Teaching ESL
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Making English Phone Calls
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Author:  dodonpa [ Mon Feb 16, 2009 12:30 pm ]
Post subject:  Making English Phone Calls

Do you guys have a game/activity for a group (30-40 students) of first year Junior High School students? I'm out of ideas at the moment. I've tried reading scripts of sample phone calls but most of the students are not interested unless the activity is fun.

Author:  enjoyinglifeinseoul [ Mon Feb 16, 2009 4:29 pm ]
Post subject: 

That's a tough one.

I worked at an English village with themed clases a few years ago and that was one of my least favorite classes to teach.

You could modify the script, doing it as an ad lib type thing.

Basically have the script but then have blanks in places and the students draw a card and fill in the answer or just make up something themseleves if their level is high enough.

The idea would be to make it silly. It doesn't even really have to make a lot of sense as long as thye are talking and having fun.

Depending on their level, you could also have them create there own scripts. They might more into it, if they had a hand in creating the material.

At the English village we were doing the typical ordering pizza role play. The kid whose turn it was to call to order the pizza screamed out "There is a bomb in the restaurant. I want $10,000."

I busted out laughing. It caught me completely off gaurd. Not that I encourage kids to make bomb threats or prank calls, but it sure made that class a little more fun.

Another idea would be to just do it as a speed thing. They have to race throught the script or mulible scripts in a set time. You could either have teams compete against each other or use an online stopwatch and have them try and bit there best time.

Anothger idea is to do it do it as a search/go fish type thing. Each person on the phone has a set number of cards and they ask each other questions.

If you were using the family cards, they could say and ask things like, "Hi is your mother home?" If the other student has a mother card then they reply "Sure hold on., I'll get her." They then give that card to the other student. If they don't have a mother card then they reply "Sorry she not here right now." or "Sorry she's having a shower." Then they get to ask the other student a question.

If you used school items then they could pretend they were calling a store looking for supplies.

Finally, you could use some of the little/big town card ideas and jsut adapt them to the phone activity. There are several threads on the forums if you want to check out how some people use them.

Author:  blueguyblue [ Tue Feb 17, 2009 10:22 pm ]
Post subject: 

An idea that I remember from somewhere, mentioned a fun and unique way to contact someone in a phone English activity.

Basically each student receives an index card. On the cards are two pseudo telephone numbers in two different colors (i.e. the top number is written in green, the bottom number is written in red). The bottom number is the student's phone number. The top number refers to another student's number.

In order to "place a call" a student calls out the top number on the index card. The corresponding student "picks up the phone call" by starting the telephone dialogue (i.e. "Hello, this is . . .").

Once all the students had a chance to make their calls, the cards can be collected and redistributed to practice with other students.

In a large class, "placing a call" can be a mingling activity. In addition to the cards each student would have a phone log to document who they talked with, the phone number they dialed and what was discussed. Once students end a call, they swap their cards and place new calls.

Another variation on this idea, is to have a directory of the all the pseudo numbers with persons or businesses listed. Students are given role (i.e. family members, business, etc.) cards with their own pseudo phone number on it. The students are then instructed to make calls to several different persons and business. Then document their conversations.

Hope this is helpful. :)

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