mercoledì 11 aprile 2018

From Scratch Paper To Speaking: a low-prep activity

A couple of weeks ago my laptop broke down. I felt desperate. The last time I had felt like that was when I broke up with my boyfriend 😭! And now the fateful question everybody asked me, ‘Did you  back your data?’ And my dumb answer, ‘I don’t do that,’ feeling like Carrie Bradshaw in Sex and The City. 

What shall I do? Just go back to basics: pen and paper!


Activity: improvised speaking
Level: B1+ and above
Students: young adults and adults
Materials: colourful pieces of paper, pens
N. Students: 6 or more
*Depending on the number of students you need a different number of pieces of papers. In the following instructions you will find the materials I used with a class of 6 students

1) Give each student 5 pieces of white paper and ask them to write a person name or noun on each piece.
E.g. Donald Trump, baker, violinist, Silvio Berlusconi (examples from my students)
2) Give each student 1 piece of yellow paper and ask them to write an outdoor place. E.g. beach.
3)  Give each student 1 piece of green paper and ask them to write a place where entrance is free. E.g. library.
4)  Give each student 1 piece of pink paper and ask them to write the worst place for them. E.g. Underground at rush hours.

Now you are ready to play!

5) Two students come to the front and pick two cards from the deck of white cards and one card from the colourful deck.

6) They need to talk to each other pretending to be the people on the white cards in the place on the colourful card for two minutes.

7) After two minutes, students from their seats can try to guess who they are and where they are while the two ‘actors’ continue speaking for one more minute.

8) Give one point to the students for each person and place they guess.

Improvisation is quite difficult for foreign language students so I strongly recommend that you use this game with a class whose level is upper-intermediate or above at the end of the course so that students already know each other well and they feel comfortable to come to the front.

My students and I had a lot of fun. Let me know about you!

PS: I took me a while to type this post from my iPad 😅

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