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  #1 (permalink)  
Unread Apr 19th, 2006, 01:26 pm
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Question Effective ways of teaching phrases?

Hi, I'm interested in methods of teaching 'useful language' in the classroom. For example practising language for refusing invitations; I'm afraid I can't..., I'd love to but..., I'm a bit busy, etc. etc.

After teaching a set of new phrases, I often find that students will revert back and use previous, familiar phrases in further unrestrictive practise.

Once the language has been introduced can anyone suggest any effective games or exercises to practise and help the students retain the NEW phrases.

Many thanks.
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Unread Apr 19th, 2006, 06:43 pm
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Default Re: Effective ways of teaching phrases?

After you teach the language how do you reinforce it?

For this kind of language I like to do a lot of survey and role play type activities.

Survey: Have students write down 5-10 activities they want to invite other students to do with them. Then have them make a chart like this:
Code:
activity _____|__name1__|__name2___|__name3__ 
play soccer___|_________|__________|_______   
see a movie___|_________|__________|_______ 
play cards____|_________|__________|_______
Then they go around asking students if they want to do that activity with them and the other student can accept or delice. The "asker" writes yes or no in their chart.

Role Play: Create situations and conversations that students practice and memorize. These are best if their funny. I usually let students write their own conversation where, say in this example, three offers are made and all three of them are refused. Have them memorize their conversations and then practice them in front of the class.

The key to remebering and using the language is to get them to practice it over and over until it becomes natural to say.

hope that helps
eric
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Unread Apr 20th, 2006, 06:44 am
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Default Re: Effective ways of teaching phrases?

Thank you for the survey idea... I will try this next class. It should work well for my adult students.

One idea I had that did work well was for practising ways that we open sentences when giving opinions. For example "In my opinion...." "I think....... "That's rubbish....."' "I disagree......" etc. etc.

To reenforce the langauge I wrote all the 'opinion openers' onto playing size pieces of card. Intitally with the students we brainstormed topics for debate and these were written on the board. The students were then put into groups of 3/4 and given a pack of 'opinion cards' which they dealt out. The group had to pick a topic from the board and debate it BUT each of the student's argument had to begin with what was written on the card. THe first student to get rid of the cards won the round.

It worked well as all students had to speak using the target language, no student could speak twice in a row and dominate. Students could interrupt other students AND there was that all important game element!

.. Unfortunately, my ideas dry up at this point so please any useful ones would be welcome!

Thanks again
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Unread Apr 25th, 2006, 09:37 am
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Default Re: Effective ways of teaching phrases?

nbedwell,

I love your opinion-card game. I'll have to try it, it sounds like fun!

I was teaching phrases to express different degress of certainty "I bet..." "I'm sure..." "It's likely..." "I doubt..." etc. And yes, just like you said, after the expressions were explained the students would revert back to using boring old "I think..."

So I put up a list of the expressions on the board, then I read out statements about myself. In pairs, students had to decide whether or not they thought it was true and give a reason. For example, Me: "My mother has 100 cousins". Students worked in pairs with the expressions referenced on the board to decide their answer, (they had to persuade their buddy and then come up with one answer per team), each pair would give me ONE answer. For example, "It doesn't seem likely your mother has 100 cousins because you're from Canada and it's a modern country" (boy, were they surprised when I gave them a lesson on French Canadian Catholicism). Anyway, if they didn't use an expression off the list I wouldn't count their answer -actually, I would hop around pointing at the list until they corrected themselves. I recorded their answers on the board before revealing who was right, then I counted points.

It worked well as a "get to know your teacher" activity, but you could use instead a list of weird facts and trivia.

Hope this helps. I hope I get a chance to try your game this week, I'll let you know how it goes.

Karen
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Unread Apr 28th, 2006, 08:02 am
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Default Re: Effective ways of teaching phrases?

Thanks, this is a very good idea!

This can be easily adapted say to teaching a grammar point. It's a simple idea that requires NO preparation (i.e. printing words on cards etc.) and could be used as a filler/recycling type activity...

Best regards
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Unread May 1st, 2006, 08:24 pm
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Default Re: Effective ways of teaching phrases?

I would say that it would help to get all the students to encourage each other to use the new phrases. Also, you can give them a 'language challenge', where they have a target of a certain number of new phrases to use every day, inside or outside the classroom if they get the chance.
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Unread May 6th, 2006, 05:09 pm
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Default Re: Effective ways of teaching phrases?

Well, you can also use a simple pattern drill exercise: What I have found is that most learners are capable of retaining only a very limited number of new phrases at a time (hence, we call those phrases 'new'). So, it makes sense to have the learner repeat the given phrase as long as they can pronouce it without thinking. This might sound stupid but when you speak in your native language you have a certain number of prefabricated phrases you use without thinking about them. For each situation create a limited number of those phrases and have your learners repeat them as often as possible and as fast as possible. They have to find a way of making a connection between the phrase and the situation of course but then they have to become comfortable pronouncing the phrase. I have often found that learners might know a certain phrase but they are not comfortable SAYING it. Have them repeat the phrase until they have fun saying it. Then it'll be easier for them to retain those phrases.
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Unread May 8th, 2006, 10:09 pm
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Default Re: Effective ways of teaching phrases?

A good method for helping them retain vocab in general is the 'word wall' and variations on the theme. This basically involves placing new words and phrases where the students can clearly see them throughout the course, or just throughout the day.

For kids, get them to draw a picture to match the word and post the pictures up around the classroom. Otherwise, another method is to have a dedicated whiteboard or section of a whiteboard for new words. The key is not to erase the new words until the space fills up, and then give an impromptu review/test of the words.
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Unread May 9th, 2006, 09:16 pm
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Default Re: Effective ways of teaching phrases?

Get 'em to Say It game - taken from MES-English.com with permission
This is a game for verbal practice of questions and the point of the game is to get another student to say a key word. (verbal practice - meaning they should already have some grasp of the language.)

I have taken some hard card and cut them down to business card size. On one side I write some words I want the students to say:

not yet
just
already

I lay the cards face down on the table. I then draw one card. (Everyone in the groups also takes a card. You can't show the card to anyone.) If my card says "not yet" on it. I try to think of a question I can ask to any one of the members in the group. That will produce the response on the card.

Mark: "Kenta, have you finished all of your homework?"
Kents: "No, not yet."

Yeah! Mark gets to turn his card over for everyone to see and he gets one point and then I would draw another card and continue. The next card says "already."

Mark: "Sayuri, have you eaten breakfast?"
Sayuri: "Yes, I have just eaten breakfast."

Awww, too bad for Mark. But I can keep asking questions to others until I get someone to say what's on my card.

The game continues until it's beginning to get stale or almost all of the cards have been drawn.

I usually let the students ask as soon as they are ready. There is no order to who asks questions. It's a free for all.

The responses are scripted. I generally tell the students that they must answer with one of the following answers written out on the board.

*you don't need to write these out on hard card. You can just print it out on slips of paper.

Other possibilities for this game:

How many times have you...?
never, one time, a few times, many times

How often do you...?
always, often, sometimes, rarely, never (adverbs of frequency)

General vocabulary (for these you can use MES-English small game cards )

What color is ...?
red, yellow, orange, green, blue ...

What is big and gray?
An elephant.

A very versatile game that's easy to prepare and the students like it because there's a challenge there that's not just about getting the English out perfectly.
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Unread May 9th, 2006, 09:19 pm
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Default Re: Effective ways of teaching phrases?

The above game can be adapted to use the new phrases you'd like to practice or review.
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Unread Apr 18th, 2010, 04:14 am
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Default Re: Effective ways of teaching phrases?

What are the simple phrase that teacher should say in class room...?
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Unread Apr 18th, 2010, 06:49 pm
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Default Re: Effective ways of teaching phrases?

Quote:
Quote nbedwell View Post
After teaching a set of new phrases, I often find that students will revert back and use previous, familiar phrases in further unrestrictive practise.
For language learners it can be a difficult process. I have had numerous students able to understand the grammar, say for example the difference between the past simple and past progressive (continuous), but have difficulty using their knowledge. However, if you were to ask a child for the definition of an modal in their own language they would be stumped.

Try to allow students discover their lexical and grammatical understanding as once they are able to really fully understand the use of the past simple (no matter how many times it is explained). It is more important that you provide examples for students to hear the target language and you offer an opportunity for continuous practice. As the old saying goes; "practice makes perfect".
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Unread Apr 19th, 2010, 05:13 pm
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Default Re: Effective ways of teaching phrases?

I am very enthusiastic about using dialogs in class. These give my students scripted practice. I can focus on a certain grammar point and/or group of vocabulary words. You may want to write some dialogs, and try them.
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