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A good chain speaking game to get your reticent students talking and let you take a breather. It also makes students listen to each other better and gives them more confidence in their speaking ability. Good for high beginner onwards (students that can form coherent sentences).

1) Write some interesting, open-ended situation on the board. Keep it simple, but full of possibilities for development. Use your imagination. For example, "I was walking downtown. It was dark, and very late at night. The street was empty. It was really scary. Suddenly a rough voice from behind me shouted, 'Gimme all your money!'"

2) Have one student read the sentence aloud, and then it's that student's turn to go first.

3) He or she has to make a (only one!) sentence that logically connects to yours. For example, "I turned around and saw a fierce-looking mugger with a long knife." Then another student goes next, etc.

4) Students take turns building on each others' sentences to make a vivid, compelling story that is all their own.

5) Sit back and correct their grammar if you feel like it, or give them some help, and/or contribute yourself to the story formation.

a) encourage students to spin out long, not short, stories
b) have advanced students bring to class their own open-ended story starters

Max Becker-Pos
Seoul, Republic of Korea

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