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Activities/Games for a TOEFL class

 
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Brix



Joined: 28 Sep 2005
Posts: 22

PostPosted: Sun May 16, 2010 8:15 am    Post subject: Activities/Games for a TOEFL class Reply with quote

I've been teaching TOEFL for years, and I am looking for brief activities that are TOEFL iBT based just to inject some life into the bored students.

Anyone have any ideas? It's for speaking. TOEFL relevant, TOEFL-centered activities?


Thanks.
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Sally Olsen



Joined: 08 Apr 2004
Posts: 1306
Location: Canada,France, Brazil, Japan, Mongolia, Greenland, Canada, Mongolia, Ethiopia next

PostPosted: Sun May 16, 2010 10:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Our class researched the free Internet sites that help students with the TOEFL and then took one or two each, summarized them and tried to comment on their ease of use, their helpfulness and how much fun they were. They then presented this as a talk to the class using Power Point or posters. They worked in groups of three.

There are some sites that talk about scoring and are probably meant for teachers but the students found it really helpful to know what the markers are looking for and translating that to putting those things in their writing or their talk.
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Brix



Joined: 28 Sep 2005
Posts: 22

PostPosted: Tue May 18, 2010 5:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks, Sally O.

This is a good idea.

What I think my students need to understand is that the TOEFL is not going to change.

They want to take the course, and get a certain score.

Boring? Maybe. But they "gotta do the work."


Thanks.
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Sally Olsen



Joined: 08 Apr 2004
Posts: 1306
Location: Canada,France, Brazil, Japan, Mongolia, Greenland, Canada, Mongolia, Ethiopia next

PostPosted: Thu May 20, 2010 12:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The talks were anything but boring. They really spiced up their presentations with graphics and we played some of the fun games they had found.

I guess I find intellectual pursuits fun too. There is nothing more fun than arguing about the way to say something, the meaning of a word or phrase, or over a grammar point if the people are really into it and the debate stays a debate.
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MarkAndrew



Joined: 03 Dec 2011
Posts: 9
Location: Saudi Arabia

PostPosted: Sun Dec 18, 2011 9:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Try this idea. When students ask about vocabulary, go through a three-step fun & educational method of learning new words.

I have a projector in my class, and I have a back-up wireless keyboard and mouse for the students. So I give one of them control of the board and ask him to:

1) Google the word and only look at the first couple of pages of image results. This sometimes works wonders and makes meanings clear when they can be explained with pictures.

For example, a student asked me about the difference between shed (n.) and shed (v.). So I asked him to look at the google image results for shed and shedding, and compare them. WOW it was clear in that example. (Try it!)

I have students today who remember this feature of my classes more than anything, and they remind me that they learned "delicate" from the pictures of the spider web, baby birds, snowflakes, and butterflies that came up in our google image search in class.

2) If the word's meaning is still not clear, then the next step is to look up synonyms for it, like on www.thesaurus.com. This is a bit less fun, but still interesting enough to spend some time on it. Its really wonderful from an educational perspective to connect the meaning of a new word to a set of words that are already known. Out of the 20+ words that might come up as synonyms, maybe only 3 or 4 are known to the weaker students. They still have a chance to connect the meaning using those few words.

3) If that doesn't work, then we go to the traditional dictionary, online or printed. This just ensures that students actually know how to use dictionaries and do so regularly. I was shocked to find many TOEFL students did not know proper use of the dictionary!

This three-step vocab process can be used any time you have some time to play with in your class. Otherwise just tell them that delicate is fragile and move on! Let me know what you think.
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