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Παρασκευή, 16 Σεπτεμβρίου 2011

Ice-breaker for YL

• Introduction

The activity chosen is an ice-breaker called “Two Truths and a Lie”. It is selected due to the fact that it is suitable to create a relaxed atmosphere in the classroom and a non-threatening environment for the learners to produce language without fear and discomfort. It can be used with pupils of elementary level at any time during the school year since it is always crucial to promote group dynamics so that a good working relationship is established between the group members. Also recycling of vocabulary and grammar occurs while having fun. Here it is used for Simple Present revision. The materials needed are some slips of paper and pens.

• How to set up the activity
The teacher tells the pupils they will all play a game called “Two Truths and a Lie”. She writes 3 sentences about herself (I always, usually, never….) and encourages the learners to discover which of them are true and which are not. After modeling the activity she asks ‘concept’ questions, e.g. “Mary is true that you always..”. Then she tells them that they will all write two true sentences and one with a lie about themselves and then each one will read their sentences and the others will try to find out which one is not true. For correct guesses they get 1 point. S/He who gathers most points is the winner. She hands out slips of paper with the fragments of the sentences, as mentioned above, for students to finish them off. The pupils are given 5’ to produce their sentences. A pupil is asked to go first, reading aloud the sentences and the others are encouraged to guess the lie by raising hands and then s/he reveals the answer. After everybody finishes, the teacher asks them if they liked the game and why they think they played it. She asks how we talk about habits and writes some examples on the board to choose the grammatically correct one. Potential problems are related to time management and clear instructions. Teachers should have the cards prepared, otherwise they might lose time. Also they should make sure they do not just ask if the pupils understood the instructions, which would merely lead to a yes/no answer.

• Learner reaction
The learners I have worked with found the activity very enjoyable, they all participated enthusiastically, even the weaker ones. They felt comfortable and safe and they used the language without being aware that they did. Most of the pupils formed correctly the tense, having heard it repeatedly by their classmates.

• Reflection
A major advantage of this activity is its simplicity and adaptability. It could be used for other tenses’ revision or for recycling wishes at an intermediate level. In these variations flashcards could be included and the goal could also be to guess who wrote the sentences. I would definitely use it again since the student talking time is increased in a meaningful and stimulating context.

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