Can my body language affect my mood?

Can my body language affect my mood? Your body language may not only affect how people perceive you, but it may also have an impact on your brain chemistry. Watch Amy Cuddy’s famous TED talk (I suggest you break it down into smaller parts and do short Tell Backs) to find out just how profound the way we carry ourselves changes our outlook.

Teachers note: 

Cuddy speaks fast, but the vocabulary is relatively repetitive and she uses a lot of non-visuals. I would encourage you to preface this video with a bit about the Whole Language Approach. Tell them that they don’t have to understand everything. Review some of the meta-tools they have to achieve comprehension: non-verbal language, guessing from context. It may be frustrating for adults not to understand everything, but I feel it is important to expose them to first language material to prepare them for real life conversations with native speakers. Thus the more they get used to (by that I mean get used to not understanding everything) quick talking native speakers the more they will likely take their English out and use it.

Also you can add subtitles and slow the video down a bit with these features:

Pre discussion

  • Some vocabulary:
    • posture
    • body language
    • non verbal behaviour
    • power dynamics
    • power and dominance
    • assertive
    • optimistic
    • hormone
    • fake it t’ill you make it
  • What kind of body language makes a good impression? 
  • How important do you think body language is in communication

*You could cut the video at about 14:00 where Cuddy describes the study that supports her findings. Unless you find that interesting (which it is) it might be a little detached from the general point.

The Video: TED Amy Cudy Your body language may shape who you are

 

What is the most important element that Cuddy is highlighting?

Why is it important to be “body aware”?

What will happen if you change your body language the way Cuddy suggests?

What can you conclude about the impacts of posture on our outlook on life?

For more on this topic see Body Language Mistakes

 

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What do you worry…? Preposition Practice

Prepositions can be a bit nebulous to second language learners. Yet they do a lot of heavy lifting when it comes to meaning. So in many cases, it’s important to get it right. Here is a very short activity that requires the participants to complete the questions with the correct preposition. BUT after the exercise is complete, you can use the questions for a general discussion…double whammy.

Also, if as a teacher you need to get your head around explaining prepositions, this Khan academy presentation breaks it down a little. This is not material I would use with a student, but I thought it was interesting to freshen up my grammar knowledge and get a bit of the method behind the preposition madness. So to speak.

Meet the Preposition

 

Try something new for 30 days

Try something new for 30 days, is the topic of Matt Cutts’ TED talk.

We have all heard it before, we must step out of our comfort zone to grow…right? Cutt’s takes this to the next level with his self-imposed 30 day challenge. What I like about Cutt’s talk, is it gives a more tangible objective to this idea of trying new things.

Warm up

  • What new thing would you like to try but haven’t yet?
  • What does it mean to “step out of your comfort zone”?
  • What are the benefits of doing new things? Any disadvantages?
  • What are the benefits of sticking with what you know? Any disadvantages?

The Video: Try something new for 30 days

Why does Matt think this is a good idea?
What did it change in his life?
What areas of our lives could we apply this to? Make a Mind Map
Do you have any spontaneous ideas that you might like to try for 30 days?

If you had only one vacation destination, where would it be?

If you had only one vacation destination, where would it be?

What is it about this place that keeps you interested?

If you were the tour guide, what places, restaurants, shows, historical sites would you recommend?

Who would you take with you?

How is the food there?

How are the people?

Is too much choice making us unhappy?

The Paradox of Choice

Barry Schwartz exposes an interesting backlash of having too many options.

I suggest you watch this in small snippets and do short Tell Backs along the way.

Do you agree with Schwartz?

What are the advantages of choice?

What are some of the events in his life that led to this conclusion?

Can you thinks of events in your life that you would have preferred to have less choice?

What makes you say yes?

This post is devoted to all the students who are in the business and sales field. But if you are like me and enjoy a little behavioural psychology, this presentation will fascinate you.

Pre discussion

  • What is it that makes us say yes to one person and no to the other?
  • What are the elements that make us trust in a product or a person?
  • Have you ever bought a good or service and was disappointed? What about the opposite?

The Video: The Science of Persuasion

I would divide the video into 2-3 min segments and stop after each principle to do a Tell Back.

This would also be a great presentation to do a comprehension mind map (video to come). That is to say, write down the 6 principles and ask students to say what they remember about them.

Ask students if these principles conjures any memories of times they were convinced of something. In other words, ask them about times when they trusted something or someone and why.

Finally, what do you think the author means by “ethical” persuasion?

Have a great discussion…

 

 

 

How do you ask for a raise?

Life changes. And more specifically, it gets more expensive. Yet sometimes it can take time for your employer to catch up. So how can you tackle the prickly question of asking for a raise? Barbara Corcoran gives some rather poignant insights on how to orchestrate this discussion. I think it makes for a great ESL discussion launch pad. Not to mention a more generalized reflection on gender differences in the work place.

Pre discussion 

  • Have you ever asked for a raise?
  • How did you approach it?
  • Do you have any good or bad practices to share?

The Video: Barbara Corcoran Explains How to Ask for a Raise

  • What are the steps you need to take to set up the meeting?
  • What are some of the differences between men and women when asking for raises?
  • If you are timid (and Corcoran says “woman,” but I think this applies to anyone who is timid) what should you do to overcome this?
  • What are Corcoran’s recommendations on how to use an outside offer to initiate a positive discussion about compensation?
  • What are her parting ideas about loyalty?

Have a great class!

Mel