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Uber Teacher Primer 2012 Dear Teachers, We at Uber Headquarters welcome you to a brand new year of Uber teaching. We have had a lot of new recruits join us this year and I hope you are all feeling primed and ready for a great year. We will be providing new modules and units to help you get the most out of your teaching and also as a place to swap great ideas we see from teachers during observations. Later this year we will also be setting up an online program so it will be even easier to find resources and tips to use in the classroom. For now though the purpose of this primer is to review the top tips of 2011 and also set out the standards we are looking to see in 2012. I hope you find it useful, happy teaching! Can talk, will talk The purpose of the SLE program is clear, to encourage communication and expression in English. It purposefully shies away from academic topics and instead focuses on those situations, whether through work, study or lecture that the students may find themselves in both at home and abroad. These range from everyday topics such as talking about people and leisure interests to jobs, money and travel. The aim is to promote a sense of comfort when using English both in the classroom and in real life. Although study is obviously an important part of learning language, it is the practice element that we are promoting more than simply learning structures and conjugating verbs. So it is with this goal in mind that we approach all SLE levels “to get the students speaking�. So what can we expect of the different levels in general? LEVEL



Students still unsure of a lot of basic grammar and topics and so need to practice correct sentences, lots of reporting answers needed and steady pair work. Lots of modeling language.


Students exhibit more ability to construct sentences but need to connect to a solid understandable topic to express themselves properly. Good structure needed and modeled language.


Students should exhibit confidence when dealing with everyday topics and using a wide variety of grammar but with many easy to fix mistakes, self correction should have begun. Also able to begin giving opinions on more complex topics.


By now basic mistakes in grammar should no longer be frequent but certain more native vocabulary may be lacking. Language and topic should be more natural and understanding of the teacher should be much more natural.


As 3A but with a more complex use of vocabulary and natural pronunciation, small errors and self correction.


As 3B, very natural use of English with small mistakes or inappropriate use of correct English but less than native.


Almost native, fluent, errors only in word choice.

Uber Teacher Primer 2012

Types of Task: Although the books will always have a good number of activities for each topic it is more important that you consider the type of student that you have. If the book has many discussion style activities but you know that your students do not really enjoy this, you will find a lot of disgruntled silence. Most speaking activities can be easily adapted to your lesson and group and require just a little creativity, let's look at a few examples. Number One: SLE 1B Unit 14 “Risky Business” Activity Two: Be Careful! This activity lists 10 possible dangerous situations and asks the students to discuss what the hazard is and how to make it safer. For example: Driving a car Getting drunk Hiking Riding a bike The students are then to use modal verbs of caution (you ought to / should etc) In practice however this is often a very short activity as students see it as a chore to get through all 10 and often the advice is very similar and a little abstract. So I order to make this more interesting and productive, it can be changed to this which invites more discussion and group work. Potential Danger This is a list of all the dangers of living in Seoul today. As the city council it is your job to recommend how to make it a safer city to live in. You will have to agree with your partners. For example;

 Pizza delivery guys racing up and down the sidewalk.  Air pollution caused by so many cars.  Cars not stopping at traffic lights.

Agreed Solution  The Police must stop them and make them pay an instant fine.  Make parking fees much higher in city.  Policeman can shoot them.

Number Two: SLE 2A Unit 6 “Beyond Compare” Activity One: Actions louder than Words Students must read a number of statements and say if they agree/disagree with the statement using comparatives or superlatives and then follow up questions. E.g. Florida and Alaska are great vacation spots. I think Florida is better because it is hot. Often in practice the students do no ask follow up questions but merely choose the one they prefer and make the shortest sentence possible often followed by agreement from their partner. An activity to encourage longer answers could be as follows;

Students imagine they are going shopping for a new car, new house etc and they must convince their partner which one is the best to buy using both comparatives and superlatives. Once they have decided they will present their answers to the class.

Uber Teacher Primer 2012

Number Three: SLE 3B Unit Four “Bored Stupid” Activity A: Taking your Chances. In this activity students must first rate how risky 13 situations are based on a given scale of 1 – 10 and then decide if they would be willing to try it (yes/no) and then discuss the questions that follow about how adventurous they are or think they are.





Giving a speech in front of more than 300 people. Riding a motorcycle in downtown Seoul at night. The activity is very valid but requires a lot of prep time from the students followed by discussion questions that don't reference the chart much and therefore seems to be an unusual time filler. It would be better to adapt this activity to one that can involve the chart and opinion. Such as the following; Put the following activities in order of how risky they are from 1 – 10 then compare with your partner, finally you must do 5 of them, which would you do and why?



Willing to try

Traveling to a foreign country alone


More fun to travel alone and if you speak English it's not scary.

Being a contestant on a TV show.


A little risky if you don't know any answers but you could win some really cool stuff as well!

The key point to all of these is that you should not feel completely limited to the activities only as they are presented in the book. Like the tasks presented above most units can be adapted quite easily to what you think would work better for the students in your class. If on the other hand, you think the activity itself is not what you want to do in the class don't merely skip it look for a better activity to include in your lesson plan.

Uber Teacher Primer 2012 Example Lesson Plan We all know the importance of a lesson to keep our lesson on track and to make sure we get the most out of the books and our classes. Many teachers will take the unit at face value and follow it through the pages from language points to discussion questions. While sometimes this can work, most of the time a working lesson plan will make it better.

Below is an example 3B lesson plan. Unit 18 “Nose to the Grindstone” Aims: To discuss differences in worth ethic (culturally & individually) To learn to use expressions of opinion/persuasion when discussing differences. To learn and use more complex adjectives to describe people and actions at work. Phase


Activity /Presentation



5 mins

 Warm up to the lesson. The students are given a graph that shows working hours and productivity in Korea and 3 other countries. They must describe the trends of the Graph and the workers in the different countries  The teacher will ask a few pairs to share their ideas with the class and draw their attention to the topic on the board “Work ethic”

 Handout with graphs to be shared among pairs.


5 mins

 The teacher has written the vocabulary on the board and will give an example for the first two and how they relate to work ethics. Then in pairs the students will have to try and come up with an example for the others on the list. After a few minutes the teacher will listen to an example for each and add any extra info needed to clarify the terms.

 To procrastinate, productive, reliable, waster, distracted, inefficient, morale, team building, staid etc


10 mins

 To practice the vocabulary, students will in groups of 3 answer 6 questions on page 111. The teacher will write and model an answer on the board as an example and then monitor the students.  Students will share some answers with the class.  Feedback and correction.

 Sentence on board “I think I am efficient however I can also procrastinate when I don't want to take responsibility.


5 mins

 Teacher has written some sentences on the board heard from the students giving reasons but has re-written them using the conjunctions on page 112.  The students will be asked what each word does to the sentence and the label (concession, extra info etc) will be added.

 Whiteboard, student's sentences.  Book Page 112


8 mins

 To practice these expressions students will discuss their opinions of the statements with a partner.  I will model the example “ It would be wonderful if the week day was only 4 days long, however it would be bad for the economy.

 Book page 112/whiteboard


8 mins

 PRODUCE: Using the adjectives & expressions students will imagine they are the hiring panel for a large company and must choose one of the managers to lead their company on page 113. They must agree who would be the best and justify their decision.  Feedback and corrections

 Book Page 113


5 mins

 Wrap up; As a class we will discuss how work ethics have changed in Korea and the best and worst companies to work for.

Uber Teacher Primer 2012 Teacher Talk. One of the most important things to consider in the classroom is what you are doing at all times, what you say and what you do. In earlier Ubers we looked at common mistakes teachers make but the following is more a guide of what to think about and how to approach it in the classroom. Presentations: The teacher must be aware of what language (vocabulary, grammar etc) is being brought to the class that day and how you are going to present it. It should also be short, too often we accidentally lecture the students with a lot of information that even an advanced student would struggle with. Keep it brief and to the point and on topic, students learn better if the language relates to one topic. Get to a practice as soon as possible. “When we talk about healthy living and exercise there are many words and expressions that we use to talk about it. Some useful, some not so useful. On page 27 there is a list, the first one “to be a health nut” means a person who really, really, really loves taking care of himself and goes on and on about it to everyone else.......

How healthy are you? Tell you partner what you do to keep healthy.... (3 mins later) On the board are 6 expressions that a person who is healthy or not or likes to exercise, repeat after me. Now with your partner discuss which of these you think you are and why.

Modeling: When presenting language to be practiced in activities, students need to know what the teacher is expecting of them. Most textbooks have a “let's do the first one together” example but the teacher should also do this. Give the students a model answer and write it on the board as a reference.

“If I were rich, I would buy my own island” Am I rich? Do I have an island? No, it's a dream, a fantasy, not real. So with your partner tell them 3 things like this you would do if you were rich.

Ok I want you to talk about things would do if you had a lot of money, you can imagine almost anything just let your imagination run wild, maybe you would have a yacht or not!

Instructions: You can have the best activity lined up in the world but if you cannot get the students to understand what they should do and consequently do it, you have a few problems. So you should read through the list and choose which of the surgeries you would have and which you wouldn't and then you should tell your partner the results and then discuss your choices and finally decide whether cosmetic surgery has positive or negative effects on Korean society.

Ok we are going to talk about what surgery we would have. Look at one number one; botox, I would have that because I hate wrinkles, Yunhee? I wouldn't because I worry I would need it many times. Very good now go through them all like this.

Uber Teacher Primer 2012 Feedback and Correction It goes without saying just how important it is for the students to receive feedback from the teacher both their successes and also how they can improve on their mistakes. It is very difficult to remain motivated about learning a language if you never receive any sort of constructive advice or criticism from the teacher, so it must be valid and it must be regular. Get into the habit of praising students, speaking a language in front on a group of your peers is difficult, when a native speaker is present it increases the nerves. Therefore POSITIVE PRAISE is essential to keep students motivated to keep trying. Of course they also need; Error Correction It is a well-established fact that in order to improve a skill you must first learn from your mistakes and this neatly applies to language as well. Students who receive no corrections are dissatisfied with the class and the teacher as they did not pay merely to stay at the same level. So what do we look for in the class? ◘ Lots of pair / small group activities: How will you assess your students if you can't hear them speak? ◘ Target Language: To keep a class coherent you have to choose a certain amount of vocabulary and grammar that will be used that day for practice. So this is the language you focus on first on corrections. Are they using it correctly? If not correct it or what is the point of the class? ◘ Pronunciation: An important point to listen out for not just in the target language but in reading, warm up, practices, what words need to be addressed to make them as natural sounding as possible. ◘ Common Mistakes: At all levels you are going to hear certain errors be they with verb tenses, prepositions, word choice etc that perhaps you hadn't planned to teach or are not in the book but you realize students in your class have trouble with. Keep a note of this, can you correct in the class or perhaps you will incorporate it into a later class as an activity. Ways to correct ☞ On-the-spot: During questioning or pair work you will hear certain mistakes that may get in the way of communication or understanding. Often these are individual errors and therefore it makes sense that they are corrected immediately to allow the student to continue. Mistakes with target language or pronunciation should be corrected straight away. ☞ On the board; Many times students need to see the mistake and correction on the board in order to properly retain it as only oral corrections can easily be forgotten. Keep a note of the mistakes/errors and get these up on the board, to make it more engaging for the students they should work together to try and fix them. To make it more engaging, mix in a few correct sentences and see if they are able to spot this. Can be easily turned into a game where they come to the board and write their correction the fastest for points. ☞ Worksheets; Can be very useful as a study method or review for future classes. ☞ When; Most successful error correction is done at various points during the class and not only at the end, always aim to do it at least twice in a 50 minute class more in a 100/150 minute class.

Uber Teacher Primer 2012

Example Reading & Listening Activities.

SLE 1C Unit 11 “Give Me A Hand” The listening concerns a man checking into a hotel, he has a dialogue with the receptionist. Pre – Listening To prepare students for the listening, I will have them brainstorm in pairs what questions people normally ask when they book into a hotel, as I listen to their answers I will write key vocabulary on the board such as 'vacancy'. 'check out', 'morning call' and concept check that they understand these terms. Listening: I will tell the students they are going to hear a male guest and female receptionist. They will hear 7 questions being asked, they must listen and note down which questions they are. The second time they will listen for the answers to the questions. For the final listening they will read the transcript on page 57 to check their answers. Post Listening: The students will answer 3 questions on the board about how helpful the receptionist was, how happy the man was, and how they both used polite expressions. Then to practice both the vocabulary and polite expressions students in pairs will create their own dialogue and perform to the class.

SLE 3B Unit 4 “Bored Stupid” The reading is all about how despite the amount of entertainment available to us nowadays, we still complain of being bored. Pre - Reading To prepare the students for the reading they will first discuss in small groups how they entertain themselves when they are bored and when do they feel bored, what do they think causes it. While they are discussing this the teacher will write some important vocabulary on the board from the reading. The class will listen to some of the students’ remarks and then the teacher will explain the vocabulary from the reading, asking the students to give personal examples using the vocabulary. Reading: The students will be instructed to first skim through the reading and summarize the author's opinion, then in pairs they will discuss their idea and go back to the text to scan for three details that support their summary. We will then hear these as a class. Post – Reading The students will discuss in pairs whether they agree or disagree with the writer’s opinion and give their reasons. Then they will discuss questions 2, 4 and 7 to test comprehension of the main idea. Lastly, they are going to prepare a response to the ideas in the text and to test their ability to make recommendations. They will be a government advisory committee recommending how people can reduce boredom in their lives. Using the vocabulary and modal verbs of suggestion/recommendation and obligation they will create 6 pieces of advice (the teacher will give an example on the board e.g. TV should be reduce to 6 hours per day to encourage people to read more.) These will then be presented to the class. We will debate a few of the more interesting suggestions if time permits.

Ok Uber teachers, we are expecting the best in 2012, make it happen!

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Uber primer 2014 9