Friday last lessons, especially the last 10-15 minutes, have always been difficult both for me and for my students. Knowing that weekend holiday will start soon, their motivation starts to decrease and it becomes really hard to keep them in class.
I teach EAP (English for academic Purposes) at Sabanci University, School of Languages, Istanbul, Turkey and we use our own institutional book, “Beyond the Boundaries“, which “is an academic course book series designed to cater for the needs of students in the ‘preparatory’ schools of English-medium universities”. The topics and the texts & tasks in the book may be challenging for the students especially on Fridays in the last lessons.
At the beginning of this academic year (2013-2014) while setting my targets, I focused on this issue and came up with this “Friday Songs” Project. Each week a volunteer would choose a song, prepare a gap-fill activity and bring the print outs to class on Friday. In the last 10-15 minutes we would listen to the song, do the activity and post it in our class Moodle, namely SUCoursePlus (SCP) for further reference.
Did it work do you think?
They loved the idea and we had a song for each week. I have never commented on their choices or gave feedback because it is not their job to create a perfectly designed gap fill activity. The aim was to have them on task till the end of the last minute of the week and it seems I have achieved my aim.
Here is the task that I have posted on our Section SCP on the first day of the academic semester (Please click on the image to make it bigger):
I prepared the first one as a modal for my students and asked for a volunteer for the following week. At first they all hesitated but as is the case usually, there was a volunteer after a few minutes’ silence. This continued till the last week of the academic year with new volunteers every week, without hesitations any more, and new songs:)) They were all eager to choose a song & prepare materials for them and the best thing was to see that they were all on task till the last 10 minutes of the Friday lesson, when it was time to listen to the song of their own preference.
I asked their feedback from time to time and I was glad to learn that they were all positive about the project and waiting for their turn to prepare a new song.
I strongly suggest you give it a try and apply this in your classes. Please do not forget to let me know how it went in your classes:))
Happy projects & songs.