Saturday, 12 June 2010

Broken Telephone

Organise students into groups of about 10. Give one student in each team a sentence. The student memorises the sentence and then passes it on to the next student by whispering. The next person passes the sentence down the line to the next and so on until it finally gets to the last person in the group. The person then stands up and says what the sentence is. Use sentences which are relatively long and revise grammar and vocabulary from previous lessons.
eg. He pretends to be rich but he always avoids paying in expensive restaurants

Here are more variations on this activity.
  • A sentence is whispered around the circle of students. The last student to receive the message either says it aloud or writes it on the board. This can be a fun way to introduce a topic and activate schema at the beginning of a class. For example, for a class on food, whisper the question, “What did you have for lunch today?” Equally, at the end of a class it can be a nice way to revise structures or vocabulary from the lesson.
  • A variation of this is to get the students into two lines (team A and B) in front of the board, so the first student in both lines is really near the board and the teams are lined up behind him/her. You whisper a sentence or a question to the two students at the end of the line and they pass it down the line until it reaches the students nearest the board who then have to write the sentence on the board.
  • Another variation is to play the game into and out of the students’ own language. You whisper the starting sentence in English. The next student translates into their own language and passes it on, the next one translates it back into English and so on until it gets to the end. If you choose your sentences carefully this can be a fun way to look at your learners’ common mistakes which come from mother tongue interference. This version can work well in teams too.

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