Once students get comfortable with the basic activity encourage them to level up

We had our seventh class today with the Saturday 1a students. They are doing great, and even the less confident students who were struggling at first are able to work in pairs to ask and answer the questions.

This is the basic version of the speaking activity from Level One of the Fluency Course.

Students work in pairs and ask and answer questions based on their question sheets.

At the end of the speaking activity today I took a couple of minutes to explain to students how I would like to see them trying to level up in future classes, starting next week.

The first two things they can do is to ask follow-up questions, and to give additional information beyond their initial answer.

The easiest way I know of to explain this is to use the picture above and give an example. From the Units 5-8 question sheet:

“Who is your homeroom teacher?”
“My homeroom teacher is Mr. Sato.”
“Do you like your homeroom teacher?”

In the same way we can explain giving additional information when answering:

“Who is your homeroom teacher?”
“My homeroom teacher is Mr. Sato. He is a math teacher.”

I also give them an example of ‘god mode’, where students combine both of these to create and carry on a conversation based on a single initial question:

“Who is your homeroom teacher?”
“My homeroom teacher is Mr. Sato. He is a math teacher.”
“Do you like math?”
“No, I don’t. Do you like math?”
“Yes, I do. I am good at math. What subject are you good at?”
“I’m good at English. I like English movies.”

I find it really useful to introduce these concepts to students around this time once they have started getting used to the Fluency Course class.

The more able students appreciate having a new challenge to try out, and even the less able ones are able to start trying them out.

From next week I plan to encourage students to try this and give them examples as I walk around monitoring the pair work.

How are your classes going?

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