Tuesday, 26 January 2010

House & furniture - speaking practice

In class today my Magic Time 2 team managed to keep talking for the entire class, stimulated into action by a fairly simple game and the need to win. They were practically pelting each other by the end, trying to get each other to hurry up and have their turn!

We have done all the groundwork in previous classes, talking about where we live after drawing sketches of our flats/houses. Somehow, I doubt this group includes a future architect! We labeled the pictures and talked about the things we have in various rooms - cultural tip for Japan is that often there is not a designated bedroom, as futons replace beds and are put away during the day as the space becomes the dining/living room.

Aim of the game = get home with a van full of furniture. Land on a space, take the piece of furniture. Some one else lands on the same spot later, rock/scissors/paper for ownership. However, a lot of language along the way, where the children are asked about the item they are picking up...excellent practice for the last part of the Cambridge YLE Starters speaking test.

Sample item = sofa
"What's this?  What colour is it?
 Have you got a sofa in your house?
 What colour is it?  Is it big or small?
 Where is the sofa in your house? (Is it in the bathroom?)
...Here you are..."
Of course the players want to focus on the game & get to the end as quickly as possible, so they want to get the questions done asap. My aim is to get as much 'extension' out of the mini-dialogues as I can, without flogging it. At the end of the day, my students probably think they goofed-off for a lesson! Brilliant - all that revision, recycling and activating took place subliminally :)

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