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HELBLING READERS BLOG

Making connections: Holidays and school

June 28, 2022 by Nóra Wünsch-Nagy

During the holiday months, we would like our students to relax but at the same time, they also need to stay motivated to use English. Not only do we want our students to remember all the good things they learnt during the school term, but we would also like them to experience fun things in English during the vacation. We have collected some tips to support language learning during the holiday months. Our tips are aimed at teen and adult learners this time. If you are interested in learning with young learners, check out this post.

Language learning for the holidays

Here are some possible goals for holiday language learning:

  • Read what really interests you every day.
  • Read a longer text in English. It can be a novel, a play, a short story or a picture book, depending on the students’ age and level.
  • Listen to fun things in English.
  • Keep track of new words and phrases you learn.
  • Grab every opportunity to use English in a meaningful way.
  • Start writing in English: a diary, a blog, poetry, lyrics - anything that interests you.

Basically, our goal is to motivate our students to connect what they learn in class with everything that interests them in their own life. Ideally, they already have this kind of engagement with the language outside the classroom. Whether they have it or not, we find it important to give students the choice of activity ideas that will help them find ways to engage with English during the holiday months.

Connecting physical and virtual worlds of learning

Connecting the world of the classroom with the student’s world outside, means connecting the physical and virtual worlds. In most hybrid classrooms, students already experience the virtual world as part of their reality. It is important that students realize, that with the help of their phones and laptops, they can easily create an English language bubble around them that can be filled with things that interest them. If they regularly dedicate a few minutes to doing something in English, that is a success. If they can switch to a bilingual experience with the help of their devices and the Internet, it is an even greater success.

30 tips to support holiday language learning experiences virtually

You can use these tips to share with your students and also as inspiration for your holiday activities. Students can select only one, a few, or all the activities for the holidays.

SOCIAL MEDIA IDEAS

  • Set your phone and all social media to English.
  • Start following English-language social media accounts and blogs on various platforms.
  • Find a reading circle or book club on Instagram, TikTok or Facebook to follow.
  • Set up an online book and film circle with your classmates.

 

READING IDEAS

  • Pick a journal, a newspaper or a magazine to read regularly. 
  • Choose a young adult novel or a graded reader to read during the summer. You can pick the book in class with the whole group.
  • Read interviews and articles in English.
  • Read a short story in English.
  • When you prepare a meal or a drink, look for recipes in English.
  • Find and read the lyrics of your favourite songs.
  • Read a comic book in English.
  • Read a poem in English.
  • Read a play by Shakespeare. You can listen to extracts from five famous Shakespeare plays on the Helbling Media App.

 

WRITING IDEAS

  • Take notes of new and interesting phrases you learn in English during the summer. Take note of the meaning and the context in which you encountered the phrase.
  • Do online activities in English. You will find practice activities on Helbling e-zone.
  • Write a poem in English.
  • Keep a holiday journal in English. Write down simple feelings and events that happened to you.

 

VOCABULARY IDEAS 

  • Learn the names of your favourite clothes in English.
  • Learn to describe your favourite meals in English.
  • Read about your favourite sport or hobby in English. Learn its basic vocabulary in English.
  • Find typical words people use in your favourite English-speaking city or area.

 

LISTENING IDEAS

  • Listen to the radio in English. You can download BBC Sounds app, listen to NPR or find online radio channels.
  • Follow a podcast in English.
  • Listen to the audio recording of your favourite books in English. Each Helbling graded reader comes with downloadable audio recordings.
  • Listen to a TED Talk in English.

 

VIEWING IDEAS

  • Watch films in English with or without subtitles.
  • Watch talk shows in English.
  • Watch a documentary in English.

 

VIRTUAL TRIP IDEAS

  • Visit online exhibitions in your favourite cities. You will find great resources on the Google Arts & Culture website and app. 
  • Walk the streets of your favourite English-speaking cities on Google Maps.

When you meet your students again after the holidays, remember to ask them about their holiday activity list. We are sure that they will do at least one activity!

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