Number one for English language teachers

Editorial: Getting hands on!

Type: Reference material

This month Keith explores the range of fabulous resources - new and old - that help learners learn by 'doing'. From practical experiments to presentations; whole class speaking activities to colouring and cuts outs - there's a lot to engage and excite your kinaesthetic learners.

Dear colleagues,

The nickname I usually give myself in warm up activities with new groups is Kinaesthetic Keith. Personally, I'm a learner who learns new things best when they are associated with my doing something physical. This may even be just my tapping my pen on my desk while reading to the tune of some music. Hands-on learning and learning by doing things is central to much of this month's upload.

The Cafe CLIL discussion, number 08, this month focuses on reading in CLIL, which is timely as we have a number of articles on skills for CLIL in the October and November updates.

The overall agreement of the group is that textbooks still generally present linear content which is offered encyclopedically to learners to somehow absorb. The challenge to publishers is to integrate into learning materials tools and skills for learners to manipulate new knowledge, to activate it, to do something with it.

In our ongoing series on CLIL terminology in collaboration with Cambridge ESOL TKT:CLIL there is a new item from Kay Bentley which explains higher order and lower order thinking skills (LOTS and HOTS) and their relevance in CLIL contexts.

We have the latest in a series on Skills for CLIL from Jean Brewster, this month there are worksheets on Tickcharts, Venn Diagrams and Grids. At the heart of these skill areas is making decisions about information, where it should go and how it should be organized.

There is a new experiment: Follow the Energy Path which has learners carrying out an investigation into heat loss from water over time. This hands-on task is supplemented with a writing frame and language support for writing about the experiment. If you haven't already done so, take a look at the other experiments in the series on the site. One of my favourites is Gas from Garbage  which has learners doing interesting things with beans in bags and raises awareness about biofuels.

There are many other places to look on the onestopclil site for hands on materials. Take the Arts and Crafts section, for example. Learners can revise the names of animals and parts of their bodies assembling a cut-out.

There is a new word list on Health and Disease and there are two new Question Loops one on Population and the other on the Russian Revolution .

The growing archive of PowerPoint presentations is another area where onestopclil is providing practical resources for teachers who want to get their learners to be more actively involved in classroom learning. A good example is the PPT on the Greenhouse Effect which provides an animation with viewing tasks, but also language to support learners to talk through the presentation slides themselves.

Getting learners to use language in order to be active in learning in their content classrooms is what onestopclil is all about. You'll find more and more of the embedded language and hands on activities described above as the months go by.

Tell us what you'd like to see more of and we'll try our best to make it available on the site.

Very best wishes

Kinaesthetic Keith

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