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19 Fluency practice

Teodóra Király

Download the video here

Lesson Plan

Talking about online chatting

* Note that the first five-minute activity of this lesson is not shown in the video but is included here as a possible lead-in to the speaking activity.

Time

Questions / instructions

What students do

How students work

Examples

What you need

Language focus
5 min “Look at these phrases to prepare for a short speech on the good and bad sides of online chatting.” Students complete some of the sentences. Individually I just love the fact that… but I have to admit…

I simply couldn’t live without chatting because…

One cannot deny that…, etc.

Handout with list of incomplete sentences,

Projector

5 min “Talk to your partner about the topic for at least 2 minutes.” Student A talks, sitting with his back to the screen.Student B checks which expressions are used. In pairs, taking turns

Comments

General introduction

Although you cannot see computers being used in this short section of the lesson on Internet safety, we still included it here as an organic part of a lesson otherwise full of various ways of using information technology. After students have brainstormed about the good and bad sides of online chatting, they go on to practice speaking about it fluently with a time-limit. This was preceded by a bit of a tuning in the area of certain more or less formal language phrases that are used in weighing the different aspects of a subject. The aim here was to remind students of these phrases that they would not use on their own, without a prompt, but which would become a more integral and active part of their vocabulary this way.

The activity step by step

1. Teacher displays the phrases one by one on the projector. (The students will later try to use these in their speeches.)

2. They clarify more difficult phrases as they go over them with the whole class.

3. Students get a handout with the phrases.

4. They work on this, making complete sentences, staying within the topic of online chatting.

5. Teacher checks the worksheets.

6. Students get in pairs.

7. Student A gets the handout of Student B, and while Student B is talking for 2 minutes without stopping, Student A is checking which phrases Student B has used in their speech.

8. Students swap roles.

9. Students count who has included the most phrases in their speech.

General advice

When selecting phrases for an activity like this, look for ones that are not completely new to students, but also phrases that they need “some motivation” to use. Keep the number of phrases between ten and twenty so the task does not become too easy or too confusing either.

Checking how many phrases have been used is an essential part of the game – and ensures that the person who is not doing the talking is still paying attention.

Technical tips

There is one advantage of using the PowerPoint for displaying new phrases like this: you can create the list like you do in Word, and then choose to play it one by one in class. Set it under DESIGN SLIDE / ANIMATION / APPEARANCE. This ensures students stay with you as you go on explaining each of the phrases – that is, if you do not give them their handouts at this point yet.

Preparation for class

The following checklist might be useful.

1. Decide on your topic if you are using one that is different from the one on the video.

2. Build the list of useful expressions to be practised.

3. Create the handout or download the file from here.

4. Create the PowerPoint slide or download it from here.

Variations

You could see students in the video sitting with their back to the screen while speaking – this was so that they do not see the phrases that were still on screen. I could have switched the projector off in this case, but if you do not create a handout for students, you must leave it on.