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About the episode
The concept of peer learning is gaining traction and is being talked about more and more in a variety of contexts and disciplines, from academia to corporate training and of course, language learning.
Join us for an enlightening chat as Michael Shannon, Angers-based Trainer and Peer-Learning Facilitator, offers a how-to on creating semi-independent, peer-learning partnerships to strengthen the work they’ve started with you.
We’ll explore the benefits and set-up of this collaborative methodology that fosters learner independence, boosts confidence, and helps instill mutual motivation and accountability on your learners’ language journey.
Michael talks us through his own experience and offers tips on useful tools like Padlet to help you get started with your learners.
Michael Shannon, a former Business English trainer for Business Class, currently teaches English and leads development projects at the Learning Centre at ISTOM Agro-development School in Angers.
[Music] hi welcome to the business class esl break room we’re a company of passionate language trainers and coaches we’re here to share ideas to improve our skills and strengthen the training community come in for some inspiration leave with tips to apply to your sessions today so welcome to the esl break room today we’re talking about peer learning which is a topic that’s gaining a lot of traction in a lot of different disciplines and contexts from academia to corporate training and of course language learning so today we’re here with michael shannon who’s a former business english trainer with us at business class currently teaching in english and leading development projects at the learning center at istam agro-development school in ange algae peer learning is a self-directed collaborative form of education according to david bood of stanford university peer learning is not a single undifferentiated educational strategy but encompasses a broad sweep of activities in which learners of any subject guide each other through targeted activities in order to improve their knowledge collectively so michael’s been experimenting with some aspects of peer learning and he’s here to share some of that experience with us today we’ll learn about what he’s done and ways in which it could be incorporated into professional english language training so give us a taste of peer learning activities online um just to give you a better idea so with that welcome michael we’re really happy to have you here so i’d love to let you explain okay i’m very curious okay well thanks very much for inviting me so i’m pleased to be here yeah uh so to continue a little bit the connection with business class because i spent a few years there very enjoyable years i can honestly say it’s a very good uh agency language agency yeah i consider ourselves lucky to be there so we’re happy to have the family okay so anyway so today we’re here to maybe just talk a bit a bit about peer learning and in fact i started really kind of experimenting with peer learning at business class because i was most of my students in fact muslim students in in in business and companies yeah what they want is they want uh kind of to be able to speak to practice speaking so they have a lot of uh resources on internet for reading or for listening yeah or even for writing emails you’ve got uh tools you know you’ve got the kind of like online tools for translating for writing uh and for years uh i’ve kind of you know i was kind of doing uh training in in company and the problem is it goes really well and people get a chance to speak and then it depends sometimes people have maybe 10 hours some people have 20 hours or if they’re lucky they have 50 hours you know but it’s very rare and the problem is is at the end at the end of a training session you know it’s it’s nothing that they they kind of fall back and they lose the the possibility to speak yeah and i think most training what people want is the possibility to speak and be corrected in a way and you know to have some feedback in fact absolutely so the idea was to kind of like how to kind of address the the problem that issue and one of the ways of addressing the issues through peer learning um so the idea is that uh that you know during the program that uh a student can kind of join with another student yeah can kind of match up as a per with another student and continue practicing maybe for six months or 12 months after uh via a series of uh like speaking activities you know which were kind of activities which are geared towards speaking which would be online which would be accessible yeah and then from time to time they would have the feedback um from a tutor or they would be followed by a tutor or by a trainer in the business case so there is some sense of sense of structure you’re not just sending them off to to chat you’re you’re no it has to be structured i think setting people after chat works maybe you know for one or twice but after they need they need some guidance they need some structure yeah and in fact the activities can structure so they can you know you can set you can set up a series of activities so for example for a course i would recommend 10 activities and just to start off so they would do one activity per week but what i found is that people do people don’t can follow automatically you know one like one new activity each week you know they will do one activity and then maybe the next week they’ll talk about something or something in the exchange or something and then the week after so in fact 10 activities would probably last about 20 weeks hmm because the the it’s it’s there as a resource as a kind of support if they need it yeah but it’s always something it’s not an obligation to kind of follow the activities yeah um so um so that’s the the the idea is that uh there’s no cost involved because the problem with training is it costs you know and companies will give you 20 hours you know in a year or maybe you know maybe if you’re lucky you get 30 hours and also it’s not necessarily individual it could be in a group of four people or or whatever you know so you have less talk time but if you have a per then you have a maximum talk time so the you know 50 50. um so this the idea is the idea is to put it’s kind of like matchmaking is to put two people together yeah and peer learning it’s just it’s simple okay maybe it’s not uh as efficient as having a trainer in front of you yeah but if you don’t have the money to pay a trainer for another 20 hours another 30 hours then uh you know it’s a very good option it’s a very good supplementary option yeah so uh the idea is that you have two people who are more or less a similar level yeah who will can it maybe take half an hour each week just uh either by video call or telephone call and uh just to speak for some speaking practice and to use the activities where necessary yeah and also to maybe to ask for help so that in fact the agency would act as a kind of support and uh you know when necessary yeah but i’ll come to that later yeah the idea of peer learning it’s a bit like for example if you do a sport you don’t always play with the coach you play with people at the same level with you yeah or if you’re a music in a group for example you can advance together with uh amateurs you know playing together people exchanging what they know yeah and then after it’s good if you have a coach who comes in or you have a kind of like a master class musician or something who comes in and gives some guidance so the idea is simply that is that people can uh you know be together and kind of progress together from their own level you know by their own level so it gives them uh time to practice time to speak um and a continuation after after their lessons or their their their courses their training yeah sounds sounds great as well from the point of view of um the intimidation factor maybe if someone is nervous or shy to speak just having one partner could of appear of their level could be much less intimidating than coming to group sounds so obviously uh i mean it won’t work really for very low levels because it would be i think it’s too difficult yeah and also maybe for high levels maybe they don’t really need it yeah they don’t need it and for me what i found is it works kind of best with kind of b1 b2 level yeah so it’s people who already have uh some kind of independence in the language uh who already have a knowledge and they can exchange because uh the two people they’re they’ve learned different ways so they have different types of knowledge so they can also help each other they can share what they know and progress that way fantastic yeah so that’s that’s basically id the idea okay let me i ask have you used this strictly after uh sessions have finished the training course or have you used it as a compliment as well to an ongoing training uh it’s i’ve used it more as a compliment to ongoing training but uh but the people have carried on after so it’s it’s started during the training right people have carried on after yeah great i’m sure there’s some great relationships that have formed as a result as well sometimes yeah well in fact i started a business class uh but i think in business class i i only had uh because it’s just uh an experiment so if i can remember rightly we only had two pairs a business class and then i moved to anger and then i started with students as well students who are going on a residence programs so often they want to prepare for erasmus uh some students who are going to czech republic some students are going to estonia where they were they’ll have a lot of classes in english and also we did uh also with two i call them binoma in french so it’s like through twins or whatever like you know uh between staff between the staff of our school and another school uh they did and they had friendships they had a well they had the um they went for meals together as well towards the end yeah exactly yeah so it’s socially i mean they’re not friends but socially you know it was kind of a nice thing yeah they shared some experience between uh for a year yeah lovely okay that’s a great way to to make learning fun and to make it important um though seems you know the way we acquire language is when it we deem it important to us to know you know personal reason we want to get to know this person or you know this topic it’s much more motivating yeah yeah and the the other thing about the and it really basically the peer learning the activities it’s just uh it’s to give an opportunity to speak yeah because also you have uh on on the internet you’ve got uh some platforms like italki uh but there’s a lot of demand for english and in fact uh for exchanges so quite often it’s maybe not so easy to find uh someone to exchange with yeah and also there’s no set of activities you know you’ve got the option you’ve got the option of uh maybe just exchanging with someone but not having some kind of structured set of activities yeah which i think personally i think is it’s i mean it’s not necessary it depends on the people but it’s very useful to have as a long-term uh kind of for progress yeah i would agree absolutely it gives them and and some people are less imaginative than others and so it’s a very efficient way of saying okay here this is what we’re doing today and let’s just work on that yeah yeah so the uh so come back to the maybe the role of the trainer um so the trainer in fact uh is is that they know their students uh and they know who because it doesn’t suit everybody you know you have to kind of like understand that peer learning doesn’t suit everybody and one of the big traps that are found is it a lot of people are very enthusiastic about it uh at the beginning oh yeah that’s great i’m going to do that yeah but after they kind of realize they don’t have time really it doesn’t strip them yeah so really one of the uh or the that’s so motivated as they might have thought yeah because i think uh quite enough people can jump with the idea but then quickly within a few weeks they’ll think oh no would this take service i have to do this every week you know so they kind of drop off yeah so i thought quite in quite a lot of cases um people people would either stop or with their they would say yes but then not start the the peer learning or they would do one session and then not not another so it’s very quickly at the beginning that it either works it doesn’t work and if it works uh the people who i’ve had there followed for a year so they have they’ve they’ve done it uh and i think maybe the ones in surgery i don’t know they’re still doing it i’ve lost contact with but they they continued uh the to be in contact even after the they did the years they did about 20 activities over a year fantastic they continued to see each other and the exchange uh after um so it depends if people are motivated so that i think uh the trainer uh would would needs to have people who are motivated who really want to learn yeah yeah and also who will consecrate the time uh so you know and it’s not a lot of time in fact it’s a half an hour a week but you have to do if you’re doing the activities uh you know you have to spend maybe 15 minutes uh or 20 minutes before maybe a little bit longer you know to kind of prepare so you’re talking maybe half an hour to an hour uh a week yeah which might seem okay at the beginning but then after you know people the reality of it it’s maybe not so simple yeah we’ve all seen that right learners and with ourselves yeah yeah yeah but one of the the kind of so the the idea is that uh you find people from different companies yeah so the other thing is that people in the same company it’s not necessarily because in a company uh there’s a lot of kind of uh relational issues you know between people yeah it’s it’s it’s better in fact it works better if you uh have people from two different companies yeah okay and it’s kind of an anonymity factor that you you know relationally you’re not attached you’re not in the same there’s no kind of there’s no kind of fallout after if you don’t get on or whatever or there’s something you know there’s no other issues yeah um so the idea is to put two people from different companies together uh and for example we had one from essec one person from essec and one person from a company in uh in the center of paris and they they did the i think they were the first to do the peer learning activities uh over a year uh and every week they they both them were really motivated and i was their trainer as well so as i was their trainer the president essec had individual training and the person in paris was in a group and i kind of and so for me the the thing is is the trainer is in a key position because the trainer can it’s they’re like matchmakers you know they can okay that that person is a big one there and uh the kind of like a similar age or a similar kind of interest to that person in that company as a b1 so the the trainer is also in a kind of privileged position to be able to put people together absolutely that’s fascinating you you didn’t they didn’t know each other beforehand you were the one who said i think you and you would go well together yeah how did they respond when you off offer this opportunity at the beginning well they were they were they were quite motivated but i explained i explained to them you know clearly what was involved you know and they were both but i knew anyway before i knew from their personality that there were people who were going to be serious and we’re going to kind of uh be motivated you know to kind of make an effort yeah for another person so so they they were they and uh both of them really wanted and they needed it for their jokes they were b1 levels and they really needed it uh for their jobs to check well one the one in essex really needed for her job probably more than the one in paris but the one in paris wanted it also for for holidays and for you know to be able to kind of when they’re traveling to be able to you know to be better in speaking english yeah so so so that uh that the the trainer is able to for me the trainer is in position to be able to assess you know uh if a student is motivated serious or that would suit this type of student because for peer learning you need to be motivated yeah because that um i think also you can exchange with other trainers to see uh do you have anybody who’s motivated uh and that and at one point um i think in business class we found because we had somebody from a company who was interested and then we put somebody who was having individual training uh at uh at the business class um but she and she was very enthusiastic she was kind of very extrovert very enthusiastic but finally they didn’t even have a first session yeah really because she was completely this the person who was uh in business class was completely she was very enthusiastic very kind of extrovert you know like talking and that uh but she was completely disorganized and uh yeah and she didn’t and she wasn’t talked through and what i realized on frank and maria is that even with students uh now where i am in angie yeah i really need to choose the students and if i don’t know the students there’s a possibility that it won’t work and the pro the problem here is is that you have one person who’s motivated yeah and it’s it is a problem uh for uh for example business class it’s something that you need to be careful about uh because you have one person in the company who’s been kind of promised this nice package and you know uh and then another person uh who who commits but doesn’t do anything but doesn’t engage so somewhere it looks bad for business class as well you know if if this proposition falls through so so this is something i think which uh uh it’s also a responsibility of uh of of business class to make sure that the person uh the both people are really suited uh for this type of exchange because when they’re suited and when it works it works brilliant yeah yeah there needs to be a level of commitment and maybe a written and something written or agreed to that they won’t let the other person down yeah if i was to do it again in the training i would have i would have a contract i would have a peer learning contract and i would have it a lot more organized because at the time we were doing it it was kind of just you know experimenting with it so it needs to be um i think it really needs to be kind of like formally organized within uh within the agency you know within business class yeah okay and also you also have other issues which i didn’t you have is also uh if companies are in the same sector there’s also issues about confidentiality you know for example these kind of type of things that you need to that you need to be kind of aware of it’s maybe less pressing i think the big the biggest pitfall is people being enthusiastic at the beginning but they’re not engaging not committing and i think this is a kind of what is important is a communication it’s a communication of of the commitment that is involved in a peer exchange because the person who is motivated is really disappointed when it falls through yeah looking forward to it yeah those are excellent points because we are in such a privileged position as trainers to talk with people from all walks of professional lives and we do hear and see a lot and yeah the internal company information that’s very delicate can be and as well so this is this is why it’s it’s better to you know to have people from different companies already because uh within the same company it could present some issues you know right but also you know in different companies uh [Music] it depends if they’re in the similar markets you know or similar they have common clients or whatever yeah yeah and i loved what you said about really laying out this as a structured program with a commitment with a contract so that they see this as another learning engagement not just kind of fun hey add-on yeah i think and the thing is i mean a lot of people and and and trainers as well yeah uh trainers uh are kind of really enthusiastic they want people to to do this because it’s gonna be great so this there could be also enthusiasm from trainers oh yeah i know this person is right but in fact when you look a bit deeper or you need to communicate with the person who’s gone you need to have them need to explain clearly what’s involved the times involved give them time to reflect and then get them to sign some kind of engagement and also get them to sign an engagement where there’s a kind of like a get out option yeah where uh you know after the first session that they did they are that you know the first session can be a kind of trial yeah to make it clear that it’s a trial to see if it search somewhere if it doesn’t suit them so that needs to be clear and if that doesn’t suit them then they need to communicate that and they need to communicate that uh to the person by email or to and to business class by email because sometimes you you have people who just don’t communicate yeah they just decide not to do it yeah yeah they you say okay you send them instructions to contact someone and they don’t contact them and then you contact them a couple of weeks later you haven’t contacted this person yet yeah oh yeah i’m sorry but i don’t have time now uh yeah it’s a great idea but i’m sorry but i don’t have time that’s uh so you there’s a lot of issues at the beginning uh where it needs to be kind of uh the framework uh it needs to be kind of put in place to kind of make sure at the beginning that it kind of starts off okay okay and may i ask then as far as the trainer then how much of a time commitment is it on our part you know how often would you then interject or check or yeah the role of the trainer first of all is the kind of like identifying people or saying you know kind of possible uh uh people or students who would be suitable for this type of kind of or who would kind of like you know work with this type of kind of learning so it’s the first thing is kind of like knowing that it’s available and knowing that the the series of activities yeah and also knowing the different levels that uh they can they can propose this to people who they think uh would it would be so the first the first uh community the first role of the trainer is this is kind of like uh deciding who is suitable or not suitable maybe for this this type of learning uh so once it’s set up then um basically the first three weeks are critical so the first few weeks you need to be in contact by email and only by email you don’t need any other contact yeah you need to be in contact with both the people to first of all to ensure that they contact each other first of all just to ensure that the first activity or the first meeting has been done to get feedback from that first meeting okay and and then for the following uh i would say the first three meetings you know just to make sure they happen and to get feedback yeah once your past three meetings everything’s fine you you just you can you can leave it for three or four months uh and then you you kind of contact the game to see if it’s uh uh if everything is okay yeah but the first the so it doesn’t take a lot of time for the for me for the the the trainer it’s really the first few weeks that they need to kind of like follow it to make sure and then after um they need to just check that it’s happening so they need to send an email i think maybe maybe every couple of months and it depends how long uh you’re you’re doing the training for yeah and then also what is important is at the end so at the end that uh you have a either a video call i think it’s better to have some kind of uh like face-to-face contact rather than by email okay or even telephone just to phone them uh just just the feedback to see how it went what they thought uh and to get some you know uh some feeling about how you know how they progressed or or didn’t or whatever so is there any correcting on our parts at any point at the beginning i set it up with three elements yeah so three elements uh the first element was a preparation for an activity which they had to do alone individual second element this is for each activity the second element was the activity itself which involves speaking for the most part and then the third activity was called the third uh part which was called uh consolidation uh was some kind of form of uh return to the uh in a written form or in an audio form recorded form uh to the trainer and the trainer would give feedback on that for each activity um so the trainer uh and uh i used to remember the name oh yeah kaizen i used a platform called kaizen which uh it’s like it’s basically what like what’s up so they can leave a recorded message saying what they did or a little kind of summary about about what they kind of follow follow-up activity yeah so what i found is that the in in uh you know well in adults about everybody even students as well that there are very few uh people who want to do the consolidation part in fact they don’t have time and when they do it they quite often they do it uh you know like you know in a hurry in about five minutes or something like that before the deadline or whatever like you know so in fact in the whole and i think i’ve had maybe about of uh maybe out of whatever maybe about 20 i mean about 20 pairs i’ve followed about 20 pairs and of all those 20 pers i’ve had just one person who regularly gave me something each week well yeah and the rest would give me something from time to time and also puts the pressure on especially professional working people so i kind of put some unnecessary psychological pressure on their own goddamn consolidation and then one week comes by and then the second consolidation i’ve got three consolidations to do so in fact it’s counterproductive uh in a way i found a consolidation part the kind of obligation to have uh some kind of it is a counterproductive because the really what they want is they just want an opportunity they want some practice speaking they want someone else to communicate with to be able to to say something in english and to listen and to have to exchange to communicate in english and that’s the principal factor so uh for the rest i i i stopped the consolidation part yeah it’s just it’s not necessary it’s good um all right just to say as a trainer listening to this for the first time you might be thinking oh well what’s a program and we need to be involved and but what you’re saying is very validating and very liberating like no they want to speak so let them speak and then they will connect you when they really want correction yeah i mean they they they’ll speak they’ll be aware that they’re making mistakes but uh they kind of self-correct you know and also the fact i mean i mean this is what i say to people if you go to another country i mean i’m sure the same you come to you came to french i don’t know if you learned french before what your level was when you came to france but nobody corrected you yeah you had you have to basically speak make make mistakes you can learn by yourself you get a you you good maybe your classes you go to some classes but outside the classes you have to show up you have to speak you know you have to kind of be understood you have to communicate so the very physical act uh of uh of speaking uh helps you progress absolutely yeah and you you don’t need to be it’s a bit like a musician playing with uh like uh you know if you’re playing in a group you progress together or you know you’re playing some kind of sport then you progress together with other people the same level as you yeah yeah okay well it sounds really interesting i’d love to see a little example of what this might look like i know you’ve prepared something well i think the first the first activities that we did in business class it was they were basically just in a google uh it would it was just uh what do you call that a google sheet a shared document yeah a short document that’s it yeah i did i think i did about 20 activities out in shared documents and uh basically sent them the link to the document each week yeah that was the first one uh so the first one in fact involved that was that was also that the first one involved sending people a link each week so i didn’t send him the whole program at the beginning so so the the first there was that aspect that i sent him but it’s not necessary yeah yeah yeah um and then the second which is easy to do and which anybody can do and if you don’t know padlet i recommend you get a padlet account and you use it because you’ve been tell us for those who are listening i’ve never heard of it what is padlet ah peta is brilliant and you can uh um i’ll show you it now in fact so i’ll show you the screen maybe and show you the pilot but you can use it for different this is just one example but you can use it for different different uses okay um can you see that yes it’s very cheerful right so this is a padlet uh free account you can make two padlets like this after i think uh for me i pay but it’s not i think it’s maybe something like 30 euros a year or something like that yeah and then you can make as many padlets as you want yeah and pilots are just they’re just sheets like this where you go you just you can get it’s like post-its you could just put post activities you can put post pictures videos um and uh well i won’t go into it but you can do a lot of things uh and you can just send the you send the link uh of this uh and it’s just like a it’s like an internet page or whatever you just see the link and the person can just go onto the link and they can it depends on if you allow them to edit or just to read for example this padlet it’s a serious activity so it’s just for people to read and to do the activities and then each week so they just rather than sending what i did in the beginning was to send one google doc each week so what i would do it would start off with the blank padlet with just maybe the tutor pad introduction the introduction you just was tell them a little about the you know what’s expected of them so you can see here i still had the consolidation parts yeah but i’ve since abandoned the consolidation part so there’s just basically the first two parts yeah okay and so each week i would just add an activity okay so each week i would uh and so they they just have the they have the one link and then each week they have a new activity which appears okay yeah um but you can do a lot of different things with projects but that’s uh one example so for example uh for here uh so the first activity is just kind of basically a presentation um so you’re going to interview your partner about your life so you just uh so here i put uh so that in fact this one i did uh yeah so here was just some examples of questions if they had some [Music] if they wanted some ideas about what questions they could ask um yeah that have a different you know the past and the prison so they were gonna great questions um so it’s just uh you know if they want or maybe they you know so i hear it was just to kind of like uh think about you know think about questions so make sure you’re in a quiet space have a pen and a paper to make some notes interview your partner so basically this is quite simple in instruction so they just that’s their first activity and it’s kind of steady the same it’s kind of well it’s evolved the format but it’s kind of stayed the same okay um and then the second activity the first three the first two activities here the second activity was getting to know you so it was again more questions but a little bit different questions you know uh yeah on here i’ve got you just put a i’ve got a video on youtube i don’t know if you have the sound a little bit it’s a bit muffled but i could get the idea um well i’ll stop this screenshot and come back out again i’ll put uh okay i asked that question to you right now but also to our audience on twitter on facebook and they sent in their responses and so we’re going to talk about that but i decided why don’t we actually test if you wanted to find out as much as you can about somebody in the most limited period of time what question would you ask them i asked that question to you right now but also to our audience on twitter on facebook and they sent in their responses and so we’re going to talk about that but i decided why don’t we actually test it out and so i’m gonna use the questions you would ask to find out about people okay so i just kind of pasted in a video from youtube and then again wrote some kind of ideas uh so the first preparation and then the middle part of the exchange so ask the questions and then consolidation fantastic okay and the padlets are really easy to use or and you can just kind of stick things on like that ideas and then the next was more talking about the uh so here it was a short biography about uh and did i have that okay yeah so they have an a b so this is some per work so they have a short uh um extract about angela davidson or davis it’s not the business so you need to check your links to make sure that you and here are for example i pasted in super work so i saw the person who had text student and also you say to people at the beginning uh you know you’re student a and you’re student b so you will have some prayer work not every week but some yeah and here they have two different texts and they have some differences in the text and they have to to go through the text ask questions uh to find the differences in the text but this text was a bit long for that activity in fact yeah so one of the the feedback was it it was it was a good a good idea but but it was just too long and in fact since i’ve kind of shortened the i’ve shortened this this exercise so this is just a basic part work which i think a lot of trainers would probably be familiar with anyway yeah yeah and you can so one thing you can do is you can just take you can do i don’t know a scan of a uh of a per work activity you know you’ve got photocopyable for a copy of photocopyable um uh per work activities you could do that or if you know a different prior work activity you could make up a part work activity you can you can put those in as well which are quite good and people like that just to vary uh the activity so and different activities and the ideas uh also have a kind of variation yeah uh one of the things would work well as well as it uh i don’t think it’s here in this one so here i put a tutor session in after the after the third which was basically uh to join uh and here i joined the two people mm-hmm for their session uh just for part of the session not for all of the session okay but it’s not necessary because i did a lot of things at the beginning uh and in fact it’s not necessary in fact okay know you just get in the way yeah yeah okay and in fact for this for the first activity uh a lot of uh when i talk about students um and also the people normally i recommended half an hour for an activity and for this activity people spent between one and two hours on a daily telephone or on the screen in their first uh and uh it’s rare that they do this the you know the first activity that they’ll spend about at least an hour even if they’re not very good level because it’s fresh it’s new and then after it kind of continues a kind of normal level okay so that’s uh yeah that was the so it was a google doc and then the padlet and the padlet i can anybody can make a free account padlet and use it it’s very easy to use you have a lot of tutorials on on youtube and i would recommend because you can use it for different purposes but that’s another story yeah for that but padlet is great if you’re not um watching on screen with us it’s very colorful so much more appealing than a google doc it’s it’s really attractive so it does kind of make you want to stick around and look at the activities you don’t have this is this not sure you’re not recording this it is recording but it will it’ll be published as well as a podcast audio so people have the option of watching um so after i made something which is a bit more reasonable so this is this was made for the scrutinology um so this is for basically erasmus story erasmus uh people but also uh there were um four people from the staff who used this program for a year uh and they they really liked it and they wanted more but i don’t have really time to kind of make up more activities um so basically this is uh this is the first activity of a b1 so maybe i’ll i’ll go back to horses this is a private internal platform is that which yeah yeah yeah so this is i made this up for the screw so it’s in it’s just for the school so for example you’ve got b2 so we called the jewel learn project and uh so here uh we put in uh 12 activities but in fact i think i’ll take the last two off i think for me 10 is enough for one one course and then you can give them a break and then if you if you have made another string of activities they can do another stream of activities but maybe with a different person you know because you you also the idea is also possibly to have a you know a kind of community where you could work with different people um right so for example the first so they the first is a bit it’s the same type of thing they’ve got some ideas for questions you know they can ask okay different questions parents and also it’s not this is uh for students so it’s not really business context so they’re talking about their background their neighborhood you may want to you would kind of adapt this for a business right sitting um okay uh and people like this they spend the for this uh minimum one hour you know two people together there’ll be one hour and most the students have spent uh between one and two hours activity that’s a good one and then and in fact the first three activities are more or less the same but they’re just talking about different aspects of their life you know good some you know tell me about a favorite one of your favorite songs so it’s still in the same vein it’s just looking at different uh aspects and then the last one uh i’ve kept this video again i think if you wanted to find out as much as you can about somebody in the most limited period of time what question would you ask them and he’s really fast so i think i think for b2 levels that’s it’s not too bad and they can also uh they’re good subtitles if they want yeah i asked that question to you right now but also to our audience on twitter and facebook and they sent in their responses and so we’re going to talk about that you know i’d be surprised uh for b2 levels i think these there’s a lot of people because they’re exposed to internet they’re good kind of quite good listening skills but there it is a bit fast but it’s good and i’m saying that’s a good challenge and um yeah they are exposed with netflix i find people are much more um involved in listening than they were a few years back yeah and also you’re good offer another link to uh if they want they want some ideas for questions you’ve got a link to an internet site where they’ve got 100 questions yeah that’s great um uh so that’s uh and then in this this one you’ve got the progress so as a as a trainer i can go in and i can see uh you know where they are in the you know if they progressed and also i i get notifications uh and things like that if they’ve done okay and that is what you’ve set up on your duo learn but in yeah but most of most of us could be that’s completely independent right yeah and that’s it yeah so that but that’s something that even business class could set up for that’s not it’s not difficult it’s just a kind of uh learning management system you know where it’s not so difficult to set up yeah okay i see that’s a wordpress based system yeah impressed i’m sure there are templates yeah well fantastic it seems like i think uh yeah maybe give me some ideas but uh i think definitely padlet and uh if you know you if you want to kind of do it on a small scale uh then you can uh you can do it with a padlet you know even as a as a trainer you know absolutely something we can set up ourselves or even s padlet is useful in setting up our regular consolidation work that we have into our training sessions anyway but um it’s a great resource yeah it really makes things easier maybe the the last thing is that i’ve never haven’t really explored this is it also you could set up some activities but you could also do some kind of like one-off things so we did a one-off uh thing i think was there was two companies from business class where the resource uh manager basically i did a company visited a visit with both of them so i was both of these people’s teachers and it’s the drh manager from one company and a drh manager from another company at sergi they weren’t so far up who basically uh agreed to visit each other’s factory and speak english welcome them in english and then visit the factory in english really and you you saw your facility yeah and also because they’re you know the the both the factories are were like uh you know i mean driving i think or maybe not even 10 minutes away fantastic it’s something that they wouldn’t normally have done they wouldn’t have access but you because you’re you’ve got access to both companies and you’re good it’s easy to set up so you could do that uh you could do that with company visits you could say okay yeah maybe you might be interested in visiting another company but then you have to organize it with the company because they need time out and this type of thing you know so it depends and the other thing is uh maybe also practicing presentations or preparation for phone calls or something like that you know uh it can be done on zoom with another another student or a group of other students who’ll give their feedback from different companies so that’s another possibility oh that’s a fantastic idea this makes me think of mastermind groups kind of um the collective conscious is better than one and and people together on a task based not just speaking english but working on presentations that could be super valuable for a lot of a lot of our learners that’s a that’s the that could be uh also kind of project for for business class to set up that kind of uh peer learning community in a way you know where people are available or make themselves sell themselves available to kind of listen to someone making a presentation yeah and it gives the person giving the presentation uh the opportunity to practice in a real situation yeah uh even if they’re making mistakes and and even if the people who are listening or maybe not in capacity to give 100 feedback they can give some feedback you know and maybe not 100 in terms of the language but they can give maybe some feedback in terms of delivery or whatever like you know of course we’re all professionals and they’re all working in french they know in general you know what are what’s good and not great about a presentation and that makes you think of um you must know of toastmasters the no toastmasters no i’m not sorry oh the public speaking um group it’s it’s very old it’s a club basically and it’s started in the states but basically it’s bringing people together to practice public speaking and it’s very established now and and you’ll find it gluten through in paris but it it can do wonders i’ve seen it do wonders for people’s confidence skill level presence everything so it and this is it it’s pure learning in action actually is what it is so yeah thank you i love that those sort of three ideas being the padlet and something very structured with you or a one-off company visit or something targeted to appreciate i think i think one-offs are definitely kind of a lot more kind of doable you know like a field trip more likely there’s less commitment you know there’s less commitments to a one-off you know if you’re if you’re if you’ve done a series of activities then you have to commit basically you have to organize your time right right well michael this has been super interesting and really inspiring i think those are great ideas for all of us to consider other ways and offerings we can offer our learners so it really good time i think it was a pleasure for me as well to come and share a little bit of what i’ve done well it’s fantastic work and i hope that it continues to bear fruit for you and i’m sure will give us all one one last possibility that i i just uh didn’t think of because also we’re doing uh some work with uh with the school with uh some universities in other countries and uh for example the peer learning here it’s in french so the basically they’re french speakers but one idea for business class could be to find a partner in another country in the czech republic or in germany on denmark or sweden uh or somewhere and then you could have some exchange between people with different languages and then they would have they would have to speak english basically yeah okay so it could be interesting to find a partner they’re gonna maybe set up a little kind of platform kind of exchange so how how does it work where you do it those are other people learning english it’s the same that i i i enrolled them into what we just looked at the kind of series uh and it’s known as people who are going on erasmus programs or who you know who are preparing you know for kind of erasmus programs yeah okay and they basically just uh uh there are it was by skype yeah right they just uh do the same thing because it doesn’t matter i mean it’s telephone or skype it doesn’t matter if you’re in france or you’re in estonia or you’re in the czech republic yeah right fantastic oh these are all excellent ideas and yeah it kind of opened my mind to thinking in new ways how to approach helping people learn so thank you okay thank you very much thanks for your time all right take good care i’ll see you again all right thanks for joining us in the business class esl break room a podcast designed to bring business english trainers useful ideas inspiration and conversation that motivates follow us on instagram at business underscore class underscored language and subscribe to the esl break room playlist on spotify deezer or apple music for new episodes see you next time bye