Apart from traditional homework tasks based on lessons delivered in the classroom, there is still a myriad of activities students can do by themselves to practise their English, learn to work independently, and take responsibility for their own learning. Learner autonomy is in fact one of the most important things we can promote if we really want to get our students ready for the ongoing, life-long language learning endeavour.
The following homework choice board, intended for students at B1 level and above, suggests 16 tasks to practise all four skills as well as grammar, vocabulary and pronunciation:
- Students can choose the tasks based on their personal interests, or areas they feel they need more work on, which should result in extra motivation.
- In the process of choosing an activity, students will be taking into account the skills and language items that are being practised in class, but also what is relevant to them, especially when they can connect the task with their own life.
- The activities in the board are also flexible as far as proficiency level is concerned, which means that students can work at their own performance level.
- A few tasks have been designed so that they can be used later in class, resulting in excellent materials based on students’ interests which can be introduced in different lessons later in the year.
Although the tasks here have been selected so they are easy to keep track of, holding students accountable for their work, this should ideally be another step in helping students develop their learner independence skills. How would you use this board in your own student tracking system? How would you assess each of these tasks?
This post won the British Council’s TeachingEnglish Blog of the Month Award for October 2018.