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ESL forum > Techniques and methods in Language Teaching > How do you get them use the taught phrases    

How do you get them use the taught phrases



BRAHIM S
France

How do you get them use the taught phrases
 
Dear all,
My question concerns teaching specific (often described as useful) phrases in general. 
In business English, for example, I usually have some common topics  to cover (Meetings, email writing, presentations, English on the phone,... to mention but a few examples)
One of the first things I usually start with is essentailly theretical: presenting the language of ..."the topic in question" , then cover the other skills (listening, reading and speaking...)
When it comes to speaking, I have often noticed that my students generally would hardly use the "new" taught phrases effeciently ... They would use their own  existing means instead... I have also noticed that some would have a  look at the  list, then put it aside...
I should admit, however, that this is not always the case when it comes to general English, when teaching different functions, advising, complaining, suggesting ...  for example, and where a set of three or four phrases replace  the long lists
I am wondering if it is a question of length, students being lost when invaded by long, sometimes impressive, lists which mine would always ask for, or if itīs simply due to the very nature of the topic studied (business matters being probably more complex for some )
 
I would be very happy to know how you proceed when teaching such topics which involve long lists
Thanks first for taking time to read my post, and thanks a second time for your comments

31 Jan 2009      



Apryll12
Hungary

Hi Brahim,

When I teach business English I follow more or less the same procedure as you. But for the next lesson I always prepare some īlighterī material for my students. Let me give you an example: even though we are talking about business language and maybe more advanced students, they like games and playing, so I usually make a different card for each of them with about 3 or 4 of the phrases we have learnt, I place them in a situation with roles and they act it out. They can say whatever they like but there is one condition: they MUST use the phrases on their cards. They mustnīt finish the conversation until every one of them could use their phrases. Sometimes itīs very funny because they try to direct the conversation in a way that enables them to use their phrases as soon as possible.

I hope I understood your question well, because I donīt really see why you make long lists for your students. Even if itīs business language, for all the well-known situations you should make a list of the most frequent phrases, letīs say maximum ten of them for each function. At least this is what I do, firstly because my students are mostly busy business people with very little time for studying and secondly because long lists of words/phrases without content are extremely hard to learn, not to mention that itīs not efficient either.

I hope I could help you a little with my opinion.

Regards,

Krisztina 

31 Jan 2009     



helena2009
Hungary

Dear Kriszti,
 
You idea is great!!! I would like to try it!
 
I use a similar (but more simple) task when we are learning present continuous . One student is out, and the others in the classroom think a story. When the student is in they act out the story without saying a word. The student has to ask questions: Are you dancing?  Are you jumping?  etc. The others continue the play until they can say: YES, WE ARE. The end of this task when the student (who were out at the begining) can tell the whole story.
 
Have you got a collection of situations which you use in your role plays? Sometimes it is difficult to find a good one.
 
Many thanks from
 
Judy

31 Jan 2009     



MissMelissa12
Peru

YOU CAN ALSO :
 
PLAY TIC-TAC TOE : STORE THE SITUTATIONS ON A TIC-TAC-TOE GRID AND WRITE THE PHRASES IN EACH SQUARE, SO THEY WILL HAVE TO GIVE YOU A SENTENCE, EXPRESSION WITH THE PHRASE YOU WANT. (You can also establish the topic the expressions/sentences will go around).
 
BRING SOME NEWSPAPERS: THERE IS ALWAYS THE BUSSINESS SECTION, SO YOU CAN ARRANGE THE PIECES OF NEWS AND HAND THEM IN TO YOU THE STUDENTS, FOR THE TO DISCUSS ABOUT IT , OF COURSE USING THE PHRASE TAUGHT.
 
ROLE-PLAYS: STUDENTS CAN ADOPT CHARACTERS AND USE SOME SITUATION CARDS AS MENTIONED BEFORE. STICK THE SITUATION CARD ON THE STUDENTīS BELLY, SO THE REST OF THE CLASS ACT IT OUT AND HE/SHE GUESSES WHAT THE EXPRESSION IS.
 
I am also for the idea of including some games with bussiness students.!
 
Miss Melissa. Hug
 

1 Feb 2009     



douglas
United States

I agree Kriszti69s idea is wonderful--I will use it.  Whatīs the chance of you uploading a copy of your cards as a worksheet--I would really like to see them?
 
Douglas

2 Feb 2009