Widgets Inc.: Teach Outside the Box
Watch the British Council ELTons Livestreamed from London!
[2019 06/05] On Monday, June 10th (UK time), the live British Council ELTon Awards will be broadcast. Many excellent ELT books and resources are nominated for the various categories, including Widgets. Our category is Course Innovation, and we are up against four other titles, including our Japan task-based friends, Justin Harris and Paul Leeming, with their excellent series from Abax, On Task.
If you want to watch this exciting event, go to this link, or click on the ELTons image to the right.
Here is a link to check what time the live broadcast will occur in your time zone. Best of luck to all finalists!
Certificate of Completion
[2019 05/25] At the end of the Widgets course, some teachers like to print out a certificate of completion for their students. It's a nice way to recognize all of the hard work that they have done over the semester. If you would like to give it a try, download the PDF Certificate of Completion file from the "User Contributions" page of the wiki. Thank you to Marc Helgesen for suggesting this excellent idea.
If you have an idea or technique for using Widgets that could benefit other teachers, let us know by email, or simply add it to the User Contributions page yourself. This is a wiki, after all!
Widgets Inc. a finalist for the 2019 British Council ELTons!
[2019 04/05]We are absolutely thrilled to announce that Widgets Inc. is a finalist for the 2019 British Council ELTon Award for Course Innovation! The ELTons are the very top international award in ELT publishing, sometimes referred to as "the Academy Awards of ELT"–and if so, Course Innovation is like the Best Picture category!
Winners will be announced and livecast at a celebrity-filled ceremony in London on June 10th. Watch this space for more updates!
ABOUT WIDGETS INC.
Widgets Inc. is a business themed English communication course using a task-based approach to language learning. It is designed for classes of 12 to 40 young adult or older students who are placed into teams and must complete a series of connected projects.
Students simulate being interns at a startup company called Widgets Inc., where they brainstorm product ideas, pitch their ideas, perform market research, design ad campaigns, participate in a job interview, and more.
Widgets Inc.: A task-based course in workplace English (120 pp., A4 paperback) is available from the following distributors: englishbooks.jp . It is published by Atama-ii Books (2018) and was written by Marcos Benevides and Chris Valvona. ISBN: 9781941140000
Widgets is great for mixed-ability classes from pre-intermediate to high-intermediate.
- CEFR B1 and above: students are engaged and challenged at their own level of achievement even while working together in mixed-level teams. Task situations provide useful language and excellent incidental practice for TOEIC speaking and writing components.
- Integrated skill development: students develop fluency and confidence in speaking, listening, reading, and writing via discussions, presentations, self and team evaluations, report writing, viewing video instructions, and many more highly-contextualized tasks.
- Meaningful assessment: students are assessed primarily by task outcome in accordance with Communicative Language Teaching and TBLT principles; a secondary focus on the use of language forms is also possible.
Widgets is arranged by task complexity, not language complexity.
The course starts with easy tasks, and quickly builds to more complex projects. This puts the focus and the challenge of the course on the practical use of English, rather than on passing language tests. It also encourages students to develop fluency and confidence in using English in ‘real world’ situations.
The Widgets project sequence, in order of increasing task complexity:
- Stage 1 Interns join the company orientation
- Stage 2 Teams prepare and pitch new product proposals
- Stage 3 Teams discuss and evaluate new product proposals
- Stage 4 Teams perform market research on the selected product
- Stage 5 Teams plan and present a multimedia advertising campaign
- Stage 6 Interns prepare a resume and cover letter, and interview for a job