This is the new syllabus 3 that I negotiated with my learners on June 11th 2014. I also suggested some topics which are marked with a (T) for teacher.

Notice the range of topics in the syllabus, for example:

  • Useful phrases – At the coffee machine, At lunch
  • Selling something in English!
  • How to ask for a raise

It’s really surprising the answers you get when you open up a space for learners to choose their own content. This would seem to prove the theory that learners tend to want more autonomy – but perhaps only when they have experienced some autonomy in the classroom and know that this autonomy is available.

There is also only one person in this group from the first syllabus, so learners have chosen different priorities. This group, which contains far more nationalities, would like pronunciation as a permanent theme.

You can download the syllabus here.

Funnily enough, there was one item came from the learners which I really didn’t expect. This was ‘De-personalising – using the passive’. This originally came from a coursebook in syllabus 2, but I adapted it. The learners realised the value of it when it was framed as ‘How to give bad news to someone’.

Syllabus 3 – started June 11th 2014

Permanent themes – Phonetics/ Pronunciation and Spelling

                                 – Vocabulary and Expressions

Week Activity Comments
0(11th June) Evaluation Syllabus 2Plan syllabus 3‘Designing the Perfect Office Space’ activity
1 Useful phrases – At the coffee machine, At lunch Reported speech Homework – Prepare a short 5 minute presentation with powerpoint
2 Conditionals (T)Presentation with powerpoint Plan next meeting – what is cultural vocab?
3 Vocabulary – Speaking about food/ Cultural vocabularyCooking vocabulary

Intercultural communication (T)

Everyone bring in a favourite recipe from your country?Preparation: which readings? students distribute texts to each other?
4 Readings Geocaching (T)Conversation skills
5 Oral explanations (First, second, third…)Formal/ Informal (e.g. emails) (T)Selling something in English!

Business/ Economy vocabulary/ texts

Preparation: Bring in words you’re not sure how to pronounce
6 Pronunciation and intonation of sentences/ Using the passive voice (depersonalising)
7 Job Interviews/ How to write a cover letterTwitter lesson Which technical language do you need for your job?
8 How to ask for a raise/ Phrasal verbsTechnical business words
9 Famous short stories/ discussion/ Explain your job – what you actually DO (w/ screenshots etc.)Famous short stories/ discussion
10 Beer chat/ tell a joke/ story/ ask personal questions/ Internet vocabularyFree conversation (e.g. skype call)

How to speak in a more professional way


*Repeat Twitter Economist one more time



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