Published 5th March 2019
Homework isn’t fun for anyone. It’s not fun for the students who need to do the actual homework assigned to them, and it’s not fun for the teachers who not only have to set it, but also find the time to mark the homework assignments and give the students feedback. That said, homework is an important part of the learning process.
With students spending more time outside of our classrooms than in them, it’s important to consolidate their learning so that they can apply their newfound knowledge of English into their day-to-day lives.
It’s a useful and important activity that everyone can benefit from, so here are three tips for taking homework assignments from drab and boring to an activity your students will enjoy completing.
Three Tips for setting homework assignments
1. Turn homework on its head
Instead of teaching your students a section in their coursebooks and presenting it to them, rather let them go home and read about it as homework. When they come to the next class, you can compare each of their individual understandings of the unit and be on-hand to smooth out any problems or answer any questions. By turning it into a class discussion it highlights any comprehension issues and engages the class, turning them from an audience into active participants.
2. Give them the answers
It may sound counter-intuitive but when assigning homework, such as vocabulary exercises, give the students the answers to the questions. This gives them a bit more power outside of the classroom to check themselves and it means they won’t have to wait until the next lesson to mark the answers and learn from their mistakes. It also frees up more time for you in the classroom to get down to the important business of teaching, instead of spending half the lesson going through the answers.
3. Introduce some fun
Not all homework has to be boring assignments with questions and answers. You can introduce some fun into your homework assignments by assigning your students to watch a movie. Say, for example, you will be discussing countries and animals in your next lesson, assign them the task of watching The Jungle Book so that you have something to discuss in the next lesson. Most people enjoy watching movies and bringing a topic to life with a fun homework assignment gives students more confidence to speak up in class, rather than passively listening to a lesson.
While not all teachers are as skilled at setting homework assignments as others, these three tips should help you transform any homework assignment into an enjoyable activity that your students can benefit from. Give it a go and you may just find your students requesting more homework from you.