I teach English conversation to Korean students in Korea. Of course, the biggest challenge in a conversation class is getting students to converse. I found a great activity for this is playing the ESL $64,000 pyramid. It works like this:
Divide the class up into teams. Have one student on one team come up to the front of the class and give him/her a piece of paper with about 7 words on it centered around a theme. For example, you could have 7 words that start with M, or seven words that are parts of the body. In two minutes (let the other teams watch the clock for you), the student with the paper must try to get one of the students on his/her team to say as many of the words on the list without using the word itself. One point is scored for each word guessed.
The challenge here with a class full of students who all speak the same language is keeping them from giving hints in their native tongue. Usually, the other teams are vigilant about policing this for you, but when they are lazy, you'll have to lay down the law on your own.
I can't take credit for coming up with this idea, it came from a book called ESL Classroom Activities. They call it "Just a Minute".
Name: Alex Neff
Location: Taejon, Korea
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