I´ve just decided to adapt an FCE Gold lesson with something juicier than what was on the coursebook. I thought I could find something that was more related to what the teenagers understand to be “cool new technology”. FCE Gold thinks that PDAs and IPODS are the thing, but that was true 2 years ago (ancient times for today´s generation).
I´ve decided to play safe: get these techno-savvy learners to quiz each other to find who´s the nerdiest one of them all. You will probably find the attached activities self-explanatory, but here´s a brief explanation on how I used this material:
– Warm-up: Questionnaires (A+B). Students read their statements and transform them into questions to quiz their partner (adapted from a spam message I received)
– The ´nerdity´test: students rank how difficult each ´trio´ of computer jargon is (sheet is cut in strips). They compare with their partners and try to get a class consensus. Ask them: how would your older brother/mother/grandmother rate in this test? Class elects the winner of the ´nerd cup´.
– Writing: begin by provoking them to ask for the ´message´ of the cartoon.
I adapted this from a useful IELTS coursebook unit on how to write in an argumentative way. It asks you to state which chunk of text you would prefer as an introduction and a conclusion. Why is one better than the other? (great idea for raising awareness of writing techniques).
This is ideally done on a transparency. Students are also asked to write part of a ´middle paragraph´ on an OHT and show each other their piece of writing. It produces a great chance for a ´process writing´approach and what is traditionally a solo activity becomes a group one.
Finally, set them homework on another topic related to the area of technology.
I hope this works in your lessons if you decide to use it. It produced some lively discussions in the classes where I used it!
The worksheets with all the above ideas can be downloaded from: