Using “realia”

Every Friday afternoon our school organises extra classes for pupils who want or need them.

Even the pupils who were motivated enough to request a class- prefering an extra hour of English to going home, when they asked earlier in the week, have run out of steam by 3pm Friday… to say nothing about the state of the teaching staff!

Obviously I try to make these lessons as much fun as possible, smaller groups mean we can do some pretty cool stuff.

Recently a local supermarket was giving away minatures of their products when customers bought for a certain amount. I leapt at this chance and encouraged pupils, staff, friends, passers-by etc. to give me theirs. Coupled with some toy money we soon had a pretty good corner shop set up.


It was amazing to see how everyone, colleagues and pupils alike, loved handling these minature objects, the kids had fun setting up their stall and it was definitely a tick in the kinesthetic learners’ box.

What we did:

We recycled some vocabulary (they had been learning food words in class) and wrote up some shopping phrases:

Hello, can I help you?

I’d like…

Anything else?

How much is that?


These pupils are in year 7, some only started learning English in September, so I had no qualms about writing up the useful phrases and sticking them around the room at eye level. After all, these classes are about gaining confidence.

Then came the fun part; I used my ipad to film the pupils (with parental accord of course). The pupils enjoy being filmed, I find it very useful for them to review their “performance”. They soon realize that, although they think they’re prepared, they still need a couple of “takes” to get it right.

Did it work?

The pupils seem to a find the film as a particularly satisfying  form of final production. This lesson involved no writing on their behalf, a  welcome relief for my dyslexic pupils after a long week, and everyone found a role they felt comfortable with.

What will I change next time?

Perhaps I could get some of the pupils to write up the phrases, and a more formal review of food words, by naming all the products might be useful before starting the role play. I would also revise money and perhaps check they could all give correct change before starting!




About fabenglishteacher

enjoying sharing learning
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