Teaching a Descriptive Text

Many English teachers believe that descriptive texts are the easiest type of text to teach. This probably thanks to the simple grammar required in a description. Many others, however, find some it difficult to engage students so that they are highly motivated to create a descriptive text. To them, it is a real challenge to modify such a simple grammar and make students interested. The post below is what I did with my students (semester 4) who during the class hour were very busy.

The objective of the lesson was that students would be able to describe a tourism object so that more visitors would visit to the object. This would be for with both written (printed) media and spoken media. For this, I guided my students to create a simple flyer and a simple presentation about the object.

First, I gave them an authentic fyler of a local tourism object, then we together broke the text down, identifying the text structure as well as the linguistic feature. We discussed also some techniques to attract readers’ interest to the object. This included the types of clauses, types of lexis, and also types of modalization in the texts. Then I had them work in pairs to select one interesting object. I came over to see if they needed a help when preparing the text. One point I also reminded them was the objective of creating the flyer, that was to invite people, especially abroad, to visit the object. I barely had problems of assessing their flyers! They successfully maximized their resources of using their writing skills in creating the flyers.

I then decided to go on with spoken language. Firstly, I showed them two videos about Melbourne I took randomly from YouTube. Again, we analyzed the text structure and the linguistic feature. I saw a great interest in my students’ eyes. When I asked if they could create such a video, most of them shouted, “Yes!” “Why not?”. Then I had them look back to their text for the flyer. We then discussed how to modify them for the purpose of the video. I gave them time to search for the pictures (either videos or still images). Some of them event went to the object to take some pictures! Then I guided them to create the outline, selecting the pictures, and creating the text to accompany the pictures. I again and again reminded them that the objective was to invite more visitors by giving them a clear description. I also had them start with the pictures, then work with the text; not the vice versa. I also let them see me for consultation out of the class hours. Again, I also made them aware that the video would posted to YouTube so that people from around the world will watch the presentation and eventually visit the tourism object. The result? Please watch one of the┬ávideos here.

Please have a look. Your feedback will highly be appreciated.

More videos are available here.

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