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1. 2. 3. 4. 5.


A brief history of language teaching The Grammar Translation Method The Direct Method The Audio-lingual Method Approach, method, design and procedure


1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. Total Physical Response The Silent Way Suggestopedia Multiple Intelligences The Lexical Approach Competency-Based Language Teaching


1. The Communicative Approach 1.1 Communicative competence 1.2 The heart of language 1.3 Language content 1.4 Language behaviour 2. The Natural Approach 2.1 The acquisition-learning distinction 2.2 The Natural Order Hypothesis 2.3 The Monitor Hypothesis 2.4 The Input Hypothesis 2.5 The Affective Filter Hypothesis 2.6 Providing input for acquisition 2.7 The role of grammar 3. Community Language Learning 4. Cooperative Language Learning 5. Content-Based Language Teaching 6. Task-Based Instruction


1. QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS 1.1 . WARMING-UP EXERCISES 1.1.1. Names 1.1.2. Name circle 1.1.3. Three adjectives 1.1.4. Stem sentences 1.1.5. Choosing pictures

1.1.6. Clusters 1.1.7. Groupings 1.2. INTERVIEWS 1.2.1. Self-directed interviews 1.2.2. Group interviews 1.2.3. Guided interviews 1.3. GUESSING GAMES 1.3.1. What is it? 1.3.2. Coffeepotting 1.3.3. Whats in the box? 1.3.4. Lie detector 1.4. JIGSAW TASKS 1.4.1. The same or different? 1.4.2. Twins 1.4.3. What are the differences? 1.4.4. Ordering 1.4.5. Town plan 1.4.6. Strip story 1.4.7. Jigsaw guessing 1.4.8. Partner puzzle 1.5. QUESTIONING ACTIVITIES 1.5.1. What would happen if? 1.5.2. Question game 1.5.3. Find someone who 1.5.4. Something else 1.5.5. Question and answer cards 1.5.6. Go and find out 2. DISCUSSIONS AND DECISIONS 2.1. RANKING EXERCISES 2.1.1. Rank order 2.1.2. Qualities 2.1.3. Desert island 2.1.4. NASA game 2.1.5. Personalities 2.1.6. Job prestige 2.2. DISCUSSION GAMES 2.2.1 What is being advertised? 2.2.2. Mad discussions 2.2.3. Secret topic 2.2.4. Word wizard 2.2.5. Uses and abuses 2.2.6. Shrinking story 2.2.7. Magic shop 2.2.8. Pink versus brown 2.2.9. Optimists and pessimists 2.2.10. People

2.2.11. Discussion wheel 2.3. VALUES AND CLARIFICATION TECHNIQUES 2.3.1. Lifestyle 2.3.2. Aims in life 2.3.3. Twenty things Id like to do 2.3.4. Spending money 2.3.5. Unfinished sentences 2.3.6. Id rather be 2.3.7. Ideal day 2.4. THINKING STRATEGIES 2.4.1. PMI 2.4.2. Consequences 2.4.3. Alternatives 2.4.4. View points 2.5. PROBLEM SOLVING ACTIVITIES 2.5.1. Rescue 2.5.2. Desperate decisions 2.5.3. One day in London 2.5.4. Treasure hunt 2.5.5. Group holiday 2.5.6. Everyday problems 2.5.7. Baker Street 3. STORIES AND SCENES 3.1. MIMING 3.1.1. Adverb charade 3.1.2. Miming people and objects 3.1.3. Daily life 3.1.4. Hotel receptionist 3.1.5. Messages 3.2. ROLE PLAY AND SIMULATIONS 3.2.1. Telephoning 3.2.2. TV interview 3.2.3. Controversy in the school 3.2.4. Swap shop 3.2.5. Making a radio program 3.3. STORIES 3.3.1. Chain story 3.3.2. Newspaper report 3.3.3. Picture stories 3.3.4. Letter and telegrams 3.3.5. Keep talking


1. 1.1.4. Stem sentences 2. 1.1.7. Groupings 3. 1.2.3. Guided interviews

4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13. 14. 15. 16. 17. 18. 19. 20. 21. 22. 23. 24. 25. 26. 27. 28.

1.3.1. What is it? 1.4.4. The same or different? 1.4.2. Twins 1.4.3. What are the differences? 1.4.4 Ordering 1.4.5. Town plan 1.4.7. Jigsaw guessing 1.4.8. Partner puzzle 1.5.2. Question game 1.5.3. Find someone who 1.5.5. Question and answer cards 1.5.6. Go and find out 2.1.1. Rank order 2.1.4. NASA game 2.2.6. Shrinking story 2.2.11. Discussion wheel 2.3.2. Aims in life 2.3.5. Unfinished sentences 2.4.4. View points 2.5.2. Desperate decision 2.5.5. Group holiday 2.5.7. Baker Street 3.2.1. Telephoning 3.2.3. Controversy in the school 3.3.4. Letter and telegrams


As a language teacher you must make decisions all the time. Some of your decisions are relatively minor ones: should homework be assigned that particular day, for instance. Other decisions have more profound implications: what should be the goal of language instruction? Which language teaching method will be the most effective in reaching it? What is the best means of evaluation to see if it has been reached? I think there is no single correct answer to questions like these. Each of us has to answer them for ourselves. I believe, however, that a teacher informed about some of the possibilities will make better decisions .Making informed choices is, after all, what teaching is all about.

Telling some of the story of teaching methods I will begin with the tale of language teaching . Then I will describe the two btes noires - black sheep of language teaching methods grammar translation and audio-lingualism between which I will insert the direct method. After presenting the alternative methods that have tried to reform the teaching of foreign languages, I will land on the communicative approaches. Finally I will conclude with a few communicative activities and their worksheets hoping that they will awaken even the interest of those in the deepest slumber.


The history of language teaching has been characterized by a search for more effective ways of teaching second and foreign languages. For more than a hundred years, debate and discussion have often centered on issues such as the role of grammar in the language curriculum, the development of accuracy and fluency in teaching, the choice of syllabus

framework in course design, the role of vocabulary in language learning, teaching productive skills and receptive skills, learning theories and their application in teaching, memorization and learning, motivating learners, effective learning strategies, techniques for teaching the four skills, and the role of materials and technology. Although much has been done to clarify these and other important questions in language teaching, the teaching profession is continually exploring new options for addressing these and other basic issues and the effectiveness of different instructional strategies and methods in the classroom. The teaching of any subject matter is usually based on an analysis of the nature of the subject itself and the application of teaching and learning principles drawn from the research and theory in educational psychology. The result is generally referred to as a teaching method or approach by which we refer to a set of core teaching and learning principles together with a body of classroom practices that are derived from them. The same is true for language teaching, and the field of teaching methods has been a very active one in language teaching since the 1900s. New approaches and methods proliferated throughout the 20th century. Some achieved wide levels of acceptance and popularity at different times but were then replaced by methods based on newer or more appealing ideas and theories. Examples of this kind include the Direct Method and Audio-lingualism. Some, such as the Communicative Approach were adopted almost universally and achieved the status of acknowledged methodology. At the same time, alternatives to mainstream approaches have always found some level of support within language teaching, although often this has not led to wider acceptance or use. Methods in this category include those from the 1970s such as the Silent Way, Community Learning, Suggestopedia, and Total Physical Response, as well as more recent alternative methods such as Multiple Intelligences and the Lexical Approach. From a historical perspective we are able to see that the concerns that have prompted modern method innovations were similar to those that have always been at the center of discussions on how to teach foreign languages. Changes in language teaching methods throughout history have reflected recognition of changes in the kind of proficiency learners need, such as a move toward oral proficiency rather than reading comprehension as the goal of language study; they have also reflected changes in theories of the nature of language and of language learning. Kelly (1969) and Howatt (1984) have demonstrated that many current issues in language teaching are not particularly new. Todays controversies reflect contemporary responses to questions that have been asked often throughout the history of language teaching. It has been estimated that some 60 percent of todays world population is multilingual. From both a contemporary and a historical perspective, bilingualism or multilingualism is the norm rather than the exception. It is fair, then, to say that throughout history foreign language learning has always been an important practical concern. Whereas today English is the worlds most widely studied foreign language, 500 years ago it was Latin, for it was the dominant language of education, commerce, religion, and government in the Western world. In the sixteenth century, however, French, Italian, and English gained in importance as a result of political changes in Europe, and Latin gradually became displaced as a language of spoken and written communication. As the status of Latin diminished from that of a living language to that of an occasional subject in the school curriculum, the study of

Latin took on a different function. The study of classical Latin became the model for foreign language study from the seventeenth to the nineteenth century. Once basic knowledge was established, students were introduced to grammar and rhetoric. School learning must have been a deadening experience, as lapses of knowledge were often met with brutal punishments. There were occasional attempts to promote alternative methods to education: Roger Ascham and Montaigne in the 16th century and Comenius and John Locke in the 17th tried to reform the whole system but with little success. The decline of Latin also brought with it a new justification for teaching Latin. Modern languages began to enter the curriculum of European schools in the 18th century and they were taught using the same procedures that were used for teaching Latin. Textbooks consisted of statements of abstract grammar rules, lists of vocabulary, and sentences for translation. Speaking the foreign language was not the goal and oral practice was limited. The sentences were constructed to illustrate the grammatical system of the language. By the 19th century this approach based on the study of Latin became the standard way of studying foreign languages in schools. Textbooks consisted of lessons organized around grammar points. This method became known as the Grammar Translation method.


The grammar translation method emerged when people of the Western world wanted to learn such foreign languages as Latin and Greek. The focus was on learning grammatical rules and memorizing vocabulary and language declensions and conjugations. It was hoped that, through the study of the grammar of the target language, the students would become more familiar with the grammar of their native tongue. Finally, it was thought that foreign language learning would help students grow intellectually; it was recognized that students would probably never use the target language, but the mental exercise of learning would be beneficial anyway. Typical classroom activities and homework include text translations and written exercises. Its leading exponents were: Johann Seidenstucker, Karl Plotz, H.S.Ollendorf, and Johann Meidinger. As their names suggest they were representatives of the German School as in some parts of the world (in the USA for example) the Grammar Translation Method was known as the Prussian Method (Kelly,1969) . As its later critics put it, the methods objective was :to know everything about something, rather than the thing itself.(W.H.D. Rouse, quoted in Kelly 1969:53). The principle characteristics of the grammar translation method were the following: 1. The goal of the foreign language was to read its literature or to benefit from the intellectual development that resulted from foreign language study. The first language is maintained as the reference system in the acquisition of the second language.(Stern 1983:455) 2. Reading and writing were the main focus; little or no attention was paid to listening or speaking. 3. The vocabulary selection was based only on the reading texts used and words were taught through bilingual word lists.

4. The sentence was the basic unit of teaching and language practice. Much of the lesson was devoted to translating sentences into and out of the target language. 5. Accuracy was emphasized and the students were expected to attain high standards in translation. 6. Grammar was taught deductively, by presentation and study of the grammar rule. 7. The students native tongue was always used to explain new items or present comparisons with the studied language. In a grammar translation class the teacher presents the lesson in the students native tongue, and students are not actively encouraged to use the target language in class. The teacher provides elaborate explanations of the grammatical rules of the target language, and often focuses on the form and inflection of words. Accuracy receives a great deal of stress. Vocabulary study takes the form of learning lists of often isolated words, and the rules of grammar provide the blueprint for putting words together. Students begin early to read classical texts, which are treated as exercises in grammatical analysis. There is little stress on the content of those texts. Some other techniques that are used beside the translation of the text are the following: reading comprehension questions, antonyms/synonyms, cognates, deductive application of rules, fill in the blanks, memorization, words used in sentences, compositions. Grammar translation dominated European and foreign language teaching until the 1940s and in modified forms it continues to be widely used in some parts of the world today. In the mid and late 19th century opposition to this method gradually developed in Europe. This Reform Movement as it was referred to, laid the foundations for the development of new ways of teaching languages and raised controversies that have continued to the present day. Educators started to realize the need for speaking proficiency rather than reading comprehension, grammar or literary appreciation as the goal of the foreign language. Language teaching specialists such as Marcel, Prendergast and Gouin had done much in promoting alternative approaches, but their ideas failed to receive widespread attention and support. From the 1880s, however, practical-minded linguists such as Henry Sweet in England, Wilhelm Victor in Germany and Paul Passy in France began to provide the intellectual leadership needed to give reformist ideas greater credibility and acceptance. Phonetics- the scientific analysis and description of the sound systems of languages was established, giving new insights to the speech process. Controversies emerged about the best way to teach foreign languages and ideas appeared in books, articles and pamphlets. The principles of teaching were the following: -the spoken language is primary -learners should hear the language first, before seeing it in written form -words should be presented in sentences, and sentences should be practiced in meaningful context -rules of grammar should only be taught after practicing them in context inductively -translation should be avoided. This led to what has been termed natural method and ultimately led to the development of what came to be known the Direct Method.


The Direct method originated in the 19th century through the work of a number of important thinkers, notably Lambert Sauveur a Frenchman who opened a language school in Boston in 1869. His system of teaching French became known as the natural method. The direct method is its offshoot. The basic premise of the direct method is that second language learning should be more like first language learning. The method includes lots of oral interaction and the spontaneous use of language. The teacher discourages translation between first and second languages, and puts little emphasis on the rules of grammar. The direct method classroom should be one of small, intensive classes which stressed both speech and listening comprehension. The teacher gives instruction exclusively in the target language, teaching everyday vocabulary and sentences. The teacher develops oral communication skills in a careful progression that she frequently organizes around questions-and-answers exchanges. The teacher explains new teaching points through modelling and practice. A direct approach instructor emphasizes correct pronunciation and grammar, which she teaches inductively. She presents concrete vocabulary through demonstration, realia and pictures, for example, and teaches abstract vocabulary through association of ideas. This method was the first to catch the attention of both language teachers and language teaching specialists, and it offered a methodology that appeared to move language teaching into a new era. Techniques used in this area are: reading aloud, questionanswer practice, getting students to self-correct, conversation practice, fill in the blanks, dictation, map drawing, paragraph writing, etc. The Direct Method was quite successful in private language schools such as the Berlitz chain where the paying students had high motivation in practising the language in small intensive classes. But in public schools it was difficult to implement this method. By the 1920s it started to decline. In France and Germany they started to use a modified version combining the Direct Method with more controlled grammar-based activities. The popularity of this method made language specialists from the US to try to implement it in the United States, too. A study begun in 1923 stated that no single method could guarantee successful results. The goal of trying to teach conversational skills was considered impractical because of the restricted time available for language teaching, because of the limited skills of the teachers, and because they considered that conversational skills were irrelevant for college students. The main result of all this was that reading became the main goal of most modern language programs in the U.S and remained so until World War II. As linguists recognized the limitations of the Direct Method, the representatives of the Reform movement laid the foundations of a new method, which led to Audio-lingualism in the United States and the Oral Approach or Situational Language Teaching in Britain. One of the lasting legacies of the Direct Method was the notion of method itself. The controversy over it was the first of many debates over how second and foreign languages should be taught.


Also called the aural-oral method, the audio-lingual method got its name from the Latin roots for hearing and speaking. Audio-lingualism emphasizes pattern drills and conversation practice. In the audio-lingual classroom, the teacher generally presents new material in dialogue form, and students are expected to mimic her pronunciation and intonation, which receive a great deal of emphasis. There is a great deal of stress on memorizing set phrases and over learning; learners acquire language patterns through repetitive drills. There is little grammatical explanation; the student learns grammar through analogy rather than explanation. Audio-lingual teachers place great importance on getting students to produce error-free speech. They immediately reinforce successful speech, and quickly correct errors. They teach vocabulary through pronunciation (not the written word), and they make regular use of tapes, language labs, and visual aids. In the classroom, the teacher strongly discourages the use of the students mother tongue. The techniques used in this method are: dialogue memorization, backward build -up drill, repetition drill, chain drill, single slot substitution drill, multiple slot repetition drill, question-answer drill, use of minimal pairs, complete the dialogue, grammar game. The most important learning principles of this method are the following: 1. Foreign language learning is basically a process of mechanical habit formation. Good habits are formed by giving correct responses rather than by making mistakes. By memorizing dialogues and performing pattern drills the chances of producing mistakes are minimized. Language is verbal behaviour that is, the automatic production and comprehension of utterances and can be learned by inducing the students to do likewise. 2. Language skills are learned more effectively if the items to be learned in the target language are presented in spoken form before they are seen in written form. Aural-oral training is needed to provide the foundation for the development of other language skills. 3. Analogy provides a better foundation for language learning than analysis. Analogy involves the processes of generalization and discrimination. Explanations of rules are therefore not given until students have practiced a pattern in a variety of contexts and are thought to have acquired a perception of the analogies involved. Drills can enable learners to form correct analogies. Hence the approach to the teaching of grammar is essentially inductive rather than deductive. 4. The meanings that the words of a language have for the native speaker can be learned only in a linguistic and cultural context and not in isolation. Teaching a language thus involves teaching aspects of the cultural system of the people who speak the language. (Rivers 1964: 1922) In a typical audio-lingual class the following procedures could be observed. Students first hear a model dialogue (either read by the teacher or on tape) containing the key structures that are the focus of the lesson. They repeat each line of the dialogue, individually or in chorus. The teacher pays attention to pronunciation, intonation and

fluency. Correction of mistakes is direct and immediate. The dialogue is memorized gradually, line by line. A line may be broken down into several phrases if necessary. The dialogue is read in chorus, one half saying one speakers part, the other half the other speakers part. The dialogue is adapted to the students interest or situation, through changing certain key words and phrases. It is acted out by the students. Certain key structures are selected and used as the basis for pattern drills of different kinds. These are first practiced in chorus and then individually. Some grammatical explanation may be offered at this point, but this is kept to an absolute minimum. The students may refer to their textbook, and follow-up reading, writing, or vocabulary activities based on the dialogue may be introduced. At the beginning level, writing is purely imitative and consists of little more than copying out sentences that have been practiced or write short compositions on given topics. Follow-up activities may take place in the language laboratory, where further dialogue and drill work is carried out. In the 1960s the whole audio-lingual paradigm was called into question: pattern practice, drilling, memorization. These might lead to language-like behaviours but they were not resulting in competence. Linguists claimed that practice activities should involve meaningful learning and language use. The lack of an alternative to audio-lingualism led in the 1970s and 1980s to a period of adaptation, experimentation, and some confusion. Several alternative methods appeared in the 1970s that made no claims to any mainstream language teaching method. These included Total Physical Response, the Silent Way, and Counseling- learning. These methods have attracted some interest at first, but have not continued to attract significant level of acceptance. Other proposals since then have reflected developments in general education and other fields outside the second language teaching community, such as Whole Language, Multiple Intelligences, Neurolinguistic Programming, CompetencyBased Language Teaching, and Cooperative Language Learning. Mainstream language teaching since the 1980s, however, has generally drawn on contemporary theories of language as a basis for teaching proposals. The Lexical Approach, Communicative Language Teaching, the Natural Approach, Content-Based Teaching and Task-Based Teaching are representatives of this last group. The concern for grammatical accuracy that was a focus of Audio-Lingualism has not disappeared, however, and continues to provide a challenge for contemporary applied linguistics.(see Doughty and William 1998). The most active period in the history of approaches and methods was from the 1950s to the 1980s. The 1950s saw the emergence of the Audio-lingual Method and the Situational Method, which were both superseded by the Communicative Approach. During the same period, other methods attracted smaller but equally enthusiastic followers, including the Silent Way, the Natural Approach, and Total Physical Response. In the 1990s, ContentBased Instruction and Task Based Language Teaching appeared. Other approaches, such as Cooperative Learning, Whole Language Approach, and Multiple Intelligences, originally developed in general education, have been extended to language teaching.

The different teaching approaches and methods that have emerged in the last 60 or so years, while often having very different characteristics in terms of goals, assumptions about how a language is learned, and preferred teaching techniques, have in common the belief that if language learning is to be improved, it will come about through changes and improvements in teaching methodology.


In 1963, applied linguist Edward Anthony defined the terms approach, method and technique as they apply to language teaching and his ideas had a great impact on teachers and those who guide them. In his ground-breaking work Approach, Method and Technique Anthony suggested that an approach is the large system of ideas and thoughts behind a teachers lesson plans. Method refers to specific ways to teach English, and each method uses a variety of specific techniques. Here is what Anthony actually said: The arrangement is hierarchical. The organizational key is that techniques carry out a method which is consistent with an approach. An approach is a set of correlative assumptions dealing with the nature of language teaching and learning. An approach is axiomatic. It describes the nature of the subject matter to be taught. Method is an overall plan for the orderly presentation of language material, no part of which contradicts, and all of which is based upon, the selected approach. An approach is axiomatic, a method is procedural..Within one approach, there can be many methods. A technique is implementational that which actually takes place in a classroom. It is a particular trick, stratagem, or contrivance used to accomplish an immediate objective. Techniques must be consistent with a method, and therefore in harmony with an approach as well.(Anthony 1963:63-67) In a review of Anthonys ideas, two later thinkers Jack C. Richards and Theodore Rodgers suggest a rethinking of this hierarchy. Anthonys package can be improved, they suggest, by eliminating the notion of technique from the pyramid, and adding design and procedure. The following two categories replaced technique at the bottom of their hierarchy. Design: The two thinkers propose that design is that level in which objectives, syllabus, and content are determined, and in which objectives, the roles of teachers, learners and instructional materials are specified. Procedure: The implementation phase of language classes is where the rubber hits the road the activities that help language learning occur. Rather than use the term implementation, they prefer the slightly more comprehensive term procedure. The two men sum up their revised model with the words: a method is theoretically related to an approach, is organizationally determined by a design, and is practically realized in a procedure.(Richards and Rodgers 2001:24-30)


The period from the 1970s through the 1980s witnessed a major paradigm shift in language teaching. The quest for alternatives to grammar-based approaches and methods led in several different directions. Mainstream language teaching embraced a growing interest in communicative approaches to language teaching. The communicative movement sought to move away the focus from grammar as the core component of language, to a different view of language, of language learning, of teachers, and of learners, one that focused on language as communication and on making the classroom an environment for authentic communication. This communicative movement and related approaches are discussed in Chapter III. However, other directions for language teaching have also appeared during this period, and these are the focus of this chapter. The alternative approaches and methods developed outside of mainstream language teaching or represent an application in language teaching of educational principles developed elsewhere. Rather than starting from a theory of language and drawing on research and theory in applied linguistics, such innovative methods as Total Physical Response, Silent Way, Suggestopedia and Multiple Intelligences are developed around particular theories of learners and learning, sometimes the theory of a single theorizer or educator. These methods are consequently relatively underdeveloped in the domain of language theory. One exception is the Lexical Approach, which is based on an alternative syllabus model to that found in grammarbased methodologies, one that gives priority to vocabulary and lexical phrases. Alternative approaches and methods of the 1970s and 1980s have had a somewhat varied history. Although TPR, Suggestopedia and Silent Way did not succeed in attracting the support of mainstream language teaching, each can be seen as stressing important dimensions of the teaching-learning process. They have offered particular insights and have attracted the interest and allegiance of some teachers and educators. The fate of others, such as the Lexical Approach and Multiple Intelligences has yet to be fully determined. Competency-Based Instruction has a different status, since it is used as the framework for the design of national curricula in English as well as other subjects in some countries.


Total physical response is a method developed by Dr. James J. Asher, a professor emeritus of psychology at San Jos State University, to aid learning second languages. The method relies on the assumption that when learning a second or additional language, language is internalized through a process of code breaking similar to first language development and that the process allows for a long period of listening and developing comprehension prior to production. Students respond to commands that require physical movement. TPR is primarily intended for ESL/EAL teachers although the method is used

in teaching other languages as well. The method became popular in the 1970s and attracted the attention or allegiance of some teachers, but it has not received generalized support from mainstream educators. Dr. Asher has demonstrated how to apply TPR for best results at more than 500 elementary, secondary schools and universities around the world, including a 1983 lecture tour in Japan . He is the recipient of many awards for excellence in teaching and research. He is an emeritus professor of psychology and former associate dean at San Jose State University in San Jose, California. Way back in 1965, he demonstrated a powerful linguistic tool in a pioneer experiment using the Japanese language with his research associate, Dr. Shirou Kunihira. That tool is the Total Physical Response, now known worldwide as simply, TPR. Since that time, scores of language classes using TPR in countries around the world have enjoyed successful results for students acquiring European, Asian, Indian and Semitic languages. TPR research opened up the concept that for children and adults acquiring another language in school, success can be assured if comprehension is developed before speaking. One important reason, Asher states: everywhere on earth in all languages throughout history, there is no instance of infants acquiring speaking before comprehension. Comprehension always comes first with speaking following perhaps a year later. A second reason is that talking and comprehension are located in different parts of the brain. Talking comes from Brocas area located in the frontal lobe of the left brain. If there is damage in Brocas area, one may understand what people are saying but the person is unable to speak. Understanding or comprehension takes place in Wernickes area located in the temporal lobe. If there is damage to Wernickes area, one can speak but has difficulty understanding what others are saying. When the instructor in traditional classes asks students to Listen and repeat after me! this may be brain overload because both the frontal lobe and the temporal lobe in the brain light up at the same time resulting in slow-motion learning with short-term retention. (Noted educator, Leslie Hart, calls brain overload a type of brain antagonistic instruction.) (Asher 1965, TPR World:1-2). Unfortunately, translation does not help either most students because there is no longterm understanding. When students translate, there is short-term comprehension which is erased the moment the student leaves the classroom, if not sooner. The problem with translation is that the instructor has made an assertion, which the critical left-brain of the student perceives as a lie. TPR is a powerful alternative to translation because we create experiences in the classroom that are believable. If we ask students to be silent, listen to a direction and do exactly what the instructor does, we have created a fact which cannot be dismissed by the critical side of the students brain. Here is an example of how the students brain is processing information at lightning speed: If stand does not mean to rise up from my chair, why did my body actually go from sitting to standing when I heard the instructor say, Stand? If walk does not

mean to move forward, why did my body walk forward when the instructor said, Walk? These strange utterances must be valid. TPR creates facts, which make for long-term comprehension. At lightning velocity, the students brain processes information like this: I actually stood up when the instructor uttered the alien direction: Stand. It is a fact. It is true. It actually happened; therefore, I can store this in long-term memory. The result is TPR can achieve long-term retention in a few trials, often in one- trial. Once the students understand the language, you can then use this skill to move over into Brocas area of the left brain with traditional exercises in speaking, reading, and writing. Then return to the right brain with more TPR to understand another sample. Then use that understanding to switch to speaking, reading, and writing. The first objective in any excellent language program is enabling students to be comfortable and confident with the sounds, the grammatical patterns, and semantics of the new language. That can be accomplished with students of all ages including adults using concrete nouns, adjectives, verbs, prepositions, and adverbs. Do not underestimate the power of the concrete in acquiring another language. Every one of us did it with our native language. One can acquire true fluency at a concrete level. Abstractions may follow later, not necessarily by direct instruction but in the context of discourse. Traditional textbooks, in Ashers opinion, are notorious for trying unsuccessfully to force understanding of abstractions before students are ready. When children acquire their first language, they become fluent native speakers at a concrete level of discourse; then gradually acquire abstractions in context or by asking direct questions such as: Mother, what does government mean? Mother then explains using simple language that the child understands. To break language apart into artificial categories such as phonology, vocabulary, grammar and semantics is of keen interest to teachers, but of no concern to students because in the process of achieving fluency with TPR, they internalize everything simultaneously with no analysis, in the same way that children acquire their first language. Analysis into artificial categories is fine to polish the target language for advanced students who are already fluent, but not for beginners or even intermediate students. Asher recommends, however, that five or ten minutes at the end of a session be open to curious students who prefer to ask questions about pronunciation or grammar. After ten to twenty hours of TPR instruction, role reversal is one way to make the transition (students assume the role of instructor to direct you and other students). Student-created skits, which they write and act out, are another way. Storytelling is a third option along with traditional pattern drills, and dialogues. Most studies converge on this conclusion: If you start a second language program before puberty, children have a high probability of achieving a near-native or even native accent. After puberty, students can still acquire another language but most all will have some accent even if they live for fifty years in another country where the language is spoken. There is another intriguing fact about the right side of the brain: The right brain can process information coming in on parallel tracks while the left brain is limited to one track. This has profound implications for acquiring other languages in school. If we use the powerful tool of TPR for understanding on the right side of the brain, then it makes

sense to start students in elementary school with several languages, which the right brain can easily handle without interference. Asher considers that, if elementary school teachers apply TPR skillfully, students can graduate from the 8th grade understanding with two, three, or four languages, which can be further polished in high school bringing students to fluency. Remember, the earlier we start internalizing other languages, the higher the chances of acquiring a near native or even a native accent in each of those languages.(Asher 1965:3-6)


Although people did learn languages through the previously mentioned methods, and indeed some are still in use today, the idea that learning a language means forming a set of habits was seriously challenged in the early 1960s. Cognitive psychologists and transformational-generative linguists argued that language learning does not take place through mimicry; since people can create utterances they have never heard before, they therefore cannot learn a language simply by repeating what they hear spoken around them. These psychologists and linguists argued that speakers form rules, which allow them to understand and create new utterances. Thus, language must not be considered a product of habit formation, but rather of rule formation. Accordingly, language acquisition must be a procedure whereby people use their own thinking process, or cognition, to discover the rules of the language they are acquiring. The emphasis on human cognition led to the name cognitive code being applied to a new general approach to language teaching. Rather than simply being responsive to stimuli in the environment, learners are seen to be much more actively responsible for their own learning, engaged in formulating hypotheses in order to discover the rules of the target language. Their errors are inevitable and are signs to the teacher that the students are actively testing their hypotheses. Student progress is accomplished little by little, with a lot of imperfection expected in the beginning. All four skills (reading, writing, speaking and listening) are worked on from the beginning, and meaning is thought to be at least as important as form. Although Caleb Gattegnos Silent Way didnt emerge from the cognitive code approach, it shares certain principles with it. For example, one of the basic principles of the Silent Way is that teaching should be subordinated to learning. This principle is in keeping with the active role ascribed to the learner in the cognitive approach. The teacher is a technician or engineer Only the learner can do the learning, but the teacher, relying on what his students already know, can give help if necessary, focus the students perceptions, force their awareness, and provide exercises to insure their facility with language. The role of the students is to make use of what they know, to free themselves of any obstacles that would interfere with giving their utmost attention to the learning task, and to actively engage in exploring the language.

As Gattegno says: The teacher works with the student; the student works with the language.(Gattegno quoted in Larsen-Freeman et al 1986:51) Students begin their study of the language through its basic building blocks, its sounds. These are introduced through a language specific sound-color chart. Relying on what sounds students already know from their knowledge of their native language, teachers lead them to associate the sounds of the target language with particular colors. Later, these same colors are used to help students learn the spellings that correspond to the sounds (through the colour-coded Fidel Charts) and how to read and pronounce words properly (through the colour-coded word charts). The teacher sets up situations that focus student attention on the structures of the language. The situations provide a vehicle for students to perceive meaning. The situations sometimes call for the use of rods; with minimal spoken cues, the students are guided to produce structures. The techniques and materials used are the following: sound-color chart, teachers silence, peer correction, rods, self-correction gestures, word chart, Fidel charts, structured feedback, etc.

The originator of this method was Georgi Lozanov, who believed as did Caleb Gattegno, that language learning can occur at a much faster rate than what ordinarily transpires. The reason for our inefficiency, Lozanov asserts, is that we set up psychological barriers to learning: we fear that we will be unable to perform, that we will be limited in our ability to learn, that we will fail. One result is that we do not use the full mental powers that we have. According to Lozanov and others, we may be using only five to ten percent of our mental capacity. In order to make better use of our mental reserves, the limitations we think we have need to be desuggested(Larsen-Freeman et al.1986:72). Suggestopedia, the application of the study of suggestion to pedagogy, has been developed to help students eliminate the feeling that they cannot be successful and, thus, to help eliminate them overcome the barriers to learning. First of all learning is facilitated in a relaxed, comfortable environment. A student can learn from what is present in the environment, even if his attention is not directed to it (posters hanging on the wall). The teacher should speak reassuringly, thus the student will accept and retain information better, desuggesting the students psychological barriers. The more confident they will feel, the more they will learn. The teacher initiates interaction with the whole group of students and with individuals right from the beginning of a language course in various activities. A great deal of attention is given to students feelings. One of the fundamental principles of this method is that if the students are relaxed and confident, they will not need to try hard to learn the language, it will just come naturally and easily. Direct and indirect positive suggestions are made to enhance students self-confidence and to convince them that success is obtainable. Vocabulary is emphasized. Claims about the success of the method often focus on the large number of words that can be acquired. Grammar is dealt with explicitly but minimally. In fact, it is

believed that students will learn best if their conscious attention is focused, not on the language forms, but on using the language. Speaking communicatively is emphasized. Students also read the target language (dialogues) and write (compositions). Mother tongue is used when necessary for understanding. Errors are not corrected immediately, since the emphasis is on students communicating their intended meaning. When errors of form do occur, the teacher uses the form correctly later in class. The techniques used with this method are: classroom set up, peripheral learning, positive suggestion, visualization, choose a new identity, role-play, first concert, second concert, primary activation, secondary activation. Suggestopedia classes are small and intensive, and focus on providing a very low-stress, attractive environment (partly involving active and passive "seances" complete with music and meditation) in which acquisition can occur. Some of the students' first language is used at the beginning, but most in the target language. The role of the teacher is very important in creating the right atmosphere and in acting out the dialogues that form the core of the content. Suggestopedia seems to provide close to optimal input while not giving too much emphasis to grammar.

Multiple Intelligences refers to a learner-based philosophy that characterizes human intelligence as having multiple dimensions that must be acknowledged and developed in education. Traditional IQ tests are based only on logic and language, yet the brain has other equally important types of intelligence. The MI movement is based on Howard Gardners ideas according to which humans have different types of intelligences, but each of us differ in the strength and combinations of intelligences. Gardner (1983) proposed a natural view of human talents labelled The Multiple Intelligences Model, which is one of a variety of learning styles that have been proposed in general education and have subsequently been proposed to language education (see e.g., Christison 1998). Gardner points out eight native intelligences: 1. Linguistic: the ability to use language in a creative way 2. Logical/mathematical: the ability to think rationally 3. Spatial: the ability to form mental models of the world 4. Musical: to have a good ear 5. Bodily/kinesthetic: having a well-coordinated body 6. Interpersonal: to be able to work well with people 7. Intrapersonal: to understand oneself and apply ones talent well 8. Naturalistic: to understand and organize the patterns of nature According to Gardner multiple intelligences can be well coordinated with activities in a language class. The following table presents it how:

TAXONOMY OF LANGUAGE-LEARNING ACTIVITIES FOR MULTIPLE INTELLIGENCES 1.Linguistic Intelligence lectures small/large group discussions books worksheets word games listening to tapes publishing 2. Logical/Mathematical Intelligence scientific demonstrations logic problems and puzzles science thinking logical-sequential presentation of subject matter 3.Spatial Intelligence charts, diagrams, maps videos, slides, movies art and other pictures imaginative storytelling graphic organizers telescopes, microscopes visual awareness activities 4. Bodily/Kinesthetic Intelligence creative movement Mother-may-I cooking and other mess activities role play 5. Musical Intelligence playing recorded music playing live music music appreciation student-made instruments 6.Interpersonal Intelligence cooperative groups peer teaching group brainstorming 7. Intrapersonal Intelligence independent student work student speeches storytelling debates journal keeping memorizing using word processors

creating codes story problems calculations

visualization photography using mind maps painting or collage optical illusions students drawings

hands-on activities field trips mime

singing group singing mood music

conflict mediation board games pair work reflective learning

individualized learning options for homework inventories and checklists personal journal keeping self-teaching/programmed instruction (Richards and Rodgers 2001:121)

journal keeping interest centers self-esteem journals goal setting

Multiple Intelligences is an increasingly popular approach to characterizing the ways in which learners are unique and to developing instruction to respond to their uniqueness. In a low level class where students have to describe objects focus is put on their linguistic intelligence (for example, describe objects), logical intelligence ( for example, determining which object is being described), visual/spatial intelligence(for example, determining how to describe things), interpersonal intelligence (working in groups), intrapersonal intelligence (reflecting on ones own involvement in the lesson) (Christison1997 10 -12). The literature on MI provides a rich source of classroom ideas regardless of ones theoretical perspective and can help teachers think about instruction in their classes in unique ways.


This approach starts from the belief that the building blocks of a language are not grammar, functions, notions, or some other unit of planning and teaching but lexis, that is words and word combinations. Lexical approaches in language teaching reflect a belief in the centrality of the lexicon to language structure, second language learning, and language use, and in particular to multiword lexical units or chunks that are learned and used as single items. Chomsky, the father of contemporary studies in syntax, has recently adopted a lexiconis-prime position in his Minimalist Linguistic Theory. The role of lexical units has been stressed in both first and second language acquisition research. Several approaches to language learning have been proposed that view vocabulary and lexical units as central in learning and teaching. In Richards and Rodgers opinion these include The Lexical Syllabus(Willis 1990), Lexical Phrases and Language Teaching (Nattinger and DeCarrico 1992, and The Lexical Approach(Lewis 1993). All linguists agree that the learner must take on the role of discourse analyst, with the discourse being either packaged data or data found via one of the text search computer programs. Classroom procedures typically involve the use of activities that draw students attention to lexical collocations and seek to enhance their retention and use of collocations. Woolard (2000) suggests that teachers should reexamine their course books for collocations, adding exercises that focus explicitly on lexical phrases. They should also develop activities that enable learners to discover collocations themselves, both in the classroom and in the language they encounter outside the classroom. Hill suggests that classroom procedures involve teaching individual collocations, extending what students already know by adding knowledge of collocation restrictions to

known vocabulary and storing collocations through encouraging students to keep a lexical notebook. The status of lexis in language teaching has been considerably enhanced by developments in lexical and linguistic theory, by work in corpus analysis, and by recognition of the role of multiword units in language learning and communication. However, the lexical approach still refers to only one component of communicative competence. Such proposals lack the full characterization of an approach or method. It remains to be convincingly demonstrated how a lexically based theory of language can be applied at the levels of procedures and design in language teaching, suggesting that it is still an idea in search of an approach and a methodology.


Competency Based Education is an educational movement that focuses on the outcomes or outputs of learning in the development of language programs. CBE addresses what the learners are expected to do with the language, however they learned to do it. Competency- Based Language Teaching is an application of the principles of CBE to language teaching. Such an approach had been widely adopted by the end of the 1970s, particularly as the basis for the design of work-related and survival oriented language teaching programs for adults. It has recently re-emerged in some parts of the world, for example in Australia, as a major approach to the planning of language programs. CBLT is based on a functional and interactional perspective on the nature of language. It seeks to teach language in relation to the social context in which it is used. Language always occurs as a medium of interaction and communication between people for the achievement of specific goals and purposes. Designers of CBLT competencies can accurately predict the vocabulary and structures likely to be encountered in those particular situations that are central to the life of the learner and can state these in ways that can be used to organize teaching/learning units. Central to both language and learning theory is the view that language can be functionally analyzed into appropriate parts and subparts. CBLT is also built around the notion of communicative competence and seeks to develop functional communication skills in learners. These skills are generally described in only the most general terms, however, rather than being linked to the performance of specific real-world tasks. CBLT thus shares some features with Communicative Language Teaching. Competencies consist of a description of the essential skills, knowledge, attitudes, and behaviours required for effective performance of a real-world task or activity. These activities may be related to any domain of life, though have typically been linked to the field of work and to social survival in a new environment. For example, areas for which competencies have been developed in a vocationally oriented ESL curriculum for immigrants and refugees include: Task Performance Safety General Word-Related

Work Schedules, Time Sheets, Paychecks Social Language Job Application Job Interview Although CBLT has been embraced with enthusiasm by large sections of the ESL profession, it is not without its critics. These criticisms are both practical and philosophical suggesting that there are in fact no valid procedures available to develop competency lists for most programs.



The ever-growing need for good communication skills in English has created a huge demand for English teaching around the world. Millions of people today want to improve their command of English or to ensure that their children achieve a good command of English. Opportunities to learn English are provided in many different ways such as through formal instruction, travel, study abroad, as well as through the media and the internet. The world-wide demand for English has created an enormous demand for quality language teaching and language teaching materials and resources. Learners set themselves demanding goals. They want to be able to master English to a high level of accuracy and fluency. Employers too insist that their employees have good English language skills, and fluency in English is a pre-requisite for success and advancement in many fields of employment in todays world. The demand for an appropriate teaching methodology is therefore as strong as ever. Perhaps the majority of language teachers today, when asked to identify the methodology applied in their classrooms, identify communicative as the language of their choice. However, when giving details about what they mean communicative, their answers vary widely. Communicative language teaching or CLT has its roots in the idea that the goal of language learning is to become good at using language for communication. That simple notion is surprisingly profound. Although languages have been taught around the world for many centuries, this seemingly obvious idea is fairly recent. Beginning in the 1960s, British applied linguists developed the communicative approach as a reaction away from grammar-based approaches such as the aural-oral (audio-lingual) approach. CLT didnt take the teaching world by storm for another 20 years, however. CLT sets as its goals the teaching of

communicative competence. 1.1 COMMUNICATIVE COMPETENCE. Communicative language teaching enables learners to acquire a language by focusing on the development of communicative competence. To do this, communicative language teachers use materials that focus on the language needed to express and understand different kinds of functions. (Examples include asking for things, describing people, expressing likes and dislikes and telling time.) CL teachers also emphasize the processes of communication for example, using language appropriately in different types of social situations. They encourage students to use their second language to perform different kinds of tasks, like solving puzzles and getting information. They also stress using language to interact with other people. The following Venn diagram helps explain.

The theory behind CLT suggests that we learn language by using it. However, we use language in four different ways, which we can think of as competencies. The best way to develop communicative competence is for learners to strengthen these areas of competence. In the diagram, the learners discourse, grammatical, sociolinguistic and strategic competencies overlap in areas high in communicative competence. Discourse competence refers to the learners ability to use the new language in spoken and written discourse, how well a person can combine grammatical forms and meanings to find different ways to speak or write. How well does the student combine the languages elements to speak or write in English? Teachers often call this ability the students fluency. Grammatical competence refers to the ability to use the language correctly, how well a person has learned features and rules of the language. This includes vocabulary, pronunciation, and sentence formation. How well does the learner understand the grammar of English? Teachers call this accuracy in language use.

Fluency and accuracy are traditional measures of effective language learning. The other two competencies are less obvious. Sociolinguistic competence refers to the learners ability to use language correctly in specific social situations for example, using proper language forms at a job interview. Socio-linguistic competence is based upon such factors as the status of those speaking to each other, the purpose of the interaction, and the expectations of the players. How socially acceptable is the persons use of English in different settings? This competency is about appropriacy in using language. Strategic competence refers to strategies for effective communication when the learners vocabulary proves inadequate for the job, and his or her command of useful learning strategies. Strategic competence is how well the person uses both verbal forms and non-verbal communication to compensate for lack of knowledge in the other three competencies. Can the learner find ways to compensate for areas of weakness? If so, the learner has communicative efficacy. CLT has its critics. For example, an early critic of the approach, Michael Swann, poohpoohed the approach brilliantly in a pair of academic essays. His critique seems to be aimed at early dogmatic, almost evangelical, writings on CLT. In the early days many true believers seem to have failed to appreciate that non-CLT language teaching can also be effective. The non-dogmatic approach I advocate seems less open to criticism, since it happily accepts methods and techniques from other approaches, as long as they work. One of Swanns criticisms, however, still rankles. He said, language learners already know, in general, how to negotiate meaning. They have been doing it all their lives. What they do not know is what words are used to do it in a foreign language. They need lexical items, not skills.(Swann 1985,2-3). Many CL teachers believe vocabulary acquisition is the most important part of language learning, and that the most important lexical items to learn are verbs. 1.2. THE HEART OF LANGUAGE. The rest of language learning can be illustrated in a parallel diagram, shown below. This model applies to all languages, regardless of the method or approach the teacher uses, and it is relevant irrespective of your approach to language teaching.

In the heart of this diagram lie the three components of language: phonology, lexis and structure. Together, they comprise the content of language. Around the periphery of the graphic are the four language skills. These are speaking and writing, the productive or active skills; and listening and reading, the receptive or passive skills. 1.3. LANGUAGE CONTENT. Lets begin with language content. Phonology refers to new features of the sound system of the language. For example, focusing on the difference between the words rip and lip is a phonological exercise. A more common way to teach phonology is simply to have students repeat vocabulary using proper stress and pronunciation. Structure refers to the rules we use to make correct sentences. For most purposes, we can think of structure as being the same as grammar. When we teach language structure, we almost always introduce these as examples or model sentences, and they are often called patterns. Lexis is about words. When we say we are introducing a new lexical item in a lesson, we usually mean a new bit of vocabulary. It is sometimes difficult to decide whether an item is structural or lexical. For example, when we study phrasal verbs like chop down or stand up in a class, we can address the topic lexically or structurally. Every language, including sign language, has these components. Lexical, structural and phonological content lie at the heart of the language. But to make the language come alive requires the behaviours related to listening, speaking, reading and writing. 1.4. LANGUAGE BEHAVIOUR.

In language teaching, the term language skills refers to the mode or manner in which language is used. Listening, speaking, reading and writing are generally called the four language skills. Speaking and writing are sometimes called the active or productive skills, while reading and listening are called the passive or receptive skills. It is possible to consider thinking in the second language as another highly desirable ability. Some call it the fifth skill. What defines CLT is its focus on the need to develop communicative competence. Like all language teaching systems, however, it can only be judged by its ability to help learners practice using the content of language phonology, lexis and structure. And that content can only be practiced through the behaviours known as listening and speaking, reading and writing. In Western countries, at least, communicative language teaching is the generally accepted norm in the field of second language teaching. It is state-of-the-art. CLT is based on theories about language acquisition, especially those developed by Stephen Krashen. At the considerable risk of oversimplification, here is a nutshell perspective on the fit between theory and practice. Krashen suggests that learners acquire language through using it for communication. Since most learners study language to use it for communication, this discovery represents a tidy fit between what works and what learners want. Krashens natural approach will be analysed in detail in the next subchapter. The teachers job is to help his students develop communicative skills by experimenting with the second language in class and beyond. In the classroom, the CL teacher creates activities which simulate communication in real-world situations. His activities emphasize learning to communicate through interaction in the target language, and generally use a mix of the four language skills listening, speaking, reading and writing. These activities enable his learners to internalize and activate their second or foreign language. The communicative language teacher uses authentic materials and exercises in the classroom, since this enables his students to more easily take their language learning into the real world. The teacher provides opportunities for learners not only to activate the second language, but also to better understand the learning process. He might do this, for example, by helping his learners develop strategies that will speed up the learning process. In a well-designed lesson, his efforts work together to improve his students communicative competence. He has a clear sense of the thinking behind the communicative approach, and the planning cycle enables him to integrate design and procedure into a master class. Traditional language syllabus usually specified the vocabulary students needed to learn and the grammatical items they should master, normally graded across levels from beginner to advanced levels. What would a communicative syllabus look like? Several new syllabus types were proposed by advocates of CLT. But what they all agreed on was a skills-based syllabus focusing on the four skills of reading , writing , listening and speaking, at the same time breaking each skill down into its component micro skills. In recent years language learning has been viewed from a very different perspective. It is seen as resulting from processes of the following kind:

Interaction between the learner and the users of the language Collaborative creation of meaning Creating meaningful and purposeful interaction through language Negotiation of meaning as the learner and his or her interlocutor arrive at understanding Learning through attending the feedback learners get when they use the language Paying attention to the language one hears(the input) and trying to incorporate new forms into ones developing communicative competence Trying out and experimenting with different ways of saying things

With CLT began a movement away from traditional lesson formats where the focus was on mastery of different grammar items and practice through controlled activities such as memorization of dialogues and drills, toward the use of pair work activities, role plays, group work activities and project work.


In 1977 Tracy Terrell, a teacher of Spanish, outlined a proposal for a new philosophy of language teaching called The Natural Approach. This was an attempt to develop a language teaching proposal that incorporated the naturalistic principles researchers had identified in studies of second language acquisition. At the same time he joined forces with Stephen Krashen, an applied linguist, in elaborating a theoretical rationale for the Natural Approach, drawing on Krashens influential theory of second language acquisition. Krashen and Terrells combined statement of the principles and practices of the Natural Approach appeared in their book The Natural Approach published in 1983. They see communication as the primary function of language, and since their approach focuses on teaching communicative abilities, they refer to the Natural Approach as an example of a communicative approach. Language is viewed as a vehicle for communicating meanings and messages. "Language acquisition does not require extensive use of conscious grammatical rules, and does not require tedious drill. Acquisition requires meaningful interaction in the target language - natural communication - in which speakers are concerned not with the form of their utterances but with the messages they are conveying and understanding.. The best methods are therefore those that supply 'comprehensible input' in low anxiety situations, containing messages that students really want to hear. These methods do not force early production in the second language, but allow students to produce when they are 'ready', recognizing that improvement comes from supplying communicative and comprehensible input, and not from forcing and correcting production. In the real world, conversations with sympathetic native speakers who are willing to help the acquirer understand are very helpful." Stephen Krashen. (1994, 47)

Stephen Krashen, (University of Southern California), the follower of Ashers theory is an expert in the field of linguistics, specializing in theories of language acquisition and development. Much of his recent research has involved the study of non-English and bilingual language acquisition. During the past 20 years, he has published well over 100 books and articles and has been invited to deliver over 300 lectures at universities throughout the United States and Canada. Krashen's widely known and well accepted theory of second language acquisition has had a large impact in all areas of second language research and teaching since the 1980s. Krashen's Theory of Second Language Acquisition consists of five main hypotheses:

the Acquisition-Learning hypothesis the Monitor hypothesis the Natural Order hypothesis the Input hypothesis and the Affective Filter hypothesis

A quote that captures the essence of the book : "What theory implies, quite simply, is that language acquisition, first or second, occurs when comprehension of real messages occurs, and when the acquirer is not 'on the defensive'... Language acquisition does not require extensive use of conscious grammatical rules, and does not require tedious drill. It does not occur overnight, however. Real language acquisition develops slowly, and speaking skills emerge significantly later than listening skills, even when conditions are perfect. The best methods are therefore those that supply 'comprehensible input' in low anxiety situations, containing messages that students really want to hear. These methods do not force early production in the second language, but allow students to produce when they are 'ready', recognizing that improvement comes from supplying communicative and comprehensible input, and not from forcing and correcting production." (Krashen 1982,16) In deciding how to develop language teaching methods and materials, one can take three approaches: make use of second language acquisition theory, make use of applied linguistics research, and make use of ideas and intuition from experience. These approaches should in fact support each other and lead to common conclusions. This book incorporates all three approaches, with a hope of reintroducing theory to language teachers. 2.1. THE ACQUISITION-LEARNING DISCTINCTION Adults have two different ways to develop competence in a language: language acquisition and language learning. Language acquisition is a subconscious process not unlike the way a child learns language. Language acquirers are not consciously aware of the grammatical rules of the language, but rather develop a "feel" for correctness. "In non-technical language, acquisition is 'picking-up' a language. "Language learning, on the other hand, refers to the "conscious knowledge of a second language, knowing the rules,

being aware of them, and being able to talk about them."(Krashen 1987, 10-12) Thus language learning can be compared to learning about a language. The acquisitionlearning distinction hypothesis claims that adults do not lose the ability to acquire languages the way that children do. Just as research shows that error correction has little effect on children learning a first language, so too much error correction has little affect on language acquisition. 2.2. THE NATURAL ORDER HYPOTHESIS The Natural Order hypothesis is based on research findings (Dulay & Burt, 1974); Fathman, (1975); Makino, (1980) cited in Krashen, (1987, 12-14) which suggested that the acquisition of grammatical structures follows a 'natural order' which is predictable. For a given language, some grammatical structures tend to be acquired early while others late. This order seemed to be independent of the learners' age, L1 background, conditions of exposure, and although the agreement between individual acquirers was not always 100% in the studies, there were statistically significant similarities that reinforced the existence of a natural order of language acquisition. The natural order hypothesis states that "the acquisition of grammatical structures proceeds in a predictable order." For a given language, some grammatical structures tend to be acquired early, others late, regardless of the first language of a speaker. However, this does not mean that grammar should be taught in this natural order of acquisition. 2.3. THE MONITOR HYPOTHESIS The language that one has subconsciously acquired "initiates our utterances in a second language and is responsible for our fluency," whereas the language that we have consciously learned acts as an editor in situations where the learner has enough time to edit, is focused on form, and knows the rule, such as on a grammar test in a language classroom or when carefully writing a composition. This conscious editor is called the Monitor. Different individuals use their monitors in different ways, with different degrees of success. Monitor Over-users try to always use their Monitor, and end up "so concerned with correctness that they cannot speak with any real fluency." Monitor Under-users either have not consciously learned or choose to not use their conscious knowledge of the language. Although error correction by others has little influence on them, they can often correct themselves based on a "feel" for correctness. Teachers should aim to produce Optimal Monitor users, who "use the Monitor when it is appropriate and when it does not interfere with communication." They do not use their conscious knowledge of grammar in normal conversation, but will use it in writing and planned speech. "Optimal Monitor users can therefore use their learned competence as a supplement to their acquired competence."(Krashen 1987,14-19) 2.4. THE INPUT HYPOTHESIS The input hypothesis answers the question of how a language acquirer develops competency over time. It states that a language acquirer who is at "level i" must receive comprehensible input that is at "level i+1." "We acquire, in other words, only when we

understand language that contains structure that is 'a little beyond' where we are now." This understanding is possible due to using the context of the language we are hearing or reading and our knowledge of the world. However, instead of aiming to receive input that is exactly at our i+1 level, or instead of having a teacher aim to teach us grammatical structure that is at our i+1 level, we should instead just focus on communication that is understandable. If we do this, and if we get enough of that kind of input, then we will in effect be receiving and thus acquiring out i+1. "Production ability emerges. It is not taught directly." Evidences for the input hypothesis can be found in the effectiveness of caretaker speech from an adult to a child, of teacher-talk from a teacher to a language student, and of foreigner-talk from a sympathetic conversation partner to a language learner/acquirer. One result of this hypothesis is that language students should be given an initial "silent period" where they are building up acquired competence in a language before they begin to produce it. Whenever language acquirers try to produce language beyond what they have acquired, they tend to use the rules they have already acquired from their first language, thus allowing them to communicate but not really progress in the second language.(Krashen 1987, 20-30) 2.5. THE AFFECTIVE FILTER HYPOTHESIS Finally, the fifth hypothesis embodies Krashen's view that a number of 'affective variables' play a facilitative, but non-causal, role in second language acquisition. These variables include: motivation, self-confidence and anxiety. Krashen claims that learners with high motivation, self-confidence, a good self-image, and a low level of anxiety are better equipped for success in second language acquisition. Low motivation, low selfesteem, and debilitating anxiety can combine to 'raise' the affective filter and form a 'mental block' that prevents comprehensible input from being used for acquisition. In other words, when the filter is 'up' it impedes language acquisition. On the other hand, positive affect is necessary, but not sufficient on its own, for acquisition . Motivation, self-confidence, and anxiety all affect language acquisition, in effect raising or lowering the "stickiness" or "penetration" of any comprehensible input that is received. These five hypotheses of second language acquisition can be summarized: "1. Acquisition is more important than learning. 2. In order to acquire, two conditions are necessary. The first is comprehensible (or even better, comprehended) input containing i+1, structures a bit beyond the acquirer's current level, and second, a low or weak affective filter to allow the input 'in'."(Krashen 1987, 30-33) In view of these findings, a question is raised: does classroom language teaching help? Krashen answers that classroom teaching helps when it provides the necessary comprehensible input to those students who are not at a level yet which allows them to receive comprehensible input from "the real world" or who do not have access to "real world" language speakers. It can also help when it provides students communication tools to make better use of the outside world, and it can provide beneficial conscious learning for optimal Monitor users. Various research studies have been done comparing the amount of language competence and the amount of exposure to the language either in classroom-years or length of residence, the age of the language acquirer, and the

acculturation of the language acquirer. The results of these studies are consistent with the above acquisition hypotheses: the more comprehensible input one receives in low-stress situations, the more language competence that one will have. Once it is realized that receiving comprehensible input is central to acquiring a second language, questions are immediately raised concerning the nature and sources of this type of input and the role of the second language classroom. 2.6. PROVIDING INPUT FOR ACQUISITION To what extent is the second language classroom beneficial? asks Krashen. Classrooms help when they provide the comprehensible input that the acquirer is going to receive. If acquirers have access to real world input, and if their current ability allows them understand at least some of it, then the classroom is not nearly as significant. An informal, immersion environment has the opportunity to provide tons of input; however, that input is not always comprehensible to a beginner, and often for an adult beginner the classroom is better than the real world in providing comprehensible input. However, for the intermediate level student and above, living and interacting in an environment in which the language is spoken will likely prove to be better for the student, especially considering the fact that a language classroom will not be able to reflect the broad range of language use that the real world provides. The classroom's goal is to prepare students to be able to understand the language used outside the classroom. What role does speaking (output) play in second language acquisition? It has no direct role, since language is acquired by comprehensible input, and in fact someone who is not able to speak for physical reasons can still acquire the full ability to understand language. However, speaking does indirectly help in two ways: 1) speaking produces conversation, which produces comprehensible input, and 2) your speaking allows native speakers to judge what level you are at and then adjust their speak downward to you, providing you input that is more easily understood. What kind of input is optimal for acquisition? The best input is comprehensible, which sometimes means that it needs to be slower and more carefully articulated, using common vocabulary, less slang, and shorter sentences. Optimal input is interesting and/or relevant and allows the acquirer to focus on the meaning of the message and not on the form of the message. Optimal input is not grammatically sequenced, and a grammatical syllabus should not be used in the language classroom, in part because all students will not be at exactly the same level and because each structure is often only introduced once before moving on to something else. Finally, optimal input must focus on quantity, although most language teachers have to date seriously underestimated how much comprehensible input is actually needed for an acquirer to progress. In addition to receiving the right kind of input, students should have their affective filter kept low, meaning that classroom stress should be minimized and students "should not be put on the defensive." One result of this is that student's errors should not be corrected. Students should be taught how to gain more input from the outside world, including helping them acquire conversational competence, the means of managing conversation. (Krashen,1987, 57-81) 2.7. THE ROLE OF GRAMMAR, OR PUTTING GRAMMAR IN ITS PLACE

"As should be apparent by now, the position taken in this book is that second language teaching should focus on encouraging acquisition, on providing input that stimulates the subconscious language acquisition potential all normal human beings have. This does not mean to say, however, that there is no room at all for conscious learning. Conscious learning does have a role, but it is no longer the lead actor in the play." For starters, we must realize that learning does not turn into acquisition. While the idea that we first learn a grammar rule and then use it so much that it becomes internalized is common and may seem obvious to many, it is not supported by theory nor by the observation of second language acquirers, who often correctly use "rules" they have never been taught and don't even remember accurately the rules they have learned. However, there is a place for grammar, or the conscious learning of the rules of a language. Its major role is in the use of the Monitor, which allows Monitor users to produce more correct output when they are given the right conditions to actually use their Monitor, as in some planned speech and writing. However, for correct Monitor use the users must know the rules they are applying, and these would need to be rules that are easy to remember and apply--a very small subset of all of the grammatical rules of a language. It is not worthwhile for language acquisition to teach difficult rules which are hard to learn, harder to remember, and sometimes almost impossible to correctly apply. For many years there was controversy in language-teaching literature on whether grammar should be deductively or inductively taught. However, as both of these methods involve language learning and not language acquisition, this issue should not be central for language teaching practice. There has similarly been controversy as to whether or not errors should be corrected in language learners' speech. Second language acquisition theory suggests that errors in ordinary conversation and Monitor-free situations should not be corrected, and that errors should only be corrected when they apply to easy to apply and understand grammatical rules in situations where known Monitor-users are able to use their Monitor. There is a second way in which the teaching of grammar in a classroom can be helpful, and that is when the students are interested in learning about the language they are acquiring. This language appreciation, or linguistics, however, will only result in language acquisition when grammar is taught in the language that is being acquired, and it is actually the comprehensible input that the students are receiving, not the content of the lecture itself, that is aiding acquisition. "This is a subtle point. In effect, both teachers and students are deceiving themselves. They believe that it is the subject matter itself, the study of grammar, that is responsible for the students' progress in second language acquisition, but in reality their progress is coming from the medium and not the message. And subject matter that held their interest would do just as well, so far as second language acquisition is concerned, as long as it required extensive use of the target language." And perhaps many students would be more interested in a different subject matter and would thus acquire more than they would in such a grammar-based classroom. (Krashen 1987, 83-124). What does applied linguistics research have to say about these methods? Applied research has examined the older methods of grammar-translation, audio-lingual, and cognitive-code much more than it has looked at the newer methods. There seems to be only small differences in the results of the older methods. While much research remains to be done, Total Physical Response and the other newer approaches "produce

significantly better results than old approaches." So what is better, the classroom or the real world? "Quite simply, the role of the second or foreign language classroom is to bring a student to a point where he can begin to use the outside would for further second language acquisition.... This means we have to provide students with enough comprehensible input to bring their second language competence to the point where they can begin to understand language heard 'on the outside'.... In other words, all second language classes are transitional." In the real world, conversations with sympathetic native speakers who are willing to help the acquirer understand are very helpful. These native speakers engage in what is called "foreigner talk," not very different from the way that a parent would talk to a child. Voluntary pleasure reading is also beneficial for second language acquisition, especially as the reader is free to choose reading material that is of interest and the proper level in order to be understood. Taking content classes in the language that is being acquired can also be helpful to the more advanced learner, especially when the class is composed of students who are all acquiring the second language.(Krashen,1987, 145-188).


This method advises teachers to consider their students as whole persons(Moskowitz 1978). Whole-person learning means that teachers consider not only their students feelings and intellect, but also have some understanding of the relationship among students physical reactions, their instinctive protective reactions and their desire to learn. The Community Language Learning Method takes its principle from the more general Counseling-Learning approach developed by Charles A. Curran and his associates. Curran studied adult learning for many years. He discovered that adults often feel threatened by a new learning situation. They are threatened by the change inherent in learning and by the fear they would appear foolish. Curran believed that a way to deal with the fears of students is for teachers to become language counselors. A language counselor does not mean someone trained in psychology; it means someone who is a skillful understander of the struggle students face as they attempt to internalize another language. The teacher who can understand can indicate his acceptance of the student. By understanding students fears and being sensitive to them, he can help students overcome their negative feelings and turn them into positive energy to further their learning.(Curran 1976) Teachers who use this method want their students to use the target language communicatively. In addition, they want their students to learn about their own learning, to take increasing responsibility in it. Both of these are to be accomplished in a nondefensive manner. Non-defensive learning can result when teacher and learner treat each other as a whole person, and do not separate each others intellect from his or her feelings. The teachers initial role is that of a counselor. Initially the student is very dependent on the teacher. He is a client of the counselors. It is recognized, however, that as a learner continues to study, he becomes increasingly independent. Methodologists have identified five stages in this movement from dependency to independency. During Stage 4, roles switch. The student no longer needs the teachers encouragement and absolute sense of security.

In a Stage 1 class students typically have a conversation in their native language. The teacher helps them express what they want to say by giving them the target language translation in chunks. These chunks are recorded, and when they are replayed, it sounds like a fairly fluid conversation, and mother tongue equivalents are written beneath the target language words. The transcription of the conversation becomes a text, with which students work in various activities: pronunciation drills, grammar exercises, creating new sentences, etc. During the course the students are invited to say how they feel and the teacher understands them. According to Curran there are six elements necessary for non-defensive learning. The first is security. Next is aggression, by which Curran means that students should be given the opportunity to express themselves, to get involved and invest themselves in the process of learning. The third element is attention, students must directly focus on one task at a time. The next is reflection, students reflecting on the target language. Retention is the fifth, the integration of the new material that takes place within your whole self. The last element is discrimination, sorting out the differences among target language forms. As time goes by the teacher removes himself from the circle of learning, encouraging students to interact with one another. According to Rardin (1977), this method is teacher-student centered, with both being decision makers in the class. Building a relationship with and among students is very important. In a trusting relationship the threat that students feel is reduced, non-defensive learning is promoted. Students can learn from their interaction with each other, as well as their interaction with the teacher. However, critics of CLL question the appropriateness of the counseling metaphor on which it is built. Questions also arise whether teachers should attempt special training. Other concerns have been regarding the lack of syllabus, which makes objectives unclear and evaluation difficult to accomplish, and the focus on fluency rather than accuracy, which may lead to inadequate control of the grammatical system of the target language.


Cooperative Language Learning (CLL) is part of a more general instructional approach also known as Collaborative Learning (CL). Cooperative Learning is an approach to teaching that makes maximum use of cooperative activities involving pairs and small groups of learners in the classroom. It has been defined as follows: Cooperative learning is group learning activity organized so that learning is dependent on the socially structured exchange of information between learners in groups and in which each learner is held accountable for his or her own learning and is motivated to increase the learning of others (Olsen and Kagan 1992: 8). Cooperative Learning has antecedents in proposals for peer-tutoring and peer-monitoring that go back hundreds of years and longer. The early twentieth century U.S. educator John Dewey is usually credited with promoting the idea of building cooperation in learning into regular classrooms on a regular and systematic basis (Rodgers 1988). It was more generally promoted and developed in the United States in the 1960s and 1970s as a response to the forced integration of public schools and has been substantially refined and

developed since then. Educators were concerned that traditional models of classroom learning were teacher fronted, fostered competition rather than cooperation, and favored majority students. They believed that minority students might fall behind higherachieving students in this kind of learning environment. Cooperative Learning in this context sought to do the following: raise the achievement of all students, including those who are gifted or academically handicapped help the teacher build positive relationships among students give students the experiences they need for healthy social, psychological, and cognitive development replace the competitive organizational structure of most classrooms and schools with a team-based, high-performance organizational structure (Johnson, et al. 1994). In second language teaching, CL (where it is often referred to as Cooperative Language Learning CLL) has been embraced as a way of promoting communicative interaction in the classroom and is seen as an extension of the principles of Communicative Language Teaching. It is viewed as a learner-centered approach to teaching held to offer advantages over teacher-fronted classroom methods. In language teaching its goals are: to provide opportunities for naturalistic second language acquisition through the use of interactive pair and group activities to provide teachers with a methodology to enable them to achieve this goal and one that can be applied in a variety of curriculum settings (e.g., content-based, foreign language classrooms; mainstreaming) to enable focused attention to particular lexical items, language structures, and communicative functions through the use of interactive tasks to provide opportunities for learners to develop successful learning and communication strategies to enhance learner motivation and reduce learner stress and to create a positive affective classroom climate CLL is thus an approach that crosses both mainstream education and second and foreign language teaching. Cooperative Language Learning is founded on some basic premises about the interactive/cooperative nature of language and language learning and builds on these premises in several ways. Premise 1 mirrors the title of a book on child language titled Born to Talk (Weeks 1979). The author holds (along with many others) that all normal children growing up in a normal environment learn to talk. We are born to talk ... we may think of ourselves as having been programmed to talk ... communication is generally considered to be the primary purpose of language (Weeks 1979: 1). Premise 2 is that most talk/speech is organized as conversation. Human beings spend a large part of their lives engaging in conversation.(Richards and Schmidt 1983:117) Premise 3 is that conversation operates according to a certain agreed-upon set of cooperative rules.(Grice 1975) Premise 4 is that one learns how these cooperative maxims are realized in ones native language through casual, everyday conversational interaction.

Premise 5 is that one learns how the maxims are realized in a second language through participation in cooperatively structured interactional activities. This involves using a progressive format or sequencing of strategies in the conversation class which carefully prepares students, that systematically breaks down stereotypes of classroom procedure and allows them to begin interacting democratically and independently. Through this approach, students learn step-by-step, functional interaction techniques at the same time the group spirit or trust is being built. (Christison and Bassano 1981: xvi). Practices that attempt to organize second language learning according to these premises, explicitly or implicitly, are jointly labeled Cooperative Language Learning. In its applications, CLL is used to support both structural and functional models as well as interactional models of language, since CLL activities may be used to focus on language form as well as to practice particular language functions. Cooperative learning advocates draw heavily on the theoretical work of developmental psychologists Jean Piaget (e.g., 1965) and Lev Vygotsky (e.g., 1962), both of whom stress the central role of social interaction in learning. As I have indicated, a central premise of CLL is that learners develop communicative competence in a language by conversing in socially or pedagogically structured situations. CLL advocates have proposed certain interactive structures that are considered optimal for learning the appropriate rules and practices in conversing in a new language. CLL also seeks to develop learners critical thinking skills, which are seen as central to learning of any sort. Some authors have even elevated critical thinking to the same level of focus as that of the basic language skills of reading, writing, listening and speaking (Kagan, 1992). The word cooperative in Cooperative Learning emphasizes another important dimension of CLL: It seeks to develop classrooms that foster cooperation rather than competition in learning. From the perspective of second language teaching, Mc Groarty (1989) offers six learning advantages for ESL students in CLL classrooms: 1. increased frequency and variety of second language practice through different types of interaction 2. possibility for development or use of language in ways that support cognitive development and increased language skills 3. opportunities to integrate language with content-based instruction 4. opportunities to include a greater variety of curricular materials to stimulate language as well as concept learning 5. freedom for teachers to master new professional skills, particularly those emphasizing communication 6. opportunities for students to act as resources to each other, assuming a more active role in their learning The role of the teacher differs considerably from their role in a traditional classroom. The teacher has to create a highly structured and well-organized learning environment in the classroom, setting goals, planning and structuring tasks, establishing the physical arrangement of the classroom, assigning students to groups, selecting materials and time. The teacher is a facilitator of learning, they move around the class helping students as needs arise. CLL is not without its critics, however. Some have questioned its use with learners of different proficiency levels, suggesting that some groups of students ( e.g., intermediate

and advanced learners) may obtain more benefits from it than others. In addition it places considerable demand on teachers, who may have difficulty adapting to the new roles required of them.

Content-Based Teaching or CBT refers to an approach in which teaching is organized around the content or information that students will acquire, rather than around a linguistic or other type of syllabus. Krahnke offers the following definition: It is the teaching of content or information in the language being learned with little or direct or explicit effort to teach the language itself separately from the content being taught. (Krahnke,1987:65) The term content has become a popular one both within language teaching and in the popular media. New York Times columnist and linguist pundit William Safire addressed it in one of his columns in 1998 and noted: If any word in English language is hot, buzzworthy and finger snappingly with it, surpassing even millennium in both general discourse and insiderese, that word is content. Get used to it because we wont soon get over it.(New York Times, August 19, 1998, 15) Although content is used with a variety of different meanings in language teaching, it most frequently refers to the substance or subject matter that we learn or communicate through language rather than the language used to convey it. Attempts to give priority to meaning in language teaching are not new. Approaches encouraging demonstration, imitation, miming, those recommending the use of objects, pictures and audio-visual presentation, and proposals supporting translations , explanation and definition as aids to understanding meaning have appeared at different times in the history of language teaching. Brinton, Snow and Wesche (1989) propose that Saint Augustine was an early proponent of Content-Based Teaching and quote his recommendations regarding focus on meaningful content in language teaching. Content-based approaches have been widely used in a variety of different settings since the 1980s. From its earliest applications in ESP, EOP and immersion programs, it is now widely used in K-12 programs, in university foreign language programs, and in business and vocational courses in EFL settings. Its advocates claim that it leads to more successful program outcomes than alternative language teaching approaches. As it offers unlimited opportunities for teachers to match students interests and needs with interesting and meaningful content, it offers many practical advantages for teachers and course designers. Brinton et al., (1989:2) observe: In a content-based approach, the activities of the language class are specific to the subject being taught, and are geared to stimulate students to think and learn through the target language. Such an approach lends itself quite naturally to the integrated teaching of the four traditional language skills. For example, it employs authentic reading materials which require students not only to understand information but to interpret and evaluate it as well. It provides a forum in which students can respond orally to reading and lecture materials. It recognizes that academic writing follows from listening, and reading, and

thus requires students to synthesize facts and ideas from multiple sources as preparation for writing. In this approach, students are exposed to study skills which prepare them for a range of academic tasks they will encounter. Critics have noted that most language teachers have been trained to teach language as a skill rather than to teach a content subject. Thus, language teachers may be insufficiently grounded to teach subject matter in which they have not been trained. Team-teaching proposals involving language teachers are often considered unwieldy and likely to reduce the efficiency of both. However, because CBT is based on a set of broad principles that can be applied in many different ways and is widely used as the basis for many different kinds of successful language programs, we can expect to see CBT continue as one of the leading curricular approaches in language teaching.


Task-Based Instruction refers to an approach based on the use of tasks as the core unit of planning and instruction in language teaching. Some of its proponents present it as a logical development of Communicative Language Teaching since it draws on several principles that formed part of the communicative language teaching movement from the 1980s. For example: - Activities that involve real communication are essential to language teaching - Activities in which language is used for carrying out meaningful tasks promote learning - Language that is meaningful to the learner supports the learning process Tasks are proposed as useful vehicles for applying these principles. Two early applications of a task-based approach within a communicative framework for language teaching were the Malaysian Communicational Syllabus (1975) and the Bangalore Project (Beretta and Davies 1985), both of which were relatively short-lived. The role of tasks have received further support from some researchers in second language acquisition, who are interested in developing pedagogical applications of second language acquisition theory.(e.g. Long and Crookes 1993).In their view language learning is believed to depend on immersing students not merely in comprehensible input, but also in tasks that require them to negotiate meaning and engage in naturalistic and meaningful communication. The key assumptions of task-based instruction are summarized by Feez (1998) in his work on a task-based syllabus: - The focus is on process rather than on product - Basic elements are purposeful activities and tasks that emphasize communication and meaning - Learners learn language by interacting communicatively and purposefully while engaged in activities - Activities and tasks can be: those that learners might need to achieve in real life

those that have a pedagogical purpose specific for the classroom Activities and tasks of a task-based syllabus are sequenced according to difficulty The difficulty of a task depends on a range of factors including the previous experience of the learner, the complexity of the task, the language required to undertake the task, and the degree of support available.

Tasks are believed to foster processes of negotiation, modification, rephrasing , and experimentation that are at the heart of second language learning. This view is part of a more general focus on the critical importance of conversation in language acquisition. (e.g. Sato 1988). TBLT proposes that the task is the pivot point for stimulation of inputoutput practice, negotiation of meaning, and transactionally focused conversation. Tasks should also improve learner motivation and therefore promote learning. Learners have to use authentic language, they have well-defined dimensions and closure, they are varied in format and operation, they typically include physical activity, they involve partnership and collaboration, they may call on learners past experience, and they tolerate and encourage a variety of communication styles. Instructional materials play an important part in TBLT because it is dependent on a sufficient supply of appropriate classroom tasks, some of which may require considerable time, ingenuity and resources to develop. Materials that can be exploited are limited only by the imagination of the task designer. A wide variety of realia, as popular media can also be used as resource: newspapers, TV, Internet, etc. Few would question the pedagogical value of employing tasks as a vehicle for promoting communication and authentic language use in second language classrooms, and depending on ones definition of a task, tasks have long been part of the mainstream repertoire of language teaching techniques for teachers of many different methodological persuasions. However, many aspects of TBLT have yet to be justified, such as proposed schemes for task types, task sequencing, and evaluation of task performance. And the basic assumption of Task-Based Language Teaching- that it provides for a more effective basis for language teaching than other language teaching approaches- remains in the domain of ideology rather than fact.


For many years I have been teaching English as a foreign language teacher to different age groups and at various levels of proficiency. Most of the activities presented have been tried out in several forms, and the form described here is certainly not the final one. Activities are invented by teachers, educators, or else, but we rarely know who exactly invented them. Like games or folk songs they are handed on from teacher to teacher. It has also happened that I have found activities described elsewhere which I thought I had invented. I always try to find meaningful activities which should awaken students

interest, and make them identify with the situation in which they are immersed. Traditional textbook exercises however necessary they may be for pre-communicative grammar practice do not as a rule forge a link between the learners and the foreign language in such a way that the learners identify with it. Meaningful activities on a personal level can be a step towards this identification, which improves performance and generates interest. And, of course, talking about something which affects them personally is eminently motivating for students. Furthermore, learning a foreign language is not just a matter of memorizing a different set of names for the things around us; it is also an educational experience. Since our language is closely linked to our personality and culture, why not use the process of acquiring a new language to gain further insights into our personality and culture? This does not mean that students of a foreign language should submit to psychological exercises or probing interviews, but simply that, for example, learning to talk about their likes and dislikes may bring about a greater awareness of their values and aims in life. Learning is more effective if the learners are involved in the process. The degree of learner activity, among other things depends on the type of material they are working on. The students curiosity can be aroused by texts or pictures containing discrepancies or mistakes, or by missing or muddled information, and this curiosity leads to the wish to find out, to put right or to complete. Learner activity in a more literal sense of the word can also imply doing and making things; for example, producing a radio program forces the students to read, write and talk in the foreign language as well as letting them play with CD players, sound effects and music. Setting up an opinion poll in the classroom is also an ambitious vehicle for active learner participation; it makes students interview each other, it literally gets them out of their seats and-this is very important-it culminates in a group work, brainstorming and group puzzle. Activities for practicing a foreign language have left the narrow path of purely structural and lexical training and have expanded into the fields of values in education and personality building. The impact of foreign language learning on the shaping of the learners personality is slowly being recognized. That is why foreign language teaching just like many other subjects-plays an important part in education towards cooperation and empathy. As teachers we would like our students to be sensitive towards the feelings of others and share their worries and joy. A lot of teaching/learning situations, however, never get beyond a rational and fact-oriented stage. Jigsaw tasks, in particular, demonstrate to the learners that cooperation is necessary. Many of the following activities focus on the participants personalities and help build an atmosphere of mutual understanding.


When people have to work together in a group it is advisable that they get to know each other a little at the beginning. Once they have talked to each other in an introductory

exercise they will be less reluctant to cooperate in further activities. One of the prerequisites of cooperation is to know the other peoples names. A second one is having some idea of what individual members of the group are interested in. One important use of warming-up exercises is with new classes at the beginning of the school year. If the teacher joins in the activities and lets the class know something about herself, the students are more likely to accept her as a person and not just as a teacher. A second purpose of these activities is getting students into the right mood before starting on some new task. 1.1.1 NAMES Aims: Skills - speaking Language - questions Other - getting to know each others names Level: Beginners Preparation: As many small slips of paper as there are students Time: 5-10 min Procedure: Each student writes his full name on a piece of paper. All the papers are collected and redistributed. Everyone walks in the room asking questions to find the person. Are you? Is your name? They introduce their partner to the group.

1.1.2 Aims:

NAME CIRCLE Skills - speaking Language - statements (This is., Im, Thats) Other - learning each others names, memory Beginners Class sitting in a circle (max 25) For variation 2: a toy animal 5-10 min

Level Groupings Preparation: Time :

Procedure: The teacher begins by giving her name. The student sitting to the left of the teacher continues by pointing at the teacher and saying: This is Fred Smith, Mrs. Henderson Variation: 1. Those students whose names have been forgotten have to stand up, when their name is said correctly they can sit down 2. A toy animal can be used to relax the atmosphere handed from one person to the other.

3. With more advanced students more complex statements can be used: The girl in the green pullover is Jane. The boy with glasses is Jim.

1.1.3 THREE ADJECTIVES Aims: Level: Groupings Preparation Time: Skills - speaking Language - making conjectures, agreeing, disagreeing Other - getting to know each other better Intermediate Individuals, class None 10-15 min

Procedure: On a piece of paper each student writes down three adjectives which he feels describe himself. Papers are collected. The teacher reads out the papers. The group speculates who wrote them. It may be advisable to revise suitable adjectives beforehand. The following adjectives should be known after two or three years of learning English: Active, alive, angry, awful, bad, beautiful, big, black, blond, blue, boring, brown, busy, careful, cheap, clean, clever, cold, dangerous, dark, dead, deep, difficult, dirty, easy, empty, exact, exciting, expensive, fair, famous, fantastic, far, fast, fat, fit, free, friendly, funny, golden, good, great, green, grey, happy, hungry, ill, intelligent, interested, interesting, international, jealous, late, left, little, lonely, loud, lucky, neat, new, noisy, old, open, polite, pretty, quiet, ready, red, right, rude, short, special, strange, strong, sweet, tall, terrible, thick, thirsty, tiny, unfair, warm, weak, wet, wild, wrong, young.

1.1.4 STEM SENTENCES Aims: Skills Language - reading comprehension, writing, speaking - basic grammatical structures, asking someone to do something - getting to know each other better

Level: Groupings: Preparation: Time:

Other Intermediate Individuals One handout for each student (see Chapter V) 15-20 min

Procedure: Each student fills out the handout. Handouts are read loudly and they guess the writers.

1.1.5 Aims:

CHOOSING PICTURES Skills - speaking Language - giving reasons, likes, dislikes Other - fun Beginners/intermediate Individuals Collect about three times as many different pictures as there are students 15-20 min

Level: Groupings: Preparation: Time:

Procedure All the pictures are put on a table. Each student chooses two: one of something he likes, one of something he dislikes. They show the pictures to the class and explain why they like or dislike them.

1.1.6 Aims:

CLUSTERS Skills - listening comprehension Language - understanding Other - cooperation, speed of reaction, relaxation Beginners/intermediate Class A list of commands for the teacher; a radio or CD for background music 15-30 min

Level: Groupings: Preparation: Time:

Procedure The students walk around the room while the music is playing. As soon as the music is switched off the teacher gives a command, e.g. Stand together in groups of five! Those who cant join are out. Possible commands: Shake hands with as many people as possible; Form a group with people of roughly the same height; Stand together in groups of four and agree on a song you want to sing; Mime a scene with at least three other people; Find people whose birthday is in the same month as yours.



Aims: Level: Groupings: Preparation: Time:

Skills - listening or reading comprehension, speaking Language - all elements Beginners/intermediate Class, groups See Chapter V 5-10 min

Procedure 1. Proverb matching Each student receives half of a proverb card and has to find the student holding the other half. Together they have to think of a story/situation which illustrates their proverb, so that the others may guess the proverb. 1. Mini-dialogues (see Chapter V) 2. Word building Six letter words are scrambled and three letters written on each card. The two partners have to make up the word. Ex. MMR SUE OMH TDE 3. Personality names matching: Ex. WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE ISAAC NEWTON SHERLOCK HOLMES 4. Word matching: Ex. BUTTER FLY BIRTH DAY ICE CREAM 5. Object matching Ex. CAR LORRY BUS BICYCLE -means of transport BOWL BASKET BOX BAG -containers Other possibilities are: pets, furniture, drinks, clothes, buildings, flowers, etc. 6. Job and tools matching Ex. DENTIST DRILL GARDENER SPADE HOE TEACHER CHALK TEXTBOOK SECRETARY TYPEWRITER FILE 7. Families Ex. MR.BAKER MRS.BAKER JIM BAKER JANET BAKER

We watch, read and listen to interviews every day. In the media the famous and not so famous are interviewed on important issues and trivial subjects. For the advertising industry and market research institutes, interviews are a necessity. The success of an

interview depends both on the skill of the interviewer, on her ability to ask the right question, to insist and interpret, and on the willingness to talk on the part of the person being interviewed. In the foreign language classroom interviews are useful not only because they force students to listen carefully but also because they are so versatile in their subject matter. As soon as beginners know the first structures for questions (Can you sing an English song? Have you got a car?) interviewing can begin. If everyone interviews his neighbour all students are practicing the foreign language at the same time.

1.2.1 SELF - DIRECTED INTERVIEWS Aims Level Groupings Time Skills - writing, speaking Language - questions Other - getting to know each other Intermediate Pairs 10-30 min

Procedure Each student writes down five to ten questions that he would like to be asked. The general context of these questions can be left open, or the questions can be restricted to areas such as personal likes and dislikes, opinions, information about ones personal life, etc. The students choose partners, exchange question sheets and interview one another using these questions. It might be quite interesting to find out in a discussion with the whole class what kinds of questions were asked and why they were chosen. 1.2.2 GROUP INTERVIEWS Aims Level Groupings Time Skills - speaking Language - asking for and giving information Other - group interaction Intermediate Four to six students 5-15 min

Procedure In each group a volunteer is questioned by the whole group.

This activity is made more difficult and more interesting if the person interviewed is not allowed to answer truthfully. After the questioning the students should discuss how much these lies revealed and how the students felt during the questioning. 1.2.3 GUIDED INTERVIEWS Aims Level Groupings Preparation Time Skills - all four skills Language - all elements Intermediate Groups or pairs Handouts (see Chapter V) 15-25 min

Procedure Each group receives a handout of the answers and tries to work out the appropriate questions. Solutions are read out loud at the end. Some examples of interview guiding worksheets are given in Chapter V. Here are 12 answers given in an interview. Think of questions that fit the answers and decide what the person who was interviewed is like. 1. Yes, I did. 2. This is quite true. 3. No. Gardening. 4. I can do either, but I prefer the first. 5. I cant answer that question. 6. Frogs and snakes 7. New Zealand, Iceland or Malta. 8. As often as possible, but Im not very good at it yet. I need to find someone to practice with. 9. I dont care which. 10. I wouldnt be able to tell one from the other. 11. Never. 12. That was the nicest thing that ever happened to me. Possible interview topics: Smoking Quality of life Old and young under one roof Single-parent families Weather Handicapped people The best teacher I ever had Keeping fit The right to die

Illness Minorities Changing jobs Moving house Letter-writing Favourite films Eating out Clothes Plans and ambitions Pets Saving things Old and new things Private and public transport Wildlife protection Hunger Loneliness


Everybody knows guessing games. It is not only children who like guessing; adults like guessing, too. The basic rule of guessing games is eminently simple: one person knows something that another one wants to find out.

1.3.1 WHAT IS IT Aims Level Groupings Preparation Time Skills - speaking Language - questions, making associations, giving reasons Intermediate Class A handout is given to each student (see Chapter V) 5-15 min

Procedure The students guess what the drawing represents and write their answers down. 1.3.1 COFFEEPOTTING Aims Skills Language - speaking - questions, giving answers

Level Groupings Time

Other - fun Beginners/Intermediate Two groups of different size (one group should have one third of the total number of students, the other two thirds) 10-15 min

Procedure The groups sit down facing each other. The teacher shows the smaller group an activity on a piece of paper (reading, skiing, etc). The members of the bigger group have to guess the activity. In their questions they use the substitute verb to coffeepot. For example: Is coffeepotting fun in winter? Each person in the smaller group is questioned by two members from the other. As soon as one member thinks he has found the answer, he whispers it to the teacher and if correct, he joins the answering group. 1.3.2. WHATS IN THE BOX? Aims Level Groupings Preparation Time Skills - speaking Language - questions, explaining the use of an object Other - fun, vocabulary building Intermediate Pairs As many small containers as there are students; one little object (safety-pin, stamp, rubber) in each 10-30 min

Procedure Each student works with a partner. One student from each pair fetches a box and looks inside without letting his partner see what is in the box. The second student has to guess the object. If the students dont know the names of the objects, a piece of paper with their name on it should be also placed in the box. 1.3.3 LIE DETECTOR Aims Level Groupings Time Skills - speaking Language - asking questions, giving reasons Intermediate Groups of six to seven students 10-15 min

Procedure The students are divided into groups. One member of each group leaves the room. In their absence the groups decide on a set of five to eight questions they want to ask the students. These can be either personal, or factual. They have to answer all questions truthfully, except one. The rest of the group has to decide which was the lie. The students who went outside now return to their group.


Jigsaw tasks use the same basic principle as jigsaw puzzles with one exception. Whereas the player doing a jigsaw puzzle has all the pieces he needs in front of him, the participants in a jigsaw task have only one or a few pieces each. As in a puzzle the individual parts, which may be sentences from a factual text, or parts of a picture or comic strip, have to be fitted together to find the solution. In jigsaw tasks each participant is equally important, because each holds part of the solution. That is why jigsaw tasks are said to improve cooperation and mutual acceptance within the group. Participants have to do a lot of talking before they are able to fit the pieces together in the right way. A modified form of jigsaw tasks is found in The same or different? and What are the differences? in which pictures have to be compared. Jigsaw tasks practice two different areas of skill in the foreign language. Firstly, the students have to understand the bits of information they are given (Listening or reading comprehension) and describe them to the rest of the group. This makes them realize how important pronunciation and intonation are in making yourself understood. Secondly, the students have to organize the process of finding the solution; a lot of interactional language is needed here. Because the language elements required by jigsaw tasks are not available at beginners level, this type of activity is best used with intermediate and advanced students. Pair or group work is necessary for most jigsaw tasks.

1.4.1 THE SAME OR DIFFERENT Aims Level Groupings Skills - speaking, listening comprehension Language - exact description Intermediate Class, pairs

Procedure Class divided into two halves, one copy of handout A for one part, handout B for the other part; two circles of chairs, the inner circle facing outwards, the outer circle facing inwards, the two circles facing each other.

Each handout contains 18 small drawings; some are the same in A and B, some are different. By describing the two drawings, they have to decide if they are different of the same. The student who has a cross next to the number of the drawing begins by describing it to his partner. After discussing three drawings, all the students in the outer circle move to the chair on their left and continue with a new partner. When all the drawings have been discussed, the teacher tells the class the answers. The materials can be varied in many ways. Instead of pictures, other things can be used, e.g. synonymous and non-synonymous sentences, symbolic drawings, words and drawings. 1.4.2 TWINS Aims Level Groupings Time Skill Language Intermediate Pairs 5-10 min - speaking, listening comprehension

Procedure Each student works with a partner. One student receives handout A the other handout B. They mustnt let their partners see their sheets. They have to find out which is similar and which is not. If the teacher produces a number of cardboard folders which each contain a set of instructions and picture sheets (A and B) in separate envelopes, all the students can work on different tasks at the same time and exchange folders in order to work on more than one set. 1.4.3 WHAT ARE THE DIFFERENCES? Aims Level Groupings Preparation Time Skills - speaking Language - exact description of a picture Intermediate Pairs Handout A for half of students, handout B to the other half 5- 10 min

Procedure Each student works with a partner. One student receives a copy of the original picture, the other a copy of the picture with minor alterations. By describing their pictures to one another and asking questions they have to determine how many and what differences there are between them. When they think they have found all the differences, they compare pictures.

1.4.4 ORDERING Aims Level Groupings Preparation Skills Language - speaking - describing situations/actions shown in pictures, making suggestions


Intermediate Pairs A comic strip (or picture story) of at least four pictures is cut up, and the pictures pasted in random order on two pieces of paper, so that each sheet contains half the pictures. Half the students receive one set of pictures each, the other half the other. 10-15 min

Procedure The students work in pairs. Each partner has half the pictures from a comic strip. First, each student describes his pictures. They do not show their pictures. They decide on the content of the story and agree on a sequence for their total number of pictures. Finally, both picture sheets are compared and the solution discussed.

1.4.5 TOWN PLAN Aims Level Groupings Preparation Time Skills Language - speaking - giving directions

Intermediate Pairs One town plan in two versions giving different pieces of information 10-15 min

Procedure The students work in pairs. Each partner receives a copy of the town plan, version A for the first student, version B for the second. The students ask each other for information which is missing from their plan i.e. the names of some streets (A has to find London Road, Aston Street, Rat Lane, Pen Street, Cocoa Lane, Station Square and Fair Fields; B has to find Park Street, North Street, Nottingham Road, High Street, Milk Lane, Trent Crescent, and River Drive. Then they write in eight other names of places, using the spaces indicated by numbers 1 to 15. B does the same for his eight spaces, using numbers 16-30. The partners then have to find out which numbers refer to which places by asking for directions, e.g. A: Hoe do I get to the Chinese restaurant? B: You walk up Linklow Hill and turn right into Ink Street. The restaurant is down the street to your left.

1.4.6 Aims

STRIP STORY Skills Language - speaking - making suggestions, expressing ones opinion, Asking for confirmation

Level Groupings Preparation Time

Intermediate Class A story with as many sentences as there are students. Each sentence is written on a separate sheet of paper. 15-30 min

Procedure Each student receives a strip of paper with one sentence on it. He is asked not to show his sentence to anybody else but to memorise it in two minutes. After two minutes all strips are collected. The teacher briefly explains the task: All the sentences you have learned make up a story. Work out the story without writing anything down. From now the teacher steps aside and refuses to give any help. Variations: A dialogue can be used instead of the text. 1.4.7 JIGSAW GUESSING Aims Level Groupings Preparation Time Skills - speaking Language - making suggestions Intermediate Groups One puzzle to each group, the solution to which makes a word 5-15 min

Procedure Each group receives a piece of paper with questions on it. The solution to each question is a word. All the students in the group try to make anew word out of the first letters of the individual words they have found. As soon as the group words have been formed, they are written on the blackboard. The first letters of all the group words give the solution to the whole puzzle. The puzzles in Chapter V are designed for seven groups of four students each. The group solutions are: 1. YEAR (yawn, eat, accident, ride) 2. APPLE (afternoon, pear postman, like, elephant) 3. DESK (dear, eleven, song, knife)

4. INTO (Indian, name, tea, old) 5. LAMP (love, answer, moon, pen) 6. OVER (orange, valley, end, rich) 7. HAND (happy, Australia, new, difficult) The first letters of the group words form HOLIDAY(read backwards from group 7 to 1).

1.4.8 PARTNER PUZZLE Aims Level Groupings Preparation Time Skills - speaking Language - describing the position of puzzle pieces Intermediate Pairs As many copies of the picture as students (see Chapter V). Half of the photocopies should be cut up as indicated and put in separate envelopes 10-15 min

Procedure Each student works with a partner. One student in each pair receives the complete picture, which he must not show to his partner; the other student gets the puzzle pieces. The first student has to tell the second how to arrange the pieces; neither is allowed to see what the other is doing.


As soon as students are able to produce yes/no and wh-questions most of these activities can be used. 1.5.1. WHAT WOULD HAPPEN IF? Aims Level Groupings Preparation Time Procedure Skills Language - speaking - if clauses, making conjectures, asking for confirmation

Intermediate Class About twice as many slips of paper with an event/situation written on them as there are students. 10-15 min

Every student receives one or two slips of paper with sentences like: What would happen if a shop gave away its goods free every Wednesday? What would you do if you won a trip to a city of your choice? One student starts by reading out his question and then asks another student to answer it. The second student continues by answering or asking a third student to answer the first students question. If he has answered the question he may then read out his own question for somebody else to answer. The activity is finished when all the questions have been read out and answered. Preparation The students can prepare their own questions. Some more suggestions: What would happen if everybody who told a lie turned green? if people could get a driving license at 14? if girls had to do military service? if men were not allowed to become doctors or pilots? if children over 10 were allowed to vote? if gold was found in your area? if a film was made in your school? if headmasters had to be elected by teachers and students? What would you do if you were invited to the Queens garden party? if a photo of yours won first prize at an exhibition? if your little sister of 14 told you she was pregnant? if you saw your teacher picking apples from your neighbours tree? if it rained every day of your holiday? if you got a love letter from somebody you did not know? if you found a snake under your bed? if you got lost on a walk in the woods? if you were not able to remember numbers? if you found a 100$ bill in a library book? if you suddenly found out you could become invisible by eating spinach? if a young man/woman came up to you, gave you a rose and said that you were the loveliest person he had seen for a long time/ if you went to the restaurant and noticed you had forgotten your wallet at home? if you could not sleep at night? 1.5.2 QUESTION GAME Aims Level Skills Language Intermediate - speaking, reading comprehension, listening comprehension - questions and answers

Groupings Preparation Time

Groups of six students Two dice of different colours, a question board (see Chapter V), and 10(or 15) question cards (see Chapter V)for each group 15-30 min

Procedure Each group receives the dice, question board, and question cards. The question cards are put in piles face down next to the numbers 1 to 5 on the question board. Each student in the group is given a number from 1 to 6. Taking turns, each student throws the dice. One die indicates the question to be asked(the one on top of the pile),the other, the person who must answer the question. If the question-die shows 6, the person whose turn it is may ask a question of the student whose number was thrown with the student-die. The exercise is finished when everybody has answered every question. 1.5.3 FIND SOMEONE WHO Aims Level Time Groupings Preparation Skills - speaking Language - questions Other - getting to know each other Intermediate 10-20 min Individuals, class Handout (see chapter V)

Procedure Each student receives a handout. Everyone walks around the room and questions other people about things on the handout. As soon as somebody finds another student who answers yes to one of the questions, he writes his name in the space and goes on to question someone else, because each name may only be used once. If a student overhears somebody answering yes to another student he is not allowed to use that name. After a given time (15 min.) or when someone finishes the handout the activity stops. Students read out what they have found out. They can preface their report with :I was surprised that X liked, or I never thought that Y liked. 1.5.4 SOMETHING ELSE Aims Skills Language Other - speaking - conditional - thinking about oneself, getting to know each other, imagination

Level Groupings Time

Intermediate Individuals or groups 10-20 min

Procedure The teacher presents the activity: Suppose you were something else entirely, e.g. an animal, or a musical instrument. Just think what you would like to be and why, when I tell you the categories. Possible categories are: colours, day of the week, kinds of weather, musical instruments, months, countries, cities, articles of clothing, songs, fruits, flowers, kinds of literature, pieces of furniture, food, toys, etc. Variations: It can also be played as a guessing game. Two students are asked to leave the classroom while the rest of the class agree on a person to be guessed. When the two students are called back in they ask questions such as: What would the person be if he or she were an animal? a colour? a building? a landscape? a piece of music? a flower? etc. From the answers, characteristics of the person can be deduced and his or her identity guessed. If the person to be guessed is present he can comment on the comparisons made, e.g. I was surprised, flattered, embarrassed etc 1.5.5 QUESTION AND ANSWER CARDS Aims Skills Language Other - speaking - formulating questions - learning something about English-speaking countries

Level Groupings Preparation Time

Intermediate Pairs One card per student 10-15 min

Procedure The students work in pairs. They question each other in turns about the things specified on the card. Variations 1. Each student receives a different card and has to find his partner before he can start with the questions. 2. The students make up their own cards about subjects dealt with in the class. For this they should use the second type of cards, where answers are not given.(see Chapter V)


These exercises require students to put a certain number of items from a given list into an order of importance or preference. This rearrangement phase is usually followed by a period of discussions, when students explain or defend their choices in pairs or small groups. Ranking exercises practise interactive language, for instance agreeing, comparing, contradicting, disagreeing, giving reasons. As in some jigsaw tasks the students may experience a difference of opinion and may be stimulated to discuss these differences. Reluctant students can be made to discuss their lists in detail if they are asked to produce an integrated list of rankings for their group. A variety of procedures for using ranking exercises can be suggested. The first step remains the same for all procedures: the students are made familiar with the task. Work on a ranking exercise can be continued in one of the following ways: - Each student works on his own and writes down his solutions. These lists are then compared and discussed in pairs, in small groups or with the whole class. - When each student has finished his list, the students sit down together in small groups and try to agree on a common listing, which has to be presented and defended in a final general discussion. - Groups of increasing size (two members, then four, then eight) discuss the lists and aim for an agreed list at each stage - All students whose lists are similar work together in groups and try to find as many arguments as possible for their ranking order. A final discussion with the class follows. 2.1.1 Aims RANK ORDER Skills Language - reading comprehension, speaking - expressing likes and dislikes, giving reasons, expressing certainty and uncertainty Other - thinking about ones own value Intermediate/advanced Individuals (pairs and groups also possible) Handout (see Chapter V) 15-20 min

Level Groupings Preparation Time

Procedure Each student receives a handout. He fills it in according to the instructions, stating not only his first choice, but also numbering all the choices in order of preference (10 min). When all the items have been ranked students share their results with their neighbour or with the whole class. Depending on the interests of the participants this step can lead to a discussion by individual members of the class of what is considered important. Variations If the questions suggested in Chapter V are considered too personal, alternatives can easily be found, e.g. pollution, social problems, political attitudes, etc.

2.1.2 Aims

QUALITIES Skills Language - speaking - describing personal qualities, stating preferences, asking for and giving reasons, contradicting, comparative and superlative - thinking about ones own values

Level Groupings Time

Other Intermediate Individuals, groups, then the whole class 10-20 min

Procedure The teacher presents the group with the following list, either writing it on the board or on the overhead projector, or distributing it on handouts: reliability being a good listener strength honesty intelligence generosity caution being funny stubbornness helpfulness Each student should think about how important he considers each quality. He then rearranges the list starting with the most important. Then students sit in small groups and talk about their ranking. A group consensus should be aimed at. The whole class aims to find a ranking order for the qualities which everyone agrees. Variations: The same procedure can be followed for different lists, which have been adapted to group interests and the age of students. suggestions : reasons for wanting/keeping a pet, things to make a holiday worthwhile, qualities of a good parent, car, friends, politicians, scientists, nurses, doctors, etc. 2.1.3 Aims DESERT ISLAND Skills Language - speaking - giving and asking for reasons, making suggestions, agreeing and disagreeing, if-clauses Beginners/Intermediate Pairs, class

Level Groupings


10-20 min

Procedure The teacher tells the class about the situation and sets the task: You are stranded on a desert island in the Pacific. All you have is the swim-suit and sandals you are wearing. There is food and water on the island but nothing else. Here is a list of things you may find useful. Choose the eight most useful items and rank them in order of usefulness: a box of matches a magnifying glass an axe a bottle of whisky an atlas some metal knitting-needles a transistor radio with batteries a nylon tent a camera and five rolls of film ointment for cuts and burns a saucepan a knife and a fork 20 metres of nylon rope a blanket a watch a towel a pencil and paper Work with a partner. You have eight minutes. The students present their solutions and defend their choices against the others arguments. 2.1.4 Aims Level Groupings Preparation Time NASA GAME - speaking - giving and asking for reasons, expressing certainty and uncertainty, making objections Intermediate/advanced Individuals, pairs Handouts (see Chapter V) 10-15 min Skills Language

Procedure Each student has to rank the 15 items on the handout. (Note that the moon has no atmosphere, so it is impossible to make fire or transmit sound signals; the moon has no magnetic poles)

Each student then compares his solutions with his neighbour and they try to arrive at a common ranking.

2.1.5 Aims Level Time

PERSONALITIES Skills Language Beginners 10-15 min - speaking - giving reasons, making comparison

Procedure The teacher writes the following list on the board: Mahatma Gandhi Mao Tse Tung William Shakespeare Queen Elisabeth I Karl Marx Alfred Hitchcock Margaret Thatcher Mohammed Ali Buffalo Bill John Travolta Ronald Reagan Miss Piggy Elvis Presley Liv Ullmann Johann Sebastian Bach David Copperfield Frank Sinatra Naomi Campbell Charles Dickens Walt Disney Winston Churchill Fidel Castro The students are asked to select the six personalities they would like to invite to their classroom to give a talk. The papers are collected. The activity can be continued by asking the students to write interview questions they would like to ask the person of their choice.

2.1.6 Aims

JOB PRESTIGE Skills Language Intermediate/advanced Pairs 15-20 min - speaking - asking for and giving reasons, agreeing and disagreeing

Level Groupings Time

Procedure The teacher outlines the task. You are going to be given a list of 14 jobs. You have to rank them according to two criteria. First arrange them in the order in which these jobs are regarded and paid in our society. Secondly make a list in which you show how important you think each job should be. dentist taxi driver secretary school teacher policeman lawyer journalist university professor actor nurse shop-assistant librarian engineer farmer Students work in pairs. They should try to reach an agreement. The results are presented to the class. The two lists are written on the board: the first is probably similar in most cases; however the second may differ wildly and should stimulate a discussion.



Not all the activities from this part are games in a narrow sense of the word; in some cases they are game-like exercises that lead to discussions. Quite often the same exercise can be used for discussion of serious questions as well as for playing with ideas and language. The main intention of all these exercises is, of course, to get the students talk and stimulate their interest and imagination. Nearly all of them demand a certain degree of flexibility in the foreign language and are structured in such a way that everyone will get a turn.

To get everybody involved in the discussion may be occasionally difficult. The teacher can hand round (e.g. a knotted scarf or a paper weight) and agree on the rule that whoever is holding the object has to contribute to the discussion. Many of the discussion games may lead to oral and written follow-up activities. Essays, their own advertisements, panel discussions can follow after the games.

2.2.1 Aims

WHAT IS BEING ADVERTISED? Skills Language - speaking, writing - making conjectures, expressing probability, giving reasons

Level Groupings Preparation Time

Intermediate Pairs A number of different advertisements (cut out from magazines) from which all names and pictures have been removed, half as many as students. 15-20 min

Procedure Each pair of students receives one advertisement. The partners discuss what product it could be for and why. One of each pair takes notes. After about 5 minutes the advertisements are exchanged, and the pairs do the same. Taking turns the students show their second advertisement to the rest of the class and report their ideas about the product being advertised. The other two students who had this ad first, say where they agree or disagree. When all the ads have been discussed the teacher gives the solutions (by presenting the cut out parts). 2.2.2 Aims Level Groupings Preparation Time MAD DISCUSSIONS Skills Language - speaking - giving reasons, describing advantages and disadvantages, contradicting

Intermediate Teams Pieces of paper with one word written on them 20-30 min

Procedure The class is divided into two teams. One student from each team comes forward. Each chooses a piece of paper with a topic on it. He then has three minutes to argue with the

student from the other team about which is more important for mankind, e.g. Alsatians or pizzas. Possible topics: flowers, New York, operas, ships, birthday cards, passports, watches, modern art, detective novels, schools, socks, zips, paper, the wheel, etc. 2.2.3 Aims Level Groupings Time SECRET TOPIC Skills Language Advanced Pairs, class 10-20 min - speaking - all elements

Procedure Two students agree on a topic they want to talk about without telling the others what it is. The two students start discussing. The others listen. Anyone who thinks he knows what they are talking about joins in their conversation. When about a third of the class have joined in, the game is stopped. Variations Students who think they know the topic write it on a piece of paper and show it to the two students before they are accepted. 2.2.4 Aims Level Groupings Time WORD WIZARD Skills Language Intermediate Individuals, pairs 10-15 min - speaking, writing - individual words

Procedure The teacher asks the class to imagine the following situation: A wizard has taken away all the words from the world. Everybody can keep just four words. Choose four words which you would like to keep and write them down. Each student finds a partner and tries to communicate using only his four words. The pairs share their words with each other so that now they both have eight words to use. Each student shares his eight words with another to have 16 words. They try to write a poem with these words.

2.2.5 Aims

USES AND ABUSES Skills Language Intermediate Teams 10-15 min - speaking - declarative sentences, -ing form

Level Groupings Time

Procedure The teacher and the class prepare a list (of about 20 items), which are written up by the secretaries of the two groups. List A contains people and animals, list B objects. Example: A B teacher book mother walking stick shop-assistant plaster baby 50 p coin elephant pen crocodile loaf of bread soldier car dustman cactus farmer apple pie old woman glass of beer nurse safety pin The two teams sit facing each other. The secretary stars by inserting one word from list A and one from list B into one of the two sentence patterns: What can a/an A do with a/an B? Why does a/an A need a/an B? The students in team 2 must quickly answer. Then their secretary makes up a new question for team 1. The secretary crosses out the used words. The game is over when all the words have been used. 2.2.6 Aims Level Groupings Preparation Time SHRINKING STORY Skills - speaking, listening comprehension Language - all elements Intermediate Class Story (see chapter V) or picture 20-30 min

Procedure Five students are asked to leave the room. The rest of the class is read a story or played a recording. They listen to the story twice, and after the second one they agree on a few important points which a summary of the story should contain. These are written down by everyone. The first student is asked to come in and listens to the story once. The second student is called in and hears the story from the first student while the class takes notes following which of the important points have been mentioned. Student 2 tells it to student 3, 3 to 4 and 4 to 5. Student 5 tells it to the class. Using their notes the students who were listening report the changes in the story. Variations Instead of telling a story, a picture could be drawn by the last student. 2.2.7 Aims Level Groupings Preparation Time MAGIC SHOP Skills - speaking Language - if-clauses, arguing, praising Intermediate/advanced Individuals Slips of paper with positive human qualities three times as many as students 15-20 min

Procedure Each student receives 3 slips of paper with positive human qualities. E.g. honesty, intelligence, fairness, humour, beauty, curiosity, cheerfulness, optimism, perseverance, politeness, hospitality, wisdom, thoughtfulness, friendliness, adaptability, charity, justice, helpfulness, health, gentleness. Each student decides which of the three he would like to keep and which to exchange with others. Students then barter with different people. After 10 min. student report on which qualities they received.

2.2.8 Aims

PINK VERSUS BROWN Skills Language Intermediate Groups, pairs 15-25 min - speaking - contradicting, praising, giving reasons

Level Groupings Time

Procedure Students whose favourite colours are the same should work together. They describe to each other why they like this particular colour better than any other.

Students leave their groups and pair up with someone from a different group. Each partner argues for his colour and tries to convince the other of its qualities. 2.2.9 Aims Level Groupings Time OPTIMISTS AND PESSIMISTS Skills Language Intermediate Two teams 10-15 min - speaking - expressing different points of view

Procedure One student from team 1 (optimists) begins by giving a statement, e.g. : It is good for your health if you do some sports. Then one student from the other group gives the other point of view, e.g. But sports like boxing or car racing are dangerous. The pessimists continue with a pessimistic statement, which the optimists have to react to. After a few minutes of exchanging statements, the students are asked if they found it difficult to adopt one point of view throughout. They could also mention those statements which went against their personal viewpoint.

2.2.10 PEOPLE Aims Level Groupings Preparation Time Skills Language - speaking - past tense, present tense, describing someone

Intermediate Groups of three to four students Photos of different people (cut out from magazines or own) 15-25 min

Procedure Each group receives a photo and is asked to write a curriculum vitae for the person in the picture. The students should mainly imagine the persons interests and lifestyle. When they have finished with the first picture, photos are exchanged between groups. Each group works with 3 pictures. The results of the group work are read out and discussed. Which lives were seen in a similar way by the three groups? Which pictures were interpreted differently?



Aims Level Groupings Preparation Time

Skills - speaking Language - discussing Intermediate Groups of six One handout for each group (see Chapter V) Three dice per group 15-25 min

Procedure Each group member is given a number from 1 to 6. The dice are thrown; two dice indicate the students who start the discussion, the third die indicates the topic they have to talk about. After a short while the other group members can join the discussion. Every topic on the wheel should be discussed at least once. If the topic die shows 5, the two students chose their own topic. Variations Instead of writing the topics on the wheel, they can be put on small cards and laid face down on the wheel.


The activities in this section are based on the principle of the values clarification approach which originated in the USA. It is one of the assumptions of this approach that school must help young people to become aware of their own values and to act according to them. The psychologist Louis Raths distinguishes among three main stages in this process: Prizing ones belief and behaviours,choosing ones beliefs and behaviours, acting on ones beliefs (Simon et al 1972, p.19) Adults as well as young people may not always be consciously aware of their beliefs and so learners of all ages may find these activities interesting in helping them discover something about themselves. This can be a very motivating experience, because the students feel they are communicating about something really meaningful, as well as being taken seriously as people. 2.3.1. Aims Level Groupings Preparation Time Procedure LIFESTYLE Skills - speaking Language - giving reasons, likes and dislikes Beginners/intermediate Pairs Students are asked beforehand to bring along 3 objects that are important for them. 10-15 min

Students work with a partner. Each of them explains the use and importance of their three objects. Both partners then talk about the similarities and differences of their choices. Variation Before the paired discussion starts, a kind of speculating or guessing game can be conducted, where the three objects of a student whose identity is not revealed are shown, and suggestions about their significance are made. 2.3.2 Aims Level Groupings Preparation Time AIMS IN LIFE Skills Language - writing, speaking - giving reasons, expressing intentions and desires

Intermediate Individuals, groups A handout for each student (see Chapter V) 15-20 min

Procedure Each student fills in the handout by first choosing the area of his aims, i.e. travel or family, etc, and then by making a few notes on what he wants to achieve within this area in the time specified. When everybody has filled in the handout with at least one aim for each of the three time periods given, small groups are formed. The students discuss and defend their aims in the groups. 2.3.3 Aims Level Groupings Time TWENTY THINGS ID LIKE TO DO Skills Language Intermediate Individuals 20-30 min - writing, speaking - expressing likes and dislikes

Procedure The students are asked to write a list of 20 things they would like to do. These can be ordinary activities like eating a lot of ice cream, or more exotic dreams like going on a trip in a balloon. They should jot down anything that comes into their mind, writing the activities one under the other. These lists remain private. They code their lists by putting one or more of the following symbols in front of them: if the activity is expensive WF if the activity involves other people (with friends) A if they do it on their own (alone)

M or F if they think mother or father would enjoy it too X if the activity is physically or mentally harmful (smoking) Then the students should think about the distribution of these symbols on their lists and continue the following stem sentences: I have learned from this exercise that I am surprised that. I am pleased that ... I am worried that I dont mind that They are collected by the teacher and individual one are read out, provide they contain a stimulus for discussion.

2.3.4 Aims

SPENDING MONEY Skills Language Intermediate Individuals, groups 10-25 min - speaking - asking for and giving reasons

Level Groupings Time

Procedure Each student writes down what he would spend a sum of money on, e.g. 1 $, 5$, 20$, 50$, 100$, 1000$, 5000$ and 100000$. Students sit together in small groups and describe what they have decided to buy with a particular sum of money and why they would like to make this purchase. Variations Students are given choices for each sum. E.g. For 5$ you could buy a cinema ticket, a paperback novel, a pack of cards, a T-shirt, a CD, a Chinese meal, a pot plant, etc.

2.3.5 Aims

UNFINISHED SENTENCES Skills Language - speaking, reading comprehension - expressing emotions and thoughts, agreeing/disagreeing

Level Groupings Time Procedure

Intermediate Pairs (two teams of equal size) 10-20 min

The class is divided into two teams of equal size. The chairs are arranged in two circles, one inside the other, facing each other. Each student receives a handout. The two students facing each other continue the first on the handout and talk about their sentence. Then the students in the outer circle all move one chair to the left and do the second sentence with a new partner. They continue moving on after each sentence until all sentences have been discussed.

2.3.6 Aims

ID RATHER BE Skills - speaking Language - asking for and giving reasons Intermediate Class A list of word pairs (nouns, adjectives) 5-15 min

Level Groupings Preparation Time

Procedure The teacher reads out pairs of opposites from her list and asks the students which ones they would rather be. The students should also give a reason for their choices. Possible word pairs: soft - hard glass - wood water - fire bitter - sweet beauty - ugliness hammer - nail rose - cactus square - round cold - hot sparrow - snail hawk - mouse chicken - egg candle - neon light sun - moon village - city lemon - potato Variations The same activity is possible with verbs: e.g. sell - buy make - break arrive leave etc.



Aims Level Groupings Time

Skills Language Intermediate Individuals 20-30 min

- writing, listening, reading - all elements

Procedure Students are asked to write a description of an ideal day. They can choose freely the places they would like to be in, their activities and the company they would like to have. Some students read out their work. Variations: Other topics to write about: my ideal house, an ideal holiday, an ideal friend.



In the last decade Edward de Bono has repeatedly asked that thinking should be taught in schools. His main intention is to change our rigid way of thinking and make us learn to think creatively. Some of the activities are taken from his thinking course for schools (de Bono 1973). The thinking strategies included here resemble in the fact that different ideas have to be collected by the participants in the first stage. Then these ideas have to be ordered and evaluated. It is obvious that there is ample opportunity to use the foreign language at both stages. Apart from the speech acts of agreeing and disagreeing, suggesting, etc. these exercises practice all forms of comparison and the conditional.



Aims Level Groupings Time

Skills Language Intermediate Individuals, pairs, class 10-20 min

- speaking, writing - conditional, comparatives, suggestions

Procedure The students have to think of the plus points (P), minus points (M), and interesting points (I)of an idea. The teacher gives the class an idea and then everybody works on their own for a few minutes. Possible ideas: A new law is passed that forbids smoking in public places. Every family is only allowed to have meat once a week. People should wear badges to show what mood they are in. To save energy public buildings like post offices, stations, schools and offices are no longer heated. A scientist discovers a way of making gold cheaply. Boys are only allowed to wear green clothes, girls only blue clothes. Planes do not work anymore. They all crash after take-off. Students work in pairs and share their ideas. Then the ideas are shared with the class.

2.4.2 Aims

CONSEQUENCES Skills - speaking Language - future tense, conditional Intermediate Groups of three to six students, class As many cards with an action as groups 10-20 min

Level Groupings Preparation Time

Procedure The teacher divides the class into groups. She gives each group an action card. Examples: A 25-hour working week is introduced. A lorry driver empties a thankful of poisonous waste into the river near a town. Animal merchants catch the last animals of a dying species and sell them to zoos in Europe and North America. Men can get maternity leave like women. Robots that can do housework are built. Scientists discover that cancer is caused by pollution. A group of boys always use the bus or tram without paying. Each group now has to think of all the possible long-term and short-term consequences this action may have. The group secretary writes down all the consequences. When the group cannot think of any more consequences they exchange cards with another group. A class discussion ends the activity.

2.4.3 Aims

ALTERNATIVES Skills Language - speaking, writing - conditional, making suggestions

Level Groupings Preparation Time

Intermediate Class List of problem situations for the teacher 5-20 min

Procedure The teacher presents the situation to the class and asks the students to think of as many courses of action as possible for the people involved. Individual students present their suggestions and a complete list is compiled on the board. Students work together in small groups and rank all the suggestions in order of preference. Then they discuss what consequences the five most popular suggestions will have. The rank orders and consequences of individual groups are compared. Possible problem situations: 1. You hear from a friend that someone is saying nasty things about you. What can you do? 2. Some money was stolen in the classroom recently. The thief hasnt been found yet. Your teacher treats you differently from before and you think she suspects you took the money. You didnt, but you know who took it. What do you do? 3. Your friend has bought a new coat. You think it is really ugly and does not suit her. However, you know it was very expensive and your friend is easily offended. What can you say? 4. You see someone dumping rubbish in the countryside. What can you say? 5. Someone in your class is giving a party. Everyone has been invited except you. What can you do? 6. You forgot about an important appointment with your boss (teacher) and have just realized that you should have met him two hours ago at the Peking Restaurant. What can you do?

2.4.4 Aims

VIEWPOINTS Skills - speaking Language - all elements Intermediate Groups of 3-5 students One handout for each group (see Chapter V) 15-20 min

Level Groupings Preparation Time

Procedure The teacher divides the class into small groups and presents the situation: Mary Taylor, a 35 year-old housewife, would like to go back to her job, teaching physics and mathematics, after an eight year break. Imagine what her husband, her eight year-old daughter, her mother-in-law, her parents and the headmaster might feel about the situation. The teacher writes the names, ages and jobs of the people mentioned in the situation on the board, and assigns one of these people to each group. The students discuss among themselves what they think this particular person might feel. The group secretary in each group takes notes. The teacher gives each group that part of the handout which concerns their person. (see Chapter V). They compare their own ideas with those on the handout. One person from each group comes forward. These students sit in a circle in the middle of the class and hold a conversation in which the put their arguments and feelings forward.



In the following activities the learners have to find solutions to various types of problems. Most of the activities require pair or group work where the students have to use the foreign language in a very creative way while going through the exercises. 2.5.1 Aims RESCUE Skills Language - speaking - stating an opinion, giving and asking for reasons, agreeing, disagreeing, comparisons Intermediate/advanced Groups of five to eight students 10-20 min

Level Groupings Time

Procedure The situation is presented. The Earth is doomed. All life is going to perish in two days due to radiation. A spaceship from another solar system lands and offers to rescue twelve people, who could start a new world on an empty planet very much like Earth. Imagine you are the selection committee and you have to decide who may be rescued. Think of a list of criteria which you would use in your decision.

Each group discusses the problem and tries to work out a list. They present their lists to the class. Class discussion follows. 2.5.2 Aims Level Groupings Preparation Time DESPERATE DECISION Skills Language - reading comprehension, speaking - making suggestions, stating possibilities, agreeing/disagreeing Intermediate/advanced Groups with 3-6 students A handout for each student (see Chapter V) 30-40 min

Procedure Each student reads the description of the situation. The teacher may ask a few comprehension questions to make sure everybody understood. The groups try to find as many courses of action as possible. They should write them down. Then they discuss the advantages and disadvantages of each solution and decide on the best one. They write down their reasons. Each group presents their solution. The other groups should challenge the arguments and conclusions of the reporting group. 2.5.3 Aims Level Groupings Time ONE DAY IN LONDON Skills Language Intermediate Pairs 15-20 min - speaking - all elements

Procedure The teacher describes the situation: You have to plan how to spend a day in London with your partner. Both of you arrive at Heathrow airport at 9 a.m. and you have to be back at the airport at 9 p.m. There is a selfdrive car which you may use. It has a full tank. You receive 25 each, but you have no other money. Decide what you would like to do. You should plan the day in such a way that you are happy with it. The students work in pairs. The partners find out from each other what they would like to do and what they would not. They work out a timetable for the day. The students report back their plans to the class. Similarities and differences are discussed.

2.5.4 Aims

TREASURE HUNT Skills - all four skills Language - all elements Intermediate Individuals, pairs, groups, class A few minutes each lesson for a number of days

Level Groupings Time

Procedure All the tasks for this activity have to be worked out in advance. The tasks should be tailored for individual students, so that their strengths may be exploited. The basic principles of a treasure hunt are the following: Each student has to follow instructions and fulfill a certain task. If he does it properly he is rewarded with a piece of information, e.g. a word or letter. All the pieces of information collected by the students have to be combined to find the general solution, i.e. the treasure. It would be useful (if possible) to enlist the help of other Englishspeaking people so that the tasks can include phoning and letter-writing. The prize for finding the solution can be anything from a bag of sweets to a visit to an English movie. Possible tasks: 1. There is a poem on page xx in your textbook. Learn it by heart and recite it in the next lesson. You will then get an envelope from your teacher. (Envelope: Your word is you) 2. (For two students) Here are the lines of a dialogue, all mixed up. Put them in the correct order and write your own ending to it. Act it out in front of the class in the next lesson. You will then get an envelope from the teacher.(Word: surprise) 3. Here is a text where some words are spelled incorrectly. Check with your dictionary to find out the correct spelling. Write down all the letters that were wrong. They make a word. (Word: there) 4. Phone this number xxxxxxxxx and ask to speak to Mr. Z. Find out where he spent his holiday last year, tell him about yours. If you dont make any mistakes he will tell you the next word.(Word: is) 5. Read this story and tell the class what it is about in the next lesson. Your teacher will give you the next word. (Word: cupboard) 6. Here are the rules for a new game. Together with students C and D make the materials for the game, so that we can play it next week. Your teacher will give you the next word. (Word: for) 7. Go and explain the new game to class X. Play it with them. You will then get your new word. (Word: a) 8. Write a letter to Mrs. Y. Ask her for the recipe for trifle. If your letter has no mistakes she will send you the recipe. The word you need is underlined with red in the recipe. (Word: in) 9. Record the news on an English-language radio program on Monday and write down the text. Bring the recording and the text with you to the lesson on Thursday. Your teacher will tell you the next word. (Word: the)

Solution: There is a surprise for you in the cupboard. When the teacher has worked out the tasks, they can be given to the students one by one. Progress in finding the solution can be marked on a special notice on the wall in the classroom.

2.5.5 Aims

GROUP HOLIDAY Skills Language - speaking - asking for and giving reasons, agreeing, disagreeing, making suggestions

Level Groupings Preparation Time

Intermediate Groups of five to seven students A handout for each student 15-20 min

Procedure The class is divided into groups. Each student receives a handout containing eight suggestions for a two week holiday. Each group has to find the holiday that they would like to have together. A decision should be reached by discussion and finding good arguments and not by a majority vote. Each group presents the holiday they have chosen and outlines the reason for this choice. The other groups may ask questions or comment.

2.5.6 Aims

EVERYDAY PROBLEMS Skills Language - listening, speaking - describing something, making suggestions, discussing alternatives

Level Groupings Time

Intermediate Groups of six to eight students or class 10-15 min

Procedure Individual students describe a problem they have, e.g. always forgetting their keys, not being able to remember names, oversleeping, etc. The others try to suggest ways and means of helping with the problem.

2.5.7 Aims

BAKER STREET Skills - speaking Language - all elements Intermediate Class One copy of the handout (see Chapter V) cut into strips (if there are more than 20 students two copies of the handout should be cut out) 5-15 min

Level Groupings Preparation Time

Procedure The teacher draws the diagram on the board. The situation is outlined to the students: There are five houses in Baker Street. One person lives in each house. the aim is to find out each persons name, whether he or she is married or not, what pet he or she owns, which books he or she likes, and what drinks he or she likes. The students get a piece of paper each with some information on it. They have to share what they know to fill in the chart. It should be left entirely to the students how they organize the collection of information. The teachers sole function is to remind them to speak English.



Objects, actions or people have to be mimed in the following activities. The mimes are done in pairs or groups. Miming activities are valuable language-learning situations. Guessing something is linked with the real desire to find out and thus is a true communicative situation. Furthermore, miming exercises train the students skill of observation and improvisation.. Finally, miming exercises are useful because they emphasise the importance of gesture and facial expression in communication. In terms of language elements, they practice question forms and expressing possibilities. 3.1.1 Aims Level ADVERB CHARADE Skills - speaking Language - asking yes/no questions, adverbs Beginners/intermediate

Groupings Preparation Time

Pairs, class About 50 small pieces of paper 10-15 min

Procedure The pieces of paper are distributed, so that each student receives two. On one piece of paper he writes a simple action, e.g. eating a banana, knitting, reading a paper; on the other an adverb, e.g. angrily, badly, cautiously,, etc. All the pieces of paper are put in a pile face down. Students team up with a partner. The first pair comes to the front of the class. One draws a piece of paper from the action pile, the other from the adverb pile. Both mime their action in the manner described by the adverb. the rest of the class guess. Variations It can also be played as a competitive team game

3.1.2 Aims

MIMING PEOPLE AND OBJECTS Skills - speaking Language - making conjectures, asking questions Beginners Individuals, pairs, groups Several piles of small pieces of paper with descriptions of people (e.g. an old man, a fat bus conductor), names of objects, photos or drawings of people or objects 10-15 min

Level Groupings Preparation Time

Procedure Instructions as to what the students have to mime are given verbally or visually. The individual mimes can be organized in one of the following ways: 1. Every student chooses a piece of paper from a pile and mimes the person or the object. The others guess. 2. Two or three students combine their miming tasks to mime a short scene together. The others observe and make suggestions. 3. Each group of students is given the same people and objects to mime. Performances and different realizations are discussed. 4. Chain mime. One student starts by miming his object/person. Another student joins him until up to ten students are involved in miming a situation.



Aims Level Groupings Preparation Time

- speaking, writing - asking questions, stating ones opinions, making suggestions, agreeing/disagreeing Beginners/intermediate Groups of three to five students Short dialogues on separate pieces of paper, some objects as props 15-20 min

Skills Language

Procedure Each group of students receives a different dialogue and has five minutes in which to organize miming. They decide who takes which role, and what props are needed. Each group performs their mime in turn. After each performance the students in the audience suggest what the mime was about. Variations Each group may speak only one sentence of the dialogue during the mime.

3.1.4 Aims

HOTEL RECEPTIONIST Skills Language - speaking, reading - all kinds of questions, expressing understanding, asking for confirmation

Level Groupings Preparation Time

Intermediate Class, groups of five to eight students At least as many messages as there are students, on small slips of paper 15-20 min

Procedure The teacher explains the situation. The setting is a hotel in an English-speaking country. A guest staying at the hotel has a very bad cold and has lost his voice. He therefore has to communicate with the hotel receptionist by miming. In the first two or three rounds the teacher takes the part of the hotel receptionist. The guest is played by one of the students. This student draws a slip of paper with a message on it (e.g. Its very cold in my room. I cant turn the radiators on. Could you send someone up to have a look?) and, playing the part of the guest, mimes his request while the hotel receptionist guesses. The rest of the class helps the receptionist to figure out the request. Then the students are divided into groups. The members of each group sit in a circle and take turns to play the guest and the receptionist. Each group has a supply of messages to draw from. Variations

The setting is The Lost Property Office. Students have to claim objects they have lost. The objects are written on small slips of paper. Possible messages: I have to catch an early train tomorrow. Could I be woken up at 5.30 a.m., please ? I am going out now. I am expecting a phone call from my wife. Could you, please, tell her that Ive lost my voice and have written a letter to her? I have forgotten the number of my room. Where is the nearest post office? Can you get me two opera tickets for tomorrow night? But only if there are seats in the first fifteen rows. Can you change a 5 bill into 50p pieces? Id like to go on a sightseeing tour round the town tomorrow. When do they leave? How long does it take and how much does it cost? Is there a heated indoor swimming-pool in the town? How far is it? Somebody has put a crocodile in my bath. Please, come quickly. Theres a funny noise coming from the room next to mine. Im afraid that somebody might be ill.

3.1.5 Aims

MESSAGES Skills - writing, speaking Language - expressing ones opinion, right/wrong Intermediate Pairs As many pieces of paper with messages as students 15-20 min

Level Groupings Preparation Time

Procedure Each student takes a message which he is not allowed to show to anyone. Then they find a partner. All the students stand around the walls of the classroom far from their partner. Half of the class is miming at the same time, while their partners write down what they think they see. Then they sit down and discuss with their partner. The original messages are read out. Then the second students mime their part and the discussion follows. Possible messages: 1. Id like to go to the cinema with you. Meet me at my house at 7 p.m. 2. Can I borrow your CD player? Mine has broken down. 3. I am having a party on Saturday. Can you come? 4. Could we do our homework together this afternoon? 5. I am going shopping to get a new bicycle. Do you want to come?

6. Please, do some shopping for me. Get four pounds of apples, two bottles of lemonade, and some toilet paper. 7. I found a red purse on the floor. It has 20 $ in it. Is it yours? 8. Go to the library and get a book on cats. 9. Your trousers have split. 10. There is a big white stain on your pullover. Its right under your left arm.


It is not easy to distinguish clearly between role play and simulation. Both are forms of games mirroring a slice of reality. As a rule simulations are more highly structured and contain more diverse elements in their content and procedure. Simulations are simplified patterns of human interactions or social processes where the players participate in roles. (Davison and Gordon 1978, p.55). Most simulations demand that participants are supplied with background information and materials to work from both before and during the simulation. Accomplishing the task set in a simulation has sometimes got to be done within a time limit, e.g. in writing the front page of a newspaper, just as in reality. In contrast to simulations, role plays often consist of short scenes, which can be realistic as in acting out a shopping situation - or pure fantasy as in pretending to interview a Martian on TV. Role plays improve the students oral performance generally, and simulations quite often train all four skills. The complexity of simulations, which run over several stages, prevents the teacher from exactly determining beforehand which structures, words and language skills will be needed by the players. Therefore simulations mainly constitute practice sessions where the participants draw on everything they have learned so far. 3.2.1 Aims Level Groupings Preparation Time TELEPHONING - speaking, writing - insisting, interrupting, directing the conversation, hesitating Intermediate/advanced Pairs Role cards (see Chapter V) 15-20 min Skills Language

Procedure The class is divided into two teams (A and B) and each team into sub-groups of three to five students. Each A-group students receive a copy of an A-role, B-group B-role (see Chapter V). The students in both groups work out some phrases which they could use in the telephone conversation indicated on the role-card. One person from group A and one from group B act out the telephone conversation in front of the group. Up to four more pairs give their version as well. This procedure is repeated with different role cards.

3.2.2 Aims

TV INTERVIEW Skills Language - speaking, writing - describing something, (present simple) questions, introducing someone Intermediate/advanced Groups of four to six students 20-30 min

Level Groupings Time

Procedure One of the groups has to prepare the role of the interviewer and write down questions the interviewer could ask the members of the ideal family. All the other groups represent an ideal family; they should allocate the different roles within the group and talk about the personalities, ways of behaviour and ideas of the people in their ideal family. Each ideal family is interviewed by a different interviewer in turn in front of the class. At the beginning of the role play each member of the family introduces either himself or another family member. Since a lot of the students values and ideals regarding families will have become obvious, they should be discussed afterwards. Other ideal groups can be interviewed, e.g. ideal holiday, ideal flat-sharing.

3.2.3 Aims

CONTROVERSY IN THE SCHOOL Skills - all four skills Language - all elements Intermediate/advanced Groups/class Handouts (See Chapter V) 20-45 min

Level Groupings Preparation Time

Procedure Each student receives a handout. The texts are read and language difficulties are cleared up. Students are divided into groups. One group presents arguments the parents might put forward, another group thinks of the point of view of the students concerned. All in all there can be up to eight different groups, dealing with the parents, teachers, principal, students of different ages, local press and school administration (local education

authority). The groups arrange meetings, e.g. the parents want to talk to the principal, the local press interviews the teachers and students, etc. The final step can be a panel discussion with a representative of each group. Variations Instead of arranging meetings, each group can produce a leaflet or poster outlining their position. Other issues that can be dealt with: pollution control, campaigning for a new playground, fighting against a new motorway, etc.

3.2.4 Aims

SWAP SHOP Skills Language Intermediate Individuals Role cards 20-30 min - speaking - offering something, expressing interest, describing adjectives, if-clauses

Level Groupings Preparation Time

Procedure Each student receives a role card.(e.g. You are a collector of model trains; you are interested in steam engines or You are a fan of the Beatles and are desperately looking for a copy of their white album in good condition, because yours is badly scratched) and two or three object cards (e.g. The Beatles White album, sleeve is very torn, records in passable condition, model of the French high speed train, Victorian doll-one arm missingreal hair) The students walk around and try to find others who are interested in one of the objects they have to offer or who can offer them something. Variations Real objects can be brought along and used for this activity.

3.2.5 Aims

MAKING A RADIO PROGRAM Skills - all four skills Language - all elements Intermediate/advanced Class, groups, pairs Tape recorder, microphone, CD player, sound effects, music, collection of magazines, articles 3-5 hours

Level Groupings Preparation Time

Procedure Students may work individually, in groups or in pairs. The end product should be a radio program 10 to 20 minutes long, consisting of short interviews, or commentaries separated by advertising and music. Students work on different parts of the program and a schedule has to be written up first of all with the different tasks clearly specified. Example: Selecting and recording the music - 2 students Presenters of the program - 2 students Sound effects - 2 students First interview - 5 students Second interview - 4 students Advertisements - 6 students Commentary - 3 students Short sketch - 3 students More items for the program can be introduced with larger classes. The students preparing the interviews and the commentary look through newspaper articles to find suitable topics. When they have found a story, they decide who to interview and prepare the questions with the help of the teacher. The students working out the advertisements look through the magazines to find ideas they want to adapt. The teacher moves from group to group to help and correct written material. Before the final recording each group presents its part of the program. Last minute alterations are made. The presenters work on their introductory remarks to each part of the program. The sequence of the individual interviews is scheduled. Final recording.

The aim of the activities from this section is to make the students produce longer connected texts. For this they will need imagination as well as some skill in the foreign language. Stimuli are given in the form of individual words or pictures, depending on the activity. Story-telling activates more than a limited number of patterns and structures and these activities are best used as general revision.

3.3.1 Aims

CHAIN STORY Skills Language - speaking - simple past

Level Groupings Preparation Time

Beginners/intermediate Class Small slips of paper with one noun/verb/adjective on each of them, as many pieces of paper as there are students. 10-20 min

Procedure Each student receives a word slip. The teacher starts the story by giving the first sentence: e.g. It was a stormy night in November. A student continues the story. He may say up to three sentences and must include the word on his slip of paper. The next student goes on. Variation Each student is also given a number. The numbers determine the sequence in which the students have to contribute to the story.

3.3.2 Aims

NEWSPAPER REPORT Skills - writing Language - reporting events, past tenses passive Intermediate Groups A large number of photos taken from magazines and newspapers 20-30 min

Level Groupings Preparation Time

Procedure Each group is given five pictures of which they have to use three. Their aim is to write a newspaper report linking these three pictures. When each group has decided which pictures to use they write their report. The reports are read out and the pictures are shown to the class. Variations Each group chooses three pictures which another group has to describe. All the pictures are displayed on the wall. When the reports are read, the others have to guess which pictures fit the reports.

3.3.3 Aims Level

PICTURE STORIES Skills Language Intermediate - writing - describing something, dialogue

Groupings Preparation Time

Pairs or individuals Pictures from magazines and cartoon strips with the words in the speech bubbles blanked out 15-20 min

Procedure The students have to write texts for the pictures or fill in the speech bubbles. Variations 1. If more than one student receives the same pictures, their results can be compared. 2. One pair of students fills in the first bubble, then hands it over to the next pair and so on. The first pair, in the meantime, fills in the first bubble on another strip and then passes it on in the same way. 3.3.4 Aims Level Groupings Preparation Time LETTER AND TELEGRAMS Skills - writing, reading comprehension Language - nouns, verb forms Advanced Individuals A copy of the letter to each student (see chapter V) 10-20 min

Procedure Each student receives a copy of a letter and is asked to write two telegrams for it, one of 24 words, the other of 12 words. The telegrams are read out and compared. Variations Students receive different letters.

3.3.5 Aims

KEEP TALKING Skills - speaking Language - all elements Intermediate/advanced Individuals Slips of paper with a sentence and a topic 5-15 min

Level Groupings Preparation Time

Procedure A student chooses a slip of paper and has to talk for one minute about the topic, beginning with the sentence on the paper. Examples:

Smoking Homesickness Pets Parents Clothes Chewing gum

If a cigarette costs 1$ a lot of people When I was a little boy/girl, I used to have/I would like to have There are no certificates for good parents. I like Animals dont chew chewing gum.

Variations 1. It can also be played as a team contest. 2. The topic and sentence cards can be prepared by the students. 3. This activity can be used to revise topics that have been dealt with in class.


1. 1.1.4 2. 1.1.7 3. 1.2.3 4. 1.3.1 5. 1.4.1 6. 1.4.2 7. 1.4.3 8. 1.4.4 9. 1.4.5 10. 1.4.7 11. 1.4.8 12. 1.5.2 13. 1.5.3



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