In this Part 2 of IMPROVING Six Popular ESL Activities, I’ll discuss how three popular activities are traditionally used and ways that they can be made more stimulating and conducive to conversation-skills development. Here is the link to Part 1. How to IMPROVE Six Popular ESL Activities: Making Them More Than Just Talking PART 1
Activity 4: Desert Island
RECOMMENDATION: It’s helpful to tell students a day or two in advance that they will be doing this activity so that they have time to think about the items that they would want to take in their cars.
Her is a link to a short video where you can see a demonstration of how this “better” activity works and more explanation about its many improvements over traditional Desert Island: A Better Way to do Desert Island
Activity 5: Ask a Partner Questions
You’ve probably seen some of these activities demonstrated at ESL teaching conferences or on some internet sites or on YouTube videos with titles like: “The 10 Best Speaking Activities.” The activities are usually promoted as a way to get students to talk. However, professional teachers don’t assign activities just to get students talking. They try to make sure that students are developing some specific technique or conversational strategy during the activity. There are ways to make these activities more than just talking, and there are ways to alter them to facilitate conversational skill-building, and there are ways to format them to be more stimulating for the students.
The postings will have two sections:
Section 1: I’ll describe the activities
Section 2: I’ll describe conversational skills that students could apply during the activities and three different ways that you can model the conversational techniques which they should use during the activity.
Section 1: Activities
Her is a link to a short video where you can see a demonstration of how this activity works and more explanations about its many improvements over traditional 20 Questions: Video A Better Way to do 20 Questions
This posting includes links to two videos.
I’m always skeptical when I hear someone claim that something in the field of teaching ESL is the best. But I can say from all my 40 years in the field that this technique is the best for teaching listening for teachers and students in so many ways.
What makes this so special is that we can easily match the students’ interests with their level of listening skills. There is no need to search for a book that might come close to doing that.
Here is how it works:
If you’d like to read the discussion about teaching conversation skills on LINCS, in which I was “interviewed” through posted Q & A for Dec. 6-9, here is the link: LINCS discussion about student-centered conversation lesson.