TEFL and baking – a fine mix! One of the things we like to do for our students, who stay with us for total immersion in the English Language (the best way to learn), is bake our own bread. There’s an idea for a lesson – let’s bake together! The naming of parts: there’s the hardware involved - bowl, mixer, jug, spoons and scales; there’s the environment – work surface, cupboards and drawers; and then there’s the ingredients – flour, yeast, salt, butter and beer (yes, beer!). Just preparing to bake with your student (please feel free to extend this lesson plan to any kitchen based activity!), you’re not only building new vocabulary, but you’re bonding, forming the stronger, trusting, relationship that’s essential for the teaching and learning thing to take place! The mixing of parts: think of all the process words and phrases you use. Think of the instructions, questions, and requests involved: please pass the spoon; can you weigh out 50 grammes; please heat the beer for a minute in the microwave.
All the time talking, acting, and doing – together. The wait for a couple of hours…. The cooking process (followed by enjoying more hot bread!) brings a reward in itself – maybe for a more technical classroom based session whilst the dough was proving.
I have used this successfully with my students – it’s fun, it’s interactive, and it can be applied at any language ability. As a teacher it’ll test your ability – and each step, being practical, can act as a test of a student’s understanding too. Go on, try it! All it takes is 20 minutes of weighing, mixing and kneading.
One kilo of good quality flour; a pint (yes, as a Brit I still mix up my measures, sorry!) of beer, cider or (if you must) water and or milk; 21 grammes of dried yeast; 50 grammes of margarine or butter; and a couple of teaspoons of salt. Mix, beat it about a bit, leave it to rise and then put it in the oven at 230 degrees C for 30 minutes! Enjoy – we do!
Andrew is a qualified TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) teacher, with 15 years experience of the global Automotive Industry as a Sales manager with an International component and systems supplier. For more information about learning English with Andrew at his home in the UK, visit the Lets Talk 2 website.