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Teaching Tips 58

Patterns
United Nations Day
The Motivation Shuffle

Patterns
Pattern

A common way of organising certain types of discourse is through the problem-solution pattern. Basically this is the presenting of a problem & then discussing the solution. Michael Hoey (1983) suggested the pattern:

S = the situation
P = the problem
R = the solution or response
E = the evaluation or result

In Process Writing (White & Arndt 1995) they call this the SPRE approach. Hoey's example of this pattern is:

S = I was on sentry duty
P = I saw the enemy approaching.
R = I opened fire.
E = I beat off the attack.

Making our students aware of patterns in discourse helps them to use all of the skills - reading, writing, listening & speaking - more effectively.

Below are a series of situations divided into the four sections & here are a few ways of using them.

1. Jumble the different lines up & the students order each situation in turn.
2. Jumble all of the lines from the eight situations & students group them & then order each situation.
3. Just do the above with half of them & then omit different parts from the remaining situations & students fill in with their own ideas & finally compare with the originals.
4. Students go on to design their own four part situations.
5. The student invented situations could be carried out in groups of four as a chain - each adding a line & handing on, & finally getting four situations together & reading the results.
6. You could just concentrate on specific genres that use this pattern such as written newspaper adverts, spoken radio adverts. The students write their situations & use these in order to sell things to each other as in door to door salespeople.

This could all be used as an extended warmer or cooler or it might be an idea to wait until you come across this pattern & then diverge into some of these ideas & then return to what you were concentrating on.

Following on from this awareness, the pattern can be highlighted whenever it arises in developing the students' writing skills, dealing with reading & listening texts, in dealing with storytelling etc..

 
S: Houses need cleaning every week.
P: Dust accumulates & it is difficult to clean thoroughly.
R: Persuade people to buy the new DirtKiller vacuum cleaner.
E: We make lots of money.
 
S: Winter is a time for colds & flu.
P: People are afraid of catching winter illnesses.
R: Advertise the high risks of catching an illness.
E: People are frightened into buying our cure-all winter medication.
 
S: Young people have a lot of time on their hands.
P: Young people hang around the streets & the chances of them getting into trouble increase.
R: Offer activities & clubs to fill free time & educate the parents about the dangers of their children spending their free time in the streets.
E: Less problems & healthier & happier youngsters.
 
S: Real Madrid were playing against Valencia.
P: There was a really nasty tackle on Raul by Baraja.
R: The referee stopped the game.
E: Raul was taken off & Baraja was booked
 
S: Josh was shopping in a big department store.
P: He went to pay but found he had lost my wallet
R: Josh went to see if someone had found it.
E: The people at the lost property had his wallet.
 
S: Ben was jogging in the park
P: A dog bit chased him & bit him
R: The owner managed to restrain the dog.
E: Ben went for a jab at the hospital & reported the owner to the police.
 
S: Lots of people take illegal drugs
P: There is a criminal underworld benefiting from illegal drugs
R: Legalise all drugs, making them available over the counter.
E: Criminals would not benefit & less people would be exploited by them.
 
S: There are lots of cars on the road.
P: People use their cars for short journeys that they could take on foot or use an efficient public transport system.
R: Educate the public & improve the public transport system.
E: Less people will use their cars, there will be less pollution & people will be less stressed out & healthier.
 

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United Nations Day

UN building & logo

The 24th October is United Nations Day & with recent events we thought that a lesson about the UN would be interesting for all concerned.

Below there is a reading text about the organisation of the UN, together with some comprehension questions. This might be suitable for intermediate upwards.

There is also an information gap task below about the biography of Kofi Anan, the Secretary General of the UN. This might need grading to suit your groups. Two students have different information about Anan's life & they have to ask each other questions until each has a completed biography. Past tense question practice together with the vocab of the text.

At the end of the page there are also some discussion points to draw it all together.

The reading text is taken from the Cyber School Bus section of the UN web site & is well worth checking out for lots more information. Clearly, the material will need changing slightly for use with our EL students. It is well worth having a good look round, especially for the older teenager. Here are some links among many:

http://www.un.org/cyberschoolbus/gallery/pfp/index.asp

For younger learners the UN Cyberbus had a project to design a Peace Flag - have a look at the site to get an idea. You could copy the ones on the site & the class could vote on the best ones - then show the real winners. And they could design their own Peace Flags & then vote on the best & compare their designs to the competition ones.


http://www.un.org/cyberschoolbus/poverty2000/intro.asp

The Poverty Curriculum has a lot of usable material for class use. Each section is divided into an explanation, a class activity, a community service idea & internet links. For example, the introduction has descriptions of the three different income groups in the world as well as brief profiles of children from each group. A roleplay, the students taking on the role & discussing differences in their lives, could be very productive. Lots of discussion, reading & listening to you read aloud or summarise the explanations.

http://www.un.org/cyberschoolbus/peace/home.asp

"There is no way to peace. Peace is the way." – Gandhi. The Peace Education section has some interesting stuff on the teacher as learner & the learner as teacher.

http://www.un.org/cyberschoolbus/habitat/index.asp

'"Cities of Today, Cities of Tomorrow!" The Cities project is an interactive programme brought to you by the United Nations CyberSchoolBus. Its six intense units of clear writing, exciting information and great images give you the best overview of urbanization—its history, its potential, its problems... '

http://www.un.org/cyberschoolbus/infonation/info.asp

Compare statistics on all member states.

http://cyberschoolbus.un.org/infonation/index.asp

Or get information on member states one at a time.

The reading task

Some questions to go with the UN text below

1. When was the UN formed?

2. What is the purpose of the UN?

3. How many members are there?

4. Where is it based?

5. What are some of the aims of the UN?

6. What might be some of the principles of the UN?

7. How is the decision-making process described for peace keeping missions?

8. What are the Specialised Agencies?

The reading text

The United Nations Organisation
Text from: http://www.un.org/Pubs/CyberSchoolBus/index.asp

The United Nations officially came into existence on 24 October 1945, when the UN Charter had been ratified by a majority of the original 51 Member States. The day is now celebrated each year around the world as United Nations Day.

The purpose of the United Nations is to bring all nations of the world together to work for peace and development, based on the principles of justice, human dignity and the well-being of all people. It affords the opportunity for countries to balance global interdependence and national interests when addressing international problems.

There are currently 191 Members of the United Nations. They meet in the General Assembly, which is the closest thing to a world parliament. Each country, large or small, rich or poor, has a single vote, however, none of the decisions taken by the Assembly are binding. Nevertheless, the Assembly's decisions become resolutions that carry the weight of world governmental opinion.

The United Nations Headquarters is in New York City but the land and buildings are international territory. The United Nations has its own flag, its own post office and its own postage stamps. Six official languages are used at the United Nations - Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian and Spanish. The UN European Headquarters is in the Palais des Nations, Geneva, Switzerland. It has offices in Vienna, Austria and Economic Commissions in Addis Ababa in Ethiopia, Amman in Jordan, Bangkok in Thailand and Santiago in Chile. The senior officer of the United Nations Secretariat is the Secretary-General.

The Aims of the United Nations:
To keep peace throughout the world.
To develop friendly relations between nations.
To work together to help people live better lives, to eliminate poverty, disease and illiteracy in the world, to stop environmental destruction and to encourage respect for each other's rights and freedoms.
To be a centre for helping nations achieve these aims.

The Principles of the United Nations:
All Member States have sovereign equality.
All Member States must obey the Charter.
Countries must try to settle their differences by peaceful means.
Countries must avoid using force or threatening to use force.
The UN may not interfere in the domestic affairs of any country.
Countries should try to assist the United Nations.

The UN System
The basic structure of the United Nations is outlined in an organizational chart.


UN organisation chart

What the structure does not show is that decision-making within the UN system is not as easy as in many other organizations. The UN is not an independent, homogeneous organization; it is made up of states, so actions by the UN depend on the will of Member States, to accept, fund or carry them out. Especially in matters of peace-keeping and international politics, it requires a complex, often slow, process of consensus-building that must take into account national sovereignty as well as global needs.

The Specialized Agencies, while part of the UN system, are separate, autonomous intergovernmental organizations which work with the UN and with each other. The agencies carry out work relating to specific fields such as trade, communications, air and maritime transport, agriculture and development. Although they have more autonomy, their work within a country or between countries is always carried out in partnership with those countries. They also depend on funds from Member States to achieve their goals.

For links to the areas in the chart

The information gap task

A potted biography of Kofi Anan, the Secretary-General of the United Nations
Text from: http://www.un.org/News/ossg/sg/pages/sg_biography.html
Student A: Complete the biography of Kofi Anan by exchanging information with your partner. Don't show each other your papers.
Kofi Anan

Mr. Annan was born in ______, _____, on 8 April 1938.

He studied at the University of Science and Technology in Kumasi and completed his undergraduate work in economics at Macalester College in St. Paul, Minnesota, U.S.A., in ______.

From 1961 to 1962, he took graduate studies in economics at the Institut universitaire des hautes études internationales in ______.

As a 1971-1972 Sloan Fellow at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Mr. Annan received a Master of Science degree in management.

Mr. Annan joined the United Nations system in _______ as an administrative and budget officer with the World Health Organization (WHO) in Geneva.

In 1990, following the invasion of ________ by ______, Mr. Annan was asked by the Secretary-General, as a special assignment, to help repatriate more than 900 international staff and citizens of Western countries from Iraq. He then led the first United Nations team negotiating with Iraq on the sale of oil to fund purchases of humanitarian aid.

Mr. Annan served as Assistant Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations from March 1992 to February 1993 and then as _____________________ from March 1993 to December 1996.

Mr Anan was the ________ Secretary-General to be elected from the ranks of United Nations staff. He began his first term on 1 January 1997.

Kofi Annan of Ghana is the seventh Secretary-General of the United Nations.

On 29 June 2001, acting on a recommendation by the Security Council, the General Assembly appointed him by acclamation to a second term of office, beginning on 1 January 2002 and ending on 31 December 2006.

On 10 December 2001, the Secretary-General and the United Nations received the ______________. In conferring the Prize, the Nobel Committee said Mr. Annan "had been pre-eminent in bringing new life to the Organization". In also conferring the Prize on the world body, the Committee said that it wished "to proclaim that the only negotiable road to global peace and cooperation goes by way of the United Nations".

The Secretary-General is fluent in English, French and several ___________ languages.

He is married to Nane Annan, of Sweden, a ________ and _________ who has a great interest in understanding the work of the United Nations. Two issues of particular concern to her are HIV/AIDS and education for women. She has also written a book for children about the United Nations.

Mr. and Mrs. Annan have _________ children.

  
Student B: Complete the biography of Kofi Anan by exchanging information with your partner. Don't show each other your papers.
Kofi Anan

Mr. Annan was born in Kumasi, Ghana, on __________.

He studied at the University of __________________ in Kumasi and completed his undergraduate work in economics at Macalester College in St. Paul, Minnesota, U.S.A., in 1961.

From ______ to _______, he took graduate studies in economics at the Institut universitaire des hautes études internationales in Geneva.

As a 1971-1972 Sloan Fellow at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Mr. Annan received a _____________


Mr. Annan joined the United Nations system in 1962 as an __________________ officer with the World Health Organization (WHO) in Geneva.

In 1990, following the invasion of Kuwait by Iraq, Mr. Annan was asked by the Secretary-General, as a special assignment, to help repatriate more than 900 international staff and citizens of Western countries from Iraq. He then led the first United Nations team negotiating with Iraq on the sale of oil to fund purchases of humanitarian aid.

Mr. Annan served as _________________________ from March 1992 to February 1993 and then as Under-Secretary-General from March 1993 to December 1996.

Mr anan was the first Secretary-General to be elected from the ranks of United Nations staff. He began his first term on ___________.

Kofi Annan of Ghana is the __________ Secretary-General of the United Nations.

On 29 June 2001, acting on a recommendation by the Security Council, the General Assembly appointed him by acclamation to a second term of office, beginning on 1 January 2002 and ending on 31 December 2006.

On 10 December 2001, the Secretary-General and the United Nations received the Nobel Peace Prize. In conferring the Prize, the Nobel Committee said Mr. Annan "had been pre-eminent in bringing new life to the Organization". In also conferring the Prize on the world body, the Committee said that it wished "to proclaim that the only negotiable road to global peace and cooperation goes by way of the United Nations".

The Secretary-General is fluent in English, French and several African languages.

He is married to __________, of _________, a lawyer and artist who has a great interest in understanding the work of the United Nations. Two issues of particular concern to her are HIV/AIDS and education for women. She has also written a book for children about the United Nations.

Mr. and Mrs. Annan have three children.

Discussion points

With your partner, discuss the following questions:

1. Do you think it is necessary to have the UN?

2. How much authority should the UN have over individual countries?

3. Choose three of the most worthy UN projects mentioned in the texts. Why are these more worthy than the others?

4. What do you think the UN's most important priority should be at the moment?

4. Kofi Anan has had a very successful career - do you know anyone else who has has such a career?

The English entry to the UN site can be found at:
http://www.un.org/english/

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The Motivation Shuffle

Dancing

A major way we can help out students is in first understanding their motivations for coming to class. There are four main types of motivation:

Integrative motivation: the learner is interested in the target culture & people & feels a need to integrate.

Instrumental motivation: the learner wishes to achieve something as a result of learning the language such as promotion in a job, being able to negotiate with others etc.

Intrinsic motivation: the learner decides to goes along to class.

Extrinsic motivation: the learner is sent along to class.

For example, you might have a professional person with extrinsic, instrumental motivation, sent along by the company because they want to send her to another country to work. Or a younger learner sent along by parents to a bilingual school with extrinsic, integrative motivation. Or a learner with an English-speaking partner with intrinsic, integrative motivation.

It is not as clear cut as this. It's not a question of one or the other, a learner might have different elements with one or two predominating. You might argue that the more motivated learner has the combination of intrinsic & integrative motivation but it all depends on the person as there are a lot more factors involved.

And then there is the difference between the younger learner & the adult. Some would argue that it is not our job to motivate the adult, they should come along to class already motivated. If this were the case! For ideas on motivating the younger learner with sweets as an incentive see the Tip - Sweet Motivation.

And then there is the difference between the short-term, over a lesson or a week, & the longer-term, over a month, term or course. Motivation is dynamic & constantly changing as external influences affect the learner, things such as a change in job, season etc.

The more motivated a learner is the more autonomous she is & among all of the different things we can do in the classroom to maintain & increase motivation there are three main areas:

• involving the learners in the planning stages of the course
• engaging the learner
• providing the right degree of challenge

Learners need to feel in control of their learning situation & involving them in the planning promotes this. Periodic consultation on how the course is going is essential. This can be done through individual & group tutorials, see the Teaching Tip - Giving Tutorials

Engaging the learners is a question of catering to their specific language & classroom needs, choosing relevant & interesting topics & activities, & explaining why the lesson & activities are being given.

For ideas on challenge see the Teaching Tip - Arouse, confront, dare, stimulate, provoke...

Motivation is a complex area, difficult enough with one to one classes & made more so when dealing with groups, needing to be actively considered & promoted in the classroom.

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