It may seem as if all I do with “A” is picture lessons, but they’re actually a small part of our lessons! I’m going to take a minute and talk about the things we do to practice English. Those of you who tutor English might have fun playing these games with your students. Another great resource for games is About.com’s ESL section. (http://esl.about.com/od/englishlessonplans/)
1. “How Would You Feel”
I give “A” a question, like, “How would you feel if you broke your leg?” Then we have a predetermined amount of time, and we race to see who can come up with more adjectives to describe our emotions. We play for five or ten rounds and total up our scores. She usually beats me. Here’s an example round:
“How would you feel if a friend got married?
How would you feel if the Internet was down?
How would you feel if you received flowers in the mail?
How would you feel if you had a cold?
How would you feel if you lost your phone on vacation?”
2. “The Steps Game”
I give “A” a task, such as, “How do you make a cup of coffee?” Then she lists, in numbered steps, how to do the task. Each grammatically correct step is worth a point. For every five points she gets in the game, I send her a cute animal picture. Lately it’s been baby otters.
3. “The List Game”
“A” is used to taking dictation at this point, so the game should be easy. We’re going to try it tonight. I’ll give her a list of ten things, such as “ten things I put into salad.” Then I’ll list the ten things, and each one she writes down correctly is worth a point. Every ten points, she gets a cute animal picture.
4. “The Anagram Game”
She’s pretty fast at this one. I give her a string of letters that forms a word, such as “ELPEMAX” (EXAMPLE) and she has to figure out what English word it is. To make it easier, I use words from the list of 500 most common English words. (http://www.world-english.org/english500.htm) If she asks for a hint, I give her the first letter in the word, like this: “E******,” and the next hint is the next letter, “EX*****.”
The most important thing to do with your students is have fun while you’re learning. Don’t be afraid to admit that you don’t know something, always have your Bedford handy, and don’t forget to laugh!