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All the materials in barebones are working teaching documents
subject to review, alteration or abandonment in classroom practice.
Anyone is welcome to use this stuff, but copyright remains with
Thor May. Feedback, positive or negative, is very welcome.
ESL materials & ideas developed in Korea
Topical Texts to Learn - Biography
a) Autobiography Teaching Notes
1. Uses: Biographies and autobiographies serve many purposes. They can be inspirational, they can be a vehicle for reminiscence. They are often the first literary achievement of a writer. For younger people they can be a way to anchor the past and begin to plan some direction for the future.
2. Vocational uses: In a vocational context, autobiography is an essential vehicle for the job candidate to use when selling himself or herself as a potential employee. For an employer, biography is an indispensable source of information about employees. The formal, written variety of employment biography is called a curriculum vitae or resume. Students, whether language students or native speakers, frequently need guidance in preparing effective CVs.
3. Oral biography: It is also very common in employment interviews for the interviewer to ask a candidate to "talk about themselves". A well prepared interviewer may not learn much factual information from such a verbal test. However, the MANNER in which a candidated expresses their ideas will say much about their ability to think coherently and concisely. Hence, verbal "mini-biographies", practiced in a classroom setting are useful for more than merely learning the language. They may actually help students to get a job later.
4. Inherent interest: Apart from vocational uses, almost anyone can talk about themselves at length, given encouragement. After all, Mary Brown is the most important person in the world to Mary Brown. Autobiography is therefore an excellent teaching and learning tool. The examples on this internet site are only a tiny sample of the thousands of variations possible.
b) Mini Autobiography 1
I was born on ___[date]________ in _________[place]_________ .
My father worked as a _______ [occupation] _______ and my mother was a ______ [occupation].
I went to school first at ____[name of elementary school] _______, and then _____ [name of middle or high school]____________ .
Now I am studying at _____________ [Sungsim College ] ______
I like _______ [hobby or interest 1] ______ and I am good at ______
My ambition is to be a ______________ [ occupation] _______
"Topical Texts - Biography" copyrighted to Thor May 2001; all rights reservedback to barebones index