Exciting Group Activities for the TEFL Classroom
Admin - Dec 30 2015
Many EFL professionals shy away from purely lecture-type classroom environment, preferring instead to get students emotionally and physically involved in the discovery and appreciation of different language concepts. Getting learners to actively participate in class also establish a scenario of game or play, something that easily perks up moods and draws much excitement. To further the ante, group play far outweighs individual play in most cases and getting students to delve into “play” as competing or cooperating teams is a good way to introduce or reinforce a lesson or concept.
Here are some readily adaptable group activities that can jazz up an EFL classroom.
A. Guess the Word
This activity involves flash cards with English terms written on one side to be given to a group of two or more students each. The terms on the flash card can be the English name of an object, type of person, emotion, or concept. Each group will keep the term secret and are not allowed to voice or write the terms out until the game has been concluded. Any group mentioning the terms on their flashcards in any way will be disqualified or sanctioned accordingly.
The teacher will then call the groups one by one in sequence, allowing all groups to perform mini-plays that describe, pertain to or mimic the “thing” written in their flashcards.
All the other groups will then note the English word they think the performing group is trying to convey or present.
Scoring for this activity will be two-fold. First, the group which correctly guessed the highest number of English words win in the “guessing category.” This means that the group members are attentively observing the other groups’ presentations and have correctly deduced the most number of English terms. Second, the group which elicited the most number of correct guesses wins in the presentation category. This means that the winning group communicated the terms on their flashcards very well. The overall champion will be the group whose total score in both categories amounts to the highest.
B. Word Association
This activity explores the range of vocabulary a class as well as individual students have so far developed since they started learning English as a second or foreign language.
?Kick start the activity by forming the class into a huge circle.
Decide on an everyday topic to use, then give a word that pertains to or is associated with the topic. For example, you can check out how much your students know about nature terms in English by using the word “sea” to kickstart the game.
The student on your right (or left; the direction is arbitrary) will then continue the association thread by giving a related term such as “beach” or “ship.”
Any student who fails to give an associated term within five seconds will be pulled out from the circle.
If the association thread is broken (when a student fails to give an associated term in five seconds or gives a wrong one), a new idea or topic thread will be started by the learner at the right of the disqualified player.
The last two or three persons who are still part of the circle will be declared the winners of the game.
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