eslHQ Home
User Name Password
Lost Password? | Join eslHQ.com, it's FREE!
View today's posts
Search Extras Help   

Reply
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1 (permalink)  
Unread Jan 8th, 2008, 01:10 pm
eslHQ Member
 
Join Date: Jan 8th, 2008
Posts: 1
cheekiofreakio is on a distinguished road
Smile Ideas for conversation classes

Hi!

I'm currently working at a Gymnasium in Berlin as a teaching assistant. I have 8 conversation classes per week; the groups are all fairly small (2 to 6 people in each group, aged 17-19). I have been told by the English teachers that I can basically do anything I want in the classes and the students all come voluntarily. The thing is, I've been doing this since September (still have about 5 months to go) and I'm running out of ideas. Not very imaginative I know! Most of the students don't want to talk about "serious" topics like politics, globalisation or whatever. They're also not too keen on reading articles.

Activities/topics I have already done with them include:
slang, bringing in photos + talking about them (of my hometown as well as theirs), music (each student brought in their favourite English song), Cranium (board game), The Office (DVD), schools in the UK, random questions (e.g. What one thing could you not live without?), taboo, moral dilemmas, a few articles about deep fried Mars Bars, Monster Raving Loony Party etc.

If anyone has any tips or ideas that would be very much appreciated The main thing is, to get the students talking as much as possible (the classes last 45 minutes). Their English is pretty fluent already but they don't get much of an opportunity to use in normal lesson time. Also the topics have to be cool and fun haha (especially as they are coming voluntarily)

Thanks, Nina.
Reply With Quote
  #2 (permalink)  
Unread Jan 9th, 2008, 09:12 am
eslHQ Enthusiast
 
Join Date: Aug 30th, 2006
Location: Mexico City
Age: 35
Posts: 34
cabst90 is on a distinguished road
Default Re: Ideas for conversation classes

//iteslj.org/questions

Write questions on slips of paper and hand them out at the beginning. Have each student discuss their question with other students.

I used this with classes of adults from different cultures, but there are many questions that could apply or be revised to apply to older adolescents of the same culture.
Reply With Quote
  #3 (permalink)  
Unread Jan 10th, 2008, 01:13 am
clivehawkins's Avatar
Clive Hawkins
 
Join Date: Aug 1st, 2006
Location: Italy
Posts: 454
clivehawkins is on a distinguished road
Default Re: Ideas for conversation classes

If you have access to a video camera you can have a lot of fun with them preparing an advert for their city, aimed at tourists. They prepare the script for the film, bring in some images \ objects to use and obviously get into character themselves. One group of mine did it with an interviewer 'walking the streets' and asking people what they loved about the city. Another group did it as short monologues from each member of the group, each in a different situation (one at the beach, one in the historical centre, one in the port etc etc) basically give them some ideas but let them decide for themselves what they want to do.

I've done it a few times and they usually end up as humorous pieces - they loved playing up to the camera. It's great for language of suggestion and advice, imperatives and conditionals.

Hope that helps.
__________________
Free audio files and worksheets - improve your listening skills:
ESL PodCards

Get TEFL qualified in Sardinia!:
Tefl in Sardinia
Reply With Quote
  #4 (permalink)  
Unread May 20th, 2008, 01:13 pm
eslHQ Member
 
Join Date: May 20th, 2008
Posts: 1
Davemg21 is on a distinguished road
Default Re: Ideas for conversation classes

Most people like to talk about themselves......ask students questions that make them feel good such as...

1. What was the best part of today?
2. What makes you smile?
3. Talk about your best friend.
4. Define success in your own terms.
5. What are your short/long-term goals?

etc....

It's the teacher's responsibility to get the ball rollin' in those "silent, awkward moments". So have fun, be creative and remember that young people teach us teachers the importance of Change, creation and keeping things fresh. That is their talent.

Good luck!
Dave

Last edited by Davemg21 : May 20th, 2008 at 01:10 pm. Reason: wrote the wrong word...meant to write teachers instead of students
Reply With Quote
  #5 (permalink)  
Unread May 20th, 2008, 08:30 pm
eslHQ Member
 
Join Date: Apr 20th, 2008
Location: Ulsan, South Korea
Posts: 3
Sportrider1974 is on a distinguished road
Default Re: Ideas for conversation classes

I constantly struggle with this same problem. I teach a group of low/mid-level middle school kids in Korea. But that's a whole different problem!

I also teach a group of adults and this worked well with them.

I put them in groups of 4 (8 students, two groups). I gave each group a set of cards I made. Each card had a different situation on it. The cards are face down in a pile and each student has to select one card. The student reads the card and has to tell the group what they would do in that situation. I call the game "What if...". The crazier and silly you make the situations, the more they will like it. For example: "What if...your dad ran away from home to become a professional hip-hop dancer." or "What if...your mom came home with pink mohawk and a tattoo on her forehead." or "What if...you found a $1,000.00."

BTW: this isn't an original idea. I found it on the internet somewhere. Whoever came up with it, thanks!!!
Reply With Quote
  #6 (permalink)  
Unread May 20th, 2008, 09:32 pm
emile's Avatar
Sifu
 
Join Date: Mar 21st, 2006
Posts: 337
emile is on a distinguished road
Default Re: Ideas for conversation classes

Don't forget short presentations such as show'n'tell or get them to bring in an item that they have to 'sell' to their group for 1000 euros
Reply With Quote
  #7 (permalink)  
Unread May 28th, 2008, 02:51 pm
eslHQ Member
 
Join Date: May 28th, 2008
Posts: 1
ebk08 is on a distinguished road
Default Re: Ideas for conversation classes

Hi. I've been tutoring a woman one-on-one for a while now, and had the same problem- running out of interesting ideas! But my mom came up with one that's been really enjoyable for me and my student! It would also work with a large group.

Basically all it is is telling a story, but each person contributes. For example, if I start, I could say, "Once upon a time, there was a girl named Sarah..." Then, the next person will add something to that. You keep going around the room, and every person adds to the story. Sometimes it gets so ridiculous, and everyone has a good time! This is a great way for students to come out of their shells and be comfortable speaking English, even in a humourous, sarcastic way!
Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

Similar Threads Replies
Teach University/Adults 1 on 1 or group classes - 2.66 million - 2.9 million 0
I Need Some Ideas Please - Lesson Plan 1
Need ideas for themed units - grades 3-5 4
Activity ideas for "~too ~to ~" 4
Conversation Classes 7
More Resources

Teaching English Games (1)
Fun English Games. Have fun teaching children ESL through games.

KIZ Phonics

Find the Best TEFL, TESL, TESOL & CELTA Certification Courses - User Submitted Ratings & Reviews for Online, Distance & Abroad TEFL Courses.


Free ESL Flashcards


Similar Threads Replies
Teach University/Adults 1 on 1 or group classes - 2.66 million - 2.9 million 0
I Need Some Ideas Please - Lesson Plan 1
Need ideas for themed units - grades 3-5 4
Activity ideas for "~too ~to ~" 4
Conversation Classes 7

Advertise on eslHQ

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 02:58 pm.

All materials from this website are for classroom-use only. Digital redistribution of materials, in part or in whole, is strictly forbidden!

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.6.8
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Content Relevant URLs by vBSEO 3.6.0 PL2