Saturday, 21 December 2013


 “The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you'll go.”  

Dear colleagues,

In this post, I am going to say a few words about the games and how important they are to motivate your students and to make the learning atmosphere looks better. I like to use the games as warm-up activities, because I can see a lot of positive results. Games help teacher to create contexts in which the language is useful and meaningful. The learners want to take part and in order to do so must understand what others are saying or have written. Many games cause as much density of practice as more conventional drill exercise. What matters, however, is the quality of practice. Many games provide repeated use of a language form. By making the language convey information and opinion, games provide the key feature of `drill` with the opportunity to sense the working of language as living communication. If it is accepted that games can provide intense and meaningful practice of language, then they must be regarded as central to a teacher’s repertoire. Games can be found to give practice in all the skills (reading, writing, listening and speaking), in all the stages of the teaching/learning sequence(presentation, repetition, and so on) and for many types of communication(encouraging, criticizing, explaining, etc.). It is generally accepted that young learners and adults are very willing to play games. Early teenagers tend to be more self-conscious. Games which can be played in pairs or groups may be particular and useful. It is clear to all observes of classroom practice that the teacher’s own belief in the usefulness and appropriateness of a game affects the learner’s response.
Of the four types of grouping, pair and group work are very important if each learner is to have sufficient oral practice in the use of language. In class work it is easy to demonstrate that learner says only one or two sentences in a lesson or in a week. The greatest `mistake`(if oral ability is an aim) is for the learner not to speak at all. Pair work is easy and fast to organize. It provides opportunities for intensive listening and speaking practice. Pair work is better than group work if there are discipline problem.
Group work games require four or six players. Membership of groups should be challenged between groups and they should be of mixed ability. Groups can operate perfectly well without a group leader. Any games or activities which involve language and which your learners enjoy are language-learning materials. It is usually difficult to find a new game for specific language practice just when you need it. When collecting games it is important to note what language need only be understood by the players.
When preparing your lesson, you start by planning the main items you want to include: the teaching of new grammar, or the reading of a text. But once you have prepared the main components of yours, you may find you still need some extra ingredients to make it into a smooth unit. You may need, for example:
1)       A quick warm-up for the beginning to get your students into the right mood for learning,
2)       An idea for a brief vocabulary review,
3)       A light filler to provide relief after a period of intense effort,
4)       A game or amusing item to round off the lesson with a smile.

  Here are some examples of games and five-minute activities:

Grammar: Varied
Level: Text for weeding 1: lower intermediate
 Text for weeding 2: advanced
Time: 12-25 minutes
Materials: One text for weeding per pair of students
In class
a) Give the students a text with distracted words you have prepared in or use text for weeding 1 or text for weeding 2.Ask them to work in pairs and weed out the extra words.

b) Ask the students to compare their work in groups of six.

c) Dictate the list of `weeds`.
Students are listening to their knowledge of collocation, grammar and syntax by the rowing out the intruders.

DIY word order
Grammar: Word order
Level: Beginner or Advanced
Time: 15-25 minutes
Materials: Any text
Preparation: Select a text
In class
a) Ask the students to skim the text and to echo their favourite words. Ask some of them to say their words to the group and explain why they like them.

b) Ask each student to secretly choose their favourite sentence from the text. They than cut or fold out and tear a piece of paper into enough oblongs piece.

c) Each student mixes up the pieces and places them on their chair and then the students’ mill around. Remind them to remix the pieces before moving on.

Hinged sentences
Grammar: Syntax and punctuation
Level: Intermediate
Time: 20-30 minutes
Materials: One hinged sentences sheet per two students.
In class
a) Give out the hinged sentences sheet and ask the students to scan through for any that make sense as they stand.

b) Students work in pairs or alone and rewrite each of the twelve sentences into two separate sentences that share a hinged word or phrase.
Example: He loves her children are great-He loves her./Her children are great.
In this case `her` is `hinged` word.

Your words – My grammar
Grammar: Present perfect continuous
Level: Lower – Intermediate
Time: 15-20 minutes
Materials: None
In class
a) Write a sentence in the target structure on the board:
Who’s been eating my porridge?
Explain to the students that you want them to write sentences that have exactly the same grammar as the above sentence. The first word must be an interrogative pronoun, the second an auxiliary verb, the third no change, the fourth a main verb + ing, etc.
e.g. What’s been killing her flowers?

b)ask the students to write their sentences on the board. Ask the class to decide which sentences are right and which wrong.
It is important to start with a short, simple sentence.

Faces and character
Language: Describing people, speculating about age, character, etc. e.g.(He might be...)
Skills: Listening and speaking
Control: Free
Level: Intermediate – advanced
Time: 5 minutes for a discussion of each photograph you choose to show
Materials: Photographs or slides
For class you will need a minimum of three or four photographs of people you know or know about.The pictures should be large enough for class use. For pair work, the pupils must be equipped in a similar way. They could be asked to bring pictures from home of their family, friends or anyone else.
-Class work leading to pair work.
First discuss with the class how reliable people’s appearance is as a guide to their age, interests, background, character, etc. You might tell them that it was commonly believed in the last century that one could recognize a criminal by the shape of his ears. Finally confirm, qualify or reject these speculations by describing the person yourself.

Fortune – Telling
Language: Predicting future events, using will or going to
Skills: All
Control: Free
Level: All
Time: 30 minutes
Materials: Paper and pencils/pens
Procedure: Group work
The learners need not know each other well: Essentially, however, each learner writes a fortune for someone else. One version goes as follows: in a group of four or five learners each learner writes a fortune or prediction for each of the others. In other words, each learner writes four or five fortunes. He/She must read them out and comment, for example, on whether some of them are the same, or just what he/she had hoped for, or highly unlikely.

Reading someone’s mind
Language: Making statements about other people, using the phrase: I think you are... and adjectives
Skills: Listening and speaking
Control: Free
Level: Intermediate – advanced
Time: 10-15 minutes
Materials: None
Class work
Arrange the class in two circles, one standing inside the other. Each learner should face someone in the other circle. Tell the learners that quite and responsive concentration on another person can often produce a sensation of what they are like, what they are feeling. After half a minute or so ask them to tell each other what it was they felt and understood about the other person.
Note: Before starting this activity you can discuss with the learners the sort of feelings one can sense in other people and you could make sure they have the language to express these understandings:
I think you are...
rather, a little, very, extremely...
happy, anxious, worried, angry, frustrated...

There’s something wrong somewhere
Language: Describing pictures and identifying objects
Skills: Reading
Control: Guided
Level: All
Time: According to the length of the texts
Materials: A picture or pictures. For class use, a slide or a large magazine picture
You (or the learner) must write three texts about the picture or pictures, two of which contain some errors of fact. Make copies of the texts.
Class or group work
Display the picture or pictures. Give the learners the three duplicated description of the picture or pictures. The learners first find the description that is completely correct. They than underline all the mistakes in the others.
They provide all that is needed for a fully correct description. The learners put these bits together to produce a correct description.

Don’t say `yes` or `no`
Language: Asking questions and giving answers, especially asking questions with question tags(e.g...., isn`t it?....don`t you? you?) and giving complete phrases for answers. Using of course, of course not, perhaps, clearly...
Skills: Listening and speaking
Control: Guided
Level: Intermediate – advanced
Time:5-10 minutes
Materials: None
-Class work leading to a group or pair work.
This can be a team competition. Put a number of questions to each team. Each question must be answered without delay and without the use of either `yes` or `no`. The team which answers the most questions in this way wins.
The teacher asks questions of this type:
1) Your name is Peter, isn’t it?
2)You do live near the school, don’t you?
3) It was raining at nine o’clock this morning, wasn’t it?
The students should reply, e.g.:
1) Not at all, my name is Ann.
2) Not, quite, my home is a long way from school.
3) I don’t think so.
When the learners have seen how the game works, they can fire questions at each other to try to catch each other out.

Amazing facts
You and your students may like the idea of having a regular five – minute slot in your lesson called `amazing facts`. You or a student have five minutes in which to inform the class about something they may not be familiar with and which is likely to amaze them.
Instead of trying to fill a five – minute slot, a single amazing statement can be made. It might well provoke some discussion. Here is a brief example: `People often say that it is always raining in Britain`.

Chain story
Narration: Use of the past tense
Begin telling a stor.This can be the first few lines of a story from your course book, or improvised, or you can invite a student to start. Then, going round the class, each student has to add another brief `installment` to the story.
Before you start, ask each student to choose a word. It can be an item of vocabulary recently learnt or a verb in the past tense or freely chosen. Then each `installment` has to include the word the student has chosen.

Compare yourself
Getting to know each other, use of comparatives
In pairs, students find different ways of comparing themselves with each other, and write down or simply say the appropriate sentences.
1) You are taller than I am.
2) Tina has longer hair than I have.
3) Jane is taller than Luis.
To encourage more interaction, tell the students they may not use aspects (such as height or hair colour) that are immediately apparent, but only things they have to find out through talking:
1) Peter has more brothers than I have.
2) Marie knows more languages than Diane.
As a follow – up, share some of the things participants have found out with the rest of the class.

Find someone who
Brief pair conversations
The students have one minute to walk around the room and find at least one person in the class who was born in the same month as they were: they get one point for every person they find in the time. Then they have to find someone who was born on the same day of the month. At the end, see how many points each student has.

Yes/no questions and answers
Choose an object, animal or person, and tell the students which of these categories it belongs to. They have to guess what it is. Encourage `narrowing-down` questions, and give generous hints if the guessing slows down. The student who guesses the answer chooses the next thing to be guessed.

 Jumbled words
Vocabulary and spelling practice
Write on the board words the students have recently learnt, or ones they have difficulty spelling with the letters in jumbled order. For example, you might give an elementary class a set of words like gdo, sumoe, owc, knymoe, tca,tnhpeeal, ibdr and tell them these are al animals. In the time given they work out as many as they can of the answers:
dog, mouse, cow, monkey, cat, elephant, bird.

Draw a picture of Martian on the board. Place your two forefingers on either side of your head and tell the class that you are a Martian. Pretend that you are unfamiliar with everyday objects, for example: cars, coffee, ships, music. Pretend also that you do not have a very wide vocabulary in English. The students should try to help you to understand what each object or idea is , but you must continually ask questions as if you do not understand. For example:
Martian: What`s a car?
Student 1: People travel in cars.
Martian: What`s `travel in`?
Student 2:`Travel` means you go from one place to another place.
Martian: But what does a car look like?
Student 3:It`s like a box on wheels.
Martian: What`s a box? etc.

I hope that some of you will find these games rewarding and that they can be helpful, too. I wish you everything the best in 2014. year.

Best regards,