Creating meaningful interaction with young learners is no great task in itself, but in EFL contexts where there are limited (if any) opportunities to engage in using English for real communication outide the physical boundaries of the classroom, applying interactive activities can sometimes be something of a headache. With young learners' general preference being for the 'here and now' context, the greatest challege for the EFL young learner teacher is to create a range of communicative situations and tasks that do not appear too articifcial and/or contrived. Having young learners communicate in English to each other both willingly and naturally is also a definite challenge!
Considering such probematic issues, the activities and materials presented here have the general aim of achieving (1) a process whereby a range of communicative situations can be 'imported' into the here-and-now realm of the classroom without becoming too abstract or artificial, (2) the sorts of activities that will encourage and motivate young learners to speak to each other in English for purposes they can perceive as being genuine and useful, and (3) an integrated range of skill-building tasks covering speaking, reading, writing and listening.
Speaking in a Crowded Room is a question-answer orientated activity designed to follow on from the Presentation and/or Practice stages of language learning. Used effectively, it provides "natural feeling" practice and confidence in producing spoken English, as well as important integrated practice in listening, reading and writing. The templates included on this page allow teachers to 'harness' whatever communicative language the students are currently studying in textbooks and place it firmly in the realm of interpersonal communication.
Discover the Differences is an interactive activity designed to facilitate communication between students in a quest to find hidden information. To make the activity as "genuine" and motivating as possible, the source of the interaction is based on colorful illustrations, each of which has two slightly different versions. Students 'engage' in questions and information exchange orally, and then report their findings/conclusions in written form.
Mystery Person Interactive Boardgame has a guessing game format designed to encourage the use of descriptive language and effective Yes/No Questioning techniques. It is similar to the popular "Guess Who?" game, but also contains hints based on what the featured people carry, use or are involved in in their everyday lives.