Tuesday, May 18, 2010

A discussion activity for small classes

Today in my Smart Choice 2 book, there was a page that had some discussion starters on it.  The 4 questions were: Have you ever met or seen a famous person?  Have you ever been in an accident?  What's your most embarrassing moment?  Have you ever experienced a natural disaster?

Instead of getting the students to talk together and the activity being over in 1 minute (or less!) I decided to do it class discussion style since there were only 6 students.  I gave them 2 minutes to pick one and think of how they were going to tell the story to the class.  Then, we went around the class, with me as the first example telling our stories.  If the students left some stuff out, I'd ask them a few questions to get more information.  It was really interesting and the students were very interested in each other's stories. 

I think that what made it quite sucessful was giving them the two minutes for thinking.  I know that if someone asked me to tell a story in Korean, I could maybe do it but not on the spot.  If I had a few minutes to look up a word or two in the dictionary and organize my thoughts in my head, it might be possible.  And actually, this one or two minutes for thinking can be used in a lot of cases.  I've found that the quality of answers are considerably better when I do this and the students aren't so reluctant to speak out in class.

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