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  #1 (permalink)  
Unread Nov 21st, 2006, 06:52 pm
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Default Any good 'question tag' activities

I'm going to be teaching question tags and I was wondering if anyone had any killer activities or practice advice.

It's cold out today, isn't it?
A lot of people came to the meeting, didn't they?

It seems difficult to be really do it naturally...

These are adults at a false beginner to intermediate level. There are about 10 people in the group.

Thanks!
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  #2 (permalink)  
Unread Nov 22nd, 2006, 12:14 am
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Clive Hawkins
 
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Default Re: Any good 'question tag' activities

Hi Mark,

I like this activity.

At the very beginning of the lesson I elicit and write up around 15 questions. (This is good revision of question forms too :-))These are usually questions like
- when is your birthday?
- how old are you?
- do you eat toast for breakfast?
- what car do you drive?
- how many sisters have you got?
- what time did you go to bed last night?
- where did you go last weekend?
- do you take sugar in tea?
- where are you going next weekend?
- have you seen Titanic?

Try to get a variety of tenses, as this will enhance the activity later on.

Next get the students to ask each other the questions - WITHOUT WRITING ANYTHING DOWN.

Now do your presentation on question tags and any other activities you want to do.

At the very end of the lesson - just long enough for many of the students to have forgotten the answers to the questions - get them back in the original pairs to see if they remember their partner's answers.

"You take two sugars in tea, don't you?" etc etc

Make sure the intonation goes up if they're not sure and stays flat if they are sure.

This activity usually goes down well because it's personal to them and you can also make it competitive by seeing who's got the best memory in the class.

See how it goes.
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Unread Nov 22nd, 2006, 12:15 am
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Clive Hawkins
 
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Default Re: Any good 'question tag' activities

Hi Mark,

I like this activity.

At the very beginning of the lesson I elicit and write up around 15 questions. (This is good revision of question forms too :-))These are usually questions like
- when is your birthday?
- how old are you?
- do you eat toast for breakfast?
- what car do you drive?
- how many sisters have you got?
- what time did you go to bed last night?
- where did you go last weekend?
- do you take sugar in tea?
- where are you going next weekend?
- have you seen Titanic?

Try to get a variety of tenses, as this will enhance the activity later on.

Next get the students to ask each other the questions - WITHOUT WRITING ANYTHING DOWN.

Now do your presentation on question tags and any other activities you want to do.

At the very end of the lesson - just long enough for many of the students to have forgotten the answers to the questions - get them back in the original pairs to see if they remember their partner's answers.

"You take two sugars in tea, don't you?" etc etc

Make sure the intonation goes up if they're not sure and stays flat if they are sure.

This activity usually goes down well because it's personal to them and you can also make it competitive by seeing who's got the best memory in the class.

See how it goes.
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Unread Nov 22nd, 2006, 12:17 am
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Clive Hawkins
 
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Default Re: Any good 'question tag' activities

I've just posted a question tags rolepaly in the worksheets forum.
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Unread Nov 23rd, 2006, 07:06 am
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Default Re: Any good 'question tag' activities

For listening practice using question tags you could use the song by The Beautiful south -´A little time´, it has good examples of question tags in there, down load the lyrics and you can do a listening gap fill activity. Then discuss the girls emotions in the song, and why she uses the tags, my students love the song! Especially the girls!
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Unread Nov 23rd, 2006, 05:51 pm
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Default Re: Any good 'question tag' activities

Thanks for the help. I'll try them out next week I hope.
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Unread Nov 25th, 2006, 11:32 am
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Default Re: Any good 'question tag' activities

I usually only teach questions tags receptively until a fairly high level. If students are going to speak to native speakers they need to understand them, but they aren't really necessary productively. I find students tie themselves in so many knots and get so frustrated trying to work out what they're supposed to say that it just demotivates them. and the time could be better spent on something else. What do other people think?
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  #8 (permalink)  
Unread Nov 27th, 2006, 01:22 am
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Default Re: Any good 'question tag' activities

Quote:
Quote susan53
I find students tie themselves in so many knots and get so frustrated trying to work out what they're supposed to say that it just demotivates them. and the time could be better spent on something else. What do other people think?
You have a very good point. It does tend to stunt fluency, even for the higher level students. For the lower levels I usually stick to 'me too' or 'I agree, disagree'.
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Unread Dec 3rd, 2006, 10:37 pm
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Default Re: Any good 'question tag' activities

I decided to just go with 'right' for now.

You're coming to the party, right?
He's not bringing her to the party, right?

And then I'll ad 'be' verb tags later.
Followed by 'do' tags at some distant point in the future.
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Unread Dec 13th, 2006, 11:11 pm
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Default Re: Any good 'question tag' activities

I also have found my students to have been "to involved" with tag questions.
The last time I did tags, I gave them a cloze using the poem/song "Alexander Beetle". After filling in the blanks, they could read each line and supply the tags.
The only problem was they were so busy listening to this song that they had never heard before, they had to do the listening several times. By then, some of them were singing and laughing as well.
These were Senior grade 1 students in China, aged about 14-16.
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