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  #1 (permalink)  
Unread Jan 10th, 2005, 12:34 am
Happy Camper's Avatar
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Default The Apprehensive Class

Do you ever have one of those classes where you are asking questions but you get better more response from the wall than you do from your students?

If you find yourself in this position next time you could try what I do. This works best for younger students and almost certainly not with adults!!

If i have asked the class the same question about 362 times and still no response i have everyone stand up. Then have one person start walking around the class and the rest of the class forms a line and follows them. then i have that first student speed up a bit so they aren't just slouching around. Then i ask my question again. As soon as one student answers the question (right or wrong) they can sit down. Quite quickly you will have received a verbal response from everyone in the room. After that the students respond much more quickly to my questions.

if the question you are asking can have more than one answer, don't let the students repeat what another student has said.

I hope this works for you
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Unread Feb 10th, 2005, 12:51 am
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Default The Ask Me Questions "game"

Hey Happy Camper,
I like your idea. I think that would really lighten the mood and create some motivation to speak up quickly. I like that your technique doesn't centre anybody out, so they all feel silly together and get rewarded for speaking rather than put on the spot.

I do something different with my shy class to get them to talk. I tell them it's their turn to ask me questions (usually right after I take attendance, as a warm-up/review). I like to call this "game" ASK ME QUESTIONS

They know they can ask me anything, so the weaker students can get away with "How are you today?" and the less shy can try whatever new material we're learning, a more conversational "What did you do today?" perhaps. Sometimes I give points out for multiple questions and give a sticker for whoever asks the most. (I don't do this in classes where there is one obviously unhindered student among the shy ones who will always "win".)

Putting them all in the spotlight at the same time, I'm freed up to do some prompting/hinting. I think it's empowering to give them the choice of topic to speak about, and I feel like most of my students don't have enough opportunity to ask questions, so it's good for practicing Qform. But the next time the minutes start to build up, I'll be sure to make them start walking.

Last edited by little sage : Feb 10th, 2005 at 12:59 am.
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Unread Nov 8th, 2006, 02:00 pm
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Default Re: The Apprehensive Class

This made me think of something we do in Primary classrooms called. Show and Tell. It has lots of names but it is a time when students can bring something from home to share with their classmates. This could really promote speaking in front of classrmates.
Some years I have the students hide their object and give hints, such as colour etc. as to what they have brought. The class gets 3 guesses,(how many guesses is up to the teacher), then the students shows what he/she has brought and talks about it to the class. This is good for speaking and for listening skills.
Then we have 'Questions or Comments'
The class can ask questions about the object of make a comment relevant to the presentation. The presenter has the power to choose who can ask the question or make a comment, they love this. It is up to the teacher to specify how many questions will be asked.
I usually have a list that we work down to ensure everyone gets a turn sharing, and we have about 5 sharing on each day.
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Unread Nov 14th, 2006, 05:18 pm
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Default Re: The Apprehensive Class

Quote Happy Camper
This works best for younger students and almost certainly not with adults!!
Not necessarily. I'd happily do it with adults in quite a lot of circumstances. Often it's not what you do but how you do it that makes the difference. It will always depend on exactly who your students are - and it's not age or status that makes the difference. I can think of 50 year old high ranking executives that I would try it with, and twenty-something junior managers who I wouldn't. More important is the mix of personalities within the class and your own relationship with them - I might get away with it better with the high-ranking execs because they're fairly open people, I'm the same age and we have developed a relationship of mutual respect for each other's professional competence. In other circumstances I might think twice. But it's certainly not only age - every so often you meet a class that would jump out of a six storey window if you say it will improve their English. With any activity you always need to assess the people in front of you, your own credibility, and their ultimate realisation of the usefulness of what you're doing. With adults, if you do a couple of crazy things which, after the initial shock, they realise helped their learning, they'll follow you anywhere.
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