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Advanced English highschool conversation class 
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Joined: Tue Dec 04, 2007 1:55 pm
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Post Advanced English highschool conversation class
I have been asked to help out at one of my friend's highschools in Seoul, Korea. All subjects are taught in English so I assume their level is very high. The class sizes are supposed to be pretty small (less then 10 I think) and they have asked for "conversation" classes. I thought I was going in for a meeting tonight but I have just found out that they want me to start teaching from then!

I am not sure what sort of activity to do with them as an introduction as I have never taught this age group before. I was thinking about having each student ask another student a few questions and then have them introduce that student to the class. Pretty boring but will do that if I don't get any better ideas. I might introduce myself by writing loads of random words on the board about myself and they have to ask me questions related to those words.

Any other ideas appreciated!


Tue Mar 25, 2008 10:42 am
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That sounds pretty good to me.

I'd probably have some free activity where I find out about their individual interests and beyond that how well they can talk about those things. It's easy enough to be able to say you like movies, but to go on and describe what kind of movies you like and why, what are some of their favorite movies and describing those plot line becomes more difficult and often involves set language forms. It might give you some ideas for what future lessons should be centered around.

I like the idea of interviewing a friend and then introducing them to the class. Maybe have each person make up some new information about their partner that isn't true. Then those listening to the presentations at the end have to try to find the false or made-up information.

If you have a chance, you could interview some common teacher to the group and then give your own presentation. That would serve as a good warm-up and example of what you want them to do. The students would listen to you and try to find the false information about the other teacher.

If you can get the students to offer some interesting and unknown facts in the interview process it will really help make the finding of false information much harder and more interesting.

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Tue Mar 25, 2008 12:54 pm
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Joined: Thu Jan 24, 2008 5:38 am
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Location: Italy
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One thing that can make conversation activities flop is picking topics the students aren't interested in.

It's perfectly reasonable to make them responsible for choosing the topics. (And then they can't say they're not interested in them!) One thing you can do is brainstorm topics they think will be interesting to discuss, and make a note of this for future reference.

Then you can make conversation prompt worksheets. For example, number 1 out of about 5 to 10 is

"Students in Korea are given too much homework"

You then have two options. One is to discuss it "for real" with students saying what they think. The other is to have half the class act agreeing with the idea, while the other half act disagreeing.

Pause for breath...

OK. Here's a really simple "mill drill" (students circulate, finding another to talking with for a relatively brief exchange, then moving on).

Each student has little piece of paper or Post-note badge saying


Ask me about

..............................
or

.............................
or

.............................


Each student has to complete the card in anyway they see fit - personal topics or general ones. Then when they circulate - the other student they're speaking to has to choose one of the topics, and ask not just one but a series of questions about it.

If you set this up right, it can give you an up to hour's easy, easy teaching.

Unless you have a really difficult class, success with conversation activities can be just a matter of getting them started in the right way.

The BBC website has lots of good stuff for advanced speaking classes, especially based on the news: http://www.bbc.co.uk/worldservice/learningenglish/

I hesitate to mention my own site, but a much, much more modest collection of advanced conversation activities can be found at http://www.eltgames.com/ESL-jobs-CoUpIn.htm (This has reminded me - I'll be adding to that section in the next couple of days.)

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Thu Mar 27, 2008 6:05 am
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