Thursday, 24 September 2009

Let's go fishing!

This is a fantastic new game I've recently discovered and works really well with young learners. What I like about it is that it combines physical challenge (something that youngsters really love) with lots and lots of language practice. It's also a very flexible game and can be used to practice and reinforce new vocabulary as well as recycle vocabulary.
Here's how: First make a rod with a stick and some string and stick a magnet to the end of the string. Turn your vocabulary cards into fish by attaching large paperclips to them. Spread the cards out on the floor and there you go!
Be sure to practice good classroom manners: "Here you are's" and Thank you's" as the game proceeds. Students catch a fish if they can and then hold up the card for the others to see. I find it better for the watchers to shout out the word or do the action, firstly it encourages greater learner participation, and secondly recall as a group it's not so intimidating. It also gives more students the chance to practice. The game can also be adapted towards using short phrases or prompting dialogues and so is incredibly flexible. So instead of just shouting out "apple!", students can shout out "I love apples!", or it could be used to practice questions like "How's the weather?" basically anything that you've been doing in class. Another adaptation in the beginning stages of learning new vocabulary might be to do the action.
It's a great way to practice and lots of fun!