iPads and Course Books

At the last regional NATECLA conference I spent some time with the lovely Julia, who was staffing the OUP stand. She demo-ed the wonders of iHeadway and talked a good talk about the benefits of a course book.

On the whole, as an ESOL teacher in the UK, course books have played a pretty minor part of my repertoire, they always seemed to take so much adapting it was hardly worth it.

Yet, I find myself having used sections out of a course book (Speakout) for the last two weeks. What is that about? The CDROM in the back of the book, which comes with fully interactive course book has been great. A couple of screen grabs onto the IWB was about all the adaption that was needed, and I got a couple of great listening activities that provided good links to the PSD topic of health. I shall certainly be exploring further.

I took the iPads into class again today, for what seems like the first time in ages. They were left on the table throughout the lesson for the students to choose to use or not. They are now very confident in using them to search google images and google translate, so for a vocabulary heavy lesson they were a real asset.

Part of the session today was on categorising food into carbs, protein, calcium, etc and I have to admit I was a little out of my comfort zone and wasn’t entirely convinced by what I had planned (which was a little woolly). It was at this stage that the iPads became a real asset. With three iPads to share on tables of six, the groups were making their own decisions about what aspects

body builder

to search for. Some were looking at images of food triangles, others at particular foods and one group even found pictures of body builders (not too sure how they got to that one!!) It took quite a lot of

food pyramid

managing, and one group got a little side tracked when they found siri and starting talking into the iPad, but on the whole we managed to get through what I thought was going to be a tough lesson, and when I gave them the Healthy Eating Plate to cut and glue pictures of different foods into the correct category it really showed how much they had understood.



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