Workwise English Quizzes: mp4 videos on USB

The latest ‘ESL Extras’ product isn’t a book – it’s Workwise English Quizzes. This is a set of 20 short quizzes – created as Keynote slideshows, then saved as mp4 videos. The questions all have a ‘workwise’ context, though they’re also ‘useful English’ for any new arrival.

To give students enough reading and discussion time, there’s a 20 second countdown timer for each question. (Of course you could stop the video to allow longer discussion, if you wished.)

At first I thought of making 50-question quizzes, but my teaching friends quickly let me know that this would be way too long. Now each quiz has 20 questions and plays for 10 minutes. This could be enough time for a quick break between activities, or a 9.00 am ‘warmer’. 

Feedback has been positive: ‘With the picture, I can know the word – very good,’ and ‘It make me enthusiastic – I want to catch the answer correct.’

Where the quiz idea came from

Three things came together here:

1. I was sitting in my doctor’s waiting room aimlessly gazing at the TV screen on the wall – a mix of adverts and medical quiz questions. Then I started getting interested; could I answer the question on diabetes before the 10 second timer went off? 

2. I’d also wondered about using competitive online quizzes with learners. However, I knew that for many of the students I encounter, their reading speed (and sometimes, lack of smartphone) made this something to work towards, not to do just yet. 

3. Finally, I’d had great feedback on the Quick Quizzes in Workwise English Puzzles and Extra Easy Puzzles. Teachers had used them for end of week or end of term competitions, and students had found them fun.

These three things swirled around in my head and made me think how good it would be to have English language quizzes that could be played on a screen in a foyer, a library, or a lunchroom OR be used in class. (Of course, this is not quite original. Teachers have been creating their own slideshow quizzes since we first encountered PowerPoint, but who has time these days?)

Mixed levels of difficulty 

Some questions are tricky, especially for learners who aren’t familiar with informal English, phrasal verbs, and Aussie expressions. (As well as these, there are grammar and vocabulary questions, set in a workplace context.)

My aim was that about a third of the questions should be easy (everyone gets them right), a third should be more challenging (lots of discussion here!) and a third are going to provide a learning opportunity. So there’s a mix of review and learning happening. (Many of the trialling students took photos of the slides or asked for the quiz to be repeated.)

Try out the sample quizzes

If you’d like to try for yourself, and see if I’ve got the mix right, there’s are sample Workwise Quizzes now on thebooknextdoor YouTube channel. Level 2 is Pre-intermediate and Level 3 is Intermediate.  There’s also a ‘How to use these quizzes’ video for teachers.

The full set is available on USB (in a nice case) from language bookshops and library suppliers, or you can buy the quizzes for download from my Payhip Store.

I hope your learners enjoy them!