Conversation Class Lesson Summary
Language and Section: Russian Advanced
Class theme/topics discussed: The way of life in a communal flat (kommunalka)
Goal of the class:
– To learn new cultural information (to become familiar with the way of life in a communal flat) and to learn new vocabulary
– To practice listening, reading, speaking
Structure of the class (unless you attach your lesson plan below):
– Watching a music video clip of the Russian song ‘Communal flat’ (‘Eta kommunalnaya kvartira’): students are asked to watch it really carefully so they could identify the details of the communal life style and its possible problems;
– Students get the handouts with the song’s lyrics, which contain blank spots: students need to remember/guess the missing words and write them down;
– Listening to the song for the second time in order to help the students to write down more missing words (those they didn’t get from the first listening);
– Checking the answers with the whole class;
– Discussion: students tell what they noticed about the communal way of life and its advantages and disadvantages (they also come up with possible solutions to the most common problems). While they are doing that, the teacher writes the necessary vocabulary on the whiteboard (such words as schetchik and so on);
– The teacher tells some cultural information about the communal flats (or, just like me shares his/her experience about living in a communal flat if he/she used to);
– Students get the handouts with a fact about communal flats written on them (it contains difficult numbers): they are asked to read a piece of it;
– Role-play: students get their roles (babushka, studentka, molodaya sem’ya s rebenkom etc), they have to pretend that they are neighbors in a communal flat. They start the conversation with ‘complaining’ about some problems and they have to reach some kind of a compromise (for example, imagine the rules that would make their life easier in this flat).
What technology, media or props did you use? (satellite tv, internet resources, playmobiles, etc.)
– Handouts with the lyrics
– Handouts with a sentence containing difficult numbers
What worked well in this class? What did not work?
Students enjoyed watching the video and they really liked the song. They noticed quite many things about this special life style and they managed to identify quite many possible problems. They also enjoyed the stories I told from my experience. The students were very good in reading numbers as well. And we all had fun during the role-play.
How could this class be improved/ modified?
Everything worked well so I wouldn’t change anything.