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The Talking Zone

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To get students to talk during the first few days is far from easy. At a later stage, the really difficult thing is to keep them quiet! :) Anyway, let´s begin at the beginning...This teaching activity revolves around four major topics: a) The Home, b) School Life, c) Jobs and d) Spare Time. By answering a few simple questions and carrying out some easy tasks, students will get to know one another in a comfortable and co-operative environment. There is something for everyone and -hopefully- all of the students will have something to say.

Just ask your students to say a number between 1 and 40 and read the corresponding question. Do not ask for perfection right now. Building up everybody´s self-confidence is much more important -and will prove more useful in the long run- so make sure that everybody joins in the talking.

A) The Home

1) Design the ideal home. Tell your classmates about it.
2) Describe your bedroom. Your classmates should be able to produce
a detailed plan of the place, according to your description.
3) You have won 25,000 dollars in the lottery. How would you
redecorate your living-room?
4) In groups, design the house of the future. Show the results on a
poster.
5) Draw a plan of your neighbourhood, show where your house is and
explain how you go to the following places: a) the baker´s, b) the
supermarket and c) your favourite disco or pub.
6) Compose an advertisement to sell your house.
7) Give 3 reasons why you like/dislike your house.
8) Write a story about a house. Use between 120 and 150 words.
9) Would you rather rent a house or buy one? Discuss.
10)Write a list of the housework to be done in a house. Say who does
each thing at your place.

B) School Life

11)In pairs, list the qualities of the perfect teacher.
12)Say what your favourite school subjects are. Give reasons.
13)Are you a "good" student? Explain why/why not.
14)Design a suitable timetable for your class. Show it to your
classmates.
15)Homework is necessary. Discuss.
16)Plan the activities for a special "Cultural Events Week" at your
school.
17)Suggest an itinerary for an end-of-term trip.
18)Devise a short English exam. Try it and see what happens!
19)Tell your classmates a funny story/situation that has taken place
in your school.
20)Imagine what a small child would write about his/her first day at
school.

C) Jobs

21)Write a short paragraph about your present/past/future job. Read
it out and aloud.
22)Tell your students 5 things you would do if you were not forced to
work..
23)Write a list of 10 machines/devices that make peoples´s work
easier these days.
24)Tell your classmates about one job you would NOT like to do.
Explain your choice.
25)Would you work if you were a millionaire?
26)Think of 3 people you admire because of their jobs.
27)Would you like to be a policeman/policewoman? Why? Why not?
28)Many people have not got a job. Suggest some solutions to the
problem.
29)Think of one job. Let your classmates ask you questions about it
(ie "Do you work indoors?", "Is your job interesting?" etc.) You
may only answer "Yes" or "No". Can they guess the job you are
thinking about?

30)How many different jobs can you name in 1 minute?

D) Spare Time

31)Summarize the plot of a book you have enjoyed. Can your
classmates guess its title?
32)Tell the class about the worst TV program you have ever seen.
33)Are you sports-mad? Briefly describe the rules of your favourite
sport.
34)If you could travel round the world, what countries would you
visit?
35)Write a short paragraph about your favourite singer/band. Use
about 70 words.
36)Tell your classmates about the (computer) game you like best.
37)Do you like reading comics? Which are your favourites? Why?
38)Think about your favourite radio program. Tell your neighbour,
adding reasons why you think s/he should listen to it.
39)In groups, make a poster about your favourite singer/band.
40)Write the titles of the 4 best films you have ever seen.


Devised by Joan M. Díez Clivillé
IESI Ramon Berenguer IV
Amposta, Tarragona (SPAIN)
jdiez123@pie.xtec.es
joandiez@hotmail.com

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