Related activities as interludes
Most students of all levels need lots of time and experience to gain confidence in addressing the assembled class or an unknown public. It helps having regular related activities, which needn't take up the whole lesson. Points of information are always encouraged. Here, out of many, are just a few suggestions:
- A simple and short balloon-type debate (as in lesson 5), all sitting round in a circle (chairs, no tables!), each having to stand up and make a simple statement that can gradually get more complex. .(e.g. students could each identify with and present a colour.) Points of information are encouraged.
- A more advanced balloon debate. As above, but the ballast to be jettisoned is10 things we hold dearest: water & bread / love & friendship / freedom of speech / democracy / freedom of religion / shelter / ...
- Each draws a word or phrase from a hat and has to speak on it for a minute. Again, a warm-up, .sitting in a circle, no tables, standing up to speak.
- A talk show with talk-master, panel of six to eight students (each with a general profile allocated at the outset). The rest are the audience and are invited and expected to ask questions. (Students are conversant and at ease with this form of TV entertainment.)
- Discussion involving all the class, split up into two large groups facing each other, but not too far apart;. It's important to have some controversial topic, for and against, and to have time for preparation (perhaps homework plus10 minutes of class A time; and to be effective in a large class maybe have more than just two groups.) One student acts as leader of the discussion to prompt questions.
- Hot chair . One (presumably self-confident) student seated in the centre of a ring of students, chairs but no tables, who bombard him/her with questions. Alternatively, he/she bombards the class with questions. He/she is supposedly an expert on some topic.
- Trial scene using Anglo-American court procedure, i.e. examination and cross-examination of witnesses in court. This takes time (two to three double lessons, possibly more!),e.g. a trial for 9th to 12th year, based on Roald Dahl's The Way Up to Heaven, Klett Easy Reader: (a guaranteed success, even if lengthy.)
- Jugend debattiert. A different format,with a different rhythm, now the commonest debating format in German, but equally suitable in English. Three speakers on each side for or against a motion, but speaking individually not as teams. One-minute statements from each, then a longer round-table discussion, arguing up to 12 minutes. Finally, further one-minute statements by each. Speakers may change their slant, may even move towards the other side. There's only one individual winner.
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