Studio Classroom is meant for intermediate students of English. Readers need about a 3000-word vocabulary to understand it.
We believe that students learn better and faster when they are learning something they are interested in. For that reason, we put a variety of topics in Studio Classroom. Our magazine format allows us to cover fresh, up-to-date topics that are new and of current interest.
We choose topics that appeal to a wide audience. These topics not only teach English but also encourage students to be better people and learn more about the world. Once the topics are selected, our writers discuss with each other what would be most useful and interesting about the topics.
We avoid using too much slang or informal language in our articles. Students often do not know when or when not to use these expressions. As a result, they could embarrass themselves. We want students to be confident that the English they learn in Studio Classroom is useful and proper in any situation.
Begin by studying the "low" level articles in SC. Before listening, read the Chinese translation in the back of the magazine to understand the topic. Then read the English material. After that, listen to the program and follow the teachers’ discussion. At first, it may be hard to understand everything, but with daily practice, the lessons will become easier to understand.
The best way to use SC in the classroom is by using a discussion format. Create questions based on facts from SC articles. Then present the questions to the whole class or have students answer them in pairs or small groups. For students to express their opinions, create open-ended questions. Such opinion questions are also useful as writing exercises. Discussion questions are available on our Studio Classroom Web site.
Require students to listen to the daily program and read the articles. SC provides a daily opportunity for students to improve their listening skills. They can listen to native speakers discussing different topics in English and be exposed to proper phrasing and inflection.
SC helps students learn to think in English, a vital skill for those wishing to be proficient in the language. Being able to think in English will help students do better on tests and also give them confidence in using their language skills.
Sentence patterns appear in SC articles as they are needed. On the program, our teachers pick out sentence patterns and give more examples of them. As students become more familiar with correct grammatical patterns, these patterns will become natural to them. This helps students to use correct grammar without consciously thinking about the rules.
SC is not meant to replace a traditional textbook or to be better than one. Textbooks perform a necessary function in a school setting. SC is meant to be used as supplementary material. It gives students the natural English they need to understand and discuss many topics, as well as giving them knowledge of the outside world.
In our teachers' training program, we teach many different useful classroom activities and songs. For intermediate students, we have published a conversation textbook, Talking in Class. This book gives ideas of activities for different topics. It could be used as a supplemental text or an idea book for you as the teacher.
We also have CDs of songs for the English classroom, Singing in English Can Be Fun and Life is a Gift. They come with lyrics sheets so you can easily teach songs to your students. These songs have been a great hit in our workshops so far, and we think your students will enjoy them as well.
Most teachers will agree that a motivated student is a student who will learn faster and easier. And students are more motivated to learn when they are interactively involved with language learning. Learning a language is like learning an instrument. We cannot learn an instrument by listening to lectures on how to play. We must try it for ourselves, and then practice, practice, practice.
Begin with a five-minute warm-up activity a few times each week. If you find that your students are enjoying the interaction, use one day each week for conversation practice and do some longer activities.