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This is a great exercise for both speaking and listening. Moreover it involves very little prep. time.

the basic concept is:
Imagine you are taking your friend to visit your home.
Your friend, however, is blind.
You have to describe in (meticulous) detail everything about your house to your friend.

It helps enormously if you prepare a vocabulary sheet including words and phrases refering to "layout","location", "size", "colours", "objects contained" and "positions".

The second prep sheet is simply one large square divided horizontally to denote a two floor house. Even in apartments this is still useful to show which floor the person lives on. You will need plenty of these.

One student has to describe his/her house while the other students have to listen and draw what they here. (Then it is the next person's turn).

It is useful to allow the speaker to see the listeners' pictures because it jolts him/her into realising east has been confused with west, right with left, etc.

You could make it into a prize winning game, whereby the speaker chooses the most correct picture.

My students were adults of low to medium ability. They all enjoyed this exercise a great deal and found it challenging. The drawing element really makes them get into it, its also a nice personal touch.
My students had 10 to 15 minutes to talk (because i have small classes) but they were by no means finished. When I told them how long they had been speaking they were very exited and surprised at their achievement. The time alowance is, of course, variable.

Alex Olive

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