I know when I first started teaching online for DaDaABC, I relied on the courseware religiously and dared not to branch out with my own ideas.
But I soon realised that blending your own class activity creations along with the courseware provided a much needed variety to the time with my online ESL students!
So here is an idea that I briefly mentioned in the Homework Assignment Ideas post that can be also used as a DaDaABC class activity, as well as homework:
3 Questions Activity
After your initial greeting conversation with your student, you may notice that they do not tend to ask you very many, if any, questions in return to yours (or maybe that's just me!)
Either way, I like to set them the task of thinking of 3 questions that they would like to ask me. I also ask them to type them down in the chat to make it a written exercise as well as spoken.
They will tend to ask questions such as:
‘How old are you?'(I like to turn this into a game and give them 3 guesses to get it right.)
‘What is your favourite colour?'
‘Do you have a girlfriend?' (I do not answer this one!)
So you see, the more times that you set this activity, the questions get more and more intricate as they are not allowed to repeat questions. It's not incredibly interesting to hear that my favourite colour is orange about 6 times.
Recently, I had a more intricate question:
‘What season is it currently in the UK?'
I jumped for joy at the improvement! Which is not a good idea whilst wearing headphones.
What is the Point of this Activity?
Conversational skills are the absolute pinnacle of learning English. If you can hold a full conversation in English with another person…then congratulations, you are fluent!
So I like to create a spider's web of conversation skills with my students, so that as each week goes by, the web gets more and more intricate.
When you think about it, all a conversation really is is just questions, answers and statements. So I like to build upon those three!
So then, how can you expand upon this?
Set Your Student a Mission for the Next Class
For their homework, tell them to think of 3 more questions to ask you…but with a twist!
This time, instruct them to ask you them in the next class at random times without being reminded.
This will slowly condition them to think independently about conversational skills. I know my students are masters of making statements when instructed, or answering questions when I ask them, but it is rare that they randomly come out with a question.
The person that asks questions in the conversation, is then taking control of that conversation. If you can get your students taking control of the English language, then that is a huge step towards them becoming fluent.
If you have any more class activity ideas, feel free to share them with the DigiNo community in the comments below!
And if you are hungry for more classroom tips, click the image below for the Top 5 Ukulele Songs to play to your DaDaABC online students: