B1 C1 media and communication shopping and consuming

Adbusters: Raising Remix Literacy Skills

How do we engage students to learn English while using their ‘remix literacy’ skills? By ‘remix literacy’ we mean the ability to take existing content and make something totally new. Memes are an example of this as people write their own text over a famous picture. Try this lesson and students will:

  •  analyse some remixed images
  • discuss the role of advertising in our lives
  • practice ‘wh’ question forms
  • create their own remixed image

Why the focus on remix literacy? This quote sums up the value clearly:

In opening up space for remix in our classrooms, we give students the opportunity to speak out about both major and minor issues that matter to them. The bigger issues might be social, political or environmental (with the last of these representing a relatively safe option in contexts where student social or political activism is risky or unwelcome). Because it entails a reconceptualisation and reworking of its constituent materials, remix presupposes a critical approach. But unlike the more traditional ‘media literacy’ on which it builds, remix goes beyond critique by shifting the emphasis from consumption to production, thereby giving students agency and allowing them to propose their own alternative, sometimes even multiple, viewpoints.

Dudeney, G., Hockly, N. and Pegrum, M. (2013) Digital Literacies. Routledge. pp 11-14

Click here for the lesson.


12 December B1 C1 Christmas reduce, reuse, recycle: cutting down waste shopping and consuming solutions

Fake or Fir this Christmas? #sustainable Christmas tree

I’m delighted to post a lesson by Tabea Heimbach, a teacher in Portugal with a passion for environmental issues.

Over the last years, Christmas has changed from a peaceful holiday to a stressful period involving high consumerism and social pressure. As the end of the year arises it is time to reflect on our good and bad habits considering this period. What do we really need? And in the face of climate change, how can we keep our carbon footprint to the minimum? This lecture focuses on the environmental impact of Christmas trees. Use the materials to find out whether your students have a real or artificial tree, where they got it from and if they are aware of their tree’s carbon footprint. Use your last class before Christmas or the first class in the new year, as an opportunity to discuss alternative solutions that can help them make a better choice in the following year.

With this lesson your students will:
• Find out more about the carbon footprint of Christmas trees
• Practise listening comprehension with a 3-minute video
• Learn vocabulary on the topic of sustainability and Christmas
• Discuss how they could change their habits in this or the following year to reduce their carbon footprint.

Materials: A projector, an internet connection and the slides below.
Level: B1 upwards, young learners and adults.

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11 November Activism adults B1 Buy Nothing Day C1 Dates and Occasions Fashion reduce, reuse, recycle: cutting down waste shopping and consuming

November – Black Friday or #BuyNothingDay?

Black Friday is coming. Did you know that for many people it is international Buy Nothing Day? Why do people choose this? Find out more with this lesson Suitable for classes B1 upwards. Learners will:

  • discuss shopping habits
  • analyse an image about Buy Nothing Day
  • Persuade their friends to have a day without shopping

It contains teacher’s notes, lasts between 45 minutes and an hour and requires these slides, a projector and an internet connection. Expand below for the classroom slides.

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