Online MA in TESOL!
correcting can be fun!
First just let me say thanks to the other contributors for their ideas. As a token of my gratitude, here's my humble contribution. It isn't original, but it doesn't require any handouts and can be prepared very quickly for any small group at any level.
Divide the class into two teams. Write up 10-15 sentences on the board, and tell the class that each one contains a mistake. (Tell them to read the phrases and look for the mistakes as you are writing them up - no time wasted!) Naturally the phrases should be graded according to the level of the group, and ideally should concentrate on points of grammar and vocabulary which you have studied recently and/or on typical mistakes which students make at that level - if like me you keep a record of mistakes made by students during the lesson this is an unthreatening, anonymous and fun context in which to highlight them. When you've finished, give each team 100 points. Team A chooses a phrase for Team B to correct - obviously they'll choose a difficult phrase (i.e. one they're not sure about!) - this gives plenty of scope for a bit of friendly nastiness! Team B decides how many points they'd like to gamble (obviously the more confident they are, the more points they'll gamble), and after consulting for a minute they give their answer. If they identify the mistake, they add these points to their total. If not, they lose them. Team A then get a chance to pick up bonus points by correcting the phrase - if they can they get the points that Team B bet. (This means they will be consulting at the same time, so everyone's brain will be focussed on the phrase.) It's then the turn of Team B to choose a phrase for Team A to correct. (Cross out the phrases already chosen.) The maximum bet should be 100 points, otherwise there is the risk that one team will run away with the game very quickly. It can take a while (impose a strict time limit for consultation) but the level of concentration even from students who usually don't worry too much about how correct their English is can be miraculous!
Hope you like it (any feedback to firstname.lastname@example.org)
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