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How can we combine learning with leisure?

Diary submitted by Eve P.

  • Ideas for an out-of-class English club

Student Motivation/Classroom Management

One of the key reasons for students not improving their English with sufficient speed is that apart from in their classes, they do not engage with the language in their own time. When students have no involvement with their target language at home, they lack interest and are slow to progress. By participating in interesting and fun activities through practising English, the learning of the language is more accessible, enjoyable and engaging. Out-of-class English clubs are the opportunity to inspire this engagement in the students’ leisure time.

In order to engage the students in their study of English beyond the classroom, I have found that we must incorporate activities that are enjoyable for them. Rather than studying grammar exercises, in their downtime students should affiliate English with the topics and interests that they have in their own language. I have often found through teaching that students become their most animated and enthusiastic when discussing something important and relevant to them, and so for an out-of-class English club to prove popular it should cater to the students’ enjoyment. 

The best choice of effective and fun ideas for an English club will likely depend on the age of the club members. Younger members may work better in organised activities while adults may thrive in relaxed activities that encourage discussion. Club debates would be an effective way of getting the members use English in a more natural way than they would in a classroom. Through focusing on current or controversial topics that everyone has an opinion about, the participants would be kept interested and excited and have the opportunity to learn vocabulary related to the topic. The members could also take it in turns to choose a topic for debate, keeping it relevant to them.

Another idea for an enjoyable and engaging activity is listening to English music. The most popular music in the world is sung in English and there will never be a lack of worthwhile resources. The lyrics could be provided for the members to read through and interpret, using the songs message as a discussion topic. Some words could be eliminated from the song for the students to fill in as a listening exercise too. Watching films and TV series are another enjoyable leisure activity that can be beneficial for English practise and improvement. Not only is watching them good for listening but they also serve as cultural windows into various aspects of the English-speaking world.

Through these fun and beneficial activities, learning English becomes less of a chore and more of a hobby. Through utilising productive pastimes in out-of-class clubs the learning of the language is combined with leisure and proves more engaging for the learners.

Reference: Learning English.com – Creating fun English Club activities to Learn English, Available at : https://learningenglish.voanews.com/a/creating-fun-club-activities-to-learn-english/3958234.html

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