Monday, April 6, 2009

It could go either way....

...making students write conversations and present them in front of the class.  A couple times a semester, I'll do this activity based on some short, situational conversation in the book like telling a friend you're sick and can't meet them or you're angry/sad/embarrassed for some reason.  

I will usually have them practice the conversation in the book a couple times and then tell them to make their own conversation.  They can use some things from the book to help them but they can't copy; at least some things have to be different.  I'll give them about 10 minutes to write 8 or 10 lines, memorize and practice speaking.  I'll then give a reward to the teams that are funny, and interesting, as well as good at speaking.  

The good? 
The outgoing students seem to love it.

I like the challenge of trying to get them to be funny/interesting in English.  There are usually at least a couple groups that do a really, really good job of it and it makes my day.  

It's results based, with some peer pressure thrown in.  No one wants to look like a dumbass in front of their classmates.  If it's just the teacher listening, at least a few students just don't care and will do any stupid thing.  

It practices writing, speaking, and listening.  

The bad?

It can be a bit tedious in the weaker classes if no one is funny or interesting.  

The weaker students really hate it.  And I have some sympathy for them.  But then I kind of wonder how they can't memorize 4 or 5 lines of simple dialogue when they've studied English for the last 6 or 7 years.  

The deal?

I'm not sure if this is a worthwhile activity or not.  Kind of a toss-up in my book and I'd like some opinions on what everyone else thinks.  

No comments: