When creating their own teaching materials, teachers use texts from the internet, videos, pictures, excerpts, exercises from grammar books, etc.
Authentic material taken from websites or newspapers for native speakers often has to be adapted. You cannot just convert a text into a PDF file and present it as your own material.
So here are some ideas which you can apply to make sure your student does not only read a text but dives into the topic and also learns new words and expressions.
How to create teaching material based on a text:
- Highlight (idiomatic) expressions that may be new to your students
- Shorten sentences or simplify the sentence structure when working with B-level students
- Prepare questions to check if the student understood the text
- Let your students summarise the text in their own words.
- Prepare follow-up questions that prompt your students to express their own opinion
- Add a video that covers the same topic from a different perspective or which focuses on one detail mentioned in the text
- If you want to check your students listening comprehension, use edpuzzle for videos
Different personalities of students
I use my own material for a conversation course and the general idea is that one topic can be covered in 60 minutes. However, students are very different.
Some students just go through the text and the exercises and answer everything but it’s obvious that they’re not too keen to share their opinion.
Personally, I’m the opposite as a student. If you give me a topic I’m interested in and which is hopefully a bit controversial, I’m likely to skip all exercises and just keep on talking. So I’m sometimes a nightmare for a teacher who provided a carefully prepared PDF file and has to cope with a student who chooses to ignore most of the content.
I’m always a bit irritated when I work with students who speak the language well but are very reluctant to speak and hardly ever leave their comfort zone. Using a conversational approach with such students is often tough and sometimes, I suggest working with a textbook. Sure, the textbooks for the B2+ levels also have quite a few conversational topics but there are also exercises. Students who are a bit shy or simply don’t feel good sharing personal opinions with a teacher are often relieved when they’re given the opportunity to do some exercises and focus on language aspects only.