Word nerds

Note : All Viralelt posts share the same structure. Teacher’s notes appear only on How to use Viralelt. This is done to keep “teacher text” to a minimum and avoid repetition.

One Word is a series of videos in which members of the public are asked to give their responses to a single word. In the following instalment a group of women aged between 5 and 50 are asked what comes to mind when they hear the word feminism. You will find the other videos in the series here.

Video Recording Activity (Optional) : 1) Ask each of your students to choose a word that they think would provoke interesting responses from their classmates. 2) Tell them to mingle around with their phones and make short video recordings of each other responding to their chosen words. This activity is best done in an open space to reduce noise interference. 3) Ask your students to upload their videos to a video or file sharing platform and view them during the following class.

Random Word Activity (Optional) : 1) Create a random word selector using words from topics you have covered, or words elicited from your students. To do this, simply click here, select Change Names and replace the default list of student names with a list of your chosen words. See a finished example here. 2) Put your students in small groups and click through the words giving them 2 or 3 minutes to react to each one.

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  1. Do you have a favourite word in your own language? What about a word that you don’t like? Do you like it because of its sound or its meaning? Do you have a favourite English word?
  2. How rich is your vocabulary in your own language? Do you tend to overuse some words? Do you ever feel you can’t find the right words to express your thoughts?
  3. Do you like playing word games like Scrabble, crosswords, Hangman and word search?
  4. When learning a language how important is it to widen your vocabulary, i.e. to know more words? What are the best ways to learn more vocabulary?
  5. It is said that reading is one of the best ways to learn new words. How often do you read in English? What do you do when you come across a word or expression that you don’t understand?
  6. Do you agree with the adage, “sticks and stones can break my bones, but words can never hurt me.”?
  7. Do you pay attention to the lyrics when you are listening to a song, or are you more interested in the music? Is listening to the words of a song a good way to learn English?
  8. How have social networks (e.g. Twitter), texting and the Internet changed the way we use words? In the digital age do we think we use more words or fewer words?”
  9. Do you agree with the saying, “a picture is worth a thousand words.”?
  10. How do words come into fashion and go out of fashion? Can you think of any words which are in fashion at the moment? What about words which have gone out of fashion?

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Which two of the above questions are being discussed?

Download “Question time” and the “Sitting comfortably?” script in an editable Word document here.

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Thanks for dropping by! | Viralelt by Tefltecher

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2 thoughts on “Word nerds

  1. Love it (as I do virtually all the videos you post!). A brilliant activity for class — and there are so many other words you could use!

    A small point: I wonder how comfortable learners will be with being videoed, especially if they’ve never done so before? If that were a problem, I’d suggest first just doing an audio version (the Spreaker Studio app is excellent). Once they’ve got comfortable with that, then try video… Just a thought.

    Posting the video privately on YouTube is one way to get round privacy concerns and I have colleagues uploading videos with young learners to Google Drive folders, rather than YT, to keep them private.

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