A Fun Speaking Activity (If/when)

Hi guys! This is a good speaking activity for your students to practice 2 grammar points at the same time.

I made this activity few years ago, and it works really well. You just need to adjust to your prefecture.

I asked a colleague to record a video saying that he was going to visit the prefecture I live in. He basically asked my students some recommendations (food, places to visit etc.) from this prefecture.

I play the video 2 or 3 times or until the students understand the message. The goal of the activity is that the students make a video message to my colleague, recommending what they consider good things to do or to eat in our prefecture.

I start with food. I ask my students to tell me good dishes from our prefecture. I write the dishes they suggest on the board . Move on with the places and do the same thing. Normally, kids get really excited here, so your blackboard will be full of suggestions.

Then I ask them to choose one of each topic, and to find a picture of them (food and place) on google using the iPads. They can choose them either from the board (what they suggested previously), or another things they haven't suggested yet. This shouldn't take more than 3 min. Use the timer to push a little bit.
*You might want to help those students that can't decide what to suggest.

Once everyone is ready I do my presentation using what I picked.
"Hi @@@←( my colleague's name).
If you come to @@@←(prefecture), please go to @@@ city. When you come to @@@ city, you can visit @@@. It is beautiful! You can also eat @@@. It is delicious!"

I'm very tough with my students, and I ask them to describe more than just "beautiful" or "delicious". I ask them to talk about where can they eat that dish, what kind of dish it is, etc. When they talk about the place, same thing. What kind of place is it. What can you do there, and so on.

Very important⚠️
This is a review of these grammar points. So after my presentation, the JET ask the students if they heard any particular words. Normally, 2 or 3 students will notice what the grammar points are, and they will point them out.

Ok, here is the fun part. We are pretty much at the middle of the lesson at this point. Give them few minutes to think the info they want to suggest. Make pairs, and the students will practice between them their presentations showing on their iPads the pictures that they already downloaded. When they finish, change the partners and do it again until you feel they can do it decently. Before starting to practice with a new partner, you want to check if there is something they wanna say, but they don't know how to say it in English.

The final step, is to record the video message. While a student is giving the suggestions, its partner is recording the video with its iPad. That way, the speaker can show the pictures while speaking.

Students will say something like:

"Hi @@@.

My name is @@@. Nice to meet you. If you come to @@@, please eat @@@. It is delicious. Also when you come to @@@, please go to @@@. It is a nice place.

Enjoy your trip!".

As you can see, this is pretty much elementary school English grammar. I'm just putting things together in order to sound fluently and natural.

The best way to do this, is in two lessons as I said at the beginning. At the second lesson, you can practice a little bit more, and record the videos. Try to request in advance your lessons in order to do it the next day or so. You don't want the students to forget what they've done so far. I can do it in 1 lesson, but it is a little pushy. I like to have enough time for them to feel confortable and have enough time to practice.

You can actually use this activity for other grammar points:

Passive voice "This is takoyaki. Takoyaki is a snack from Osaka. It is eaten by many people in Japan."

Relative pronouns "Takoyaki is a snack from Osaka that is eaten by many people".

The point here is to send a video to my colleague, where they explain something and showing a picture of it.

I know it seems impossible, but believe me, it works. If you fail the first time, don't worry. This is a matter of practice.

Good luck, and please let me know how it went.

Submitted by Fernand May 8, 2023 Estimated time: I have managed to do it in 50 min, but the best would be in 2 lessons.
  1. Samu T April 9, 2024

    good idea and nice explanation. I will try it....thx for your hard work and great notations

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