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Conversation activities

 
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Zyzyfer



Joined: 29 Jan 2003
Location: who, what, where, when, why, how?

PostPosted: Mon Mar 10, 2003 5:54 pm    Post subject: Conversation activities Reply with quote

I've been requested to beef up conversation practice in my classes a bit.

I already implement extra worksheets which are easy to have students pair off and read. I spend 15-20 minutes per dialog allowing pairs of students to read for the class. But it doesn't take up enough time, plus the students find these activities tedious and boring. I can use other tricks in the short run to make students interested in the overall class, but I want to find out some definite conversation activities and ideas.

I don't have a lot of material with which to work, as each chapter takes about 2 to 3 weeks to complete, and only contains a few phrases on which to expand. I even checked Dave's Idea Cookbook, but the games seem more focused on hakwon students. My classes are larger, about 32 students on average, and it's in a midddle school.

Any ideas?
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Rand Al Thor



Joined: 28 Jan 2003
Location: Locked in an epic struggle

PostPosted: Mon Mar 10, 2003 6:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Here are a number of resource books that I use.

Keep Talking by Friederike Klippel Cambridge
Classroom dynamics by Jill Hadfield Oxford
Learner-Based Teaching by Colin Campbell & Hanna Kryszewska Oxford
Roleplay by Gillian Porter Ladousse Oxford

All of these books can be found at Kyobo, English +, or Young-Poong bookstores. Hope it helps.
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mokpochica



Joined: 21 Jan 2003
Location: Ann Arbor, MI

PostPosted: Mon Mar 10, 2003 8:23 pm    Post subject: resources Reply with quote

Try this website for materials:
http://www.bogglesworld.com

I would specifically look at the board games and information gap activities. The worksheets can also be good conversation starters.

I also find some books by Penny Ur to be helpful, 'Grammar Practice Activities' and 'Discussions that Work'.

This page also seems to have some ideas that may be helpful:
http://www.eslflow.com/esllessonplans.html

I also teach classes of 35 in a middle school. I think it's really hard to find 'conversation' activities that work with this age group and type of student, because they will speak Korean if given the chance--and it's hard for one teacher to police a class of 35. Any activities that move away from whole class involvement into individual groups have to have some kind of high English-speaking motivation factor (activities like information gaps can sometimes provide this). Another thing is that most middle school students just don't have the English abilty yet to carry on a conversation--nor do you have the time to have a conversation with 35 students in a 45 minute class. However, most do have the ability to form sentences and speak a little.

For larger classes, I think dialogues can work well (as far as managing the class) and also speaking games where kids have to use English creatively. I think if you look in the Idea cookbook at speaking games, you may be able to find a lot speaking practice ideas. Playing 'Jeopardy', 'Who am I?' (secret identity game), and 'The Question game' (with a 'question' die--the sides have Who? What? When?, etc. and the students form questions using the question world rolled.) have all worked well for me.

Hope this info helps you out.


Last edited by mokpochica on Tue Mar 11, 2003 7:16 pm; edited 1 time in total
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elmer



Joined: 04 Feb 2003
Location: cowtown

PostPosted: Mon Mar 10, 2003 11:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Good ideas so far.

One thing that has worked for me in dealing with so mamy students, is to make an assignment out of the discussion. Depending on the time and complexity, you could sometimes require that it be handed in prior to leaving, or as a homework assignment. If you keep it short enough then some students can finish early (and then talk quietly if they want). Or if you want you can spread it over a couple of classes-perhaps presenting their "results". It works really well with interview/survey type assignments.
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Crazy Oz



Joined: 10 Jan 2003
Location: Ilsan, Korea

PostPosted: Tue Mar 11, 2003 2:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Pick up on what the kids are taliking about in Korean. Likes, dislikes, Pop Stars etc etc etc......Print up a few web pages that are in English and have the relevant conversation topics in them, that way you can base English conversational dialogue around them. Prepare question sheets about the topics and get each group to fill it out with their responses, have a spokesperson elected from each group and present it all before the class. Gives them some public speaking, reasoning, group skills as well as being based on something that might actually be of interest.



Still crazy, still here.
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Zyzyfer



Joined: 29 Jan 2003
Location: who, what, where, when, why, how?

PostPosted: Tue Mar 11, 2003 5:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the replies so far. I'll be checking stuff out. Yesterday was a bad day at the ol' school -_-
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