Sarsing from coursebooks?
Ever had the feeling that you’re not lifting off the page enough? Ever thought that someone was doing something much flasher than you, with the same pieces from a coursebook?
I thought it would be fascinating to discover how 6 teachers would SARS a piece of material from English File Pre Int. Not out of nosiness, but really to see if I could make my lessons more engaging for the learners.
What is S.A.R.S? Is it medical lexis?
It’s simply a mnemonic for dealing with coursebook material.
Do the task below to see what you would do and then use your experience to look at the findings on how 6 IH teachers would make a lesson. There are some really interesting results!
Go and get a copy of English File Pre-Intermediate and look at p66 + 67.
Here is the letter and task I asked people to do. Before you read what they said, try it for yourself! Click here – Adapting Coursebooks task limit yourself to 5 minutes.
→ Now compare your results to those of the six teachers/teacher trainers I asked.
– – – – Click on the image to read the text in a larger format. – – – –
- Who were you most like in your SARSing? Chia? Kistina? Dave?
Results and jing
As you can see from the results there are loads of different ways to use this material.
Look at this Jing to see how I would create a lesson. I think it’d be much more engaging than the one I actually taught.
Here are my 5 top conclusions.
1. Almost everyone rejected the exercise – PRONUNCIATION stress and rhythm. Instead pronunciation could be done either when you are looking at form in the quiz or with personalised sentences.
2. Only one person used the text ‘Nature’s Perfect Killing Machine,’ Others suggested that it was a display text and catalogue of death. The result may have been different if we were living in Australia.
3. Many suggested lots of visuals and prediction before they start the activities. This would help with being engaged before the reading and listening task. Prediction would also make it more memorable.
4. One popular choice was making tasks more kinaesthetic. Having a board-rush where students run to the board and grab the sentence they think is correct for controlled practice. Also walking round making sentences in pairs to feed back to the group.
5. One common idea was to set the controlled practice for homework. Lesson time should be for communication. Having a nice semi-controlled practice which is personalised is popular and this could be done as a mingle.