Sparking Curiosity: Understanding the Real World

The Situation

You want your students to be curious about the world.

The Solution

The wonders of teaching English is that it isn’t just about reading and writing and speaking. English is about communication and opening up an independent thinkers to a whole new world. It is vital that students are curious about the world and question why the world is the way it is.

For this reason, I started working a ‘changing gears’ aspect to my lessons. For a 5 minute period, I would pose a question to the students about a topic that was unrelated to their learning. For example, how does How does facial recognition work?. Students will then independently research the question and develop their own understanding of the topic. We will share as a class, sometimes through a cooperative activity, and develop an overall interpretation.

Other questions that I have posed include:

  • How do touchscreens work?
  • How does an electric guitar create sound?
  • What is the oldest language in the world?
  • What is the oldest country in the world?
  • What is the oldest city in the world?

You might extend the task and accommodate your question with a video as a hook to the task. This will, hopefully, get reluctant Lerners onboard with what you are looking at.

The overall goal here is create curious learners. Students who are curious about how the world work and who then want to pose more questions and dig deeper themselves. You will absolutely learn something yourself and it will super developing some fantastic relationships with your students.

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