Operación triunfo – an organising activity

An activity to help you organise your English practice outside class.

Step one

Complete the blank table below, indicating  the possible ways you can practise your English.  There is space to add other ways. Think about the resources and opportunities available to you. This will vary of course depending on your situation and where you live in the world. Be realistic!

How many minutes a week Comments/details how, when, who with, using what resources
Reading English books/magazines/websites
Watching films /TV in English
Doing language exercises in a workbook, CD Rom, or on internet
Listening to songs in English and reading the lyrics
Talking in English at work or elsewhere
Writing e mails
Participating in a blog or forum
Listening to the radio in English
Listening to lectures or attending conferences in English

Step two

Look at the table you completed in task one.  How much time can you spend on these things realistically? Fill in the column, “How many minutes?”

Step three

Discuss your plan with another student or your teacher. This will help you think more carefully about it and get more ideas. Make changes

9 Responses to Operación triunfo – an organising activity

  1. Chris McNulty says:

    Hi Daniel. I´m fairly new to teaching having started under three years ago and just now I´m dedicating myself to just doing private lessons.
    Through my experience in language learning (Spanish) and working for an institute in Ecuador, I started to feel that what people could really do with is to be guided through their learning process, as opposed to being taught. I then came accross ” From teacher to learner coach”, a book that seems to really fit in with the direction in which I find myself heading towards, and helps me to clarify many rough ideas that I had swirling around in my head.
    However, I´m not quite sure how I can combine more traditional teaching with coaching and was wondering if you could help to point me in the right direction.
    Also, do you or anyone else you know offer skype coaching sessions? Coaching sessions on coaching that is 😀

    Much appreciated

    • Hello Chris,
      It’s great to hear about people for whom the ideas on the blog and in the book resonate. Thank you for your comment. I have two answers to your question about combining traditional teaching with coaching. So take your pick!
      The first is to say that like you, Duncan and I are, first and foremost, teachers and second, coaches (I hope I’m speaking for Duncan here!). That is to say, our approach is not about total conversion to coaching (unless that’s what you want to do or feel is appropriate to your learners) but rather about giving over more time in class than is typically given to thinking about, talking about, planning and supporting what learners are doing in their English language lives outside school (or private classes). How much time is your decision, of course, but it may be that at the beginning you devote the majority of a class or two to establish certain ideas about self study then settle down to regularly spending 30 minutes of a 3-hour-a-week course on this.
      Perhaps you’ve come across the ‘Starter kit’ in the book? This is a guide that discusses these questions and suggests a framework for giving your teaching the coaching twist.
      My second answer is to say that YOU are a pioneer! What I mean is: the question you pose has no hard and fast answers yet, but your own decisions here may well mean a lot to other similarly-minded teachers looking to do more coaching with their students. For this reason I wouldn’t be able to recommend a coaching coach (even me! even Duncan!). We’re always looking for teachers like you to show us the way, how you do it in your specific teaching environment. So please let us know what you end up doing and why.

  2. orlando says:

    I think that it is a good way to know what are the activities that are more appropriate to learn English. I can know what are the activities that I do, and what are the activities that I do not do. Now, I will try to practice more the types of activities that I do not do. One my favorite ways to improve my English is listening to songs in English and reading the lyrics, which I enjoy very much. Some people can learn this language only in this manner. Also, I try to watch at least one film a week. But, unfortunately I don´t have the opportunity to listen to lectures or to attend conferences in English. For another part, in my case I am not stimulated by doing language exercises in a workbook, because I prefer more interactive challenges.

    • Thanks, Orlando,
      You are obviously a very active learner with plenty of motivation. I’m just wondering whether you find the organising structure of the activity useful to you. Do you find, for example, that you do more English practice if you have designed a programme of activities than if you just practice when you feel like it?

  3. This is a good worksheet. I’m trying to implement some self-learning activities outside classrooms with my IELTS students. I’ll be trying to use this and see their response.

    • Thanks Jason,
      Someone recently pointed out that us teachers often go into ‘coaching mode’ when preparing their students for exams like IELTS. Exams and coaching fit together very neatly. We wish your learners all the best!

    • orlando says:

      I also consider that is a good worksheet and has given me some extremely useful ideas as to how I can maximize the resources available to me in order to improve my level of English on a daily basis.

  4. Pingback: Giving your Coursebook the Coaching Twist | Learner Coaching ELT

  5. Pingback: FAQ: How can I study outside class? | Learner Coaching ELT

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