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1.            Note. Ideally all the following suggestions can be added to with your variants. Good luck, and send me them to add to this list. Thanks.

2.             Grammar Plays besides use as actable plays, they are used as raw material for multiple SPEAKING (!) activities. "Acquire" is only (maybe) possible at school with focus and system. See web examplein "Why Grammar". You could call such a play, fun material for plentiful recycling.

3.             1. Divide the class into A and B groups. Now aloud the whole class "practices" recites, read their "part". 2. Now preferably using a video camera, film pairs doing the same. 3. Now divide the class into 4 groups. One A group starts (they are alowwed to read from text. The other, "echo" group (A ")must now repeat, except that they are not allowed to read but remember from their single reading + the heard repetition of A1. 4. Now number the lines of speech in A. B pairs and the 2 original A B pairs are assigned (by numbering them) a numbered psentence of the play. The play is then recited in A B pairs; each pair running forward to delievr their paired lines. (Obviously at this point, nobody is allowed a text. They must first learn by heart their 1 line. NOTE All the above activities are occasion for much laughter nd fun. A MOST IMPORTANT INGREDIENT TO LESSONS!.- ESPECIALLY if you want to capture the magic elixir of "acquire"!! 5. Now put all the numbers in a "hat" and the pairs stand up when their number called from the hat, they recite it (no reading!). 6. All the class stand up and one pair must find a companion pair with whom they must exchange and teach their parts. So for example pair "2" may learn pair "!!'s " part and vice cersa. Call out such a new number and these 2 must recite the sentences - no reading! 7. Now repeat activity 1 but without reading. NOTE Remember that every repetition SPEAKING game (not read "study") IS A BRICK IN THE WALL OF WHAT Amsterdam described as the absolute basis of later fluency: "Lower Order Automatisation". It is a good approach to the much cited magi word "chunking"!! See "Chunks" paragraph.

4.             "Chunk" work. The teacher thinks,"How can I get them to practice whole sentences". You often hear this magic mouthful "chunk" cited at conferences. But how and what chunk? As an example take the play used  (in Site chaper "why grammar plays") The above exercies in 1.  when well considered are ways of teaching, by means of breaking discourse into whole chunks. The fact that the grammar "plays" are all focused on specific grammar areas means that the play is a cornucopia of same vein "chunks": they are coherent and all are digging the same "furrow" in the memory (or if you will, in the "acquire" engine house).

5.             "Didactemes". Pieces of stuff taught. This is a term used by Wilfried Decco in his book "Systemization in foreign language teaching" (Routledge 2011). Didacteme is the word that refers to categorisable, delimited pieces learning material. One of my major objections to the paradigm word "acquire" is that it leaves too much to haphazard exposure, whereas the didacteme accepts that certain passages of language are dark and you need a candle to find your way. So my example grammar play, (on THE SOME and ANY combinations  (In page: why grammar plays) is itself therefore an explication of a didacteme. There is far too little SYSTEM in modern language teaching. Why? Because of the desolving influence of the "acquire" wishful thinking. Look at what CLIL requires!

6.             "Lower order Automatisation" "Fundamental research Amsterdam University. "Lower order Automatisation". Not pseudo communication, but practice. Mouth fluency. No hesitation games. I that my grammar plays represent an attempt to fill the gap that Amsterdam points to. I have for example in our Middlesmoor summer courses found great usefulness over the years in the 100 "everyday useful sentences" (arranged in "grammar" groups of 10) These sentences are practiced in many ways until they trip off the tongue without the need to THINK! Is not this precisely what we want to import into lessons with the concept "acquire"!!? BUT it will not come about if we think it is the same road of L1 travels on: "Acquisition". 

7.             "Kits" are raw material for speaking! If you look at the "Gallery", you will find photos of material, mostly in the form of card sets. These are the form that my focused memorising exercises take. In themselves they are just prettier versions of the basic material that you can download and which carries the same code number. These sets of cards or "KITS, can be used in a multiplicity of game activities, in order to satisfy what Amsterdam research called the need for Lower Order Automatisation. They are useful for group work because they contain all the correct versions: the teacher doesn not need to be consulted and the students are confident that they are not speaking nonsense..

8.             KITS = delimited material, clear and easy to teach via variant recyling activities. Kits allow us to resolve a defect of group or pair work. It is not sufficient to give a pair a conversation to read together or even to study and enact together. Often under the pressure of CEF type exams, this "conversation" material is boringly "real". Where are you going for your holiday". "Tell me what you do usually during the week" etc. A group must be given material that in some way includes the "answers" or correct version, so that they have the certainty that they are practicing the right forms.

9.             How many seconds do they speak!!?? So what chance of "natural acquisition"? In 2-3 hours!! (Minus interruptions). Think how little time there is any how much time is lost in one way or another. Lessons must be artificially focused and restricted in scope. I find that most students have an extremely weak MEMORY of what they have studied. Why? Because the study material is too defuse and a mere number of secongds of class are dedicated to speaking. Why because there is a lack of such KITS for SPEAKING Acquire in 2-3 hours a week MAY occur if you cut, shape and limit the material in order to gain that basic "Lower Order Automatisation"? The clever didactic artifice of a magnifying glass, to magnify the language. See (in the web page, "Why Grammar plays", Something unpleasant").

10.        Acting. Experimental Theatre - Learn and then perform a dialogue in the most original /avant-garde way possible. (see my play "The Mad Ecologists"). You can give parts to three students who have to speak in unison, or use "echo" doublings (or more) of the main recited text. Get students to write "plays". This is much easier for them when they have the kind of pattern which our plays represent. Look at the web page, "Why Grammar plays", "Something unpleasant". This is a pattern that helps students to write fluently, using my play as the material of the linguistic backbone of their writing: some, something everything etc). Obviously, there are certain areas that most naturally use such a one sided linguistic base. Thus see my webpage "some any plays".other some any, quantity plays. Experimental theatre indicates those extended uses of theatre. Thus, all students might speak the same lines, but trying each to say them in an original way, or to invent something as a group.

11.        Advert. soap powders advert etc   + comparative or superlative Act them as if on TV.  . car advert/ perfume advert+ present perfect + ever, never, always, often. Students can have a lot off fun with these adverts, and educationally it helps unmask some of the commercial techniques. Grammar areas have their communicative tendencies. 

12.        Adverts. Collect recorded TV ads. Students make up a suitable text, making use of a given unit grammar page. If they are Italian ads, turn off the sound track. The pupils would probably be distracted and would fill in the missing Italian. (Use if possible, a tape of some English ads? If they are English ads, make sure that you understand the words. Don't show the pupils the sound version. Do warm up work on the vocabulary. Brainstorm for ideas on what is going on and what product is being advertised and what the words might be. Maybe you could quickly let them hear the sound track for the sake of the music. At the very end show them the sound version of the whole ad. Maybe give them a line from the original or the plot of the ad if it's the mini short story sort.

13.        Agony Aunts - Write biographies and the problems of the characters. In the role of agony aunts, the students then write answers to characters' problems or the students write them themselves with your help or as a homework task. e.g. Narrow escape. "The girl has frequent nightmares" or "She doesn't dare leave the house any more".

14.        REPETITION. What is it? : get all the "milk" possible out of the activity/material - It is in the repetitious variants that the learning puts down roots.

15.        Bingo. For vocabulary or for "chunks". Give each student a piece of A4. Show how to folding it into 16 strips. The teacher pins 4-5 copies of a 22 vocabulary/verb list/phrase-chunks on the walls. The pairs must choose any 16 of the 22 to write in. (It makes for more enjoyable hubbub if they run to the 4 lists on the 4 walls, to read the lists. Children need to move!). When they have their 16 NEATLY written, the teacher begins. Better, a pupil pair, in turns, shouts out a word/phrase that they have on their Bingo card until the first pair have all 16 filled. This activity works very well with translation. Either all the Bingo sheet is L1 or L2 or the teacher says the L1 word and pupils look for their L2 word on the Bingo sheet. This is a good example of an activity that is reinforcing by repetition. For instance, this bingo activity might be reusing or introducing a grammar play. Remember again, that in that case all the 22 phrases on the wall coming from a grammar play will be reinforcing both oral fluency AND grammar. (remember the dreaded "Grammar" is only another word for regularity and pattern..

16.        Biographies. The newspapers are full of "stories". Collect and get students to collect such stories. One day choose one and either the teacher has previously prepared a useful vocabulary aid, or brainstorm the difficult words with the students. Then you could use the story to wonder about the "characters". Decide on the character or experiences that might explain the newspaper story.. Maybe invent extra incidents in the character's For example in our play "The Hook" (past.tenses). "How did the man with the hook lose his hand"? A variant could be the teacher's reading of a fine passage from a novel, (after quick preliminary work on the vocabulary, or even doing that after the first reading). Then the class invent and answer together questions about the scene or characters.

17.        Board games A set of daily/classroom phrases (see Gallery no…..or webpage "Materials to down load", "100 Middlesmoor phrases", no….., or "Classroom English" no. ……) which are grouped in grammar areas. They can be made into divided card sets which, laid flat can combine to make a board game. (place a plastic sheet over them so that you can "score" on it or place team colour counters on it. Remember by grouping and focusing, we encourage an intuitive perception of grammar's patterns. Remember the 3 year old English boy's "We swimmed in the river". He was making hypotheses! "add …ed to SPEAK of the past)

18.        Board games There are books on Board games and you can adapt some of these. can be made into language games:. "snakes and ladders", "Noughts and Crosses", "draughts" etc with certain of the language "kits". See gallery.

19.       Board games. Memory gamr.

20.        Make a board 6x6. Put 10 easy Daily phrases into one cup and 10 difficult in another. Make a dice with 1, 2, 3 red dots on 3 sides and 1,2,3 yellow dots on the remaining 3 sides. Throw the dice. Suppose it is yellow 2. Another player takes 2 English phrases from the cup, translates them mentally into German, says it and the player has to translate the 2 cards. In the game Otello, the game is done with coloured counters. If X O X occurs in any direction, then the X player can transform the surrounded counter with his own X counter. This game can be combined with the 2 cups/one dice game.

21.        Board games,.for pairs or 4's Any group of pictures or sentences can be arranged as a board. The classroom phrases that the teacher has listed and uses can be used as a pack to be used in such board games so that pupils get extra practice in using them. Have pictures facing up. The children get used to associating the picture with the phrases. Don't forget that such "artificial" practice of language is of special help to the slower pupils who in these tables of 4 pupils have a chance of using the language, after already hearing others.. In "real communication", once one child has used a classroom English phrase, the matter is closed. Repetition is necessary, and for that we need games. (unless we are believing in the "long term sedimentation" of "EXPOSURE" - when classrooms don't have the long time for the haphazardness of exposure. "slow familiarity with sounds"? "Piecing it out intuitively", - acquiring.)

22.        Board games/ Dominoes. Make cards that have 2 words which fit to other dominoes, but not to all. It could be that the "fit" comes from categories of vocabulary. It may require the student to justify his/her choice: "because they both are found in the house".

23.        Brainstorm situations -Introductory activity for finding ideas for play making. Initially this is done by putting 2 characters together in a situation, e.g. policeman and speeding motorist, a passenger without a ticket and ticket inspector. or a nurse and difficult patient with a broken leg. (See situations charts on the webpage (materials" no ……. ) For example make such a chart for "Comic situations".

24.        Techniques of knowledge strengthening. Build up lessons in cumulative ways. Step wise. So everything is doable, or triple. Has your lesson got wheels? Are they learning NOW (not put back to some "Homework" written exercise!!) Are they remembering, or do we start each week with a "Tabula raso"!! I have seen so much of this. "Eight years" (and yet they KNOW so little. (ne 18 year old boy in his anonymous comment on our last day of a 5 day course wrote, "I have learnt more with you two in 5 days than in eight at school". No flattery, but certainly anger!! By the way, "Knowledge strengthening is also what is aided by short clear "abstract" (!!) explanations , (supported by spoken practice). There has been too much silly rejection of memorising approaches and "abstract" explanation.

25.        Card Games. Snap. The cards for "Memory" can be reused for Snap. In this game two players have a pack each. They shout "snap" if the 2 turned over cards have the same face. (for this you need more cards of the same object/ vocabulary/ grammar sentence etc). Alternatively "snap" would be shouted when 2 of some relational group is turned up: "fruits" (for apple and grape) are shouted or "vegetables" (for "Cabbage" "Lettuce") for example. The same game can be played with verb sets or with phrases.

26.        Card Games. Use the raw material of a grammar island to make card sets to play "memory game". ( 2 to pair) Use vocab, grammar phrases, classroom phrases.

27.        Cards can be 2 sided bilingual. Once meaning is known L1 is ignored. Ror example, 8 cards are very useful in order to clear up the muddlearoiund the "wh" words.

28.        Cards to reassemble for word order. "Dictations" etc

29.        Cartoon series turned into very short plays. See Gallery no…. past tenses story taken from book….). Groups can produce their own drawings of a story. These often "odd" (!) drawings, create a lot of laughter, and remember laughter is pleasure is motivating is learning!! BINGO!

30.        Chanting. Chorus format. A. B double chorus OR a b 2 groups echo activity

31.        Chorus games. Chanting. Individual, group and Coral. Useful and fun way to practice a "play", prior to acting it.

32.        Class magazine / newspaper.

33.        Class magazine / newspaper. /homework. Tell them to find old newspapers magazines to cut out photos and make their own captions. Or put under the pictures set phrases or variants of them. Use them to make short conversations.

34.        Classic film. Choose a moment from a classic film. Prepare a vocabulary list and after doing some vocabulary work and class discussion about what they think is involved in the scene, get the students in 2 or 3 to make a dialogue. If it's an Italian film turn the sound down When they have completed and acted their version you could play them the original.

35.        Classroom English. I do think that the teacher should "expose" as much English as possible but in strictly disciplined way (as much as can be consciously managed. I would recommend each week mentally deciding what you were going to highlight).

36.       I once saw in an English high school, a lesson of German. The teacher babbled away in German and I could see that the pupils were not listening. But clearly focused and repeated "Classroom" English is useful. So for example focus on a structure (eg. the present continuous) and find every opportunity to use it for a week. It may not all be understood, but the teacher has undertaken to use the present continuous again and again. Help pupils to perceive pattern by you highlighting in such a way.

37.        Classroom English. Start inventing it now. You need time. Preposition phrases. "Exception" present tense verbs (want, like, understand, think, ……) 

38.        Classroom English. These are basic English as sentence stems to reuse.

39.       I want…… Do you want

40.       Did you shut the door? Oh what have you done!

41.       Have you finished?               Have you understood?

42.       There are some ….There aren't any

43.       Do you……?        I don't…..

44.       You must…..   You needn't

45.        Theses are the sort of thing to constitute that base of "Classroom English" which is used without too much worry about "grammar difficulty". Classroom English can just expand according to the common usefulness of the phrase rather than concern over its relative difficulty. These basic "difficult" structures can be used in plays so as to render the whole more realistic and give more scope for the dialogues and also to serve as that kind of "prelearning"/ familiarising. .


46.        Classroom organization. In mixed classes how do I physically organize the sub groups. Mixed? Like with like?

47.        classroom phrases. Collect central useful grouped by grammar focus

48.        Cloze test - The students are given photocopies of plays to blank out. These are then exchanged and filled in by another student.

49.        Cloze Test Progressive - On a photo copy students will find the dialogue partially erased. Such a skeleton could be dictated. When there is a gap, the teacher dictates the word "blank" and students subsequently return to fill in the missing parts.

50.        Colour coding of material to aid memory or attention. For example 2 sets of cards the same need to be distinguished with a colour code line around the border for ease of later sorting. It is also important to get children to make versions of your correct computer cards. Coloured class made cards have a special value. (Montessori!)

51.        Colour is a useful mnemonic for Vocab sets, verbs, and grammar 

52.       Colour is very useful for distinguishing sets of cards so that they can be easily sorted into packs if there are many for all the pairs to use.

53.        Colour is very useful when trying to evidence without explicit rules, a particular pattern .of grammar regularity.

54.        Competition between pupils.

55.        Competition between pupils. It can transform an activity. Tables of 4 in 2 teams. One quick student + one slow? Tends to be one sided. Arrange tables by ability. Then no one is just watching others or consequently making a disturbance because cut out.

56.        Competitive monologuing - Act a monologue to an instruction (for example reading the play A Narrow Escape as scarily as possible). Then vote for the most effective. This helps humorous acting.

57.        Comprehension questions. Make questions on the text. These could be traditional type comprehension questions, e.g. Why did the girl faint at the end? The questions could be made more open ended and imaginative. That is to say, the questions could provoke thoughts on as it were the hidden parts of the play. Traditional comprehension questions have a right or wrong answer. The imaginative questions don't. Instead they use the text as point of departure. In the Narrow escape text you might ask open ended questions about who the man with the hook was, where had he come from, why was he there etc. In fact, the making of the questions is as important an activity as answering them. The students have to invent such questions.

58.       Comprehension. It would be much better to think of the second language as an intellectual problem, (as well as an entertainment problem) - just as once the study of Latin was justified, or the mental discipline of Maths. Why has no egg-head come up with the idea of "acquiring Mathematics in a natural way"!? Patently absurd: Yes, let's make language lessons fun/entertaining, but let's also encourage the children to wonder at the strange exotic shapes that a foreign language takes, and enjoy cracking the code! After all very young children can love chess! From my experience kids are too bright to be fooled.

59.        Content. Clear. Focused. Limited. We say in English "The devil is in the detail"!! So too with a lesson plan and material.

60.        Converasions. A and b are given a dialogue to study and read aloud, then they must recreate without reading. Class audience can call out helpful sentences (from original or new)

61.        Conversation -We can only do that by first giving them "Grammar plays".  Learning by heart for acting is a very useful stage to later fluency and "Lower Order Automatisaton".as Amsterdam university research called it, saying it is the essential basis for any communicative ability.

62.        Conversation. Instead of learning a play be heart, large cards with the part, or a very large poster size on the wall, can be glanced out by pupils before speaking. While speaking they are not allowed to l read off the words. It must be briefly memorized from their quick glance or read while the other is speaking their part.

63.        Conversations overheard. e.g.: "We've missed the train", he said. This type of free invention is to do while making use of both the particular structure of a unit and the suggested situations in the human life chart.

64.        Creative (=open ended).

65.       Creative = autonomous /semi autonomous production. The point about small grammar island focused material is that it only giving us clear, DELIMITED, raw material for speaking activities. In the early stages the material is dead, passive. But we want to move the students steadily to being first, semi autonomous and then, autonomous and to use language creatively. So sentence stems for free completion would be an example of semi autonomous.

66.        Creative tasks with verb lists

67.        Cross examine. The class invent questions to put to a character. These are written on the board. Choose one and answer it from an imagined "biography" of the character. These help to expand / invent a fuller character. ( "What happened to your children "? Such questions can give ideas as how to act the character.

68.        Diagrammatic curriculum given, to students so they can follow their learning itinerary. On the classroom walls have a chart that describes what you have done. Have your games and ctad sets etc hanging in folders/ plastic supermarket boxes along the wall so in certain lessons the pupils can access the material which they know coincided with the "what's been studied" wall chart.

69.        Diagrams and "hieroglyphs" are another pathway to memory. Use pupil drawings to make vocabulary cards. Also make them for your "75 useful daily phrases" set. (another means of Lower order Automatisation".

70.        Dialogues artificially focused on grammar "islands".

71.       Dice. Numbers for progressing in the traditional way across a game board. Other dice..

72.       Dice. Use large wooden cubes (from a carpenter). Cover them with written phrases (for changing to question or negative form, or write on the tape, always, sometimes, usually, now, soon, tomorrow (for distinguishing 2 presents). Too difficult at Elementary school, but , now, soon, tomorrow could just be put in the right place in an entirely invented phrase

73.        Dictation using cards to arrange - not write.

74.        Dictation. Continual loop. The teacher recites a poem (or silly dialogue, vocab list etc) very slowly, but without any repetition. Maybe record yourself and keep repeating the loop! The children have to crowd round and when a pair is sure to have memorized a line, they go to their seats and the pair write it. Then they return for another line. More fun than boring "dictation" with all the noisy pleas for "repeat"!

75.        Dictation. Either starting from 1 or calling out as the teacher calls a random number, the students "dictate to the class - either the English or Italian of "their" sentence.

76.       Dictation. With Mistakes. Give 5 wrong and 5 right. Pupils have to see which is correct.

77.        Dictionaries -Encourage pupils to have their own Vocabulary note book of sets. After all lists can be transformed in all manner of activities and games. The list is just the start.  

78.        Dictionaries. Use of dictionaries.

79.        Didactics Core idea.

80.        Didactics. Do you know what tail is wagging your "dog"? . Have I clearly understood how my minute by minute teaching is affected (or not) by the "descriptors" of the European Portfolio (and CEF) or the emphasis on content (rather than language) in CLIL. Have I clearly and consciously adopted a teaching philosophy, or has one adopted me? Have I understoodhow it works or am I just hoping for the best?

81.        Discussion material. Inter-connections of my "help teenagers think" culture pages (future book). (superiore level)

82.        Discussion topics with kits of ready made paragraphs of information/opinion to be used as spring board in discussions. To help get things started. (superiore level)

83.        Discussions material and language for. Second stage discussion material. Reorganised and represented to class for more settled argument. My diagramatic summary of first session arguments. (superiore level)

84.        Drama in a photograph or painting. Collect reproductions of dramatic photographs and paintings. Identify the possible occurrence and the people involved in a photograph, and then make up brief biographical details for them to possibly use in a play. Instead of photos you could use moments from history or literature.

85.        Drawings (Student made) to represent/ symbolize sets of useful but grammared phrases.

86.        Drawings for board games and cards

87.       DRILLS "Performed"drills. Each pupil learns a same grammar example ("Help! I'm falling"! They come in quick rotation to the front and perform dramatically their "drill" phrase. (Use your collction of "classroom phrases) or phrases around some special mistake that needs attention and practice)

88.        Drills for Lower order automatisation. Fluency. Mouth gymnastics.

89.        Drills of "sentence stems" (these are frequently used stems of "grammar" "chunks" which can be completed in many open ended ways). Students have 5-10 stems (of a single kind: "sheis… he is…./ they are …. ing etc) in front of them and when it's their turn they have to orally complete without repetition or mistake.

90.        Drills of pattern sentences.

91.        DRILLS. Closed and open. "Performed".

92.        DRILLS. Pure repetition (why has that disappeared as if it were prehistoric!? It helps Lower order automatisation and it includes the slower pupils.

93.        Semi repetition, where the stem is added with variants endings.

94.        Dubbing. Video a play then everyone watches it with the sound turned off. The students are given time to prepare material that will allow them to dub the film that everyone has watched. You could do this for a famous scene from a classic film. You could show the film with the sound turned off. This activity works well with the grammar plays. Film a pair acting and then turn off the video sound and dub the film.

95.        Example sentence/phrase. Choose one from a grammar page which is to be combined with the vocabulary of that unit or some other unit. The idea is that student A says an example phrase and then names a following student who has to substitute a vocabulary word into the original sentence while conserving the grammar structure. "I haven't had time". Use picture cards for such "No hesitation group games. (card of "money" "I haven't had the money.

96.        Exercises - written,  can be transformed into spoken tasks.

97.        Exercises The principal of practice can be done more sympathetically for younger children. No writing but they have to correctly choose and order cards so as to be able to compose a correct sentence.

98.       Exercises The principal of practice can be done more sympathetically for younger children using a variant of the traditional dictation idea. From the same cards for 24, the pupils have to compose the phrase that has been dictated by the teacher.(or by another pair/ group)

99.       Exercises The principal of practice can be made form memorizing exercise. After doing some language activity: maybe they have had all sorts of listening and support work on a story. They have to either compose a one-word necklace or put I order some cards which are the skeleton events of the story. This is best if on the walls of the classroom, there is hung the correct order. That means everyone CAN do the exercise and the movement involved is always a plus!

100.    Exposure. Consider my 25 year "experiment" with German. I listen easily to Goethe's "Dichtung und Wahrheit", read it easily and cannot speak a word! So much for "passive" exposure! Maybe a similar study regime would have worked in English because it has so much less grammatical variation. "The big book" only has the variant "The big books" and adding prepositions changes nothing. Pretty simple!

101.    Filming lessons. The times get worse. For all the 50 schools we have visited we were able to make films of the lessons. This not only pleased the kids and allowed the parents to see into their child's school and so in some way to participate. According to American research, students who watch their own lesson, actually learn more by this second vision , seen from outside" than in the original lesson. However, with this madness of "privacy" who knows how long we can film. See if you can. (Maybe the Direttore can take possession of the film to keep it safe and then destroy it.). It's so motivating to children and students.

102. Filming. Students are given a phrase and they are filmed. More mistakes the better. Film several series and then watch it on the Screen.. VERY USEFUL: THE MOST USEFUL! AND EASY FOR YOU!!!! You rest!

103.    Films. Moments from a film. Activity 2 can be done at the same time as activity 1 so that the film includes both a "recitation" of the English sentence plus the "simultaneous translation"

104.    Fluency needs Lower Order Automatisation. "Uttering" gymnastics

105.    Fun = motivation (= a little bit: "acquire"

106.    Game translation.

107.    Games.

108.    Gap fill -Mime. Vocab practice. "Teacher. "I combed my…(hair)…" "I tied my … (shoe laces). etc

109.    Gap fill. A line of a song/story/play/phrase is recited by the teacher. When she comes to a the word to be gapped she makes a zzz noise. The children have to shout out the missed word. "Lucy in the zzzz with diamonds".

110. Gap fill. Idea of "blanked out" text. So here "They…..coming" or "they …. Nice" etc Done written or orally They… mmmm      lazy" = "They are lazy".

111.    Gap fill. Not only written but oral too.

112. Gap fill. The teacher writes one or two lines from a song/story/play/phrase on the board. Then she progressively wipes the words out, accompanied with great dumb show and pantomime fun, until there is only the first word left, or none at all. She then draws in lines where the words were and puts a little number above them. The children call out words to fit the numbered places. When completed the teacher again - with great dram rubs it all out, (after a couple of times of just pretending to rub it out). The pupils now have to write out the original. This whole phrase/ chunk practice is the final aim of the activity.

113.    Gap-filling - Record with gaps. Then fill in either individually in a circle or in a group chorus.

114.    General knowledge. Ask a pair of pupils to prepare a lesson on a certain subject (a useful teaching aid is an encyclopaedia). The student works a certain suitable structure into the lecture.

115.    Grammar - Frequently used structures as a wall poster for constant reference 

116. Grammar (the language regularity itself- not the rule) is only a word for a "mnemonic": an aid to remembering. If a simple diagramtic reduction can be made, present the content in as visually, orally clear fashion as possible. Use colour to high light patterns.

117.    Grammar "islands". Used for artificially mono focused Dialogues

118.    Grammar as organising tool for teacher.(aids "noting") "What have I done. What do I need to redo. What would best be added. 

119.    Grammar explanation supported by interlocking techniques, games repetition, autonomous production. The "grammar kit" should be surrounded by bolt on supporting spoken activities.

120.    Grammar focused "speaking" through Situation cards (either photos or child drawings). The cards are cues for semi free invention of grammar stems: "Clock" on the card is cue for "When are you….(leaving)"

121.    Grammar focused plays student-written or from our grammar book.

122.    Grammar for the teacher's organizing categories. This "artificiality" of using a grammar framework will bring all sorts of unexpected learning advantages that the poor old "Communicative Approach" with its implicit "acquire" hope has failed to deliver. Note that my sort of grammar does not include a single rule (though a helpful word to assist children do what they already do - use their intelligence to NOTICE similarity, regularity and pattern in a foreign language, would not harm them!). No, for me, Grammar is more an organizing principle which gives the teacher's material focus, coherence AND limitation.

123.    Grammar grouped as archipelago of "islands". A grammar area is made of 3 or 4 micro units)

124.    Grammar grouped.

125.    Grammar in express" form- layouts It's possible to arrange some sample sentences on a page in such a way that children understand the key matter.

126.    Grammar is real. "We swimmed in the river yesterday". Child of 3. Children understand grammar!!

127.    Grammar islands Wall charts can present a diagramatic evidencing of pattern and regularity.

128.    Grammar kits. Cards/sheets etc for very focused practice. Ideally kits are self standing. On a Friday afternoon, a teacher might say "In pairs, take a "kit" that interests you and play one of the games that you already have practiced. Get pupils used to inventing their own games and variants.

129.    Grammar lessons (brief) given by Students. Helps them to clear their thoughts.

130.    GRAMMAR must be presented in activities that are group/social (FUN) and involve SPEAKING what has been understood. As a result, the language is MEMORISED

131.    Grammar never a thing on its own but imbedded in speaking activity.

132.    Grammar page. Add a grammar page For plays or story making, certain grammar structures have to be made part of the play, just as we have done in our plays in the high lighted phrases. Use one of our plays or make an original one.

133.    Grammar plays. Focus on pattern.

134.    Grammar regarded as a sort of lego. Combine, reassemble bits.

135.    Grammar. = pattern, regularity, repeatability, rememberablity.

136.    Grammar" nested within teaching material is not usually explanation. If it is, "Explanation" must have a special form. If rules are allowed in, then the "rules" must be short and comprehensible if they are to be REMEMBERED! "Rules" must contain ideally at the most 3 key words if we are not to lose 50% of the class right from the outset! They mist always follow into becoming a speaking activity

137.    Grammared phrases. Kim's game - The words in the text are blanked out, using a list dictated by the teacher or words dictated, one each by the students. The papers are then exchanged and students must write in the vanished words.

138.    Group work" has had a modish rediscovery, but with the ambitious demands put upon it, it is very difficult to administer: what is the MATTER of roup work. Is it for self discovery (hmm) .or for practice and fluency and memorising ames? "Spiel" or fun is a simpler aspect of group work that depends simply on well constructed materials that motivate both through fun and by demonstrating how much they the pupils are improving their ability. Fun is a sugar that makes the medicine go down!


139. Group work. Yes to increase speaking time. What materials.

140.    Groups that are teacher led. Groups have kit cards laid out. Teacher asks the question and groups look at their kit to compose answer.

141.    Guessing

142.    Guessing Games. Orally and written, but also using cards to assemble correctly, gap fill, sentences, songs, vocab, verb lists. -Use definitions for quiz type questions.

143.    Guessing. Use "I am/am I + adjective     "Are you Italian? Etc Child goes out and enters room. Children form a circle. Throw ball and who catches must say "I am French/English/sad etc think of "who you are", then others guess "Are you…"

144.    Get students to invent and act short dialogues. "Are you tired"? "Are you rich" etc Mime. "Am I ….(acts "tired")   "Am I (acts "Italian") use to obtain correct repetition of form "Are you coming"?

145.    Guessing. Pupils have sticky label stuck on their foreheads. On them is written - for example a trade or a fruit etc. . They circulate asking each other some fixed pattern: eg. "Am I a banana"? "Am I an apple" (no) "

146.    How can use a tape (a CD is much easier to control) in a NOT boring way, to help listening and pronunciation. Do you plan to buy a "Nursery rhymes" CD. A very simple "Stories" reader with CD?

147.    Imitate the superlative language of adverts to create a play / monologue.

148.    Imitation

149.    Imitation - both closed and open.

150.    Imitation - both closed and open. As with sentence stems to complete..

151.    Interview - The students write ten questions to ask a character in a play. These can then be passed around and answered by other students. It's possible to rework this into a variation on the original dialogue and make an improved version.

152.    Interviews.    "I'm a teapot". Pupils interview a pupil who is an object. These can be fun but they need some class preparation of vocabulary and useful phrases to accompany such "biographic" interviews. A particular unit grammar could be fed into the exercises with when a pupil is questioned or cross examined.

153.    Islands, archipelagoes

154. Language is….."Second language speakers tend to use prefabricated utterances which are then maneuvered into speaking". Hakuta.  So let's give them spoken grammar "lego"- for easy fabrication!

155.    Language needs gymnastic practice. Many of your activitzies will really be of this type.

156.    Learn a poem in 30 seconds. A short poem or rhyme is cut up and the pieces numbered, and then handed out to pairs /individuals who have to learn their line in 30 seconds. Now the teacher calls out a 1 -2-3 etc and the poem is recited. Do it several times after changing round the tickets. For homework, ask them now to learn the whole short poem. This activity is another case of fun AND the fearsome sounding "Lower order automatisation"!! Get that English coming out of the mouth fluently.

157.    Learning by heart and recycling.

158. Learning by heart. Listening. They +are + adjective. Pupils write a 3 word combination and then circulate repeating their phrase and listening to others. They are required to swap their oral phrase (no cards are to be carried but only memorized and repeated). With 5 or 6 other pupils. In this way at the end each pupil will "know" 5 other phrases.

159.    Learning of sections of pop songs with targeted structures.

160.    Lessons in Gym and playground. Movement-memory games.

161.    Lessons should dig a deep "furrow" in the memory. Plough (pflugen) a deep furrow (Furche)

162.    Memory game. "Cocktail party chat". All players learn a grammar phrase ("I'm feeling sick", "I'm dying", "It's sinking" etc)exchange their phrase with others at the "party". Later in pairs, try and remember as many as possible.. reinforce this with the phrases as pairs for memory game. As players turn over a card they MUST say the phrase.

163. Memory game. "Where is Ann´s watch"? This is called "Kim´s game". You put a number of articles or pictures of objects on a tray-table. After they have been named and studied - perhaps the teacher says such "Classroom English" as "What is next to the watch" " what else can you see near the watch" etc After a while a cloth is put over the objects. "I´m covering the objects now with this cloth".

164.    Memory needs repetition.

165.    Mental gymnastics with language patterns. You are - Are you..etc The teacher (or one of a table of 2 or 4 players )says "You are", and the other has to turn it into a question or negative form. (as decided). A large wooden dice is useful. Cover it with tape (so that they ca be recovered for a different game) write 3 negative signs and 3 question signs. The player who is to say the positive form throws the dice to see if the transformation should be to question or negative form).

166.    Mental gymnastics with language patterns. You are - Are you..etc

167.    Method = one core concept. (and neglect of others!!)

168.    Mime

169. Mime. To practice senses verbs that go with Can. Taste. smell. hear. Feel. "Pins taste like vinegar". Make sill combinations. Possibly translate their ideas.

170. Mime. You are coming. you are sleeping. You are working. You are opening the window. Put these onto tickets. Or get pupils to copy from your numbered list (elementary pupils need mechanical -intellectual activity!) Put the cards in a bag. Each pupil extracts one and mimes the action for the class to guess.

171.    Mimicking - First tape or video a pair doing a play. Leave space enough between each actor to allow for them subsequently to do another performance where either they say their words before the tape does or after. This leads to a lot of laughter and therefore much unnoticed learning. If a different pair of actors had to echo the tape recording, they could make fun of the original by exaggerating qualities of the recording, including its small (or big) mistakes.

172.    monologues around a noun from a vocabulary set. This sounds difficult but it can be quite fun as a relatively simple activity. There is even a well known radio programme called "Just a minute" where the game is to see if the competitors can keep talking without hesitation, repetition or deviation from the "subject". The secret is to just talk simple sentences. Subjects could be a phrase (here a narrative phrase) or a single word: e.g. It was raining cats and dogs........ or a single word:    Bananas.   "I like bananas. They are a fruit that grow on trees in hot countries. You find them in supermarkets and are very popular these days. Once they were a luxury. Bananas are also very dangerous. You may think that I am exaggerating but when I see someone eating a banana I always keep away from them. The reason for this is that when I was young I spent several months in hospital because of a banana. It wasn't exactly a banana but a banana skin. That is the dangerous part....."etc. etc. When there's a hesitation or mistake, a challenger takes over telling the story. (if a referee upholds the challenge) and he has now to talk for what remains of the original minute.

173.    Mortality of Language Learning Methods"( the talk by Wilfried Decoo) Read carefully my 13 page reduction of it, so that you have a firm memory of the chronological sequence of all those "new and FINAL methods" and their subsequent eclipse. This is an absolutely necessary inoculation against facile "solutions" to the teaching problem, which always must come down to this simple question: "What do I teach". We will never answer that without having first cleared the tables of false promises.

174. Movement. "Are you there Moriarty"? Two are blind folded. The players lie on the floor. They hold each others left wrist. In their right they hold a rolled up newspaper. One pupil shouts "Are you there Moriarty". The other must reply something short like "yes, I am" or "Here I am". The other tries to strike the replier, who moves without losing hold of the other's wrist. . This game can use any useful chunk in question form, that is to be learnt.. "When are you going"? Reply. "Now" "Is anyone there"? "Yes there is". etc

175.    Movement. "Playlets" idea. Make some dramatic 1 line plays. "Ah! I`m dying, ahhhh!

176.    "It´s sinking". "What´s happening"? "Why are you going".

177.    With such plays one can "pre-teach" That is to say you "soften up" the children with plays that contain material not yet "studied" (which for us means PRACTICED!!)

178. These present continuous sentences are ideally played in Gym or outside. The one line plays are written large on half A4 sheets. Scatter them on the ground. The children "learn one (no touching the card) and then run to the moving teaching to repeat it. If it´s right they run to learn another.

179.    Movement. exercises of repetition, memorizing. Use throwing Frisbies, plastic lids, cardboard with phrases stuck on them. Make 2 teams. Team A all take a throwing card. Number 1 of Team A throws and Number 1 of team B has to run to where the cardboard "frisbie" has landed, read the phrase / word and run back to tell the teacher. If correct, then A team's Number 2 throws and team B's number 2 runs; and so on. The contest is timed as both teams throw or run.

180. Movement. Go to the Gym. Throw all the cards on the floor. All pupils inspect and remember where all the phrases/words are situated. The pupils wait together at one end and then the teachers shouts a phrase, and the pupils run to be first to stand on the sentence/ word.

181. Movement. Group A at one end of the Gym or playground hold a card and learn the phrase. At the start they all run to the other end to Group B. Each player has a partner in the other team. This is a pair competition. Team B members hear teir phrase and then run to the teacher standing where tam A started running from to tell the dictated phrase.

182. Movement. Invent your own variants.

183. Movement. The cards of the previous game are put all over the floor, Students read and learn a phrase (leaving the cards on the floor) and run to the teacher. After reciting their phrase, and the teachers calls "right", they run to find another. The competition is individual. The winner is the one who has recited the most.

184.    New plays - use human life chart for brainstorming situations/characters from which students should then write a new play. The grammar units are a useful stimulus, as they themselves are suggestive of situation(also see list). One provocative spoken line may work well for this: 

185.    No simplistic theories of THIS IS THE ANSWER: Use everything. Reject nothing.

186.    Not "natural" learning, but cleverly artificial ways.

187.    Noughts and crosses. Make a blank 3x3 board. Play by choosing a card. If you can make a sentence then you place the card to play noughts and crosses. Either each player has a coloured coded pack of cards or place a coloured counter on you word card.

188.    Variant. Instead, the 3x3 board is filled with 9 drawings of chips, apple, milk, eggs, egg, bread etc. The players have to correctly place a card with         there is/ there are/ is there/ are there +a/not any/any?/ some. Example. Is there any milk

189.    Nursery rhymes After learning one by heart, you can use them for guessing, "quiz" games. For "dictation" games. Memory games. Sliced up lines as Jigsaw to reassemble in the right sequence. .

190.    Nursery rhymes - either simple language or modified. Learn them by heart. Make sure that the English is simple or simplify it yourself. .Eg. It's raining, it's pouring,/ the old man is snoring./ He bumped his head/ in the middle of the night,/ and couldn't get up in the morning.

191.    Oral gymnastics for orally reassembling statements as Questions or negative.

192.    Oral test. Preparation game. The class has 1 minute to LEARN the grammar sentence - both in the original English and the translation.

193.    Oral. GO! A sentence. B continuation. C. Continuation etc Who is coming next week?

194. Oral. The pupils have for example, a set of I/you/he cards + is/am/are cards + a card with 8 verbs in this format SLEEPing. The teacher dictates a sentence and the pupils have to assemble it. This is a non writing dictation. Hands up the first pair to compose it.


196.    Oral/written exercises. The teacher asks a question. The pupils write it down. After they have 10, they then in pairs write a possible answer.  

197.    Organisition. Circles. Lines. 2 facing lines for repetition or Q and A

198.    Pair work. A and B. A says the form "It´s mine" B must quickly deny it using the form "No, it´s my book".and then vice versa

199.    Paradigm. An intellectual framework that can help us comprehend but also blind us to the NEW:

200.    Pass the parcel type "Stille Post".

201.    Performances = social fun (plays or written exercise material used as fun speaking activity)

202.    Performances Person X - After a class discussion the students introduce an additional character.

203. Photo /ads sets. for extempore speaking/semi open Write publicity "chunks" for the children in pairs to do TV ads.

204.    Photos for board games and cards

205.    Phrase book. Accumulating every lesson. Make students make customized "beautiful phrase books, which the teacher has pre organized into Grammar sections, so new phrases are not just piled up , higgledypiggledy.

206.    Phrase or grammar pattern. First give all pupils a number. Whole class. . Pupil A (Polly) "Polly is calling 7". B (Peter who is 7) "7 is calling 6. C (Anna who is 8) "8 is calling 10". Instead of this present continuous, we could use a past (the easy form with "did") "8 didn't understand 10". "10 didn't understand 12". This game can be played in a circle and "striker" can strike with a rolled up newspaper anyone who hesitates.

207.    Phrase work. swap your phrase with someone else and learn theirs.All pupils mix as if at a party..

208. Phrase. Learning of phrases/sentence stems that are useful and suitable for recycling. "Learning" does not have to mean head down "learning"! Make the children stand in a line along a wall. The teacher whispers a sentence and also shows the writing of the phrase to the child at the beginning of the line. The pupil passes the phrase that the teacher has said to the next child. The teacher then tells a new phrase and this too is passed down the line and so on. Variant. .All the children in the line are given a sentence and all in turn read it out. The teacher corrects any obvious pronunciation mistakes. The children are numbered in this way: A. B. A. B.A.B etc alternately. The teacher now says A's start. The A's turn to their neighbour "B" and tell the phrase. The teacher controls the moment when the "B" players must now pass on the phrase they have received to their neighbour "A" below them on the line. This is usually fairly chaotic, but this adds to the fun.

209.    Phrases and poems learnt by heart

210.    Phrases- Individual cards Italian one side English on other / or a picture from which to guess the phrase. These might be from your set of "Classroom English". Alternately, use focused chunks - for example incorporating the common sorts of past forms that appear frequently in stories put into sentence patterns.. "He came yesterday". "She opened the door". "She shouted". "The lightening flashed". Variant. This game of pass the sentence could be a support activity to a story. Each child is given and learns a short moment from a story. The children are again designated A. B. A. B.A etc (or more ambitiously the are numbered 1,2,3,4 etc and the "odd numbers" are the "A" and the "even numbers" the "B". - so here there is practice of numbers too.). The story is passed along. Of course everyone but the first pupil will say a bit of story somewhere in the middle, but after this activity, the pupils stand in line and then in turn come out and tell their bit of story in the right sequence as the story progresses.

211. Phrases sets as cards for games and oral practice and memorizing. Simple tongue practice is so important at this level (and later!) Also REMEMBER. The most important duty. "How many minutes in each hour are my pupils opening their mouths to make English sounds. It absolutely doesn't matter that it is not genuine "communication". The word "speaking" in English means both communicating and making sounds come out!

212.    Phrases sets as grammar sets - about everyday activities and use. The main poinyt is that their grouping allows "focus on form".(The new academic jargon that actually means noticing grammar regularity!!.)

213.    Phrases stems for extempore speaking. Drill changes. Grammar stems are a useful bridge to semi creative language production. "When are you….-ing" "When is she….ing" "When am I. "Where are you….ing Where is she…."Why is she etc

214. Phrases stems for recycling and creative invention.

215.    Phrases. Frequently used and recycled phrases that illustrate grammar.

216.    Phrases. Set phrases as a keyhole. The students invent a play around a unit nugget. It becomes as it were the keyhole entrance to a play that is invented around this germ idea.

217.    Phrases. Student A says one word from a set phrase list.. He then names another student who uses this one word (or phrase) to remember the whole original sentence.

218. Phrases. The class have a learning period of 5 minutes. This can take the form of pair work, testing each other on translating the set phrases.. After the period id finished, the students in pairs try and remember the whole series of nuggets, either with or without the aid of the translations at the beginning of the exercise section.

219.    Physical movement to aid short term memorizing. (Hold it in your head 20 seconds)

220.    Pick 'n mix.  Lessons benefit from change of angle and pace. Mix in with text books, or with these suggestions, whatever else you want to do. I am not making any exclusive claims for them. Everything that is useful and leads to fun and variety is to be used in class.

221.    Play extensions - add an additional scene. This is best done after a period of class brainstorming. Ask for suggestions about other possible characters or possible events surrounding the play. Alternatively they can write a preceding scene or interpolate a scene. In Squashed rabbits for example, they  could make a scene of the rabbits trying to solve the problem: Is there anything we can do? Yes there is something we can do. We could make a tunnel under the road. etc. etc. and then the chief rabbit is run over during the great dig etc.

222.    Play. Choose a play theme or suggestive poem. Take a theme or idea from a play or the Life Chart and dictate a dozen or so important words or phrases that are cues for that theme. Make a poem with these words (as we did with the play "Autumn thoughts").

223.    Plays (grammarised).

224.    Plays around the grammar sectors. (see my 80). A mini grammar syllabus

225.    Plays for choral work

226. Plays of one line. Invent phrases all expressing one grammar area. Make them dramatic for melodramatic, exaggerated acting. Example for present continuous. "Oh, I'm dying" "Help! It's cracking"! "Oh my God, It's sinking"!. "I'm not eating that"!!. "Ugh! I'm feeling sick".*Idiot" What are you doing"? etc

227.    Plays painted chin acting/memorising/ reading

228.    Plays Variant I. A missing scene. Invent dialogues leading up to the scene depicted, possibly by first brain storming some connected vocabulary in either L1 or L2.

229.    Plays, stories. The opening sentence. Story/plays. Pairs of students invent the beginning sentence of a novel. These can be used as story or play kernels. First brain storm using the base of the life chart.

230.    Plays. . One pair acts the play silently but moving their mouths while another group dub the action. This group doesn't act but just gives as it were the sound track.

231.    Plays. Flow-chart play. Write on the board a chart of dialogues, indicating the sort of content (angry denial, misunderstanding etc.). In pairs, the students now create a dialogue. For example a customer takes back to a shop an unsatisfactory purchase.

232.    Plays. Make a play - one or more sets of nuggets are used freely. Indicate which vocabulary sets might be useful for certain subjects. (Look at "Squashed rabbits" as an example of a concentrated use of a particular structure). As preparation, a piece of "cronaca nera" could be read to the class in Italian. This is then given a dramatic presentation.

233.    Plays. Mirror repetition. 2 lines stand facing each other (numbered A and B liners. 6A says "She´s coming"!! " B team must repeat with the same tone: dramatic, sad, lazy, angry, etc

234. Use this for alphabet learning. ABC CDE EFG GHI IJK KLM MNO OPQ ETC

235.    Plays. Understudies. Have a pair recite a play and have another pair be the "understudies" who can come forward and speak any lines forgotten by the chief actors. Instead of waiting for someone to forget their lines, a referee could blow a whistle when the understudies are required to take over.

236.    Plays. Use a crime report in L1 or L2 as source for a short play. The play could consist of just the scene of the dramatic moment. Use the report to stimulate the imagination. The benefit of L1 sources are that it allows you to stimulate and provoke the students' imagination.

237.    Plays.. Hot-Seating - One student is made to be a certain character and other students must then ask her questions for her/him to answer in character. (with or without class preparation) These questions will arise naturally out of a play.

238.    Poem. Turn it into a poem - The students turn the theme of a play dialogue (or monologue etc.) into poems. Examples of possibilities may be necessary as inspiration. They may also just use ideas and themes from newspaper articles.

239.    Poems Variant.I You could also use a poem as source. In this case give some words from an original poem or near synonyms. Pupils have to use the words to make up a poem. Compare results. Record the best. Now play a recording of the original poem. This could be on a bought cassette or from one which you yourself or a friend has recorded. If the class is doing well, you could get a pupil to record it before the lesson.

240.    Poems. "Chinese poems". Here the idea is of very reduced "poetry" "Chinese poetry". This is made with adj + noun. Give the pupils 2 such vocabulary sets that are compiled with 2poems" in mind. Ex. Rain. Drops Snow. Flakes Thunder. Drizzle (!) Hail. Frost. Mist. Fog. River. Fields. Sky. Puddles.   etc + soft. Hard. Fast. Slow. Long. Short. Etc + colours

241.    This may be added to with gerunds. Falling. Rising. Melting. Filling. Flooding

242.    White sky

243.    White fields

244.    soft snow

245.    cold snow

246. black birds

247.    Poems. All learnt or in strips.

248.    Poems. Write their own. Haiku type very simple.

249. Poems/ Nursery rhymes. . A short beautiful poem is learned by heart. Here as above pre- teaching material may be present. Sop what - they enjoy the sounds-sense. (this is a good place to put your ORF Schulwerk to use!!

250.    Pop songs with targeted structures.

251.    Progress from Set phrases "I´m coming soon"     To     Sentence stems "I´m ……..   to          cues. "Soon"

252.    Projects (Creative = autonomous)

253.    Projects (gathering of material for presentation. Eg "storms" "weather", "clouds" stone-age, bronze-age-iron-age)

254. Pronouns. Pair work. A and B. A says the form "It´s mine" B must quickly deny it using the form "No, it´s my book", and then vice versa

255.    Pronunciation. Rhythm, mouth articulation, Use lines from stories. Poems. Nursery rhymes

256.    Pronunciation. Use a chunk/sentence/ classroom phrase in a jazz chant, Orff way, with exaggerated stress. "I am not coming with you today". Use lines from plays or poems in this way. The class recite as if it were a "round".

257.    Come, come as quick as you can

258. There's a fish in the frying pan.

259. Ann, come as quick as you can

260. Ann, come as quick as you can

261. There's a fish in the frying pan.

262.    Children like trying to not get in a muddle. Meanwhile English is coming out of their mouths!

263.    Pronunciation.. If you don´t trust yourself use a disc of children´s easy poems or nursery rhymes. Play a line then repeat along a line. ) Children are standing up. Seats close ears!)

264. Show hoe English doesn´t rise and fall in words so much as in whole phrases. Draw a line on the board.

265.    Races. Relay.

266.    Rational Colour!!!! Memorization!

267.    Reading. Chunk reading from flash cards. Type in very large letters, 6 phrases. (Maybe they come from that set (Classroom English etc) that you are treating as bedrock and for "Lower Order Automatisation"). Show the card for just enough time to be read then lower the card. The pupil pairs have to confer to check they have it right. After a few such trials, give all the pairs a set of 6 phrases (or maybe 2 such cards) and they play together. Remember that this activity contains "the answer", so no one needs the teacher's intervention. It is both a reading activity, a whole chunk activity, a speaking activity AND a memorizing activity.

268.    Reading. Use flash cards that can be read, lowered, then recited. Short memory.

269. Reassemble. A simple list

270. I am

271. You are

272. He is etc   can be cut up as cards and the young children have to reassemble them, running when they want to the wall to check against a completed copy.

273. "How unnatural"! So what! What's wrong with treating language as a jigsaw puzzle.

274. Reassemble. Here the job can be more difficult. A play is cut into lines and the pupils have to reassemble them in the correct order. This may be done from a teacher dictation or from memory, or from full versions pinned on the walls.

275.    Reassemble. This reassemble idea can be variously employed. It's particularly useful for younger kids who can't write very well. Give them these clean cards and their task is simply to put them in the same order. For example in the case of those difficult little words and their ordering in English tenses. Do        you             understand             ? There are 4 pieces to order. With the right set, the teacher can dictate the whole. This is good aural practice and the "writing" practice lies in the clean rearrangement of the cards. On a table of 4, the pairs can compete.

276.    Refashioning already existent sentences.

277.    Relay race. - The dialogue from a play is repeated, one line at a time without hesitation or mistake, passing around in a circle from player to player.

278.    Remember a play. Listen to a short recording of a play for 2 characters on the cassette. Pairs of students then have to write the whole play remembering as best they can. This activity is not just a memory exercise, because interesting additions will score as high as the original. You could go back to a play, that has been well used a few weeks before. Play a tape of the play to remind the students of it, then get them to write the play down or act it freely.

279.    Remembering activities. Short term long term.

280.    Repetition for Long term memory. Remember that repetition helps learning forms but its usefulness is also in sheer mouth movement. A foreign language has strange sounds that are difficult to imitate.

281.    Repetition, Revision. Recycle. Dig a deep furrow in the mind. Practice. Practice. Practice.

282.    Repetition.

283.    Repetition. This has gone out of favour. The usual nonsense about being "old fashioned" and not "communicative"!! So what! Memory requires repetition. Chorus and chanting are good for repetition. Also all activities of repetition are solving the problem of mixed ability. In repetition, those who are quick are quick. Those who are slower have time to catch up!

284.    Reverse it. - The students make dialogues into stories, or alternatively stories/ monologues/ rhymes into dialogues. (see jumbled up story in the exercises in the student's book)

285.    Revision. Recycle.

286.    Role plays.

287.    A   Greeting of the assistant                             B   irritable reply of the customer

288.    A apologetic                                                      B    starts to complain

289.    A interrupts/asks for details                                B customer has lost his receipt etc.

290.    School. Is it a "natural" environment?!

291.    Searching, finding

292.    Sentence card examples. One side English, other Italian

293.    Sentence stems taught for recycling activities.

294. Sentence stems taught for recycling activities. "Lower order automatisation". "You never….help. "She never …says hello". "They never…listen" etc

295.    Sentences numbered for recitation. The students call out a number starting from 1 so that all have a number. This coincides with the number of the "phrases" and the translation of it. This time a student recites his sentence from his desk and "names" a number. The student who has this numbered sentence has to now immediately translate the sentence - either from the Italian translation at the top of the exercise page or from the English "nugget" on the grammar page.

296.    Shocking. Make a play out of a monologue/narrative about a shocking experience that someone has just had. Collect on the board such experiences of the students. Possibly introduce a second character who asks provoking questions. Maybe choose a suitable grammar unit to combine with a circumstance. (see chart: Human life)

297.    Short acting. In turn, and quickly following on each other, the class come to the front of the class (so they cannot look at the text!) and recite their sentence to the class and / or video camera. After the first recitation the students return to their seats and text and prepare to repeat the recitation, but this time without mistake!

298.    Simple. Linear. "I can't think now. My mind is too full". Jenny. Aged 7. So, keep it simple! "I can't understand , there are too many words" A child. So, keep it simple and focused.

299.    Simultaneous translations.

300.    Single words (with sheet or cards) to make into board game

301.    Situations. Choose and describe a situation or incident. Then ask all the students to offer, in L1 or L2, expressions that might be used. Write them on the board as suggestions and situations for the creation of mini-plays.

302.    skeptical about your own lesson plan. Will it work? Will it work? Could I improve it?

303.    Songs, stories, nursery rhymes, yes. But remember the language. Don´t waste these aids.

304.    Songs. Use. How much do they leave behind language that the children can actively recycle? (so again are we depending on long term sedimentation"?? "slow familiarity with sounds"? "Piecing it out intuitively") in fact is there once more a dependence on the BELIEF (OR ESTABLISHED FACT?) of "acquire naturally"? Or should we think of songs as simply motivating moments that add to that background familiarizing?

305.    Speaking Make versions of "Exercises" that are spoken (not passive).

306. Speaking . Chinese whispers "fun-chaos". A circle. Name the pupils thus: a.b.a.b.a.b.a.b. etc. All the A´s are given a different phrase "They are". "Are we" etc. (if B´s look it doesn´t matter since they can only get this advantage from the first card that A on their right will tell them. A´s learn their phrases. A´s will now turn to their left and deliver orally (no cards visible) their phrase. Now A´s are "without" a phrase and B´s have the one they have heard from their neighbour A. So now B´s turn to their left (all together under teacher direction -otherwise their is chaos!) and pass their newly received phrase.

307.    Speaking autonomously, For example when a story/poem is well know and has been manipulated and familiarized in various ways, get pupils to rehearse telling it to each other and then in front of the class. (maybe write a skeleton of cues for the story on the board as assistance.

308.    Speaking autonomously, not text

309.    Speaking First silent reading glance THEN eyes up away from the text before speaking!! MUCH LESS text book reading! Much more speaking. Memorising small bits.

310.    Speaking from the outset of activity

311.    Speaking from the outset.

312.    Speaking. Learn by heart a sentence, then in quick succession. in a line, say your phrase and then run to the back of the queue

313. Speaking. Stand along a wall. Divide a play's A B parts among the whole class. In groups they say the part. When they say the part there must be no reading. They momentarily "learn" the part before saying it. (ie. Eyes down reading, then eyes up and say it. )

314.    Stories tapedThe recording could be in L1 (with pauses) and the echo could be in L2. Or all done in L2. The activity is an echo repetition.

315. Stories. As for Nursery rhymes, cut the story into short sections which have to be reassembled. .A pupil learn a short sequence of the story by heart, and the pupils must put themselves in order along a wall. They then tell the story..

316. Stories. By being made into plays, we can avoid past tenses and besides, plays are easier for children to participate in. Once known in this way, the simple story is also better understood later.

317. Stories. Make a skeleton of one word that stands for a moment in the story. Use these "seeds" as help to retell the story. Pin up 4 copies on the walls of the classroom. The pupils can go to check their reassembly.

318. Stories. See the list of 120 suggestions for stories activities. They all attempt to resolve the language problem.

319.    Story telling. See my 120 ways.

320.    Story.  Variant I. . Skeleton. he students are given or select 12 key words from the text and this is then used as a skeleton for expansion or make a variant of the original text/story..

321.    Students to prepare brief grammar lessons.

322.    Summaries. Ask the students to prepare simple prose summaries of the play.

323.    Telephone monologues Think up possible matters for telephone conversations to be made as "'monologues.(see HUMAN LIFE CHART for ideas) They could be written and acted as monologues or they could be passed around for others to complete the missing half of the conversation. e.g.  A is talking on the telephone -(leave pauses for the unheard words of be invented)

324.    Translate a play into L1. Subsequently 2 groups of actors recite the play. One in L1 and the other group having to give simultaneous translations. These translators could be "invisibly" standing at the elbow of the actor for whom they are translating.

325. Translation . Students A and B. A has a CARD "we" and other has "wir"-/"noi". They go around the class (or outside) looking for their "partner".

326.    Translation For example after activities that well practice a story or a set of phrases, the teacher can "test"/ reinforce by give phrases in German to be retranslated, orally at high speed.. SOME people disapprove of this but my argument is this. It takes a lot of study of a foreign language until we begin to "think in the foreign language" and at moments of uncertainty we go back to it. When material is well known, such a translation method is alright because the German is only acting as a cue. The mind jumps immediately to the corrct English. Also when the correct English form has been made familiar in various prior activities, the fact on hearing the German cue, simply evidences in a useful way the DIFFERENCE of its linguistic logic. On condition that the English material has become well familiar, the German is heard more as a trigger. I think it's mistaken to think that somehow it will contaminate the purity of the English awareness. Two languages are inevitable tangled. Mental thinking that refers back to the home language is inevitable; a fact of life. What we do by using "simultaneous" translation games of quickness, is to draw the sting of L1!! A paradox! These phrases sets for simultaneous translation help diminish the danger of the traps made by the difference of structuring in the 2 languages. You could say it's a form of pulling the sting from the wasp. Kommst du mit". "Are you coming (with us)" oh how different. We teach them to miss the trap. However once more it is the belief in "acquire naturally" that thinks translation is unnatural What these activities do is highlight differences that are very difficult to shake off. Remember 99% of schools are not in Wales or Catalonia's bilingual setting. 

327.    Translation game. One player (or team of 2) call out an Italian/German version of a possible phrase and the others have to form with their cards the phrase in English. The cards have been made a single words and some or all fit the L1 phrase. This gives very limited set of choices, so the translation is not difficult and suits best for word order practice.

328.    Translation is obviously useful - to quickly convey meaning.

329.    Translations. Each student in turn says aloud a number starting from 1 until everyone in the class has a number. This number represents the translation sentence and the original English sentence on the grammar page.

330.    Translations. Three way translations. 3 players. A is a guide, B is an interpreter, C is a tourist, foreign businessman etc. Think of a suitable situation. A. "This church was built in 1300."etc. B translates and C asks a relevant question which is translated by B for A to answer.

331.    Understand NOW, not some day ("Acquire")

332.    Use everything that ever was

333. Verb list in large print in this form. going     working      eating so the connection is understood.

334.    Verb lists -for creative tasks Put the classroom sets of basic verbs or verb sets (action, kitchen etc) on the table of 4 and then in games these verbs are a useful reminder during semi open language speaking games.

335.    Verb sets. 300 main verbs with 3 forms for invention games or semi open speaking. There is a perfectly silly idea that verb lists are bad. Of course no one expects children to bend over a list to head-bang "learn" them. They just constitute the "limits of the known world". It is useful to break them into sets with which to play games.

336.    Verbs on single cards. Large to use as random activators for sentence stems. Place the large verb cards on the table and pupils choose whatever verb to make a continuation of the verb stem card that they have turned up.

337.    Verbs.(dressed in phrases).

338.    Video recording /aural recording. So useful. So much fun.

339.    Video Use of aural and video recording.

340.    Videos -motivation through "bella figura" shame.!

341.    Videos. Use "bella figura" shame. Videos!

342. Vocab . "Lucky dip" A bag is filled one by one with objects (or pictures of objects - cut up magazines for this material) name them all as you do so. Pupils come to feel an object or select an image. Give the vocabulary word...

343.    Vocab make mini lists of verbs that fit an activity, game. Eg. Kitchen -cooking verbs for present continuous games. "What's he doing". Pupils can glance down to their lists. (But speak without reading)

344.    Vocab neglected.

345.    Vocab or text rehersal. Team relays - In 2 circles (=2 teams) the same activity as above, the first team to make a mistake or hesitate loses a point. One circle "performs" its relay and the other watches. This increases the learning occurring. If space is a problem there could be 3 or 4 teams. One team performs in a circle and then another team takes its place to "perform".

346.    Vocab sets on individual cards with one side pictures/drawings

347.    Vocab, verb sets for activities and systematic learning.

348. Vocab. "Where is Anne's watch"? This is called "Kim´s game". You put a number of articles or pictures of objects on a tray-table. After they have been named and studied - perhaps the teacher says such "Classroom English" as "What is next to the watch" " what else can you see near the watch" etc After a while a cloth is put over the objects. "I´m covering the objects now with this cloth". The pupils then compete to remember what is under the cloth.

349. Vocab. Collect onomatopoeic English verbs. Water sounds, movement Gurgle. Splash. Ripple. Splatter. Drip. Drop. Swirl. Eddy. Pour. Spout. Brim. or body verbs. Cough. Spit. Sneeze. Sob. Hiccough. Sniffle. Snort. Giggle. Hiss. Chatter. Snore. Sigh. Stammer. Stutter. Pant. Wheeze. Whistle. Winge. Puff. Blow. Suck. Sip. .     Etc Children like oddity. Make -ing sentences. "Look she's sobbing"!

350.    Vocab. Give all the students a noun as their new "name". Teacher. "You are a spoon, you are a fork…etc" These can be whispered in the ear or given on "secret" scraps of paper (kids like mystery!) The pupils have to guess who their companion is. "Are you a knife" etc

351. Variant. Pupils form a circle. All are given new names aloud. They then in QUICK succession repeat their new names for several "circles". A student points at another (or throws a light ball which has to be caught) and says "you are a plate". If he is wrong he leaves the circle, unless the pointed to student B, doesn´t know what A is called..

352.    Vocabulary Inserts -Introduce 50% of a vocabulary list into a play.

353.    Vocabulary.

354.    Vocabulary. Child comes to the front. He is told by the teacher that he is " baker". The other children use a constant grammar structure. "Are you making a house"? "Are you cutting hair". "Are you teaching"   

355. or "Are you a builder. Are you a barber. Are you a teacher

356. Vocabulary. Do we teach it with artifice and cunning or just let it stick "naturally"?

357.    Vocabulary. Do we teach it with artifice and cunning or just let it stick "naturally"?

358.    Vocabulary. Long term constant attack on Vocabulary.

359.    Vocabulary. Verbs or objects for adding to sentence stems

360.    Vocabulary.. Oral Cloze -The students (in teams?) say certain lines leaving out parts or words. Maybe they leave out only nouns, verbs, adverbs, pronouns etc. Where there is something missing they could go "buzz". The other team must say the words that are missing.

361.    Wall charts of main grammar islands.

362.    What am I doing"? Why? What is the sustaining "philosophy" or justification for what and how I pass it on? The central point of tension and disagreement lies around this conceptual crux: is it possible to imitate and transfer the "natural acquisition" of the mother child language situation of L1 learning into the classroom, or is the classroom so artificial and UNrealistic that it would be better to invent clever alternative and ARTIFICIAL techniques for school learning? In my view this "acquire" idea has created disastrous delusions in language teaching.

363.    What am I to actually teach"? "What is the stuff that I am to package and pass on". "What is to be my "method/s", my content, the actual language aspects that I emphasise"?

364.    Wooden dice for 6 possibility cues. Quick response.

365.    Words. Stems, chunks.

366.    Write own plays (focused on grammar)

367.    Writing exercises. Group/class play writing. The teacher or the class invents a first line of a play about a previously decided topic. Then all the class (aloud or on slips of paper) invent the next character's remark. As the best lines are selected, the teacher or a 'secretary' writes up the developing dialogue on the board.

368. Writing. Pupils are given a combination (ex. They + are) to a number of pupils. (If you want to create a pack of 12 then 12 pupils copy this combination, while another combination "Are they" is given to the rest.. They children copy it carefully and neatly on a special 200 gram card.. In this way the class create a set of cards for each pair of pupils. (There are now 12 cards with "They are". These can be used when paired for "memory" and other games.

369.    Written exercises used as spoken exercises

370.    Written exercises. Scepticism about written exercises. WHAT are they doing/

371.    Written exercises? (Open/ Semi open) that expand from "seed" of "sentence stem".. For children, instead of writing they can use word cards that have to be chosen from a pack and put in right order, after the teacher has "dictated" a word or phrase..