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No "Yes / No"

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Beginning and intermediate students are often inclined to respond to questions with the easiest answers - yes or no. First ask them the EASIEST answer to a question, (they will likely respond with yes/no). Then tell them they cannot use either of these words. I give students basic yes/no questions (depending on size of class, you can instruct on who asks whom). They ask each other the questions and the respondent must answer without saying yes or no. At first, they respond on autopilot (with yes or no) and eventually begin to get the hang of the game, even to the extent that they try to trick one another by tacking on 'oh really?' after the respondent has replied. Often the respondent will then inadvertently confirm with 'yes' or 'no,' and it's a lot of fun for the person who has 'trapped' them. The follow up is introducing phrases such as 'actually,' 'in fact,' 'as it turns out,' 'as a matter of fact,' etc. They had a great time trying to trick one another into using the forbidden words! A simple thing, but good for beginner's practice responding in complete sentences and for intermediates to explore other alternatives. Actually it's best for intermediates who can play at a faster pace and therefore the respondents don't have time to compose their answer.

D. Gonzalez
Istanbul, Turkey

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