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Effective Use Of Activities And Games

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Describe a mingle activity you might create for a new class of intermediate level students to help them introduce themselves to each other.

The best way to help students mingle with each other and enhance their proficiency in the English language is by using ice-breakers.  This effectively encourages the participants to interact with each other freely.

An activity which might be done is a getting to know you activity where the participants will be given a certain period of time to gather information about one person in the class.  The person who gains the most information is given higher marks.  This can also be done by groups of three and everyone in the group is supposed to say something about the other two.

Devise an information gap activity where over the phone one student describes a used car he wants to sell. Another student, having seen an ad in the paper about the car, calls asking for more information about the car. Each wants to strike the best deal.

The activity will need to have two telephones and two pictures of cars.  The first picture will be a photograph of the car that is going to be sold and the next picture will be a picture of the same model car in a magazine advertisement.

            The activity will begin by having the two participants away from each other but within hearing distance.  This will be essential to making sure that the participants do not lip-read or try to guess what the other is referring to through facial expressions.  This will also test the ability of the participants to gauge the moods and sentiments of the speakers through the pitch, tempo and tone of the voice.

            The participants will take turns speaking in Question and Answer format.  It will begin with the traditional pleasantries of a conversation and proceed to the main portion regarding the negotiation for the item.  Both participants will be given an idea at what their goal price is during the negotiation.

            The grades or ratings of the participants will be based on their ability to properly understand the context of the discussion and accurately read the sentiments of the other based on the tone.  Bonus marks will be given to those who are able to strike the best deal.  Knowledge of the corresponding terms for the car parts will also be considered.
Explain why a board game like `Monopoly` or `Clue` might not be appropriate for a group of language learners. How could you adapt them to be appropriate?

Board games such as Monopoly or Clue could prove to be to unsubstantial or too advanced for a group of language learners.  Monopoly uses to few words and there is not much interaction with the other players while Clue incorporates concepts and terms which may be too advanced for a certain group and the game has a tendency to be dominated by a single player.

            In order to make these tools appropriate, they must be made more interactive.  More often than not, games of monopoly are too drawn out and involve very little negotiating with the other players and the banker.  This can be remedied by the presence of a mediator who will encourage the players to trade properties among each other.  Clue can also be made more appropriate by given everyone the chance to play the game master.

Explain why traditional party games like Charades or 20 Questions would be good games to use in the EFLESL classroom. What would be the specific language point students would be working on with these games? Give examples.
Traditional party games such as Charades or 20 questions are more appropriate because of the directness of the questions which require a specific answer.  It stresses the importance of basic questions and knowledge of the English language.  The game of 20 questions is highly effective because it challenges the participants to think backward a little to provide a grammatically accurate question in order to solicit the proper answer.

More often than not, the experiences of the participants only involve answering questions.  This is a perfect way by which the participants can get a feel for the nuances of the English language as well as encourage them to learn more by asking questions in English thus enabling them to interact properly in ordinary situations.

In trying to figure out what the answer is, participants must draw on their knowledge of the English language and the terms that are used for describing certain characteristics of the item.  This also tests the proficiency of the participants with adjectives and adverbs and proper sentence construction.

In asking about a car, the participant asking the questions must be able to ask the proper questions such as whether is has wheels, or what color it is and the like.

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