A few tweaks to the 4-3-2 technique: mining texts for lexis + mind-mapping to increase fluency gains at B1-C2 levels

Robbio Dobbio:

A great activity for developing fluency.

Originally posted on ELT stories:

Another one in a series of fluency-related posts – more links here: contents .

One of the most widely known classroom activities that target fluency is Paul Nation’s 4-3-2 technique: students tell the same story (or do the same task) under progressively stricter time constraints. The idea is that students are pushed to perform faster and are forced to restructure the ‘routines’ they use, and so the ‘formulation’ phase of speech production speeds up.

With my B1-C2 level students I use a slightly more complex procedure. Students find interesting articles online in order to share them in class, but instead of just reading and retelling them them to their classmates using more or less what linguistic resources they currently have, they actively mine text for collocations. This tweak to the activity seems to tie in nicely with a lot of insight into fluency described in the previous post. The full version involves some…

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Defining relative clauses

Defining relative clauses

Robbio Dobbio:

Great communicative introduction to defining relative clauses.

Originally posted on A Hive of Activities:

Copyright © 2014 Emma Gore-Lloyd

Copyright © 2014 Emma Gore-Lloyd

This is a communicative, personalised activity for introducing defining relative clauses.

Ask your students to write the numbers 1-8 on their paper. Next to no. 1 tell them to write down a place where they like to eat. They should write the name only. You are going to read out 7 similar categories and they should similarly write down just the answer. Here’s the (suggested) list in full:

  1. a place where you like to eat
  2. someone who annoys you
  3. a time when you were surprised
  4. an activity which you hate doing
  5. someone whom you love
  6. a reason why you got up this morning
  7. something that you can do really well
  8. a place in which you feel relaxed

Now you can ask the students to look at the first one and say what you said to make them write it down. Hopefully they’ll come up with…

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Past Modals of Deduction: The Hangover

hangover

This is a lesson plan based around the theme of hangovers in which students get to grips with past modals of deduction, and question formation.

Introduction

What is hangover?

Do you get hangovers?

When was the last time you had one?

What’s the worst hangover you can remember?

Do any specific drinks give you a worse hangover?

Part 1:

Give out the situation handout.

Read out the situation and clear up any vocabulary issues.

You wake up on your sofa with a very sore head. Your friends are all sleeping on the floor of the living room. One of your friends is wearing a wedding dress. You have a big bruise on your knee. There is an unfamiliar cat walking around the room. The room smells of vomit. Your car is not outside.

What happened last night???

Possible past actions Could/might/may have + past part.

 

My friend might have got married!
Almost certain past actions

 

Must have + past part. We must have got really drunk.
Impossible past actions

 

Can’t have + past part. I can’t have driven home.
Expressing regret

 

Should/shouldn’t have + past part. We shouldn’t have drunk so much.

 

First brainstorm the questions for the mysteries.

Where did I leave the car?

Where did the cat come from?

Why is my friend wearing a wedding dress?

Why did I fall asleep on the sofa?

Why does my head hurt?

How did I hurt my knee?

Why does the house smell like vomit?

Part 2

Tell students you are going to show them a clip from the film “The Hangover” that contains a similar situation. Tell them that while they watch they should make a note of the different mysteries.

After watching brainstorm the mysteries, putting all of them on the board paying special attention to question formation.

Then have students speculate on the mysteries using past modals of deduction.

Follow up

Put students in groups and have them write new hangover situations with lots of mysteries, they then exchange situations with another group and speculate about each other’s situations.