Winner of The Best Activity for Crowded Classrooms Category
Erdoğan Akar, Bakırköy Anadolu İmam Hatip Lisesi, İstanbul
Information about the Teacher
Grade level(s) the teacher is teaching: 9-12
Year(s) of experience as an English teacher: 14
Information about the Activity
Primary Category: Speaking
Students’ English Proficiency Level: Elementary
Students’ Age Group: 14-15
Students’ Grade Level: High school
Purpose of the Activity: The purpose of the activity is to encourage students to use the target language while having fun. This activity aims at reaching as many students as possible creating a real-like atmosphere using creative drama technique. With the help of this activity, students will have a chance to ask and answer questions in the target language.
Class size: 40
Group size: 5-6
Materials Needed: No material is needed.
Technology Needed: No technology is needed.
Brief Description of the Activity: This activity can be used in crowded classrooms if you are practicing how to ask and answer about any topic. I usually use this activity to practise asking and answering questions about free time activities, routines, past events and experiences, but I sometimes use it with higher grades to get some information about a topic or an event. The students should already know some grammatical structures and be able to ask and answer simple questions regarding personal information. The teacher chooses two students who are better at English than others just to demonstrate and encourage other students to take part in the activity. The teacher takes the two students out of the classroom. He tells one of the students that he / she is a celebrity who cannot speak English or the mother tongue, but a different language. The celebrity can make up a language or just say something with no meaning. However, he/she must use their mimes and gestures even whole body to give the message. The other student will be the interpreter whose job is to translate what the celebrity says to the students and vice versa. The interpreter will have no idea what the celebrity says since the celebrity is not speaking a proper language, yet looking at his/her mimes, gestures and movements, the interpreter should utter some sentences. The students start asking questions to the celebrity and the interpreter translates it to the celebrity; the celebrity answers the question in a different language; and the interpreter translates the message again. Here, the students ask lots of questions and it becomes fun to watch the celebrity and the interpreter. After the whole class activity, ask students to make groups of 5 or 6. Tell them to choose a celebrity and an interpreter. Give one or two minutes to them make preparations. Finally, have them ask and answer questions in the target language. Walk around the classroom to check if they are using the target language properly and help them whenever they need. Assign them to prepare a sketch for the next lesson.