Monthly Archives: January 2016

On the run…video installation

In the context of today´s Holocaust Remembrance Day my media education class created this video which was projected onto paper outlines in forms of bodies in order represent experiences families and people are suffering when fleeing from their country. I´m very proud of their creativity and particularly their empathy to arise awareness for such a sensitive topic.

Leave a comment

Filed under Being a language teacher, The World of New Media

The arrival by Shaun Tan

The arrival

A graphic novel that tells the story of an immigrant´s experience in an imaginary world.

Leave a comment

Filed under Book recommendation

How a graphic novel lets students talk..

Migration/Immigration is one of the main topics in our English curriculum in year 12 and it offers manifold options in the EFL classroom to engage students actively and especially to promote speaking skills by means of various forms of discussions.

While looking for discussion scenarios I came across an article published in the FSU English 110 “Migration” ( offering a lesson plan for a speaking activity based on the graphic novel “The Arrival” by Shaun Tan

I chose two extracts from the novel ( each two pages with 8-12 little pictures) and divided the class in two groups preparing a 3-minute-presentation. Since the setting of the novel is imaginary, it can be approached in manifold ways. Students were then asked to form new groups presenting their previous results to their new partners. Finally, they collected reasons for emigration/immigration (push-and-pull-factors).

Graphic novel_The Arrival_push and pull factors

The lesson turned out to be highly active and students responded very positively to this quite different form of presentation. Subsequent tasks are now that some students want to narrate the stories or/and to write speech bubbles for each picture.

Leave a comment

Filed under English as a Foreign Language

Boost your students’ motivation with native speakers’ commentaries… “a Texan in my classroom” 

Increasing oral participation in the EFL classroom is one the toughest challenges we teachers have to face. However, we already know that motivation is one of the key factors to enhance interaction. So we keep looking for material that motivates our students to talk about it and this might take hours of research. 

But sometimes we miss the wood for the trees…Which brings me to the topic of this post. My students and I talked about the American school system and there were so many questions I didn’t have answers to, which was really annoying and unsatisfying. And later  when searching for texts that might have the answers, I was even less satisfied with what I found. Then I thought that only an American could actually tell my students about it, so I asked my good friend from Texas to answer a few questions and send it to me as a video. 

The students’ responses were amazing. Not only were their proud and excited about the fact that he answered their questions, but also did they immediately respond and react to his statements since they had already contemplated about those aspects  when formulating the questions and could then further converse about and discuss them.


Again I was taught by my students that  actually listening to their questions and involving them already in the process of planning the lessons is the best way to meet their needs and interests. And if you have a good friend from Texas, good and authentic material is easily created. 

Leave a comment

Filed under English as a Foreign Language, The World of New Media

Kreuzworträtsel online erstellen 

Eine Alternative zur klassischen Überprüfung des Textverständnisses in Form eines Test ist ein Kreuzworträtsel. Dafür gibt es einige kostenlose Programme online, z.B.

Dieses Programm eignet sich ebenfalls dafür, die Schüler eigene Kreuzworträtsel zu erstellen, da es sehr einfach zu bedienen ist. 

Leave a comment

Filed under The World of New Media