Thursday, October 17, 2013

Speed-dating Speaking Activity!

Bonjour everyone!  I hope you've all had a great start to the new school year.  It's been a busy one for me, and I've gotten a little behind in my blogging...but I've been trying some new ideas in my classes that I'd like to share with you.  This one actually was inspired by my principal, who mentioned it in passing in one of our departmental meetings.
The idea was to try a speed-dating style speaking activity.  I divided my class into groups of 2.  One student in each group had a profile that I created giving basic information such as their name, age, where they lived, their nationality, etc.  To make it more fun, they had a simple costume to wear as well...I have various masks & hats that I used for this.  The profiles included Jack Sparrow, Santa Claus, Yoda, Elvis, George W. and so on.  The other person in the group was the interviewer and was given a card on which I'd written some basic questions in French, such as What's your name?  How old are you?  When is your birthday?.  I used a timer, and the interviewers had a certain number of seconds to ask their questions.  When the timer went off, the interviewers rotated to the next person and asked their questions again.  During this time, I was circulating around the room & trying to listen to each group for a few seconds.  Here's a photo of what it looked like:

After 5 rotations, I exchanged the cards the interviewers had with the questions on them in French for a card with the same questions written in English, and I asked them to try the last 5 interviews by trying to ask the questions with only the English prompt to look at.  Once again I circulated around the room listening to each group.

  Once the interviewers ended up with the partner they started with, they all switched places with the students who had the profiles and we did the whole thing again. 
This took an entire class period, and all of the students were engaged in speaking French 100% of the time.  I was reminded of how much they like to dress up and how even just a hat or a mask can suddenly render an activity exciting to them.  It was a big hit!  This activity was done after completing unit 1 in my textbook which included these basic informational type questions, and actually they had been tested on unit 1 last week.  I used it as an informal assessment of their ability to speak French without reading it from a card.  I'd like to find even more ways to engage them in showing what they know how to say in French!


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