Alongside ESOL, I also teach a couple of Literacy classes (just below GCSE level and a mix of ESOL and native speakers). Their main goal is to pass their exam as quickly as possible. They usually end up in the class because they're doing some kind of vocational qualification like an NVQ in childcare and they've been told they must improve their English to stay on the course.
Image by LucasTheExperience
This obviously isn't the best motivator so it can sometimes be more challenging. It becomes more acute at this stage in the year when a lot of the class has passed. Anway, this group need reading skills so I was in the midst of planning a reading session adapting a lot of the materials I used for the Arab Protest lesson described here.
Then I suddenly had a brainwave. What if instead of doing another practice exam they wrote their own? I know this idea has been around for a while but I just suddenly realised I could do it with them.
The question tips are based on the exam they have to do. (A tick box exercise)
I'm sure someone could do a much better job of it than this. The space to write questions is too small. However, my limited design skills aside, I was pretty pleased with it. I know technically I don't need to give them anything at all but they do need some paper to write on and I like that paper to look good or as good as I can make it!
And.... it was a very successful session. They enjoyed it and were really involved in the exam writing stage. Plus they were really thinking about the questions, getting inside them and behind them. For example they always struggle with purpose of text but that night they were writing great questions like "What is the purpose of this text? ... to inform, entertain or persuade."
They were also much more involved when it came time to answer eachother's questions. They were laughing and joking about it being too easy or too hard and were clearly very motivated because it was essentially their work! Not just another practice exam.
It's got me thinking about how else I could unplug my literacy classes!
Edit: Thanks again to Jason who suggested I adapt this template instead, producing this
a much clearer sheet for learners with actual space to write their own questions!