Finally, after months of checking and tweaking, Workwise English Quizzes is out, and I thought I’d answer some common questions…
Are these like the quizzes in Workwise English Puzzles?
Something like them, with a question and three possible answers – but these are slides illustrated with a photo or graphic. Students get 20 seconds to choose the correct answer, before they hear the countdown timer bell and they see the answer slide.
So a bit of tension…?
That’s right! Here’s an example of a slide…
Got it. How do they work?
The quizzes are saved as mp4 video files on USB, so you play them using your media player, using a large monitor or projecting onto a screen, so everyone in the class can see. Of course you can stop the video if learners want more reading time. Each set of 20 questions takes just over 10 minutes, or you can play them on loop for ‘incidental viewing’. You can try it out – there are two sample Quizzes (plus a ‘How these quizzes work’ video) on YouTube, on thebooknextdoor channel.
Individual or team work?
Up to you. The quizzes can be a lot of fun with teams, but you could also use them when students are drifting into class, to get some discussion and conversation going, or leave them playing while you have your break.
Is that the ‘incidental viewing’ you mentioned?
Partly. Often there are screens in foyers or lunchrooms that could be used for a bit of incidental learning. It’s a bit like leaving ‘English Have a Go’ to play for anyone to watch, but in this case there’s no need to have the audio on, as the timer flashes as well as chiming.
If you think of this as offering a bit of incidental learning, then libraries could play the quizzes on a screen somewhere near the EAL/D area, and workplaces with a high EAL/D workforce might have a spare screen in the canteen or training room.
Who are Workwise English Quizzes for?
Anyone who’s hoping to enter the workforce, or who is already in it. SEE, AMEP, TAFE and Community Centre learners, older EAL/D learners in schools, international learners hoping to find part-time work… and really, even learners who never plan to do paid work will get a lot out of them.
Is the language related to any particular workplace?
No, these are ‘workwise’ quizzes – with a workplace flavour, but not too specific. Any vocabulary is language everyone should know.
Have they been trialled?
Yes, and I should say that while feedback was overwhelmingly positive, learners found some questions tricky. That’s actually what I intended – a third easy, a third creating discussion and a third ‘Wow! Really?’ questions. So ideally there’s always a mix of affirming, reviewing and learning – and different students will know different things, creating a bit of ‘Quiz Night’ excitement.
The one thing that’s missing (or so I’ve been told) is chocolate…
And how would you use them?
Again, your call, but for example:
- You could give each team three cards with A, B and C on them, so they simply have to hold up a card before the 20 seconds is up (or you could have a runner from each team, who has to mark the team’s answer on a large chart).
- For learners who are really slow readers, or whose oracy is better than their literacy, you could appoint a better learner as Quiz Wizard, who can stop the video and read the questions aloud.
- You might offer the quizzes as 10 minutes of time out for a higher level class, or you might follow up any tricky questions and create a spontaneous mini-lesson for learners who are struggling and astonished that they got so many wrong. (They may want to take photos of answers that surprised them.)
- If learners ask for a ‘replay’, to see if they can remember new language, consider another replay in a week’s time, to support retention.
- You could engineer some peer teaching, getting groups or individuals who got an answer right to help those who didn’t.
What about levels?
In this first Workwise English Quizzes there are 10 quizzes (2a to 2j) at Level 2 – that’s pre-intermediate, and 10 (3a to 3j) at level 3, which is intermediate. However there’s a mix of questions at both levels, and I know that teachers have used them with a range of learners.
Where’s level 1?
Watch this space for levels 0 and 1… coming soon.
Are there teacher notes?
Yes, the (very brief) teacher notes and the complete quiz text and answers are on a pdf, also on the USB. So that can be printed as a kind of cheat sheet for you to know what’s coming up next.
Are the quizzes useful outside Australia?
They’re probably most geared to Australia and New Zealand, or to people hoping to work in Australia in the future. However, only maybe one question in twenty is specifically Aussie slang.
(If anyone is interested, I may have to create a non-Aussie version! Let me know.)
How do I get hold of the quizzes?
- You can try these YouTube samples out with your students. There’s also a short ‘How these quizzes work’ video.
- If you like them, you could get your school or organisation to buy the USB with 20 quizzes in a snazzy case, available from your local language bookshop.
- Just want a couple of quizzes? You can buy and download single quizzes though GumRoad.
Thanks for reading this far. I hope you and your students enjoy the quizzes.