How to challenge yourself

Challenge considered

This was a lesson plan in the form of a presentation I put together for the weekly 90-minute English Speaking Club at IH Sevastopol. The notes for the plan are visible when you download the presentation (in the notes pane, normally found under the slides):

Here is the SMART goals jigsaw reading (jigsaw reading is where you divide a text into sections. Student A reads part A, B reads part B, C reads C and so on. They don’t see the other parts. They then work together, with or without the text, to build the meaning of the whole by sharing information from their own parts.):

There are also tapescripts to accompany the two videos, which could be mined for language if you choose (that wasn’t the purpose of this club):

It was the first topic for the speaking club for 2014, and hopefully we’ll revisit the goals the students set for themselves later in the year. Unfortunately I was ill, but my colleague taught it and said it went well. Let me know what you think!

7 thoughts on “How to challenge yourself

  1. Wow Sandy. You could have been speaking directly to me in this post. I’m working on fairly hefty writing project and have been thinking about my SMART goals. Your post is a reminder that I’m on the right track.

    It’s also a post that I would like to share with the teacher-trainees in my program. Each semester we discuss SMART goals in relation to language learning and each semester I try to think about how to change the framing of it. Beginning with the concept of challenges is a great way to empathize with them before they dive in and create their goals.

    I’m curious to know if you connect this to any form of self-assessment? I’ve been doing this in tandem with asking the teachers to identify their ability on the Common European Framework self-assessmet chart. I think it gives them something to aim for when they create their goals.

    From my computer, I don’t see the jigsaw reading for the SMART goals. I see two slideshare files of your powerpoint. Is it the same on your end? I’d love to see the reading.

    As always, thanks for the inspiration! And happy new year!


    1. Happy New Year!
      Thanks a lot for the comment Josette. I put together the lesson for a one-off Speaking Club, which is a kind of conversation club with different students every week, so there isn’t any form of self-assessment. The levels vary a lot in the group, so I think the CEF would be too overwhelming for them. I’d love to see how you add that in there though.
      Thanks for pointing out the duplicate presentation. I’ve fixed it now.


      1. Thanks for adding the new slides! Once the semester starts and I get to the goal setting stage, I’ll let you know how your slides and handouts go over. All the best!


  2. I taught this lesson and was really impressed with the things I discovered. I’ve used the techniques to cut down on almost all internet use as well as help prepare for a marathon. The students also began to start their own projects and some follow-up would be nice to see how they’ve been getting on.


  3. I was searching for additional ideas on “how to challenge yourself” and ended up here. Thanks for posting your presentation, as it gave me some additional concepts to consider as I write an article about deconstructing the idea of challenging oneself, particularly as one travels and goes abroad.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.