Jeonju-North Jeolla KOTESOL 2017 Regional Conference

We have all heard the canned replies of students: “Hello. How are you? I’m fine. Thank you, and you?” These are often necessary stepping stones to students learning the diversity of responses possible in a language, but our students need ways to propel them to fluency. In my ELT and EAP classes, I try to include as much realia as possible (video clips, cartoons, Dear Abby, songs and so forth). Using realia in my classes, hopefully, also shows students how they too can engage more and more in using English in their daily lives. One struggle in using realia is making sure they are not too overwhelming to students (Kraschen’s i +1). So, I try to give them tools, such as using context clues, to help them figure out what is being communicated. Another concern is making sure that we are not breaking any copyright laws by using realia in the classroom. I use snippets of videos freely available on youtube and other means to overcome this. In this workshop, we will discuss how to use realia in a way that will excite students into seeing how English is used naturally.

  • short introduction of what is realia and common ways I use them in my classes [10 minutes]
  • group discussions on how attendees use realia in their classes or how they might be able to use them (along with potential problems) [20 minutes]
  • going over what was discussed in the groups [20 minutes]

About Christensen

I have been teaching ELT and EAP for the past 16 years. My teaching career started in Seoul while I was finishing my MA, but I have also taught in Chicago and other South Korean cities. Mostly, I have taught at universities in both countries including Yonsei, DePaul, Yeungnam and, my current place of employment, Sungkyunkwan University. Though, I have taught all ages and in many different learning programs. Most students enjoy using technology to further their studies, so I have tried to see how I can incorporate new technologies into my teaching arsenal.