Advanced Language Course in Norwich

Avatar of Sabine Nürnberg Sabine Nürnberg - 26. August 2017 - Erasmus+ Mobilitäten

My first day in Norwich

13 August 2017

What do you think Nile stands for  Nile for? It is the Norwich Institude for Languge Education. And what do you think etl means? It is an acronym for English teaching learning. As you can see, I had two reasons for coming to Norwich , improving my own languge skills and learn more abaut teaching English as a forgein language.

 20 years ago, I was already in Norwich and and studied for two week at the University in Norwich. I had a wonderful host family Doreen and Peter and I decided to stay with them again this time .

As you can see, there was another reason for coming to Norwich.

My adventure started on the 13 of August 2017 after a safe and pleasant flight from Berlin to London and then via National Express to Norwich.


Peter and Doreen picked me up from the coach station. We imminently recognised each other. Were there really 20 years gone ? No, there was really such a close relation ship and certainly we had to tell each other a lot. After an exciting first day I went to bed happy and very tired .

Meeting teachers from four different countries at NILE

14 August 2017

Our lessons started on Monday morning at 9 o` clock. Peter offered me a lift to the Language Institute. We were introduced by our teachers Maria and Jo. Both of them are brilliant teachers , well educated, full of inspirations, kind and polite. The other students were from Spain, Russia, Slovakia and Latvia. I was the only German in this group, wonderful , no chance to speak any German. We introduce each other with an adjective. I had already used this kind of introduction in my own lessons . Now I was together with the multitasking Maria ( our teacher), merry Marina ,the mature Micha, the inquisitive Iveta, the talkative Theresa, the mild Marta mysterious Mirren and the optimistic Olga for two weeks. And I was the Singing Sabine.


In the afternoon , we were sent by Jo to a Norwich Rally. We had to find out a lot of information about Norwich,

The day finished in the Adam and Eve Pub . We met there for a welcome drink with our teachers.

See, think wonder

14 August 2017

See, Think ,Wonder

The question in Maria s lesson was, can we make thinking visible?

We looked at different paintings and discussed the questions:

What do you see? What do you observe? What do you think is going on ? What does it make you wonder ? The students in our group loved discussing a lot and we shared interesting points of views. You think, only children are able to wonder, but because of the challenging paintings, we really wondered a lot and at the end, we were astonished how paintings can help, in the English learning process.


The afternoon session started with a discussion about Field Trips. I personally deeply believe in Field Trips. I do field trips with my evening classes and I took my students to England every year. But the question is, “ What kind of task do they do and what can you do before and after the visit ? I was astonished that there are a lot of regulations in other countries and that therefore not many teachres do these Field Trips. We travel to England to improve our language and get to know the way, people in other countries. live. Why should we not do this with our students as well?

The British Press

Slang, idioms. play on words. Who uses what? Tell me what kind of newspaper you read and I tell you, what kind of person you are. Is this really true? Of course, when you speak about newspapers, you use authentic material in the classroom. As a warmer Maria forced us, to name a word, related to newspaper vocabularies. The one who did not know had to sit down . The winner was the one with the richest source on newspaper vocab. Matching headlines to articles, matching different paragraphs, impressing, you really can do a lot with newspapers.

In the afternoon , there was another highlight. Guest speaker Alan Maley was lecturing about “Creative Writing for Teachers & Learners” . No, he was not only lecturing, we had to practise ouerselves, too.

You are sweet ice cream food

You are warm wind weather

You are dawn time of the day

You are elderflower plant

You are jazz music music

You are a sailing boat vehicle

Words, Words , Words- Practesing Vocabulary

Words Words Words

The aims of the lessons were:

  1. To show some ways we can make vocab we teach more memorable

  2. To teach some new words

   Some theses we discussed were :

             Vocab is like a tree because

    1. Learning vocab is like …. because ….

    2. Remembering lexis – quiz

    3. Short > long term memory

Make students interested in new words, make them  hungry.

Make the words  visual

Link known to unknown words.

Personalise and Actiate

Review and recycle

    1. Vocabox

I personally like the vocabox very much. But I would my students advice to write the new word on card and put these words then in the box to practice.

You can practise these words then in different forms. The hot seat is quite popular. One students sits on a chair the other paraphrase the word and the student has to guess. When the student guesses the word, they change seats.

Or putting the cards on the table. The students walk around the table slowly. One student paraphrases the word , the student who knows graps the word card. The student with the most cards is the winner.

Activities to use with video

In groups we tried to find different activities how to use a video

  1. Word bingo: provide a list of words that will be in a clip (12/14 words), get learners to choose 9 of the words and fill in a grid. Learners listen and cross out their words as they hear them.

  2. Silent viewing: Learners are given a task (name three things you can see, and two things that are happening).

  3. Listening to sounds: what can you hear? What do you think the video is about?

  1. Listen and order: provide learners with a text (or stills from the video) on slips of paper (get them to predict order first), then they listen and watch and check.

  2. Listen and answer true/false questions: (predict and then watch to check).

  1. Video dictogloss: learners watch a clip several times, write down the key words and phrases and then try to reconstruct the text (doesn't have to be exactly the same as the original but information must be correct).

  2. Watch and write questions: get learners to write up true/false questions, or yes/no questions for other learners to answer.

  3. Back to the board: pair Ss - one sits with back to the screen and other describes what’s happening.

  1. gap-fill exercise: give Ss a gap fill of the script and ask them to listen and fill it in.

  1. Match the quote: Ss match the quote to the speaker who said t.

  1. Make notes: Ss listen and make notes on a particular speaker/topic/what they want.

A lovely weekend in the North with friends

20 years ago, I was lucky joining a program, which was offered by the EU. I stayed in Durum at my friends Christin`s school for three week and lived with her and Norbert in their lovely home-. Three unforgettable weeks. I planned to visit them again in their holiday house by the North Sea. Christin send me the train tickes, 1st class, and everything seemed to be fine. But when I arrived , Saturday in the morning , my train to York was cancelled. I had to go by bus and train and it was not so easy. But you always meet helpful people and eventually, I managed to arrive in York on time. I had learned a lot and all my students in my evening classes will have to practise in the lessons as well,  how to deal with train delays and similar situations.But the rest was wonderful, an unforgettable weekend. My friends picked me up from the train station and we went to the Moors.

The North York Moors is a special place, forged by nature, shaped over generations – where peace and beauty rub shoulders with a rich history . Thousand shapes of violet , beautifully in bloom. Do you know what it means- heather. heather, heather and sheep. We visited the lovely villages, where the sheep are allowed to run freely and along the North Sea beaches.. Brilliant food, sophisticated conversations ,that is the deep meaning of hospitality, I was lucky to enjoy when I stayed with Norbert and Christin at this weekend. No Brexit will be able to destroy the true meaning of friendship . We also spent an impressive Sunday afternoon in York. Thanks , my dear friends..

Designing authentic reading materials

Using$ designing authentic reading materials means searching for authentic materials which catches the readers attention. Maria offered us two challenging tasks, a letter written by a mother to her daughte and an article about  the most precious thing you can lose. Both articles are very touching and they offer brilliant possibilities for pre- reading, while reading and past reading. But the most important thing , what Maria was continuously was claiming, “ Make your studnets think.”

I was impressed I definitely will use these articles in my classroom. I have to change a little bit to fulfill my students need, what means I have to focus more on the vocabulary in the process of while reading. But all in all I am eager to discuss these exciting articles with my students in my classes. What I also learned during the lessons that I will give my classes more time for thinking and everybody should have the chance to speak. Therefore you , as a teacher have to stop the more talkative ones. I my class were some really passionate students which a rich knowledge, but too much talking for some means less talking for the others . By the way , this addres offers you good reading materialfor your lessenes

  Have a try and enjoy.

Festivals & special occassions to general speaking

Festivals & special occasions to general speaking

What do you think, does this festival really exist ?

The wife carrying festival

Men take part in a race. They carry their wives or another man’s wife. It takes place in July. It commemorates a time when men used to attack villages and carry off women. The winner gets the weight of ‘his wife’ in beer.

These and other odd festivals were the main topic in these two lessens , Festivals tell you so much about your country and they are a great chance for intercultural learning. Not only the geographical facts are important, more important are to get to know how people live, what are their values, what are their believes .

In  the morning we discussed cultural topics in the classroom and in the evenig I was allowed to experience cultural values myself. I lived with Peter and Doreen, my host family . Both of them are very British , very traditional. Aged eighty and eighty five , they still host students in a lovely and impressing way. Doreen is a brilliant chef and while we were enjoying her delicious meals we discussed all kind of topics. By the way Doreen and her lovely grandson voted against Brexit and Peter for leaving the EU. He argues that too many unsocial decisions were made during the last years.

It was a pleasure , staying with them. I felt like a real member of the family. I am deeply persuaded that we will be friend forever. No Brexit will change that.

Drama in the classroom

You know. learning means using all your senses . Especiallywhen you use drama in the classroom you wake up all you inspiration and fantasy. You do not think about mistakes you just use the language .

In groups of two:

Count -one- two- three. Count one -two and clap your hands.Clap and say:

You are beautiful .You are inquisitive.You are … any adjectives you like.

This workshop in the afternoon was brilliant after so many lessens of thinking and listening.In the afternoon there was an optional tour of Norich and and Pub Quizz in the evening . I did not know that there are more than three hundret pubs in Norwich and more than fifty churches. . -The most famous ones are Norwich Cathedral and the Catholic Church .The Norwich Cathedral, once build by the Normans in the eleventh century , has the second largest cloisters in England . We had our our afternoon tea at the Cathedral Cloister on our last day.Norwich Castel is also a famous landmark. When I was visiting the castel I was interviewed by a reporter.

He asked me about my opinion pulling down the statue Lord Nelson Statue in London. Next day my answer was published in the local newspaper: “ The Evening NEWS”. My answer was: “ it was a different time with different values and believes. He did something for his country , and Trafalgar Square is well known with the figure there. Sabina Nurnburg 65. I did not know , how difficult it was the write my name correctly . Good to know, that we all make mistakes.

Presentations and Confirmed

The task was using and designing tasks for authentic material from our stay in Norwich in the classroom. Katharina and I worked together in a group. We interviewed our host families and asked them questions about the British School System. We thought, asking three different generation might be a good idea. We used these interviews and wrote statements what our host parents said. Our students had to find out, what did which generation say. We also used two different newspaper articles . As we were taught before, how to create a padlet, Katherina put all our material on the padlet and everybody who wants is invited to use it.All in all, we learned a lot from each other . One of our last exercises was the Back Writing. I also do this in Ethics too, at the end of a session with my studentas. You have to stick a piece of paper on the back of each students and write down what you especially appreciated about someone or something you have learned. Certainly , we did these for our teachers as well.

Thank you for  your - brilliant, sophisticated teaching- your inspiring ideas

your great variety of material which we still can use-for being so kind, polite, patient and natural

Thank you my dear mates in the group. You love teaching, you beliefe in our learners ability to improve and you are so eager to learn yourself. It was a pleasure and and honour to study with you at NILE. We were with friends and no Brexit will change the feeling, that friendship and a desire for good teaching can make the world a better place.

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