Hey everybody! So, near the end of the past school year I decided to start a series of practical advice that has helped me with aspects of my lesson or has solved a specific problem I used to have to deal with. This started as a TikTok idea and moved on to the YouTube channel I created to showcase videos of our work in Room 9. It's about time they found their way into Room9English.com , so here they are!
As we all painfully realized during our remote teaching endeavours, one of the hardest challenges we face every day is keeping our student engagement and motivation high. It is well known that when students are invested in the lesson, their achievement is higher, homework rate and quality improves and maximum retention is ensured. But how can I maintain my students' interest in the lesson all through the year?
This is challenging for everyone but especially so for younger students. And it is of course impossible to have the same, high levels of engagement throughout the school year (who am I kidding? It's very difficult to have it throughout the day!), but this has worked wonders for me when I wanted to renew interest and create anticipation. So, here are 3 Quick Tips to increase student engagement inspired by film promotion!
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Tip 1: Offer a Preview
The first big step to get audiences interested in an upcoming film is sharing little previews. This creates and cultivates a strong sense of anticipation and keeps them in the loop until the film arrives. Take advantage of this by telling your students that something big is coming up later when you start a new unit. For example, you can tell them that "we're starting a unit now at the end of which we're going to write our own songs!! (yay!)". Or you can show them last year's project for this unit so that they know what to expect and get them all excited about doing it even better! This will create a sense of excitement and anticipation that can get you through the hard parts of the work all through the unit!
Tip 2: Create a Hype
After attracting the interest of cinema-goers, the next step involves creating high expectations. The more talk and speculation about the film, the more readily people will run to the cinemas when the film is out! So, do the same in your lesson. When you sound genuinely enthusiastic about your material, it creates a contagious kind of energy. Talk to your students about the unit you're setting out to work on, for example, tell them that it's one of your favourite units because "it's all about animals! You'll love it too, I'm sure!". The more you talk about the incredibly interesting things that are right around the next page, the more you keep them at the edge of their seats. By the time they realize that every unit is "one of your favourites", your job will have been done!
Tip 3: Promise a Sequel
One thing that adds to the pleasure of watching a film you like is the subtle promise at the end that the story might not be over. A glimpse of things to come is enough to keep the interest alight for a long time! The same goes for learning. Connecting what you're teaching with past and future lessons gives your students a sense of purpose and continuity. So, when you've acquired the new knowledge, promise them that it's going to be very useful for the bigger challenges that are ahead. Show them that what they're trying hard to achieve is not a separate, one-time thing, but it helps them build their knowledge and abilities and it's part of a larger picture. This is not a one-off hit, it's a frigging franchise!
Those were my 3 Quick Film-promo-inspired Tips for keeping your students engaged and active in every lesson! Try them out and remember: Try Something New Every Week!