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What makes for a good speaking activity

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This week Chris Cotter from Heads Up English.com is with us again. Heads Up English.com has some new lower intermediate exercises: speaking activities, listening activities, grammar worksheets and vocabulary exercises free for download! Please check out Heads Up English.com!

Mark starts the conversation off and offers quite a few ideas about what makes for good speaking activities:

  • less about the language and more about the language goal
  • lower levels – very repetitive
  • higher levels – the language is functional and real
  • make sure the activity is student centered

and Mark goes on with more tips for creating a successful speaking activity.

Chris adds to Mark’s list with some other tips:

  • high talk time
  • expanding on the activities
  • variability in the activity structure
  • decide whether the activity is for fluency, accuracy, or one then the other.

Ron batting number 3 in the discussion added his tips:

  • creating student interest in the activity
  • tips to decrease student anxiety
  • don’t overextend a short activity – killing it and your audience

Part 2 goes into how to actually accomplish some of these ideas to make speaking activities and language practice more effective. We give some examples of what we think are good examples of these ideas, some examples of what we think aren’t good examples and how those can easily be changed to more effective speaking task.

Ideas for beginner, intermediate and advanced levels.

Some of the games and ideas discussed in the show can be found in previous games of the week or in the following links: the Paper Game MES Games Get Four

Discuss this podcast and what you think makes for a great speaking activity on the ESL Teacher Talk Forums! We’re listening.