Thursday, June 11, 2009

And review...another round

So this semester, I came up with a somewhat genius game, on the fly and it turned out really well. I will share with you so that you don't have to rack your brain for goodness like this:

I basically wrote down all the conversation questions that are going to be on the final exam, on little strips of paper. I did some simple grammar questions mixed in as well. For example: "Tokyo is interesting, but....." Or, "It's my bag, It's_____. It belongs to _____."

Then I put the students in groups of 4, and gave them about 15 little pieces of paper/group. I organize it beforehand so that each group doesn't have the same question twice. Then, the first student picks a random paper (seeing, or not seeing them: you can decide), and then picks a random student in their group to ask the question to. Correct answer, they keep the paper and get a point. Incorrect, the questioner gets a chance to answer. Correct, they keep the paper and get a point. Incorrect, it goes back into the pile. The winner is the student with the most points.
And of course, I officiate for any groups having disagreements over any answer.

Make sense? I like it for the following reasons:

1. You can cover everything that's going to be on the test, easily and without much stress.

2. The students get some practice in hearing and ASKING the questions, which doesn't happen very much in many ESL classrooms (I think).

3. The students are the teachers, listening for crazy answers and deciding whether it's right or wrong. Any time students have to do this, it's a good thing I think.

4. I'm not the center of attention. In fact, I don't have much to do at all except general supervision and refereeing. The students are actually engaging with English, not just taking it in (or often not!) from me.

5. There is definitely an element of skill to the game, but a bit of luck as well, so even the bad students are motivated to keep trying.

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