies - introduction to movies

Lesson 3 - 500 Days of Summer - lesson based on this movie

Lesson 4 - Something´s Gotta Give - lesson based on this movie

Lesson 5 - Tea room session - conversation lesson (with a native speaker

Lesson 6 - Reading Circles - introduction to discussing short-stories

Lesson 7 - The Doll´s House - a reading circle lesson

Lesson 8 - Cocktail time - revision lesson/party (with a native speaker

Since this was meant to be an easy-going course I didn´t give the students much to do during their off-class time. However they could always meet and discuss whatever was on their mind in a private FB group, which I find to be the easiest virtual sharing environment as everyone´s on FB anyways. Throughout the whole course I also emailed the students extra tasks so that they could compete with each other to win a 25% discount for any of my other group courses this year, which gave the motivated ones extra work to do.

Here is a short video from the first lesson.

Should you find this inspiring, please, do let me know, I´ll be happy to share more info. And for you ladies - Lenka, Jarmi, Milana, Zuzka, Léňa, Martina - I will really miss you! Thanks for being so much fun, thanks for working so hard and for always being open to new activities. I loved spending time with you.

Here´s to the new school year!


Glenn at English Třebíč said...

Nina and the girls :),

Congratulations on finishing this wonderfully designed course. And thank you for letting me participate and introducing me to your lovely students.

Nina, this is a fantastic summary and I loved the part about selecting the right kind of students. Maybe a future post from you could be to describe to us your screening process? :)

I also really like your use of CLOSED Facebook Groups for communicating with your students and encouraging them to participate. Here's a link to the this Group's FB post about your blog (for future reference due to Facebook's lack of searching historical posts): https://www.facebook.com/groups/226608084028903/?view=permalink&id=256531084369936

Doris said...

Congrats!!! You're a great inspiration to all teachers!!! Love ya girl!!! So glad we met! :)
- Doris Seibert

María Inés Brumana Espinosa said...

Nina, it´s obvious you create a great atmosphere! Emotion is a primary catalyst in the learning process. Congratulations!

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