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SPEAK MIME take it to the NEXT LEVEL

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This is an activity that focuses on intonation and body language, building confidence that can be used for any target language.
Using the age old technique of mime in the classroom.

Set up

Give the most confident S a short dialogue. Stand in front of the S and mime everything they are saying as if you are the person speaking. It is good if the dialogue includes some funny visual cues - for eg.
"hmmm I love smelling my shoes."

Now ask the Ss what you were doing and elicit MIME.
Follow this by asking another S to stand in front of you and attempt to mime what you are saying. Make the S do something ridiculous and visually exciting.

The next step is to create a mime conversation. This will require 4 Ss. 2 speaking and 2 miming the conversation. This will be a short improvisation.
You can continue with these short improvisations and then move onto the following activity.

The Following Activity

Now break the class into groups of 4 (you can use 3 or 5 if nes.)
Each group has 2 speakers and 2 mimers. Give them 10-20 mins to write a short script and practice the mime. They can then perform these in front of the class. If you have a moveable white board you can use this by having the speakers behind the board.

We have used this activity from low to advanced levels and the results vary but always bring out confidence in students and have been a great way for students to practice oral English. It is also a useful tool for practicing specific language (see below).

If your students have trouble coming up with ideas here are some suggestions: a bank robbery, a resturant scene, hospital, lovers, marriage proposals, giving directions, etc.

This activity also lets the speaker relax and puts the attention on the mimer therefore helping less confident Ss.

If you are in China and want to try this, they have a style of performance in Mandarin called 'shuang huang' 双簧 which is similar to this activity.

Intitial idea - Phil Senior
Development - Rory Urquhart and Jake Whiddon

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