<b> Forum for discussing activities and games that work well in the classroom </b>
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There must be hundreds of techniques to teaching language and general content that teachers can utilize. An easy way to classify them and make sure I incorporate a variety of them is to organize them into the categories of controlled and free techniques. I already include many of the more controlled, teacher centered and pre-planned activities. Some that have worked very well for my students are warm-up mimes, dances, role playing, dialogue, content instructions, read aloud and identification/recognition activities. However, I tend to forgo copying of text and drills, which I am now learning can be helpful so long as they content and purpose is meaningful and includes instruction and constructive feedback. I am still skeptical though, and would like some examples of when they this can be useful (beyond for rote practice). Some of the semi-controlled/free student centered activities that seem to elicit authentic engagement and responses are not used as frequently in my instruction. I do utilize many of the techniques, such as student created drama scenes, interviews, think/pair/shares, information exchange, etc, just not as often. I would like to include more free writing/composition, problem solving activities and debates to elicit more spontaneous and meaningful speech from students. I can see how utilizing all types of techniques will be beneficial for students of varying abilities and interests.