In Emotional Intelligence in ESL classrooms

Gran got me started

When I was at college I used to spend marvellous summers in the UK, the country I fell in love with when I was learning their language. Among the million things I liked to experiment to become as British as The British «Elevenses with Granny» was one of my favourites. At approximately 11 am we would pop up and go to the local farm for the best scones you can dream of, a cup of English breakfast tea, or two, and a nice chat.

I don’t think many people know it was the Duchess of Bedford, Anna Russell, who started this tradition during the 20th century. She liked her tea and snacks!

I like to introduce this activity in class as an ice-breaker during the first weeks of a new course. As a get-to-know-each-other activity in a «relaxed» atmosphere. Everyone is asked to bring some snacks, biscuits or cookies, and small sandwiches which are nicely placed on a big table. And the kettle in on…as they do!

You can use previously prepared PROMPTs that the students can hold on to if they are lacking ideas, or hand-out STARs where they would write five words about themselves, for example, «two, Hitchin, Mindfulness, Northern lights and home». They will then make questions to each other about these words or explain what they mean to them. Before or after or during «Tea and a nice chat». As a teacher you would be a participant as well (students normally like to hear about your life) no need to say always available too for questions concerning new vocabulary or expressions, pronunciation problems, etc.

I find this is an easy way to distress the classroom and get them to talk in a relaxed, non-punitive, nonjudgmental environment which is when they normally learn best (PD). Also remember «Experiential stays«!

write five words about you









You are invited to visit my Instagram for good pics on Elevenses 2018.


La vida, sin prisa

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