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Communicative Activities

Communicative Activities 
for English Language Classes

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Word Order/Structures

The Popsy Word Game

Type of Game: Competitive chain game

Duration: 5-10 minutes

Skill: Speaking comprehension

Aims: consolidating and expanding vocabulary

Level: any group 


1. Procedure

Sitting in a circle with your students, begin the game by throwing Popsy to one of your students and calling out a letter of the alphabet at the same time.
Within a set period of time (15-20 seconds), this student has to find as many words as possible which begin with that letter (e.g. "cat"/ "car"/"catch"/"can"/"coal"...). When his time has run out, it is then this student's turn to throw Popsy to someone else and call out a letter. 

Make sure every student has at least one go. The student producing the highest number of words is the winner.

 


2. Variations

Depending on the level of the group, the game can be more challenging, for example:

- by shortening the set time period,
- by imposing specific thematic areas (e.g. towns/countries/rivers/ or school things /subjects or jobs or food etc...)


NB

Difficult or rare letters should not be used.

 

The Matching Game

Type of Game: Definitions game

Duration: 5-10 minutes

Skill: Reading

Aims: Consolidating vocabulary. Preparing to use a monolingual dictionary.

Level: From false beginners/lower-intermediate upwards. 


1. Procedure

Give one half of the group slips of paper containing words which have already be dealt with in earlier lessons. Give the other half slips of paper consisting of definitions of these words to the rest of the students; if there is an odd number of students, you should play the game too!

The students are then to walk around the room, asking one another questions to find out which word goes with which definition.
Finally, the students with matching words/definitions can read them out to the rest of the class.

2. Variations

Depending on the level of the group and the level of difficulty you decide on, many variations can be used:

- matching synonyms
- matching opposites (beautiful/ugly)
- matching the right picture with the right word


 - matching words from the same category: weather (cloud/rain), food (milk/cheese), computer (mouse/screen).

For advanced students, you could suggest words and have your students write themselves both the words and the definitions on slips of paper . Of course, the words should have been dealt with before and be easy to define. 

After collecting and redistributing the slips of paper at random, ask your students to read out their definitions one by one. The student who has the word which matches the definition calls it out.

3. Preparation

If possible, use slips of paper of different colours (one colour for the words, another for the definitions). The definitions should be taken from a monolingual dictionary.

 

Pictionary

Type of Game: competitive game

Duration: 10 minutes

Skill: Speaking

Aims: Describing/defining. Consolidating vocabulary.

Level: From false beginners/lower-intermediate upwards. 


1. Procedure

Divide your students into two teams. Then, ask a student from each team to go to the blackboard and give him a slip of paper with a word written on it. Explain that he/she is to describe the word by drawing a picture on the board.
While he is doing this, the other students- by  calling out any word they can think of in relation to what they see on the board- are to try and guess what the picture represents.

The first team to guess receives a point. Of course, no verbal indication as to what the picture is should be given but the students who are drawing can use mime, gestures and/or sign-language to help their team out with their guessing.

2. Variations

Additionally, you can use compound nouns, film or book titles as well as sayings with advanced classes.
Instead of two teams, the game can also be carried out in pairs or in small groups.


 3. Preparation

Prepare small slips of paper containing words which are familiar to the students.

 

NB

You can use this game either: 

- to refresh vocabulary which has been dealt with some time ago, 
- to warm up your previous lesson at the beginning of a new sequence,
- as a revision exercise before an exam.

 

 

 Mystery Object

Type of Game: guessing game

Duration: 15-20 minutes

Skill: Speaking

Aims:  Consolidating vocabulary.

Level: From false beginners/pre-intermediate upwards. 


1. Procedure

Ask the class to divide into small groups of 4-6 students and to think of a word which contains as many letters as there are members in the groups ( a group of five students should then choose a five-letter word).

Then, ask each member of the group to choose one letter from this word and to try and find other words beginning with that particular letter. These words should be easy to describe in pantomime or through sketching to the rest of the class.

Example: a group of five students thinks of the word "actor". The first student describes  (pantomime or sketching) several words beginning with the letter "A" (for example: apple, angry, airplane...), until the class guess them properly.
It is then the second student's turn to describe words beginning with the letter "C" (e.g.: cat, car, cap, corn...) until they're all found out. The third student then follows with the letter "T" and so on and so forth until the class have guessed the word the group had originally thought of.


 2. Variations

Additionally, you can use compound nouns, film or book titles as well as sayings with advanced classes.

3. Preparation

None

 

NB

With slower groups, you may find useful to ask your students to write down the words they have guessed so that it's easier for them to get to the final guess of the original word.

As to the choice of  words for each group, you can easily impose words from specific thematic areas (e.g; school things, food, domestic appliances etc...) or particular words such as past forms of irregular verbs, adjectives, adverbs, prepositions ...

 

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