One hundred and fiftyfirst åsic- February at its best?

Being a teacher means planning ahead of time and trying to find as interesting topics as possible for one’s students. I try to combine both methods and genres with something that students may find useful for the moment. One such topic that I keep working with every year in January and February is winter.

Cherry Covered in Winter Coat

My adult students may sometimes come from countries near ours, such as the Baltic countries or maybe Germany or the UK, but most of them don’t. Instead they started their lives in a country far away from Sweden, where there is no snow and where the Swedish winter may seem both everlasting, too cold to be outdoors in, dark and difficult to deal with. I try to find texts that are very different. There are lyrics from songs on winter topics, extracts from books, short stories, movies, chunks of news, weather reports as well as newspaper articles of different kinds.

Does it matter what whether it is outdoors to talk about winter? I’d say I have been lucky this year, since the weather has been very varied. I had the opportunity to talk about extremely cold weather and the words connecting to glistering snow, as well as the boring cloudy skies in a slushy morning when the ploughmen have not yet driven by… I have also had the chance to share with my students some of the typical winter songs or words one may need to label typical winter activites.

It doesn’t matter what the weather is like. The more varied it gets, the better for my purpose at school! Using here and now as a resource for teaching makes learning more hands-on for students. Students find their learning meaningful if they can use their new vocabulary already on their way home from school. Who wouldn’t? Learning things that are supposed to be put away for later, tend to be boring very quickly, whereas useful phrases and vocabulary for instant use makes the effort worth while.

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