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  • Writer's pictureRachel Vassanthan

Beyond the Pen: Exploring Non-Written English Learning Activities

At Astor International School, language is a multi-faceted journey that goes beyond the traditional realm of the written word. Although writing plays an important role in improving English skills, participating in non-writing activities can be just as enriching and enjoyable. This article overviews some of the activities that Astor has introduced to bring excitement to the process of learning English.


Beyond the Pen: Exploring Non-Written English Learning Activities at Astor International School

Listening and Speaking Activities


The basis of effective communication is listening and speaking. At Astor, we have discussions and presentations in all subjects, where students get to be teachers in the classroom. This can be in the form of a group project or individual work. Auditory learners benefit significantly from this. Listening carefully not only improves comprehension but also pronunciation. Additionally, participating in discussions enhances the ability to express thoughts coherently and promotes conversational fluency in English.


Interactive Language Apps 


In the digital age, language learning apps have revolutionized the way we approach education. Interactive platforms such as Duolingo offer playful experiences that combine elements of listening, speaking, and reading. Astor has students who do Duolingo daily to improve their language skills. These apps are tailored to different learning styles and provide instant feedback, making the process effective and engaging. Users can explore themed lessons, quizzes, and challenges that cover a wide range of language skills.


Beyond the Pen: Exploring Non-Written English Learning Activities at Astor International School

Storytelling and Drama Workshop 


Participation in storytelling and drama activities allows individuals to embody language beyond the written word. Participating in story-re-enactment workshops or creating stories increases creativity and expressiveness. Astor has had field trips to drama workshops to enhance interest in language and writing. These activities not only improve vocabulary but also increase confidence in using English in real-life situations. Drama exercises such as improvisation and role-playing provide a dynamic and immersive approach to language learning.


Media Consumption 


Movies, television shows and documentaries provide a rich array of language usage. By viewing English content, learners can become familiar with many new elements of vocabulary. Students at Astor use videos such as ‘Doctor Binocs’ videos for IPC lessons to enhance their understanding of certain topics. It grabs their attention and teaches concepts interestingly. Additionally, post-viewing discussions and reviews deepen understanding. Media consumption serves as an entertaining and informative way to absorb language in a context that reflects real-world conversations.


Beyond the Pen: Exploring Non-Written English Learning Activities at Astor International School

Video projects


Why not turn writing into videos? Students at Astor have turned their personal recount writings into documentary-style videos, and have done video explanations when they were learning explanation writing. Students usually show more interest in these activities, as they get to do much more than open a book and hold a pen. They also get to share their output with families and friends. 


Exploring Cooking and Recipes 


Exploring English through the lens of cooking combines language learning with a hands-on, sensory experience. Following English recipes is not only an introduction to cooking terminology, but also an opportunity to learn imperative verbs, measurements, and descriptive adjectives. Students at Astor explore recipes and have hands-on cooking lessons during the procedure-writing genre. Students learn the format of writing this with time transition words and other key text features. 


Beyond the Pen: Exploring Non-Written English Learning Activities at Astor International School

Music and Song lyrics


Music can overcome language barriers and serve as an effective tool for language acquisition. By listening to English songs, learners can become familiar with a variety of vocabulary, idioms, and cultural references. Song lyrics are analysed during the poetry writing genre, for meaning and are a great source for learning colloquial expressions. Singing together improves pronunciation and rhythm, making it a fun and effective non-written activity for language development.


While writing is undeniably a crucial aspect of language mastery, embracing non-writing activities adds a dynamic and holistic dimension to the learning process. Incorporating these activities into the language-learning routine not only enhances proficiency but also makes the journey more enjoyable and immersive.


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