It may be early days, but so far this term this is proving to be an effective classroom management technique to limit Spanish in the class.
It’s a simple “button” which I stick next to a student’s name when they speak Spanish. When another student speaks Spanish, the button moves. Whoever has the button at the end of the class stays behind to help tidy up…wiping off the board, putting the tables and chairs straight, etc.
It’s handy as well as they police each other!
This is a fabulous activity for older Primary students, teens and adults which I picked up from Katherine Bilsborough’s session at the recent TESOL-SPAIN convention.
Firstly, ask students to draw the picture below – you could do this as a picture dictation, or project the picture and ask them to copy it. You can see me in the picture too (I’m eating an ice cream!).
Students also draw themselves in the picture and then do a mingle activity to add more detail to their picture. For lower levels, this could be, “What are you doing?” or for higher levels, “What were you doing when the shark attacked?” Students draw their classmates onto the picture and can then compare drawings, write a news report or report back to the class in whole group feedback.
This is a highly adaptable activity as by changing the original picture, you could use it for a variety of different topics and grammar points, e.g…
- Students draw the playground and pictures of what they can do (What can you do? I can play tennis.)
- Students draw a house and after the mingle activity, the teacher could say that someone was murdered in the living room, leading to modals of speculation (It can’t have been Tom – he was playing football in the garden.)
- Students could draw an object in a classroom to practise prepositions (The ruler is under the chair.)
- And many more…
Well, what a weekend! Filled to the brim with TEFL (I am counting that acronym as one word) – friendly faces and new acquaintances, tried and tested ideas, in-depth chats over a beer and the endless uncertainty of whether it was going to rain. What more is there to say?
This term is great for professional development, with something happening every month. In January, there was the TEFL del Sur Swap Shop, last month was FECEI‘s annual event in Madrid and now I’m getting ready for TESOL-SPAIN‘s annual conference, which this year is being held in Sevilla.
My theme for this workshop is one-board games, as I’m a huge fan of reusing materials and adapting basic things to suit as many different ages, levels and activities as possible. So my talk demonstrates 10 activities you can do using this board with any age or level – from VYLs to FCE students (and beyond). Find out more about the activities here and download some of the sample activities from the Activities for your Classroom page.