GAMES: Fun, food and frolic! Presented by: Alyse Schoenfeldt, Ed. D. Fulbright Scholar University of Tirana, Albania Palm Beach State College, USA
Conversation Cards: Tell Me! Your turn, my turn…. Skills to be practiced: Speaking, active listening, supporting, collaborating, connecting, networking, and turn-taking Levels: All Organization: Pairs Materials: Make up cards using suggested questions on sheets provided
Why use this system of questions? ???????? Goals or objectives
1. To develop: a. the ability to speak with a variety of people b. confidence in speaking with and understanding real people c. a repertoire of conversation-starting questions
d. the ability to respond to topics raised in everyday conversation e. motivation in order to encourage the continuance of language learning
2. To place students in a language environment at the beginning of class 3. To enliven and energize the class
4. To build community by: a. helping students to get to know one another as well as the instructor b. incorporating new students into the class c. inviting native speakers to class d. encouraging the usage of these questions in their social life
5. To provide more conversational opportunities: • when more advanced students wait for • classmates to finish work • b. when a lesson plan finishes early • towards the end of a class before the students • leave the language environment • when another activity needs to be abandoned • due to student participation • 6. To use as writing exercises
Procedure: Students in pairs sit facing one another on either side of a desk. (If an odd number of students exists, allow only one group to have three students.) All pairs of students will participate simultaneously. Give 20-30 question cards to each pair. Place the side with the question face down on the desk.
Student A takes a card from the pile and asks Student B the question. Student B answers and then asks Student A the same question. The card is to be left face up while conversing in case it is needed for reference. When finished answering, the card is to be placed face up in a separate pile for used cards.
Student B takes a card from the original pile of cards [face down] and asks Student A the question. Student A answers and then asks Student B the same question. The conversation continues as the students take turns taking cards and asking each other new questions. Remind them to place each card with the question side face up after they have used it.
When the instructor sees that the pile of cards of a pair of students is getting low, pick up the used cards from another pair’s desk and put them UNDER the pile of new cards on the desk of the pair that needs more. Do not let the students do this! That produces chaos. It is very important for the instructor to do this in a consistent, orderly manner so that students will not receive the same cards by mistake.
Notes: Tell the students to sit next to a different partner each time the cards are used. In each pair, tell the student who knows less to ask the questions first. This makes it easier for him/her to answer when it is his/her turn. Sometimes, if a particular question disturbs a student, he/she may respond by saying: I prefer not to talk about that.
If possible, have students with a similar ability level sit together. This minimizes translation and encourages the more advanced student to say more. Give more cards to the weaker students because they use them more quickly since their responses are shorter. Before the cards are put away, allow students to ask the instructor questions.
Select questions carefully so that they are relevant to your student’s age and interest group. Demonstrate the process clearly and carefully at the beginning. The first time that you use the questions, walk around, listen, encourage and help where needed. After each of these occasions, it is good to tell the entire class how well they understand one another and how they are developing fluency.
Tell the students that “perfect” language is not the goal, but communication is the aim. Depending upon the group, times for usage may vary from 5 to 30 minutes. Use the questions two or three times a week and you will see significant improvement in fluency.
After several weeks, encourage students to ask follow up questions. Demonstrate. For example, “What is your favorite sport?” “ Baseball”. The questioner could then ask Where?, When?, or With whom?. If students are at a very low level, they may build up to these questions by using pictures for vocabulary improvement.
After students are comfortable with responses, place more requirements on grammatical features and specific vocabulary. Students may make their own vocabulary lists while working with the questions. Many teachers have found that it is quite useful to invite other language learners-Spanish, etc. and pair them up with these questions.
Make a poster for the room with question words such as : Why/ What/ Who /Where/ When /How/ To where/ How many/ At what time [It is useful to add a picture for each word with amusing appropriate drawings which are available at www.cpli.net/cuentame.
Make your own “Helping posters” with one question or one sentence on each poster: How do you say? What does it mean? How do you pronounce? How do you write? I do not remember. I do not know. I do not understand. I prefer not to speak about that. What did you say? Speak slower please.
Instructions for writing answers to questions Skills practiced: Writing, collaborating and cooperative learning Levels: All Organization: Individuals Materials: The Tell me cards
Procedure: • Once or twice a week put the cards in a place • where every student may pick some up. • The students write a question and write their • own answer to the question. The answer • may be from a single sentence to a whole • page, depending on the level of the student.
3. The students leave a space after each answer and continue on with more questions and answers. 4. Allow students to decide whether or not they would like the instructor to read and respond to their writings in class. They may choose to only share with other students.
Notes: Some students may write only 3-6 questions and answers; others may write more. It does not matter how many they write as long as they are engaged in the task. Collect students’ papers. Write “Well done” on every one. Limit your grammatical corrections to a few specific points. On the papers of those who want you to comment on their answers, encourage them to write more about specific topics by inquiring further about what they have shared.
Power Point Games http://ic-schools.net/tutorials/PPT-games This site contains PowerPoint templates for Millionaire, Jeopardy, 20 Questions, Covered Word, “Hillsborough Squares,” Wheel of Fortune, Weakest Link, Concentration. Parade of Games http://facstaff.uww.edu/jonesd/games/ Contains samples and templates of 16 different games, including Word Search, Word Jumble, Buzz Word Bingo, and more.
Games for Learning http://www.nova.edu/~spahn/games_for_learning.html Contains links for classroom and online game templates, including Discovery School’s Puzzlemaker and Hot Potatoes. http://freegplsoftware.com free games- mostly for computer like videogames http://bblocks.samhsa.gov material for younger students specific games at: http://bblocks.samhsa.gov/educators/lesson_plans/classroomgames.aspx
Basic Vocabulary Builder Blackline Masters. Dorothy Gabel Liebowitz. National Textbook Company. 1991. Grids of vocabulary pictures that can be used to get students asking each other simple questions as they learn basic vocabulary. New Comics and Conversation: Using Humor to Elicit Conversation and Develop Vocabulary. Reproducible blackline masters. Ed. by Joan Ashkenas and Sergio Aragones (cartoons). JAG Publications. 2000.
Learning Another Language Through Actions. James J. Asher. 2012. Shows how to use Total Physical Response and describes research on effectiveness. A picture is worth a 1000 Words: Book 1. Anthony Mollica. Editions Soleil Publishing, 1992. Fun and interesting photos that get students talking and laughing.
Comic Strip Conversations. Carol Gray. 1994. www.discoveryschool.com. Puzzlemaker. Make your own crosswords, searchwords, cryptograms with thevocabulary your students are learning. Excellent free resource for you or your students as homework or extra credit assignments. Teaching English Through Songs. Richard Grünert. 2010.