Try These 7 New Go To Activities for Conversation Class
A Picture’s Worth
Give each student or pairs of students an unusual photograph (try worth1000.com for some unique ideas), and ask each person or pair to create a story to go along with the picture. After students have planned their stories, have them share their pictures and their stories with another student or pair of students in class.
For intermediate and advanced students, have them identify a conversation in their past that was unsuccessful, perhaps when they were first learning to speak English. Give them a chance to redo that conversation by looking back, identifying their mistakes, determining how to avoid them the second time through, and then role play the conversation with a classmate.
Teacher for a Day
Let your students share their ideas on how to make class more interesting and engaging. Have pairs of students discuss an ideal day in your ESL class and then propose their ideas to you.
Get to Know Bingo
For students just getting to know each other, play a unique version of Bingo. Brainstorm a list of exciting or interesting experiences students might have had, and have students write these experiences in the spaces on a blank Bingo board. On your signal, students mingle searching for someone who has done each of the activities on his Bingo board. The first person with five initialed affirmatives in a row shouts Bingo!
Students will get lots of talking in when they make plans for an activity tied your current vocabulary unit. Have students plan a fieldtrip to a sports game, an elaborate holiday meal, details for room and board at a family reunion, or some other task that will use the vocabulary they are in the process of learning.
Have students sit in a circle. One person starts a story with ‘Once upon a time’. Each person adds two or three sentences to the story, keeping consistent with what his classmates have already said. Continue around the circle until the last student finishes with ‘And they lived happily ever after’.
Asking for advice is something that everyone needs to do from time to time, and ESL students are no exception. Have your students ask each other for advice for any of several types of problems: relationship problems, educational problems, or business problems, for example.
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