Some people chase their dreams every day. Others find it hard to do that. They doubt themselves. They worry that they will never be able to make their dreams come true. No matter what category your students fall into, or if they are somewhere in the middle, Make Your Dreams Come True Day on January 13 gives the push they need to make dreams a reality.
People often make the mistake of letting their dreams remain just dreams. Thousands of dreams could, in fact, be fulfilled with a little planning and work, and sometimes just the courage to do something different than you have in the past. That’s what could be discussed in English lessons. Below we have collected some ideas on how to make your students develop speaking skills while talking about dreams. These are just examples of tasks you might use to jazz up your lessons with your Intermediate+ students.
Task 1 — Lead-in
Play the video, make pauses, and ask students to write down ideas on what they think this video is about. The video is quite long for a warm-up so you can increase playback speed up to 2X.
Play the video and make pauses at indicated time 0:33, 1:20, 1:55 (after this pause, let your students share ideas in pairs), 2:09.
Check the open class if students have guessed the topic of the video correctly.
Key: this video is about kiwi’s dream to fly.
Task 2 — Different dreams
Let your students look at the pictures and makeup sentences about other people’s dreams and then define and write down their dreams. In this task, you can check students’ knowledge of Infinitive/Gerund usage or the constructions “I wish …”
Ask your students to make a list of 10 dreams, discuss them in pairs, and then choose the biggest one. Being specific is the first step of getting started on making the dream come true. If students don’t know what they really want, they just have to have a broad goal and then will find a way to narrow it down as you move through the lesson.
For example, let’s say your student has always loved writing and wants to be a real writer. He/she may not know whether they want to write novels, be a journalist, or even be an inspirational blogger, but they may have a better sense of what they want as they move in the right direction.
Your students can go further and write a list of 100 dreams at home. Career coach Caroline Ceniza-Levine had her clients produce something called a “List of 100 Dreams.” This is a completely un-edited list of anything one might want to do, have, or spend more time on in life. Read more about this here.
Task 3 — Getting inspiration
Another way to celebrate this date is by watching one of the many films that will inspire your students to make their dreams come true, for example, ‘The Pursuit of Happyness’. You can watch some episodes, create worksheets, or even conduct a movie club.
You can also show some inspiring TED talks videos on dreams or the ones connected to your students’ dreams, work through inspiring articles, organize a Skype talk to someone who might inspire your students, or make an inspiration board with images and words relating to the dream.
Task 4 — Action Plan
The most important step is to make a project plan and create deadlines to work towards. Let your students take some time on this special day to make a list of things they need to do, calculate how long it will take. For example, your student wants to study in the USA. He/she needs to research universities (in English), find out the requirements, take a trial TOEFL test, etc.
Task 5 — Find a company
As soon as your students are ready with their action plans the fun part starts. Organize a speaking section in a ‘speed-dating’ style. You students will have 5 minutes to talk to a person to describe their dream and present a plan of achieving it. Then they rotate and pair with another person. When all students talk to each other, they need to vote who would accompany who. The winner is that person who gets more people as a company.
We hope that this unofficial holiday will encourage your students to be proactive about achieving what they want in life.
Speaking activities are, obviously, essential for English language speaking classes. A lot of students join classes particularly to develop their communicative competence, become more fluent, versatile, adaptable, and confident communicators in English. However, designing speaking activities might be time-consuming and nerve-wracking for any teacher. We have prepared a memo with superb ready-made speaking tasks that will make your student talking. Download it here.